Over at http://tex.stackexchange.com we've found a few really nice questions and answers centred around a particular package (which happens to be for drawing diagrams in TeX, but that's not relevant). A lot of the resulting answers fall in to the "This should be better known" category so a group of us have decided that we'd like to release a LaTeX package based on that code (see What are your favourite TikZ/PGF answers? if you're interested, though it's not really relevant to this question). At this point, the obvious question is whether we have the right to do this. My question is: can we? And are there any hoops we have to jump through to do it?
Things to take in to consideration:
- The standard license for LaTeX packages is the LaTeX Project Public License (see http://www.latex-project.org/lppl/). This is considered as a "free software license" (though not compatible with the GNU GPL, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#LPPL-1.3a).
- The "work" shall be almost completely derived from answers on the site. Of course, they will have to be modified to be mutually compatible and to be more robust, but the intention is that they be based on those answers. (In particular, note that this renders the answers - serious and silly - to I'm worried about Stack Overflow content licensing redundant for this question.)
To refine the questions:
- Is what we plan legal?
- Who's permission do we need? (Note that there is a difference between what is considerate and what is necessary. Of course, we will ask people but if we get no response, do we need to do more?)
- What attribution do we need to put? Clearly, making so that each use of the code puts a footnote in a person's article saying, "This diagram was drawn using code drawn from http://tex.stackexchange.com" would be nice, but kill the package. Scattering it in the code and documentation is only common courtesy, but do we need to do more?
When answering this question, please state your authority! Indeed, I'm hoping that someone from the SE company will stop by and give me the definitive answer - I'm asking in public because I think that that answer will be useful for others to have.