[Foundation-l] RfC: License update proposal

Erik Moeller erik at wikimedia.org
Thu Jan 22 18:32:41 UTC 2009

2009/1/21 Nikola Smolenski <smolensk at eunet.yu>:
> 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.

That's evidently not true. Many people in this debate have said that
giving all names encumbers re-use of the work when such lists get very
long, so they are not 'fine' with listing all names, because they
recognize that there is an additional good (ease of re-use) that needs
to be served. It's true that this is not the case for a large number
of articles, but it's often the case for the most interesting ones.
The proposed attribution language - to state names when there are
fewer than six - is precisely written as a compromise. According to
your own metrics, for very many articles, this would mean that all
authors would be named. And the filtering of author names could be
continually improved to exclude irrelevant names.

I would say that it's true that the people who have made the case
against heavy attribution requirements have been typically more
willing to accept compromise. What compromise are you willing to
accept? Saying that 'you can opt out' does not address the concerns of
the other side. Opt-in permanent attribution would be an alternative
that would probably not have huge impact, and it could be offered only
on a retroactive basis (e.g. for past edits, but not for future ones).
Erik Möller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

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