[Foundation-l] GFDL and relicensing

geni geniice at gmail.com
Fri Nov 23 18:03:20 UTC 2007

On 23/11/2007, Mike Godwin <mgodwin at wikimedia.org> wrote:
> geni writes:
> >> If the migration happens, I will support 100 percent any request by
> >> you to remove your content rather than have it be interpreted under a
> >> new, harmonized GFDL/CC license.
> >
> > And if even a handful of oldtimes want their stuff removed? Have you
> > any idea how much work that would involve? While we might have the man
> > hours they could be better spent.
> Naturally, I have an idea how much time it would involve.

It took us near on a year to work through the unfree image backlog and
that is in some ways comparatively simple.

> One may
> reasonably assume that oldtimers who want their stuff removed would
> help us comply in removing it.

How can they help? Giving someone who rejects the licensing terms of
wikipedia admin powers is not a good idea (currently it pretty much
results in a block on sight).

>One may reasonably assume that the
> hours that they'd otherwise spend would not be spent on Wikipedia
> articles (since, according to your scenario, they would object to the
> new license that FSF approved and that WMF had implemented).  It
> wouldn't be very Wikipedian of them to send me demand letters (through
> their lawyers) and have me do it. I've been working with volunteer
> contributors for a long time (17 years, actually), so I have an idea
> about how well asking for their help in meeting their own concerns
> would work. (It would work pretty well.)

There are significant differences between wikipedia and other groups.
Other groups have fewer angry former members

> But the fantasy here is in supposing that there's an option that
> *doesn't* require additional labor. If nothing changes, and if the
> current GFDL remains the paradigm, immense amounts of work in
> compliance with that license's more onerous terms will be required --
> man hours that could be better spent.
> That's why it's important to remain focused on the fact that it is
> possible to provide a copyleft scheme that is consistent with the
> values of GFDL

No copyleft and invariant sections are in direct conflict. It is
possible to produce a copyleft license that is broadly consistent with
the version of the GFDL we use.

> but does not require application of a license designed
> for GPL-code-oriented software manuals to wiki content.  The only
> question is, do we care enough about the projects' primary mission to
> ensure that the information in them becomes, and stays, maximally
> available to everyone in the world.

This has nothing to do with allowing opt outs. Suppose someone who
made some changes to the George W. Bush article back in 2005 decided
to opt out? that would require the deletion of 2 years of derivatives.


More information about the foundation-l mailing list