Michael R. Irwin wrote:
This paragraph is somewhat contradictory, but it
does explicitly say
that trademark law does not prevent giving Wikimedia credit for the
work by name.
foundation-l mailing list
If my understanding of the FDL is correct, then the publisher must at
least provide a pointer back to the original authors and perhaps must
list all of the authors in the published materials somewhere.
What would the Wikimedia Foundation's reaction be if the material were
published without giving any credit to the Foundation or the original
That becomes an issue of copyright law. At least according to U.S.
copyright law, you need to list all of the authors who have a copyright
claim over the content. It is for this reason why I added the "authors"
pages to the Wikijunior books, and this is now common practice for most
Wikibooks that are at a substantial level of completion. If you want to
have your name included in the credits (which can be verified through
page edits) of the Wikibook, you are asked to add your name to the list
of authors. Academic ethics alone would have you include these names,
although the order of the names can be debated.
As far as using the name of the book (aka Wikijunior Big Cats) that is
another story, and it is also a matter of how far does the WMF want to
go with protecting their trademarks and how can ordinary users trying to
act in good faith be able to make publications that also acknowlege that
this content was created using WMF servers. Certainly offering a credit
on the "authors page" is not a violation of trademark law, and a minor
issue is over if the WMF has any sort of copyright claim on content
produced and edited on WMF servers. On that point, I don't know. It
gets into fine points of copyright law where I know similar situations
where copyright can be asserted by 3rd parties under some circumstances.
For instance, Microsoft can assert copyright over all software that is
generated by using their compilers, even if they didn't "author" that
actual computer software. In this case it doesn't change the GFDL, but
the question does arise if there can be any sort of copyright claim by
the WMF on content produced by Wikimedia projects. The typical response
on this mailing list is "No", but I wouldn't be so quick to jump to that
conclusion unless it was in the form of an official statement by the WMF
that they don't claim any copyright on any project materials. In other
words, even if there could be a copyright claim, the WMF is renoucing
any potential copyright claims. It is a two-edged sword in the sense
that copyright claim also implies liability for content, although the
WMF seems to be acting as though they are liable for Wikimedia project
content as well.
Robert Scott Horning