MediaWiki licensing settings

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When MediaWiki is installed the installer selects the appropriate licensing (usually, GFDL or Creative Commons).

Changes to the licensing can be made in LocalSettings.php .

  1. Open up a shell (using SSH or telnet) on the appropriate account.
  2. Change to the wiki directory, e.g., cd janewebguru.com\wiki
  3. Optional: Make a backup copy of LocalSettings.php before editing it. ls -al LocalSettings.php to see the date that file was edited, then cp LocalSettings.php 20070515.LocalSettings.php to make a dated copy of the settings file.
  4. Edit LocalSettings.php, e.g., pico LocalSettings.php or nano LocalSettings.php
  5. Find and edit the licensing section, which in its default configuration includes the text:
## For attaching licensing metadata to pages, and displaying an
## appropriate copyright notice / icon. GNU Free Documentation
## License and Creative Commons licenses are supported so far.

GFDL language looks like:

$wgEnableCreativeCommonsRdf = true;
$wgRightsPage = ""; # Set to the title of a wiki page that describes your license/copyright
$wgRightsUrl = "http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html";
$wgRightsText = "GNU Free Documentation License 1.2";
$wgRightsIcon = "http://creativecommons.org/images/public/somerights20.png";
$wgRightsIcon = "${wgStylePath}/common/images/gnu-fdl.png";
# $wgRightsCode = "[gfdl]"; # Not yet used

The example text lists a particular URL and license number, but licenses are always subject to revision, so you may wish to verify that these are still current. See gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html for more information.

Creative Commons language looks like:

$wgEnableCreativeCommonsRdf = true;
$wgRightsPage = ""; # Set to the title of a wiki page that describes your license/copyright
$wgRightsUrl = "http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/";
$wgRightsText = "Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5";
$wgRightsIcon = "http://creativecommons.org/images/public/somerights20.png";
# $wgRightsCode = "[license_code]"; # Not yet used

The example text for CC is the "attribution" + "non-commercial" + "share-alike" license, but you would need to specify whatever license you select. Plus, licenses are always subject to revision, so you may wish to verify that these are still current. See creativecommons.org.

Notes

Very important: Wikipedia uses GFDL, and if you want content to be able to be reused in Wikipedia and other GFDL-projects, then you must use GFDL (or multi-license to use both). In general, if there are other projects you want to work with, you should have compatible licensing.

Lines beginning with a hash mark (pound sign, #) are comment lines; you should comment out or delete lines that use the same variable with a different value.