Commons:License Migration Task Force/Migration

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The licensing update will move Wikipedia from licensed under the GFDL to dual licensed under GFDL plus Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 3.0.

As a part of this transition, any images licensed under the GFDL and meeting certain conditions described below may also be dual licensed. This will be accomplished in several waves. Initially, an announcement template will be added to each GFDL tag highlighting this change and linking to this page to explain the conditions. Following this, all existing GFDL images will be sorted both by bots and by humans to separate the ones we can relicense from the ones we can't. It is hoped that of the 1,700,000 GFDL images on Commons, approximately 90-95% can be sorted by automated processes, though we will still need your help in evaluating the remainder.

Media file relicensing criteriaEdit

To be eligible for relicensing, a file must meet the following conditions (set out in GFDL 1.3, section 11):

  1. Must be licensed under the GFDL 1.3 (including e.g. "GFDL 1.2 or any later version", but not including "GFDL 1.2 only").
  2. Must not be marked as having any "cover texts" or "invariant sections".
  3. Must have been uploaded to Commons or to some other Wikimedia project before August 1, 2009.
  4. If first published under the GFDL somewhere other than a Wikimedia project, must have been uploaded to Commons or to some other Wikimedia project before November 1, 2008.

Any file that meets these conditions may also be used under a Creative Commons {{cc-by-sa-3.0}} license as of June 15th, 2009.

Media relicensing processEdit

In order to manage the media relicensing process, the {{license migration}} template system was created and embedded at the end of each GFDL tag. In addition, the GFDL tags were modified to accept a single parameter in the form of a migration keyword (i.e. "migration=keyword") where the keyword has one of the values described below and tells the license migration template what to do.

Empty parameter
(the default setting)
An announcement is displayed indicating that the GFDL image may be relicensed if it meets the criteria described above. Category:License migration candidates is added.
relicense If the image is definitively eligible for relicensing, add this keyword (e.g. {{GFDL|migration=relicense}}) to automatically append a cc-by-sa-3.0 tag after the GFDL tag. Category:License migration completed is added.
not-eligible If the image is definitely not eligible for relicensing, add this keyword (e.g. {{GFDL|migration=not-eligible}}) to automatically mark the image as excluded and remove the announcement. Category:License migration not eligible is added.
redundant If the image is eligible for migration but already has a CC-BY-3.0 or CC-BY-SA-3.0 tag, use this to indicate that relicensing would be redundant. Category:License migration redundant is added.
needs-review If you have looked at an image, and can't figure out whether it meets the criteria or not, use this keyword to flag it for further review. This will also be used by the review bot when it is unable to sort an image automatically. Category:License migration needs review is added.
opt-out This special category, described below, is for copyright holders who wish to exclude their image from relicensing. Category:License migration opt-out is added.

Note: the migration parameter may also be passed through the {{self}} multibox, e.g. {{self|GFDL|cc-by-sa-3.0|migration=redundant}}, and other GFDL templates such as {{GFDL-self|migration=relicense}}.

Copyright holdersEdit

You are encouraged to dual license your content yourself. You can do this either by:

  • adding a {{cc-by-sa-3.0}} tag to the image description and changing the GFDL tag to {{GFDL|migration=redundant}}
    OR
  • replacing the existing GFDL tag with {{GFDL|migration=relicense}} which will automatically append a CC-BY-SA tag immediately after the GFDL tag.

Note that even if you aren't the copyright holder, you are still welcome to evaluate images based on the criteria in the top section of this page and mark as relicensed where appropriate.

The opt-out provisionEdit

Out of respect for a small group of Wikimedia contributors who are strongly opposed to relicensing, and in recognition that media files uploaded after August 1st, 2009 would still be allowed to be GFDL-only, the Foundation is allowing copyright holders of GFDL media to opt-out of relicensing if they explicitly request it. This provision exists at the discretion of the local community which may impose restrictions upon it (such as time limits on when the request can be made), or even prohibit the opt-out option. If someone chooses this option, the CC-BY-SA template will not be added. This option is not encouraged by the Foundation as it limits the use and availability of free content.

Last modified on 4 September 2010, at 14:19