[Foundation-l] Board position statement

Michael Snow wikipedia at verizon.net
Tue Mar 24 06:12:44 UTC 2009

Michael Snow wrote:
> The Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation invites the Wikimedia 
> community to vote on this proposal to license Wikimedia material so it 
> is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license 
> (CC-BY-SA), while retaining dual licensing with the GNU Free 
> Documentation License. The Board has evaluated possible licensing 
> options for Wikimedia material, and believes that this proposal is the 
> best available path towards achieving our collective goal to collect, 
> develop and disseminate educational material, and make it available to 
> people everywhere, free of charge, in perpetuity.
To elaborate a little further, speaking now in a personal capacity. 
Exploring the fine details of copyleft licensing gets into complex 
issues, some of which we've debated on this list. The complexity means 
many subtly different positions are possible, and we could probably 
debate endlessly without reaching ideal solutions to those subtle 
differences. That's part of why (as mentioned) individual board and 
staff members, like everyone else, are free and encouraged to express 
their own views about these matters.

By comparison, though, the vote we will have is more simple and 
straightforward. It's not an effort to create a platonically perfect 
license in the ideal world, which is likely impossible, rather it's 
asking whether the relicensing allowed by the GFDL 1.3 is progress in a 
practical sense. I think that's what we mean in agreeing that this is 
the "best available" course at this time.

--Michael Snow

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