[Foundation-l] Third-party GFDL text irrevocably incompatible with Wikipedia as of August 1

Newyorkbrad (Wikipedia) newyorkbrad at gmail.com
Wed May 27 11:16:48 UTC 2009

Thanks for circulating this.

Not to create a self-fulfilling prophecy here, but I suspect that 90%
or more of those affected by this issue will not care or will not
understand the urgency, and they will not do anything, either on their
own sites or on-wiki. What are the practical implications of this if
nothing happens and little attention is paid by anyone?


On 5/27/09, Samuel Klein <meta.sj at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello,
> The relicensing process is underway.  This means we have only 2 months
> to help GFDL wikis that want Wikipedia compatibility to follow suit.
> The clause that allows GFDL wikis to be relicensed to CC-BY-SA 3
> expires on August 1 of this year.
> I am crossposting this from the licensing thread on foundation-l
> because it is important and time sensitive.
> While the intent behind the August 1 sunset clause provision was to
> "offer[] all wiki maintainers ample time to make their decision", this
> has not yet worked out in practice.  Many GFDL-licensed wiki
> maintainers haven't looked at GFDL 1.3, aren't fully aware of
> Wikipedia's decision to relicense, and have no idea there are hard
> deadlines involved; nor have they though through the implications for
> their current contributions to / reuse of Wikipedia.    (I myself had
> plans to organize an import of Medpedia content into WP before
> realizing that this is not possible unless they choose to relicense --
> even though as of today both are GFDL wikis.)
> Please help add to the list and contact those that you know:
>   http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/GFDL_relicensing
> A selection of large GFDL wikis that have not confirmed plans to
> change their licenses:
>  Enciclopedia Libre
>  PlanetMath
>  Sourcewatch, congresspedia
>  the International Music Score Library Project
>  实用查询Wiki (ReferenceWiki, cn.18dao.net)
>  湖北百科 (wiki.027.cn)
>  WikiZnanie
>  Medpedia, WikiDoc
>  WikiTimeScale
>  Vikidia
> I've seen a few short discussions on Wikia wikis, but nothing
> conclusive... any updates there?
> Smaller wikis are more likely to be unaware of the relicensing
> decision or implications... and more likely to have been swayed by
> "the license Wikipedia is using" when making their initial decision.
> There are hundreds of them with great educational material, more than
> the dozens listed on meta so far.   In particular, I expect there are
> many more Chinese, German, Japanese and Russian wikis out there... I
> hope we can manage to reach most of them.
> Recently Robert Rhode said:
>> 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.
> The second point makes sense.  We do need more outreach; a long-term
> sitenotice for anons would be appropriate -- with links to how to
> relicense your own wiki, and what this means for reuse of Wikimedia
> material / importing your own into an article.
> Mainstream press coverage would be nice - perhaps after seeing which
> other large wikis are planning to switch as well.
> SJ
> --
> * to be precise, when the license switch takes effect in mid-June,
> externally-sourced GFDL content will be made retroactively
> incompatible with Wikimedia projects back to November 2008.  We have
> until August 1 to show partner sites how to relicense so that we
> remain compatible.
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