[Foundation-l] RfC: License update proposal

Nikola Smolenski smolensk at eunet.yu
Thu Jan 22 07:46:33 UTC 2009

On Wednesday 21 January 2009 19:32:15 Erik Moeller wrote:
> 2009/1/20 Nikola Smolenski <smolensk at eunet.yu>:
> > 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.
> That's probably true, Nikola. The proposed attribution language is
> intended to balance the various positions (ranging from 'an URL should
> always be fine' to 'names should always be given'), the established

I'm not sure that these positions should be balanced. For example, everyone 
who believes that an URL should be fine is also OK if all names are given, 
but not the other way around.

> requirement). Our hope is that a strong majority will recognize the
> value of such a compromise, and the improvement over current state:
> huge complexity for re-users, legal barriers between groups that
> should be able to cooperate, inconsistent and confusing
> interpretations of the rules.

I agree that a compromise is necessary; I disagree that this is a good 

> And I don't think we can or should take the easy way out and not make
> a decision as to what the terms of re-use should be. But any decision

Absolutely agree.

> is likely to offend a sub-group of people who feel it's going too far,
> or not far enough. Nor do we have complete freedom to pick any

Now I disagree. Some people are going to be offended if they are not credited 
when they think they should be; no one is going to be offended if they are 
credited when they don't think they should be. They may believe that this is 
stupid or pointless, but they won't really be offended in the same way.

> I realize that some community guidelines have asked or encouraged
> print re-users to include a complete list of usernames alongside
> articles. (This, by the way, does not satisfy the GFDL's history
> inclusion requirement.) Under the proposed language, that would
> continue to be necessary for articles which have no more than five

As I said, I do not think that attributing me in this way is sufficient; and I 
do not think that this requirement is necessary. We can develop tools that 
would identify principal authors with sufficient accuracy; and this list of 
authors is likely to be short enough to be practically included in full. 
Given your example of France, per 
about a third of edits are marked as minor, and that parameter alone would 
probably slash almost one third of the list of authors.

Please consider this, especially in light of recent research that shows that 
most Wikipedia contributors contribute from egoistic reasons ;)

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