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

Thomas Dalton thomas.dalton at gmail.com
Thu Jan 8 22:20:17 UTC 2009

2009/1/8 Brian <Brian.Mingus at colorado.edu>:
> Another question: Given the WMF admission in the FAQ that the GFDL has *
> never* been followed in re-use of Wikipedia content due to the insane
> difficulty of doing so, and given its rampant  "illegal" re-use on the web,
> and the WMF's ignoring this illegal re-use for years on end, what chance is
> there that a court of law would find that the GFDL actually applies to this
> content were someone to sue a re-user?
> Isn't it true that the efforts to force re-users to appropriately atrribute
> the content have not actually asked them to follow the letter of the GFDL?
> Is a license that is never enforced truly a license, in the legal sense?

The license is between the author and the re-user, the fact that the
WMF has tolerated it being violated is irrelevant. You can lose a
trademark by not defending it, but I don't think the same applies to
copyrights, so unless the individual owner can be shown to have said
it was all right not to follow the license to the letter, I don't see
why they can't sue. (IANAL, YMMV, BBQ)

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