On 20/08/07, Ray Saintonge <saintonge(a)telus.net> wrote:
Thomas Dalton wrote:
always maintained that Wikipedia editors should be implicitly
appointing WMF as their non-exclusive agent whenever they edit.
That's as may be, but the fact of the matter is that the WMF is *not*
a non-exclusive agent. In fact, the WMF didn't even exist when many of
the edits were made. It is far too late to change the way copyright of
Wikipedia content works. It is released under the GDFL and only the
GDFL and will only ever be released under the GDFL. Accept it.
Where do you get
the idea that I was rejecting GFDL? There is nothing
in GFDL about appointing agents ''ad-litem''. There is nothing in
appointing such agents that alters the copyright status of anything. It
could easily be written into the editing conditions. Perhaps, in
theory, WMF would not be able to represent those who never edited a
given article after the effective date of such a policy, but in all
likelihood that article would have plenty of other editors who could be
represented. It only takes one of them to grant standing to an agent.
The "non-exclusive" aspect is only there to say that granting such
agency does not prevent the individual from himself launching any
lawsuit that he sees fit.
You make a good point. Since this only adds to the GFDL and doesn't
contradict it, it could be added as applying only to new edits, and,
as you say, it only requires one (signifiant) edit to give WMF the
power to sue.
However, I still don't think it's a good idea. There is nothing
stopping the WMF from paying the legal fees of an individual editor,
and that's the most likely thing holding individuals back in cases of
major violation (yes, appearing in court is rather a pain, but it only
needs one editor to do so, it shouldn't be difficult to find one, just
difficult to find one with enough money), so granting it an additional
license would be unnecessary. The WMF is not intended to have any real
power over the content, and that intention is an important part of
what Wikipedia stands for. Making legal action a little more
convenient is not worth going against that principle.