[WikiEN-l] Fair use redux; the second coming of hell; Are we a free content or aren't we?

Bryan Derksen bryan.derksen at shaw.ca
Sat Jul 21 01:12:53 UTC 2007

WikipediaEditor Durin wrote:
> On 7/19/07, Bryan Derksen <bryan.derksen at shaw.ca> wrote:
>> WikipediaEditor Durin wrote:
>>> en.wikipedia is utterly failing at executing the Foundation's mission,
>> and
>>> it is THE flagship project.
>> This is unwarranted hyperbole. If we're utterly failing, why is
>> Wikipedia a top-10 website that's rapidly gaining cachet as the first
>> place to look for general information, why is Britannica in terror of
>> us, and (specifically on the "free" front) why is the Wikipedia database
>> being used by literally hundreds of mirrors?
> Our mission says nothing about striving to become a top 10 website.

True. But it does say we're trying to become a good encyclopedia, and
the fact that we're a top 10 website is evidence that we're succeeding
in that goal. Or are you suggesting that the vast numbers of visitors
we're getting are coming for something _other_ than encyclopedia
content? I can't imagine why else they'd be coming to Wikipedia if not
to read encyclopedia articles.

>> The same rationales that we use for fair use images can be used by
>> others who wish to use Wikipedia's material in the same context (as an
>> educational encyclopedia), so it's not like the fair use images are
>> completely useless for people wishing to reuse our content. They just
>> have to make the judgement for themselves which licences are compatible
>> with their use and strip out the bits that aren't.
> Then we might as well liberally allow fair use, since we're unconcerned
> with derivative uses.

I'm suggesting that there's a _balance_ to be found here. Since we keep
everything non-free tagged with explicit non-free labels, people who
wish to create derivative works that can't make use of fair use
exemptions the way we do can easily strip out the content that they
can't use.

There's material on Wikipedia with licences that are even less
restrictive than the GFDL but it would be silly to decide to strip out
everything licenced under the GFDL solely for the sake of freeing things
up even more. Again, different competing goals must strike a balance.

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 250 bytes
Desc: OpenPGP digital signature
Url : http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikien-l/attachments/20070720/f984ef0a/attachment-0001.pgp 

More information about the WikiEN-l mailing list