We had an interesting situation here in OEG Connect that opens a new round of “What’s the License?”
Wikimedia Commons image by Kristina Bokan shared under a CC BY-SA license
Our own @LizYata (yay Liz!) posted here in OEG Connect a curated list of resources for finding images that represent diversity of people.
You can tell it’s been visited a bit as our platform puts those little counters next to links to indicate how many times it has been accessed.
Then Liz shared this this post had been added to Merlot:
but noted that under their label for Creative Commons it read “No”. MERLOT had offered to update that if there was a license.
While OE Global manages this platform, we cannot put a broad license on everyone’s content- that inherently belongs to the person that creates something here. And it is written deep in the bowels of our terms of service
Content you submit to the forum belongs to you, and you decide what permission to give others for it. But at a minimum, you license the company to provide content that you submit to the forum to other users of the forum. That special license allows the company to copy, publish, and analyze content you submit to the forum.
When content you submit is removed from the forum, whether by you or by the company, the company’s special license ends when the last copy disappears from the company’s backups, caches, and other systems. Other licenses you apply to content you submit, such as Creative Commons licenses, may continue after your content is removed. Those licenses may give others, or the company itself, the right to share your content through the forum again.
This is the legal stuff, but it does not address this situation where it’s not readily apparent from looking at something in this environment that it has a license.
Invoking the IANAL phrase, this is not to get into a discussion about law and licenses (but feel free to start it below). What this means is that here, like elsewhere Liz, and anyone else here, can insert a license into something they post here.
And Liza did that, by adding a Creative Commons CC BY license appended to her post.
But that’s a manual process- license lext can be generated easily enough. Yet most likely, it will be done unevenly and lack the special machine code that identifies content to search tools.
We’ve looked and not seen any plugins/add-ons to Discourse that would provide this functionality, but we are considering a DIY approach, maybe to have an editing bar icon that would let an author choose a license and have it automatically inserted.
This is all a wonderful series of actions that led here. And we are curious what people think of this situation. Do we need licenses in discussion spaces? Should they be there as options?