Let's switch to CC-BY-SA

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Let's switch to CC-BY-SA

Axel Boldt
The Wikimedia projects should switch from the GFDL to the CC-BY-SA
license.

Why to switch
=============

When we started, the CC-BY-SA didn't exist and GFDL was the only
available license that expressed the "free-to-use-and-modify-but-
creators-need-to-be-attributed-and-the-license-cannot-be-changed"
idea for textual materials. Since then, we have largely ignored
the more arcane features of the GFDL, essentially telling our users "If

you keep the license and provide a link back to the original, you're
welcome to use our materials." In other words, we have always used GFDL

as if it were CC-BY-SA. This practice is unfair for two reasons:

    * People who want to use our content have to trust that we won't
enforce the more arcane features of the GFDL in the future, such as the

requirement to change the article's title or to explicitly list at
least
five principal authors.

    * Contributors to Wikimedia projects have to trust that no one will

exploit the GFDL in the future and encumber their materials with
non-changeable text ("invariant sections").

By contrast, the CC-BY-SA license has the following advantages:

    * It is simple and fits our precise requirements.

    * It is promoted, maintained and translated by an active
organization, Creative Commons.

    * It is better known and more widely used than the GFDL, at least
outside of Wikimedia projects, increasing the potential for re-use and
collaboration.

We should do the right thing, bring theory and practice into alignment,
and switch to the CC-BY-SA license once and for all.

How to switch
=============

Here's the plan: we issue a press release and post a prominent website
banner, saying that from some specified date on, the current and all
future versions of all materials on Wikimedia servers will be
considered  
released under CC-BY-SA. Any content creator who does not agree with
this change is invited to have their materials removed before that
date.

I don't see how any good-faith contributor who has researched the
licenses could disagree with this change and prefer GFDL over CC-BY-SA.

A small group of disgruntled former contributors will probably use the
occasion to get their material wiped from our servers, and I don't see
anything wrong with that. Some trolls will attempt to game the system,
but we can deal with that.

All materials in the history up to the specified deadline should
probably remain available under GFDL only; this makes it easier to deal
with the material of contributors who disagree with the change. And we
need to find some way to deal with discussion and policy pages.

I realize that this opt-out procedure is not perfectly clean from a
legalistic standpoint, but neither is our current distortion of the
GFDL. If we look at it pragmatically, considering what YouTube and the
Internet Archive can get away with, there doesn't seem to be any
appreciable danger that we could be successfully sued over this matter;

the number of true copyright violations that appear on Wikipedia every
day are a much bigger cause for concern. And ethically speaking,
there's
nothing wrong with the opt-out approach since the two licenses are, in
essence and intent, identical.

--Axel


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Re: Let's switch to CC-BY-SA

geni
On 10/09/2007, Axel Boldt <[hidden email]> wrote:
> When we started, the CC-BY-SA didn't exist and GFDL was the only
> available license that expressed the "free-to-use-and-modify-but-
> creators-need-to-be-attributed-and-the-license-cannot-be-changed"
> idea for textual materials.

Nyet. Also nupedia FAL and a few other odds and ends.

> Since then, we have largely ignored
> the more arcane features of the GFDL,

Some have some have not.

>essentially telling our users "If
>
> you keep the license and provide a link back to the original, you're
> welcome to use our materials." In other words, we have always used GFDL

Actually wording generally a bit more subtle than that.

> as if it were CC-BY-SA. This practice is unfair for two reasons:
>
>     * People who want to use our content have to trust that we won't
> enforce the more arcane features of the GFDL in the future, such as the
>
> requirement to change the article's title or to explicitly list at
> least
> five principal authors.

Wikimedia can't really enforce anything since it holds very little of
the IP under the GFDL.



>     * Contributors to Wikimedia projects have to trust that no one will
>
> exploit the GFDL in the future and encumber their materials with
> non-changeable text ("invariant sections").

Being worked on in theory.

> By contrast, the CC-BY-SA license has the following advantages:
>
>     * It is simple and fits our precise requirements.

You ever read the legal text?


>     * It is promoted, maintained and translated by an active
> organization, Creative Commons.
>

FSF is active. Hopefully we will find out soon if they are active with
regard to things other than software.

>     * It is better known and more widely used than the GFDL, at least
> outside of Wikimedia projects, increasing the potential for re-use and
> collaboration.
>
> We should do the right thing, bring theory and practice into alignment,
> and switch to the CC-BY-SA license once and for all.
>
> How to switch
> =============
>
> Here's the plan: we issue a press release and post a prominent website
> banner, saying that from some specified date on, the current and all
> future versions of all materials on Wikimedia servers will be
> considered
> released under CC-BY-SA. Any content creator who does not agree with
> this change is invited to have their materials removed before that
> date.

And the derivs? You would risk shredding wikipedia.

>
> I don't see how any good-faith contributor who has researched the
> licenses could disagree with this change and prefer GFDL over CC-BY-SA.
>

Short answer is differences with CC with regards to what counts as a derivative.



> A small group of disgruntled former contributors will probably use the
> occasion to get their material wiped from our servers, and I don't see
> anything wrong with that. Some trolls will attempt to game the system,
> but we can deal with that.

Can't. We don't have the capacity to delete on that scale.

>
> All materials in the history up to the specified deadline should
> probably remain available under GFDL only; this makes it easier to deal
> with the material of contributors who disagree with the change. And we
> need to find some way to deal with discussion and policy pages.
>
> I realize that this opt-out procedure is not perfectly clean from a
> legalistic standpoint,

One way of putting it.

>but neither is our current distortion of the
> GFDL. If we look at it pragmatically, considering what YouTube and the
> Internet Archive can get away with, there doesn't seem to be any
> appreciable danger that we could be successfully sued over this matter;
>

Youtube have been sued rather a lot of times.

> the number of true copyright violations that appear on Wikipedia every
> day are a much bigger cause for concern.

Nyet speed we deal with them keeps us fairly safe there.

> And ethically speaking,
> there's
> nothing wrong with the opt-out approach since the two licenses are, in
> essence and intent, identical.

Nope. Dissagreement over what counts as a deriv is rather significant.


The core of it is that GFDL thinks that if you insert a GFDL object
into a larger document the document should be GFDL. CC does not except
in the case of music with video.

One upshot of this is would be required to delete every GFDL image or
at the very least we would be unable to use them in articles.

At the present time our best option appears to be to fix the GSFDL:

http://gplv3.fsf.org/comments/gsfdl-draft-1.html

Then get the GFDL modified to allow us to switch to the GSFDL (as
proposed in the next propopsed version of the GFDL).

Coments on how to fix the FDL licenses are being collected here:

http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/GFDL_suggestions

--
geni

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Re: Let's switch to CC-BY-SA

Mark
In reply to this post by Axel Boldt
Axel Boldt wrote:

> Here's the plan: we issue a press release and post a prominent website
> banner, saying that from some specified date on, the current and all
> future versions of all materials on Wikimedia servers will be
> considered  
> released under CC-BY-SA. Any content creator who does not agree with
> this change is invited to have their materials removed before that
> date.
> [...]
> I realize that this opt-out procedure is not perfectly clean from a
> legalistic standpoint, but neither is our current distortion of the
> GFDL. If we look at it pragmatically, considering what YouTube and the
> Internet Archive can get away with, there doesn't seem to be any
> appreciable danger that we could be successfully sued over this matter;
>  

"Not perfectly clean from a legalistic standpoint" is rather an
understatement. "Not even remotely legal" would be more like it.
Legally, this is rather like me uploading copies of a bunch of books to
my website and declaring them licensed under the GFDL unless the authors
object by some specific date. Obviously I can't do that, and neither can
you, or Wikipedia, take someone's copyrighted text and release it under
a license the author didn't agree to.

In any case, the FSF is already preparing an actually legal way out of
the GFDL for us, by using the "...or any other version" clause of the GFDL.

-Mark


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Re: Let's switch to CC-BY-SA

Axel Boldt
In reply to this post by geni
--- geni <[hidden email]> wrote:

> And the derivs? You would risk shredding wikipedia.

Should any contributors show up who don't want their material
distributed under CC-BY-SA, you just ask them what text in current
articles was written by them, and you delete it.

> Can't. We don't have the capacity to delete on that scale.

I expect the scale to be minuscule.

> Nope. Dissagreement over what counts as a deriv is rather
> significant.

The term "derivative work" occurs in both licenses and its meaning
cannot be changed by a license text; it's defined by law and by the
courts.

--Axel


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Re: Let's switch to CC-BY-SA

geni
On 10/09/2007, Axel Boldt <[hidden email]> wrote:
> --- geni <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > And the derivs? You would risk shredding wikipedia.
>
> Should any contributors show up who don't want their material
> distributed under CC-BY-SA, you just ask them what text in current
> articles was written by them, and you delete it.

No. Have to delete back a a version prior to their first edit unless
than edit was outright reverted. otherwise work will be derive of non
CC stuff.


> > Can't. We don't have the capacity to delete on that scale.
>
> I expect the scale to be minuscule.

With the number of GFDL only images around I think not. Wouldn't take
many of the more active editors to give us a massive deletion problem.

> > Nope. Dissagreement over what counts as a deriv is rather
> > significant.
>
> The term "derivative work" occurs in both licenses and its meaning
> cannot be changed by a license text; it's defined by law and by the
> courts.

The relevant terms are aggregation vs collective

Various comments by the two organisations exasperate matters.

--
geni

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Re: Let's switch to CC-BY-SA

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by Axel Boldt
On 9/9/07, Axel Boldt <[hidden email]> wrote:
> --- geni <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Can't. We don't have the capacity to delete on that scale.
>
> I expect the scale to be minuscule.
>
Just off the top of my head I can think of one former user who claims
to have revoked the GFDL and had 5705 edits.  That alone is beyond
what I'd call "minuscule".

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Re: Let's switch to CC-BY-SA

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by geni
On 9/9/07, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 10/09/2007, Axel Boldt <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > --- geni <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > Can't. We don't have the capacity to delete on that scale.
> >
> > I expect the scale to be minuscule.
>
> With the number of GFDL only images around I think not. Wouldn't take
> many of the more active editors to give us a massive deletion problem.
>
Surely GFDL images can be kept in CC-BY-SA articles under the same
doctrine that allows putting CC-BY-SA images in GFDL articles.

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Re: Let's switch to CC-BY-SA

Axel Boldt
In reply to this post by Mark
--- Delirium <[hidden email]> wrote:

> "Not perfectly clean from a legalistic standpoint" is rather an
> understatement. "Not even remotely legal" would be more like it.

Just as legal as the opt-out copyright infringement of the Internet
Archive, which to my knowledge has never been sued. In any event, I
don't think it's important to follow legal rules just for the sake of
formality; the only thing that matters is whether your actions are
ethical and how likely it is that you can be successfully sued over
them.

--Axel


       
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Re: Let's switch to CC-BY-SA

Anthony-73
On 9/9/07, Axel Boldt <[hidden email]> wrote:
> --- Delirium <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > "Not perfectly clean from a legalistic standpoint" is rather an
> > understatement. "Not even remotely legal" would be more like it.
>
> Just as legal as the opt-out copyright infringement of the Internet
> Archive, which to my knowledge has never been sued.

They have been sued (see for example
http://www.eff.org/legal/cases/landmark/), and considering that
archives are explicitly protected under the DMCA I'd say it's a much
different legal position.

> In any event, I
> don't think it's important to follow legal rules just for the sake of
> formality; the only thing that matters is whether your actions are
> ethical and how likely it is that you can be successfully sued over
> them.
>
Agreed, but not applicable, as what would be ethical would be to start
following the GFDL.

Of course, from a legal standpoint, that'd be irrelevant, since the
WMF has already had its rights terminated under the GFDL (see section
9).

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Re: Let's switch to CC-BY-SA

geni
In reply to this post by Axel Boldt
On 10/09/2007, Axel Boldt <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Just as legal as the opt-out copyright infringement of the Internet
> Archive, which to my knowledge has never been sued.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_archive#Automatically_entered_contracts

They for the most part rely on good will to avoid being sued. I would
rather not strech what good will we have further than absolutely
required.

>In any event, I
> don't think it's important to follow legal rules just for the sake of
> formality;

We don't. We follow them to have a shot at createing free content.

> the only thing that matters is whether your actions are
> ethical and how likely it is that you can be successfully sued over
> them.

In this case I would go for near certian.

--
geni

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Re: Let's switch to CC-BY-SA

Gwern Branwen
In reply to this post by Axel Boldt
On  0, Axel Boldt <[hidden email]> scribbled:

> The Wikimedia projects should switch from the GFDL to the CC-BY-SA
> license.
>
> Why to switch
> =============
>
> When we started, the CC-BY-SA didn't exist and GFDL was the only
> available license that expressed the "free-to-use-and-modify-but-
> creators-need-to-be-attributed-and-the-license-cannot-be-changed"
> idea for textual materials. Since then, we have largely ignored
> the more arcane features of the GFDL, essentially telling our users "If
>
> you keep the license and provide a link back to the original, you're
> welcome to use our materials." In other words, we have always used GFDL
>
> as if it were CC-BY-SA. This practice is unfair for two reasons:
>
>     * People who want to use our content have to trust that we won't
> enforce the more arcane features of the GFDL in the future, such as the
>
> requirement to change the article's title or to explicitly list at
> least
> five principal authors.
>
>     * Contributors to Wikimedia projects have to trust that no one will
>
> exploit the GFDL in the future and encumber their materials with
> non-changeable text ("invariant sections").
>
> By contrast, the CC-BY-SA license has the following advantages:
>
>     * It is simple and fits our precise requirements.
>
>     * It is promoted, maintained and translated by an active
> organization, Creative Commons.
>
>     * It is better known and more widely used than the GFDL, at least
> outside of Wikimedia projects, increasing the potential for re-use and
> collaboration.
>
> We should do the right thing, bring theory and practice into alignment,
> and switch to the CC-BY-SA license once and for all.
>
> How to switch
> =============
>
> Here's the plan: we issue a press release and post a prominent website
> banner, saying that from some specified date on, the current and all
> future versions of all materials on Wikimedia servers will be
> considered
> released under CC-BY-SA. Any content creator who does not agree with
> this change is invited to have their materials removed before that
> date.
....

I'm going to have to agree with the other commentators here.

This is incredibly dubious; you vastly underestimate the scope of those content creators. Perhaps I am totally mistaken here, but what if one contributor from the old days, who edited perhaps a total of 50k different articles (yes, there are disaffected people in that range and up), even if only to do disambiguations or equally modest changes, were to so demand removal of everything? Wouldn't that require all derivative versions of those articles, consisting of countless work and improvement and expansion to be either deleted or somehow excepted and continued to be released under the GFDL?

In addition, I think we should give the FSF/Stallman a chance. They've done well by us in the software area, and I've heard that they seem to've recognized the error of their ways re the GFDL and are seeking to mend them with the GSFDL. If they mess up again, we can then consider your quasi-illegal move to CC-BY-SA. In that outcome, hopefully losing the largest user of their documentation licenses would wake them up a bit.

--
gwern
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Re: Let's switch to CC-BY-SA

geni
In reply to this post by Anthony-73
On 10/09/2007, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Surely GFDL images can be kept in CC-BY-SA articles under the same
> doctrine that allows putting CC-BY-SA images in GFDL articles.

FSF seem to disagree. The doctrine is kinda one sided.

--
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Re: Let's switch to CC-BY-SA

geni
In reply to this post by Anthony-73
On 10/09/2007, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Agreed, but not applicable, as what would be ethical would be to start
> following the GFDL.
>
> Of course, from a legal standpoint, that'd be irrelevant, since the
> WMF has already had its rights terminated under the GFDL (see section
> 9).

WMF is not a publisher so it's rights are irrelevant. Wikipedia
documents are within the GFDL as long as you consider the entire
document (the article text, the history and various other bits) rather
than a single page. I suspect there are also at least two different
ways of doing it.


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Re: Let's switch to CC-BY-SA

Anthony-73
On 9/9/07, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 10/09/2007, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Agreed, but not applicable, as what would be ethical would be to start
> > following the GFDL.
> >
> > Of course, from a legal standpoint, that'd be irrelevant, since the
> > WMF has already had its rights terminated under the GFDL (see section
> > 9).
>
> WMF is not a publisher so it's rights are irrelevant.

True, I suppose, in which case every single person who has ever edited
a Wikipedia article has had their rights terminated under section 9.

> Wikipedia
> documents are within the GFDL as long as you consider the entire
> document (the article text, the history and various other bits) rather
> than a single page.

Perhaps you could point me to the title page which lists the five
principal authors of the Document, then.

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Re: Let's switch to CC-BY-SA

geni
On 10/09/2007, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 9/9/07, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On 10/09/2007, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > Agreed, but not applicable, as what would be ethical would be to start
> > > following the GFDL.
> > >
> > > Of course, from a legal standpoint, that'd be irrelevant, since the
> > > WMF has already had its rights terminated under the GFDL (see section
> > > 9).
> >
> > WMF is not a publisher so it's rights are irrelevant.
>
> True, I suppose, in which case every single person who has ever edited
> a Wikipedia article has had their rights terminated under section 9.
>
> > Wikipedia
> > documents are within the GFDL as long as you consider the entire
> > document (the article text, the history and various other bits) rather
> > than a single page.
>
> Perhaps you could point me to the title page which lists the five
> principal authors of the Document, then.

Strangely the GFDL does not state the the title page and history page
cannot be the same thing.

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Re: Let's switch to CC-BY-SA

Anthony-73
On 9/9/07, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 10/09/2007, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On 9/9/07, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > On 10/09/2007, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > > Agreed, but not applicable, as what would be ethical would be to start
> > > > following the GFDL.
> > > >
> > > > Of course, from a legal standpoint, that'd be irrelevant, since the
> > > > WMF has already had its rights terminated under the GFDL (see section
> > > > 9).
> > >
> > > WMF is not a publisher so it's rights are irrelevant.
> >
> > True, I suppose, in which case every single person who has ever edited
> > a Wikipedia article has had their rights terminated under section 9.
> >
> > > Wikipedia
> > > documents are within the GFDL as long as you consider the entire
> > > document (the article text, the history and various other bits) rather
> > > than a single page.
> >
> > Perhaps you could point me to the title page which lists the five
> > principal authors of the Document, then.
>
> Strangely the GFDL does not state the the title page and history page
> cannot be the same thing.
>
Not in so many words, but it does say two things which pretty much
eliminate this possibility (and certainly eliminate the possibility
that Wikipedia is doing this):

1) The "Title Page" means, for a printed book, the title page itself,
plus such following pages as are needed to hold, legibly, the material
this License requires to appear in the title page. For works in
formats which do not have any title page as such, "Title Page" means
the text near the most prominent appearance of the work's title,
preceding the beginning of the body of the text.

2) A section "Entitled XYZ" means a named subunit of the Document
whose title either is precisely XYZ or contains XYZ in parentheses
following text that translates XYZ in another language. (Here XYZ
stands for a specific section name mentioned below, such as
"Acknowledgements", "Dedications", "Endorsements", or "History".) To
"Preserve the Title" of such a section when you modify the Document
means that it remains a section "Entitled XYZ" according to this
definition.

There are lots of other inconsistencies too, which I've gone over in
other threads.  So bottom line is that the WMF, as well as anyone who
has ever edited a Wikipedia article, have already lost their rights
under the GFDL.  From a purely legal standpoint you might as well
switch to CC-BY-SA, I guess.

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Re: Let's switch to CC-BY-SA

White Cat
In reply to this post by geni
Why not dual license everything? Both under GFDL and CC as of now on? A
thought.

    - White Cat

On 9/10/07, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On 10/09/2007, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On 9/9/07, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > On 10/09/2007, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > > Agreed, but not applicable, as what would be ethical would be to
> start
> > > > following the GFDL.
> > > >
> > > > Of course, from a legal standpoint, that'd be irrelevant, since the
> > > > WMF has already had its rights terminated under the GFDL (see
> section
> > > > 9).
> > >
> > > WMF is not a publisher so it's rights are irrelevant.
> >
> > True, I suppose, in which case every single person who has ever edited
> > a Wikipedia article has had their rights terminated under section 9.
> >
> > > Wikipedia
> > > documents are within the GFDL as long as you consider the entire
> > > document (the article text, the history and various other bits) rather
> > > than a single page.
> >
> > Perhaps you could point me to the title page which lists the five
> > principal authors of the Document, then.
>
> Strangely the GFDL does not state the the title page and history page
> cannot be the same thing.
>
> --
> geni
>
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Re: Let's switch to CC-BY-SA

geni
In reply to this post by Anthony-73
On 10/09/2007, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 9/9/07, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On 10/09/2007, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > On 9/9/07, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > > On 10/09/2007, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > > > Agreed, but not applicable, as what would be ethical would be to start
> > > > > following the GFDL.
> > > > >
> > > > > Of course, from a legal standpoint, that'd be irrelevant, since the
> > > > > WMF has already had its rights terminated under the GFDL (see section
> > > > > 9).
> > > >
> > > > WMF is not a publisher so it's rights are irrelevant.
> > >
> > > True, I suppose, in which case every single person who has ever edited
> > > a Wikipedia article has had their rights terminated under section 9.
> > >
> > > > Wikipedia
> > > > documents are within the GFDL as long as you consider the entire
> > > > document (the article text, the history and various other bits) rather
> > > > than a single page.
> > >
> > > Perhaps you could point me to the title page which lists the five
> > > principal authors of the Document, then.
> >
> > Strangely the GFDL does not state the the title page and history page
> > cannot be the same thing.
> >
> Not in so many words, but it does say two things which pretty much
> eliminate this possibility (and certainly eliminate the possibility
> that Wikipedia is doing this):
>

Nope because the title page is not a "A section "Entitled XYZ" " it is
somewhat different from other requirements in that respect.

--
geni

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Re: Let's switch to CC-BY-SA

Erik Moeller-4
In reply to this post by Axel Boldt
On 9/10/07, Axel Boldt <[hidden email]> wrote:
> The Wikimedia projects should switch from the GFDL to the CC-BY-SA
> license.

I'm going to have to quickly kill this discussion.

The Foundation is in ongoing discussions with the FSF & CC about
resolving issues with the GFDL & ensuring better compatibility between
licenses. We will likely present one or multiple decision paths to the
community soon for further discussion. This is not one of them, as we
do not have to resort to a legally risky move if a newer version of
the GFDL is released which meets our needs.

Please have a little more patience; we've been working on this issue
for many months & we've been making significant progress.
--
Toward Peace, Love & Progress:
Erik

DISCLAIMER: This message does not represent an official position of
the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.

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Re: Let's switch to CC-BY-SA

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by geni
On 9/9/07, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 10/09/2007, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On 9/9/07, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > On 10/09/2007, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > > On 9/9/07, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > > > On 10/09/2007, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > > > > Agreed, but not applicable, as what would be ethical would be to start
> > > > > > following the GFDL.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Of course, from a legal standpoint, that'd be irrelevant, since the
> > > > > > WMF has already had its rights terminated under the GFDL (see section
> > > > > > 9).
> > > > >
> > > > > WMF is not a publisher so it's rights are irrelevant.
> > > >
> > > > True, I suppose, in which case every single person who has ever edited
> > > > a Wikipedia article has had their rights terminated under section 9.
> > > >
> > > > > Wikipedia
> > > > > documents are within the GFDL as long as you consider the entire
> > > > > document (the article text, the history and various other bits) rather
> > > > > than a single page.
> > > >
> > > > Perhaps you could point me to the title page which lists the five
> > > > principal authors of the Document, then.
> > >
> > > Strangely the GFDL does not state the the title page and history page
> > > cannot be the same thing.
> > >
> > Not in so many words, but it does say two things which pretty much
> > eliminate this possibility (and certainly eliminate the possibility
> > that Wikipedia is doing this):
> >
>
> Nope because the title page is not a "A section "Entitled XYZ" " it is
> somewhat different from other requirements in that respect.
>
Umm, thanks, you made my point.  The title page is not a "section
Entitled XYZ".  Therefore it is not a "section Entitled History".

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