Licensing transition: opposing points of view

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Licensing transition: opposing points of view

Robert Rohde
Some people on this list have had a negative reaction to the licensing
proposal.  Sometimes this arises from different understandings of what
the new license will mean (i.e. issues of interpretation).  More often
it seems the core issues are different opinions about whether the
change is desirable (i.e. issues of personal preference).  For
example, if you believe the license text ought to appear alongside
every copy, then you have a personal preference for the GFDL.

The licensing update FAQ [1] has largely been written in the voice of
the Foundation.  It explains what is going on, what the advantages of
the transition are, and what some of the implications are.  However,
it does not generally speak for the opposition, nor does it explain
why anyone would prefer the GFDL, even though some people on this list
clearly do.

Previous authors on this listserve have made at least two prior calls
for opponents of this process to express their views in writing by
producing some form of complementary summary document.  Thus far that
has not happened.  The draft timeline for the licensing update [2]
calls for the documentation to be finalized (or nearly so) this week
so that translation efforts can proceed in earnest.  At a
philosophical level I believe that opponents of this measure deserve
the opportunity to present their reasons why, but that doesn't mean
the whole process can be delayed indefinitely.  So if anyone does want
to write an opposition viewpoint, I think they would be well served to
do so soon.

-Robert Rohde

[1] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Licensing_update/Questions_and_Answers
[2] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Licensing_update/Timeline

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Re: Licensing transition: opposing points of view

geni
2009/3/17 Robert Rohde <[hidden email]>:

> Some people on this list have had a negative reaction to the licensing
> proposal.  Sometimes this arises from different understandings of what
> the new license will mean (i.e. issues of interpretation).  More often
> it seems the core issues are different opinions about whether the
> change is desirable (i.e. issues of personal preference).  For
> example, if you believe the license text ought to appear alongside
> every copy, then you have a personal preference for the GFDL.
>
> The licensing update FAQ [1] has largely been written in the voice of
> the Foundation.  It explains what is going on, what the advantages of
> the transition are, and what some of the implications are.  However,
> it does not generally speak for the opposition, nor does it explain
> why anyone would prefer the GFDL, even though some people on this list
> clearly do.
>

1 person on this list. The rest of the opposition comes from the
foundations unlawful and ill thought out proposed TOS.



--
geni

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Re: Licensing transition: opposing points of view

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen
geni wrote:

> 2009/3/17 Robert Rohde <[hidden email]>:
>  
>> Some people on this list have had a negative reaction to the licensing
>> proposal.  Sometimes this arises from different understandings of what
>> the new license will mean (i.e. issues of interpretation).  More often
>> it seems the core issues are different opinions about whether the
>> change is desirable (i.e. issues of personal preference).  For
>> example, if you believe the license text ought to appear alongside
>> every copy, then you have a personal preference for the GFDL.
>>
>> The licensing update FAQ [1] has largely been written in the voice of
>> the Foundation.  It explains what is going on, what the advantages of
>> the transition are, and what some of the implications are.  However,
>> it does not generally speak for the opposition, nor does it explain
>> why anyone would prefer the GFDL, even though some people on this list
>> clearly do.
>>
>>    
>
> 1 person on this list. The rest of the opposition comes from the
> foundations unlawful and ill thought out proposed TOS.
>
>
>
>  

I wholeheartedly agree with geni here. While I support Robert
Rohde's general sentiment of "let's just get on with it", his
description of the situation as it stands leaves much to be
desired for.

There absolutely has only been the one voice bemoaning
the passing of gfdl from wikimedia, and that voice not even
accepting RMS own words or trust of the replacement
scheme. It beggars belief that someone would think that
anyone would come to the conclusion that this equates
to "some people on this list clearly do". There is just one
"jeremiah" on this list.

But I have to object also on the point that supposedly the
other side has merely given some metaphysical "foundation
view" on the issue. That is just simple bullcrap.

The one loud voice here from the foundation *staff* (staff
mind you, not the board of trustees) was espousing a very
novel interpretation of the CC-BY-SA that would have quite
spectacularly failed the "tentacles of evil" test of the Debian
guidelines.

Even still the wording seems to not quite get the point of
share-alike, but frankly not in a fatal way, and can be easily
adjusted later, since it is merely misleading the very naive,
who don't quite understand the real liberties that the
genuine license gives them.


Yours,

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen



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Re: Licensing transition: opposing points of view

Anthony-73
On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 1:36 AM, Jussi-Ville Heiskanen <[hidden email]
> wrote:

> The one loud voice here from the foundation *staff* (staff
> mind you, not the board of trustees) was espousing a very
> novel interpretation of the CC-BY-SA that would have quite
> spectacularly failed the "tentacles of evil" test of the Debian
> guidelines.
>

A view which the Creative Commons lawyers themselves have endorsed.

It's fortunate that the motives of this move came out before the decision
was made, because nothing is stopping CC from changing the license later.
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Re: Licensing transition: opposing points of view

Erik Moeller-4
In reply to this post by geni
2009/3/18 geni <[hidden email]>:
> 1 person on this list. The rest of the opposition comes from the
> foundations unlawful and ill thought out proposed TOS.

For the record, our legal reasoning for the attribution terms under
consideration is as follows (as reviewed by Mike).

1) Part 1: Can attribution-by-link be reconciled with the legal code
of CC-BY-SA?

Answer: Yes. The "attribution by link" option was explicitly made
available to authors in CC-BY-SA 2.0 (note difference in section 4.c:
http://tinyurl.com/cvdbe9 and related blog entry:
http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/4216 ). Authors also have the
option to not supply an author name for the purposes of attribution
("the Original Author if supplied"). The attribution requirements are
also tempered by the caveat that they should be "reasonable to the
medium or means", building in flexibility for situations where, for
example, providing attribution to all authors directly isn't feasible
or reasonable.

Therefore terms of use which require authors to agree to be credited
by link, and not by name, are consistent with the language of CC-BY-SA.
This entire reasoning has been explicitly confirmed by Creative Commons
General Counsel Diane Peters.

2) Part 2: Can such an attribution model be reconciled with moral
rights provisions in certain jurisdictions?

Answer: Yes. Moral rights provisions protect an author's right to be
named, but allow flexibility in how such attribution occurs (for
example, there is a long history of case law with regard to
pseudonymous attribution). As long as authors consent to
terms of use requiring attribution by hyperlink, such attribution is
consistent with moral rights. Such consent has already been given
for existing edits (see below).

3) Part 3: Is such an attribution model consistent with the past
practice under which authors have contributed to Wikipedia and other
projects?

Answer: Yes. This is evident through the current site-wide copyright
terms, e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Copyrights . Even
the earliest available version of the Wikipedia:Copyrights policy
which stated re-users obligations said that users' "obligations can be
fulfilled by providing a conspicuous link back to the home of the
article here at wikipedia.com."
[http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Copyrights&oldid=159593]
Similar terms have been stated through the history of the policy, as
well as other language versions.

In addition to the site-wide terms of use, the consistency of this
practice can also be inferred from the experience of a user
contributing content to Wikipedia or another Wikimedia website. Such
changes are not visibly credited to the contributor on the resultant
page. Indeed, the only way in which contributors are credited in
Wikipedia is through a history of changes. This history is a full view
of every change ever made to a page, often spanning multiple pages,
including irrelevant edits, and providing no obvious means to discern
contributors who have made substantial edits. Authors do not receive
attribution by name in any conventional fashion, such as by being
listed below the article title or in the page footer. In the
exploratory Wikimedia Foundation survey on attribution, some users
even pointed out that if they ever expected to be credited for their
work, they would have chosen a different username.

Therefore, an argument that a contributor has a reasonable expectation
to be attributed beyond the proposed terms is not supportable by past
and current practice. That said, these terms have always been inconsistent
with the rigorous requirements of the GFDL, and while the terms of use and
real-world practice can be understood to establish the actual
conditions of re-use, CC-BY-SA guarantees full consistency of the
longstanding attribution model with the content license.
--
Erik Möller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate

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Re: Licensing transition: opposing points of view

Milos Rancic-2
To be clear, my personal position toward any kind authorship
(especially toward "moral rights") is a very negative one. In brief, I
think that this is a kind of bourgeois egotism. In more details, I
think that all of us own to our teachers, they own to their teachers;
which, in fact, means that all of us own to all of our ancestors, from
our parents to amoebas; which should be attributed as well.

But...

On Fri, Mar 20, 2009 at 4:30 AM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 1) Part 1: Can attribution-by-link be reconciled with the legal code
> of CC-BY-SA?
>
> Answer: Yes. The "attribution by link" option was explicitly made
> available to authors in CC-BY-SA 2.0 (note difference in section 4.c:
> http://tinyurl.com/cvdbe9 and related blog entry:
> http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/4216 ). Authors also have the
> option to not supply an author name for the purposes of attribution
> ("the Original Author if supplied"). The attribution requirements are
> also tempered by the caveat that they should be "reasonable to the
> medium or means", building in flexibility for situations where, for
> example, providing attribution to all authors directly isn't feasible
> or reasonable.
>
> Therefore terms of use which require authors to agree to be credited
> by link, and not by name, are consistent with the language of CC-BY-SA.
> This entire reasoning has been explicitly confirmed by Creative Commons
> General Counsel Diane Peters.

This kind of construction makes one copyleft license in practice just
a little bit stronger than public domain. It may be very useful in a
case like Wikipedia articles have, but something is deeply wrong with
it. In other words, in practice it says "You may do whatever you want
with the content while a derivative work is still in PD and you gave a
link to the original source."

This is not copyleft and a lot of people are contributing here because
our content is copylefted. From my amateur point of view, copylefted
material is copyrighted material in a such way that it can't be closed
again. Copyright means that authorship is respected. Respected
authorship means that [relevant] authors are mentioned.

> 2) Part 2: Can such an attribution model be reconciled with moral
> rights provisions in certain jurisdictions?
>
> Answer: Yes. Moral rights provisions protect an author's right to be
> named, but allow flexibility in how such attribution occurs (for
> example, there is a long history of case law with regard to
> pseudonymous attribution). As long as authors consent to
> terms of use requiring attribution by hyperlink, such attribution is
> consistent with moral rights. Such consent has already been given
> for existing edits (see below).

Moral rights are not respected because:

1) If authors won't be able to say that their name should be kept --
or it won't be a widely known fact.
2) If it would be an option, authors wouldn't be represented equally.
Just authors which explicitly say that they want to be attributed --
will be attributed.

To resume: I am happy to see that WMF intends to make a great shift
from bourgeois egotism to a reasonable attribution. But, I am quite
unsure about the consequences which will be brought with it, inside of
the world full of bourgeois egotism.

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Re: Licensing transition: opposing points of view

Nikola Smolenski
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
Дана Friday 20 March 2009 04:30:11 Erik Moeller написа:

> For the record, our legal reasoning for the attribution terms under
> consideration is as follows (as reviewed by Mike).
>
> 1) Part 1: Can attribution-by-link be reconciled with the legal code
> of CC-BY-SA?
>
> Answer: Yes. The "attribution by link" option was explicitly made
> available to authors in CC-BY-SA 2.0 (note difference in section 4.c:
> http://tinyurl.com/cvdbe9 and related blog entry:
> http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/4216 ). Authors also have the

Erik, this is simply not true. The sentence in question reads [...] You must
keep intact all copyright notices for the Work and give the Original Author
credit reasonable to the medium or means You are utilizing by conveying the
name (or pseudonym if applicable) of the Original Author if supplied; the
title of the Work if supplied; to the extent reasonably practicable, the
Uniform Resource Identifier, if any, that Licensor specifies to be associated
with the Work [...] So, the URI has to be given *in addition* to the name of
the author, not *instead* of it.

> Therefore terms of use which require authors to agree to be credited
> by link, and not by name, are consistent with the language of CC-BY-SA.
> This entire reasoning has been explicitly confirmed by Creative Commons
> General Counsel Diane Peters.

...who apparently hasn't read her own license.

> 3) Part 3: Is such an attribution model consistent with the past
> practice under which authors have contributed to Wikipedia and other
> projects?
>
> Answer: Yes. This is evident through the current site-wide copyright
> terms, e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Copyrights . Even
> the earliest available version of the Wikipedia:Copyrights policy
> which stated re-users obligations said that users' "obligations can be
> fulfilled by providing a conspicuous link back to the home of the
> article here at wikipedia.com."
> [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Copyrights&oldid=15959
>3] Similar terms have been stated through the history of the policy, as well
> as other language versions.

This is also not completely true. It is true that Wikipedia mirrors often
cited authors in this way; but a number of books that were printed from
Wikipedia content have a list of all the authors. I would also argue that
printing a link is not the same thing as providing it.

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Re: Licensing transition: opposing points of view

Erik Moeller-4
In reply to this post by Milos Rancic-2
2009/3/19 Milos Rancic <[hidden email]>:
> This kind of construction makes one copyleft license in practice just
> a little bit stronger than public domain.

Um, no. The power of copyleft is in preserving freedom to re-use on
derivatives. Can you point to any piece of writing that somehow links
copyleft inherently to attribution? I consider the two to be
completely de-linked, and some people have in fact proposed copyleft
licenses which do not require attribution.

That said, that is a philosophical tangent, because we're not
proposing to remove attribution. We're not even proposing to alter it:
We're proposing terms of use that are consistent with what's currently
written on pages such as Wikipedia:Copyrights, and with what Wikipedia
itself has been doing since its inception.

Essentially, the underlying theory is that for massively collaborative
works, linking to a copy that includes the change history is a
reasonable alternative to including the change history directly. The
attribution terms are phrased precisely to assure that this author
credit is retained in the linked-to copy, when author credit is not
directly given.

In this regard, the terms represent an improvement to what's currently
stated in our terms of re-use. By switching to CC-BY-SA, we reconcile
those terms with the content license.

> Moral rights are not respected because:
>
> 1) If authors won't be able to say that their name should be kept --
> or it won't be a widely known fact.
> 2) If it would be an option, authors wouldn't be represented equally.
> Just authors which explicitly say that they want to be attributed --
> will be attributed.

No, you're confusing terms of participation in a project like
Wikipedia with moral rights. Wikipedia can set its own terms of
participation in any way that's reasonably consistent with the
fundamental legal philosophy of moral rights. Linking to a copy of the
content that includes author credit satisfies that criterion.
--
Erik Möller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate

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Re: Licensing transition: opposing points of view

Erik Moeller-4
In reply to this post by Jussi-Ville Heiskanen
2009/3/18 Jussi-Ville Heiskanen <[hidden email]>:
> The one loud voice here from the foundation *staff* (staff
> mind you, not the board of trustees) was espousing a very
> novel interpretation of the CC-BY-SA that would have quite
> spectacularly failed the "tentacles of evil" test of the Debian
> guidelines.

What interpretation are you referring to, and how would it fail the
tentacles of evil test?
--
Erik Möller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate

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Re: Licensing transition: opposing points of view

Erik Moeller-4
In reply to this post by Nikola Smolenski
2009/3/19 Nikola Smolenski <[hidden email]>:
> Erik, this is simply not true. The sentence in question reads [...] You must
> keep intact all copyright notices for the Work and give the Original Author
> credit reasonable to the medium or means You are utilizing by conveying the
> name (or pseudonym if applicable) of the Original Author if supplied; the
> title of the Work if supplied; to the extent reasonably practicable, the
> Uniform Resource Identifier, if any, that Licensor specifies to be associated
> with the Work [...] So, the URI has to be given *in addition* to the name of
> the author, not *instead* of it.

No. You have to interpret the licensing of a work that is contributed
to Wikipedia as a consequence of a series of decisions.

1) An author visits the Wikipedia website.
2) An author makes an edit and agrees to license it under the terms
and conditions we specify.
3) By doing so, the author exercises the options that the CC-BY-SA
license grants.
4) The CC-BY-SA license grants the author the option to not supply a
name for purposes of attribution. The CC-BY-SA license grants the
author the option to supply a URL. The terms and conditions require
the author to exercise these options in that fashion.
5) The resultant work requires attribution by URL, but not by name.

> This is also not completely true. It is true that Wikipedia mirrors often
> cited authors in this way; but a number of books that were printed from
> Wikipedia content have a list of all the authors.

People have over-attributed out of caution given the known
inconsistency between site terms and content license. The CC-BY-SA
license resolves that inconsistency.
--
Erik Möller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate

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Re: Licensing transition: opposing points of view

Nikola Smolenski
Дана Friday 20 March 2009 06:04:49 Erik Moeller написа:

> 2009/3/19 Nikola Smolenski <[hidden email]>:
> > Erik, this is simply not true. The sentence in question reads [...] You
> > must keep intact all copyright notices for the Work and give the Original
> > Author credit reasonable to the medium or means You are utilizing by
> > conveying the name (or pseudonym if applicable) of the Original Author if
> > supplied; the title of the Work if supplied; to the extent reasonably
> > practicable, the Uniform Resource Identifier, if any, that Licensor
> > specifies to be associated with the Work [...] So, the URI has to be
> > given *in addition* to the name of the author, not *instead* of it.
>
> No. You have to interpret the licensing of a work that is contributed
> to Wikipedia as a consequence of a series of decisions.
>
> 1) An author visits the Wikipedia website.
> 2) An author makes an edit and agrees to license it under the terms
> and conditions we specify.
> 3) By doing so, the author exercises the options that the CC-BY-SA
> license grants.
> 4) The CC-BY-SA license grants the author the option to not supply a
> name for purposes of attribution. The CC-BY-SA license grants the
> author the option to supply a URL. The terms and conditions require
> the author to exercise these options in that fashion.
> 5) The resultant work requires attribution by URL, but not by name.

Of course, if an author doesn't supply a name, then an URL is all that
remains. But most of our authors have not excercised this possibility: they
do supply their names, or pseudonyms.

> > This is also not completely true. It is true that Wikipedia mirrors often
> > cited authors in this way; but a number of books that were printed from
> > Wikipedia content have a list of all the authors.
>
> People have over-attributed out of caution given the known
> inconsistency between site terms and content license. The CC-BY-SA
> license resolves that inconsistency.

It is just your opinion that they have over-attributed; my opinion is that
their way of attribution is reasonable.

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Re: Licensing transition: opposing points of view

Erik Moeller-4
2009/3/19 Nikola Smolenski <[hidden email]>:
> Of course, if an author doesn't supply a name, then an URL is all that
> remains. But most of our authors have not excercised this possibility: they
> do supply their names, or pseudonyms.

The fact that they may or may not be logged in is completely
irrelevant if the terms and conditions clarify that their username has
nothing to do with the option of supplying an Original Author name as
provided for in CC-BY-SA. In fact, it's pretty clear that many people
choose their username without any regard for attribution.

--
Erik Möller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate

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Re: Licensing transition: opposing points of view

Michael Snow-3
In reply to this post by Nikola Smolenski
Nikola Smolenski wrote:
> It is just your opinion that they have over-attributed; my opinion is that
> their way of attribution is reasonable.
>  
Just because one method is reasonable does not mean that all others are
unreasonable.

--Michael Snow


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Re: Licensing transition: opposing points of view

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 11:30 PM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 3) Part 3: Is such an attribution model consistent with the past
> practice under which authors have contributed to Wikipedia and other
> projects?
>
> Answer: Yes. This is evident through the current site-wide copyright
> terms, e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Copyrights . Even
> the earliest available version of the Wikipedia:Copyrights policy
> which stated re-users obligations said that users' "obligations can be
> fulfilled by providing a conspicuous link back to the home of the
> article here at wikipedia.com."
> [
> http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Copyrights&oldid=159593
> ]
> Similar terms have been stated through the history of the policy, as
> well as other language versions.
>

That's very interesting about the original text (and had I noticed it I
might have saved myself a lot of trouble contributing all those years), but
your last sentence is blatantly false.  By the time many of us, including
myself, started contributing to Wikipedia, that's not what it said.  Rather,
it said [when I started editing] "The latter two obligations can be
fulfilled in part by providing a conspicuous direct link back to the
Wikipedia article hosted on this website." and also said "*The legal
accuracy of the following advice is disputed*".  Furthermore, that text
explicitly applied only to *verbatim copying*.

And finally, Wikipedia:Copyrights is just some page that a bunch of
Wikipedians threw together.  The official WMF position whenever I've asked
how to reuse Wikipedia content has always been "follow the GFDL".
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Re: Licensing transition: opposing points of view

Milos Rancic-2
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
On Fri, Mar 20, 2009 at 5:54 AM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:
> 2009/3/19 Milos Rancic <[hidden email]>:
>> This kind of construction makes one copyleft license in practice just
>> a little bit stronger than public domain.
>
> Um, no. The power of copyleft is in preserving freedom to re-use on
> derivatives. Can you point to any piece of writing that somehow links
> copyleft inherently to attribution? I consider the two to be
> completely de-linked, and some people have in fact proposed copyleft
> licenses which do not require attribution.

* Copyleft is a specific form of copyright.
* Even attribution-only licenses are, also, a specific form of copyright.
* Just PD, which exists in some jurisdictions for non-state entities,
is not linked inherently to attribution.

I don't have anything against redefining copyleft out of the copyright
scope, if it is possible. I am just pointing to the fact that any kind
of present licenses is a form of copyright and that non-attribution
doesn't exist in any form of copyright.

> That said, that is a philosophical tangent, because we're not
> proposing to remove attribution. We're not even proposing to alter it:
> We're proposing terms of use that are consistent with what's currently
> written on pages such as Wikipedia:Copyrights, and with what Wikipedia
> itself has been doing since its inception.
>
> Essentially, the underlying theory is that for massively collaborative
> works, linking to a copy that includes the change history is a
> reasonable alternative to including the change history directly. The
> attribution terms are phrased precisely to assure that this author
> credit is retained in the linked-to copy, when author credit is not
> directly given.
>
> In this regard, the terms represent an improvement to what's currently
> stated in our terms of re-use. By switching to CC-BY-SA, we reconcile
> those terms with the content license.

Yes, it is useful and reasonable. Personally, l don't have problems with it.

>> Moral rights are not respected because:
>>
>> 1) If authors won't be able to say that their name should be kept --
>> or it won't be a widely known fact.
>> 2) If it would be an option, authors wouldn't be represented equally.
>> Just authors which explicitly say that they want to be attributed --
>> will be attributed.
>
> No, you're confusing terms of participation in a project like
> Wikipedia with moral rights. Wikipedia can set its own terms of
> participation in any way that's reasonably consistent with the
> fundamental legal philosophy of moral rights. Linking to a copy of the
> content that includes author credit satisfies that criterion.

Wikipedia is a content author or not? If it is a provider, it may
demand just non-exclusive and non-transitive terms, like Yahoo, Google
or Facebook are demanding.

Not mentioning important authors is not consistent to the legal
philosophy of moral rights. I know that it isn't easy to define who
are the important authors of one article...

Again, personally, I don't have problems with it. However, I think
that the present construction of the attribution issue is far from
well defined and that it leaves WMF projects in extremely vulnerable
position. Just a small group of malicious persons may make a real mess
with attribution conditions. And probability for that is huge.

If something is not legally valid, it may not pass as an argument at
the court. I don't think that agreement "you don't need to mention my
name as an author" is legally valid out of Anglo-Saxon legal systems.
This means that any Wikipedia author may make hundreds of thousands of
edits and after that demand that her or his name should be mentioned
at all pages. Even he or she agreed previously with conditions of not
mentioning his or her name.

BTW, I would be really happy to see the success of this issue because
it would make a huge precedent in copyright legislation. Actually, it
would make copyright fairly useless: Who would willing to use
copyrighted material when it is possible to use good PD-with-link
materials?

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Re: Licensing transition: opposing points of view

Nikola Smolenski
In reply to this post by Michael Snow-3
Дана Friday 20 March 2009 06:59:35 Michael Snow написа:
> Nikola Smolenski wrote:
> > It is just your opinion that they have over-attributed; my opinion is
> > that their way of attribution is reasonable.
>
> Just because one method is reasonable does not mean that all others are
> unreasonable.

Has anyone said that?

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Re: Licensing transition: opposing points of view

Mike Godwin-2
In reply to this post by Robert Rohde
Milos writes:

>
> Again, personally, I don't have problems with it. However, I think
> that the present construction of the attribution issue is far from
> well defined and that it leaves WMF projects in extremely vulnerable
> position. Just a small group of malicious persons may make a real mess
> with attribution conditions. And probability for that is huge.


I disagree that there is a "huge" probability of legal exposure with regard
to this question.  I follow moral-rights jurisprudence reasonably closely,
and I have yet to see any reason to believe that the risk of legal action
against the Wikimedia Foundation (or anyone else) is going to be increased
by the new licensing scheme. (Indeed, if the probability were huge, we would
already have seen such cases, since the GFDL prescriptions are more exacting
than the CC-BY-SA prescriptions.)

If something is not legally valid, it may not pass as an argument at
> the court.


I'm known to be risk-averse with regard to legal exposure for the
Foundation, but I am not terribly troubled by the prospect you raise here.
Moral-rights doctrine is grounded in assumptions about authorship that don't
map well to massive collaborative enterprises like Wikipedia. Explaining to
a court how we do handle attribution in the context of such enterprises --
including the fact that we make an effort to do reasonable attribution --
should convince most reasonable courts that the purposes for which
moral-rights doctrine was invented are being served.  I lose sleep over
other kinds of legal issues relating to Wikimedia projects, but not this
one.


--Mike
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Re: Licensing transition: opposing points of view

Nikola Smolenski
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
Дана Friday 20 March 2009 06:58:02 Erik Moeller написа:
> 2009/3/19 Nikola Smolenski <[hidden email]>:
> > Of course, if an author doesn't supply a name, then an URL is all that
> > remains. But most of our authors have not excercised this possibility:
> > they do supply their names, or pseudonyms.
>
> The fact that they may or may not be logged in is completely
> irrelevant if the terms and conditions clarify that their username has
> nothing to do with the option of supplying an Original Author name as

But the terms and conditions do not clarify that, anywhere.

> provided for in CC-BY-SA. In fact, it's pretty clear that many people
> choose their username without any regard for attribution.

Still, a number of people edit under their real name or have a perfectly usual
pseudonym (I might add, including you).

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Re: Licensing transition: opposing points of view

geni
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
2009/3/20 Erik Moeller <[hidden email]>:

> 2009/3/18 geni <[hidden email]>:
>> 1 person on this list. The rest of the opposition comes from the
>> foundations unlawful and ill thought out proposed TOS.
>
> For the record, our legal reasoning for the attribution terms under
> consideration is as follows (as reviewed by Mike).
>
> 1) Part 1: Can attribution-by-link be reconciled with the legal code
> of CC-BY-SA?
>
> Answer: Yes. The "attribution by link" option was explicitly made
> available to authors in CC-BY-SA 2.0 (note difference in section 4.c:
> http://tinyurl.com/cvdbe9 and related blog entry:
> http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/4216 ). Authors also have the
> option to not supply an author name for the purposes of attribution
> ("the Original Author if supplied").

Wikipedia however currently has 293,865,193 edits by authors who have
not agreed to attribution by URL. This you cannot change this
rendering any future TOS ineffective.

> The attribution requirements are
> also tempered by the caveat that they should be "reasonable to the
> medium or means", building in flexibility for situations where, for
> example, providing attribution to all authors directly isn't feasible
> or reasonable.

That isn't always the case. And the medium or means flexibility is the
reason you proposed TOS are not needed in the first place.

> Therefore terms of use which require authors to agree to be credited
> by link, and not by name, are consistent with the language of CC-BY-SA.

Future terms of use are irrelevant. Wikipedia currently has
293,865,455 edits which will not be under any future terms of use
agreement.

> This entire reasoning has been explicitly confirmed by Creative Commons
> General Counsel Diane Peters.

[[citation needed]]


>
> 2) Part 2: Can such an attribution model be reconciled with moral
> rights provisions in certain jurisdictions?
>
> Answer: Yes.

The only believable answers in this case are "probably", "maybe" and
"probably not". Anything else simply indicates that you have a far
from complete understanding of the situation.

> Such consent has already been given
> for existing edits (see below).

You don't address the issue of consent below.

lets look at what editors actually consent to:

Content that violates any copyright will be deleted. Encyclopedic
content must be verifiable. You irrevocably agree to release your
contributions under the GFDL*.

*GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version
published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections,
with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.

The site wide copyright terms that editors agree to are those of the
GFDL not Wikipedia:Copyrights.

Or we go to commons:

By submitting text contributions, you irrevocably agree to release
your text contributions under the GFDL (GNU Free Documentation
License, Version 1.2, 1.3, or any later version published by the Free
Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover
Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts). Any content posted anywhere in
violation of its copyright will be deleted on sight.

Again edits released under the terms of the GFDL (1.2 and 1.3 in this
case) not commons equivalent of Wikipedia:Copyrights

lets try de.pedia:

Ich versichere hiermit, dass ich den Beitrag selbst verfasst habe bzw.
dass er keine fremden Rechte verletzt, und willige ein, ihn unter der
GNU-Lizenz für freie Dokumentation zu veröffentlichen.

Again released under the terms of the GFDL not Wikipedia:Lizenzbestimmungen

Your suggestion that wikipedia:copyrights has any baring on what
people have agreed to have done with their work simply doesn't hold
water.

--
geni

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Re: Licensing transition: opposing points of view

Michael Snow-3
In reply to this post by Nikola Smolenski
Nikola Smolenski wrote:

> Дана Friday 20 March 2009 06:59:35 Michael Snow написа:
>  
>> Nikola Smolenski wrote:
>>    
>>> It is just your opinion that they have over-attributed; my opinion is
>>> that their way of attribution is reasonable.
>>>      
>> Just because one method is reasonable does not mean that all others are
>> unreasonable.
>>    
> Has anyone said that?
>  
Not necessarily in so many words. But for proponents of the
"all-authors" approach to attribution, an inherent part of the subtext
in such arguments is that other approaches, which do not go to the same
length in listing authors, are inferior and therefore also unreasonable.
I thought it would be worthwhile to get the implied argument out and
address it.

By comparison, Erik only said that people had over-attributed
historically. He didn't say it was unreasonable of them to
over-attribute, nor do I think that should be implied in what he said.
Yet your response did seem to imply it, since it tried to rebut that
position.

--Michael Snow


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