My reference was to in-place discussions at WMDE, not the open meetings with Markus. Each week we had an open demo where Markus usually attended. As I remember the May-discussion, it was just a discussion in the office, there was a reference to an earlier meeting. It is although easy to mix up old memories, so what happen first and what happen next should not be taken to be facts. If Markus also says the same it is although a reasonable chance we have got it right.

As to the questions about archives on open discussions with the community. This was in April-May 2012. There was no community, there were only concerned individuals. The community started to emerge in August with the first attempts to go public. On Wikidata_talk:Introduction there are some posts from 15. August 2012,[1] while first post on the subject page is from 30. October. The stuff from before October comes from a copy-paste from Meta.[3] Note that Denny writes "The data in Wikidata is published under a free license, allowing the reuse of the data in many different scenarios." but Whittylama changes this to "The data in Wikidata is published under [ a free license], allowing the reuse of the data in many different scenarios.",[4] and at that point there were a community on an open site and had been for a week. When Whittylama did his post it was the 4504th post on the site, so it was hardly the first! The license was initially a CC-SA.[8] I'm not quite sure when it was changed to CC0 in the footer,[9] but it seems to have happen before 31 October 2012, at 19:09. First post on Q1 is from 29. October 2012,[5] this is one of several items updated this evening.

It is quite enlightening to start at oldid=1 [6] and stepping forward. You will find that our present incarnation went live 25. October 2012. So much for the "birthday". To ask for archived community discussions before 25th October does not make sense, there were no site, and the only people  involved were mostly devs posting at Meta. Note for example that the page Wikidata:Introduction is from Meta.[7]


On Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 1:18 AM, Markus Krötzsch <> wrote:
Dear Mathieu,

Your post demands my response since I was there when CC0 was first chosen (i.e., in the April meeting). I won't discuss your other claims here -- the discussions on the Wikidata list are already doing this, and I agree with Lydia that no shouting is necessary here.

Nevertheless, I must at least testify to what John wrote in his earlier message (quote included below this email for reference): it was not Denny's decision to go for CC0, but the outcome of a discussion among several people who had worked with open data for some time before Wikidata was born. I have personally supported this choice and still do. I have never received any money directly or indirectly from Google, though -- full disclosure -- I got several T-shirts for supervising in Summer of Code projects.

At no time did Google or any other company take part in our discussions in the zeroth hour of Wikidata. And why should they? From what I can see on their web page, Google has no problem with all kinds of different license terms in the data they display. Also, I can tell you that we would have reacted in a very allergic way to such attempts, so if any company had approached us, this would quite likely have backfired. But, believe it or not, when we started it was all but clear that this would become a relevant project at all, and no major company even cared to lobby us. It was still mostly a few hackers getting together in varying locations in Berlin. There was a lot of fun, optimism, and excitement in this early phase of Wikidata (well, I guess we are still in this phase).

So please do not start emails with made-up stories around past events that you have not even been close to (calling something "research" is no substitute for methodology and rigour). Putting unsourced personal attacks against community members before all other arguments is a reckless way of maximising effect, and such rhetoric can damage our movement beyond this thread or topic. Our main strength is not our content but our community, and I am glad to see that many have already responded to you in such a measured and polite way.



On 30.11.2017 09:55, John Erling Blad wrote:
> Licensing was discussed in the start of the project, as in start of
> developing code for the project, and as I recall it the arguments for
> CC0 was valid and sound. That was long before Danny started working for
> Google.
> As I recall it was mention during first week of the project (first week
> of april), and the duscussion reemerged during first week of
> development. That must have been week 4 or 5 (first week of may), as the
> delivery of the laptoppen was delayed. I was against CC0 as I expected
> problems with reuse og external data. The arguments for CC0 convinced me.
> And yes, Denny argued for CC0 AS did Daniel and I believe Jeroen and
> Jens did too.

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