Wikipedia talk:Text of the GNU Free Documentation License

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About the last edit, which promoted this page to policy ... was there any discussion? Are there any other policy pages that are permanently full-protected? - Dank (push to talk) 23:54, 3 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I agree that allowing the editing of such a license text should not be permitted. Joako420 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 11:52, 17 August 2009 (UTC).[reply]
No doubt about that, but the point is that it perhaps oughtn't to be in the policy category. I agree that it shouldn't; it isn't of a kind with other policy pages.--Kotniski (talk) 18:01, 22 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]


{{editprotected}} Please add <noinlcude>...</noinlcude> tags around the protection template {{pp-protected|small=yes}}, because this project page is transcluded onto userpages that are not protected, causing an error message. Debresser (talk) 02:19, 2 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

 Done —  Tivedshambo  (t/c) 05:22, 2 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you. Debresser (talk) 09:55, 2 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Similar request

{{editprotected}} Please add noinclude tags around the categories and interwiki links section, for the same reason as above.--Kotniski (talk) 17:58, 22 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

 Done —  Tivedshambo  (t/c) 20:00, 22 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks. --Kotniski (talk) 06:07, 23 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Wrong Interwikilink

The links to the catalan wikipedia and hebrew wikisource(?) are wrong, it points to the article instead of the wikipedia name space. --Harald Krichel (talk) 15:08, 24 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I've fixed the Catalan interwiki. As I can't read Hebrew script, could you provide a link to the correct page so it can be corrected please. —  Tivedshambo  (t/c) 15:35, 24 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
On second thoughts, the Catalan link I provided is the Creative Commons. I've reverted myself. —  Tivedshambo  (t/c) 15:41, 24 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Both projects seem to have no localized version of the GFDL, instead they link to commons. Please remove the wrong links for they are irritating the bots. --Harald Krichel (talk) 16:38, 24 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
In what way are bots being confused? Having had another look at it, the Hebrew version would appear to be correct by the way it's laid out. If bots cannot cope with a link to another project, then they should be reprogrammed - they are there to serve Wikipedia, not vice versa. I'll remove the Catalan link if no alternative exists.

Duel licensing?

{{editprotected}} I think that should be dual-licensing (in the caution box) -- Nx / talk 15:25, 27 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

 Done Well spotted. Thanks, GDonato (talk) 15:57, 27 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Category change

Please see discussions at WT:POLICY#Tweak to list of legal policies and WT:Terms of use. The "policy" label moved to WP:Wikimedia policy, which now links this page. - Dank (push to talk) 18:52, 16 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Not everyone is a lawyer

We all know that most people don't really read the license like this one. So can we provide another one for people to get the idea in a much more easy way? Jackzhp (talk) 22:32, 17 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Adding this on the off-chance you still want an answer:
See GNU FDL. It covers both the license (in lay terms) and its history --- cymru lass (hit me up)(background check) 23:25, 21 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]

How to use this License for your documents

The Level 1 header "How to use this License for your documents" (at the very end) appears to say "vour documents" for me (I'm using the "Modern" skin; this problem does not seem to occur with the Vector (default) skin). Since I can't emulate a fully-protected page on my sandbox, and since there is no table of contents, I'm just going to request that the Level 1 header be changed to a Level 2 header in the hopes that this fixes the problem. On my sandbox, a Level 1 header cuts off the bottom of the lowercase "y" until the "edit" link appears, which is why I'm wondering if page protection does, indeed, matter. – Kerαunoςcopiagalaxies 20:28, 9 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]

That seems to run into the problem of making it look like the "How to" section is part of the license itself, and it's not. It's an addendum, but not part of the license itself, see the official license, and more tellingly an older version of the official license. VernoWhitney (talk) 22:30, 9 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I've removed the editprotected template. You're right. Maybe this is more an issue with the Modern skin design than the GFDL page itself. I had navigation problems using Modern over on WikiMedia as well. – Kerαunoςcopiagalaxies 22:52, 9 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Well, this is obviously not the normal layout for a page (and against the MOS, for whatever that's worth) - I'd suggest adding a leading level 2 header (as in the older example I linked to above) and fixing it, but then the page title and the first header would just be redundant. <shrug> VernoWhitney (talk) 02:04, 10 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Couldn't the actual license be transcluded from a /doc page and appear on a green page, not unlike templates do? Then the "How to use" could just be on a white background, Level 2 header, and visibly separate from the license. – Kerαunoςcopiagalaxies 02:37, 10 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Header templates

This page should include {{Legal policy}}, {{Wikipedia copyright}}, and {{Legal policy list}}, no?
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 16:47, 9 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]

I'm far more concerned that the text is in fact incompatible with our license and that even the minor formatting that's been performed on it to make it fit with the Wikipedia style is in fact a licensing violation. So much so I'm considering MfDing it until it can be moved out of MediaWiki itself and onto a static page. For now I'm not comfortable editing the page at all when it presently contains the altered text of a license whose own license prohibits alteration. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) - talk 12:29, 10 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Edit request from Tomaszpio, 12 July 2011

{{edit protected}}

please add language links for dansk laguage which is placed here and for nederlands language placed here Tomaszpio (talk) 11:44, 12 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Done. --Closedmouth (talk) 14:22, 12 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]


Link to Wikipedia article

Can there be a link to GNU Free Documentation License in the header? SpeakFree (talk) 09:56, 26 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Date formats

Some dates are shown in DMY format, others in MDY format. Additionally, the date stated at "July 15" at the end of the caution notice (referring to 2009) should include the year for clarity. I propose the following (changed marked up in bold; note the comma after "2009" at the beginning of the caution notice):

Version 1.3, November 3, 2008

My personal preference is for the more logical DMY format, but MDY is used more predominantly in the text (see Relicensing section). sroc (talk) 03:31, 14 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit protected}} template. Specifically, permission from a representative of the Wikimedia Foundation (such as Mdennis (WMF) (talk · contribs)), since there can be legal implications. --Redrose64 (talk) 12:45, 14 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Ah, thank you. Will do. sroc (talk) 12:53, 14 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Sorry, I had assumed that this page would be patrolled by appropriate personnel and was unfamiliar with the procedure. I have now left a comment at User talk:Mdennis (WMF)#Proposed change to Text of the GNU Free Documentation License. Thanks again! sroc (talk) 12:58, 14 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I've gone ahead and implemented the change as Moonriddengirl. I certainly understand and appreciate the caution with a page like this, but that notice was created and implemented by community, so the WMF is not directly involved in that one. :) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:56, 15 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
OK, Thank you - experience in my last three jobs has taught me to err on the side of caution where there might be legal implications. --Redrose64 (talk) 13:57, 15 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you, both, for your help with this. With apologies for my pedantry, I note though that two aspect of the proposed change were not implemented and wonder whether this was intentional:
  • A comma after the date in the opening words "As of July 15, 2009, Wikipedia…" My understanding is that in MDY format, the year is parenthetical and should be followed by a comma when not at the end of a sentence, as stated at WP:DATE:

Wikipedia does not insert a comma between month and year, nor does it insert a full stop after the day (10 June 1921); however, when using the mdy format, a comma is required between day and year. When a date in mdy format appears in the middle of text, include a comma after the year (The weather on September 11, 2001, was clear and warm).

  • The date format immediately below the box remains "3 November 2008" rather than "November 3, 2008". Unlike the other changes, this may require approval from the WMF if this forms part of the licence text.
Again, sorry for being so pedantic! Promise I won't be offended if you don't make the changes. sroc (talk) 23:09, 15 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Edit request

"As of July 15, 2009 Wikipedia has moved to a..."

There should be a comma after 2009. Inglok (talk) 14:20, 14 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

 Done thanks for pointing it out. -Pete (talk) 17:40, 14 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

You're welcome? sroc 💬 05:58, 9 December 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Protected edit request on 8 December 2014 (talk) 19:46, 8 December 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 20:03, 8 December 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Numbered headings

With "Auto-number headings" enabled in Appearance Preferences, each heading in the Text of the GNU Free Documentation License has twin numbering:

  • 1. 0. PREAMBLE
  • etc.

Is there any way to disable to automatic numbering for this page? sroc 💬 06:06, 9 December 2014 (UTC)[reply]

@Sroc: I don't think there's any way of indicating that auto-numbering should be overridden, so the only way to make it work would be to remove the numbers from the page altogether. I wonder if that might lead to legal issues, though, so I wouldn't want to do it without consulting the legal team. Maybe you could ask for an auto-number-overriding feature on Phabricator, or ask people on WP:VPT to see what they think? — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 14:18, 21 January 2015 (UTC)[reply]
@Mr. Stradivarius: Thanks for your reply. I'm sure removing the numbering would have legal implications as the text refers to them (e.g., "under the conditions of sections 2 and 3 above"). For that matter, having two sets of numbering is actually dangerous as it could be ambiguous which section 2 and which section 3 applies. sroc 💬 14:32, 21 January 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I have flagged this at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical) § Auto-numbering on GNU License. Unfortunately, I could not login to Phabricator to report it there. sroc 💬 14:40, 21 January 2015 (UTC)[reply]
@Sroc: You should be able to log in to Phabricator with your Wikimedia account - see mw:Phabricator/Help#Creating your account. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 00:48, 22 January 2015 (UTC)[reply]
@Mr. Stradivarius: Key word: "should". sroc 💬 03:22, 22 January 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Alternatives to hosting a Wikitext version of this license

Hi. I think we should consider replacing this page with a PDF of the GFDL. While the text of the page itself indicates that its license is not compatible with what the footnote claims, there's still tension between it and since the license is not modifiable, we do not need the page to be editable. A PDF would serve and the license field could more properly explain what our actual license situation is. This was an issue raised as long ago as 2009: Wikipedia_talk:Text_of_the_GNU_Free_Documentation_License,_version_1.2#Incorrect_advertisement_of_the_text_under_its_own_licence. The concern voiced there - that we need a local copy - would be easily satisfied by a file version of the license. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 11:10, 14 April 2015 (UTC)[reply]

A bit late, but: @Moonriddengirl: The license in question is this one, yes? I wonder whether we'll need an exemption from the WP:NFCC policy considering that "changing the license is not allowed".Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 15:04, 11 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, Jo-Jo Eumerus. That's the license. :) If we upload a PDF, I believe we can do so under non-free content guidelines, as there is no and can be no free equivalent and it is essential. :) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 15:10, 11 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I think this is a worthwhile idea, Moonriddengirl, although this file would presumably be used only as part of projectspace than in an article (unless we add it to GNU Free Documentation License) and thus would need an exemption from WP:NFCC#7. Something to bring up in the village pump and the media discussions, perhaps? Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 15:48, 11 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Remove Old-Interwikis

Please one of sysops remove old-interwikis of persian wikipedia (fa) from this templateYamaha5 (talk) 17:57, 10 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Done I've removed all of the interwikis, as they are all now on Wikidata. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 23:25, 10 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Protected edit request on 31 March 2016

Dodos went extinct in 1681 because of animals and hunting. (talk) 10:03, 31 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]

 Not done Invalid request. — xaosflux Talk 17:22, 31 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Wikipedia grant permission on my own website  ?

hello wiki's

were Tafila Technical University in Jordan we've already contact with Wikipedia team to publish our web website text content directly from our official website on Wikipedia , our support team has already create the articles on Wikipedia and we need to insure this data as copyrighted on wiki

the question is how can we to do this and grantee the content as a copyrighted the university website is and our text on wiki en version ar version

so could you please help us to avoid and deletion by any wiki manager — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:33, 19 July 2016 (UTC)[reply]


The purpose of this License is to make a manual, textbook, or other functional and useful document "free" in the sense of freedom: to assure everyone the effective freedom to copy and redistribute it, with or without modifying it, either commercially or noncommercially. Secondarily, this License preserves for the author and publisher a way to get credit for their work, while not being considered responsible for modifications made by others. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Zaheerulhaqsheikh (talkcontribs) 19:04, 7 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Protected edit request on 16 September 2017

Isnt linux GNU (talk) 11:42, 16 September 2017 (UTC)[reply]

 Not done We only host this text has a local copy for licensing requirements. — xaosflux Talk 11:58, 16 September 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Protected edit request on 12 November 2017 Suggestion

Change "GFDL only licensing" to "GFDL-only licensing". ("GFDL only" is a compound adjective so it requires a hyphen to show unambiguously that the word only modifies GFDL). -- ABehrens (talk) 19:54, 12 November 2017 (UTC) ABehrens (talk) 19:54, 12 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Done — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 13:39, 13 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Protected edit request on 21 November 2017

Typo needs to be fixed the letter h is not capitalized on the street name (talk) 00:23, 21 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Not done for now: What street name? --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 10:03, 21 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Untitled question, 28 February 2018

How can I simply grant this license? I simply want to go "click!" somewhere, like in an "agree" box, but wherever I click I just get some other information page --- — Preceding unsigned comment added by Crlegendy (talkcontribs) 19:01, 28 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

@Crlegendy: What do you mean by "grant this license"? --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 00:42, 1 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]
If I might presume what Mr. Legéndy was intending, many sites have you sign an end-user license agreement. Wikipedia (and other Wikimedia sites) do have a Terms of Use [linked at the bottom of each page], but users agree to them by using the service; this allows people to use the sites without needing to create an account, although there are benefits to doing so. The license is a separate matter; it enumerates what rights Wikipedia contributors give to the world as far as using and reusing the text contents of the encyclopedia. That is, the only restrictions are crediting Wikipedians where reused, and that derivatives cannot have additional copyright restrictions applied to them. So there is no need to click an agree box, merely abide by these requirements and otherwise use the content however one would like! Arlo James Barnes 22:41, 26 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you very much! OAKS222 (talk) 02:37, 27 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]


If "License" is going to be capitalized throughout the text, should it not be capitalized in the opening paragraph as well? Joefromrandb (talk) 22:26, 13 December 2018 (UTC)[reply]

@Joefromrandb: There is a box at the top which says
For the original of this license, see
If you follow that link, you will see that we have faithfully followed the capitalisation. Note also the last sentence of the lead, which states Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.. So we couldn't alter the capitalisation, since it would no longer be a verbatim copy. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 10:08, 14 December 2018 (UTC)[reply]


Please update this link at the top to HTTPS: — Preceding unsigned comment added by Scandiescot (talkcontribs) 00:08, 19 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]

 Done SpencerT•C 06:59, 10 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]