[Foundation-l] GFDL and relicensing

Robert Horning robert_horning at netzero.net
Sun Nov 25 02:18:10 UTC 2007

Mike Godwin wrote:
> Robert Hornung writes:
>> What has been suggested here by Mike and Andrew was
>> not a modification of the GFDL to an updated version, but suggesting
>> that some sort of community vote could happen here that would simply
>> ignore that the GFDL even exists, and simply replacing the default
>> license on all Wikimedia projects to something like CC-by-SA.
> This suggestion is wholly incorrect. What we have been talking about  
> is working with FSF to develop an update of GFDL that better  
> accommodates wikis and that also is harmonized with the terms of a  
> revised versino of CC-BY-SA.
> Note, by the way, that criticisms of other CC licenses generally don't  
> tell us much about about possible objections to CC-BY-SA specifically.  
> I think CC-BY-SA is already very close to GFDL in terms of how it  
> functions.
>>  I have not agreed to have my contributions released under any other
>> license other than the GFDL, and that is all I'm asserting.  The flame
>> is coming from the presumption that I am insisting on maintaining
>> everything under the terms of the GFDL v 1.2, and that is not what I'm
>> saying.  I'm simply declaring in a public forum that I am asserting my
>> copyright on my contributions to Wikimedia projects, and insisting  
>> that
>> they remain under the terms of the GFDL.... nothing more or less than
>> simply this.  The rest is reaction to this bold statement, as if the
>> GFDL doesn't matter at all.
> I think because of your incorrect statement of the issue (see above),  
> what you say in this paragraph is pretty much irrelevant. We're  
> talking about a revision of GFDL, not an abandonment of it.
> --Mike
Not to be over critical here, but you weren't very clear in the parts I 
was responding to that this was a discussion strictly about the GFDL.  
I'm sorry that this turned into a flame, and certainly my intention is 
pretty clear here.

Mind you, if I am getting all brought up into a major flame thread here, 
where I'm more or less agreeing with you, this could be incredibly 
explosive if it is mis-stated elsewhere and others besides myself 
interpreted what you said as an abandonment of the GFDL in favor of a CC 
license.  At least you have a chance here, Mike, to respond to what I'm 
saying and trying to diffuse this, instead of trying to stop a slashdot 
story that says "Mike Godwin, general counsel for the Wikimedia 
Foundation, suggests that Wikipedia may not be using the GFDL any 
more".  Gee, that would be a horrible headline, and one that I hope 
doesn't get written.

Mind you, I'm glad that you are involved with the Free Software 
Foundation in terms of trying to address problems that Wikipedia users 
(and other Wikimedia users) are having with the GFDL.  I'm sure that I 
would have some different opinions on some fine points than you have... 
mainly because we are different people from different backgrounds and 
experience.  Keep up the good work, and I hope that you can help make a 
positive difference here.

-- Robert Horning

More information about the foundation-l mailing list