[Foundation-l] Request: WMF commitment as a long term cultural archive?

Fred Bauder fredbaud at fairpoint.net
Thu Jun 2 16:02:07 UTC 2011

OH, I see: Don't put your eggs all in one basket.


> There are two caveats:  nobody can tell the  future of human cultural
> history or any individual legal organization, and while the repository
> and
> wikis as a whole, and virtually all legally hostable media of genuine
> value,
> are preserved indefinitely, obviously no guarantee can be given
> concerning
> any specific individual image or article.
> Beyond that, the best guarantee is the license it's under.  The
> Foundation
> licenses all its data and content (with the sole exception of non-free
> images used to illustrate articles on local wikis) under a license that
> allows anyone to use, copy, amend, or distribute them. The explicit
> purpose
> of doing so is so that anyone wishing to can not only redistribute it,
> but
> if they are unhappy with its prospects in WMF's custodianship, they can
> take
> all of it and archive it or fork from it - that is, start their own
> version
> based on all content, descriptions, data and articles they wish to take
> and
> use.
> That right is enshrined on Wikipedia in policy and license - it's known
> as
> the "*right to fork*" [ie, to create derivatives and copies].   Our
> forking
> FAQ <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:FAQ/Forking> expands on this
> giving details of where data can be downloaded, as well as Wikipedia
> holding
> a list of websites that mirror its
> content<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Websites_which_use_Wikipedia>for
> anyone's use.
> As the financial market crash proved, promises made by one organization
> are
> only useful insofar as that organization can promise to endure and meet
> them. Our approach is to spread our content and make sure others know we
> actively support re-archiving and reuse of it, ensuring that copies and
> archives will always exist.
> At worst I cannot be sure if all data is routinely provided - a staff
> member
> can comment on this - but the policy, rights, traditions, choice of
> license,
> and endorsement of other sites doing so in practice, is our way of
> ensuring
> a practical commitment is made.
> FT2
> On Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 12:29 PM, Fae <faenwp at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I'm taking part in an images discussion workshop with a number of
>> academics tomorrow and could do with a statement about the WMF's long
>> term commitment to supporting Wikimedia Commons (and other projects)
>> in terms of the public availability of media. Is there an official
>> published policy I can point to that includes, say, a 10 year or 100
>> commitment?
>> If it exists, this would be a key factor for researchers choosing
>> where to share their images with the public.
>> Thanks,
>> Fae
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