[Foundation-l] Attribution survey, first results

David Gerard dgerard at gmail.com
Mon Mar 9 21:11:52 UTC 2009

2009/3/9 Milos Rancic <millosh at gmail.com>:
> On Mon, Mar 9, 2009 at 9:28 PM, geni <geniice at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 2009/3/9 Milos Rancic <millosh at gmail.com>:

>>> Should we treat such persons systematically or it is better to add
>>> some exceptional rules? Something like to give a mandate to WMF to
>>> solve problems of types like giving a formal permission to the
>>> government of Central African Republic (or to some NGO which operates
>>> there) to print Wikipedia editions in English and Swahili without any
>>> attribution (even they don't need it). Or for spoken editions for
>>> education of blind persons?

>> There is no legal way to do that nor is there any real benefit in doing so.

> If the present options are between linking to the history of article
> at Wikipedia up to the full attribution, I don't see any reason why
> the whole range can't be applied in the ToS. (And, yes, I made a
> mistake with mentioning "no attribution at all".)

In copyright law and the terms of the CC by-sa, WMF can't actually
promise something like that in terms of what they own and don't own.

Remember that licenses are not merely a game of Nomic, but responses
to a given legal threat model.

In this case, the threat model is: what if some raving and/or
malicious lunatic who has copyright on a piece of this thing drags
someone into court over it?

The reason for the license is so that the defendant can point at the
license and say "I can do this per the license." (And probably "and
per common practice," because law is squishier than Nomic.)

So the aims of the suggested terms for relicensing will not be to
achieve some theoretical outcome that makes everyone as happy as
possible, but to provide sufficient results to be usable in terms of:

1. giving reusers confidence they can defend themselves against a
raving and/or malicious lunatic in court;
2. not pissing off so much of the community they fork.

- d.

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