[Foundation-l] Attribution survey and licensing next steps

Anthony wikimail at inbox.org
Sun Mar 8 14:29:17 UTC 2009

On Sun, Mar 8, 2009 at 9:24 AM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton at gmail.com>wrote:

> 2009/3/8 Milos Rancic <millosh at gmail.com>:
> > On Sun, Mar 8, 2009 at 4:46 AM, Erik Moeller <erik at wikimedia.org> wrote:
> >> For example, if the survey had shown community credit to be highly
> >> desired and not controversial at all, that would be interesting: We
> >> could have an informed conversation about whether we should try to
> >> accommodate that model after all. As it is, it's the second most
> >> popular first option, but with 15.29% ranking it as their
> >> second-to-last option, it's also somewhat polarizing. A link to the
> >> article, on the other hand, is the first or second option for more
> >> than 60% of respondents, and the last or second-to-last option for
> >> only 3.47%.
> >
> > Erik, this is not relevant because two options were non-options, so in
> > the opposite case third-to-last is also relevant. (Even it was good to
> > include them to realize how much Wikimedians care about their
> > authorship.)
> Indeed - you need to be very careful when analysing survey results.
> Including non-options does provide extra information, but it means you
> need to take care how you interpret things. Those two options ought to
> be removed before calculating percentages in the way Erik has done.

Still wouldn't be valid: it is quite reasonable that someone who finds
linking unacceptable ranked "link to article" third, with "link to history",
"no credit", and "community credit" behind it (or not ranked).  There appear
to be 9 cases of this ranking in the english data - 1.5% (whether they found
linking "unacceptable" or merely "less acceptable" cannot be determined from
the data given).

It's also reasonable someone ranked link to article second even though they
found it unacceptable.  "Full list of authors must always be copied" is
really a non-option as well, since it contradicts the current practices of
nearly all reusers.  "Online: link; offline: list authors" contradicts the
current practice of very few reusers - in fact the only noteworthy one I'm
aware of (Wikipedia: the Missing Manual) probably has a good claim for fair
use (in the US, where the work is published) - they're certainly on a better
moral ground than the hypothetical publisher who makes minor changes to a
set of articles and sells printed copies without listing any authors.  I
found 15 cases of this ranking in the english data - 2.5% (whether they
found linking "unacceptable" or merely "less acceptable" cannot be
determined from the data given).

The only comparison you can make is between the option you are analysing and
the status quo.  In my opinion the status quo is closest to "Online: link;
offline: list authors".  Now Erik makes the claim that the current
relicensing keeps with the spirit of the GFDL, which I guess means that he
thinks the status quo and spirit of the GFDL is "link to any transparent
copy that includes the same licensing and authorship information as the
Wikipedia.org".  But if that's the case, why doesn't the FSF just clarify
the GFDL directly?

The direct, heads up comparison between "linking to the article" and
"Online: link; offline: list authors" is 70-80 percent in favor of always
allowing linking.  Right in the grey area if this decision were the "no big
deal" one of appointing an administrator to the English Wikipedia.
Considering the nature of this particular proposed change, I think the right
decision for the board to make is obvious - no consensus.

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