[Foundation-l] RfC: License update proposal

Geoffrey Plourde geo.plrd at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 21 16:28:23 UTC 2009

Maybe people don't want to spend 2 hours sorting out authors? Also, the history link allows someone to look at every single contribution, 

From: Nikola Smolenski <smolensk at eunet.yu>
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org>
Sent: Wednesday, January 21, 2009 1:09:22 AM
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] RfC: License update proposal

George Herbert wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 20, 2009 at 10:18 PM, Nikola Smolenski <smolensk at eunet.yu>wrote:
>> On Wednesday 21 January 2009 03:23:51 Erik Moeller wrote:
>>> 2009/1/20 geni <geniice at gmail.com>:
>>>> 1)This isn't legal within anything close to the current wording of the
>>>> page.
>>> CC General Counsel has confirmed that our proposed attribution model
>>> is consistent with the language of CC-BY-SA. There is no need to use
>>> attribution parties - our proposed approach is consistent with 4(c)(i)
>>> and 4(c)(iii).
>> Don't know about this wording thing, but as a Wikipedia author, I have to
>> say
>> that I do not think that attributing me in this way is sufficient. As a
>> Wikimedian, I believe that a lot of people will feel the same. And as a
>> programmer, I do not see why is this controversy necessary at all, as a
>> number of people have presented a variety of solutions that make it
>> possible
>> to analyse the revisions and extract authors with satisfying accuracy.
> I disagree.  The technical analysis misses contributions which remain in
> conceptual form (layout of a page, sections completely rewritten but not
> reconceptualized).  It also is error prone.  Original authorship of text

There is no one single technical analysis. There are various methods of 
analysis proposed, including ones that could identify changes to layout 
without change of contents. Either way, it is better to identify authors 
99% of the time, than not to identify them at all.

> There's nothing wrong with this method of attribution - it's better than we

Yes, there is. I am an author, and I do not consider this method of 
attribution appropriate.

> have or require now.  It's less than what GFDL says it requires, sure, but
> Wikipedia has never held to the letter of that, and anyone who's contributed
> to Wikipedia once they were aware of that can be held to have implicitly
> waived that particular GFDL clause in favor of "what we're actually doing".

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 

> 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.

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