[OSGeo-UK] Software documentation licensing

Jonathan Moules jonathan-lists at lightpear.com
Mon Jul 8 08:46:20 PDT 2019

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.



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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