[Foundation-l] Five main authors myth

Klaus Graf klausgraf at googlemail.com
Tue Dec 4 01:28:40 UTC 2007

To understand the GNU FDL it is helpful to think on a printed software
handbook. Think on a title page of a software handbook. You cannot
list lots of authors there. Therefore the five main authors rule for
the title page. I cannot see what the equivalent of the title page in
Wikipedia would be.

Wikipedia/WMF is constantly (in bad faith) denying that the version
history is the section history of the GNU FDL. If you are changing a
work you are obliged according the license to update the section
history. The section history is the only place where each author gets
attribution. Think again on a software handbook with single
contributions of a lot of authors. The section history says
* article U (c) by V
* article W (c) by W
and so on.

Each Wikipedian has nothing to do with updating the section history.
But an update is necessary according the license. The logical
conclusion must be that the version history is the section history and
that the "Gentlemen agreement" for online users is invalid because
each re-use has to copy the section history i.e. the version history.
For verbatim copying this is the consequence of the fact that the
section history is part of the document. For modifications see the GNU

"Preserve the section Entitled "History", Preserve its Title, and add
to it an item stating at least the title, year, new authors, and
publisher of the Modified Version as given on the Title Page. If there
is no section Entitled "History" in the Document, create one stating
the title, year, authors, and publisher of the Document as given on
its Title Page, then add an item describing the Modified Version as
stated in the previous sentence."

For a comprehensive interpretation of the GNU FDL in German see

Klaus Graf

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