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

Erik Moeller erik at wikimedia.org
Sat Jan 10 05:46:05 UTC 2009

2009/1/9 Anthony <wikimail at inbox.org>:
> I don't know if these interpretations are correct or not.  But I'd rather
> not chance it.  Especially since if they're not correct, there's not much
> point in switching to CC-BY-SA in the first place.

You are completely free to oppose the switch because you find the
license incomprehensible or difficult to understand. (We will, of
course, try to answer all reasonable questions as to the meaning of
the license, and I've invited CC to participate in this conversation.)
 However, the FDL 1.3 allows for precisely the kind of update we are
proposing, and such a migration has been validated by the General
Counsel of Creative Commons, Wikimedia, and the Free Software

The proposed attribution (crediting authors where it is reasonably
possible and linking to the version history where that would be
onerous) is completely consistent with
1) established practices on Wikipedia;
2) the ethics and spirit of the GNU Free Documentation License;
3) the ethics of the free culture movement;
4) the legal language of both licenses;
5) the experience of a human being contributing to Wikipedia.

On that latter point, a person making an edit will surely not fail to
notice that their name does not actually appear _at all_ in any
obvious location after they have done so. If anything, after making
this update, we will attribute more clearly and consistently, and the
same standards will apply to all. For example, I'm in favor of a
software change to show the authors of an article, where there are
less than six authors, in the footer of the article. The notion that
this is a conspiracy theory to remove or reduce attribution comes from
a deep misunderstanding of law, ethics, practices, and the human
Erik Möller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

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