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

Andrew Whitworth wknight8111 at gmail.com
Sun Dec 2 01:07:45 UTC 2007

> GFDL is a strong copyleft license: fully viral (any
> work including work under the GFDL must be GFDL), and
> fully free (rinse, lather, repeat).

Same with CC-BY-SA

> If the issue is invariant sections, why not just make
> a minor change to the license saying that if a
> document starts without them, it shall remain without
> them?

Wikimedia projects are almost all released (with the possible
exception of Wikinews, which I am not familiar with the details of)
with "no invariant sections" anyway. So this is a moot point.

> If the issue is the 7 pages of ugly license attached
> to works you are selling (that other people actually
> wrote), just print it on pretty paper. Infuse it with
> perfume. Put it on microfilm. Whatever.

This is hardly a solution. 7 pages of license, regardless of the
"ugliness" of the text is a hamper on a single-page article, or on a
single image. That's a lot of baggage for a single image or article.
In terms of books it's a much smaller issue, but WMF is less then 5%

> Changing the rules in the middle of the game --
> even if a bunch of you think it's a peachy idea -- is
> disrespectful, shameful, and completely discrediting
> to the idea of contributing free content with the
> confidence of knowing your content will always be free
> like you intended it to be.

It's not changing rules. The FSF is looking to add provisions to the
next release of the GFDL that would make it compatible with the
CC-BY-SA license. Our projects are grandfathered into any change to
the GFDL because of the "and later versions" clause that is part of
our standard copyright statement. All we are talking about here is
making the crazy-cross-licensing issues that our projects deal with
every day a non-issue. Tell me that this is a bad thing.

> I'm afraid I'm with Greg here: please make sure that
> those of us who disagree with this have the
> opportunity to remove our contributions, as well as
> all derivatives of our contributions.

Again, your works are already released under the GFDL v1.2 "or any
later version". The next version of the GFDL, whether it's more
compatible with CC-BY-SA or not satisfies this requirement. Migrating
to the next GFDL will happen anyway, and if we gain more license
compatibility, it's all bonus points.

--Andrew Whitworth

More information about the foundation-l mailing list