Important note: Cookipedia does not own copyright on Cookipedia article texts and illustrations. It is therefore useless to email our contact addresses asking for permission to reproduce content. Permission to reproduce content under the license and technical conditions applicable to Cookipedia has already been granted to everyone without request; for permission to use it outside these terms, one must contact all the volunteer authors of the text or illustration in question.
The license Cookipedia uses grants free access to our content in the same sense that free software is licensed freely. This principle is known as copyleft. Cookipedia 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 Cookipedia article used (a direct link back to the article is generally thought to satisfy the attribution requirement). Cookipedia articles therefore will remain free under the GFDL and can be used by anybody subject to certain restrictions, most of which aim to ensure that freedom.
To this end, the text contained in Cookipedia is copyrighted (automatically, under the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works|Berne Convention) by Cookipedia contributors and licensed to the public under the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL).
- Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
- A copy of the license is included in "Free Documentation License".
- Content on Cookipedia is covered by disclaimers.
The English text of the GFDL is the only legally binding document between authors and users of Cookipedia content. What follows is our interpretation of the GFDL, as it pertains to the rights and obligations of users and contributors.
Contributors' rights and obligations
If you contribute material to Cookipedia, 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 until they enter the public domain.
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). It is our goal to be able to freely redistribute as much of Cookipedia's material as possible, so original images and sound files licensed under the GFDL or in the public domain are greatly preferred to copyrighted media files used under fair use.
Never use materials that infringe the copyrights of others. This could create legal liabilities and seriously hurt the project. 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 Cookipedia. 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 Cookipedia 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, Cookipedia is not restricted to linking only to GFDL-free or open-source content.
Contributors who repeatedly post copyrighted material despite appropriate warnings may be blocked from editing by any administrator to prevent further problems.
If you suspect a copyright violation, you should at least bring up the issue on that page's comments page. Others can then examine the situation and take action if needed. Some cases will be false alarms. For example, text that can be found elsewhere on the Web that was in fact copied from Cookipedia in the first place is not a copyright violation on Cookipedia's part.
If a page contains material which infringes copyright, that material – and the whole page, if there is no other material present – should be removed.
Images and photographs, like written works, are subject to copyright. Someone holds the copyright unless they have been explicitly placed in the public domain. Images on the internet need to be licensed directly from the copyright holder or someone able to license on their behalf. In some cases, fair use guidelines may allow an image to be used irrespective of any copyright claims.
Image description pages must be tagged with a special tag to indicate the legal status of the images. Untagged or incorrectly-tagged images will be deleted.
U.S. government photographs
Works produced by civilian and military employees of the United States federal government in the scope of their employment are public domain by statute in the United States (though they may be protected by copyright outside of the U.S.).
However, not every work republished by the U.S. government falls into this category. The U.S. government can own copyrights that are assigned to it by others -- for example, works created by contractors.
Moreover, images and other media found on .mil and .gov websites may be using commercial stock photography owned by others. It may be useful to check the privacy and security notice of the website, but only with an email to the webmaster can you be confident that an image is in the public domain.
It should also be noted that governments outside the U.S. often do claim copyright over works produced by their employees (for example, Crown copyright in the United Kingdom). Also, most state and local governments in the United States do not place their work into the public domain and do in fact own the copyright to their work. Please be careful to check copyright information before copying.
United States Code; Title 17; Chapter 1; § 105 Subject matter of copyright; United States Government works.
Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government, but the United States Government is not precluded from receiving and holding copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest, or otherwise.
The Writers Copyright Association as well as the UK Copyright service has a good summary. The legal basis is the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, and subsequent modifications and revisions, details at Jenkins IP In particular for literary, artistic works, copyright ends 70 years after the last surviving author dies or if unknown, 70 years after creation or publication.
The UK Office of Public Sector Information, formerly HMSO, has told us:
- Crown copyright protection in published material lasts for fifty years from the end of the year in which the material was first published. Therefore material published fifty-one years ago, and any Crown copyright material published before that date, would now be out of copyright, and may be freely reproduced throughout the world.
Introducing invariant sections or cover texts in Cookipedia
Under Cookipedia's current copyright conditions, and with the current facilities of the MediaWiki software, it is only possible to include in Cookipedia external GFDL materials that contain invariant sections or cover texts, if all of the following apply,
- You are the copyright holder of these external GFDL materials (or: you have the explicit, i.e. written, permission of the copyright holder to do what follows);
- The length and nature of these invariant sections and cover texts does not exceed what can be placed in an edit summary;
- You are satisfied that these invariant sections and cover texts are not listed elsewhere than in the "page history" of the page where these external materials are placed;
- You are satisfied that further copies of Cookipedia content are distributed under the standard GFDL application of "with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts" (in other words, for the copies derived from Cookipedia, you agree that these parts of the text contributed by you will no longer be considered as "invariant sections" or "cover texts" in the GFDL sense);
- The original invariant sections and/or cover texts are contained in the edit summary of the edit with which you introduce the thus GFDLed materials in Cookipedia (so, that if "permanent deletion" would be applied to that edit, both the thus GFDLed material and its invariant sections and cover texts are jointly deleted).
Seen the stringent conditions above, it is very desirable to replace GFDL texts with invariant sections (or with cover texts) by original content without invariant sections (or cover texts) whenever possible.
Reusers' rights and obligations
If you want to use Cookipedia materials in your own books/articles/websites or other publications, you can do so -- but only in compliance with the GFDL. If you are simply duplicating the Cookipedia 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 Cookipedia 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 Cookipedia article hosted on this website. You also need to provide access to a transparent copy of the new text. However, please note that the Wikimedia Foundation 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.
Fair use materials and special requirements
All original Cookipedia text is distributed under the GFDL. Cookipedia articles may also include quotations, images, or other media under the U.S. Copyright law "fair use" doctrine in accordance with our guidelines for non-free content. It is preferred that these be obtained under the most free content license practical (such as the GFDL or public domain). In cases where no such images/sounds are currently available, then fair use may be used in certain circumstances as described in the criteria for using non-free media.
In Cookipedia, such "fair use" material should be identified as from an external source (on the image description page, or history page, as appropriate). This also leads to possible restrictions on the use, outside of Cookipedia, of such "fair use" content retrieved from Cookipedia: this "fair use" content does not fall under the GFDL license as such, but under the "fair use" (or similar/different) regulations in the country where the media are retrieved.
Cookipedia does use some text under licenses that are compatible with the GFDL but may require additional terms that we do not require for original Cookipedia text (such as including Invariant Sections, Front-Cover Texts, or Back-Cover Texts).
If you are the owner of Cookipedia-hosted content being used without your permission
If you are the owner of content that is being used on Cookipedia without your permission, then you may request the page be immediately removed from Cookipedia. We will, of course, need some evidence to support your claim of ownership.