[Foundation-l] Passed resolution (super short update)

John at Darkstar vacuum at jeb.no
Thu Dec 13 04:45:26 UTC 2007

First of all, I'm not quite sure who you claims to be "we", it will
clearly not include a very large number of contributors, even if most
contributors will vote yes to anything they are asked to vote for as
long as the right people claims it is a wise thing to do.

I do accept that GFDL is not the right thing for Wikipedia and/or
Wikimedia as such, but this particular solution isn't very wise and
probably shouldn't be considered at all.

There are at least one very important thing you forget. The words
"requests" in the original posting, and that a license is a binding
contract in a large number of countries, will create a situation whereby
one part changes the contract. If you change it in such a way as to
break the original meaning, the new version is not binding any more. The
question is not that it is possible to do the transition in some
jurisdiction but rather if it will be binding for the contributors as such.

FSFs licenses are made to be binding, and if they starts a path of
tweaking the license text to any customers needs they will loose
creditability at an enormous rate. Wikimedias "request" is about as bad
as it can be, it would not be any worse if Bill Gates or Steve Jobs did
the request. Excuse me for the example, they were the first to slip into
my mind. A slight "correction" of the meaning is not enough to calm the
situation, the damage is already done, people are starting to ask
questions about the "real" reasoning behind this and if FSF is dependable.

My worse nightmare is a scenario whereby contributors claim Foundation
has broken the license contract and goes after some firm using material
from a Wikimedia project in some other jurisdiction.

My second worse nightmare is contributors claiming they to want to
renegotiate the license. That will really be fun.

John E

Andrew Whitworth skrev:
> On Dec 12, 2007 9:19 PM, John at Darkstar <vacuum at jeb.no> wrote:
>> I'm against this move, not because GFDL is brilliant and CC-by-SA is
>> bad, but because I don't think it is neither legal nor legitimate.
>> Contributions are committed under a specific license and we have to
>> respect that. If not we ruin or own creditability.
> When you contribute to Wikipedia or whatever, the copyright notice
> explicitly says that you release your contributions under the GFDL
> V1.2 "or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation".
> If a later version published by the FSF says "Users of this license,
> if they meet certain conditions, may freely migrate to license X",
> then under the "or any later version" clause, we adopt the new GFDL
> and we are free to use any migration clauses in that license. It is
> neither illegal (in most jurisdictions) nor illegitimate.
> --Andrew Whitworth
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