[Foundation-l] Fwd: [Citizendium-l] License announced: CC-by-sa

David Gerard dgerard at gmail.com
Fri Dec 21 20:22:29 UTC 2007

Here's to free content and free culture! *champagne*

This is a big win for the world, and another thing to help make proper
yes-really-let-loose-of-control free content seem normal and expected.

- d.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Larry Sanger <sanger-lists at citizendium.org>
Date: 21 Dec 2007 19:58
Subject: [Citizendium-l] License announced: CC-by-sa
To: Citizendium general project announcement list
<citizendium-l at lists.purdue.edu>

Dear all,

It's CC-by-sa.

Press release:
The Citizendium encyclopedia project picks a Creative Commons license
"Our gift to the world: CC-by-sa"

Monster essay:
"An explanation of the Citizendium license"

My thanks to the many people who helped bring us to this moment.

If there is anything else I need to do, to make the new license
"official," I trust all license pedants will let me know.  :-)


For immediate release
The Citizendium encyclopedia project picks a Creative Commons license

"Our gift to the world: CC-by-sa"

December 21, 2007 – In a much-awaited move, the non-profit Citizendium
(http://www.citizendium.org/) encyclopedia project announced that it
has adopted the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
License (CC-by-sa) as the license for its own original collaborative
content. The license permits anyone to copy and redevelop the
thousands of articles that the Citizendium has created within its
successful first year.

          The license allows the Citizendium to join the large
informal club of free resources associated especially with Creative
Commons and the Free Software Foundation. Wikipedia uses the FSF's GNU
Free Documentation License (GFDL), which is expected to be made fully
compatible with CC-by-sa in coming months. Therefore, Wikipedia and
the Citizendium will be able to exchange content easily. A minority of
Citizendium articles started life on Wikipedia and so have been
available under the GFDL.

          But the Citizendium, started by a co-founder of Wikipedia,
Dr. Larry Sanger, is quite unusual as Web 2.0 projects go. "We are
focused on quality and responsibility as well as quantity," Sanger
said. The project combines an open, dynamic wiki with a role for
expert editors, a requirement of real names, and constitutional
non-profit self-governance, rather than anarchy or Silicon Valley
for-profit control. With a pilot project launched in November 2006 and
public access launched last March, the project has created about 4,300
articles and more words (about five million) in its first year than
Wikipedia created in its first year. The project reported accelerating
growth throughout 2007 and anticipates even more vigorous growth in

          To explain the choice of license to present and future
contributors, Sanger released a 22,000-word essay: "An explanation of
the Citizendium license." The project underwent a very lengthy
deliberation process in multiple groups and venues, beginning last
spring, and culminating in the essay. "The essay is written for our
'Citizens,' it's not really for public consumption," said Sanger. "We
were very thorough. There are people who get quite passionate about
free licenses, and so I felt I had to get it exactly right. It is as
much the work of all the Citizens I am privileged to been able to
interact with it is as my own work--and we said a lot as we went
through the issues."

          The decision and the arguments for it are summarized in two
relatively brief sections of the essay (links below). In short, Sanger
argues that adopting the CC-by-sa license is most in line with the
project's top goal, of "giving the broadest access to vast amounts of
high-quality reference content," as well as the main mean to this end,
of motivating participants. The project rejected a license
(CC-by-nc-sa) that would forbid commercial reuse, an issue on which
"Citizens" were evenly divided.

          The project will in coming months turn to recruitment and
expanding its governance processes. The changes are anticipated to
greatly increase the rate at which articles are approved by
Citizendium expert editors.


"An explanation of the Citizendium license" (essay) Section: the
license decision summarized Section: the grounds for the decision
Citizendium website: http://www.citizendium.org/
Creative Commons: http://creativecommons.org/
CC-by-sa (the new license): http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/
This press release:
Press page: http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/CZ:Press

CONTACT INFORMATION: Larry Sanger, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief; co-founder
of Wikipedia sanger at citizendium.org http://www.larrysanger.org/
Citizendium-l mailing list
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