[Foundation-l] content ownership in different projects

Peter Gervai grinapo at gmail.com
Fri Jun 17 12:28:19 UTC 2011

On Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 13:56, David Gerard <dgerard at gmail.com> wrote:

>> use case for a project like Knol, which was advertised as "Wikipedia
>> killer" once, but didn't grow much.
> Minor note: as far as I know, *no-one* from Knol/Google ever claimed
> it had anything to do with WIkipedia. The entire notion appeared to me
> to have arisen in the technical press in the week after Knol's
> announcement, apparently on the basis that both were written by
> unfiltered contributors, which was still a radical notion to the press
> at the time. The comparison stuck, but I know of no evidence that that
> was the intention.

As a miscellaneous minor addition I'd say that in one point of view
(where someone accepts the fact that google intends not to do evil)
google hardly ever create a new feature to kill others but to satisfy
their own needs to have it, either by technically or business-wise
(eg. when they wanted to have the feature and the already existing
technology owner don't want to sell it :)). So in that point of view
I'd say there isn't really anything they release with the purpose of
killing anyone in particular (much to the contrary of some of their
rivals I'd prefer not to name here).

However this doesn't change the fact that this may very well result
the smaller, original service to stagnate, lose population or die
entirely, just because the movement of interest of the people. This
have happened by their search engine (anyone remembers the name
"Altavista"? Excite?), and may well happen again in the future.
Wikipedia is, however, a pretty strong feature, with large, active
community and pretty well defined and working workflows (with their
own problems, yes, but it is pretty good anyway). It requires
something extraordinary to move such amounts of people over, probably
along the way of grabbing the current database and make something very
new out of it. I don't expect this to happen soon.

Well regarding the original question, the mentioned policy is just a
human readable translation of the license, or the effects of it.
Creating free content means basically to disown it, to release
modification rights, and to accept the fact that anyone can fork it,
change it or incorporate it. In exchange of this you get free access
to the work of OTHERS with the same freedom, and you act as a
catalyser for more free content to be created. That is the deal,
regardless of the phrasing of this or any similar "policies".

You release your rights to disallow others to use your content for
(almost) whatever they please.


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