2009/2/2 Sam Johnston <samj(a)samj.net>et>:
Nothing's impossible - where there's a will
(and clearly there is)
there's a way. Mozilla managed to relicense to GPL years ago (they
had an FAQ too)
"We have sought and obtained permission to relicense from almost
everyone who contributed code to Mozilla up until the date of the new
licensing policy on September 19th 2001. (After that date,
contribution of code was contingent on giving permission to relicense,
if the code was not immediately checked into a tri-licensed file.)
Once we have obtained responses from all the individuals, companies
and organisations concerned, we will relicense those files for which
we have received permission from all copyright holders."
If you think you can get permission from every wikipedia editor you
are free to try.
These moves are not easy and can be made significantly
by individuals (like yourself)
Nah. I'm a minor issue compared to the people who have been
inconsiderate enough to die
working against the spirit of the
We are discussing copyright issues ad homs are unhelpful.
As Mozilla said in the FAQ, "by doing so you will
work] useful to more people, which may result in others improving [the
work] to make it more useful to you", before going on to explain that
the 'spirit' of the new license was in line with that of the old.
The key difference is that they had only 450 contributors and the vast
majority were contactable. We have orders of magnitude more
contributors, many of whom are anonymous, aliased and/or without
contact details. The best we can do in this case is contact those who
we can, notify those who connect to the site and publish a notice of
The "best we can do" isn't then enough to meet the requirements of the law.
So let's get this show on the road... there's
been more than enough
compelling debate, academic wankery and downright noise already.
The past actions of those such as User:Ram-Man make it quite clear
that you are free to ask wikipedians to relicense their content under
any license terms you wish. See
who are so concerned about the opinion others hold of them and feel
their right to self-aggrandisement is being trampled on can identify
themselves (and their edits) so as the rest of us can get on with
doing what we set out to do - building the free encyclopedia that
anyone can edit.
I've known people argue that "anyone" should include those living
under Napoleonic code legal systems.
If you want to license your edits so that people can credit you with a
ref to wikipedia feel free to do so. Just don't try and carry out such
a change in the case of those who have not actively agreed to it.