[Foundation-l] Anarchopedia changed its license

Milos Rancic millosh at gmail.com
Mon Apr 20 02:07:00 UTC 2009

As it may be of interest here, I am sending my blog
the list.

* * * * *

First of all, anarchists don't care about licenses. Because of that, one
month of discussion
<http://meta.anarchopedia.org/License_change/Decision>and voting
didn't pass with a lot of discussions. Actually, some of the most
active members of the community didn't discuss and didn't vote. I didn't
vote, too, but it is because I didn't want to influence others.

At the beginning I thought that we have the next options:

   - Stay at GFDL
   - Switch to Wikipedia licensing
   - Switch to Wikipedia licensing with a possibility of importing GFDL
   - Switch to the straight dual licensing
   - Switch to the straight dual licensing with a possibility to import GFDL
   and CC-BY-SA texts
   - Switch to CC-BY-SA

Actually, my mind is so strong inside of the licensing issues that I totally
forgot that there are a couple of other options. (I have to think about this

So, I was thinking that the best option is to switch to the straight dual
licensing, while Wikipedia-like licensing would be the most pragmatic
approach. (However, again, even two community members voted for the straight
dual licensing, I didn't express my opinion.)

But, fortunately, there are anarchists inside of the community :) and we've
got the option "Switch to multiple licensing / public domain". At the first
moment, I didn't understand that, so I said that this solution is not
possible. However, in brief, this proposal is about per-page licensing, as
well as that Anarchopedia by default realizes its content under the public
domain or attribution-only terms (depending of jurisdiction).

We had a clause that we'll switch our licensing just in case if Wikimedia
community switch its licensing. However, during the discussion, it became
obviously that the most of the community is willing to change the licensing

The conclusion of the decision making process is:

   - Anarchopedia used the right described inside of the GNU Free
   Documentation License 1.3 to release its content under CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported
   license, too.
   - Anarchopedia is switching to per page licensing, which may
include any acceptably
   licensed material<http://meta.anarchopedia.org/Licenses_acceptable_for_usage_at_Anarchopedia>for
the work based on wiki system.
   - License change is valid since April 22nd, 2009, no matter what
   Wikimedia community would decide. Almost all of the participants expressed
   will to switch the licensing terms no matter what Wikimedia community would
   - If not stated opposite at the page, all contributions by editors of
   Anarchopedia are under public domain (for Anglo-Saxon jurisdictions) or
   under attribution-only terms (for Continental jurisdictions).
   - As previous conditions will be valid for all Anarchopedia content, any
   editor of the content may mark article which he or she previously edited as
   licensed under GFDL and CC-BY-SA.
   - Any editor may mark her or his new content as licensed under any
   acceptable license if it is not in collision with previously declared per
   page license.

Acceptable licensing terms by preference for Anarchopedia are:

   - *Public domain / attribution-only* (depending of jurisdiction). This is
   Anarchopedia default. If you don't put any license template at article in
   which you contributed, article will be published under those conditions.
   - *Attribution-only forced*. We may use and create content explicitly
   licensed under attribution-only terms of use or under some license which
   defines it. Such licenses are, for example, CC-BY, GNU Lesser General Public
   License and BSD Revised License.
   - *Copyleft license*. Examples of copyleft licenses are GNU Free
   Documentation License, Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License, GNU
   General Public License and so on. In brief, such licensing allows any kind
   of usage, distribution and modification of the content while the content
   stays under the same license.
   - *Solidarity terms*. "Solidarity terms" mean that the content may be
   used just by a particular group related to anarchists and Anarchopedia. We
   may adopt materials which may be used just by anarchists, socialists,
   anti-authoritarians and so on.
   - *Non-commercial attribution-only licenses*. We may use non-commercial
   content as Anarchopedia is not a commercial project. The example for such
   licenses is Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License.
   - *Non-commercial share-alike licenses*. We may use this type of
   licenses, too. The example of such licenses is Creative Commons Attribution
   Non-Commercial Share-Alike license.
   - *Anarchopedia only*. This is the bottom of the sum of acceptable

All interested persons may join us in discussion about the final form of the
terms of use of the content at the page

And a couple of my personal notes:

   - Anarchists are not a part of the free culture movement. Free culture is
   defined by licenses and licenses are the part of state system.
   - I even think that "free culture" term is an oxymoronic one. There is no
   free culture. Every culture defines its own rules, which is lowering
   freedom. Of course, I am not against culture, but I, simply, think that
   "free culture" is a similar phrase to "free prison". There are no such
   - Yes, it is better to have non-proprietary knowledge than proprietary
   knowledge. As well as capitalism is better than feudalism or slavery.
   However, licensed knowledge and capitalism are just far away of anarchist
   political positions.
   - And, inside of current social organization I think that the best option
   for one anarchist project is to choose the most pragmatic one.

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