List a history of licence changes on an iNaturalist observation

I am avidly reusing content on Wikipedia and its sister projects. While doing so in good faith and respecting the underlying licenses I was recently confronted with various notifications of copyright violations. These notifications come with rather strong warnings that those copyright violations are not taken lightly.

When reusing content I use a Wikimedia user script that transfers the metadata stating the license and luckily a copy of the observation with the correct license was copied to the Internet archive. Thanks to this I was able to prove that I did not violate any copyright and at the time of processing the action was done while respecting the underlying license. It is only that the user decided to add a more restrictive license to their observation. Whether or not the user is legally allowed to do so is currently being discussed in another thread on this forum.

Changing licenses has some downstream effects, which until recently I wasn’t even aware of myself. Whether or not that makes any legal sense is food for discussion in the above-mentioned thread, but from a practical perspective, I am wondering if it is possible to list the history of applied licenses on an iNaturalist observation. Ideally, such a history would list what license was applied to what date range. This would make it easy to prove that the observation was reused correctly, given a proper date stamp.

Without the copy on the Internet Archive, I would have had no way to prove that I handled in good faith and would have risked a platform ban.


I’d suggest you make this a Feature Request.

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A related discussion here …


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