[Foundation-l] What's our dream license?

geni geniice at gmail.com
Sun Dec 2 00:28:09 UTC 2007

On 01/12/2007, Andrew Whitworth <wknight8111 at gmail.com> wrote:
> With all the talk about changing to CC-BY-SA, or making modifications
> to the GFDL etc, it raises the question, what is our dream license? If
> we are going through all the effort to modify the existing GFDL, and
> mass-migrate the projects to a less restrictive license, maybe it
> makes more sense for us to draft our own. Enough people have mentioned
> concerns with CC-BY-SA to make me think that perhaps it isn't ideal
> either. Of course, once we switch, we could pressure CC into making
> changes to the license to suit us, but that seems like a waste of our
> effort when we could draft a perfect license and then switch directly
> to that.

We do not really have the legal expertise to do so and the Internet
does not need yet another free license the compatibility issues are
already a pain (even worse for NC any idea how many home brew NC
licenses there are out there?).

Then there is the matter of trust. With any license with an update
clause you have to be prepared to trust the people who can use it. The
risks include that organization creating a too free license (losing
the viral clause say) or creating a non legal license.

So if we thought it possible to create a wikipedia license
(questionable if the FSF would agree) the options would be as follows.

FSF-safe in terms of the license not getting to free (commitment to
viral and attribution clauses is pretty solid). Problem that they may
be prepared to limit use in order to push their ideology. Slow rate of
update to GFDL suggests they are more focused on the software license
this may or may not be a problem.

CC-Hard to predict what they would do. There is a risk they would do
something to jump on some bandwagon or another that could create
problems down the line. Ultra specific terms like "For the avoidance
of doubt, where the Work is a musical composition or sound recording,
the synchronization of the Work in timed-relation with a moving image
("synching") will be considered a Derivative Work for the purpose of
this License" are worrying.

wikimedia- Do not have the skill to maintain a free license at this
time. Track record in terms of dealing with copyright issues isn't bad
as such but not as high as I would like to see and have tended not to
perform to well when acting outside their ISP function.

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