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Copyright Research

I am looking into copyrights that is best suited for my practice.


What copyright options do I have here on the wiki?

What license should I use? (eg. photographic essay v. documentations of a photographic essay v. digital objects)

Is what I need (proper licensing) available on what I have (the pzi wiki)? If not, can I change that?

Philosophies of Wiki

The PZI wiki is run on Mediawiki.[1] The legal environment of the wiki is constituted of joint ownership and joint liability[2].

From a previous student's page copyright/ copyleft/ copyfarleft: In essence copyleft enforce so called four freedoms: free to use, free to copy, free to distribute and free to modify any software with the only requirement that needs to be licensed as free software.

While the PZI wiki hosts collective documents, student pages become repository of students' work. Students are publishing regularly, which is why clarifying copyright should be part of the practice.

The conflict (an interesting one, nevertheless) is if anyone can claim rights over a mostly personal page.

It's possible to do so over a file by adding the appropriate licensing for a file. (See Best Practice below)

TBC: Vimeo has a great legal section on copyrights, Fair Use, CC and DMCA.


Here is a permalink to an image where I can see the attributes and metadata. When I uploaded it I chose "I don't know what the license is," which gave me a Licensing section as an attribute.

I screen-captured the licensing options.



Nothing Great from the Given Options

None of the license under the Own Work category would work for me since they all technically allow commercial use (GFDL and CC both).

¿Fair Use?

One of the potentially useful licenses is Fair Use Image. Fair use provisions of U.S. copyright law allow use of copyrighted materials on a limited basis for specific purposes without the permission of the copyright holder. See what it allows here: [3] An example of a Fair Use image is a company logo [4].

I am not sure about the legal implication of Fair Use in Europe. Circular 38A[5] by the US Copyright Office states "[p]rotection against unauthorized use in a particular country depends on the national laws of that country." Plus, Fair use is a mere defense, not a right[6].

Side note: The fact that Fair Use appears among other options under the US Copyright Law suggests this wiki was forked from a US-biased one. (Indeed, the technology of wiki and the site Wikipedia were both invented/founded by guys from the US[7].)

¿Creative Commons?

Under Creative Commons, there are a few suitable licenses:

The CC BY-NC-ND-4.0 requires attribution, and protects the work from commercial use and derivative work. If I create something that I would refer to as a "piece" (meaning it's done and should not be modified), I will use this license when I post the work and/or any related documentation on wiki.

The CC BY-NC-SA-4.0 requires attribution and protects the work from commercial use. But it allows for derivative works. Derivative works will be shared under the same license. If I intentionally create something I would like others to build upon, I would consider that.

Best Practice for Work in Progress


Are processes (aka. changing documents/pages) a fixed work? When posting images, are we suggesting they are a fixed entity?

--> Definitive/finished text should be copyrighted files?

All Rights Reserved might be useful, but is it possible on wiki?

The desired licenses: how can we make it clear when we decide to use it?


Make sure to choose a license when uploading a file. This creates a Licensing attribute on the file page.

If no license is selected at the creation of the file, the Licensing option doesn't seem to be available.