Family Tree Forum:Copyrights

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Original text: Wikipedia


The license Family Tree Forum uses grants free access to our content in the same sense as free software is licensed freely. This principle is known as copyleft. That is to say, Family Tree Forum Wiki 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 Family Tree Forum article used (a direct link back to the article satisfies our author credit requirement). Family Tree Forum Wiki articles therefore will remain free forever and can be used by anybody subject to certain restrictions, most of which serve to ensure that freedom.

To fulfill the above goals, the text contained in the Family Tree Forum Wiki is copyrighted (automatically under the Berne Convention) by Family Tree Forum Wiki contributors and licensed to the public under the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). This text should not be changed for legal reasons.


The English text of the GNU Free Documentation License is the only legally binding document; The following interpretations of the GFDL regard the rights and obligations of users and contributors.


Contributors' rights and obligations

If you contribute material to the Family Tree Forum Wiki, you thereby license it to the public under the GFDL (with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts). In order to contribute, you must be in a position to grant this license, which means that either

  • you hold the copyright to the material, for instance because you produced it yourself, or
  • you acquired the material from a source that allows the licensing under GFDL, for instance because the material is in the public domain or is itself published under GFDL.

In the first case, you retain copyright to your materials. You can later republish and relicense them in any way you like. However, you can never retract the GFDL license for the copies of materials that you place here; these copies will remain under GFDL forever.

In the second case, if you incorporate external GFDL materials, as a requirement of the GFDL, you need to acknowledge the authorship and provide a link back to the network location of the original copy.


Using copyrighted work from others

All works are copyrighted unless either they fall into the public domain or their copyright is explicitly disclaimed. If you use part of a copyrighted work under "fair use", or if you obtain special permission to use a copyrighted work from the copyright holder under the terms of our license, you must make a note of that fact (along with names and dates).

Never use materials that infringe the copyrights of others. This could create legal liabilities. If in doubt, write it yourself.

Note that copyright law governs the creative expression of ideas, not the ideas or information themselves. Therefore, it is legal to read an encyclopedia article or other work, reformulate the concepts in your own words, and submit it to the Family Tree Forum Wiki. However, it would still be unethical (but not illegal) to do so without citing the original as a reference.


Linking to copyrighted works

Since most recently-created works are copyrighted, almost any Family Tree Forum Wiki article which cites its sources will link to copyrighted material. It is not necessary to obtain the permission of a copyright holder before linking to copyrighted material -- just as an author of a book does not need permission to cite someone else's work in their bibliography. Likewise, the Family Tree Forum Wiki is not restricted to linking only to GFDL-free or open-source content.

If you know that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work

Reusers' rights and obligations

If you want to use Family Tree Forum Wiki materials in your own books/articles/web sites or other publications, you can do so, but you have to follow the GFDL. If you are simply duplicating the Family Tree Forum Wiki article, you must follow section two of the GFDL on verbatim copying.

If you create a derivative version by changing or adding content, this entails the following:

  • your materials in turn have to be licensed under GFDL,
  • you must acknowledge the authorship of the article (section 4B), and
  • you must provide access to the "transparent copy" of the material (section 4J). (The "transparent copy" of a Family Tree Forum Wiki article is any of a number of formats available from us, including the wiki text, the html web pages, xml feed, etc.)

You may be able to partially fulfill the latter two obligations by providing a conspicuous direct link back to the Family Tree Forum Wiki article hosted on this website. You also need to provide access to a transparent copy of the new text. However, please note that Family Tree Forum makes no guarantee to retain authorship information and a transparent copy of articles. Therefore, you are encouraged to provide this authorship information and a transparent copy with your derived works.