[Foundation-l] RfC: License update proposal

Anthony wikimail at inbox.org
Thu Jan 22 20:59:01 UTC 2009

On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 3:38 PM, Mike Godwin <mgodwin at wikimedia.org> wrote:

> > That said, the GFDL requires authors to be listed in "the section
> > entitled
> > History", and it clearly states that a "section "Entitled XYZ" means
> > a named
> > subunit of the Document..."
> So is current Wikipedia practice consistent with the GFDL or not?

I believe that Wikipedia practice is not consistent with the GFDL.  That's
why I notified you that the WMF's right to use my content under the GFDL has
been permanently revoked.

> Obviously, the History page reachable from a Wikipedia article could
> be interpreted as not being a "section" or a "named subunit."

On the other hand, the history page *could* be interpreted as being part of
the Document.

Historically, the community has generally interpreted this attribution
> requirement of the GFDL as allowing for a link to a History page.  In
> this respect, there is no essential difference between GFDL and CC-BY-
> SA 3.x.

For online copies, as I've said before, I don't see much problem with this.
As I've said before, it's hard to draw the line as to what is part of the
work and what is not part of the work, when it comes to online sources.  But
I don't think the same argument can be made for offline copies.

If there is no essential difference, then your concern about getting
> credit is a wash, regardless of whether the license on Wikipedia is
> updated.

My main concern is that CC-BY-SA will be deliberately misinterpreted to not
require direct attribution - and the published draft of the RfC confirms
that this concern is valid.

This doesn't mean your concern is any less valid or invalid -- it just
> means that there's nothing inherent in the question of updating the
> license that should trigger it.

The GFDL is much more clear on this issue.  And some comments Erik has
pointed us to from the CC lawyers make it clear that CC intends for CC-BY-SA
to allow attribution by URL, so even if CC-BY-SA 3.0 isn't interpreted by
the courts to allow this, CC-BY-SA 4.0 very well might.

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