[Foundation-l] Fwd: [Wikimedia Advisory Board] License update resolution
mnemonic at gmail.com
Sun Dec 2 23:07:36 UTC 2007
Forwarded by permission from the Wikimedia Advisory Board list.
Begin forwarded message:
> From: Wayne Mackintosh <wmackintosh at col.org>
> Date: December 2, 2007 1:00:25 PM EST
> To: advisory at lists.wikimedia.org
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia Advisory Board] License update resolution
> Reply-To: advisory at lists.wikimedia.org
> This is an important debate and I am very pleased to see this
> filtering through into our Advisory Board list.
> The WMF is one of but a few organisations that has clearly defined
> what it means by "free" in its licensing policy. We have a clear
> definition of its meaning in our licensing policy (http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Licensing_policy
> ) underpinned by the principles of the Free Cultural Works
> definition (http://freedomdefined.org/Definition )
> Apart from being the largest encyclopedia in the history of human
> kind <smile> - WMF has established a global leadership role by
> defining what we mean by free content, but more importantly the
> values which underpin it. Free content is different from free
> software. It has unique characteristics which are more than
> adequately covered in the Free Cultural Works definition. (As an
> international agency - COL's small free content initiative
> subscribes to the free cultural works definition).
> Sadly the free knowledge community is facing a difficult challenge
> in our collective history. We are at risk of fuelling factions
> within the free knowledge community that push their particular
> "brand" of free content license at the expense of the greater vision
> of free knowledge for all. I've also seen calls for a new license
> for the education sector -- crazy.
> It is ludicrous that in this day an age - free content content using
> License A cannot legally be mixed with Free Content under License B
> and then released as a modified work under License B. Sure there are
> justifiable historical reasons for this situation. This is why WMF
> must show bold and decisive leadership in uniting the free knowledge
> movement together. We cannot afford to fuel license factions at the
> risk of realising the vision of free knowledge for all. That said -
> resolving this challenge must be founded on the essential freedoms.
> The evolution of free content license factions (in my view) will
> stun the growth of free knowledge and rob us of our most powerful
> lever -- the fact that digital knowledge is infinitely scalable.
> I agree with Mako -- these issues must be determined by the real
> freedom issues rather than idiosyncrasies. For example, the
> seductive allure to argue our position from the perspective of
> commercial versus non-commercial motivations, while tempting and
> emotionally powerful, is risky because this will erode the
> principled foundations on which we draw our meaning of freedom. For
> example, within our projects - WikiNews already uses a CC
> Attribution license (i.e. without the viral clause). So we have a
> double president - using two brands of license among our projects
> and one project without a copyleft clause. Fortunately this
> situation can be defended drawing on the foundations of the
> essential freedoms.
> It is unfortunate how interpretations of this Board resolution have
> filtered through the popular digital media ..;-(. But hey, tall
> trees like Wikipedia do catch a lot of wind and you can't unring a
> bell <smile>.
> The Board volunteers will bear the brunt of managing the traffic
> this will generate. I commend the Board's dedication and commitment
> to the vision of free knowledge. Hang in their - we will be a better
> world will be a better place for your efforts!
> If there is anyway I can assist from the outside as an Advisory
> Board member in the educational perspectives around free content
> licensing. Feel free to ask.
> On Sun, 2007-12-02 at 12:36 +0100, Benj. Mako Hill wrote:
>> <quote who="Mike Godwin" date="Sat, Dec 01, 2007 at 10:31:24PM
>> > At any rate, my own view is wholly supportive of FSF, GPL, and
>> > even though I also favor harmonization of GFDL with CC-BY-SA
>> > down the road.
>> Absolutely. This is my position as well. But in order to do that,
>> important we successfully determine between the real freedom issues
>> the things that are annoying or merely idiosyncratic. Unless we
>> establish that there are no fundamental differences from a principled
>> position, migration between these license would be irresponsible.
>> Advisory mailing list
>> Advisory at lists.wikimedia.org
> Advisory mailing list
> Advisory at lists.wikimedia.org
More information about the foundation-l