Changing and deleting page owners

Colm Maguire January 4, 2022

before I ask the question, 

Solved: How to change the owner / author of a page in Conf... (atlassian.com)

doesn't actually give the answer in my opinion. 

and neither does Solved: How to change the original author of a page? (atlassian.com)

 

So today in 2021 without installing yet another application, piece of software, or running complicated SQL, is there a user friendly way to change / delete the ownership of a space or page? 

thanks for your patience. 

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Nic Brough -Adaptavist-
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January 4, 2022

Ok, there's two things to look at here, page author and page ownership.

You have a page that was created by someone, the original author of the page.  What reason do you have for destroying the information about who the original author was?  This would actually be a bad thing to do, and in some cases, possibly illegal (compliance, audit and even copyright law may apply).

Page ownership is different.  The author of a page is usually not the owner, and the ownership is fine to change.  Most of us will assume the owner of a page is simply the owner(s) of the space the page is in, or anyone who has edit rights to it.  Individual ownership is not stored in Confluence, it's up to the owners of the system to define the ownership rules.

Colm Maguire January 4, 2022

Because the author has left the company, their details are no longer valid. However the owners too also leave. 

which leaves me with my original question. 

The information is still pertinent but if there is no owner then no one is responsible for it's upkeep. 

Colm Maguire January 4, 2022

I am amazed to imagine that copyright law applies in a wiki where absolutely anyone can edit absolutely anything. 

Nic Brough -Adaptavist-
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January 4, 2022

You're missing the point here.  The author of a page should never be changed.  You don't need to change it.

The owner, yep, fine, but the author is not the owner (especially if they've left!), and the owner of pages is not explicitly captured in Confluence.

Copyright law looks quite complex, but the basics are very simple - you wrote it, you own the copyright on it  You can (and, if you're writing for someone, as part of your job, probably have to) give away your copyright to other owners, and you can choose to give up your right to be identified as the author.  But the fact you authored it does not change.  It doesn't matter that anyone can edit it (because you don't own it), you're still the author of it.

So, I come back to the question - what benefit is there in destroying the information that a person wrote the original?  What do you gain from that?

Colm Maguire January 5, 2022

My point is that in our confluence, we have people who have left the company and pages show, created by unknown user.. because the person and their details are no longer in the wiki I suppose?

We have tables on pages with similar information , in curly brackets. 

One of my roles is to get rid of that stuff. Or at least pass it on to someone else who might be able to update, or re-create the page and become the 'creator' and owner of that page while I would archive the other one. 

I appreciate the conversation on copyright, but that's not the focus of my question. It's how to clean up defunct and useless information on site. The right and wrong of it, is for me to grapple with. :) 

Nic Brough -Adaptavist-
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January 5, 2022

Yes, you're right.

The (unknown user) thing is one of the reasons the standing recommendation for Atlassian systems is never to delete users, just disable them, so you can still see the author.

Confluence still has the unique identifier for the user in the database, it's not lost it.

If you're getting rid of the pages, why is there a need to change the author? 

The same still stands if you're just going to repurpose or even just leave the page as it is.  What benefit is there in changing the original author?  You can see it was written by someone who has left.  There's no reason to change that. You may even cause problems with "well, you wrote the page", "no I didn't, the history is lying to you, someone who has left wrote it and I'm being blamed now".

Yes, on the copyright thing, it's just one of the reasons you probably don't want to be changing authors.  It's not important to your case.

Aron Gombas _Midori_
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June 2, 2023

I completely agree with @Nic Brough -Adaptavist-, authors should not be changed (even if possible through the database) and users should be deleted (but disabled).

I also think that the original author of a long-living page is much less important than who is responsible for the page right now? It can still be the author, but can be anyone else and even multiple persons.

Our app has a dedicated feature to manage content owners. You can choose one or more owners and it supports inherited owners, too. "Owner" is managed through its separate field, it is not the author, not the last modifier, but can be those, too.

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Robert Sykes
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July 20, 2023

No,  @Aron Gombas _Midori_  and @Nic Brough -Adaptavist- Nic this is a terrible practice by confluence and should be fixed. You absolutely should be able to delete or change the author of a page. Everything created on a company confluence system on company time is property of the company.  There should at the very least be a way to hide the author of the page. We have most of our pages created by one person that is now gone and every page shows their old picture and if you click on them you get the contact details including old email address which cannot be removed or changed. Deleting the user causes other problems. This should not be the case, this is not a community board or some forum, it is being used as an enterprise tool for internal information and should be treated as such. Confluence has always felt more like a gamer forum than an enterprise grade tool IMO. 

Nic Brough -Adaptavist-
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July 20, 2023

Please, please re-read the conversation.

Is there some part of "the author of a page needs to be preserved for copyright and auditing" that you do not quite understand?

Or that the author of the page is not the same as the owner of it?

Robert Henderson
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October 13, 2023

There is an issue here as your need to delete users to comply with data protection laws and replacing an owner with another person is completely legitimate need as is change the name of author to a generic username. Rather than unknown.

Nic Brough -Adaptavist-
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October 13, 2023

No, you do not. 

You need to take another look at the data protection laws you have been reading.  They explicitly state that you do not remove people when the information about the author is useful to the owners of the data as part of the reason why the data was captured, and they do not override copyright law.

Robert Klohr January 9, 2024

There is another use case that is being missed. At many companies when an employee leaves and is rehired they get a new account, most likely in a directory service that is linked to Atlassian. If they are hired back into their original role, they would most likely be responsible for maintaining the same pages in Confluence. In this case we want to update the page author from "John Doe (Deactivated)", their old account, to "John Doe", their new account.

Your only options, besides installing an app, is using the API. Confluence Cloud changelog - https://developer.atlassian.com/cloud/confluence/changelog/

Some other points to consider:

The original question is how to change the owner of the page. There is nowhere in the GUI or API where edits to a page (i.e., the author who typed what text and clicked save) can be edited. The only meta data that can be edited is the page "Owner" so all this discussion on copyright, which in every company I have ever worked for is owned by the company not any individual, is off topic for a variety of reasons.

Finally, any discussion on any of these forums about any "laws" is not appropriate, as I would assume none of us are lawyers, and any lawyers here are not providing legal advice to clients. Laws are based on jurisdictions so there is no "one law to rule them all."

Nic Brough -Adaptavist-
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January 9, 2024

I am indeed, not a lawyer, but I have worked with clients who are being audited by lawyers, and I am simply repeating what they have told me.

It's absolutely on-topic to explain why you should not be able to change the author of a page - it is illegal in a lot of places.

It's fine when you have a case where you replace the owner of a page with a new account.  It's different thing to the author.  Both your old and new accounts are traceable to the individual who did it, it doesn't matter if it's the same person.

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