[Foundation-l] RfC: License update proposal

Anthony wikimail at inbox.org
Thu Jan 22 16:03:31 UTC 2009

On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 10:37 AM, Andrew Whitworth <wknight8111 at gmail.com>wrote:

> On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 9:58 AM, Anthony <wikimail at inbox.org> wrote:
> > As Thomas said, it requires Internet access, which might not be
> available.
> > I think it's a bit more than that, though.  The credit should be part of
> the
> > work itself, not external to the work.  When you're talking about a
> website,
> > it's hard to define where the work begins and where it ends, clearly a
> work
> > can span multiple URLs, and it's essentially meaningless whether or not
> > those URLs have different domain names (at least assuming they are both
> kept
> > nearly 100% reliable).  None of these three things are true with books,
> > T-shirts, or movies (for a movie a URL would be especially obnoxious).
> As a contributor to these 'ere projects myself, I personally would
> prefer the less reliable but more informative URL for attribution
> myself. That's a personal preference only, and I don't see any need to
> push that on others.

I understand that viewpoint and think it is reasonable.  How about adding a
checkbox to preferences, that says "allow attribution by URL"?

Our authors contributed to our projects with the expectation that
> their content would be freely reusable. Requiring even 2 pages of
> attributions be included after every article inclusion is a non-free
> tax on content reuse, and a violation of our author's expectations.
> Demanding that authors be rigorously attributed despite having no
> expectations for it, while at the same time violating their
> expectations of free reuse doesn't quite seem to me to be a good
> course of action.

I think it's clear that at least some people expected to be attributed
directly in any print edition encyclopedias made from Wikipedia.  Do you
deny that, or do you just think it doesn't matter?

> I think reusers should determine what the best way is to give credit.
> > However, if they can't meet a minimal standard, then they ought to not
> use
> > the work at all.
> Letting reusers "determine what is the best way" is surely a pitfall.
> You're assuming that miraculously corporate interests are going to be
> preoccupied with providing proper attribution.

I qualified my statement with the fact that they do need to at least meet a
minimal standard.  That said, I believe that corporate interests *are* best
served by providing proper attribution.  There may be some short-term gains
to be had by violating people's rights, but in the end doing so will kill
the goose that lays the golden egg, so to speak.  (They'll also be unable to
distribute their content legally in most any jurisdiction in the world other
than the United States.)

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