[Foundation-l] Proposed revised attribution language

Anthony wikimail at inbox.org
Mon Mar 16 14:54:23 UTC 2009

On Mon, Mar 16, 2009 at 10:47 AM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton at gmail.com>wrote:

> 2009/3/16 Anthony <wikimail at inbox.org>:
> > On Mon, Mar 16, 2009 at 10:29 AM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton at gmail.com
> >wrote:
> >
> >> 2009/3/16 Anthony <wikimail at inbox.org>:
> >> > I've never pressed "submit" on a button which read "GFDL 1.2 or
> later".
> >>  Try
> >> > again.
> >>
> >> The edit page has said "or later" as long as I can remember. Are you
> >> claiming that it didn't used to? What did it used to say and when?
> >
> >
> > It still doesn't.  There is a place where it says "Version 1.2 or any
> later
> > version published by the Free Software Foundation", which was added in
> March
> > 2007.
> So it does say it... you are contradicting yourself.

It doesn't say "or later".  It says "or [...] later [...]".

> What did it say
> before March 2007? If it just said "GFDL" (which I think is likely),
> then that implicitly means "or later" (the license text makes that
> clear).

Immediately before March 2007 it said "GFDL".  The full history is at

> > But CC-by-sa is not published by the FSF, and the word "published",
> > according to Wiktionary, is in the past tense (and I have not clicked
> submit
> > since Version 1.3 was released).  So that argument fails in many ways,
> > before even getting to the problems with GFDL 1.3 itself.
> Obviously when reusing it you need to reuse it under a license that
> was published in the past, that's what is meant by the use of the past
> tense and I think that is perfectly clear to any reasonable person.

I don't think that's clear at all.  In fact, I think what's clear is that if
someone is releasing a work under a license, they are not releasing it under
a license that doesn't yet exist.

> We know CC-BY-SA isn't an FSF license, the FSF have released a new
> version of GFDL allowing relicensing under CC-BY-SA (as you well
> know),

It allows an MMC Site (presumably, the WMF) to republish the work under
CC-BY-SA.  But the WMF has had its rights under the GFDL revoked, and the
permission to republish doesn't extend to third parties anyway.

> so what are you claiming, that the "or later" part is invalid
> or that a license which allows relicensing under a different license
> is invalid?

Both, and then some.

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