[Foundation-l] Proposed revised attribution language

Michael Peel email at mikepeel.net
Tue Mar 17 08:44:13 UTC 2009

On 16 Mar 2009, at 00:55, Michael Snow wrote:

> Can we please drop the nonsense that a URL is "no attribution at  
> all" in
> an offline context? I've made this point before, but URLs do not
> suddenly become devoid of meaning just because you're using a medium
> where you can't follow a hyperlink. I could just as soon say that  
> print
> media aren't acceptable sources for Wikipedia articles because you  
> can't
> check them by following a hyperlink, it's the same logic. We allow
> references that adapt the conventions of other media to our  
> context, we
> should allow people using other media the same privilege in  
> adapting our
> conventions to their context.
> --Michael Snow

The issue, from my point of view*, is that they do "suddenly become  
devoid of meaning" as soon as those links stop working. This can  
happen for a number of reasons, including article moves, deletions,  
and (<insert deity> forbid) wikipedia.org going away. There are no  
guarantees that I'm aware of that the links will continue to work for  
even a decade, let alone the full length of copyright (and, given the  
tendency to attribute authors even for PD works, afterwards).

On the other hand, a local copy of the author list (normally) stays  
accessible as long as the work does.

How does the WMF plan to tackle this problem if attribution-by-link  
is used?

Mike Peel

* Note that these points have been raised several times before on  
this mailing list, but I've yet to see an adequate response, so I  
figure they deserve raising again.

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