[Foundation-l] GFDL and relicensing

Thomas Dalton thomas.dalton at gmail.com
Wed Nov 21 18:54:30 UTC 2007

> But I believe your argument is flawed. New licenses can with as little
> effectiveness take away or add restrictions. In the end, if the clause
> "and any later version" is non-valid, then the whole adding or taking
> away is non-valid (see Michael B.'s point on taking away restrictions
> in the next email).

All of Wikipedia is currently released under the current GFDL. As I
understand it, that can never change. If a new version of the GFDL is
released, all of Wikipedia could be released under that license *as
well*, but it would still be released under the current license (since
you can just copy it from answers.com or wherever, and never see
mention of the new license), so the new license can add as many new
restrictions as they like, but anyone not wishing to follow them can
just use the older license.

> So I agree that my work is still under the license I chose to start
> with, but in France, or Germany, I would probably have a case if I
> said that I wanted my content to be taken away from a website which by
> default adopted both licenses (the older and the newer one).

You might have a case if they use just the new one, but if they use
the old one, either on it's own, or together with the new one, then
they should be fine.

> This does leave the question of the recourse I have if
> some_evil_person decides to use the content I produced under the new
> license and thus bar it from further modifications or on the contrary
> gets rid of all restrictions. Doesn't it? I mean my work is then
> spread out there under conditions I might not agree to.

I don't think some generic evil person could do that, just WMF, as
they're the people with the "or later" clause. I'm not sure about
that, though.

PS: Standard disclaimer: IANAL

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