[Foundation-l] RfC: License update proposal

George Herbert george.herbert at gmail.com
Wed Jan 21 09:29:40 UTC 2009

On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 1:09 AM, Nikola Smolenski <smolensk at eunet.yu> wrote:

> Translation: what we are doing right now is wrong and no one complains
> too loudly, therefore we may get away with being even more wrong in the
> future.

No, what we are doing now is not wrong.  What we're doing now is uniformly
and universally accepted in the en.wp community and nearly all the rest of
them.  Claiming that it's wrong is like calling black white.

It is not entirely consistent with the as-written text of the license.  But
it is not wrong.  It is what it is, and millions of people, knowing what it
says and means, have contributed.

> > This improves what we actually do.  Why would you think it's worse?
> No it doesn't. For example, German Wikireaders are published with a list
> of all the authors at the end, and after this change they wouldn't have
> to be.

I don't know that listing thousands of authors on popular pages is an
improvement over a link saying "Many people wrote and edited this and you
can click <here> to see them all".

We're not a co-author credit factory.  CC-BY-SA isn't an ego trip for
thousands of co-contributors.  These are inappropriate uses for article
space and page display space.

I want anyone to know what I wrote in Wikipedia, which they can find... by
clicking on either a page history, or my account's Special:Contributions
page.  I don't want anyone to have to wade through a thousand names at the
bottom of the article.  The new license matches the technical code as
written, and community expectations of the biggest WP communities and the
vast bulk of the WP communities.  One community among many can't stand up
and block a new license on the grounds that it's not widely expressive

If de.wp community wants to keep displaying more authors, nothing in the
license keeps you from doing so.  But, that's wierd, and wrong, and you
should not try and impose it on the rest of us.  And trying to keep it out
of the license approaches the level of active evil.

-george william herbert
george.herbert at gmail.com

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