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

David Gerard dgerard at gmail.com
Fri May 29 10:00:42 UTC 2009

2009/5/29 Newyorkbrad (Wikipedia) <newyorkbrad at gmail.com>:

> You know ... I can't think of a single instance in which I've ever seen
> Wikipedia content reused in which the GFDL was followed.  In EVERY instance,
> the attribution has either been messed up or omitted altogether.
> I'm not saying this is a good thing, of course.

That's because the GFDL is monstrously ill-suited to wiki content in
the case of the "suit from persistent insane content author" threat
model. In practice, best-effort is about the best that can be done.
Even then the querulous will try to make trouble for the reusers (see
[[:en:Talk:Freebase]] for a recent example).

Ditching the GFDL in favour of a licence that's actually possible to
keep to in practice is one of the best ideas ever. That other sites
have used the GFDL following Wikimedia's lead is not a sufficient
justification for claims or implications that the GFDL was in any way
adequate for what we do, ever.

- d.

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