Software documentation licensing

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Software documentation licensing

Jo Cook
Hi All,

I'm after a wide spread of opinions about licensing of documentation
for the Google Season of Docs project that I'm working with OSGeo on.

We're discussing which Creative Commons license we should use for
documentation templates. The general opinion is split between CC-0
(https://creativecommons.org/choose/zero/), which effectively equates
to Public Domain, and CC-By
(https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/licensing-types-examples/licensing-examples/#by)
which requires Attribution.

Hypothetically, can anyone think of any scenarios where a commercial
company would not want to use either of these, or would choose one or
the other?

No need to reply-all on this if you don't want, but if anyone at all
has any opinion on the matter or has come across documentation
licensing issues before, I'd love to hear about it. The more specific
the better, please!

Thanks

Jo

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Re: Software documentation licensing

Jonathan Moules-4
Hi Jo,
Personally I'd lean towards CC-0 but that's just because I prefer Public
Domain and minimal bureaucracy.

I know there are organisations that don't even like full Public Domain
and require some sort of written license - for example SQLite is fully
Public Domain but you can "buy" a license for a (hefty!) chunk of change
if your organisation requires it. Here's the page where you can purchase
a license+"Warranty of Title" - it includes possible reasons folks may
wish to do this:
https://www.hwaci.com/cgi-bin/license-step1

Cheers,
Jonathan

On 2019-07-08 16:37, Jonathan Moules wrote:

> Hi Jo,
> Personally I'd lean towards CC-0 but that's just because I prefer
> Public Domain and minimal bureaucracy.
>
> I know there are organisations that don't even like full Public Domain
> and require some sort of written license - for example SQLite is fully
> Public Domain but you can "buy" a license for a (hefty!) chunk of
> change if your organisation requires it. Here's the page where you can
> purchase a license+"Warranty of Title" - it includes possible reasons
> folks may wish to do this:
> https://www.hwaci.com/cgi-bin/license-step1
>
> Cheers,
> Jonathan
>
> On 2019-07-08 16:31, Jo Cook wrote:
>> Hi All,
>>
>> I'm after a wide spread of opinions about licensing of documentation
>> for the Google Season of Docs project that I'm working with OSGeo on.
>>
>> We're discussing which Creative Commons license we should use for
>> documentation templates. The general opinion is split between CC-0
>> (https://creativecommons.org/choose/zero/), which effectively equates
>> to Public Domain, and CC-By
>> (https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/licensing-types-examples/licensing-examples/#by)
>>
>> which requires Attribution.
>>
>> Hypothetically, can anyone think of any scenarios where a commercial
>> company would not want to use either of these, or would choose one or
>> the other?
>>
>> No need to reply-all on this if you don't want, but if anyone at all
>> has any opinion on the matter or has come across documentation
>> licensing issues before, I'd love to hear about it. The more specific
>> the better, please!
>>
>> Thanks
>>
>> Jo
>>

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Re: Software documentation licensing

Jo Cook
In reply to this post by Jo Cook
Hi Jonathan,

Thanks for the quick response- that's an interesting link. It does,
however seem to relate to the use of the software rather than the
documentation, unless I've misunderstood? Specifically what we're
interested here is licenses for documentation. Code samples within the
documentation will probably need to be handled differently as well...

Jo

On Mon, Jul 8, 2019 at 4:38 PM Jonathan Moules
<[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Hi Jo,
> Personally I'd lean towards CC-0 but that's just because I prefer Public
> Domain and minimal bureaucracy.
>
> I know there are organisations that don't even like full Public Domain
> and require some sort of written license - for example SQLite is fully
> Public Domain but you can "buy" a license for a (hefty!) chunk of change
> if your organisation requires it. Here's the page where you can purchase
> a license+"Warranty of Title" - it includes possible reasons folks may
> wish to do this:
> https://www.hwaci.com/cgi-bin/license-step1
>
> Cheers,
> Jonathan
>
> On 2019-07-08 16:31, Jo Cook wrote:
> > Hi All,
> >
> > I'm after a wide spread of opinions about licensing of documentation
> > for the Google Season of Docs project that I'm working with OSGeo on.
> >
> > We're discussing which Creative Commons license we should use for
> > documentation templates. The general opinion is split between CC-0
> > (https://creativecommons.org/choose/zero/), which effectively equates
> > to Public Domain, and CC-By
> > (https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/licensing-types-examples/licensing-examples/#by)
> > which requires Attribution.
> >
> > Hypothetically, can anyone think of any scenarios where a commercial
> > company would not want to use either of these, or would choose one or
> > the other?
> >
> > No need to reply-all on this if you don't want, but if anyone at all
> > has any opinion on the matter or has come across documentation
> > licensing issues before, I'd love to hear about it. The more specific
> > the better, please!
> >
> > Thanks
> >
> > Jo
> >
>


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urgent responses at that time, please visit
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Re: Software documentation licensing

Jonathan Moules-4
Hi Jo,

Yes, that is related to the code, but I figured organisations treatment
of licenses and Public Domain may be pertinent to docs too, in
particular addressing your "what reasons may exist not to do this". I
figure if organisations are silly enough to plonk down $6k for something
that's completely free for the code, they may also have similar issues
with the docs too. But I doubt there are many.

Cheers,

Jonathan

On 2019-07-08 16:43, Jo Cook wrote:

> Hi Jonathan,
>
> Thanks for the quick response- that's an interesting link. It does,
> however seem to relate to the use of the software rather than the
> documentation, unless I've misunderstood? Specifically what we're
> interested here is licenses for documentation. Code samples within the
> documentation will probably need to be handled differently as well...
>
> Jo
>
> On Mon, Jul 8, 2019 at 4:38 PM Jonathan Moules
>> Hi Jo,
>> Personally I'd lean towards CC-0 but that's just because I prefer Public
>> Domain and minimal bureaucracy.
>>
>> I know there are organisations that don't even like full Public Domain
>> and require some sort of written license - for example SQLite is fully
>> Public Domain but you can "buy" a license for a (hefty!) chunk of change
>> if your organisation requires it. Here's the page where you can purchase
>> a license+"Warranty of Title" - it includes possible reasons folks may
>> wish to do this:
>> https://www.hwaci.com/cgi-bin/license-step1
>>
>> Cheers,
>> Jonathan
>>
>> On 2019-07-08 16:31, Jo Cook wrote:
>>> Hi All,
>>>
>>> I'm after a wide spread of opinions about licensing of documentation
>>> for the Google Season of Docs project that I'm working with OSGeo on.
>>>
>>> We're discussing which Creative Commons license we should use for
>>> documentation templates. The general opinion is split between CC-0
>>> (https://creativecommons.org/choose/zero/), which effectively equates
>>> to Public Domain, and CC-By
>>> (https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/licensing-types-examples/licensing-examples/#by)
>>> which requires Attribution.
>>>
>>> Hypothetically, can anyone think of any scenarios where a commercial
>>> company would not want to use either of these, or would choose one or
>>> the other?
>>>
>>> No need to reply-all on this if you don't want, but if anyone at all
>>> has any opinion on the matter or has come across documentation
>>> licensing issues before, I'd love to hear about it. The more specific
>>> the better, please!
>>>
>>> Thanks
>>>
>>> Jo
>>>
>

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Re: Software documentation licensing

Ian Turton
In reply to this post by Jo Cook
I would go with CC-BY as it seems to be a basic courtesy to reference who wrote the docs you are using.  GeoServer currently uses that for it's docs with no issues (other than users refusing to read them), GeoTools seems not mention a licence for the docs but the code samples are explicitly PD so people can cut and paste them into their code with no issues, but to be honest I can't see why CC-BY would be an issue there (I always add a comment about where I grabbed a code snippet from).

Ian 

On Mon, 8 Jul 2019 at 16:32, Jo Cook <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi All,

I'm after a wide spread of opinions about licensing of documentation
for the Google Season of Docs project that I'm working with OSGeo on.

We're discussing which Creative Commons license we should use for
documentation templates. The general opinion is split between CC-0
(https://creativecommons.org/choose/zero/), which effectively equates
to Public Domain, and CC-By
(https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/licensing-types-examples/licensing-examples/#by)
which requires Attribution.

Hypothetically, can anyone think of any scenarios where a commercial
company would not want to use either of these, or would choose one or
the other?

No need to reply-all on this if you don't want, but if anyone at all
has any opinion on the matter or has come across documentation
licensing issues before, I'd love to hear about it. The more specific
the better, please!

Thanks

Jo

--
Jo Cook
t:+44 7930 524 155/twitter:@archaeogeek
Please note that currently I do not work on Friday afternoons. For
urgent responses at that time, please visit
support.astuntechnology.com or phone our office on 01372 744009

--
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t:+44 1372 744
009 w: astuntechnology.com <http://astuntechnology.com/> twitter:@astuntech
<https://twitter.com/astuntech>



iShare - enterprise geographic
intelligence platform <https://astuntechnology.com/ishare/>
GeoServer,
PostGIS and QGIS training <https://astuntechnology.com/services/#training>

Helpdesk and customer portal
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Re: Software documentation licensing

Joseph Leach

attribution makes the information linked. for example, someone in an organisation finds an issue whilst reading a copy; they could check the original for answers. this becomes especially useful if the source was improved subsequently to the copy being made.


From: UK <[hidden email]> on behalf of Ian Turton <[hidden email]>
Sent: 08 July 2019 16:51:59
To: Jo Cook
Cc: OSGeo UK
Subject: Re: [OSGeo-UK] Software documentation licensing
 
I would go with CC-BY as it seems to be a basic courtesy to reference who wrote the docs you are using.  GeoServer currently uses that for it's docs with no issues (other than users refusing to read them), GeoTools seems not mention a licence for the docs but the code samples are explicitly PD so people can cut and paste them into their code with no issues, but to be honest I can't see why CC-BY would be an issue there (I always add a comment about where I grabbed a code snippet from).

Ian 

On Mon, 8 Jul 2019 at 16:32, Jo Cook <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi All,

I'm after a wide spread of opinions about licensing of documentation
for the Google Season of Docs project that I'm working with OSGeo on.

We're discussing which Creative Commons license we should use for
documentation templates. The general opinion is split between CC-0
(https://creativecommons.org/choose/zero/), which effectively equates
to Public Domain, and CC-By
(https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/licensing-types-examples/licensing-examples/#by)
which requires Attribution.

Hypothetically, can anyone think of any scenarios where a commercial
company would not want to use either of these, or would choose one or
the other?

No need to reply-all on this if you don't want, but if anyone at all
has any opinion on the matter or has come across documentation
licensing issues before, I'd love to hear about it. The more specific
the better, please!

Thanks

Jo

--
Jo Cook
t:+44 7930 524 155/twitter:@archaeogeek
Please note that currently I do not work on Friday afternoons. For
urgent responses at that time, please visit
support.astuntechnology.com or phone our office on 01372 744009

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<https://twitter.com/astuntech>



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Re: Software documentation licensing

stevenfeldman
In reply to this post by Ian Turton
I'm in agreement with Ian go CC-BY

Attribution is more than just a courtesy, IMO, it is one of the pillars of our community and its ecosystem

Steven

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On 8 Jul 2019, at 16:51, Ian Turton <[hidden email]> wrote:

I would go with CC-BY as it seems to be a basic courtesy to reference who wrote the docs you are using.  GeoServer currently uses that for it's docs with no issues (other than users refusing to read them), GeoTools seems not mention a licence for the docs but the code samples are explicitly PD so people can cut and paste them into their code with no issues, but to be honest I can't see why CC-BY would be an issue there (I always add a comment about where I grabbed a code snippet from).

Ian 

On Mon, 8 Jul 2019 at 16:32, Jo Cook <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi All,

I'm after a wide spread of opinions about licensing of documentation
for the Google Season of Docs project that I'm working with OSGeo on.

We're discussing which Creative Commons license we should use for
documentation templates. The general opinion is split between CC-0
(https://creativecommons.org/choose/zero/), which effectively equates
to Public Domain, and CC-By
(https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/licensing-types-examples/licensing-examples/#by)
which requires Attribution.

Hypothetically, can anyone think of any scenarios where a commercial
company would not want to use either of these, or would choose one or
the other?

No need to reply-all on this if you don't want, but if anyone at all
has any opinion on the matter or has come across documentation
licensing issues before, I'd love to hear about it. The more specific
the better, please!

Thanks

Jo

--
Jo Cook
t:+44 7930 524 155/twitter:@archaeogeek
Please note that currently I do not work on Friday afternoons. For
urgent responses at that time, please visit
support.astuntechnology.com or phone our office on 01372 744009

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<https://twitter.com/astuntech>



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Re: Software documentation licensing

Mike Saunt-2
CC-BY is good.

On Mon, 8 Jul 2019 at 17:25, Steven Feldman <[hidden email]> wrote:
I'm in agreement with Ian go CC-BY

Attribution is more than just a courtesy, IMO, it is one of the pillars of our community and its ecosystem

Steven

07958 924101

Maps in the Wild

Subscribe to our weekly “Maps in the Wild” newsletter

On 8 Jul 2019, at 16:51, Ian Turton <[hidden email]> wrote:

I would go with CC-BY as it seems to be a basic courtesy to reference who wrote the docs you are using.  GeoServer currently uses that for it's docs with no issues (other than users refusing to read them), GeoTools seems not mention a licence for the docs but the code samples are explicitly PD so people can cut and paste them into their code with no issues, but to be honest I can't see why CC-BY would be an issue there (I always add a comment about where I grabbed a code snippet from).

Ian 

On Mon, 8 Jul 2019 at 16:32, Jo Cook <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi All,

I'm after a wide spread of opinions about licensing of documentation
for the Google Season of Docs project that I'm working with OSGeo on.

We're discussing which Creative Commons license we should use for
documentation templates. The general opinion is split between CC-0
(https://creativecommons.org/choose/zero/), which effectively equates
to Public Domain, and CC-By
(https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/licensing-types-examples/licensing-examples/#by)
which requires Attribution.

Hypothetically, can anyone think of any scenarios where a commercial
company would not want to use either of these, or would choose one or
the other?

No need to reply-all on this if you don't want, but if anyone at all
has any opinion on the matter or has come across documentation
licensing issues before, I'd love to hear about it. The more specific
the better, please!

Thanks

Jo

--
Jo Cook
t:+44 7930 524 155/twitter:@archaeogeek
Please note that currently I do not work on Friday afternoons. For
urgent responses at that time, please visit
support.astuntechnology.com or phone our office on 01372 744009

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