[Foundation-l] Wimimedia Radio WAS:RE: Legal position of audio recordings of GFDLcontent?

Brian McNeil brian.mcneil at wikinewsie.org
Wed Apr 23 11:56:40 UTC 2008

Let's run with the idea that provoked these questions to foundation-l, and
to the FSF. The most apparent one to most people here is the Spoken Articles
on Wikipedia. They're from GFDL material and looking at the license as it
stands, none of the people drafting it dreamt an encyclopedia - let alone
audio portions thereof - would ever exist and be covered by it. Perhaps it
is fortuitous that this aspect has come up before the new license is in
place? Perhaps there is a wider scope to consider in drafting it?

That "wider scope" is what one of the contributors to this discussion has
highlighted as a seriously headache-forming area under current constraints,
namely Radio. Trust me, dealing with a license that was drafted when
hard-cased floppy disks were cutting-edge technology is going to give Mike
Godwin headaches, not just the average list contributor.

So, yes, as a few people on a few of the non-WP projects are aware, the idea
that provoked these questions was indeed radio. A 24/7 MediaWiki Radio
service running Wikinews new pieces, spoken Wikipedia, music from Commons,
Lectures workshops and tutorials from Wikiversity, Quote of the Day from
Wikiquote, and "Book of the Month" from Wikisource. As the discussion on the
Communications Committee list saw this labelled, "WikiRadio 4" (See WP
article on BBC Radio 4").

What are people's thoughts on this? Kicking the idea about on Wikinews'
Water Cooler has made it look that filling a repeated six or eight-hour
schedule is achievable within a realistic timeframe. It does not conflict
with projects getting off the ground to do podcasts, but would mean they'd
need advised to start working towards fitting to broadcast time constraints
as a way of having an eye on the future. Could we aim for a radio station
for Wikimania 2008, with Spanish lessons broadcast in the preceding
weeks/months? Could we persuade Wikipedia people to add "doing a recording"
to the composition of the daily main page?

Brian McNeil

-----Original Message-----
From: foundation-l-bounces at lists.wikimedia.org
[mailto:foundation-l-bounces at lists.wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of geni
Sent: 22 April 2008 19:37
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Legal position of audio recordings of

On 22/04/2008, David Gerard <dgerard at gmail.com> wrote:
> One important question: how do you manage GFDL on spoken text? To the
>  satisfaction of, e.g., querulous Commons admins who deal with
>  licensing stupidities all the time? (Geni, I'm looking at you ;-) )

You can't but assuming you are dealing with more normal people there
are ways to do it.

>  Requiring a reading of the license on the end of all audios is
>  onerous. Our many spoken articles on English Wikipedia are
>  (presumably) not a violation as long as they're on Wikipedia, with the
>  license text a link away - but aren't really unencumbered for use
>  elsewhere.

Not the problem you might think. Obviously it will limit the formats
you can use. 45s and 78s are going to be basically unusable and 33s
would be fairly borderline.

For CDs it is less of a problem. You have a single track dedicated to
the legal stuff and everything else just as normal. If you want to put
multiple articles onto a single CD then it would probably a be a good
idea to take the approach of merging them into a single document. If
you make a CD that is say a series of spoken versions of our US
president articles then you are going to run into problems with the
size of the article history but by using synthesised speech and
dumping the lot on a separate CD it should be doable.

In the end it's just another version of the old overhead problem that
means the GFDL is useless for postcards as well.

Invariant sections can of course case massive problems. If an
invariant section is an image you are basically stuffed.

>Is the GFDL fundamentally discriminatory against the blind?

No more than many EULAs

>This in itself IMO is a strong case for porting to CC-by-sa.

Still runs into issues when faced with large numbers of authors. "keep
intact all copyright notices for the Work" has the same problem with
invariant sections as the GFDL.


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