In this answer to a question about aptitude, a block of text from the Debian Wiki was copied (source).

While the source has been referenced by now, I think the license of the original content is not clear. The Debian Wiki has no obvious license statements I could find. The page LicensingTerms explicitly says that the license is unclear and references a long gone copyright.html which currently says basically nothing. In the wayback machine I have found this version as the last version of that file with more content. The license there does not allow the distribution of material in the wiki (only referencing, personal use and fair use). There is also a second page with discussion about the license on the wiki.

Although I am not a lawyer, I think technically we cannot have content from the Debian Wiki on AskUbuntu. Do you agree? Should we remove such content?

  • Whether or not we can keep that answer, right now it's not really clearly cited (it ought to be more explicit that the text is taken from there, right now it might be interpreted as a source for further reading rather than a s a source from which text was copied). And the formatting suggests incorrectly that only certain parts are copied, while far more is actually copied. This would need to be fixed even if the source were public domain--it's important that sources be properly cited, and that it be clear when and how someone else's work is integrated into a post. Aug 21, 2012 at 19:38
  • I thought the copyright.html clearly stated "Copyleft" on the page, as the license, with a disclaimer that it is not "GFDL"
    – Mateo
    Aug 21, 2012 at 19:45
  • also www.debian.org has this as license debian.org/license
    – Mateo
    Aug 21, 2012 at 19:51
  • @mateo_salta I'm not sure whether one can draw any conclusion just from the word "Copyleft" (which I don't think is a legally well defined term) appearing on that page. Also when you look at the history of this page, you see that this term was introduced in revision 2, when the page stated the exact opposite of what it says now, so it is probably just an old left-over. Aug 21, 2012 at 20:28
  • the term is clear, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyleft but if you think it is left over you should send a edit revision to them.
    – Mateo
    Aug 21, 2012 at 20:35


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .