[Foundation-l] Wikipedia Attribution and Relicensing

Erik Moeller erik at wikimedia.org
Sat Jan 17 00:45:56 UTC 2009

2009/1/16 Jussi-Ville Heiskanen <cimonavaro at gmail.com>:
> Erik Moeller wrote:
>> * The attribution terms should avoid requiring specific reference to
>> Wikipedia, so that it's clear that there is not necessarily a tie
>> between the project in which collaboration currently happens, and any
>> future use of the content. If someone creates a better alternative to
>> Wikipedia where the content is used, why should it be continued to be
>> attributed to Wikipedia, rather than the authors?
> I must be  a moron or at least functionally illiterate, since
> I simply cannot parse the previous paragraph in a way
> that makes logical sense.


Imagine that:

1) The Wikimedia Foundation is taken over by evil reptilian kitten eaters;

2) Wikipedians join forces to fork Wikipedia into Freependium, which
has an explicit policy to not eat kittens (FP:DONOTEAT);

3) Two years later, nobody uses Wikipedia anymore except for a few die
hard kitten eaters;

4) Yet, millions of Freependium users need to continue to reference
the kitten eating Wikipedia because of the attribution requirements.

Unlikely? Perhaps - though some people say that the evil reptilian
kitten eater takeover has already begun. The way around this is to
formulate attribution requirements that do not require specific
reference to Wikipedia, but only to the individuals who contributed
the text.
Erik Möller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

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