2009/1/22 Erik Moeller <erik(a)wikimedia.org>rg>:
Because I don't think it's good to discuss
attribution as an abstract
principle, just as an example, the author attribution for the article
[[France]] is below, excluding IP addresses. According to the view
that attribution needs to be given to each pseudonym, this entire
history would have to be included with every copy of the article.
Needless to say, in a print product, this would occupy a very
significant amount of space. Needless to say, equally, it's a
significant obligation for a re-user. And, of course, Wikipedia keeps
growing and so do its attribution records.
Well, the attribution list is about 1/6 the length of the article (in
terms of bytes). Given that it can be in significantly smaller font
size, doesn't have lots of whitespace and has no images, it's going to
take up far less than 1/6 as much space on the page. It will be a
significant amount of space, but not an impractical one (to the extent
that copying and pasting into Word gives meaningful results, the
article takes up 35 pages, the attribution list takes up 2).
The notion that it's actually useful to anyone in
that list is dubious
at best. A vast number of pseudonyms below have no meaning except for
their context in Wikipedia. I think requiring this for, e.g., a
wiki-reader on countries makes it significantly less likely for people
to create such products, and I think that the benefit of free
knowledge weighs greater than the benefit of credit to largely
pseudonymous individuals who have never, at any point, been promised
or given to understand that their name would be given a significant
degree of visibility through the lifetime of the article they
That's as may be, but I don't think it's our decision to make.
But, I do not want to rehash every single argument a
As I said in a different thread, I think it may be useful to include
at least a preference poll in the licensing vote to better understand
where different people are on this issue. Attribution-by-URL under
certain circumstances is consistent with many people's expectations
and preference, but clearly not with everyone's. If there's a
predominant conception of an acceptable attribution regime, that would
make developing a consistent model easier.
Whether or not something is sufficient to comply with licensing
requirements isn't something that can be decided democratically.