Re-licensing

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Re-licensing

Klaus Graf
By repeating false things they will be not more true.

IT'S ABSOLUTELY FALSE THAT GFDL HAS A PRINCIPAL AUTHOR CLAUSE.

This clause only refers to a title page. READ THE LICENSE PLEASE.
Wikipedia hasn't such a thing.

Attribution in the GNU FDL is done by copyright notices or the section
called History.

"To use this License in a document you have written, include a copy of
the License in the document and put the following copyright and
license notices just after the title page:
    Copyright (c)  YEAR  YOUR NAME.
    Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
    under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3
    or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;
    with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.
    A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU
    Free Documentation License".

This means: Follwowing this way of attribution the name of the autor
can never dissapear.

Verbatim copying: "You may copy and distribute the Document in any
medium, either commercially or noncommercially, provided that this
License, the COPYRIGHT NOTICES, and the license notice saying this
License applies to the Document are reproduced in all copies" (my
empasis).

Modification: "D. Preserve all the copyright notices of the Document."

Important is the following clause:

"I. Preserve the section Entitled "History", Preserve its Title, and
add to it an item stating at least the title, year, new authors, and
publisher of the Modified Version as given on the Title Page. If there
is no section Entitled "History" in the Document, create one stating
the title, year, AUTHORS, and publisher of the Document as given on
its Title Page, then add an item describing the Modified Version as
stated in the previous sentence." (my emphasis)

It is possible to ignore this? I do not think so. There is a strong
obligation that every GFDL document which is modified must have a
section entitled History. The only thing in the Wikipedia which can be
regarded as a section history is the version history which is also the
way in which authors are given credit.

One entry with the name/IP of the contributor and the date in the
version history has two functions: 1. it is a substitution of the
copyright noctice, 2. it is part of the section history.

A lot of people in the German Wikipedia believe that the only way to
fulfill the GFDL strictly is to reproduce the whole version history
resp. the names of all contributors.

"Das Wikipedia Lexikon in einem Band" was a cooperation between
Bertelsmann and the German chapter. It has a long list of ALL
contributors see e.g.
http://books.google.com/books?id=BaWKVqiUH-4C&pg=PT979

The Directmedia Offline Wikipedia CDs/DVDs have reproductions of the
version histories.

I would like to say one thing very clear:

IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE AUTHOR AND NOT A THIRD PARTY RIGHT TO CHOOSE
THE WAY OF ATTRIBUTION IN THE CC-BY-SA LICENSE.

The attribution in the GFDL is described by the license. WMF or FSF
has NO RIGHT to choose a specific interpretation.

WMF has NO RIGHT to relicense the old content according to the
proposed "Copyright Policy" containing the CC-BY-SA attribution
"expectations".

Each user has to agree EXPLICITELY to the "Copyright Policy" as part
of the contract between the WMF and him. May be it is legal to make
this agreement valid for older contributions of the same user. But the
policy cannot bind users no more active.

Third party CC-BY-SA text content cannot be imported if there is'nt an
EXPLICITE statement that the creator allows the attribution   policy.
It is possible to substitude the normal attribution by giving instead
an internet adress BUT ONLY THE CREATOR CAN CHOOSE THIS POSSIBILITY.
If you will import CC-BY-SA content you have to obey the author's way
of attribution. If there is no specification the name has to be
mentioned. For this contribution the attribution policy (incl. link to
a list of authors if more than five) ISN'T VALID!

Klaus Graf

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Re: Re-licensing

Erik Moeller-4
2009/1/21 Klaus Graf <[hidden email]>:
> IT'S ABSOLUTELY FALSE THAT GFDL HAS A PRINCIPAL AUTHOR CLAUSE.
>
> This clause only refers to a title page. READ THE LICENSE PLEASE.
> Wikipedia hasn't such a thing.

I've already explained our position on this issue in the prior thread
on the topic; we do not share the interpretation that the change
tracking obligations in the GFDL are relevant to the attribution terms
we use under CC-BY-SA; we do believe that the principal authors
requirement and the established practices regarding re-use under the
GFDL are relevant.

The attribution issue is so divisive, however, that I increasingly
wonder whether it wouldn't be sensible to add at least a set of
preferences to the licensing vote to better understand what people's
preferred implementation would look like, within the scope of what we
consider to be legally defensible parameters.

Erik
--
Erik Möller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

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

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Re: Re-licensing

Nikola Smolenski
On Thursday 22 January 2009 00:20:14 Erik Moeller wrote:
> The attribution issue is so divisive, however, that I increasingly
> wonder whether it wouldn't be sensible to add at least a set of
> preferences to the licensing vote to better understand what people's
> preferred implementation would look like, within the scope of what we
> consider to be legally defensible parameters.

In fact, I believe I have the solution that would satisfy everyone.

Requirement would be to give credit via the credit URL, and by mentioning the
principal authors listed at that URL. What authors will be listed at that URL
is something that we may change at our leisure: for example, this may be the
proposed list of five authors, or none if more than five; or it may be a list
of authors that is no longer than 1% of the length of the article, or none of
longer; or, when appropriate software is developed, the list of principal
authors as recognised by the software; it may even differ from project to
project, for example Wikisource may choose to credit the authors manually (it
is already doing something similar); and so on and so forth.

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Re: Re-licensing

Thomas Dalton
> Requirement would be to give credit via the credit URL, and by mentioning the
> principal authors listed at that URL. What authors will be listed at that URL
> is something that we may change at our leisure: for example, this may be the
> proposed list of five authors, or none if more than five; or it may be a list
> of authors that is no longer than 1% of the length of the article, or none of
> longer; or, when appropriate software is developed, the list of principal
> authors as recognised by the software; it may even differ from project to
> project, for example Wikisource may choose to credit the authors manually (it
> is already doing something similar); and so on and so forth.

Any system other than crediting everyone or crediting no one requires
choosing people. How do you propose that to be done? And why doesn't
the person that contributed the 6th most text (say) not deserve to be
credited for their work?

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Re: Re-licensing

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 6:20 PM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The attribution issue is so divisive, however, that I increasingly
> wonder whether it wouldn't be sensible to add at least a set of
> preferences to the licensing vote to better understand what people's
> preferred implementation would look like, within the scope of what we
> consider to be legally defensible parameters.


If more than 10% or so of voters want direct attribution, it'll probably be
enough of a critical mass to support a fork, licensed under the GFDL 1.2
only.

I don't know if it's going to be that high or not, though.
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Re: Re-licensing

geni
2009/1/22 Anthony <[hidden email]>:

> On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 6:20 PM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> The attribution issue is so divisive, however, that I increasingly
>> wonder whether it wouldn't be sensible to add at least a set of
>> preferences to the licensing vote to better understand what people's
>> preferred implementation would look like, within the scope of what we
>> consider to be legally defensible parameters.
>
>
> If more than 10% or so of voters want direct attribution, it'll probably be
> enough of a critical mass to support a fork, licensed under the GFDL 1.2
> only.

Nope. The GFDL 1.2 license is so bad that any fork would still be
looking to use CC just in a slightly more legal way.

--
geni

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Re: Re-licensing

Nikola Smolenski
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
On Thursday 22 January 2009 19:52:28 Thomas Dalton wrote:

> > Requirement would be to give credit via the credit URL, and by mentioning
> > the principal authors listed at that URL. What authors will be listed at
> > that URL is something that we may change at our leisure: for example,
> > this may be the proposed list of five authors, or none if more than five;
> > or it may be a list of authors that is no longer than 1% of the length of
> > the article, or none of longer; or, when appropriate software is
> > developed, the list of principal authors as recognised by the software;
> > it may even differ from project to project, for example Wikisource may
> > choose to credit the authors manually (it is already doing something
> > similar); and so on and so forth.
>
> Any system other than crediting everyone or crediting no one requires
> choosing people. How do you propose that to be done? And why doesn't
> the person that contributed the 6th most text (say) not deserve to be
> credited for their work?

I don't agree with that; I do believe that every author with significant
(copyrightable) contribution should be credited.

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Re: Re-licensing

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by geni
On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 2:19 PM, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 2009/1/22 Anthony <[hidden email]>:
> > On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 6:20 PM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> >
> >> The attribution issue is so divisive, however, that I increasingly
> >> wonder whether it wouldn't be sensible to add at least a set of
> >> preferences to the licensing vote to better understand what people's
> >> preferred implementation would look like, within the scope of what we
> >> consider to be legally defensible parameters.
> >
> >
> > If more than 10% or so of voters want direct attribution, it'll probably
> be
> > enough of a critical mass to support a fork, licensed under the GFDL 1.2
> > only.
>
> Nope. The GFDL 1.2 license is so bad that any fork would still be
> looking to use CC just in a slightly more legal way.


What about the GFDL 1.2 is so bad that it is unusable?  Clean up the history
tracking, add five names next to each article title, add a copyright
statement at the bottom of each article, turn on the "real name" preference,
and it seems like you could bring Wikipedia into compliance.  You might have
to forego dreams of a print edition, but frankly that doesn't seem very
effective anyway.  You could probably build a hand powered e-reader for less
than the cost of printing all of Wikipedia - if not today than in the not
too distant future.
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Re: Re-licensing

geni
2009/1/22 Anthony <[hidden email]>:
> What about the GFDL 1.2 is so bad that it is unusable?  Clean up the history
> tracking, add five names next to each article title, add a copyright
> statement at the bottom of each article, turn on the "real name" preference,
> and it seems like you could bring Wikipedia into compliance.  You might have
> to forego dreams of a print edition, but frankly that doesn't seem very
> effective anyway.  You could probably build a hand powered e-reader for less
> than the cost of printing all of Wikipedia - if not today than in the not
> too distant future.

Wikipedia is in compliance with the GFDL. It's resuers who have
serious issues. But then I've been through this with you many times
and I don't see any reason to think you are any more likely to get it
this time around.


--
geni

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Re: Re-licensing

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Nikola Smolenski
2009/1/22 Nikola Smolenski <[hidden email]>:

> On Thursday 22 January 2009 19:52:28 Thomas Dalton wrote:
>> > Requirement would be to give credit via the credit URL, and by mentioning
>> > the principal authors listed at that URL. What authors will be listed at
>> > that URL is something that we may change at our leisure: for example,
>> > this may be the proposed list of five authors, or none if more than five;
>> > or it may be a list of authors that is no longer than 1% of the length of
>> > the article, or none of longer; or, when appropriate software is
>> > developed, the list of principal authors as recognised by the software;
>> > it may even differ from project to project, for example Wikisource may
>> > choose to credit the authors manually (it is already doing something
>> > similar); and so on and so forth.
>>
>> Any system other than crediting everyone or crediting no one requires
>> choosing people. How do you propose that to be done? And why doesn't
>> the person that contributed the 6th most text (say) not deserve to be
>> credited for their work?
>
> I don't agree with that; I do believe that every author with significant
> (copyrightable) contribution should be credited.

So what was all that about only crediting 5 authors, or a list of
authors less than 1% of the article length, or whatever else?

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Re: Re-licensing

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by geni
On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 2:54 PM, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 2009/1/22 Anthony <[hidden email]>:
> > What about the GFDL 1.2 is so bad that it is unusable?  Clean up the
> history
> > tracking, add five names next to each article title, add a copyright
> > statement at the bottom of each article, turn on the "real name"
> preference,
> > and it seems like you could bring Wikipedia into compliance.  You might
> have
> > to forego dreams of a print edition, but frankly that doesn't seem very
> > effective anyway.  You could probably build a hand powered e-reader for
> less
> > than the cost of printing all of Wikipedia - if not today than in the not
> > too distant future.
>
> Wikipedia is in compliance with the GFDL.


So why can't a fork be in compliance with the GFDL?  You said that "The GFDL
1.2 license is so bad that any fork would still be looking to use CC just in
a slightly more legal way."  What do you mean by this?
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Re: Re-licensing

Nikola Smolenski
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
On Thursday 22 January 2009 20:55:21 Thomas Dalton wrote:

> 2009/1/22 Nikola Smolenski <[hidden email]>:
> > On Thursday 22 January 2009 19:52:28 Thomas Dalton wrote:
> >> > Requirement would be to give credit via the credit URL, and by
> >> > mentioning the principal authors listed at that URL. What authors will
> >> > be listed at that URL is something that we may change at our leisure:
> >> > for example, this may be the proposed list of five authors, or none if
> >> > more than five; or it may be a list of authors that is no longer than
> >> > 1% of the length of the article, or none of longer; or, when
> >> > appropriate software is developed, the list of principal authors as
> >> > recognised by the software; it may even differ from project to
> >> > project, for example Wikisource may choose to credit the authors
> >> > manually (it is already doing something similar); and so on and so
> >> > forth.
> >>
> >> Any system other than crediting everyone or crediting no one requires
> >> choosing people. How do you propose that to be done? And why doesn't
> >> the person that contributed the 6th most text (say) not deserve to be
> >> credited for their work?
> >
> > I don't agree with that; I do believe that every author with significant
> > (copyrightable) contribution should be credited.
>
> So what was all that about only crediting 5 authors, or a list of
> authors less than 1% of the article length, or whatever else?

These are examples of possibilities for people who disagree with me.

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Re: Re-licensing

geni
In reply to this post by Anthony-73
2009/1/22 Anthony <[hidden email]>:
> So why can't a fork be in compliance with the GFDL?  You said that "The GFDL
> 1.2 license is so bad that any fork would still be looking to use CC just in
> a slightly more legal way."  What do you mean by this?

What I mean is that if we consider the proposal to be legal under the
CC license (I don't) then any fork would be better of using
CC-BY-SA-3.0 without utilising the "Attribution Parties" bit of
4(C)(i). This means that it would get the benefits of the CC-BY-SA-3.0
license without the downside that certain people appear to be trying
to add.



--
geni

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Re: Re-licensing

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Anthony-73
2009/1/22 Anthony <[hidden email]>:
> On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 6:20 PM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

>> The attribution issue is so divisive, however, that I increasingly
>> wonder whether it wouldn't be sensible to add at least a set of
>> preferences to the licensing vote to better understand what people's
>> preferred implementation would look like, within the scope of what we
>> consider to be legally defensible parameters.

> If more than 10% or so of voters want direct attribution, it'll probably be
> enough of a critical mass to support a fork, licensed under the GFDL 1.2
> only.
> I don't know if it's going to be that high or not, though.


I look forward to you leading it.


- d.

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Re: Re-licensing

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by geni
On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 3:08 PM, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 2009/1/22 Anthony <[hidden email]>:
> > So why can't a fork be in compliance with the GFDL?  You said that "The
> GFDL
> > 1.2 license is so bad that any fork would still be looking to use CC just
> in
> > a slightly more legal way."  What do you mean by this?
>
> What I mean is that if we consider the proposal to be legal under the
> CC license (I don't) then any fork would be better of using
> CC-BY-SA-3.0 without utilising the "Attribution Parties" bit of
> 4(C)(i). This means that it would get the benefits of the CC-BY-SA-3.0
> license without the downside that certain people appear to be trying
> to add.


I also don't consider the proposal to be legal under the CC license, but I
do think people will probably get away with it anyway.  Additionally, I
think whole concept of relicensing people's contributions under a different
license is immoral and legally questionable.

Thus, forking under GFDL 1.2 only has two distinct advantages: 1) it allows
people who consider "the benefits of the CC-BY-SA-3.0 license" to actually
be detriments, to continue to contribute; and 2) it disallows Wikipedia from
incorporating these changes, thus reducing the likelihood that third parties
will come along and use these changes without attribution.

I guess if you think the legal case is cut and dry those 10% could get
together and initiate a class-action lawsuit, or something, but forking is
probably easier and more effective.
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Re: Re-licensing

Erik Moeller-4
In reply to this post by Nikola Smolenski
2009/1/22 Nikola Smolenski <[hidden email]>:
> Requirement would be to give credit via the credit URL, and by mentioning the
> principal authors listed at that URL. What authors will be listed at that URL
> is something that we may change at our leisure: for example, this may be the
> proposed list of five authors, or none if more than five; or it may be a list
> of authors that is no longer than 1% of the length of the article, or none of
> longer; or, when appropriate software is developed, the list of principal
> authors as recognised by the software; it may even differ from project to
> project, for example Wikisource may choose to credit the authors manually (it
> is already doing something similar); and so on and so forth.

This is a constructive and useful proposal, thank you.

I agree with Milos when he states in another thread that we need to
think further about a solution that is satisfactory to a greater
number of people, at least when it comes to standardizing attribution
requirements with effective application to all past edits ever made.
(At minimum, I would like some more data to inform our decisions.) I
also believe that the Wikimedia Foundation can responsibly and
reasonably determine what attribution model it wants to apply going
forward.

For example, if WMF decides that a guaranteed by-name attribution is
not reasonable, scalable, and detrimental to the goals of WMF, it can
responsibly tell people that. People who have made past edits could be
given the option to have _those_ edits always attributed by name. The
community could gradually factor out those edits if it considers them
to be cumbersome.

This would cause some people to leave, but WMF could decide that
causing some people to leave or fork is worth it in order to encourage
greater re-use of content. It's similar to telling people that
multimedia files for noncommercial use only are not welcome.
Essentially, it would be a further refinement of the standards of
freedom for the projects.
--
Erik Möller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

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

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Re: Re-licensing

Andrew Whitworth-2
In reply to this post by Anthony-73
On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 3:20 PM, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Thus, forking under GFDL 1.2 only has two distinct advantages: 1) it allows
> people who consider "the benefits of the CC-BY-SA-3.0 license" to actually
> be detriments, to continue to contribute; and 2) it disallows Wikipedia from
> incorporating these changes, thus reducing the likelihood that third parties
> will come along and use these changes without attribution.

1) I would suggest that the number of people who care strongly about
the particular license used and consider such a switch to be a
"detriment" is small indeed. This isn't to say that this group should
be ignored, only that they aren't going to represent a community with
enough viability to sustain a project the size of Wikipedia.

> I guess if you think the legal case is cut and dry those 10% could get
> together and initiate a class-action lawsuit, or something, but forking is
> probably easier and more effective.

Forking may certainly be easier, but it's hard for me to imagine that
a fork of Wikipedia with 10% of it's population (and I posit that to
be a high estimate) will be viable. A slogan of "knowledge is free,
but reusing it is more difficult because of our stringent attitudes
towards attribution" isn't going to inspire too many donors when
fundraising time rolls around. Plus, Wikipedia's database (I assume
you only want to fork Wikipedia, and maybe only the English one) is
non-negligible and will cost money to have hosted.

Fewer people will use the fork and it will grow more slowly, if it
grows at all, because of licensing problems with content use and
reuse. The fork will progressively become harder to use and will
become more out of touch with the rest of the world of open content
knowledge. You'll be able to say that at least if nobody is reusing
your content that there is no chance they will be violating the
attribution requirement as you've defined it.

Given the option between two wikipedias, one that is large and easy to
use/reuse/incorporate and one that is small and with a difficult
licensing scheme, I think you can guess where the new contributors and
new donation dollars will be heading. I don't want to threaten or mock
here, but I also don't want to see anybody's valuable contributions be
wasted.

--Andrew Whitworth

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Re: Re-licensing

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
> I agree with Milos when he states in another thread that we need to
> think further about a solution that is satisfactory to a greater
> number of people, at least when it comes to standardizing attribution
> requirements with effective application to all past edits ever made.

Indeed. Perhaps our first step should be a non-binding straw poll with
a wide participation as possible (so using central notices and
BoardVote) to find out what people think of the various ideas that
have been proposed (some kind of preferential voting). Then we can
have a more constructive debate about the finer details once we have a
general idea of what the community wants. We can then have a binding
vote on a clear proposal. (We should also seek a variety of legal
opinions from a variety of jurisdictions regarding the legality of
various proposals.)

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Re: Re-licensing

geni
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
2009/1/22 Erik Moeller <[hidden email]>:

> This is a constructive and useful proposal, thank you.
>
> I agree with Milos when he states in another thread that we need to
> think further about a solution that is satisfactory to a greater
> number of people, at least when it comes to standardizing attribution
> requirements with effective application to all past edits ever made.
> (At minimum, I would like some more data to inform our decisions.) I
> also believe that the Wikimedia Foundation can responsibly and
> reasonably determine what attribution model it wants to apply going
> forward.
>

So what exactly is the problem with requiring credit "reasonable to
the medium or means"?

> For example, if WMF decides that a guaranteed by-name attribution is
> not reasonable, scalable, and detrimental to the goals of WMF, it can
> responsibly tell people that.

It can however it would generally be expected that it provides a
reason. A reason that is logically consistent with observed reality
would probably be preferable.


--
geni

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Re: Re-licensing

Thomas Dalton
2009/1/22 geni <[hidden email]>:
> So what exactly is the problem with requiring credit "reasonable to
> the medium or means"?

The fact that we don't seem to be able to agree on what is reasonable.
(It would be nice if we could agree it between us rather than having
to go to court over it...)

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