[Foundation-l] GFDL and relicensing

Thomas Dalton thomas.dalton at gmail.com
Mon Nov 26 00:13:32 UTC 2007

> Remember that it's expensive to the plaintiff as well as to the
> defendant.

Ok, it only takes one *rich person*. Point stands.

> What is the basis of this guess?  Most people who've reviewed CC-BY-SA
> and compared it to GFDL see lots of similarities.

It's a guess, it doesn't really have much of a basis, just gut
feeling. I would have called it an estimate otherwise.

> > Would you care to enlighten me? Risk assessment involves assessing
> > potential damage and the chance of that happening. Is legal risk
> > assessment somehow different?
> Yes, in the sense that Pascal's Wager is wholly unhelpful in assessing
> risk.  (I think it's wholly unhelpful in other contexts as well, but
> you certainly can't conduct an enterprise by applying "it only takes
> one" logic to a legal question.)

The flaw in Pascal's Wager is that it incorrectly assumes zero cost,
what's that got to do with anything?

> > I can't see how it would be. Legal costs
> > are just as damaging as any other similar sized cost.
> Apparently you are under the impression that legal costs are not
> damaging to plaintiffs as well as to defendants.

Why would I care about the plaintiff's costs? There are plenty of
people in this world with more money than sense.

> Let's boil this down to what the real argument is:
> 1) It would be wrong to relicense GFDL content on Wikipedia to a new
> GFDL that's like CC-BY-SA.
> 2) Allowing those who object to the content would do no good because
> it's impossible.
> 3) Therefore, people will sue us because they object to the new license.
> 4) What will they sue for?  Damages (unclear how to calculate those,
> since there's no market value or lost profit calculation that's
> obvious, and since the content isn't registered, which is a
> requirement for statutory damages), plus removal of the content.
> So ... either removal of the content is impossible, in which case why
> sue?  Or it's possible, in which case, why spend the money on a
> lawsuit when you can get the same result by asking. (You don't even
> have to ask nicely.)

Removal of content isn't impossible, it's just impossible without
causing a great deal of harm to Wikipedia. As for registering
copyright, isn't that US law? We're not talking about the US here. Do
France and Germany have similar requirements?

> It helps in analysis of this question to be familiar with how
> copyright litigation actual works, and what it actually costs
> plaintiffs to bring one.

It costs the plaintiffs money. Something lots of people have and the
WMF doesn't.

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