[Foundation-l] RfC: License update proposal

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen cimonavaro at gmail.com
Sun Feb 1 14:28:34 UTC 2009

Again, right at the top, I apologize for replying to a week old
posting, and one I replied to at the time, besides... but
perhaps my motives will be clear.

Anthony wrote:

> Now, personally, the way I read "reasonable to the medium or means You are
> utilitzing", I think it means "what is reasonably necessary to provide
> proper attribution", not "what is reasonably necessary to maximize reuse".
> Erik seems to be pushing for the latter interpretation.

I commented on your interpretation of what you perceived to
be Erik's wish in all of this...

But I neglected to comment at all your interpretation of the
wording of the license.

I don't think "proper attribution" means anything, in relation
to the phrase you are quoting.

However, a benign reading of "reasonable to the medium or
means" could easily be dovetailed with the (I really only know
of the case in Finland) moral rights legislation phrasing of
*only* requiring the attribution be provided in such a form
which is "customary" in the field applicable. This would not
require for instance that each product give the attribution,
as long as for instance the attribution were given more centrally
in a fashion that is "customary" in such material as which is
in question. Not that that helps us much, since it is clear
we are at the cusp of _creating_ the standards for what will
be "customary" for attribution in such quite novel enterprises
as Wikipedia.

We do have to remember that Wikipedia really is quite
unprecedented. Even if the early editions of Oxford English
Dictionary relied on scraps of paper sent from a multitude
of people, they would only have been giving examples of
usage, not "edits" to the creative content of the dictionary

One very tentative reading would be to claim that it is
indeed "customary" to "link to the history". I don't find that
to be strongly persuasive, but I am bound to admit it is

And even if I were to admit that it would be arguable that
this quirk of the Moral Right of Paternity could be elided
in this fashion, in the context of Finnish law, one has to ask
whether this workaround would suffice in all other jurisdictions
which are still shackled by this self same Paternity Right?


Jussi-Ville Heiskanen

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