[Foundation-l] Help-book made available in en Wikipedia against Licensing Policy

Geoffrey Plourde geo.plrd at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 28 16:08:42 UTC 2009

I don't think that either the Foundation or Mr. Broughton will be complaining. Drop it. 

From: Klaus Graf <klausgraf at googlemail.com>
To: foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org
Sent: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 7:59:15 AM
Subject: [Foundation-l] Help-book made available in en Wikipedia against Licensing Policy



we read:

"Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or
any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with the
Invariant Section being the "Author and Publisher Information" and no
Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is
included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License"."

This is clearly not compatible with the "official" policy at


"If you contribute material to Wikipedia, you thereby license it to
the public under the GFDL (with no invariant sections, front-cover
texts, or back-cover texts)."

On the same page there is a self-contradiction to these clear words:

"Under Wikipedia's current copyright conditions, and with the current
facilities of the MediaWiki software, it is only possible to include
in Wikipedia external GFDL materials that contain invariant sections
or cover texts, if all of the following apply,
You are the copyright holder of these external GFDL materials (or: you
have the explicit, i.e. written, permission of the copyright holder to
do what follows);
The length and nature of these invariant sections and cover texts does
not exceed what can be placed in an edit summary;
You are satisfied that these invariant sections and cover texts are
not listed elsewhere than in the "page history" of the page where
these external materials are placed;
You are satisfied that further copies of Wikipedia content are
distributed under the standard GFDL application of "with no Invariant
Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts" (in
other words, for the copies derived from wikipedia, you agree that
these parts of the text contributed by you will no longer be
considered as "invariant sections" or "cover texts" in the GFDL
The original invariant sections and/or cover texts are contained in
the edit summary of the edit with which you introduce the thus GFDLed
materials in wikipedia (so, that if "permanent deletion" would be
applied to that edit, both the thus GFDLed material and its invariant
sections and cover texts are jointly deleted).
Seen the stringent conditions above, it is very desirable to replace
GFDL texts with invariant sections (or with cover texts) by original
content without invariant sections (or cover texts) whenever

I cannot see that the quoted copyright notice fits these conditions.

Klaus Graf

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