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Note: The maintainers of this site do not own copyright on texts or media objects. It is therefore pointless to ask for permission to reproduce articles or images, even if rules at your organization mandate that you ask web site operators before copying their content. All site content is either not covered by copyright, or published under Creative Commons licenses. Permission to reproduce content under the terms of these licenses has already been granted to anyone anywhere.

(The only exceptions are cases in which editors have violated our copyright policy by uploading copyrighted material without authorization, or with copyright licensing terms which are incompatible with the rest of our content. While such material is present (i.e., before it is detected and removed), it will be a copyright violation to copy it.)
The content is further covered by Project:Terms of Use (including general disclaimers)

Copyright Policy

The copyright to any text and media items deposited on this platform remains the property of the creators and contributors. By default, all new text is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike (unported, in version 3.0 or later) license. The full text of this license is available by following the previous link; the English text is the legally binding restriction between authors and users of our content.

This license grants free access to our content in the same sense that free software such as Linux is licensed freely. The content can be copied, modified, and redistributed if and only if (a) the copied version is made available on the same terms to others and (b) that acknowledgment ("attribution") of the original authors is included.

Materials not covered by copyright

Copyright protection is available only to creative works, not to plain representations of knowledge or data. Creating knowledge and data is doubtlessly very valuable "work". It morally must be attributed. However, lawmakers correctly consider it not desirable to prevent the copying of knowledge for a period of 70 years after the death of all authors.

Thus, without being specifically marked as such, any parts that represent knowledge or data in formalized forms are not covered by the Creative Commons license. An especially important example are taxon treatments (sections that document the features or distribution of taxa in ways adhering to formalized conventions), which are not considered "creative works" in the sense of Copyright law (see Agosti D, Egloff W 2009. Taxonomic information exchange and copyright: the Plazi approach BMC Research Notes 2009. 2153 doi).

License exceptions for text

For copyrightable works, possible exceptions to the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-alike licence are that a contribution may be:

  • Public Domain, e.g. because the copyright has expired,
  • released under the CC0 license
  • covered by the Creative Commons Attribution (3.0 Unported or later) license (i. e. without the "share-alike" condition).

These cases may apply independently of being clearly annotated (e. g. an author may have forgotten to mark a public domain portion as such). However, we encourage authors to display a prominent license information about any deviation from the Creative Commons by-sa license near the bottom of the page.

Note that all these licenses give you more rights than the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-alike licence, not less.

Media Embedding Policy

Embedded media items may come from several media repositories and may be available under different licenses. For images, you can click on the image for details. For sounds or movies the page author is responsible to provide a suitable link to the attribution and license page for each embedded media item.

This platform is non-commercial and therefore suitable for the display of media licensed under a creative commons non-commercial license. Furthermore, some author may have excluded the creation of derivative works in their Creative Commons license. Note that this refers to embedding works like images that are published elsewhere, not to publishing content directly on this site (which will always be under cc-by-sa). Media objects published elsewhere are considered to be suitable for inclusion on pages in this wiki if they are:

  • in the Public Domain (no longer covered by copyrights), released under the Creative Commons CC0 statement, or under one of the following licenses:
  • Creative Commons Attribution (cc-by): This license lets others distribute, change, and build upon a work as long as they credit the creators for the original creation. This is the most accommodating Creative Commons license in terms of what others can do with a work. It is the license best matching the scientific ideal of producing knowledge to be generally shared with the one exemption that credit is being given. Most scientific open access journals operate under this license.
  • Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike (cc-by-sa): This license lets others distribute, change, and build upon a work as long as they credit the creators and license their new creations under identical terms. All new works based on a work under this license will carry the same license. This license is very similar to the licenses used on open source software like Linux or Open Office. It is also the license used by the Wikipedias, Wikiversity, Wikinews, Citizendium and many other wiki platforms. This license is the default license for text or media on this project
  • Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (cc-by-nd): This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to the creators. In most cases this license is undesirable for media about organismic or genetic biodiversity, since it prevents any forms of modification of an image, such as adding an arrow, or cropping the image. Not recommended.
  • Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike (cc-by-nc-sa): This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon a work non-commercially, as long as they credit the creators and license their new creations under identical terms. Others can download and redistribute your work just like under the by-nc-nd license, but they can also translate, make remixes, or produce new stories based on your work. All new works based on a work under this license will carry the same license. While this license is highly protective, it also minimizes re-use. Most non-profit activities are not non-commercial, since they involve monetary compensations (cost recovery for services, even most scientific societies have membership fees!) or create other commercial advantages (prestige, etc.); see Understanding Creative Commons Non-Commercial for further information. Not recommended.
  • Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives (cc-by-nc-nd): This license is the most restrictive Creative Commons license, allowing only redistribution. This license is often called the “free advertising” license because it allows others to download a work and share it with others as long as they credit the creators and link back to them. However, they can’t change the work in any way or use it commercially. Not recommended.

Please note that any person or organisation copying or re-purposing content from this platform must verify that the licenses for embedded media are suitable for the intended re-purposing. For example, the page text may be under the cc-by-sa license allows commercial use, but embedded media may be available only under a cc-by-nc-sa license.

Contributors' rights and obligations

If you contribute material to this site, you thereby license it to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike (3.0 Unported or later) license. 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 and therefore own the copyright by international agreement (the most common case), or
  • you acquired the material from a source that allows re-licensing under this license, for instance because the material is in the [[wikipedia:Public domain|public domain] or was itself published under the same or a compatible license.

In the first case, you retain copyright to your materials. Copyright is never transferred to this site. You can later republish and relicense them in any way you like. However, you can not retract the license for the copy of the content that you place here. If the material has been previously published, you will need to verify copyright permission.

In the second case, if you incorporate externally Creative Commons cc-by-sa-licensed material, you are obliged to acknowledge the authorship with the copy and, usually, to provide a link back to the network location of the original copy.

Using copyrighted work from others

All creative works are copyrighted, by international agreement, 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 the license used here, you must make a note of that fact (along with the relevant names and dates). See wikipedia:Wikipedia:Requesting copyright permission for the procedure for asking a copyright holder to grant a license to use their work under terms of the present Creative Commons license and for verifying that license has been granted. It is our goal to be able to freely redistribute as much of this material as possible, so original images and sound files licensed under Creative Commons or in the public domain are greatly preferred to copyrighted media files used under fair use or otherwise.

Never use materials that infringe the copyrights of others. This could create legal liabilities and seriously hurt this project. If in doubt, write the content yourself, thereby creating a new copyrighted work which can be included without trouble.

Note that copyright law governs the creative expression of ideas, not the ideas or information themselves. Therefore, it is legal to read published information, reformulate the concepts in your own words, and submit it as long as you do not follow the source too closely. (See Wikipedia's Copyright FAQ for more on how much reformulation may be necessary as well as the distinction between summary and abridgment.) However, it would still be unethical (but not illegal) to do so without citing the original as a reference.

Linking to copyrighted works

Many articles 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. However, if you know that an external internet site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work.

Context is important. It may be acceptable to link to a bookseller's webpage on a particular book, even if it presents an image of that book (such uses are generally either explicitly permitted by publishers or allowed under fair use). However, linking directly to an image of the book cover removes the context and the site's justification for permitted use or fair use.

Copyright violations

If you suspect a copyright violation, you should at least bring up the issue on that page's discussion page. Others can then examine the situation and take action if needed.

If a page contains material which infringes copyright, that material (or the whole page, if there is no other material present) should be removed.

Contributors who repeatedly post copyrighted material despite appropriate warnings may be blocked from editing by any administrator to prevent further problems.

Image guidelines

Images and photographs, like written works, are subject to 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.

Media placed either on this or on the associated open media repository will, in contrast to Wikipedia projects and Wikimedia Commons, also be under the general license applied to the entire wiki. Where public domain images are being uploaded to which the chosen creative commons does not apply, this must be tagged as an exception (see also Image copyright tags).

Fair use materials and special requirements

Content on this site may include quotations, images, or other media under the under the U.S. Copyright law "fair use" doctrine or corresponding European Copyright exception law regulations (see guidelines for non-free content and criteria for using non-free media for information what may be fair-use). It is preferred that these be obtained under the most free license practical. In cases where no such images/sounds are currently available, "fair use" or an appropriate exception must be demonstrated by the author. Such 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 of such "fair use" content as it does not fall under the main license as such, but under the "fair use" (or similar/different) regulations in the country where the media are retrieved.

Information for owners of content used here without permission

If you are the owner of content that is being used without your permission, you may request the page be immediately removed. You can contact the contact points given. Please note that it may take up to a week for the page to be deleted that way. You may also blank the page and replace it with the words {{copyvio|URL or place you published the text}}. We will, of course, need evidence to support your claims of ownership.