RfC: License update proposal

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RfC: License update proposal

Erik Moeller-4
This is a request for comment. I've posted a draft proposal for the
license update here:

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

It is not intended to be final, but I hope we can arrive at a final
version by February 1.

We would appreciate questions, comments, feedback. If there are
obvious edits which you feel would make the proposal clearer, please
do go ahead and make them, but please be careful about edits that
substantially alter the proposal itself.

Thanks!
Erik
--
Erik Möller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

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

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

geni
2009/1/21 Erik Moeller <[hidden email]>:

> This is a request for comment. I've posted a draft proposal for the
> license update here:
>
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Licensing_update
>
> It is not intended to be final, but I hope we can arrive at a final
> version by February 1.
>
> We would appreciate questions, comments, feedback. If there are
> obvious edits which you feel would make the proposal clearer, please
> do go ahead and make them, but please be careful about edits that
> substantially alter the proposal itself.
>
> Thanks!
> Erik


"to clarify that attribution via reference to page histories is
acceptable if there are more than five authors."

1)This isn't legal within anything close to the current wording of the page.
2)the methods you would have to use to make this legal make wikipedia
incompatible with other CC works (and also result in the rather
amusing situation of trying to present a URL as an attribution party).
Since they could not be added to a wikipedia page since the external
author would not have agreed to such attribution parties.

While I strongly object to the use of clause 4(c)i by the foundation
on the grounds of principle alone I can see no way a URL can be
considered an attribution party within the context of the license and
thus no way the 4th part of the lead can be legal.
--
geni

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Erik Moeller-4
2009/1/20 geni <[hidden email]>:

> 1)This isn't legal within anything close to the current wording of the page.

CC General Counsel has confirmed that our proposed attribution model
is consistent with the language of CC-BY-SA. There is no need to use
attribution parties - our proposed approach is consistent with 4(c)(i)
and 4(c)(iii).

--
Erik Möller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

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

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

geni
2009/1/21 Erik Moeller <[hidden email]>:
> CC General Counsel has confirmed that our proposed attribution model
> is consistent with the language of CC-BY-SA. There is no need to use
> attribution parties - our proposed approach is consistent with 4(c)(i)
> and 4(c)(iii).

 4(c)(iii) is irrelevant. The foundation not the licensor and the URL
is on top of other attribution and copyright stuff. The only way
attribution methods can be controlled through CC-BY-SA-3.0 is  through
4(c)(i).

Again lets go through that section you have two things you can attribute to:

"the name of the Original Author (or pseudonym, if applicable) if supplied"

However since you reject that we have to move onto the second half:

"if the Original Author and/or Licensor designate another party or
parties (e.g., a sponsor institute, publishing entity, journal) for
attribution ("Attribution Parties") in Licensor's copyright notice,
terms of service or by other reasonable means, the name of such party
or parties;"

So yes you can mess with the attribution requirements using that part
of the clause but trying to define say
"http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Canal&action=history" as an
Attribution Party is somewhat unreasonable in the context of the
paragraph and in the general legal use of the term party.

Remember even if you do think you can somehow squeeze this though it
still causes issues with wikipedia's habit of deleting things from
time to time and prevent the import of CC-BY-SA 3.0 text from third
parties.

--
geni

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Nikola Smolenski
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
On Wednesday 21 January 2009 03:23:51 Erik Moeller wrote:
> 2009/1/20 geni <[hidden email]>:
> > 1)This isn't legal within anything close to the current wording of the
> > page.
>
> CC General Counsel has confirmed that our proposed attribution model
> is consistent with the language of CC-BY-SA. There is no need to use
> attribution parties - our proposed approach is consistent with 4(c)(i)
> and 4(c)(iii).

Don't know about this wording thing, but as a Wikipedia author, I have to say
that I do not think that attributing me in this way is sufficient. As a
Wikimedian, I believe that a lot of people will feel the same. And as a
programmer, I do not see why is this controversy necessary at all, as a
number of people have presented a variety of solutions that make it possible
to analyse the revisions and extract authors with satisfying accuracy.

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

George William Herbert
In reply to this post by geni
On Tue, Jan 20, 2009 at 6:57 PM, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 2009/1/21 Erik Moeller <[hidden email]>:
> > CC General Counsel has confirmed that our proposed attribution model
> > is consistent with the language of CC-BY-SA. There is no need to use
> > attribution parties - our proposed approach is consistent with 4(c)(i)
> > and 4(c)(iii).
>
>  4(c)(iii) is irrelevant. The foundation not the licensor and the URL
> is on top of other attribution and copyright stuff. The only way
> attribution methods can be controlled through CC-BY-SA-3.0 is  through
> 4(c)(i).


How is the foundation not distributing the (independently authored) work?

Attribution methods are first controlled by 4(c) - specifically " reasonable
to the medium or means You are utilizing".

If Mike believes that a URL to the page history for pages with 6 or more
authors is acceptable under the terms of the license, and the Creative
Commons' staff attorney so agrees, then I believe that they have just
defined "reasonable to the medium or means we are utilizing" in minimum
legal terms, at least.  If you feel that it's morally repugnant somehow then
we can talk, of course, but I believe that this is both reasonable and on
first glance close to the optimum balance of practical (in the sense of, can
be consistently and legally followed) and ethical (in the sense of, keeping
people's credits as closely associated as we can).


Again lets go through that section you have two things you can attribute to:

>
> "the name of the Original Author (or pseudonym, if applicable) if supplied"
>
> However since you reject that we have to move onto the second half:
>
> "if the Original Author and/or Licensor designate another party or
> parties (e.g., a sponsor institute, publishing entity, journal) for
> attribution ("Attribution Parties") in Licensor's copyright notice,
> terms of service or by other reasonable means, the name of such party
> or parties;"
>
> So yes you can mess with the attribution requirements using that part
> of the clause but trying to define say
> "http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Canal&action=history" as an
> Attribution Party is somewhat unreasonable in the context of the
> paragraph and in the general legal use of the term party.
>
> Remember even if you do think you can somehow squeeze this though it
> still causes issues with wikipedia's habit of deleting things from
> time to time and prevent the import of CC-BY-SA 3.0 text from third
> parties.


If we get common agreement with the CC's attorney and the populace as a
whole that CC-BY-SA-3.0 means (for wikis with 6+ contributors) what we say
it does, then it doesn't prevent any import or have any issue with deleting
things.

If we delete a contribution, from the page text and page history, then that
text is not part of the page that's being served up and to which the license
applies.  Legally, CC-BY-SA-3.0 could be fought over by me going in and
taking all your contributions to a page and paraphrasing them, then taking
you out of the "authors list" as you didn't write any text still appearing
on the page.  We take a more liberal view- if you contributed, you're in the
history.  There are exceptions - we do delete revisions in extremis.  But in
general, not one word you wrote can still be in a current article and you
still show up and get credit now.  In some cases your ideas may still be
present, in some cases they have all been removed, but you still get credit
except for rare and narrow circumstances.


--
-george william herbert
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Re: RfC: License update proposal

George William Herbert
In reply to this post by Nikola Smolenski
On Tue, Jan 20, 2009 at 10:18 PM, Nikola Smolenski <[hidden email]>wrote:

> On Wednesday 21 January 2009 03:23:51 Erik Moeller wrote:
> > 2009/1/20 geni <[hidden email]>:
> > > 1)This isn't legal within anything close to the current wording of the
> > > page.
> >
> > CC General Counsel has confirmed that our proposed attribution model
> > is consistent with the language of CC-BY-SA. There is no need to use
> > attribution parties - our proposed approach is consistent with 4(c)(i)
> > and 4(c)(iii).
>
> Don't know about this wording thing, but as a Wikipedia author, I have to
> say
> that I do not think that attributing me in this way is sufficient. As a
> Wikimedian, I believe that a lot of people will feel the same. And as a
> programmer, I do not see why is this controversy necessary at all, as a
> number of people have presented a variety of solutions that make it
> possible
> to analyse the revisions and extract authors with satisfying accuracy.
>


I disagree.  The technical analysis misses contributions which remain in
conceptual form (layout of a page, sections completely rewritten but not
reconceptualized).  It also is error prone.  Original authorship of text
returned to an article by later editors after it's deleted by an
intermediate editor is often hard to properly automatically trace, as it can
require n-way compares with n large.

There's nothing wrong with this method of attribution - it's better than we
have or require now.  It's less than what GFDL says it requires, sure, but
Wikipedia has never held to the letter of that, and anyone who's contributed
to Wikipedia once they were aware of that can be held to have implicitly
waived that particular GFDL clause in favor of "what we're actually doing".

This improves what we actually do.  Why would you think it's worse?


--
-george william herbert
[hidden email]
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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Nikola Smolenski
George Herbert wrote:

> On Tue, Jan 20, 2009 at 10:18 PM, Nikola Smolenski <[hidden email]>wrote:
>
>> On Wednesday 21 January 2009 03:23:51 Erik Moeller wrote:
>>> 2009/1/20 geni <[hidden email]>:
>>>> 1)This isn't legal within anything close to the current wording of the
>>>> page.
>>> CC General Counsel has confirmed that our proposed attribution model
>>> is consistent with the language of CC-BY-SA. There is no need to use
>>> attribution parties - our proposed approach is consistent with 4(c)(i)
>>> and 4(c)(iii).
>> Don't know about this wording thing, but as a Wikipedia author, I have to
>> say
>> that I do not think that attributing me in this way is sufficient. As a
>> Wikimedian, I believe that a lot of people will feel the same. And as a
>> programmer, I do not see why is this controversy necessary at all, as a
>> number of people have presented a variety of solutions that make it
>> possible
>> to analyse the revisions and extract authors with satisfying accuracy.
>
> I disagree.  The technical analysis misses contributions which remain in
> conceptual form (layout of a page, sections completely rewritten but not
> reconceptualized).  It also is error prone.  Original authorship of text

There is no one single technical analysis. There are various methods of
analysis proposed, including ones that could identify changes to layout
without change of contents. Either way, it is better to identify authors
99% of the time, than not to identify them at all.

> There's nothing wrong with this method of attribution - it's better than we

Yes, there is. I am an author, and I do not consider this method of
attribution appropriate.

> have or require now.  It's less than what GFDL says it requires, sure, but
> Wikipedia has never held to the letter of that, and anyone who's contributed
> to Wikipedia once they were aware of that can be held to have implicitly
> waived that particular GFDL clause in favor of "what we're actually doing".

Translation: what we are doing right now is wrong and no one complains
too loudly, therefore we may get away with being even more wrong in the
future.

> This improves what we actually do.  Why would you think it's worse?

No it doesn't. For example, German Wikireaders are published with a list
of all the authors at the end, and after this change they wouldn't have
to be.

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

George William Herbert
On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 1:09 AM, Nikola Smolenski <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Translation: what we are doing right now is wrong and no one complains
> too loudly, therefore we may get away with being even more wrong in the
> future.
>

No, what we are doing now is not wrong.  What we're doing now is uniformly
and universally accepted in the en.wp community and nearly all the rest of
them.  Claiming that it's wrong is like calling black white.

It is not entirely consistent with the as-written text of the license.  But
it is not wrong.  It is what it is, and millions of people, knowing what it
says and means, have contributed.


> > This improves what we actually do.  Why would you think it's worse?
>
> No it doesn't. For example, German Wikireaders are published with a list
> of all the authors at the end, and after this change they wouldn't have
> to be.
>

I don't know that listing thousands of authors on popular pages is an
improvement over a link saying "Many people wrote and edited this and you
can click <here> to see them all".

We're not a co-author credit factory.  CC-BY-SA isn't an ego trip for
thousands of co-contributors.  These are inappropriate uses for article
space and page display space.

I want anyone to know what I wrote in Wikipedia, which they can find... by
clicking on either a page history, or my account's Special:Contributions
page.  I don't want anyone to have to wade through a thousand names at the
bottom of the article.  The new license matches the technical code as
written, and community expectations of the biggest WP communities and the
vast bulk of the WP communities.  One community among many can't stand up
and block a new license on the grounds that it's not widely expressive
enough.

If de.wp community wants to keep displaying more authors, nothing in the
license keeps you from doing so.  But, that's wierd, and wrong, and you
should not try and impose it on the rest of us.  And trying to keep it out
of the license approaches the level of active evil.


--
-george william herbert
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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Nikola Smolenski
George Herbert wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 1:09 AM, Nikola Smolenski <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Translation: what we are doing right now is wrong and no one complains
>> too loudly, therefore we may get away with being even more wrong in the
>> future.
>
> No, what we are doing now is not wrong.  What we're doing now is uniformly
> and universally accepted in the en.wp community and nearly all the rest of
> them.  Claiming that it's wrong is like calling black white.

Something could be uniformly and universally accepted, and still wrong.
This is one of such things.

Anyway, you are missing the point entirely. Online, where everything is
a click away, having a link to the article history is practically the
same thing as reproducing the list of authors. Of course, it would be
even better if we would have the ability to display a list of authors,
better still if we could somehow separate major and minor contributors
and so on.

But the issue here is appropriate attribution offline. It is proposed
that appropriate attribution in a print work is a printed URL of the
list of authors. Me and other people believe that this isn't actually
appropriate.

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by George William Herbert
On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 4:29 AM, George Herbert <[hidden email]>wrote:

> I don't know that listing thousands of authors on popular pages is an
> improvement over a link saying "Many people wrote and edited this and you
> can click <here> to see them all".
>

What popular page has thousands of authors?  Are you counting reverted
vandals, or something?
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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
On Tue, Jan 20, 2009 at 8:39 PM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Licensing_update


"the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License"

There are over 100 Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike Licenses.
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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Geoffrey Plourde
In reply to this post by geni
The CC wrote this license and are likely to be considered authorities if there was ever a court case. If their lawyer says this is acceptable, its probably acceptable.




________________________________
From: geni <[hidden email]>
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 6:57:25 PM
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] RfC: License update proposal

2009/1/21 Erik Moeller <[hidden email]>:
> CC General Counsel has confirmed that our proposed attribution model
> is consistent with the language of CC-BY-SA. There is no need to use
> attribution parties - our proposed approach is consistent with 4(c)(i)
> and 4(c)(iii).

4(c)(iii) is irrelevant. The foundation not the licensor and the URL
is on top of other attribution and copyright stuff. The only way
attribution methods can be controlled through CC-BY-SA-3.0 is  through
4(c)(i).

Again lets go through that section you have two things you can attribute to:

"the name of the Original Author (or pseudonym, if applicable) if supplied"

However since you reject that we have to move onto the second half:

"if the Original Author and/or Licensor designate another party or
parties (e.g., a sponsor institute, publishing entity, journal) for
attribution ("Attribution Parties") in Licensor's copyright notice,
terms of service or by other reasonable means, the name of such party
or parties;"

So yes you can mess with the attribution requirements using that part
of the clause but trying to define say
"http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Canal&action=history" as an
Attribution Party is somewhat unreasonable in the context of the
paragraph and in the general legal use of the term party.

Remember even if you do think you can somehow squeeze this though it
still causes issues with wikipedia's habit of deleting things from
time to time and prevent the import of CC-BY-SA 3.0 text from third
parties.

--
geni

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Geoffrey Plourde
In reply to this post by Nikola Smolenski
Maybe people don't want to spend 2 hours sorting out authors? Also, the history link allows someone to look at every single contribution,




________________________________
From: Nikola Smolenski <[hidden email]>
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Sent: Wednesday, January 21, 2009 1:09:22 AM
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] RfC: License update proposal

George Herbert wrote:

> On Tue, Jan 20, 2009 at 10:18 PM, Nikola Smolenski <[hidden email]>wrote:
>
>> On Wednesday 21 January 2009 03:23:51 Erik Moeller wrote:
>>> 2009/1/20 geni <[hidden email]>:
>>>> 1)This isn't legal within anything close to the current wording of the
>>>> page.
>>> CC General Counsel has confirmed that our proposed attribution model
>>> is consistent with the language of CC-BY-SA. There is no need to use
>>> attribution parties - our proposed approach is consistent with 4(c)(i)
>>> and 4(c)(iii).
>> Don't know about this wording thing, but as a Wikipedia author, I have to
>> say
>> that I do not think that attributing me in this way is sufficient. As a
>> Wikimedian, I believe that a lot of people will feel the same. And as a
>> programmer, I do not see why is this controversy necessary at all, as a
>> number of people have presented a variety of solutions that make it
>> possible
>> to analyse the revisions and extract authors with satisfying accuracy.
>
> I disagree.  The technical analysis misses contributions which remain in
> conceptual form (layout of a page, sections completely rewritten but not
> reconceptualized).  It also is error prone.  Original authorship of text

There is no one single technical analysis. There are various methods of
analysis proposed, including ones that could identify changes to layout
without change of contents. Either way, it is better to identify authors
99% of the time, than not to identify them at all.

> There's nothing wrong with this method of attribution - it's better than we

Yes, there is. I am an author, and I do not consider this method of
attribution appropriate.

> have or require now.  It's less than what GFDL says it requires, sure, but
> Wikipedia has never held to the letter of that, and anyone who's contributed
> to Wikipedia once they were aware of that can be held to have implicitly
> waived that particular GFDL clause in favor of "what we're actually doing".

Translation: what we are doing right now is wrong and no one complains
too loudly, therefore we may get away with being even more wrong in the
future.

> This improves what we actually do.  Why would you think it's worse?

No it doesn't. For example, German Wikireaders are published with a list
of all the authors at the end, and after this change they wouldn't have
to be.

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Mike Godwin-3
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4

Anthony writes:

> "the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License"
>
> There are over 100 Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike Licenses.

[citation needed]


--Mike




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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
Attribution by reference to a URL only seems reasonable for online
reuse to me. For content added directly to Wikimedia projects, you may
be able to get by with including permission to do so in the terms of
service, but for 3rd party content that doesn't work. If I write
something on another site, release it under CC-BY-SA, and it is them
incorporated into a Wikipedia article which is then printed and bound
in a book, I expect my name (or pseudonym) to appear in that book. I'm
easy going when it comes to the exact details of how it is included in
that book, but I expect it to be there. Nothing else seems reasonable
to me.

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Mike Linksvayer-2
In reply to this post by Mike Godwin-3
On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 8:50 AM, Mike Godwin <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Anthony writes:
>
>> "the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License"
>>
>> There are over 100 Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike Licenses.
>
> [citation needed]

There are 74 due to versioning and jurisdiction ports, see
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/index.rdf

Apologies for lack of an HTML version of that list.

In any case, http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Licensing_update and all
previous discussion I've seen makes it clear the specific license
considered is http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

Everywhere CC BY and BY-SA licenses are currently used (Wikinews and
Commons) care has been taken to cite the specific version used.  I
would be incredibly surprised if the same care was not exercised if
BY-SA is adopted as the main content license.

Mike

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Nikola Smolenski
In reply to this post by Mike Godwin-3
On Wednesday 21 January 2009 17:50:38 Mike Godwin wrote:
> Anthony writes:
> > "the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License"
> >
> > There are over 100 Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike Licenses.
>
> [citation needed]

Given various versions and localisations, this may well be true :)

Of course, no one is suggesting that it should be any other version than
CC-BY-SA-3.0. But perhaps it should be considered if it should be
CC-BY-SA-3.0-unported or CC-BY-SA-3.0-US? Or perhaps where possible each
project should use its own localised version of CC-BY-SA?

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Nikola Smolenski
In reply to this post by Geoffrey Plourde
On Wednesday 21 January 2009 17:28:23 Geoffrey Plourde wrote:
> Maybe people don't want to spend 2 hours sorting out authors? Also, the
> history link allows someone to look at every single contribution,

How does the history link allow someone to look at every single contribution,
when they don't want to spend 2 hours sorting out authors?

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Erik Moeller-4
In reply to this post by geni
2009/1/20 geni <[hidden email]>:
>  4(c)(iii) is irrelevant. The foundation not the licensor and the URL
> is on top of other attribution and copyright stuff. The only way
> attribution methods can be controlled through CC-BY-SA-3.0 is  through
> 4(c)(i).

You are making an unsupported assertion. CC-BY-SA is precisely
structured (as are all BY licenses) to support attribution URIs; that
is why 4(c)(iii) exists. CC metadata standards allow for attribution
URIs [1], and when you license a work through the CC website, you can
specify an attribution URI as an alternative to a name. You are
confused by the attribution parties clause; it has nothing to do with
the explicit provisions for URIs.

[1] http://creativecommons.org/ns
[2] http://creativecommons.org/license/
--
Erik Möller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

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

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