On 2/7/07, Kat Walsh <kwalsh(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to develop educational
content under a free content license or in the public domain. For
content to be "free content", it must have no significant legal
restriction on people's freedom to use, redistribute, or modify the
content for any purpose.
One type of licensing that I think the WMF should consider that would meet
this criteria while still allowing the creation of totally free content is
what I consider a "only in a *Collection License"*.
What I mean by this is that someone should be able to license an
image/video/sound bite, etc to be used freely by the wikimedia community and
any others utilizing wikimedia community content *AS LONG AS *it is part of
a collection and not being redistributed individually (or the works of a
single artist are not the only content distributed).
This type of licensing meets our goals - to provide free educational content
that can be reused and freely distributed. The encyclopedic usage would be
fine, subsets of the encylopedia would be fine. Usage in Wikibooks,
Wikiquote, etc would be allowed. Someone could make derivative works that
are then licensed similarly to the wikimedia foundation. Commercial groups
could make products that use the content such as a Book on Cats, or a CD
version of Wikipedia, etc.
The only restriction would be those seeking to profit from a specific work
(or small group of works) of art. And since selling the individual art IN NO
WAY supports the mission of WMF, this restriction does us no harm.
For example, I can imagine someone who sells prints (or a photographer that
works for a newspaper) being willing to grant the community a license to use
their works to illustrate an appropriate subject while still retaining the
right to be the sole provider of the work of art to other newspaper or for
t-shirts or other consumer products that are made up of solely (or
substantially) the donated work.
Similarly, stock photo sellers might be willing to license some unique
photos to the community if they knew that someone couldn't setup a
compteting business using their stock photos from commons.
*ANOTHER ADVANTAGE - Can replace Fair Use in some cases*
This would also be a way that large organizations which own valuable photos
that have historic significance (such as AP or UPI in the US) could grant
the community a license to use the work without losing control of the photo.
Thus the community would then have permission (a license) to use the work
and would no longer have to justify the use of the work under Fair Use for
each individual language/jurisdiction. The organizations (and individual
artists) who want to support our mission could do so without significantly
undermining the value of their art.
"Our love may not always be reciprocated, or
even appreciated, but love is never wasted"
- Neal A Maxwell-