[Foundation-l] TOS and GFDL "Dedications" sections issue

Anthony wikimail at inbox.org
Wed Apr 15 01:37:53 UTC 2009

I'd say the intent of the GFDL is that "Dedications" and "Acknowledgments"
are types of "Invariant Sections", but I suppose the language doesn't make
this 100% clear.  In any case, you only have to follow the GFDL if you use
an author's contributions.  If you remove everything they contributed,
there's no need to follow the GFDL in the first place.

On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 5:46 PM, Ilya Schurov <ilya.schurov at noo.ru> wrote:

> Hi,
> Again, I'm not sure this is right place and time to discuss it. But as
> it seems we're discussing new TOS and we wish to continue using GFDL, I
> believe it will be good to discuss the matter now.
> GFDL have some kind of sections which should be preserved in derived
> version of GFDL-licensed content. One kind of such sections is
> "Invariant Sections", and they are explicitly forbidden in Wikimedia
> projects. Every contributor acknowledge that their content is licensed
> under GFDL without invariant sections.
> However, there are also "Sections entitled Dedications and
> Acknowledgments" in GFDL, which also should be preserved in derivative
> versions. Such a feature of GFDL were abused in Russian Wikipedia
> several times: disruptive editors used this feature to add some kind of
> inflammatory or offensive comments as "dedications" (e.g. using "edit
> summary") and then claimed that those comments should be considered as
> "Section entitled Dedication" and therefore should be preserved as is
> (can't be editor or deleted by admins/oversights, only with article
> text) due to copyright reasons. Certainly, this lead to conflicts
> between editors and finally we added a notice to edit form that state:
> "You acknowledge that your contribution does not contain and does not
> produce sections entitled "Dedications" and "Acknowledgments" in the
> terms of GFDL".
> I believe that this notice should be added to the TOS to avoid such
> conflicts in future in every Wikimedia project. I also believe this
> would better harmonize GFDL and CC BY-SA licensing, because CC BY-SA
> does not contain any features like "Dedications" in GFDL. And I
> definitely want to become sure that this notice does not violate any
> Foundation regulations about licensing -- neither current nor future,
> because I do not want to give disruptive editors this ability to game
> the system again.
> --
> With best regards,
> Ilya V. Schurov.
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