This is a common copyright notice to all subject wikis.
- 1 General license information
- 2 Applicability of license to the subject wiki
- 3 Uses not within the ambit of the license or fair use rights
- 4 Copyright violations
General license information
All content is put up under the Creative Commons Attribute Share-Alike 3.0 license (unported) (shorthand: CC-by-SA). Read the full legal code here.
The software engine that runs the wiki is MediaWiki, and this software is licensed under the GNU General Public License, which is distinct from and currently incompatible with the Creative Commons license. Similarly, some of the extensions to the software engine are licensed by their developers using the GPL, which is incompatible with Creative Commons licenses.
More information on the version of MediaWiki and extensions: Special:Version.
In case of material (such as videos) embedded or copied from other websites, and subject to different license restrictions, the information on the differences in license are clearly indicated on the page.
Short description of the license
The CC-by-SA license has the following features:
- Content can be used and reused for any purposes, commercial or noncommercial.
- Any public use or reuse of the material requires attribution of the original source (for attribution formats, see later in the document).
- In case of adaptation or creation of derivative works, the newly created works must also be licensed under the same license (CC-by-SA) unless the creator of the derivative work takes explicit permission from the creator of the original work.
Fair use and other rights
The license cannot and does not limit fair use rights. Fair use may include quoting or copying select passages for the purposes of criticism and review.
The license also cannot limit the use of data or information contained in the content on subject wikis. This means that anybody can use or reuse the facts or knowledge they gain from the subject wiki in any way they want.
Applicability of license to the subject wiki
Examples of personal use that do not necessitate use of the license terms
- Saving, making copies, or taking printouts of pages on the subject wiki, as long as these copies are meant for personal use and are not to be distributed to others.
- Learning facts from the subject wikis and using those facts as part of instruction or research.
- Providing links to pages on the subject wikis.
- Quoting short passages from the subject wiki in a criticism or review (it is preferable, though not legally enforceable, that a link to the original content being reviewed be provided).
Examples of personal use that necessitate use of the license terms
- Creating a mirror website by exporting pages or content in bulk: In this case, the mirror website must release the mirrored content under the same license terms and also attribute the original source with a link. Attribution formats are discussed below.
- Giving handouts of pages or collections of pages to a group of people, such as students in a course: In this case, the handouts should be accompanied by an attribution that makes clear both the source and the original license terms, as well as a link to the Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) of the subject wiki.
- For websites: This content is from Ref or This content is from Ref, The Subject Wikis Reference Guide. Preferably, also a link to the specific pages (if any) used. The language of the attribution may be modified somewhat to indicate whether the content has been used as such, or whether changes have been made.
- For print materials: This content is from Ref. The site URL is http://Ref.subwiki.org
Attribution of individuals who have contributed content to the subject wiki entries is not necessary. (However, this list of individuals can be tracked down, as discussed in the next section).
Uses not within the ambit of the license or fair use rights
Those who have contributed all the content to a particular subject wiki entry can republish the same content anywhere else without restriction and can also release the content elsewhere under a different license, since they own the full copyright to their content.
To use the content on the wiki in a manner that is outside the terms of the license or beyond fair use rights, the individuals who have contributed that particular content need to be contacted. For any particular page, this information can be accessed using the history tab of the page. The users who have made edits to the page are the ones who need to be contacted.
In case of difficulty doing this, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for more information.
All users using subject wikis are requested not to violate copyright of other authors or publishers. This includes providing links that may aid and abet copyright violation. Examples of things that may be considered copyright violation:
- Putting up links to personal copies of restricted-access journal articles acquired through a personal or library subscription: This usually goes against the Terms of Service of the subscription. The exception is when the content of the articles is out of copyright.
- Giving links to personal copies, or copies on filesharing systems, of books that are under copyright and where either owning or sharing a copy in that manner is against the terms of copyright.
In case copyright violations are detected, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com to have the matter looked into immediately.