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Help talk:Watching Pages

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MetaWiki Help pages have GFDL and/or CC-by-SA copyrights and are not free to copy

I have added the note that Help:Watching Pages was originally copied from an old version of the equivalent Meta-Wiki help page and was released under a GFDL copyright. I have also noted that a more recent public domain version for this page may be found at MediaWiki Help:Watchlist.

When simply copying pages from any website that has a GFDL or CC-by-SA copyright (or copyleft) licence, one needs to comply with the terms of the license. Generally this requires an attribution statement that acknowledges the previous authors. This attribution is usually achieved by providing a link to the original source page. The source page history then allows the authors to be identified.

However, when reusing content covered by a GFDL copyright license, that is if one subsequently modifies the content to suit a slightly different use, subsequent editors cannot release their derived work under a different copyright license. The content needs to remain under a GFDL copyright. Although the content can be copied freely, the content is not free of restrictions on its use and modification. While I would expect that copying Meta-Wiki Help Pages so they can be used by the sasCommunity would probably have been considered within the spirit of a GFDL license at the time the copying was done in 2007, modifying the page might not be compatable with the sasCommunity:Copyrights.

Even Wikipedia has found it necessary to revise its use of the GFDL copyright as being too onerous for its purposes and has subsequently moved to CC-by-SA copyright license. Making this change required a special modification to the GFDL license to declare the particular version of GFDL used by WikiMedia, in the way it was used by WikiMedia, to be compatable with a CC-by-SA copyright license.

Subsequent to the page being copied, MediaWiki have developed some Public Domain Help Pages. The project page at MediaWiki states that WikiMedia help pages should NOT be copied because of their GFDL copyright. In light of this development it might be wise to reconsider what source the help pages should be derived from. After all, the edit page contains the warning: Do not submit copyrighted work without permission! I am not sure we have, or can reasonably obtain, the necessary permission in this situation. I would be interested in the views of others about what should be done. - Cameron 06:20, 22 June 2013 (EDT)

Perhaps we should consider providing a link to those pages, noting any differences due to copyright issues. --Don Henderson 08:33, 22 June 2013 (EDT)

Certainly a good idea. If the version that was copied can be identified then one can use the permanent link URL to that particular version, too. However for new help pages it might be better to start with the public domain help pages from MediaWiki rather than continue to copy the Meta-Wiki pages. - Cameron 10:34, 22 June 2013 (EDT)

I agree that we should go through the entire Wiki for similar pages and put in appropriate links. --Phil Miller (STATPROF) 15:18, 23 June 2013 (EDT)