I have just been sent this. I wasn't subscribed to this particular
list but am not. The reply below is a brief summary.
I have left a fairly full reply to this on the WMF blog awaiting
approval from Jay and also it is discussed on the project pages on
Wikipedia, over several years. There is a gap between the wording of
licenses and urban myths circulating about what they say.
Broadly the GFDL demands that authors are "credited" but does not
include anything on how you identify them (unlike the creative
commons licenses). Either this means to comply with GFDL you need to
carry a local copy of the edit history (which provides the only local
way of identifying authors, albeit in a tedious fashion) including all
10,000 versions of the Global Warming article complete
piece of obscene vandalism etc.) or this means you have to credit
authors providing a theoretically possible route to identify them (not
just include them in a long list of possibles). Nothing in between
this is any better than the second option since to
find an author for a piece of text you still have to go to the page
history on Wikipedia. The German DVD which carries an author list copy
locally which may be better for egos (or not, since it does imply the
responsibly) but is not more compliant than us: to get the author who
wrote xyz is still a long trip through WP page histories. There is no
different in license terms between a link
back and any other way given of directing the reader to the page
histories in Wikipedia. GFDL does not mention "link" (see
Some of the CC licenses include carrying a local copy of an artists
preferred name (we do this as we carry the image pages). GFDL does not.
We also incidentally do not carry references or sources and leave the
individual to find these at Wikipedia in the same way.
On Fri, Oct 24, 2008 at 11:29 AM, David Gerard <dgerard(a)gmail.com> wrote:
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton(a)gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] SOS Children Wikipedia Selection 2008/9
BitTorrent link up
To: English Wikipedia <wikien-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
2008/10/24 Bryan Derksen <bryan.derksen(a)shaw.ca>ca>:
David Gerard wrote:
Good idea but bad implementation - they're not compliant with the GFDL
as far as I can tell. The articles have no author lists or backlinks to
the edit histories on Wikipedia. Not sure if backlinks would actually be
sufficient for a mirror intended for offline browsing, for that matter.
I've put them on the list over at
but I haven't the time or energy to do proper follow up this weekend,
anyone else want to take a stab?
Someone mentioned that in a new thread as well. I agree, it doesn't
look compliant. I never thought to check since it was being organised
by a Wikipedia Admin... That admin reads this mailing list, so
hopefully we'll get some comment soon.
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