Licensing for Translation Sites

For the most part, the licensing for the non-English sites is Creative Commons Attributive Share-Alike 3.0, or CC-BY-SA (which is what we use). However, the Russian and Chinese wikis both use a similar but separate license (CC-BY-NC-SA, which just adds the condition that none of the work can be reused for commercial projects). Unfortunately, this isn't compatible with our license, as the Share-Alike part means that they have to use the exact same license1, not a different license.

I sent GeneR and SunnyParallax the following message:


I want to talk with you about the licensing for your site. I notice that you have your stuff licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC-BY-NC-SA) agreement. Unfortunately, this agreement is not compatible with the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA) agreement that the SCP Foundation uses. Because most of your content is derived from us2, you need to change your licensing to be compatible with ours by changing it to CC-BY-SA.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me.


Talked with Sunny, who talked with one of the other Chinese admins. They changed the licensing so now it's compatible with ours. Everything is hunky-dory there. No word back from the Russians yet. I'll give a few more days, but on Saturday I'll try to contact Gene again.

Heard back from Gene (actually, last week. I didn't post it and haven't responded yet. mea culpa)

And I have to disagree with you on some parts, although I have yet to consult a lawyer on both of these.

According to the CC legal code, a translation is an Adaptation.
According to part 4.b, derived works can be published via

> (iii) a Creative Commons jurisdiction license (either this or a later license version) that contains the same License Elements as this License

BY-NC-SA does contain the same elements (sharing and adapting) as BY-SA.

The "Stuff that doesn't reference SCP Foundation lore" part is trickier. No one holds the copyright to the Foundation lore, and, according to Foundation history, a lot of articles were copied to the scp-wiki from EditThis not by their authors and licensed by BY-SA. If we're to dig deeper, SCP-173 was initially published on an imageboard, probably without any licensing at all. The only reasonable way out of this situation would be declaring both of our sites Collections (as per CC license terminology). In that case,
> This Section 4(b) applies to the Adaptation as incorporated in a Collection, but this does not require the Collection apart from the Adaptation itself to be made subject to the terms of the Applicable License

which means that original works may be published under a different license.

Ugh. We need a lawyer. CC license is all well, but local and international laws should override it whenever there is a conflict between the license and the law. And I do not fully understand how it all comes together.

Any thoughts are appreciated. I'm pretty sure that "the same License Elements" means "a compatible license" which CC-BY-SA-NC is not. But I need to re-read to be sure.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License