[Foundation-l] Attribution survey, first results

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen cimonavaro at gmail.com
Wed Mar 11 01:20:21 UTC 2009

David Gerard wrote:
> 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?
I really think it would be worth the time spent for each
person who has discussed this matter on this list to go
and re-read the interview of Lawrence Lessig (the founder
of the CC, for those coming in late to the game), conducted
by Wikimedia Quarto a few years ago - and if there are people
who have participated in this discussion who have not yet
read it, it is *vital* for them to do so, to be informed.


> 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.

To clarify number 2.; you probably mean to say a pissing
off a viable cross-section of the community so they fork
*en masse* from the _WMF_.

There have been been and will always be forks, but these
are typically forks from the community as a whole, and
not forks that leave the _WMF_ non-viable, or moribund.


Jussi-Ville Heiskanen

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