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Q: Understanding the GNU Free Documentation License ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Question  
Subject: Understanding the GNU Free Documentation License
Category: Relationships and Society > Law
Asked by: troy1-ga
List Price: $9.00
Posted: 05 Apr 2006 07:27 PDT
Expires: 05 May 2006 07:27 PDT
Question ID: 715687
I have a website  and I want to use articles  from wikipediea on it.
I had some problems understanding the limitations of the GNU and I
want to be on the safe side.

If I use a complete article without editing it - is it enough to give
credit to wikipedia ( with the appropriate format)
Does this affect the copyright of my site? 
Do I need to share part of my site?

Thanks,

Feel free to ask  clarifications.
Answer  
Subject: Re: Understanding the GNU Free Documentation License
Answered By: sublime1-ga on 05 Apr 2006 14:10 PDT
 
troy1...

Here's the Wikipedia page on 'insurance'.

A search for a random line of exact text on that page returns
a number of sites that use Wiki content as the basis of their
content, supplemented by PPC ads (such a format, devoid of 
original content is, in the opinion of webmasters, considered
spammy and less desirable than pages with useful original
content in addition to Wiki content):

"Property and liability insurance policies cover persons and not
property or operations. Although the"
://www.google.com/search?q=%22Property+and+liability+insurance+policies+cover+persons+and+not+property+or+operations.+Although+the%22

If you go through those results looking at the bottom of the
pages, you'll see various formats for attribution of the content
to Wikipedia, from:

"2006 protect your best. All right reserved.
 Some information taken from Wikipedia.org"
http://www.protectyourbest.com/

...to the more correct format:

"This article provided by Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
 YourArt.com is not responsible for its contents. This article
 is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Source
 article can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/insurance.

 Copyright  1997-2006 YourArt.com, Division of YourArt, Inc.
 All rights reserved."
http://www.yourart.com/research/encyclopedia.cgi?subject=/insurance

The latter format allows for clarity in noting what is Wiki
content and what other material on the page falls under your
copyright.

The GNU does not require that you share a portion of your site.


If anything is unclear or needs further elaboration, let me know...

sublime1-ga

Request for Answer Clarification by troy1-ga on 06 Apr 2006 01:10 PDT
hi,

I don't like this answer at all....
The fact that other people use it - this is not enough.
I want to understand the GNU license.
In one site they wrote" Some information taken from Wikipedia.org "
This is no OK according to the GNU license:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Text_of_the_GNU_Free_Documentation_License
4. MODIFICATIONS

You may copy and distribute a Modified Version of the Document under
the conditions of sections 2 and 3 above, provided that you release
the Modified Version under precisely this License, with the Modified
Version filling the role of the Document, thus licensing distribution
and modification of the Modified Version to whoever possesses a copy
of it. In addition, you must do these things in the Modified Version:

    * A. Use in the Title Page (and on the covers, if any) a title
distinct from that of the Document, and from those of previous
versions (which should, if there were any, be listed in the History
section of the Document). You may use the same title as a previous
version if the original publisher of that version gives permission.
    * B. List on the Title Page, as authors, one or more persons or
entities responsible for authorship of the modifications in the
Modified Version, together with at least five of the principal authors
of the Document (all of its principal authors, if it has fewer than
five), unless they release you from this requirement.
    * C. State on the Title page the name of the publisher of the
Modified Version, as the publisher.
    * D. Preserve all the copyright notices of the Document.
    * E. Add an appropriate copyright notice for your modifications
adjacent to the other copyright notices.
    * F. Include, immediately after the copyright notices, a license
notice giving the public permission to use the Modified Version under
the terms of this License, in the form shown in the Addendum below.
    * G. Preserve in that license notice the full lists of Invariant
Sections and required Cover Texts given in the Document's license
notice.
    * H. Include an unaltered copy of this License.
    * I. Preserve the section Entitled "History", Preserve its Title,
and add to it an item stating at least the title, year, new authors,
and publisher of the Modified Version as given on the Title Page. If
there is no section Entitled "History" in the Document, create one
stating the title, year, authors, and publisher of the Document as
given on its Title Page, then add an item describing the Modified
Version as stated in the previous sentence.
    * J. Preserve the network location, if any, given in the Document
for public access to a Transparent copy of the Document, and likewise
the network locations given in the Document for previous versions it
was based on. These may be placed in the "History" section. You may
omit a network location for a work that was published at least four
years before the Document itself, or if the original publisher of the
version it refers to gives permission.
    * K. For any section Entitled "Acknowledgements" or "Dedications",
Preserve the Title of the section, and preserve in the section all the
substance and tone of each of the contributor acknowledgements and/or
dedications given therein.
    * L. Preserve all the Invariant Sections of the Document,
unaltered in their text and in their titles. Section numbers or the
equivalent are not considered part of the section titles.
    * M. Delete any section Entitled "Endorsements". Such a section
may not be included in the Modified Version.
    * N. Do not retitle any existing section to be Entitled
"Endorsements" or to conflict in title with any Invariant Section.
    * O. Preserve any Warranty Disclaimers.

Clarification of Answer by sublime1-ga on 06 Apr 2006 02:53 PDT
troy1...

Yes, you seem to agree with the point I made, without acknowledging
that I made it, with regards to the first example I cited:

"2006 protect your best. All right reserved.
 Some information taken from Wikipedia.org"

This is a poor attribution ("not OK"), and, however common,
is less than acceptable, though never challenged, that I'm
aware of.


"This article provided by Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
 YourArt.com is not responsible for its contents. This article
 is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Source
 article can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/insurance."

This example, on the other hand, is very acceptable, and quite
common. In truth, I would consider it an impossible challenge
to find any example of a Wikipedia attribution that is better
written, based on my considerable experience in researching
precisely this topic in the last 3 years.

If you would prefer to complicate the issue beyond common practice,
I can only tell you that I have not come across any examples of the
details you seem to be expecting in 3 years of exploring Wikipedia
attributions.

If you would prefer it, I can ask the editors to remove my answer
so that other researchers will have the opportunity to attempt to
satisfy your interest in the unneccessary complexities you seem
adamant in satisfying, however I'm reasonably confident that actual
examples of same will be next to impossible to find.

As you wish...let me know your thoughts...

sublime1-ga

Clarification of Answer by sublime1-ga on 06 Apr 2006 03:21 PDT
P.S.

The following Google search, with 19,900,000 results, may assist
you in realizing the usual nature of Wikipedia attributions:

"This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License"
://www.google.com/search?q=%22This+article+is+licensed+under+the+GNU+Free+Documentation+License%22

These citations include sites such as the acknowledged partners of
Google - Answers.com - who provide the 'definition' for words which
might have one in a Google search, such as the one for 'destiny':

destiny
://www.google.com/search?q=destiny

'destiny' definition on the results page:
://www.google.com/url?sa=X&oi=dict&q=http://www.answers.com/destiny%26r%3D67


One such article on answers.com, on the topic of the GFDL, or
'GNU Free Documentation License',states, at the bottom, simply:

"This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
 It uses material from the Wikipedia article "'GNU Free Documentation
 License'".
http://www.answers.com/topic/gnu-free-documentation-license

It simply isn't more complicated than that. Sorry if that disappoints.

Request for Answer Clarification by troy1-ga on 06 Apr 2006 03:59 PDT
hi,

I don't understand the relevancy of the clarification you posted
Please focus on what i asked.

Clarification of Answer by sublime1-ga on 06 Apr 2006 11:56 PDT
Here's what you asked:

"If I use a complete article without editing it - is it enough to
 give credit to wikipedia ( with the appropriate format)"?

Short answer: Yes. Relevancy of clarification: If 19,900,000 sites,
including at least one selected by Google itself (the 'do no evil'
company) as a partner, use exactly the same simple format, it seems
reasonable that it constitutes an 'appropriate' format.


"Does this affect the copyright of my site?"

Short answer: No. An example was provided on how to separate 
the citation for the Wikipedia content from the copyright 
citation for your site's content, repeated here:

"This article provided by Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
 YourArt.com is not responsible for its contents. This article
 is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Source
 article can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/insurance.

 Copyright  1997-2006 YourArt.com, Division of YourArt, Inc.
 All rights reserved."
http://www.yourart.com/research/encyclopedia.cgi?subject=/insurance


"Do I need to share part of my site?"

Short answer: No. There are too many examples of sites which don't,
and I've never seen one which did.


"The fact that other people use it - this is not enough."

Agreed. Relevancy of Clarification: The fact that 19,900,000 unique
sites use a specific IS enough, in contrast to the number (2) of 
results for the example of a poor citation which I provided:

"Some information taken from Wikipedia.org"
://www.google.com/search?q=%22Some+information+taken+from+Wikipedia.org%22

To me, it seems that your questions have been answered.
If you disagree, let me know and I'll ask the editors to
remove my answer, or point out to me exactly where on this
page you asked a question that I didn't address.
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