[Foundation-l] GFDL Q&A update and question

Erik Moeller erik at wikimedia.org
Thu Jan 8 22:01:30 UTC 2009

2009/1/8 Anthony <wikimail at inbox.org>:
> This switch to CC-BY-SA is clearly going to open the door for offline
> reusers to use Wikipedia content without attributing authors beyond listing
> one or more URLs.  In fact, it's quite clear from discussions which have
> taken place on this list that this is the main point of making the switch.

That is incorrect and an assumption of bad faith. If you read the
actual Q&A the reasons for re-licensing are very clearly and correctly
stated. The primary and motivating reason for offering content under
CC-BY-SA has always been full license compatibility. The secondary
reason has been the overall complexity of the GFDL which makes it
burdensome for re-users. Full duplication of history sections is only
one aspect of that overall complexity.

That said, it's always been an accepted practice for web use to
attribute by linking to the history. Because CC-BY-SA allows
attribution requirements to be detailed in terms of use, it will make
it straightforward for us to codify attribution requirements in a
manner that is accepted and largely mirrors current practice. In fact,
the language that could be used for this purpose could be very similar
to the one proposed by Gregory Maxwell here:


My question for anyone opposed to this approach is this: Do you
acknowledge that there is a problem with GFDL-licensing in terms of
compatibility and ease of re-use, and if so, how do you propose to
solve it? As far as I am concerned, if there is any moral case to be
made here, it's a clear and strong moral case for maximizing
information freedom through license compatibility and clear,
consistent usage guidelines.
Erik Möller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

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