Everybody please join me in welcoming Frédéric Vassard as the latest
addition to the Wikimedia Foundation's tech team.
Fred's been doing Linux and Unix system administration around the SF bay
area for the last few years, and has enough notches on his belt to dare
to step up and tame the beasts that run Wikipedia and her sister projects...
He'll be helping us out with operations, monitoring, and documentation
of our servers, making sure everything's running smoothly and improving
our responses to and anticipation of problems.
Welcome aboard, Fred!
-- brion vibber (brion @ wikimedia.org)
--- On Fri, 3/20/09, Erik Moeller <erik(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
> From: Erik Moeller <erik(a)wikimedia.org>
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Licensing transition: opposing points of view
> To: "Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List" <foundation-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
> Date: Friday, March 20, 2009, 8:07 PM
> 2009/3/20 geni <geniice(a)gmail.com>:
> > Your suggestion that wikipedia:copyrights has any
> baring on what
> > people have agreed to have done with their work simply
> doesn't hold
> > water.
> Well, I'm glad that we've cleared up that CC-BY-SA and
> credit aren't irreconcilable after all. Now we're
> apparently moving on
> what a license means in practice? I'm not going to spend a
> lot of time
> on this argument: Of course a site-wide policy page linked
> to from
> every page has relevance when determining the terms of
> use/re-use. But
> even a literal and unreasonably narrow focus on the GFDL
> support rigorous author attribution:
Unfortunately I haven't been able to follow all this closely so forgive me if I am bringing up something already settled.
My biggest problem:
I can understand why using the site TOS in this way is seen as a desirable way to go. After all it would not require any of the technical work that producing a list of significant authors would. But I think it does have big drawback. It would hamper the importation of similarly licensed material written under dissimilar conditions of use into Wikimedia projects by non-authors. Having this ability was one of the highlights that made the pain of the license transition process worthwhile for me. And if we do succeed in seeing free content gain in mainstream usage, this will be and even bigger problem in the future and lead to confusion over the CC brand. Labeling ourselves CC-by-SA but not being able accept much of the material that is published under CC-by-SA unless it is directly contributed by the original author(s) is a problem in my eyes.
There really isn't anything being said on how this will apply to projects like Commons and Wikisource that already have a large variety of works under different licenses. How exactly will the TOS be changed on those projects? We need to develop the tech side of having some sort of meta license/attribution information available for those projects anyway. Already the poster and book printing extensions cannot be legally used every work within those projects without such development work. So choosing an uncommon attribution model for the license will not save us that development cost forever.
Possible compromise solution:
This requires an editable tab called Attribution. We pick a date for license migration and on that date these tabs are generated containing only a permalink to the history of the article at that date. From this time on when editing Wikipedia there is a new field below the edit summary asking editors to check a box if they have made a copyrightable edit and to enter the way they would like to be attributed into the field (or also the way the externally written CC-by-SA material requires attribution). Also there is the possibility of setting up an attribution name in preferences where you simply check a box that the edit is copyrightable and name is auto-filled. When saving this information is added to the Attribution tab automatically. Admins can edit the Attribution tab manually to add people from the old history who request it, fix mistakes entered in the field, or remove someone spamming the field with obviously non-copyrighted changes, etc. We
Some people on this list have had a negative reaction to the licensing
proposal. Sometimes this arises from different understandings of what
the new license will mean (i.e. issues of interpretation). More often
it seems the core issues are different opinions about whether the
change is desirable (i.e. issues of personal preference). For
example, if you believe the license text ought to appear alongside
every copy, then you have a personal preference for the GFDL.
The licensing update FAQ  has largely been written in the voice of
the Foundation. It explains what is going on, what the advantages of
the transition are, and what some of the implications are. However,
it does not generally speak for the opposition, nor does it explain
why anyone would prefer the GFDL, even though some people on this list
Previous authors on this listserve have made at least two prior calls
for opponents of this process to express their views in writing by
producing some form of complementary summary document. Thus far that
has not happened. The draft timeline for the licensing update 
calls for the documentation to be finalized (or nearly so) this week
so that translation efforts can proceed in earnest. At a
philosophical level I believe that opponents of this measure deserve
the opportunity to present their reasons why, but that doesn't mean
the whole process can be delayed indefinitely. So if anyone does want
to write an opposition viewpoint, I think they would be well served to
do so soon.
You are invited to participate in a research study that aims to explore what motivates Wikibookians to write to Wiki textbook projects.
Your responses will help us identify shared motivations among contributors.
You will be required to use the following username and password in order to access further details about the project and the consent form should you agree to participant in this research study.
Interested enough to take this * 15 min. online Survey?
I appreciated your time in helping me to do this research
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me:
School of Communication
University of South Australia
انت مدعو للمشاركة في الدراسة التي تهدف إلى إكتشاف الحوافز التي تلعب دورا في نفوس الأفراد وتدفعهم للمشاركة في موقع Wikibooks.org . إن إجاباتك سوف تساعدنا على تحديد ماهية الدوافع المشتركة بين المساهمين في البيئة الثقافية التي نشأوا فيها.
مطلوب منك حتى تستطيع المشاركة في هذا الإستبيان أن تسجل الدخول أولا مستعملا إسم الدخول وكلمة السر التاليتين، بعدها سوف يكون متاحا لك التعرف بشكل أكثر على المشروع البحثي وايضا يستدعي لمشاركتكم في هذا الإستبيان موافقتك على نموذج معد لذلك الغرض يتضمن موافقتك على أجراء البحث
إسم الدخول: motivations
كلمة السر: wikiproject
لماذا لا تستقطع من وقتك 15 دقيقة فقط¹ وتجيب على هذا الإستقصاء؟
وأنا أقدر وقتك الثمين للمساهمة في هذا الإستطلاع
وإذا كان دليك أي إستفسار، فيمكنك الإتصال بي على العنوان التالي
جامعة جنوب أستراليا
وبريدي الإلكتروني هو Amal.Maher(a)unisa.edu.au<mailto:Amal.Maher@unisa.edu.au>
> Again, personally, I don't have problems with it. However, I think
> that the present construction of the attribution issue is far from
> well defined and that it leaves WMF projects in extremely vulnerable
> position. Just a small group of malicious persons may make a real mess
> with attribution conditions. And probability for that is huge.
I disagree that there is a "huge" probability of legal exposure with regard
to this question. I follow moral-rights jurisprudence reasonably closely,
and I have yet to see any reason to believe that the risk of legal action
against the Wikimedia Foundation (or anyone else) is going to be increased
by the new licensing scheme. (Indeed, if the probability were huge, we would
already have seen such cases, since the GFDL prescriptions are more exacting
than the CC-BY-SA prescriptions.)
If something is not legally valid, it may not pass as an argument at
> the court.
I'm known to be risk-averse with regard to legal exposure for the
Foundation, but I am not terribly troubled by the prospect you raise here.
Moral-rights doctrine is grounded in assumptions about authorship that don't
map well to massive collaborative enterprises like Wikipedia. Explaining to
a court how we do handle attribution in the context of such enterprises --
including the fact that we make an effort to do reasonable attribution --
should convince most reasonable courts that the purposes for which
moral-rights doctrine was invented are being served. I lose sleep over
other kinds of legal issues relating to Wikimedia projects, but not this