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I want to copy information from a public wiki to my wiki. This seems a little underhanded however, I will be adding my own content as well.
I would think Wiki content is public domain. What can you guys tell me about republishing Wiki content on different Wiki's?
I am not a lawyer so I was hoping someone could help me understand the liability.
I'm not talking about "feel good", I'm talking about copyright infringement/theft. The telescope can be viewed from either lens...
Write your own content. Where you quote (cut and paste) from another source provide attribution. This puts you in "fair use", and give links, too...this also helps SEO wise.
For instance, whenever I notice that an article is a Wikipedia re-post, I don't bother with the rest of the site, since it is saying (to me) that it has nothing original (and thus potentially useful) to offer. Granted, this conclusion may not in all cases be accurate, but the general impression seems reasonable.
Is this an impression that one would want to provide to one's visitors?
Wikia copyrights. Except where otherwise specified, the text of all wikis on Wikia.com is freely licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). Reusers of the content must retain it under the same licence, ensuring it remains free.
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License [GFDL], Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation...
The GFDL is a copyleft license, meaning the content can be copied, modified, and redistributed so long as the new version grants the same freedoms to others and acknowledges the authors of the Wikia page. Wikia content will, therefore, will remain free forever and can be used by anybody subject to certain restrictions, most of which serve to ensure that freedom.
The text goes on to state that they use the same licensing structures as Wikipedia.
So, to answer the original question: yes, you may freely and legally reproduce the texts. The only consideration is that you do so within the bounds and spirit of the licence, which you should make a point of reading if you haven't done so already.
[edited by: Syzygy at 12:33 pm (utc) on Dec. 20, 2008]