Just to put that "threat" in context: There
currently is a website
(currently down, I don't know why) in Germany using
Wikipedia material (either by copying it in the first place by the site
maintainers or by uploading by Wikipedians), which does not comply to the
licence (e.g. it does not list authors, it does not even mention Wikipedia).
I already noted that. Of course their behavior is wrong, everyone
acknowledges that. But we have a specific recommendation for cases like
these, namely that they should backlink to us. From a pragmatic
perspective, that's more than good enough. I don't see that you or anyone
else would gain anything by being listed as a "principal author",
especially as Wikipedia articles are often the work of hundreds of people
who make very small but important contributions. A link to the history is
much more useful, as it shows all authors and also gives users the ability
to generate diffs. So I see your insistence on this requirement mostly as
a case of "Let's see if I can find anything in the FDL that will stop them
from using my articles".
It's a fact that the license is at it is. We
should have choosen a better
one in the first place, but now we have the GNU FDL and it's likely that we
have to live with her. The only way for having any changes would be a nother
version of the license released by the GNU Foundation. (By the way, Erik,
you cannot just add a statement on the edit pages (releasing from the
five-author quote thing), since the license does not allow you to modify the
Actually, section 4.B specifically says "unless they release you from this
requirement", and allows modification. Just like the FDL allows creators
to "opt-out" of cover texts and invariant sections, it allows them to opt
out of the author list requirement.
But the license does not allow for hijacking of the
material: If one is
going to use the material in a commercial context, we should insist on our
rights to keep the content free, to have any derived work free again and to
have mentioned our effort in developing that content.
All this is meaningfully done by linking to the page history. If it is
still meaningful enough in a medium that does not allow hyperlinks may be
a matter of some debate.
> overly complex license with lots of loopholes
> for pedants who want to get their way instead of working with the
This is absolutely not what I am doing. And I'm
pretty sad about Erik being
Then stop insisting on a requirement that nobody else agrees is necessary.
The Net fundamentally depends on openness and mutual cooperation: You have
to add the FDL notice, but it's sufficient if you link to the history. The
moment you insist on unreasonable requirements, you become no better than
the lawyers, politicians and corporations who have eroded the freedom of
the Net in the past years.