2009/1/23 Erik Moeller <erik(a)wikimedia.org>rg>:
E our attribution model, which is the
result of many months of deliberation and consultation,
"However, we think that the notion that
print-outs of massively
collaborative works should carry author attribution over multiple
pages, that spoken versions should contain many seconds of
text-to-speech generated author lists, that indeed any re-user will
have to worry about this problem, is completely counter to the
principles of free culture.
So, for your past edits, please click this
button. We will always attribute you by name as long as we use your
text, and we will probably remove your edits over time.
Questionable. For example the heavily edited [[Siege]] has text that
is recognizably mine from 2004.
It would be, IMO, a completely defensible way to deal
with a situation
where a minority is trying to impose standards on an entire community
which are counter to its objectives. I'm not necessarily saying that
this reflects the situation we have today: I don't know how widespread
the belief in the need for distribution of excessive author metadata
is. I think it would be worth the effort to find out. It's my personal
belief that such metadata requirements are harmful examples of
non-free licensing terms, and I would be surprised to see many people
defend excessive attribution as in the
example (even if it's aesthetically well done and obviously pleasing
to lots of German mothers).
Err your proposed solution wouldn't greatly change the situation there
since it could require up to a quarter of a million credits and about
50,000 urls. Since most wikipedia nics are rather shorter than URLs I
find it questionable that that would count as an improvement.
Hmm it has pics as well attaching urls to the pics instead of author
nics actively makes things worse.
The above solution would still result in the odd
situation where the
article on [[France]] would say: 'See (url) for a list of authors,
including Foo and Bar'. But that is a problem that could be solved
over time by removing those people's contributions. It seems to me
that, essentially, some people have been operating under the
assumption that they are contributing in a fashion that would make the
resulting work effectively non-free in much the same way other onerous
restrictions do. It's too bad that they've made that assumption, given
how strongly and clearly we've always emphasized the principles of
The phrase "Reasonable to the medium or means" in the CC license
pretty much makes what you suggest impossible using credits. If you
want to do that copyright notices are a far better attack line.
Flexible and vague clauses can work well when
you're dealing with
issues with few stakeholders who all have a shared and tacit
understanding of what they want to accomplish. By definition, massive
collaboration isn't such a situation: any one of hundreds or thousands
of contributors to a document can behave unreasonably, interpreting
rules to the detriment of others. The distributed ownership of
copyright to a single work is an example of what Michael Heller calls
'gridlock' or an 'anticommons'. Ironically, even with free content
licenses, the gridlock effects of copyright can still come into play.
If you think CC licenses don't have large flexible and vague areas you
haven't read them or have a poor understanding of international IP
I believe it's our obligation to give our reusers
being hassled by people insisting on heavy attribution requirements,
and to create consistency in reuse guidelines.
Those two directly contradict.
Really, WMF and its
chapters can hardly develop partnerships with content reusers if we
can't give clarity on what's required of them.
You cannot give clarity for them whatever you do. You are not a
government. The cost however of your attempt would be that wikipedia
is unable to be a reuser.
A great deal of free
information reuse may not be happening because of fear, uncertainty
"may". So speculation.
I would much rather remove all doubt that our content
free to be reused without onerous restrictions.
You might want to but there is no way you can actually do it. There is
very little caselaw when it comes to free licenses (heh we can't even
show that CC licenses are something that can be meaningfully agreed to
in say France).