[Foundation-l] RfC: License update proposal

Erik Moeller erik at wikimedia.org
Wed Jan 21 20:24:36 UTC 2009

2009/1/21 Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton at gmail.com>:
> A lot of the problems you are having there are because you are trying
> to group things into "print" and "online". The correct dichotomy is
> "online" and "offline". Of course you are going to have problems
> classifying DVDs if your classifaction systems assumes all electronic
> data is only available on the internet. I don't see a problem with
> listing authors in fairly small print on the back of a t-shirt, seems
> perfectly reasonable to me. If instead of names there's just a URL on
> the t-shirt, does that mean I can't where it in China since people
> seeing it won't have any way (without significant technical know-how)
> to view the list of authors?

Nor would you be able to access the list of authors on a mirror that
carries it by reference. Whether you draw the distinction between
print or non-print, or between "online" and "offline", is always
somewhat arbitrary, as content can change from one state to another
very easily. (A file downloaded to your harddisk becomes an offline
copy; so does an email attachment.) A licensing regime that relies on
such arbitrary transformations of attribution is fundamentally
unworkable for re-users.
Erik Möller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

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