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License change

Hey Dan, I'm just wondering what the effect on changing from the GFDL to the CCL will have on the articles ported from Wikipedia (Gene Roddenberry for one, and most of the [[Memory Alpha:]] pages), since they have to use use the GFDL. We already have been tagged slightly, and the terms of using Wikipedia articles state that the GFDL must be stated and linked to:

Wikipedia's copyright, the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) requires that any derivative of works from Wikipedia must be released under that same license, must state that it is released under that license, and must acknowledge the main authors (which can be accomplished with a link back to Wikipedia's article). This does not apply to material that was released into the public domain, to material whose authors have given permission, and to use that can be defended as fair use.

-- DarkHorizon 15:10, 15 Jan 2004 (PST)

Certainly a valid question. I've already been in contact with a couple of people who are fairly heavily involved with Wikipedia; in fact, it was one of them (User:Eloquence) who suggested that we adopt a somewhat less-restrictive license.
The specific reason Harry and I decided to go with this change is because the GFDL is a bit too restrictive concerning the display of images -- under the strictly interpreted terms of the license, all images that are displayed on Memory Alpha must be released under the GFDL. There's a confusing potential loophole concerning whether images represent a "combination" or an "aggregation" of works in Memory Alpha when displayed in an article, but it'd be tough to argue if worse came to worst. Basically, this left us a bit too vulnerable, so we decided to adapt a more open license that we can use under our own terms.
The best part about this new license is that it is actually more free than the GFDL itself in most respects (aside from the non-commercial exclusion for ours), and so we're technically okay because we're fulfilling the terms of the GFDL (including the available link to the terms of the GFDL). At worst, we'll have to add some text to these pages noting that the specific page(s) are under the terms of the GFDL; however, it's my understanding that that's not necessary.
The GFDL states: This License is a kind of "copyleft", which means that derivative works of the document must themselves be free in the same sense. [1] Also, in section seven it says: A compilation of the Document or its derivatives with other separate and independent documents or works, in or on a volume of a storage or distribution medium, is called an "aggregate" if the copyright resulting from the compilation is not used to limit the legal rights of the compilation's users beyond what the individual works permit.
Of course, I'm not a lawyer (though I played one in high school, in the Model UN International Court of Justice! <g>). There may be circumstances and permutations that we haven't accounted for, but I don't think we've got much to worry about. Also, aside from Gene Roddenberry, the only Wikipedia content we've copied is documentation and policies, which for the most part are technically part of the MediaWiki software. I'm actually also on the MediaWiki mailing list and will be working with a couple of others to develop a standardized set of "help" pages that can be distributed with the software and uploaded to the wikis, making it easier to find the necessary documentation.
Whew, this has been a long post, hasn't it? -- MinutiaeMan 06:42, 16 Jan 2004 (PST)

License!

Reposted from Memory Alpha:Ten Forward because this is the place to discuss copyrights.

¿Why do not we change the license from Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 to Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0? Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 is a better license because it is a freer license allowing refactoring as long as the derivative work has the same license as the original. Cory Doctorow uses this license for his works such as Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom. -- Ŭalabio 22:04, 2004 Nov 21 (CET)

That license actually seems to be "less free" than the one we're using now, because it restricts creators of derivative works to an identical license. Also, changing the license is a difficult process which every past contributor would have to agree to, so don't expect it to happen soon... -- Cid Highwind 22:01, 28 Nov 2004 (CET)

copyright on cover-texts?

I found many copies of cover-texts of novels inside MA, for instance Time's Enemy or First Strike. Is that covered by the Memory Alpha:Copyrights? I always thought verbatim copy of any material should be avoided; I'm not quite sure if the back cover texts are ment to be copyrighted since it is a kind of advertisement. Is there someone with proofed knowledge about that? -- Florian K 18:55, 23 Dec 2004 (CET)

Fairuse on StarTrek.com pictures?

Is the usage of pictures from StarTrek.com covered by fair use? I'm asking because of a possible copyright violation at MA/de. -- Florian K 12:19, 19 Jan 2005 (CET)

Copyright of actor images

I guess the copyright of most of these images (one recent example: File:Malcolm McDowell.jpg) does not belong to Paramount, but to some other organization/agency/whatever... Does someone know more about this? If I'm guessing correctly, the copyright disclaimer on those pages needs to be checked/changed. -- Cid Highwind 13:35, 4 Jul 2004 (CEST)

Also, do we really need/want to have separate 'actor images', or would it suffice to re-use the character image? -- Cid Highwind 13:38, 4 Jul 2004 (CEST)

In some cases, I don't think a seperate actor image is necessary. However, often the actors looks different (older) then their played characters. See, for example Nichelle Nichols. Also, actors could have had multiple appearences/looks on Trek, so an actor image is often useful. Ottens 13:39, 4 Jul 2004 (CEST)
I think that maybe we should try to use a rule of thumb of only including actor images from performers who are obscured by makeup, or appear drastically different off the set in some way. I've been flabbergasted by the continuous influx of images to this site lately, I'm anticipating that there is going to be a lot of unnecessary images to delete based on the mass uploads i've been observing. --Captain Mike K. Bartel
Hmm... perhaps we should only include images of actors if they just look different from their first appearence on Star Trek. See William Shatner, for example. Though I would hate to remove Marina Sirtis's image. :P Ottens 16:12, 4 Jul 2004 (CEST)
I think we should have a few rules of thumb.
  • main series cast members and regular recurring cast members - yes
  • actors who are completely obscured by makeup - yes
  • celebrities who did a cameo - yes
  • less than regular recurring characters & guest stars - no
Still, take care with these images. I think many of these actor images don't have as much relevance, as say, a still from a Trek production, and therefore should not be uploaded as large size pictures for enlarging. 200px will do fine for most all of these shots, especially since they are from non-paramount sources and presenting large gallery images is not our bag, baby -- Captain Mike K. Bartel

I agree with Mike's suggestion, because I think actors will allways look different out of character, make-up or not. In a sense they are two different persons. I know we have to watch our memory, but I think in this case an exception is warranted. -- Redge 20:49, 21 Jul 2004 (CEST)

So, this is our final judgement? ;)
  • main series cast members and regular recurring cast members - yes
  • actors who are completely obscured by makeup - yes
  • celebrities who did a cameo - yes
  • less than regular recurring characters & guest stars - no

I would go for that. Ottens 14:34, 31 Jul 2004 (CEST)

It's setled then? Maybe this ruling could be added to policy somewhere? -- Redge 19:04, 5 Aug 2004 (CEST)

Star Trek, the Universe, and Everything...

I have a big problem with this fundamentalist attitude that any description of real-world items in Star Trek must have no connection at all to the real world on M/A, and any use at all of paraphrasing other texts constitutes "stealing". If M/A aspires to be the online version of the Star Trek Encyclopedia, providing the most complete reference to information in Star Trek then it cannot afford this mentality. You cannot have it both ways. It must either accept such references or it will be inaccurate, incomplete, and irrelevant.

MACOs - Everything I used was canon, but I needed to get some information for the article elsewhere. Currently unavailable.

LSD - Factually correct, minimal use of other text (albeit rephrased), but NOWHERE in Star Trek is this information given. It simply explains the reference made by James T. Kirk (LDS) in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

My first sentence; D-lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly called LSD, LSD-25, or acid, is a powerful semisynthetic psychedelic drug.--Mike Nobody 00:44, 24 Nov 2005 (UTC)

wikipedia's first sentence; D-lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly called acid, LSD, or LSD-25, is one of the most mis-represented and least understood drugs, clouded in the mind of the general populace by urban legend and government issued propaganda

chemistry book first sentence; D-lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly called called acid, LSD, or LSD-25, is a powerful semisynthetic psychedelic drug

M/A first sentence (written by Alan del Beccio); D-lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly called LSD, is a powerful psychotropic drug that was used recreationally during the 1960s on Earth.

current M/A first sentence (my compromised revision); D-lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly called LSD, is a powerful psychotropic drug that was used for spiritual and recreational purposes on Earth.

Alan del Beccio is just picking a fight.

Hippie debate; Alan del Beccio makes the arguments that

    • 1) It defeats the point of this website, "...to provide an accurate, original reference source for Star Trek fans."

I wrote an accurate, original, reference to the phenomenon of hippies in Star Trek and where they fit in that universe. Although I paraphrased another text (public domain) it is my original composition.

    • 2) Give a quick definition of a hippy, refer to what hippy-related content was presented in the Star Trek universe, post a link to a comprehensive website on the topic, and leave it at that. That's what I attempted to do. But, hippies are not one singular definition, there are differences, as I tried to describe the varieties of hippies used in Star Trek. You don't have one single paragraph for starships and leave it at that. There are different classes, capabilities, and distinguishing features that explain what they are and where they fit into the Star Trek universe.
    • 3) it -- the terminology, the history, et cetera -- has ZERO to do with anything anyone here has seen on Star Trek.....The fact that I can google text from a supposedly "original" article and get near identical results tells me that this content was not an original idea, nor was it ever mentioned as existing in the Star Trek universe as we know it.

The characters whose pictures I included in the article didn't exist in a vacuum. Like I said, if you consider the only reason for something to exist on M/A is because it was explained explicitly, in detail, onscreen...start deleting. There won't be much left. I don't remember the Nazis being explained so much in any episode. I never saw the USS Horizon in any episode. As for linking to the blog in question, I have no idea how long it will be kept up. It could be gone tomorrow. Since I had more to say on the subject, and other references to use, it made more sense to appropriate what I needed and finish the rest myself. The words are public domain, and I needed to complete it, it's mine. As a musician, I am fully knowledgable of copyright law and precedents. I've done nothing to get M/A into any trouble

    • 4) I see no originality in your work. Funny, because some of my "so-called originality" has been kept at said article.

Re:Copyrights

As a suggestion, could you perhaps separate the copyright discussion from the rest? That part might better be discussed on Memory Alpha talk:Canon policy (or is there a better discussion page for that?).
Regarding the copyright issues, I couldn't find any note on the blog page that places its contents in the public domain. Is there any such note? What about the other three pages that apparently were the source of content now removed from Hippie? (Oops, they are all the same page.) In the future, it might be best to simply make note of any public domain source copied from in the edit summary. Regarding any other "free source", such as Wikipedia - please be aware of possible license differences between those pages and MA. Even if the source page might allow copying, it probably does so under specific circumstances only, for example under the provision that the resulting text is published using the same license. -- Cid Highwind 01:08, 24 Nov 2005 (UTC)

Re:LSD

(To be moved somewhere else)
How is it that I am suddenly "picking a fight", because I notice that the first sentence from both entries are identical? For the record: the first sentence of the wikipedia entry (at the time in the history that our article was written) for LSD read:

::*"Lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly called LSD, LSD-25, or acid, is a powerful semisynthetic psychedelic drug."

And our "original" memory alpha entry for LSD read:

::*"Lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly called LSD, LSD-25, or acid, is a powerful semisynthetic psychedelic drug."

In what way, per se, am I 'out of line' and that not a word-for-word copy? --Alan del Beccio 06:07, 24 Nov 2005 (UTC)

Liar, you posted the M/A sentence twice.--Mike Nobody 06:39, 24 Nov 2005 (UTC)

The wikipedia entry is slightly different (bolded name, order of alternate names), the rest is identical, though - and different from the sentence you quoted as Wikipedias first sentence above. However, let me be the one to point out that LSD is not marked as a copyvio, and never was. What exactly is the problem with this article? -- Cid Highwind 17:06, 24 Nov 2005 (UTC)
You tell me. Alan has given me a "final warning", that I've been warned three times, citing the LSD sentence (which I told him was from a chemistry book) which he forged in the paragraph above.

"I fail to comprehend his indignation. I've simply made the logical deduction that he is a liar."--Mike Nobody 18:04, 24 Nov 2005 (UTC)

  • I apologize. First off, I WILL NOT TOLERATE BEING CALLED NAMES. We have rules about that, and as much of a hard ass as you may or may not think that I am, I have not once called you (or anyone else for that matter) any sort of names, nor have I acted nearly as immature as you have about this in my rebuttals. Secondly, Cid is right. The first sentence of M/A article (Revision dated: 02:05, 23 Nov 2005) on LSD read:
  • "Lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly called LSD, LSD-25, or acid, is a powerful semisynthetic psychedelic drug."
  • The first sentence of the Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=LSD&oldid=28911614 Revision date 15:31, 21 November 2005] and revision that was present at the time of our pages creation was:
    "D-lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly called acid, LSD, or LSD-25, is a powerful semisynthetic psychedelic drug."
  • Regardless of whatever I accidently posted the first time in my haste of not wishing to piss my night away dealing with this, the order many not have been 99.9% identical, but 99.9% of the same words were used. Rearranging "acid, LSD, or LSD-25" for "LSD, LSD-25, or acid" does not make the contribution original-- that much is blatantly obvious. It is still the exact same-- unoriginal, copied from another source, call it what you will, but its certainly not grounds to call me a liar. Period. And to answer Cid's question as to why this was brought up. It is because I noted Mr. Nobody had performed two other copyright violations, and have been twice since warned him about it, yet he does not seem to understand the concept of orginality, as he currently has two outstanding copyright infringements-- Lee Delano, which I left him a message about, and then the next day Hippie crops up. On a whim I also checked LSD, written about the same time, and noticed that the introduction sentence was what I have presented above. So clearly, my first "warning" wasn't sinking in, and I have since tried to make the point that "stealing is bad"-- be it the entire contents of someone elses personal website, paraphased or word for word 'independent' ideas and terminology (that isn't even relevant or necessary to our website), or one sentence. Either way, this is getting old, and frankly I would like for one of the bureaucrats to step in, as this started out as me simply enforcing a simple idea that what we write here comes from our own ideas and observations (from STAR TREK sources) without plagerizing the ideas of others about things that have nothing to do with the STAR TREK universe. The fact that I can google text from a supposedly "original" article and get near identical hits tells me that content was not an original idea, nor was it ever mentioned as existing in the Star Trek universe as we know it. The rest of what I feel about this subject is noted at talk:Hippie. --Alan del Beccio 01:06, 25 Nov 2005 (UTC)

Re:MACO

See ongoing discussion at Talk:MACO for reasons of revertion. This has also been brought up at Memory Alpha:Ten Forward. -- Cid Highwind 17:14, 24 Nov 2005 (UTC)

Change in Star Trek's Copyright Status

Memory Alpha hasn't been keeping up with the news. Since the Viacom/CBS split, only Star Trek films are owned by Paramount Pictures. The Trek TV series and franchise itself is now the property of CBS Paramount Television. The Template "image paramount" also ought to be changed to reflect this. -- Sci 06:43 20 July 2006 UTC

Since Paramount still owns & licenses the home video department and since pretty much all the images here are screencaps from DVDs, I don't think that's necessary. --From Andoria with Love 09:07, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
Does Paramount Pictures still own the home video rights? Or has it simply been granted license by CBS Paramount TV to sell Trek under the Paramount Pictures banner? The Pocket novels recently had to start using the CBS "Eye" on their covers and to start marking their novels as being copyright to CBS, IIRC; if all the DVDs were produced before the split, then the copyright indicators on them might be out-of-date. The logical thing to do would be to change the template from, "... Paramount Pictures..." to "... Paramount Pictures and/or CBS Paramount Television." That covers all bases. -- Sci 21:56 23 July 2006 UTC
Viacom still owns the rights to past home video releases, and Viacom also still owns Paramount Pictures. The home distribution of any future TV productions would also fall under the authority of Paramount, although they may do so in cooperation with CBS Paramount Television. However, the addition of "and/or CBS Paramount Television" may be a suitable precaution. --From Andoria with Love 05:09, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Indeed; while Viacom/Paramount may have the rights to distribute Trek on home video/DVD, televised Trek itself remains the property of CBS Paramount Television. Therefore, while the image may have been derived from a DVD, the image is probably owned by CBS Paramount Television, not Paramount Pictures. -- Sci 01:38 27 July 2006 UTC

Image Copyrights: comics, novels and games

For "Ghosts" (and later I took the liberty in "Elite Force (comic)") we have images of the inside of comics, "for review purposes." I was wondering if for the pages "Star Trek: SCE characters" and "New Frontier characters" what the specific image copyrights allows us to put up. For the character page on Star Trek: Elite Force II, we have screen caps from the game. Would cropped images of book covers and/or images from inside the comic featuring the New Front. characters be allowed for their respective character pages? (We also have Star Trek: Titan characters, Vanguard characters) Cropped covers seems better then the comic, but thought I'd ask. - AJ Halliwell 05:49, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

On an entirely unrelated note, why are there seperate pages for the character lists for those non-canon thing, like the comics. I thought novels, comics, and games all listed their characters on the page for the said comic, game, novel, and that non-canon things did not get more than one page. Is this done just because there are so many? --OuroborosCobra talk 05:56, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
When you have 20+ books in a series all with the same ~10-15 characters, it simply makes more sense to move those characters to their own page rather than cluttering up the series page. It was done to make it manageable. -- Sulfur 11:54, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Ads on Memory Alpha violate the Creative Commons license!

Hi,

Memory Alpha is using the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License, because "Star Trek is owned by Paramount Pictures [and therefore] commercial uses need to be explicitly forbidden".

The CC license does not allow you to "... exercise any of the rights granted to you ... in any manner that is primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation."

Placing ads is clearly "directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation". Therefore, it is commercial usage and violates the chosen CC license.

On the other hand, the GFD license allows commercial usage. Wikia says that "the text of all Wikia sites is freely licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL)."

To sum it up: Wikia says the content of all hosted wikis is under the GFD license and places adds. But Memory Alpha explicitly stresses that it uses CC Attribution-NonCommercial license, which does not allow placing adds.

I'm not a lawyer, so this is my understanding of this, not any sort of legal opinion :) The owners of this wiki, and the providers of the content, are not adding ads or profiting from ads. They are just hosting their content on a host that places ads on the site. It's the same with many free web-hosts, who have nothing to do with the content, but have ads on the sites they host in return for the free hosting. Of course, Wikia also provides technical and community help, but that doesn't change that we host memory-alpha, the content is owned by the contributors. So there is no conflict here. Hope that helps. -- sannse (talk) 21:41, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I understand your point, but in my eyes the problem remains that Wikia is using the content to place ads (if there was no content, they couldn't place any ads/make money with ads). I mean that the question is not if Wikia "owns" the content -- already the mere act of using it commercially seems to violate the CC license. (But I'm not a lawyer, too). --217.252.171.247 00:07, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
According to creativecommons.org it's a violation:
B. Nature of the use: Advertising
(3) Is the NC-licensed work being used in connection with advertisements for third party products or services where the NC-licensed work is the primary draw or a is substantial amount, both qualitatively and quantitatively? For example, does a podcast consisting solely of CC BY-NC-SA licensed music have ads for a record store at the start and end of the podcast.
(i) Yes - license violation
--Binary101 14:27, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
According to the next paragraph of the same page, "C. Conditions on Use: For Services Provided", this already looks a little different. "Receiving ad revenue" for some sort of service (here: hosting and making available all the precious content) is specifically mentioned in the first question to consider, and I think this is what happens here. -- Cid Highwind 15:17, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Contributors' rights and obligations

If you contribute material to Memory Alpha, you thereby license it to the public under the Creative Commons License. Should read:

If you contribute material to Memory Alpha, you thereby license it to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 2.5 License.

Clarity is necessary because there are several different Creative Commons licenses. I would have chosen CC BY-SA, not CC BY-NC, for example.

Splendid wiki. I love it. :-) Roger January 20, 2007

Forum:Image Copyright?

I'm currently writing a 10,000 word dissertation on Gene Roddenberry's liberal humanist utopia in TOS and TNG (up to his death), and have been debating whether to include Star Trek images or not. I'd be grateful if someone could confirm whether or not the images on MA, and indeed all Star Trek publicity photos and screenshots are owned by Paramount, or if none of that matters and we should all just get along. (It's what Gene would have wanted...) The preceding unsigned comment was added by 212.1.147.77 (talk).

I you're writing a dissertation about Star Trek, you might be able to claim "fair use" for some screenshots relevant to your topic - see Wikipedia:Fair use, for example... -- Cid Highwind 20:37, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Copyright, where is the line?

I'm a bit confused about what is allowed and what isn't. To what extent can I quote from Star Trek? To what extent can I paraphrase from copyrighted books? Where is the line drawn?

How much detail can you write about a topic without being guilty of copyright infringement? To what extent is it illegal to copy information from the source books? Can I still give details about various topics, that were lifted from the books, but explaining them in my own words? Can I paraphrase or is that copyright violation? To what extent can I quote stuff? Does everything that comes from a book have to be quoted, and can everything be quotes, or is there a limit?

It seems that all these questions are pretty fuzzy, i.e. where do you draw the line between what's OK and what's copyright violation?

Can you give me some concrete examples of what is allowed and what's not, or some helpful guidelines? --Sonja 10:51, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

First of all, a lot of this is mentioned in one form or another in Memory Alpha:Copyrights and subsequently in Memory Alpha:Dealing with possible copyright infringements. Obviously the same rules apply here as they do at Wikipedia, or at your most recent college history course, don't claim something to be yours that clearly isn't. Information from source books can be used as long as you quote it, so as to have it stand out from your original text, and clearly state the source it is coming from. For example, several starship class pages, such as Template:ShipClass, include content taken from reference materials, beginning with a statement reading "The following information of specifications and defenses comes exclusively from the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual." In other cases, e.g. Soyuz class, may state, "According to the Star Trek Encyclopedia...," followed by an italicized quote from that source. Generally the usage of said quotes is to reinforce the citations of background statements with direct representation without limiting it to the authors interpretation of the source content. Quoting something someone said on another website should be linked back to that website. As for lifting information, as extracted from an episode, such as an article from the Star Trek Encyclopedia, or cutting the text from a StarTrek.com encyclopedia article, that is an obvious no-no. Overall, just use common sense. In terms of how much can be used, I'm not sure what the law, or for that matter, rule of thumb is on that matter. --Alan 18:14, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, I've commonly heard that no more than 10% of a work should be quoted. Certain versions of the Bible actually have this codified on their copyright pages. In my opinion, 10% is usually way too much, though.
--Commodore Sixty-Four(talk) 04:32, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Old GFDL material

From looking at this page and other copyright pages and talk pages, the site owners don't understand a fundamental clause of the GFDL:material licenced under the GFDL may not have its licence revoked or changed. All old material created before the transition is still GFDL and because the GFDL and the CC-BY-NC are mutually incompatible, that old material is still only useable under the GFDL and not the newer licence. If you care to remedy that situation the FSF now will allow you to dual-licence the old material as CC-BY-SA so people aren't burdened with having to make a copy of the licence.--216.118.68.193 03:23, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

You realize you are talking about a change from 5 years ago, before virtually all of the content on MA existed, right? Hell, I'm not sure how easy it would even be to find the old material anymore. --OuroborosCobra talk 03:29, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

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