[Foundation-l] License question

Magnus Manske magnusmanske at googlemail.com
Thu Feb 28 22:02:40 UTC 2008

On Thu, Feb 28, 2008 at 12:13 PM, Klaus Graf <klausgraf at googlemail.com> wrote:
> >  For clarification, are you complaining about
>  >  * SPIEGEL WISSEN for not complying with your interpretation of the GFDL
>  >  * Wikimedia Deutschland for not agreeing with your interpretation of the GFDL
>  >  * the Wikimedia Foundation for supplying a live feed
>  It's not only my interpretation of the GNU FDL: Most copyright
>  "experts" in the Wikipedia have serious doubts concerning the so
>  calles "Gentlemen agreement". It's simply false to say that this
>  agreement is consensus in the German Wikipedia.

But your interpretation is not exactly consensus either.

The other case I can think of, answers.com, handles it the same way.
So, it seems it is "consensus enough" for the Foundation that serves
the content/supplies the feed. This is a cross-project issue;
consensus on the German Wikipedia might not be required at all, as the
individual projects do not decide about GFDL issues (images are
another matter).

You are threatening to sue Wikimedia Deutschland, which probably has
the least involvement with this, in a legal sense. If you feel that
your content is not displayed according to the GFDL /by SPIEGEL
WISSEN/, you should sue them, as the are the ones displaying it. Who
knows, they might just decide not to display Wikipedia content at all,
if lawsuits are around every corner. Or they'll bash you in court.
But, neither will be as much fun or stir up as much dust as your
threats to the mailing list, right?

On the moral side of things, here's how I see it. I contribute to
Wikipedia to create free content, and I want to see it distributed.
SPIEGEL WISSEN will further that. If some minor part of the GFDL, a
part that was written for a different situation in a different age and
is totally irrelevant for practical purposes, is interpreted a little
differently, I don't care. Most people don't want to see the history
anyway, and those that do will find it easily enough.

I think the GFDL (or any other free license we use) is important, I
just don't stick to every letter of it for the sole purpose of
sticking to every letter. But, maybe that's just me.


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