[Wikipedia-l] Thoughts on Wikipedia-Specific License

Jimmy Wales jwales at bomis.com
Fri Oct 26 18:50:43 UTC 2001

I'm not in disagreement with any of the sentiments expressed by Simon.

Two thoughts, though...

1.  If we did decide to change the license, it would have to be to
    something with equivalent or at least similar credibility to the
    GNU license, which might be hard to achieve with something
    homegrown.  One of the most important "marketing" reasons for the
    GNU license is that people can immediately see that it is a
    "GNU-brand" license and therefore something that they can trust in
    the usual ways.

2.  It would probably be very difficult to change the license at this
    point, since any change we made would have to be consistent with
    the fact that the content in the encyclopedia is already GNU FDL,
    and the "viral" nature of GNU licenses means that derivatives have
    to have the same license.

I'm not even sure we could change from FDL to GPL.

It should be pointed out that the GPL isn't really appropriate,
either.  It was designed for software and it is really incoherent when
you start reading it and thinking about things in a non-software
context.  There is talk of compiled binaries, etc., which only apply
here by the very loosest of analogies.

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