[Foundation-l] GFDL and relicensing

Kwan Ting Chan ktc at ktchan.info
Fri Nov 23 22:47:54 UTC 2007

There is either a legal need for WP to provide an opt-out if/when it
relicense under a later (major revision) version of GFDL, or there

If there is, then we can stop talking about hypothetical, and talk about
whether it'll be worth migrating at all, and if so how the opt out will
work in practise.

If there isn't, then I would argue we don't provide an opt out under the
very same reason we don't allow editors to retract their content
submitted to WP now.

One can argue the extent of the efforts that would be required to
rewrite articles to fulfil an opt out request, and it surely would
depends on the number of such requests and whether the editor in concern
would be willing to help. I would argue any reasonable estimates on the
number of requests, and hence the number of articles affected would run
into at least tens of thousands, probably more, as it would surely
include all the number of editors we have had that tried to retract
their submissions. Even if we are only talking about tenths of a percent
of all articles on WP, we're still talking about a very disruptive
number here.

Also, the idea that most if not all of those asking for the opt out will
help in fulfilling those requests is, what's the phase, highly
optimistic to say the least. Providing an opt out would be setting a
very bad precedent to the future times when we have editors arguing for
their contribution to be removed. The very simple argument that you let
people removed their contribution in the past mean you should be
allowing them to remove their contribution since then as well. This
would imply disruption to potentially infinite number of articles for
ever more.


Experience is a good school but the fees are high.
  - Heinrich Heine
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