[Foundation-l] Licensing resolution

Robert Rohde rarohde at gmail.com
Fri May 22 14:36:15 UTC 2009

On Fri, May 22, 2009 at 7:05 AM, Samuel Klein <meta.sj at gmail.com> wrote:
> Thanks to everyone for handling the process so cleanly, and with an
> abundance of good information.
> Would it be possible to change the license switch to August 1 rather
> than June 15?
> I would like to point out the next major step, for which there is no
> time to lose : content compatibility with other GFDL sites will become
> impossible on August 1 -- after then, not only will we no longer be
> able to import materials currently under the GFDL (which will become
> impossible as soon as we decide to switch over licenses), but it will
> also no longer be possible for currently GFDL massively-collaborative
> sites to choose to make the same switchover that we are making (the
> GFDL provision is only valid until August 1).
> There are hundreds of educational sites with excellent material that
> have chosen their current GFDL license in order to be compatible with
> Wikipedia.  Some of them will not be able to decide to switch
> licensing terms by August 1; others do not qualify for the
> license-switching option in the first place.  We should make a serious
> devoted effort to reach all of them -- including informing readers
> about what is going on and how they can help preserve compatibility of
> license with their own sites.

Three points:

1) We'd like to have all our copyright statements, terms of use, image
templates, and whatever else updated before the August 1st deadline.
That way there is no ambiguity about whether content was relicensed in
a timely fashion.  Doing that, including the various translations,
will require a significant lead time.

2) The migration is an incentive to other sites to also relicense.
Given that, it behooves us to get moving early enough that other sites
will also have time to react before the deadline.  Seeing the changes
we make will also give them a blueprint to what they may need to do.
Incidentally, the news coverage of this event so far has been quite
limited, which makes it more important that we have an outreach effort
to communicate what is happening to other GFDL projects that may wish
to change.

3) Content importing from GFDL sites (which are not also CC-BY-SA, and
do not get relicensed by their owners) is already impossible now.  One
of the provisions of the relicensing is that externally published
content (i.e. material originally published somewhere other than a WMF
wiki) can only be relicensed if it was already in our site before
November 1, 2008.  Any GFDL text imported after that date will
probably have to be deleted.  This doesn't happen very often on the
Wikipedias, but it is a bigger concern for Wikibooks and Wikisource.

-Robert Rohde

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