[Foundation-l] Stream of consciousness story about license migration

Nikola Smolenski smolensk at eunet.yu
Wed Apr 9 05:29:28 UTC 2008

On Wednesday 09 April 2008 03:22:06 Milos Rancic wrote:
> I realized that whenever I asked for permissions (for texts), I didn't
> ask for "1.2" nor for "any later". I was asking for "giving the work
> under GFDL, which means that work may be used for any purpose,
> including commercial, non-commercial, academic etc. while it stays
> under the same license". I don't think that any of permissions which
> I've got for Wikipedia are questionable in that sense because I
> described any copyleft license and the first part "under GFDL" is
> generally irrelevant. However, we have tons of such permissions...
> AFAIK, GFDL 1.3 will say something in the sense that products of
> wiki-like work may switch to CC-BY-SA. If we got a complete article
> (whatever the size is) from some place under GFDL, that work was not
> usually made in a wiki process. Such work was given under the
> particular conditions, which me-amateur-lawyer interprets as "under
> GFDL, maybe under some later version, but no way under some other
> license".

Well, if some later version is the same as some other license...

When I asked Nena about this, she told me that any changes to the license are 
acceptable as long as they are reasonable. For example, if a future license 
would say "all your copyrights are belong to RMS", that wouldn't fly in 
court, even if you agreed to a later version. On the other hand, even if 
someone didn't clearly agreed to any later version, and the requirement to 
print the license is dropped, that might be reasonable anyway. However, if 
the work in question is an image, we could expect that some people have 
counted on the requirement to print the GFDL so it would be better to leave 
them under 1.2. And so on.

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