I am struggling with issues of licensing, intellectual property, and
Ruby code, as it relates to the site I've been working on - the Ruby
Cookbook (www.rubycookbook.org).

Specifically, my question is:

    "Should a public forum for the development of Ruby code require
     that the code posted to it be licensed in such a fashion that
     allows/encourages the open development, use and modification of
     such code?"

One might think, "Hey, all comments/code are copyright by their
respective posters, right?"  That is certainly one possibility.  Many
user-generated-content sites on the net (like Slashdot), use this
model.

However, the Cookbook is different, in that it is specifically used
for the archival, distribution, and development of *source code*.  If
the posted code does not have some sort of open license, it makes it
illegal (strictly speaking) for that code to be used/modified in any
way without working out the licensing/ownership issues with the
author.

There are a ways to resolve this issue.  The one I'm leaning towards
is having the site's "Terms of Service" specify that any content
submitted to the site is done under the terms of the GNU Public
License (GPL).

What do you folks think of this issue in general?  What do you think
of having posted code automatically become GPL'd?

-- 
Colin Steele                                                        CEO, WebG2
colin / webg2.com                                                  www.webg2.com
Main: 804-971-4777                                           Fax: 804-220-4652