[Foundation-l] GFDL and relicensing

Thomas Dalton thomas.dalton at gmail.com
Wed Nov 21 14:47:08 UTC 2007

> WMF doesn't have to "deem things relicensed." Instead, it could say,
> with full notice to the community, and after plenty of public
> discussion, that its view is that the content in Wikipedia should
> migrate to the harmonized GFDL/CC-BY-SA license (version 3.x for both,
> most likely), and offer community members plenty of latitude to opt
> out by removing content (I'd be inclined to give GFDL licensors that
> option indefinitely).  We might lose some content that way, but I
> personally doubt we'd lose much. So I don't think we're stuck with the
> awful choice of having to stick with GFDL or start a new project.

I wouldn't give people the option to opt out - it would just cause too
much confusion. Content can't be removed from Wikipedia except by
oversighters, I imagine you intend people to just blank the
appropriate parts of articles. There would then be issues over which
previous revisions are under which licenses. That's not to mention the
issues with trying to determine who owns the copyright to each bit of
an article - can I remove content I added if it's been almost
completely rewritten? Can I remove content someone else added if I
partially rewrote it? etc.

Either we can legally and morally move to a new version of GFDL (which
I'm reasonably sure we can), or we can't. I'm pretty sure there is no
legal requirement to allow people to opt out (although, I would defer
to your expertise in such matters), and I'm my opinion, there is no
moral one. The edit page clearly informs people that they are
releasing their content under GFDL version X *or newer*.

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