WPD/License and Reuse
What is the license, how can I use it?
This FAQ is for anyone who wants to use WebPlatform documentation or example code. You do not need to register with the WebPlatform project. WebPlatform content is freely available to anyone.
The WebPlatform Content License
The WebPlatform project provides increasingly extensive reference material, documentation, tutorials, example code, and other content for developing or designing content for the Open Web Platform that you can download and use for ANY purpose you like.
Usage of the content is offered under a royalty-free copyright license. You may use the content for personal, community, educational, commercial, governmental, or any other use that you can think of. We, the WebPlatform community, ask only two things in return (and only one of those is a condition of the license).
First, that you attribute WebPlatform and its contributors, i.e. you show clearly where you got the content from. Many individuals and organizations from around the world have spent and continue to spend a lot of time, effort, and even money adding and maintaining our content. We’re not asking for money, but for a pointer back to the source. Attribution helps people to know about our project and perhaps use or contribute content themselves. To find out how best to give this attribution for different kinds of uses, see our Attribution Guidelines.
Second, we ask that you contribute back to the project. Though this is not a formal requirement in the license, it’s part of making WebPlatform.org a community. Please correct mistakes, write articles or examples, provide translations, or even just request articles on topics that are missing. You could even make a donation or become a sponsor to help support the project financially. When the community shares its knowledge and resources, the Open Web Platform improves for everyone.
Our current license for most content is the Creative Commons Attribution version 3.0, CC-BY for short. See the human readable summary and the full legal text. Code examples are in the public domain, released with the Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain Dedication, in order to be widely compatible with other licenses. In addition, some content originally from external sources is available under the share-alike terms of “CC-BY-SA” or other licenses. This content will be clearly marked where it appears.
Legal Bit! Please note that none of this is legal advice.
Is it really free?
What about example code?
Example code is in the public domain, made available with the Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain Dedication. This grant was chosen for clarity and for maximum compatibility with other software licenses. For more details, see the CC0 FAQ. Please note that CC0 does not confer patent licensing.
What about content APIs?
If your application is going to directly serve content from [api.WebPlatform.org], we ask you to observe our API usage policy. You can also use a proxy or your own content server; see details on our [API usage policy page].
Can I get permission from WebPlatform to distribute the content under an alternative license?
The licensing was chosen carefully to provide incentive to contributors while still allowing the greatest ease of reusability, and offering the content under a different license complicates the administration of this site, and may violate the expectations of the contributors.
Will the license ever change?
The license may change to reflect the best legal expression of the goal of the project to make the content openly and widely available. For example, if Creative Commons issues an updated version of the CC-BY license, this project will likely adopt it.
What do you mean by "Attribution"?
We want you to attribute WebPlatform and its contributors, i.e. you show users and viewers of whatever you do with our content clearly where you got the data from.
Many individuals and organizations from around the world have spent and continue to spend a lot of time, effort, and even money adding and maintaining our content. We want people to know about our project and perhaps use or contribute content themselves. To find out how best to give this attribution for different kinds of uses, see our Attribution Guidelines.
How should I attribute the project?
For example code, you do not need to provide any attribution, though you are allowed to state that your project uses code derived from WebPlatform (though without implication of endorsement, or any guarantees as to the suitability or effectiveness of the code).
For other types of WebPlatform content, Creative Commons defines how attribution works in their CC-BY license, with the key points being:
- Attribution is mandatory unless the license holder indicates otherwise
- No endorsement is allowed
- The original remains unchanged
- Changes in the redistribution must be labelled.
Creative Commons attribution-based licenses also indicate that those who reuse the content “must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor”. Under CC-BY, the attribution needs to appear in a place “reasonable to the medium or means You are utilizing”.
To attribute WebPlatform.org content, include a link such as “derived from material on <a href=”/docs/“>WebPlatform.org</a>” and a link to the specific page, if linking is available. Each content page will include an “attribution chain”, a list of contributors for the content, which will include WebPlatform.org and W3C, and may include any individuals who wrote significant portions of the content, the organization that provided the content (e.g. the author’s employer, or a content sponsor), and the WebPlatform Teams the individual contributors are associated with.
Here are specific guidelines to providing attribution to WebPlatform for different media:
Web sites or Web Apps: For isolated references to WebPlatform.org content, please simply place a link back to the page where the content was found. For more extensive uses (e.g. a repackaging or aggregation site), please provide a link back to WebPlatform.org on each page that uses our content, with the notice “Thanks to WebPlatform.org and W3C for this content (CC-BY)”. Additionally, you may provide metadata in the code that indicates the source.
Books: Books must explicitly list all significant contributors to any content used in the book, as provided by the “attribution chain” for each content page or portion thereof used, in the credits section of the book or the chapter, as appropriate for the book; duplication of contributors is not necessary (e.g. if a single person contributed to multiple content pages used by the book, that person only needs to be listed once). For Digital Books, please additionally provide active links wherever possible to the source pages. Note: As mentioned above, the license does not permit implication of endorsement, so the names ‘WebPlatform’, ‘W3C’, nor any of our contributors may appear on the cover, title page, nor any advertisements for the book, except with the phrasing “Includes CC-BY material found on WebPlatform.org”.
Slides and other Presentations: If WebPlatform content is used on only one or a few slides, please include attribution on those specific slides. If the slide deck uses WebPlatform material extensively, you may include the attribution on a single slide (e.g. at the beginning or end of the slide deck). Please include links back to WebPlatform.org, where possible. Please verbally mention WebPlatform.org as the source for the content at least once during the presentation.
Classrooms or Curriculum Materials: In classroom settings, teachers and trainers using WebPlatform should inform their students of the resource at least once during the course.
For other media, please feel free to contact us to suggest appropriate attribution guidelines.
In addition, we encourage specificity in your attribution. If you quote an article from WebPlatform which was written by a particular person, we suggest you name that person, not only to give them well-deserved credit, but also to improve the credibility of your quotation. If you provide a link, please link to the specific page or pages where the content is located, to make it easier for your audience to find updated information on that specific topic.
WebPlatform.org thanks Creative Commons for developing the licenses, Wikipedia for proving a model of large-scale community collaboration on reference content and developing the Mediawiki software, and OpenStreetMap for inspiring this FAQ.