Making open standards as open as possible — required public domain licensing of all microformats wiki contributions

Today we are changing the microformats wiki to require that all contributions be placed into the public domain. This means that any page created, or any content added to the microformats wiki from here forward is placed into the public domain for maximum possible reuse.

We take these steps to make the open standards as open as possible.

Five months ago Rohit Khare introduced the Voluntary Public Domain declaration to the microformats wiki which was quickly adopted by all the admins and the majority of active contributors. The end result is that, much of the microformats wiki, including several microformats themselves have already been placed into the public domain.

What you can do to help immediately

  1. Use and advocate the valid, interoperable use and implementation of open standards that are as open as possible (including microformats where appropriate).
  2. If you are a member of the microformats community, edit your user page to include the Creative Commons Public Domain Declaration template (CC-PD declaration) to explicitly place all your past contributions into the public domain. If your user page already has the voluntary public domain declaration, upgrade it to use the CC-PD declaration.
  3. Encourage other microformats contributors to also add the CC-PD declaration to their user pages.

Moving forward

Our goal is to put all of the microformats.org wiki into the public domain. We will be taking the following steps to do so.

  1. We are encouraging everyone who has contributed to microformats to explicitly place their past contributions into the public domains as noted above. We are going to give folks a month (until the end of January 2008) to do so because we’d like to keep as much of the contributions as possible. Those who do not want to release their past contributions to the microformats wiki into the public domain may simply remove such contributions, or indicate that preference on their user page(s). Editors will take care to look through page histories and remove past contributions from users who have indicated that preference.
  2. Starting February 1st, primary editors and authors of pages should start cleaning microformats.org wiki pages created before today of non-public-domain content, and then submitting them for review. After reviewing them, one of the admins will add the Creative Commons Public Domain License template (CC-PD license) to the bottom of the page.
  3. When all pages are new or cleaned, the admins will move the text of the CC-PD license to the global footer on the wiki, thus indicating that the contents of the entire wiki is in the public domain.

Inspiration

We are here because of the great work that others have done before us. The following building blocks and good examples have all contributed to and inspired the steps we have taken today:

By embracing open standards development in the public domain, we hope other standards bodies and communities who choose to call their efforts “open” are encouraged by the example we set here today to do so as well.

The importance of open development of standards for data formats cannot be overstated. Following posts will expand on how open standards are essential for open content, , and data longevity.

Tantek Çelik

Related background and history

15 Responses to “Making open standards as open as possible — required public domain licensing of all microformats wiki contributions”

  1. Making open standards as open as possible - Creative Commons :

    [...] great announcement from the microformats community today concerning use of the CC Public Domain Dedication. Today we are changing the microformats wiki to [...]

    December 29th, 2007 at 10:32 pm

  2. Jeff McNeill :

    Sounds good to me. Merry open source holiday and a happy public domain new year. ;D

    December 29th, 2007 at 11:18 pm

  3. Martin McEvoy :

    hAudio-RSS v2 http://weborganics.co.uk/haudio-rss/ has also been updated to include a Public Domain License in respect of this requirement as it builds on hAudio http://microformats.org/wiki/haudio. I have also removed any suspected anti-patterns, and it also has a GRDDL profile. Thanks.

    December 30th, 2007 at 3:07 am

  4. les microformateurs » Tantek Çelik : Faire que les standards ouverts soient aussi ouverts que possible - licence domaine public exigée pour toutes les contributions sur le wiki des microformats :

    [...] d’un billet de Tantek paru le 29 décembre dernier sur le blog des microformats. Seul le lien original fait référence. Vous pouvez aider à raffiner cette première ébauche traduction en éditant directement le code [...]

    December 30th, 2007 at 3:43 am

  5. Philip Tellis :

    Perhaps the template should specify “all my text and image contributions /to the microformats wiki/” rather than “all my text and image contributions”.

    I don’t want to accidentally give away copyright on all content I create :)

    December 30th, 2007 at 9:18 am

  6. Nico :

    Doesn’t that mean people who can’t give up their copyright can’t contribute any longer? There are a bunch of countries where public domain is not possible as long as the original author isn’t dead for at least 70 years. Also the CC-PD license only exists in a version based on US law.

    December 30th, 2007 at 12:51 pm

  7. Andy Mabbett :

    While the intention here is a good one, the effect may not be so positive.

    The effect of “cleaning” (sic) microformats.org wiki pages may well be that good, useful and perhaps unique content, made by someone who no-longer visits the site, is lost. Such people may have visited only once in response to a request elsewhere for input, or, for all we know, may be dead.

    Such content should be either marked up as not PD, or archived elsewhere, in an accessible and well signposted page, outside the PD wiki.

    December 31st, 2007 at 1:39 am

  8. Happy Public Domain Day! - Creative Commons :

    [...] microformats community jumped the gun, announcing a transition of their wiki to the public domain a few days [...]

    January 1st, 2008 at 3:15 pm

  9. Today is Public Domain Day! | rejon.org is Jon Phillips. :

    [...] microformats community jumped the gun, announcing a transition of their wiki to the public domain a few days [...]

    January 1st, 2008 at 11:50 pm

  10. Microformats | weblog | Open content depends on open standards :

    [...] I encourage everyone developing open standards to make them as open as possible, by taking the same steps we have taken with microformats, and thus better enabling open content, and the data portability [...]

    January 3rd, 2008 at 11:36 pm

  11. Open Media Web » Episode 2: Tantek Çelik :

    [...] to Tantek Çelik, a long time advocate of open standards efforts like microformats, who recently made mandatory all contributions to the microformats wiki to be licensed under the public domain. This interview was also recorded at the Neue Songbird Nest in San Francisco during the second Open [...]

    January 9th, 2008 at 6:57 pm

  12. IE8 and removing copyright barriers to collaboration with technology communities - Creative Commons :

    [...] We’re setting a new precedent with the WebSlice Format Specification by dedicating our copyright in it to the public domain using the Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication, the first time we’ve used a public domain dedication in connection with one of our specs.  This allows anyone to freely copy, distribute, modify and build upon the specification for any purpose, without any additional conditions or obligations whatsoever. In this case, our public domain dedication is in keeping with the expectations of the hAtom Microformats community. [...]

    March 6th, 2008 at 5:40 pm

  13. KATALOG-STRON.AZ.PL - CIEKAWE INFORMACJE Z RÓŻNYCH STRON » IE8 and removing copyright barriers to collaboration with technology communities :

    [...] We’re setting a new precedent with the WebSlice Format Specification by dedicating our copyright in it to the public domain using the Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication, the first time we’ve used a public domain dedication in connection with one of our specs.  This allows anyone to freely copy, distribute, modify and build upon the specification for any purpose, without any additional conditions or obligations whatsoever. In this case, our public domain dedication is in keeping with the expectations of the hAtom Microformats community. [...]

    March 6th, 2008 at 5:56 pm

  14. ليبيا :

    THANK YOU

    Doesn’t that mean people who can’t give up their copyright can’t contribute any longer? There are a bunch of countries where public domain is not possible as long as the original author isn’t dead for at least 70 years. Also the CC-PD license only exists in a version based on US law.

    VERY GOOD

    May 7th, 2008 at 4:07 am

  15. رسائل رومانسية :

    [...] to Tantek Çelik, a long time advocate of open standards efforts like microformats, who recently made mandatory all contributions to the microformats wiki to be licensed under the public

    June 24th, 2008 at 8:15 am