[Foundation-l] Reuse policy

Brian Brian.Mingus at colorado.edu
Mon Jun 15 18:26:23 UTC 2009

Not that the conversation isn't worth having, but you should be aware that
we've been over every single one of these points at length on this list.

The WMF hosted version is considered a stable copy - it's safe to link to
and you have every reasonable assumption that it will continue to exist. If
it ceases to exist it's reasonable to assume that someone else will host a
stable copy and that redirects will be setup on all of the WMF domains to
the new stable copy. Honestly though, this is an apocalypse scenario, in
which case the stable copy is the least of your concerns.
You seem to be advocating what I consider to be an extremist point of view -
that all re-users should include the list of authors. The goal of the WMF is
not to give every person access to the list of all authors of the
potentially re-used piece of free knowledge they are looking at. It's the
knowledge itself that is important, and requiring a list of authors is a
serious burden that gets in the way. The hyperlink clause, reasonable to the
medium and means, is a more reasonable approach.

On Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 11:53 AM, Jiri Hofman <hofmanj at aldebaran.cz> wrote:

> Hello everybody,
> I hope, it is never too late to discuss these things. Today, I have noticed
> the Commons added following text under the edit window:
> "Re-users will be required to credit you, at minimum, through a hyperlink
> or
> URL to the article you are contributing to, and you hereby agree that such
> credit is sufficient in any medium."
> I was and I am a fan of switching to CC-BY-SA 3.0. However, I am not a fan
> of
> this violation of freedom which Wikimedia declares for its projects.
> It is true, a similar statement is present at
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Licensing_update . But this change was not
> discussed at
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Licensing_update/Questions_and_Answers as I
> can see (it was shortly discussed at
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Licensing_update/Questions_and_Answers/Oppositional_arguments).
> Also it was announced nowhere (as far as I know) that this policy will be
> advertized in this explicite manner. I feel to be cheated. I was voting for
> an easier implementation of freedom. I was definitively not voting for the
> end of freedom. And this statement means the end of freedom.
> Why end of freedom? Just imagine, the Wikimedia will have closed the
> business.
> Everybody, who used links to provide a sufficient list of authors, will be
> in
> troubles immediately. Yes, everybody can download dumps. But will this be
> enough? No. For example it will not be possible to easily update just
> published paper books (for example textbooks for children at schools). The
> publisher will not be able to use the freedom, he could think he enjoyed.
> Yes, the publisher can always exactly follow the license. But then
> Wikimedia
> should not even suggest that something less than exact following of license
> could be enough.
> Similar, may be more understandable problem: just imagine, the article
> which
> was reused, is deleted in the Wikimedia project. The list of authors will
> be
> lost in a very similar way like in a case of Wikimedia shutting down
> completely.
> Just another problem: imagine, the Wikimedia foundation will get into
> financial troubles. This can happen very easily (I hope it will not happen
> soon). All the reusers who have thought linking to Wikimedia site was
> sufficient, will be pushed under a serious threat. They can be
> blackmailed: "give to Wikimedia foundation money or you can close your
> business based on CC-BY-SA licensed content."
> And one problem more: what about works of third parties? If somebody issues
> his work under CC-BY-SA 3.0, how could anybody insert it into Wikimedia
> projects when Wikimedia allows to re-use it and not to follow the original
> attribution manner specified by the author? Either nobody could insert the
> works of the third parties into Wikimedia projects or Wikimedia would
> explicitely allow to violate the third party's rights given by license the
> third party have chosen.
> What is a freedom if it cannot be guaranteed for ever in all conditions? It
> is
> not a freedom anymore. I am an author of quite many texts in Wikimedia
> projects. I can hardly accept my work could be misused in such a way. I do
> not allow to attribute my old works in this way. And I will be not willing
> to
> continue working at, for example, Wikipedia if this becomes a common policy
> there.
> I understand this does not have to be a big problem at Commons - the image
> descriptions are usually not the most important part of the articles. The
> media (image, video, sound) is. And if I understand it well, the authors of
> the media must be still attributed directly. However, I see it as a major
> problem in case of Wikipedia and similar projects.
> I understand re-using the texts inside Wikimedia project is complicated if
> the
> attribution means a list of writers. But we should deal with this. It's a
> challenge. We can show the world the collaborative authors can get
> appropriate credits.
> Please, do not apply this policy there. It will be a serious hit into a
> face
> of freedom. It can mean the authors will not be willing to contribute so
> much
> anymore. It can mean the Wikimedia foundation will be discredited. It can
> mean the people will not be willing to make donations to the Foundation. It
> can lead to the end of Wikimedia projects.
> Best regards,
> Jiri Hofman
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