[Foundation-l] Licensing transition: opposing points of view

Erik Moeller erik at wikimedia.org
Fri Mar 20 05:04:49 UTC 2009

2009/3/19 Nikola Smolenski <smolensk at eunet.yu>:
> Erik, this is simply not true. The sentence in question reads [...] You must
> keep intact all copyright notices for the Work and give the Original Author
> credit reasonable to the medium or means You are utilizing by conveying the
> name (or pseudonym if applicable) of the Original Author if supplied; the
> title of the Work if supplied; to the extent reasonably practicable, the
> Uniform Resource Identifier, if any, that Licensor specifies to be associated
> with the Work [...] So, the URI has to be given *in addition* to the name of
> the author, not *instead* of it.

No. You have to interpret the licensing of a work that is contributed
to Wikipedia as a consequence of a series of decisions.

1) An author visits the Wikipedia website.
2) An author makes an edit and agrees to license it under the terms
and conditions we specify.
3) By doing so, the author exercises the options that the CC-BY-SA
license grants.
4) The CC-BY-SA license grants the author the option to not supply a
name for purposes of attribution. The CC-BY-SA license grants the
author the option to supply a URL. The terms and conditions require
the author to exercise these options in that fashion.
5) The resultant work requires attribution by URL, but not by name.

> This is also not completely true. It is true that Wikipedia mirrors often
> cited authors in this way; but a number of books that were printed from
> Wikipedia content have a list of all the authors.

People have over-attributed out of caution given the known
inconsistency between site terms and content license. The CC-BY-SA
license resolves that inconsistency.
Erik Möller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

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