Oakland Wiki uses a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license for all text, most images (some exceptions), and other content on the Web site.

Can I use content from Oakland Wiki?

Oakland Wiki’s blanket Creative Commons “Attribution-By 3.0” (CC-A) license lets you do whatever you want with the material, so long as you attribute the content’s creators (or the collective “Oakland Wiki”/”oaklandwiki.org”) if you distribute/modify it. You needn’t ask permission first — you’re assumed to have it!

Please note that in some cases Oakland Wiki allows materials (e.g., images) that are not licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution license. In these cases there is an indication of strict copyright by the material, such as a note saying “Copyright The SF Chronicle.” Usually, this occurs with images, and in these cases you must obtain the copyright holder’s permission to allow placement on Oakland Wiki (not necessarily elsewhere).

Oakland Wiki material comes with NO WARRANTY. While we strive for accuracy and the highest quality, we are not responsible for any discomfort or potential injury that may befall you as a result of the content.

Can I add content to Oakland Wiki?

The CC-A license means that everyone – friend, researcher, book publisher, nerd, weirdo, newspaper editor, etc. – can use any content you add to Oakland Wiki for whatever purposes they want. It may be ruthlessly modified, edited, and redistributed without your permission or direct control. Your material can be used for good or bad — by anyone, for any purpose allowable under law provided they give credit to you or Oakland Wiki in their use of the content!

For usage details, just read the overview. It’s simple. Just remember that ‘original author’ can mean the author or the collective “Oakland Wiki.” An easy way to think about this is to pretend that every time someone asked us, “Hey, can I use X from Oakland Wiki?” We answer “Yes, just say who created it or note it was from Oakland Wiki.”

Because most of our content falls under this license, you are legally responsible not to put other people’s copyrighted work into Oakland Wiki without permission.

For images, if you wish to allow your image on Oakland Wiki but not fall under this umbrella of Creative Commons, just note explicit copyright. e.g. “Copyright Me, 2005.” Under or near the image. This will let people know you allow it on Oakland Wiki, but want others to get your permission before using it elsewhere. If you just want to give yourself credit for the image, just say “Image by Me” somewhere near the image. You still retain copyright on images where you do not note “Copyright…” — it is just assumed that you are also placing said image under the Creative Commons license.

Note that you cannot copy material verbatim from Wikipedia and place it on the Wiki. They use the GFDL, which has quite a few restrictions on what you can and cannot do with their information. Oakland Wiki does not have those restrictions, and as a result, you cannot copy other people’s text that they have written for Wikipedia and use it here. As an example: a newspaper, campus flier, brochure or any other publication that runs over 100 copies has fairly substantial requirements and responsibilities in order to use material from Wikipedia. Any information from Wikipedia has very strict title and ending requirements, while there is no requirement other than attribution to use material from Oakland Wiki.

Common situations

Can I post a photo/image/video/etc. from another site and put a link to it?

Unless the photo/image/video/etc. is licensed CC-BY or is in the public domain, we will most likely NOT be able to use it. In a situation where you receive permission to use a copyrighted photo, you may be able to post it with something like “© The Copyright Holder, reproduced with permission from The Copyright Holder” or other credit that the copyright holder specifies. This is true of all copyrightable works; unless the creator licenses it CC-BY or it is released into the public domain, you need to get permission before using it.

Note: Sanborn maps before 1923 are in the public domain, while subsequent years’ maps are still copyrighted.

Note: for videos, the YouTube terms of service (TOS) allow embedding any video that is marked “allow embedding”. Regardless, it’s still best to ask permission first, as the creator of the video still holds the copyright unless they've otherwise stated.

Can I quote text from other sites and link to them?

Yes! Quoting text (in quote marks!) is fine as long as you cite the source (it helps to have a link). However, there are limits on how much you can quote; in general, the less the better. Copying an entire section of text and putting quotes around it is generally not OK, except with permission.

Can I post documents produced by the City of Oakland?

All government documents (California city, state, and US federal) are in the public domain. This means that there is no copyright on them and that anyone is free to use them in any way. This applies to official documents produced by the City of Oakland (such as Oakland laws, pamphlets, reports, etc.). (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:PD-CAGovhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Proposition_59_(2004)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/County_of_Santa_Clara_v._California_First_Amendment_Coalition)

Additionally, Oakland Wiki’s mission is very much in line with the aims of Oakland’s Sunshine Ordinance and Open Government Bill of Rights which aim to increase public access to City laws, meetings, proceedings and documents.

If you are not sure whether something produced by the City is available for posting, or whether something is “produced by the City” (ex: Jean Quan’s newsletter - yes. Reports produced for the city by external groups - possibly), please email oakland@localwiki.org with your questions.

Why do we do this?

We want to foster an environment where information and ideas can be shared and used as easily as possible for the longest period of time, and we feel this is the best way to achieve this.

For instance, much of the contents of this copyright page is adapted from Santa Cruz Wiki, which adapted it from Davis Wiki!