[Foundation-l] Clearing up Wikimedia's media licensing policies (some important points)

Samuel Klein meta.sj at gmail.com
Fri Feb 9 03:53:52 UTC 2007

On Thu, 8 Feb 2007, Andre Engels wrote:

> 2007/2/8, Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell at gmail.com>:
>> If they are releasing under and ND license, it may even be because we
>> already talked to them and failed to help them understand that a basic
>> strong copyleft licenses will take care of most of the things that
>> they really care about, such as preventing the fraud of someone making
>> new versions and blaming them on the original author.. Whenever we see
>> ND (and NC alike) we are seeing evidence of our own failure to
>> advocate truly free licenses.
> If every ND license is such a failure, we are truly in a horrible state,
> because the text of the GFDL itself is under an ND license, and thus we are
> not allowed to put it on a Wikipedia page, except for the fact that we
> must....

This has always been a basic problem with the license.

Neroden puts it well in a comment on the GSFDL draft:

'As usual, this is a "non-free license text". Really, the license text 
needs to have a free license. Since some degree of license proliferation 
is unavoidable, we want people to reuse good clauses rather than inventing 
their own.

Since you don't want to encourage license proliferation or confuse 
people, it's OK to grant the permission to make derivative works of the 
license text somewhere less prominent, such as on your website. But it 
really ought to be done somewhere.'


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