On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 2:39 AM, Erik Moeller <erik(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
This is a request for comment. I've posted a draft
proposal for the
license update here:
It is not intended to be final, but I hope we can arrive at a final
version by February 1.
We would appreciate questions, comments, feedback. If there are
obvious edits which you feel would make the proposal clearer, please
do go ahead and make them, but please be careful about edits that
substantially alter the proposal itself.
I really have a problem with the clause related to referring to the
authors just via link to the appropriate page history. (It is not in
the sense of necessity to list all authors everywhere.)
Imagine that online edition of Wikipedia doesn't exist anymore. While
it is not so probable and I hope that it won't happen, it is one of
the relevant options when we are talking about contributing authors of
the content. And, of course, I may list a number of possible reasons
how it may happen. Also, may anyone guarantee that Wikipedia will
exist 90 years after death of the last author (less conservative,
around year 2100; more conservative, around year 2200)?
So, I don't think that *just* linking to the page history is a
reasonably addressed issue. Here are the issues which should be
* Thomas already gave distinction between online and offline.
* For the case if online Wikimedia projects don't exist anymore,
appropriate attribution won't be pointing to the history of the
article. It may be solved by giving more detailed information how to
attribute authors if it is not possible to attribute them. It may be
solved by giving an option to link to any database which consists the
whole history of an article. It may be solved, also, by publishing
paper edition of authors lists.
* For the case of offline copies, it should be solved reasonably in
relation to medium. If someone is copying content on any electronic
device, I don't think that it is unreasonable to add there full list
of authors. If there were 1.000.000 of authors with 100 characters
each, it is 100 MB of uncompressed document, which may be compressed a
lot (maybe even to 10-20MB file).
* If it is about printed work, it should point at least to the
appropriate printed work. It is really not any kind of reasonable
solution to allow pointing from less advanced medium to more advanced
By the way, even I think that in relation to all other issues Mike and
Erik did a great job, this issue is really poorly addressed. Even this
is the last main concern in relation to the licensing migration, you
just put a simple goal "clarify that attribution via reference to page
histories is acceptable if there are more than five authors". This is
simply not an appropriate addressing of the issue.
While I don't care how my contributions would be mentioned, WMF has
the obligation to the authors of the content to protect their rights
reasonably. WMF is not the author of the content and can't act as it
is the sole author. Copyright owners are contributors and protection
of *their* rights should be at the center of any licensing issue, not
protection or promotion of WMF and its projects.