I have read your note twice. I have reread the GNU licence three
times. I have read the Wikipedia copyright statements (again).
It is still completely unclear to me if Wikipedia counts as a
publisher (which is looks like it is but it says it isn't). Still
though I really don't think the "Is Wikipedia a single GFDL work or a
collection of GFDL works?" is relevant since as far as I can possibly
see the current set up already complies in good faith with all the
licenses, at least for as long as Wikipedia itself exists online.
Your argument about "reasonable definition" I don't buy. 95% of
authors only give pseudo-names, which are often real name of other
people whom they are not. The identification of most of the authors
requires their user page as well, or to refer to "the user who used
the pseudonym of John Smith on Wikipedia" in which case the references
are back to Wikipedia and we might as well send everything there. It
is a reasonable definition these days to tell people where they can
find the information they require online. Countless instruction
manuals and safety notices do this now. We say there are authors who
deserve credit and where to find them. I think thats better than
pretending a list of names and IPs means much to anyone.
For transparency ref comments on "censoring" we could give the URL to
the exact version number of the article we used, as an article
Beyond this I don't think further effort increases the compliance. But
I repeat my comment I am serious about wanting feelgood for
contributers. Perhaps there is a way of doing this sensibly.
On Fri, Oct 24, 2008 at 12:56 PM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton(a)gmail.com> wrote:
2008/10/24 Andrew Cates
This is the third time these questions have
turned around just on this
project. We ARE erring on the side of caution which is why we have all
the image pages (unlike others...).
I wouldn't mind doing more but I would question the value of useless
gestures. For example if you say who wrote what is irrelevant I can
get a list of the 60,000 editors including IP addresses who have
edited any of these articles and add it as plain text at the foot of
the license page (similar to the German DVD model) but does that
It would be far better (and no harder) to include a separate list for
each article. That way you avoid worrying about the "Is Wikipedia a
single GFDL work or a collection of GFDL works?" debate.
The legalities of the GFDL are so confusing and ambiguous that they
are best ignored for the most part. Just try and follow the spirit of
the license, which includes that attribution is required. Telling
somebody how to find the list of authors in a place they can't access
is not attribution by any reasonable definition.
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