Re-licensing

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Re: Re-licensing

geni
2009/1/22 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>:
> 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...)

Actually we have no idea if we are able to agree. Since we've only
every looked at specific proposals rather than the general case for
any given medium.



--
geni

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Re: Re-licensing

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by Andrew Whitworth-2
On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 3:51 PM, Andrew Whitworth <[hidden email]>wrote:

> 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.
>

Come to think of it, forking under GFDL 1.3 would probably be the most
appropriate.  Then, since Wikipedia intends to dual-license new content, new
Wikipedia content could be incorporated into the fork, but new forked
content couldn't be incorporated into 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.


"A free encyclopedia without the plagiarism" would be a better slogan,
though I'm sure a little thought could produce an even better one.


> 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.
>

Depends on the traffic.  Pure hard drive space is relatively cheap.  More
traffic would lead to more expense, but it'd also likely lead to more
donations.

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.


What licensing problems?
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Re: Re-licensing

Andrew Whitworth-2
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 3:58 PM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:
> 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...)

Therein lies the problem with using terms like "reasonable" in a legal
document. It's a subjective term, and there are plenty of definitions
that are going to work for some people and not others. Arguing over
what is and what is not reasonable is a wasted exercise: The best we
can do it put the issue to a vote and go with the opinion expressed by
the voting majority.

--Andrew Whitworth

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Re: Re-licensing

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

I agree that at least the varied interpretations of 'reasonable'
expressed in this thread indicate a need for a more explicit approach.
Whether such different perceptions are as wide-spread in the broader
author community as they are here is not clear.

I will begin thinking about how a consultative survey could be
constructed to help inform the process in a timely fashion.
--
Erik Möller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

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

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Re: Re-licensing

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Andrew Whitworth-2
2009/1/22 Andrew Whitworth <[hidden email]>:

> On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 3:58 PM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> 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...)
>
> Therein lies the problem with using terms like "reasonable" in a legal
> document. It's a subjective term, and there are plenty of definitions
> that are going to work for some people and not others. Arguing over
> what is and what is not reasonable is a wasted exercise: The best we
> can do it put the issue to a vote and go with the opinion expressed by
> the voting majority.

That's the epitome of "tyranny of the majority".

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Re: Re-licensing

geni
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
2009/1/22 Erik Moeller <[hidden email]>:
> 2009/1/22 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>:
>> 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.
>
> I agree that at least the varied interpretations of 'reasonable'
> expressed in this thread indicate a need for a more explicit approach.

There is nothing you can do that will remove that from the crediting
clause. Whatever you try to require there will always be a "reasonable
to the medium or means" filter between you and the reuser. Trying to
engineer around it would be unwise.

> Whether such different perceptions are as wide-spread in the broader
> author community as they are here is not clear.

And unimportant. The license doesn't take into consideration what the
authors consider reasonable to the medium or means.

> I will begin thinking about how a consultative survey could be
> constructed to help inform the process in a timely fashion.

I would suggest that first you try and produce a halfway valid
justification for the 5 name+url proposal before we waste time putting
it out to a survey.

--
geni

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Re: Re-licensing

Mike Godwin-3
In reply to this post by Klaus Graf

Anthony writes:

> Come to think of it, forking under GFDL 1.3 would probably be the most
> appropriate.  Then, since Wikipedia intends to dual-license new  
> content, new
> Wikipedia content could be incorporated into the fork, but new forked
> content couldn't be incorporated into Wikipedia.

You haven't reviewed the FAQ.  As Richard Stallman explains, CC-BY-SA-
only changes, including imports from external sources, will bind  
Wikipedia and re-users of Wikipedia content.

That said, I look forward to your fork. Why wait? Why don't you start  
now? You clearly are dissatisfied with Wikipedia's implementation of  
GFDL as well as Wikipedia's proposed use of CC-BY-SA.  It should be  
easy, since you throw around the word "fork" so easily. You could  
probably squash us even more effectively than Citizendium and Knol have.

(BTW, one benefit of the licensing proposal is that it will be easier  
for Wikipedia and Citizendium to cross-fertilize each other.)

> "A free encyclopedia without the plagiarism" would be a better slogan,
> though I'm sure a little thought could produce an even better one.

You are a marketing genius.

> Depends on the traffic.  Pure hard drive space is relatively cheap.  
> More
> traffic would lead to more expense, but it'd also likely lead to more
> donations.

You obviously have this all figured out. I can't wait to see your fork.


--Mike




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Re: Re-licensing

Mike Godwin-3
In reply to this post by Klaus Graf

Thomas Dalton writes:

>> So, online but on a different server is okay, but online when there's
>> an offline copy isn't? What is the legal distinction you're drawing
>> here? (I ask for the "legal distinction" because you are articulating
>> your concern in terms of what you purport to be violations of your
>> legal rights.)
>
> It all boils down to how you define "reasonable", and that's usually
> left to laymen, not lawyers.

If Anthony used the word "reasonable" in relation to this distinction,  
I missed it.  In any case, it's not forbidden for lawyers to have  
intuitions about what is reasonable. In general, lawyers have the same  
prerogatives as laymen in this regard.


--Mike




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Re: Re-licensing

Mike Godwin-3
In reply to this post by Klaus Graf

Anthony writes:

>> So, online but on a different server is okay, but online when there's
>> an offline copy isn't?
>
>
> Online when there's an offline copy clearly isn't okay.

Clearly because you have a legal right that distinguishes between  
online copies and offline copies?  Please explain. (Once again, I'm  
asking about legal rights because you claim to be basing your  
objections on your rights.)

>> What is the legal distinction you're drawing
>> here? (I ask for the "legal distinction" because you are articulating
>> your concern in terms of what you purport to be violations of your
>> legal rights.)
>>
>
> Actually, I'm purporting them to be violations of my moral rights.

How are you distinguishing between "moral rights" and "legal rights"?  
A moral right is a kind of legal right, in those jurisdictions that  
recognize moral rights.


> But the
> distinction is pretty obvious - in one case the page is a click  
> away, in the
> other case it at least requires finding internet access and typing  
> in a url,
> and quite possibly requires jumping through even more hoops than that.

So if you were unhappy that your attribution was at the back of a  
book, because a reader has to turn to the end and read through a lot  
of small print in order to find your name, that would give you a basis  
for objecting to that form of attribution?

> Additionally, printed copies will almost surely last longer than the  
> url
> remains accessible.  With online copies, the url can be updated if  
> it moves,
> or the page can be copied to the local server if the remote one goes  
> down.

Thank you for articulating an advantage to using URLs. The advantage  
of course applies both to online and offline copies.

>> But an online attribution on a separate page (or server) when the  
>> article is offline is *not*
>> "direct"?  What is the legal (or "rights") basis for this  
>> distinction?
>
> Common sense?

So you're saying your legal rights are defined by "common sense"? Are  
you sure that's the direction in which you want to take your argument?


--Mike




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Re: Re-licensing

Andrew Whitworth-2
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 4:50 PM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:
> 2009/1/22 Andrew Whitworth <[hidden email]>:
>> Therein lies the problem with using terms like "reasonable" in a legal
>> document. It's a subjective term, and there are plenty of definitions
>> that are going to work for some people and not others. Arguing over
>> what is and what is not reasonable is a wasted exercise: The best we
>> can do it put the issue to a vote and go with the opinion expressed by
>> the voting majority.
>
> That's the epitome of "tyranny of the majority".

I didn't say it was pretty, but then again reality rarely is. We have
a lot of reasonable people* here who can't even agree with what
constitutes "reasonable" attribution.

* I make the blanket assumption that everybody here is being perfectly
reasonable.

--Andrew Whitworth

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Re: Re-licensing

geni
In reply to this post by Mike Godwin-3
2009/1/22 Mike Godwin <[hidden email]>:
> (BTW, one benefit of the licensing proposal is that it will be easier
> for Wikipedia and Citizendium to cross-fertilize each other.)

Nope. The "to clarify that attribution via reference to page histories
is acceptable if there are more than five authors." bit will mean that
it is imposable for wikipedia to take content from Citizendium without
Citizendium adopting some very strange TOS specifically for the
benefit of wikipedia which I would rather doubt it would do. Even that
would not make it possible to copy content on Citizendium to wikipedia
at the moment were the 5 names +URL proposal to be enacted.


--
geni

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Re: Re-licensing

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Mike Godwin-3
2009/1/22 Mike Godwin <[hidden email]>:

>
> Thomas Dalton writes:
>
>>> So, online but on a different server is okay, but online when there's
>>> an offline copy isn't? What is the legal distinction you're drawing
>>> here? (I ask for the "legal distinction" because you are articulating
>>> your concern in terms of what you purport to be violations of your
>>> legal rights.)
>>
>> It all boils down to how you define "reasonable", and that's usually
>> left to laymen, not lawyers.
>
> If Anthony used the word "reasonable" in relation to this distinction,
> I missed it.  In any case, it's not forbidden for lawyers to have
> intuitions about what is reasonable. In general, lawyers have the same
> prerogatives as laymen in this regard.

The license uses the word "reasonable" and Anthony is talking about
what is acceptable under the license. Of course, lawyers can have
views on reasonableness, but they do so in their capacity as people,
not lawyers. (There's a joke there, but I'm not going to stoop that
low.)

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Re: Re-licensing

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Mike Godwin-3
2009/1/22 Mike Godwin <[hidden email]>:

>
> Anthony writes:
>
>> Come to think of it, forking under GFDL 1.3 would probably be the most
>> appropriate.  Then, since Wikipedia intends to dual-license new
>> content, new
>> Wikipedia content could be incorporated into the fork, but new forked
>> content couldn't be incorporated into Wikipedia.
>
> You haven't reviewed the FAQ.  As Richard Stallman explains, CC-BY-SA-
> only changes, including imports from external sources, will bind
> Wikipedia and re-users of Wikipedia content.

I think it's obvious Anthony means "almost all new Wikipedia content"
- CC-BY-SA only edits obviously can't be used under GFDL, do you
really think Anthony's that stupid or are you just taking every
opportunity you can to resort to (somewhat subtle, I'll grant you) ad
hominem attacks because you know you're talking nonsense?

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Re: Re-licensing

Mike Godwin-3
In reply to this post by Klaus Graf
geni writes:

>> (BTW, one benefit of the licensing proposal is that it will be easier
>> for Wikipedia and Citizendium to cross-fertilize each other.)
>
> Nope. The "to clarify that attribution via reference to page histories
> is acceptable if there are more than five authors." bit will mean that
> it is imposable for wikipedia to take content from Citizendium without
> Citizendium adopting some very strange TOS specifically for the
> benefit of wikipedia which I would rather doubt it would do. Even that
> would not make it possible to copy content on Citizendium to wikipedia
> at the moment were the 5 names +URL proposal to be enacted.

I don't regard the 5 names+URL implementation proposal to be written  
in stone. We might choose to modify it (by, e.g., increasing the  
number of names, or allowing editors who insist on being listed to be  
listed) based on feedback here and elsewhere. But the aspect of the  
license update has always been to maximize the extent to which  
Wikipedia can import and export CC-BY-SA-licensed content. Citizendium  
uses a CC-BY-SA 3.0 (unported) license already. Presumably Citizendium  
wants both to import and export CC-BY-SA content.  Any implementation  
by us that would require us to ask Citizendium for some kind of  
exemption -- which I agree would be unlikely -- is out of the question.

Note that I used the word "easier," which is a comparative, rather  
than "easy," which is an absolute.


--Mike





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Re: Re-licensing

Thomas Dalton
2009/1/22 Mike Godwin <[hidden email]>:
> allowing editors who insist on being listed to be
> listed

I think unless that is opt-out, not opt-in, it won't help and if it's
opt-out if probably won't make things much easier.

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Re: Re-licensing

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
Erik Moeller wrote:
>
> 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.
>
>  

Let me just humbly ask you. Would it be detrimental to the
goals of the WMF, if people re-using WMF content could do
so in a way that would make the content impossible to use
in any jurisdiction where moral rights obtain?

I ask only in a search for clarity on this issue.


Yours,

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen



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Re: Re-licensing

George William Herbert
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 3:04 PM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>wrote:

> 2009/1/22 Mike Godwin <[hidden email]>:
> > allowing editors who insist on being listed to be
> > listed
>
> I think unless that is opt-out, not opt-in, it won't help and if it's
> opt-out if probably won't make things much easier.
>

Why?

If we assert a default "sense of the community" that the URL is reasonable,
and allow individual authors to override that (and consequently annoy
readers and redistributors in the future) how does that negatively affect
any author's rights or property?


--
-george william herbert
[hidden email]
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Re: Re-licensing

Thomas Dalton
2009/1/23 George Herbert <[hidden email]>:

> On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 3:04 PM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>wrote:
>
>> 2009/1/22 Mike Godwin <[hidden email]>:
>> > allowing editors who insist on being listed to be
>> > listed
>>
>> I think unless that is opt-out, not opt-in, it won't help and if it's
>> opt-out if probably won't make things much easier.
>>
>
> Why?
>
> If we assert a default "sense of the community" that the URL is reasonable,
> and allow individual authors to override that (and consequently annoy
> readers and redistributors in the future) how does that negatively affect
> any author's rights or property?

Either it's reasonable, or it's not. If you feel the need to give
people the option of opting out, then obviously you think it isn't
reasonable. Also, why should people that have edited in the past and
then moved on not get the same rights as current editors?

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Re: Re-licensing

George William Herbert
On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 4:24 PM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>wrote:

> 2009/1/23 George Herbert <[hidden email]>:
> > On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 3:04 PM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]
> >wrote:
> >
> >> 2009/1/22 Mike Godwin <[hidden email]>:
> >> > allowing editors who insist on being listed to be
> >> > listed
> >>
> >> I think unless that is opt-out, not opt-in, it won't help and if it's
> >> opt-out if probably won't make things much easier.
> >>
> >
> > Why?
> >
> > If we assert a default "sense of the community" that the URL is
> reasonable,
> > and allow individual authors to override that (and consequently annoy
> > readers and redistributors in the future) how does that negatively affect
> > any author's rights or property?
>
> Either it's reasonable, or it's not. If you feel the need to give
> people the option of opting out, then obviously you think it isn't
> reasonable. Also, why should people that have edited in the past and
> then moved on not get the same rights as current editors?
>

No, I think it is reasonable.  If I were the License Czar we'd just do that
and be done with it.

But this is a community, with some people with aggressively diverse
opinions.  Imposing from above without flexibility causes pain and suffering
and hurt feelings and people leaving the project and firey poo-flinging
monkeys on UFOs to descend from the heavens.

I think that overall, we have to do something like the proposed CC-BY-SA-3.0
details to balance author, reader, project, and content reuser interests,
and I believe that that's ultimately not negotiable.

Optimizing the implementation of BY so that people who agree that GFDL -> CC
is good but who disagree on the BY credit-by-web approach can still stay
included, while still balancing reader and project and content reuser needs
with author needs, is a good thing.  A default to the reasonable approach,
with exception allowed for objectors, works fine for that.


--
-george william herbert
[hidden email]
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Re: Re-licensing

Erik Moeller-4
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
2009/1/22 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>:
>> If we assert a default "sense of the community" that the URL is reasonable,
>> and allow individual authors to override that (and consequently annoy
>> readers and redistributors in the future) how does that negatively affect
>> any author's rights or property?
>
> Either it's reasonable, or it's not. If you feel the need to give
> people the option of opting out, then obviously you think it isn't
> reasonable. Also, why should people that have edited in the past and
> then moved on not get the same rights as current editors?

Essentially, by doing this, you'd be saying: "We disagree with you,
but we're not interested in engaging in a prolonged battle over
perceived author rights in a massively collaborative work with you. So
if you really have a beef with our attribution model, which is the
result of many months of deliberation and consultation, you can use
this setting to be attributed in a way for your past edits that's
consistent with your perception and beliefs about what rights you have
retained under the terms of use in the past. "

"However, we think that the notion that print-outs of massively
collaborative works should carry author attribution over multiple
pages, that spoken versions should contain many seconds of
text-to-speech generated author lists, that indeed any re-user will
have to worry about this problem, is completely counter to the
principles of free culture. So, for your past edits, please click this
button. We will always attribute you by name as long as we use your
text, and we will probably remove your edits over time. For your
future edits, we've made it abundantly clear that this isn't something
we believe is required or needed. If you think it is, please
contribute somewhere else."

It would be, IMO, a completely defensible way to deal with a situation
where a minority is trying to impose standards on an entire community
which are counter to its objectives. I'm not necessarily saying that
this reflects the situation we have today: I don't know how widespread
the belief in the need for distribution of excessive author metadata
is. I think it would be worth the effort to find out. It's my personal
belief that such metadata requirements are harmful examples of
non-free licensing terms, and I would be surprised to see many people
defend excessive attribution as in the
http://books.google.com/books?id=BaWKVqiUH-4C&pg=PT979#PPT959,M1
example (even if it's aesthetically well done and obviously pleasing
to lots of German mothers).

The above solution would still result in the odd situation where the
article on [[France]] would say: 'See (url) for a list of authors,
including Foo and Bar'. But that is a problem that could be solved
over time by removing those people's contributions. It seems to me
that, essentially, some people have been operating under the
assumption that they are contributing in a fashion that would make the
resulting work effectively non-free in much the same way other onerous
restrictions do. It's too bad that they've made that assumption, given
how strongly and clearly we've always emphasized the principles of
freedom.

I think it would be fully ethically and legally defensible to ignore
this assumption as incorrect and unreasonable, but it would be nicer
(and possibly less noisy) to accommodate these people as much as
reasonably possible while explaining that the 'free' in 'free
encyclopedia' is inconsistent with hassling re-users about the
inclusion of kilobytes worth of largely meaningless author metadata.
I'm not advocating one path over another at this point, though.

Flexible and vague clauses can work well when you're dealing with
issues with few stakeholders who all have a shared and tacit
understanding of what they want to accomplish. By definition, massive
collaboration isn't such a situation: any one of hundreds or thousands
of contributors to a document can behave unreasonably, interpreting
rules to the detriment of others. The distributed ownership of
copyright to a single work is an example of what Michael Heller calls
'gridlock' or an 'anticommons'. Ironically, even with free content
licenses, the gridlock effects of copyright can still come into play.

I believe it's our obligation to give our reusers protection from
being hassled by people insisting on heavy attribution requirements,
and to create consistency in reuse guidelines. Really, WMF and its
chapters can hardly develop partnerships with content reusers if we
can't give clarity on what's required of them. A great deal of free
information reuse may not be happening because of fear, uncertainty
and doubt. I would much rather remove all doubt that our content is
free to be reused without onerous restrictions.

--
Erik Möller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

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

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