As of 1st August 2004, the contents of the Oxford Guide is available for use under a Creative Commons licence.
What does this mean?
By using a licence on our site, we receive a degree of legal protection against abuse of the words, pictures and other material that the users of the Guide have contributed to make it better.
What is the licence?
The licence is the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike version 2.5 licence. In summary, this means that you can copy, modify, share or even sell the contents of the Guide, as long as you share them under this same licence. This is what's known as "copyleft".
You mean writing in the Guide means I lose copyright to it?
No, as the original author you always retain copyright. However, to write something in the Guide you will have to agree to the licence, which makes what you have written free to copy (as above). By submitting material you agree to the "author" of the material in future attributions being "The Oxford Guide" or "The Open Guide to Oxford", terms referring to the Guide itself and the informal team composed of all persons contributing to the Guide.
Do I have to credit the Guide if I use material from it?
Yes. The licence specifies you must credit the "individual or entity" who created the material in question; for this site that entity is "The Oxford Guide" (see question above about assigning copyright).
Can I use material from other sources under this licence?
It depends what you mean by "use". Clearly attributed quotes from other sources should be fine, as long as they are of "reasonable" length. British law allows usage of small amounts of material as "fair dealing".
If you wish to add a photograph or other illustration to a Guide page, you must have the permission of the copyright owner to do so. If you have this permission, please label the image clearly with the name of the copyright holder and, preferably, a link to them somewhere on the Web.
The most important point is: do not copy and paste non-free or non-open-licensed material into The Oxford Guide. This is paramount; please keep it in mind.
Does the licence have any other effects?
Yes, one minor one: at the moment, the Attribution-ShareAlike licence is incompatible with the GNU Free Documentation Licence. This means that you can't copy and paste content from Wikipedia, for example, into The Oxford Guide, even if you attribute it. This situation may change in the near future, but for the time being please do not copy anything here from Wikipedia or other sites using the GFDL. There is a good article about why the Attribution-ShareAlike licence is more appropriate than the GFDL at Wikitravel.org.
If you want to discuss licensing issues, please do so on the oxfordguide-d mailing list.
This text was taken from the Open Guide to London, with amendments.