[Foundation-l] Re-licensing

Anthony wikimail at inbox.org
Thu Jan 22 21:05:30 UTC 2009

On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 3:51 PM, Andrew Whitworth <wknight8111 at gmail.com>wrote:

> On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 3:20 PM, Anthony <wikimail at inbox.org> wrote:
> > Thus, forking under GFDL 1.2 only has two distinct advantages: 1) it
> allows
> > people who consider "the benefits of the CC-BY-SA-3.0 license" to
> actually
> > be detriments, to continue to contribute; and 2) it disallows Wikipedia
> from
> > incorporating these changes, thus reducing the likelihood that third
> parties
> > will come along and use these changes without attribution.
> 1) I would suggest that the number of people who care strongly about
> the particular license used and consider such a switch to be a
> "detriment" is small indeed. This isn't to say that this group should
> be ignored, only that they aren't going to represent a community with
> enough viability to sustain a project the size of Wikipedia.

Come to think of it, forking under GFDL 1.3 would probably be the most
appropriate.  Then, since Wikipedia intends to dual-license new content, new
Wikipedia content could be incorporated into the fork, but new forked
content couldn't be incorporated into Wikipedia.

> > I guess if you think the legal case is cut and dry those 10% could get
> > together and initiate a class-action lawsuit, or something, but forking
> is
> > probably easier and more effective.
> Forking may certainly be easier, but it's hard for me to imagine that
> a fork of Wikipedia with 10% of it's population (and I posit that to
> be a high estimate) will be viable. A slogan of "knowledge is free,
> but reusing it is more difficult because of our stringent attitudes
> towards attribution" isn't going to inspire too many donors when
> fundraising time rolls around.

"A free encyclopedia without the plagiarism" would be a better slogan,
though I'm sure a little thought could produce an even better one.

> Plus, Wikipedia's database (I assume
> you only want to fork Wikipedia, and maybe only the English one) is
> non-negligible and will cost money to have hosted.

Depends on the traffic.  Pure hard drive space is relatively cheap.  More
traffic would lead to more expense, but it'd also likely lead to more

Fewer people will use the fork and it will grow more slowly, if it
> grows at all, because of licensing problems with content use and
> reuse.

What licensing problems?

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