--- Daniel Mayer <maveric149(a)yahoo.com> wrote:
Lee Pilich wrote:
This is perhaps a little off-topic, but is there a
quick and easy explanation of why the Wikipedia
is released under the GFDL and not into the public
domain? Somebody asked me the other day, and I
realised that I didn't actually know.
So that Britannica, Encarta or another proprietary encyclopedia
doesn't cannibalize the project by incorporating our material and
not making their modifications available under a free license. That
would break the chain of positive feedback that has gotten us so far.
...or so the story goes. EB could in fact take Wikipedia, make some
improvements (or not), and slap an invariant section on every article,
such as "Improvements by Encyclopedia Britannica (tm), the best
encyclopedia in the world, available from www.eb.com."
Who would read or continue to contribute to Wikipedia if a
was always snatching up the best parts? I wouldn't - what would be
Any time we do something better than a proprietary encyclopedia all
to do is copy what we did. Then there is a proprietary fork. Forks
and proprietary ones are really bad because they tend to tear appart
non-proprietary communities. We would never be able to rise above the
proprietary crowd in quality and contributors will drift away. We
be able to beat Britannica because we would be assimilated into
piece by piece.
Short answer: The GNU FDL encourages people to share and discourages
-- Daniel Mayer (aka mav)
Wikipedia-l mailing list
Do you Yahoo!?
SBC Yahoo! DSL - Now only $29.95 per month!