[Foundation-l] What's wrong with CC-BY-SA?

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at gmail.com
Sun Dec 2 00:35:14 UTC 2007

On Dec 1, 2007 7:12 PM, Erik Moeller <erik at wikimedia.org> wrote:
> We could, for a transitional phase, allow photographers to change
> license templates on media they hold the copyright to from an
> (arguably or not) permissive copyleft license, to an explicitly strong
> copyleft license.

The GFDL covered works are already under a strong copyleft license, the GFDL.

Obviously Wikimedia itself has no legal standing to change the
licensing for works for which is it merely a licensee.

I am not aware of any other widely used strong copyleft license for
still illustrations.   Revising the GFDL in this regard may result in
there being no strong copyleft license for content.

People interested in making a work only available for use in free
works will either be left trying to claim their work is available only
under FDL-1.2, but the confusion created by the change will likely
leave them in a position of having to constantly fight with reusers
who think  GFDL != CC-by-sa,  or they could instead choose to use CC's
nearest approximation for this purpose: CC-By-NC-SA.

Since the NC licenses are CC's most popular by far it seems likely
that people would choose to go that route.

> And this has exactly been our interpretation of the GFDL -- this is

This may have been *your* interpretation of the GFDL, but Wikimedia
has not taken a position on this and Wikimedia board members have
specifically told people in the past that their FDL licensed images
could not be used in non-free works without an additional license

Then again, board members have previously static that Wikimedia could
not change the licensing of works written by others but Wikimedia is
now claiming pubcally to do exactly that.

There are certainly many cases where it is clearly untrue.

More information about the foundation-l mailing list