[Foundation-l] Copies of Wikipedia's articles found on Knol

Newyorkbrad (Wikipedia) newyorkbrad at gmail.com
Thu Jul 31 03:41:41 UTC 2008

On 7/30/08, Mike Godwin <mgodwin at wikimedia.org> wrote:
> David Gerard writes:
> > We can and should (and, AFAIK, do) heartily support the CC-BY default
> > license. Because that's free content, and supporting that wherever it
> > springs up and making proper free content licenses the *expected
> > default* for reference works is 100% in line with WMF's mission.
> > Without us having to do the actual work!
> I think it's proper to say we don't oppose CC-BY, but that it's
> inconsistent with the licensing schemes we've embraced (GFDL and CC-BY-
> SA), because it's non-viral -- it doesn't require that derivative
> content be issued under the same free license under which it was
> distributed.
> I can't see how content distributed under the licenses Knol offers can
> be reproduced in WMF projects, and I can't see how content produced
> under WMF's licensing options can be reproduced in Knol.  To me, that
> raises a serious problem.
> --Mike

I don't mean to denigrate the legal issues here, being a lawyer myself and
all (but not an intellectual property specialist) ... but are the
differences betwen the licenses in this context such as to raise practical
issues, or purely theoretical ones?  If, as is likely, there is frequent
copying of content back-and-forth between the projects no matter what the
policies or licenses say, are there likely to be significant consequences?
If so, what can be done about it?

I'm also curious how the problem can run in both directions.  I can
understand that one license would be more restrictive than the other, such
that material from project A couldn't be freely used in project B.  But the
nuances of the license requirements must be subtle indeed if the
incompatability runs both ways.  Not being a license terms aficionado, I'd
appreciate a layman's explanation of the issues.

Can/should the issues be addressed by discussion with Knol before the
problem grows more serious over time?


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