RfC: License update proposal

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Sam Johnston-4
On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 2:07 AM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>wrote:

> > "Das Wikipedia Lexikon in einem Band"[1] is another stunning example of
> > attribution gone mad
>
> A few pages of names in a 1000 page book doesn't seem that mad to me.
> I think it makes an excellent point about how Wikipedia works.
>

Perhaps, but it delivers ZERO benefit to the pseudonymous individuals listed
and exacts a non-trivial toll on the reuser. This is further amplified for
partial reuse of a resource, reuse of multiple resources, reuse with
tangible mediums (esp non-print e.g. t-shirts) and so on.

Carrying on with the France example[1], you can double the length of that
list with IP numbers (which would likely have to be included too) and
consider that if the article has accrued 5,000 contributors over the last 5
years or so, how many will it have in 10 years? 20 years? 50 years?

While the toll can be reduced by automation it cannot be removed altogether
and this does not change the fact that the result delivers ZERO value to
anyone (authors, readers, reusers, the environment and Wikipedia as a
whole).

Sam

1.
http://vs.aka-online.de/cgi-bin/wppagehiststat.pl?lang=en.wikipedia&page=france
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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by Mike Godwin-3
On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 4:25 PM, Mike Godwin <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Anthony writes:
>
> > Over 100 might have been a slight exggeration - I guesstimated
> > rather than
> > counting each one.
>
> My goodness. I can't believe you'd ever exaggerate a factual claim.
> I'm astonished.
>

I can believe that you'd focus on such drivel rather than respond to the
actual issues raised.

Grow up, Mike.
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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by Sam Johnston-4
On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 8:31 PM, Sam Johnston <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 2:07 AM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]
> >wrote:
>
> > > "Das Wikipedia Lexikon in einem Band"[1] is another stunning example of
> > > attribution gone mad
> >
> > A few pages of names in a 1000 page book doesn't seem that mad to me.
> > I think it makes an excellent point about how Wikipedia works.
> >
>
> Perhaps, but it delivers ZERO benefit to the pseudonymous individuals
> listed
> and exacts a non-trivial toll on the reuser.


Depends on the pseudonym, but for the most part you're right.  On the other
hand, Mediawiki has long supported the "real name" preference, and even says
"Real name is optional. If you choose to provide it, this will be used for
giving you attribution for your work."

Regrettably, Wikipedia chose not to enable that field.
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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Nikola Smolenski
In reply to this post by Sam Johnston-4
On Thursday 22 January 2009 02:31:54 Sam Johnston wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 2:07 AM, Thomas Dalton
<[hidden email]>wrote:
> > > "Das Wikipedia Lexikon in einem Band"[1] is another stunning example of
> > > attribution gone mad
> >
> > A few pages of names in a 1000 page book doesn't seem that mad to me.
> > I think it makes an excellent point about how Wikipedia works.
>
> Perhaps, but it delivers ZERO benefit to the pseudonymous individuals

I do not edit pseudonymously, and even if I would, I know it would deliver a
non-zero benefit to me.

> listed and exacts a non-trivial toll on the reuser. This is further

Compared with all the other work that goes into typesetting and printing a
book, it is indeed trivial. A list of all authors of an article could be
easily extracted from a copy of the Wikipedia database with a single SQL
query.

> amplified for partial reuse of a resource, reuse of multiple resources,
> reuse with tangible mediums (esp non-print e.g. t-shirts) and so on.

The attribution should be reasonable to the medium. I don't expect to have
such a list of authors if a portion of a Wikipedia article is printed on a
cup. I expect it if entire article is printed in a book.

> Carrying on with the France example[1], you can double the length of that
> list with IP numbers (which would likely have to be included too) and

Why would IP numbers have to be included?

> consider that if the article has accrued 5,000 contributors over the last 5
> years or so, how many will it have in 10 years? 20 years? 50 years?

I think that France is an extreme example, and that most articles have far
fewer authors. I can't check for English, but an average article on Serbian
Wikipedia has 10 authors, and on German Wikipedia 5 authors.

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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 19:32:15 Erik Moeller wrote:
> 2009/1/20 Nikola Smolenski <[hidden email]>:
> > 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.
>
> That's probably true, Nikola. The proposed attribution language is
> intended to balance the various positions (ranging from 'an URL should
> always be fine' to 'names should always be given'), the established

I'm not sure that these positions should be balanced. For example, everyone
who believes that an URL should be fine is also OK if all names are given,
but not the other way around.

> requirement). Our hope is that a strong majority will recognize the
> value of such a compromise, and the improvement over current state:
> huge complexity for re-users, legal barriers between groups that
> should be able to cooperate, inconsistent and confusing
> interpretations of the rules.

I agree that a compromise is necessary; I disagree that this is a good
compromise.

> And I don't think we can or should take the easy way out and not make
> a decision as to what the terms of re-use should be. But any decision

Absolutely agree.

> is likely to offend a sub-group of people who feel it's going too far,
> or not far enough. Nor do we have complete freedom to pick any

Now I disagree. Some people are going to be offended if they are not credited
when they think they should be; no one is going to be offended if they are
credited when they don't think they should be. They may believe that this is
stupid or pointless, but they won't really be offended in the same way.

> I realize that some community guidelines have asked or encouraged
> print re-users to include a complete list of usernames alongside
> articles. (This, by the way, does not satisfy the GFDL's history
> inclusion requirement.) Under the proposed language, that would
> continue to be necessary for articles which have no more than five

As I said, I do not think that attributing me in this way is sufficient; and I
do not think that this requirement is necessary. We can develop tools that
would identify principal authors with sufficient accuracy; and this list of
authors is likely to be short enough to be practically included in full.
Given your example of France, per
http://vs.aka-online.de/cgi-bin/wppagehiststat.pl?lang=en.wikipedia&page=france 
about a third of edits are marked as minor, and that parameter alone would
probably slash almost one third of the list of authors.

Please consider this, especially in light of recent research that shows that
most Wikipedia contributors contribute from egoistic reasons ;)

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Mark
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
Thomas Dalton wrote:

> 2009/1/22 Erik Moeller <[hidden email]>:
>  
>> 2009/1/21 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>:
>>    
>>> Whether or not something is sufficient to comply with licensing
>>> requirements isn't something that can be decided democratically.
>>>      
>> We're operating in a space with a high degree of ambiguity. The point
>> would be to determine whether there's a clear and shared expectation
>> of what constitutes reasonable attribution requirements or not. It
>> would be an information gathering poll, rather than a decision-making
>> vote.
>>    
>
> You need to be very careful how you interpret it, since it's a
> self-selecting sample. The people sufficiently committed to the
> projects to vote (eg. not people that edited once or twice and then
> left) are more likely than the general population of editors to be
> tolerant of bending the rules for the benefit of the projects, I would
> think.
>  
It's somewhat opposite in my experience---highly active Wikipedians are
much more knowledgeable and pedantic about copyright and attribution,
whereas people who've edited a few times mostly aren't. Most "normal"
people I've introduced to Wikipedia who've made a few miscellaneous
edits were, when I mentioned this relicensing debate, somewhat
surprised, as they had been under the impression that Wikipedia owned
the copyright on their edits (which is the case at most other "social
media" or "crowdsourcing" sites people are used to participating in).
Most also, in a brief 4-person straw poll, were entirely confused by the
debate about attribution, with queries along the lines of "but Wikipedia
articles don't list their authors anyway, do they?"

-Mark


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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by Nikola Smolenski
On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 2:46 AM, Nikola Smolenski <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Wednesday 21 January 2009 19:32:15 Erik Moeller wrote:
> > 2009/1/20 Nikola Smolenski <[hidden email]>:
> > > 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.
> >
> > That's probably true, Nikola. The proposed attribution language is
> > intended to balance the various positions (ranging from 'an URL should
> > always be fine' to 'names should always be given'), the established
>
> I'm not sure that these positions should be balanced.


I'd say the key to this whole relicensing debate is that the positions
shouldn't be "balanced".  It is my firm conviction that you ought not
violate some individuals' rights for the good of some other (larger) group
of individuals.  Thus, the arguments about how difficult and onerous it is
to give credit fall on deaf ears.  It doesn't matter how difficult it is to
credit people.  People have a right to be credited, and printing a URL in a
book or on a T-shirt or at the end of a movie doesn't cut it.  This is
especially true because *it's the Wikimedia Foundation's fault* that it's so
difficult to track authors in the first place.  I personally was arguing for
more care to be taken in this space and/or an *opt-in* move to a dual
licensing scheme (and adoption of the real name field) *over 4 years ago*
(yes Mike, I double-checked this one).  The fact that these concerns were
ignored for so long *is not the fault of the authors*.  Our rights should
not be violated or "balanced" away.
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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Andrew Whitworth-2
On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 8:24 AM, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I'd say the key to this whole relicensing debate is that the positions
> shouldn't be "balanced".  It is my firm conviction that you ought not
> violate some individuals' rights for the good of some other (larger) group
> of individuals.  Thus, the arguments about how difficult and onerous it is
> to give credit fall on deaf ears.  It doesn't matter how difficult it is to
> credit people.  People have a right to be credited, and printing a URL in a
> book or on a T-shirt or at the end of a movie doesn't cut it.  This is
> especially true because *it's the Wikimedia Foundation's fault* that it's so
> difficult to track authors in the first place.  I personally was arguing for
> more care to be taken in this space and/or an *opt-in* move to a dual
> licensing scheme (and adoption of the real name field) *over 4 years ago*
> (yes Mike, I double-checked this one).  The fact that these concerns were
> ignored for so long *is not the fault of the authors*.  Our rights should
> not be violated or "balanced" away.

Questions:
1) Why doesn't a URL to a comprehensive history list "cut it"? If
anything, I would prefer the URL be used instead of a simple list of
pseudonyms because the URL will contain the revision history and will
display not only who has edited the page, but also the magnitude of
those contributions.  Also, the URL doesn't cut out only 5 of the
authors from the list when a reuser adds a title page (thus removing
all credit from the vast majority of contributors).
2) Printing a small list of pseudonyms of the back of a T-shirt is no
more helpful then the illegible legal disclaimers on TV commercials.
Sure they satisfy the letter of the law but certainly violate it's
spirit. A small comma-separated list tacked on to the end of a printed
version, or scribbled on the bottom of a coffee cup may satisfy the
letter of the attribution clause, but certainly does not satisfy it's
spirit. Is it really better to have a list of authors that may be
illegible, not-searchable and not-sortable? Wouldn't attribution be
better handled by a well-designed web interface? Is it better for
reusers to determine what is the best way to give credit, when we can
give credit in a very positive and well thought-out way and let
reusers simply tap into that?

--Andrew Whitworth

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Thomas Dalton
> 1) Why doesn't a URL to a comprehensive history list "cut it"?

Because it requires internet access, which may not be available to
everyone all the time.

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

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

Anthony writes:

> I can believe that you'd focus on such drivel rather than respond to  
> the
> actual issues raised.

I try to focus *both* on your drivel *and* on the issues you raise. I  
figure you wouldn't be so extreme in what you post if you didn't want  
me to focus on it too.  Am I mistaken?

> Grow up, Mike.

Too late. At my advanced age, I take my fun where I can find it.

I think you and I both know that your whole business of saying there  
are "over 100" versions of CC-BY-SA was an attempt to try to create  
ambiguity and anxiety when there isn't really any. The computer  
industry used to refer to this as FUD -- the spreading of Fear,  
Uncertainty, and Doubt.  My reaction to FUD is normally to have fun  
with the FUD-spreaders.


--Mike




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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by Andrew Whitworth-2
On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 9:34 AM, Andrew Whitworth <[hidden email]>wrote:

> On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 8:24 AM, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > People have a right to be credited, and printing a URL in a
> > book or on a T-shirt or at the end of a movie doesn't cut it.
>

> Questions:
> 1) Why doesn't a URL to a comprehensive history list "cut it"? If
> anything, I would prefer the URL be used instead of a simple list of
> pseudonyms because the URL will contain the revision history and will
> display not only who has edited the page, but also the magnitude of
> those contributions.


As Thomas said, it requires Internet access, which might not be available.
I think it's a bit more than that, though.  The credit should be part of the
work itself, not external to the work.  When you're talking about a website,
it's hard to define where the work begins and where it ends, clearly a work
can span multiple URLs, and it's essentially meaningless whether or not
those URLs have different domain names (at least assuming they are both kept
nearly 100% reliable).  None of these three things are true with books,
T-shirts, or movies (for a movie a URL would be especially obnoxious).

Also, the URL doesn't cut out only 5 of the
> authors from the list when a reuser adds a title page (thus removing
> all credit from the vast majority of contributors).


I don't think crediting only 5 authors cuts it either.  I think anyone who
has made any significant contribution should be credited.  I think there's
some grey area as to what is considered "significant", but that grey area
has nothing to do with the number of authors.

2) Printing a small list of pseudonyms of the back of a T-shirt is no
> more helpful then the illegible legal disclaimers on TV commercials.


Frankly, I don't understand the point of printing a Wikipedia article on a
T-shirt in the first place.  This is a stupid example I include only for the
sake of completeness, because others keep bringing it up.

Sure they satisfy the letter of the law but certainly violate it's
> spirit. A small comma-separated list tacked on to the end of a printed
> version, or scribbled on the bottom of a coffee cup may satisfy the
> letter of the attribution clause, but certainly does not satisfy it's
> spirit.


How many authors is a coffee cup going to have?  Again, I don't understand
why coffee cups are even a consideration.


> Is it really better to have a list of authors that may be
> illegible, not-searchable and not-sortable?


I certainly would consider it to be a violation of rights if the list of
authors were illegible.  If you can't fit the authors legibly on the work,
then you can either 1) get special permission from the authors, or 2) write
your own damn content.  That's how rights work.  You don't violate someone's
rights just because it's convenient to violate them.

Wouldn't attribution be
> better handled by a well-designed web interface? Is it better for
> reusers to determine what is the best way to give credit, when we can
> give credit in a very positive and well thought-out way and let
> reusers simply tap into that?


I think reusers should determine what the best way is to give credit.
However, if they can't meet a minimal standard, then they ought to not use
the work at all.

If you think a URL meets that minimal standard, then I guess we've reached
an impasse.  I think it's quite clear that it doesn't, though.  Not without
the authors *explicit* consent.
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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by Mike Godwin-3
On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 9:49 AM, Mike Godwin <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I think you and I both know that your whole business of saying there
> are "over 100" versions of CC-BY-SA was an attempt to try to create
> ambiguity and anxiety when there isn't really any.


No, I could have accomplished quite the same point by saying that there are
"over 50" versions, which is clearly true (I'm actually still not convinced
that "over 100" isn't correct - I counted 92 just between 2.5 and 3.0, but I
may have double-counted, there doesn't seem to be a clear list of them all).

My point still stands.  There are many versions of CC-BY-SA 3.0.  The
proposal should be specific as to which one(s) it is talking about.  Adding
the words "any version of" or "all versions of" or "the Unported version of"
or "the US version of" would make this clear.
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Re: RfC: License update proposal

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

Anthony writes:

>  The credit should be part of the
> work itself, not external to the work.

This is a very odd notion, and I find nothing in the language of any  
free license that supports it.  Freely licensed photos, for example,  
don't have to have the attribution as "part of" the photo.   Freely  
licensed texts don't require that attribution occur *within* the text  
proper -- it can occur at the beginning or the end.  (You can imagine  
how much more difficult a software manual would be to use if  
attribution had to occur right next to the incorporated text.)  The  
whole notion that attribution is required "part of the [substantive]  
work itself" rather than adjacent to it, or easily reachable from it,  
is your invention, and, in my view, not a requirement of the language  
of free licenses.

We honor free licenses by making it possible to determine the  
provenance of a work, not by making attribution part of the work  
itself. Nor has the notion of attribution ever been meant to be  
understood rigidly. As Richard Stallman says in his letter regarding  
the point-release change to GFDL: "We have never asserted that we will  
not change our licenses, or that we will never make changes like this  
one. Rather, our commitment is that our changes to a license will  
stick to the spirit of that license, and will uphold the purposes for  
which we wrote it."

Stallman also says this:  "We did this to allow those sites [such as  
Wikipedia] to make their licenses compatible with other large  
collections of copylefted material that they want to cooperate with."

The ultimate question has to be whether we truly believe Wikipedia and  
other Wikimedia projects really do aim to make it easier to spread  
free knowledge throughout the world -- there is a general  
acknowledgement that the particulars of the GFDL may make it hard for  
the projects to do this, and that is why FSF decided to allow the  
opportunity for dual-licensing of Wikipedia content under GFDL 1.3 and  
a particular subset of CC-BY-SA -- both requires attribution but  
acknowledge that massive collaborative projects raise special problems  
in balancing the need for attribution against the need to share free  
knowledge.  If the former is ultimately seen as more important than  
the latter -- which is apparently your view, Anthony -- then we're  
scarcely better off under a free license than we were under the "all  
rights reserved" regime of traditional copyright.

I think Stallman's approach of sticking to the spirit of free licenses  
is the right attitude to have.  Otherwise we stick to the letter of  
your requirement, Anthony, and lose the spirit altogether.


--Mike




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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Andrew Whitworth-2
In reply to this post by Anthony-73
On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 9:58 AM, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> As Thomas said, it requires Internet access, which might not be available.
> I think it's a bit more than that, though.  The credit should be part of the
> work itself, not external to the work.  When you're talking about a website,
> it's hard to define where the work begins and where it ends, clearly a work
> can span multiple URLs, and it's essentially meaningless whether or not
> those URLs have different domain names (at least assuming they are both kept
> nearly 100% reliable).  None of these three things are true with books,
> T-shirts, or movies (for a movie a URL would be especially obnoxious).

As a contributor to these 'ere projects myself, I personally would
prefer the less reliable but more informative URL for attribution
myself. That's a personal preference only, and I don't see any need to
push that on others.

> Frankly, I don't understand the point of printing a Wikipedia article on a
> T-shirt in the first place.  This is a stupid example I include only for the
> sake of completeness, because others keep bringing it up.
>
>> Sure they satisfy the letter of the law but certainly violate it's
>> spirit. A small comma-separated list tacked on to the end of a printed
>> version, or scribbled on the bottom of a coffee cup may satisfy the
>> letter of the attribution clause, but certainly does not satisfy it's
>> spirit.
>
>
> How many authors is a coffee cup going to have?  Again, I don't understand
> why coffee cups are even a consideration.

Think about any merchandising opportunity where text from an article
is used: T-Shirts, mouse pads, coffee cups, posters, etc. We can't
have a policy vis-a-vis attribution that only covers cases where its
convenient to follow. If we're going to demand that attribution be
treated like an anchor around the necks of our reusers, we need to
make that demand uniform. Either that, or we need to recognize that
the benefit to easy reuse of our content far outweighs the need to
repeat gigantic author lists.

Our authors contributed to our projects with the expectation that
their content would be freely reusable. Requiring even 2 pages of
attributions be included after every article inclusion is a non-free
tax on content reuse, and a violation of our author's expectations.
Demanding that authors be rigorously attributed despite having no
expectations for it, while at the same time violating their
expectations of free reuse doesn't quite seem to me to be a good
course of action.

> I think reusers should determine what the best way is to give credit.
> However, if they can't meet a minimal standard, then they ought to not use
> the work at all.

Letting reusers "determine what is the best way" is surely a pitfall.
You're assuming that miraculously corporate interests are going to be
preoccupied with providing proper attribution. If the requirements are
too steep, people will either misapply them, abuse them, or ignore
them completely. People who want to reuse our content will find
themselves unable, and authors who could have gotten some attribution
(even if not ideal) will end up with none. Requiring more attribution
for our authors will have the effect of having less provided. Do you
think this is really going to provide a benefit to our contributors?

--Andrew Whitworth

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

David Gerard-2
2009/1/22 Andrew Whitworth <[hidden email]>:
> On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 9:58 AM, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:

>> As Thomas said, it requires Internet access, which might not be available.
>> I think it's a bit more than that, though.  The credit should be part of the
>> work itself, not external to the work.  When you're talking about a website,
>> it's hard to define where the work begins and where it ends, clearly a work
>> can span multiple URLs, and it's essentially meaningless whether or not
>> those URLs have different domain names (at least assuming they are both kept
>> nearly 100% reliable).  None of these three things are true with books,
>> T-shirts, or movies (for a movie a URL would be especially obnoxious).

> As a contributor to these 'ere projects myself, I personally would
> prefer the less reliable but more informative URL for attribution
> myself. That's a personal preference only, and I don't see any need to
> push that on others.


Use my stuff, that's why I write it! I dual-licensed all my article
space text and pictures as CC-by-sa any a while ago anyway. More
people should do this IMO.


- d.

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by Mike Godwin-3
On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 10:30 AM, Mike Godwin <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Anthony writes:
> >  The credit should be part of the work itself, not external to the work.
>
> This is a very odd notion, and I find nothing in the language of any
> free license that supports it.
>

Well, first off, I wasn't referring to free licenses, I was referring to
rights.

That said, the GFDL requires authors to be listed in "the section entitled
History", and it clearly states that a "section "Entitled XYZ" means a named
subunit of the Document..."
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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Sam Johnston-4
In reply to this post by Nikola Smolenski
On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 8:46 AM, Nikola Smolenski <[hidden email]> wrote:

> We can develop tools that would identify principal authors with sufficient
> accuracy; and this list of authors is likely to be short enough to be
> practically included in full.
>

I disagree with this assertion regarding automation and can think of many
situations both in which this does not hold true, giving false negatives
(e.g. single/initial uploads of large contributions, uploads using multiple
aliases, imports, IP numbers and not-logged-in contributions, etc.) and
false positives (e.g. minor edits not marked as such, spam/vandalism,
comprehensive rewrites, deletions, abuse/'attribution whoring', etc.).

The only 'tool' I can see being effective for identifying principal authors
is discussion, which will invariably lead to conflict, create unnecessary
risk for reusers and waste our most precious resource (volunteer time) en
masse. Oh, and I would place anyone who considers their own interests taking
precedence over those of the community (both within Wikipedia and the
greater public) into the category of 'tool' too :)

Please consider this, especially in light of recent research that shows that
> most Wikipedia contributors contribute from egoistic reasons ;)
>

Wikipedia is a community and those who contribute to it for egotistic rather
than altruistic reasons (even if the two are often closely related) are
deluding themselves given they were never promised anything, least of all
grandeur. What value do they really think they will get from a 2pt credit
with 5,000 other authors? If it is relevant to their field(s) of endeavour
then they can draw attention to their contribution themselves (as I do) and
if they don't like it then they ought to be off writing books or knols or
contributing to something other than a community wiki.

I might add that the argument that "you ought not violate some individuals'
rights for the good of some other (larger) group of individuals" is weak in
this context, and that exactly the same can be (and has been) said in
reverse:

"Requiring even 2 pages of attributions be included after every article
inclusion is a non-free tax on content reuse, and a violation of our
author's expectations."

Sam
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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by Andrew Whitworth-2
On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 10:37 AM, Andrew Whitworth <[hidden email]>wrote:

> On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 9:58 AM, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > As Thomas said, it requires Internet access, which might not be
> available.
> > I think it's a bit more than that, though.  The credit should be part of
> the
> > work itself, not external to the work.  When you're talking about a
> website,
> > it's hard to define where the work begins and where it ends, clearly a
> work
> > can span multiple URLs, and it's essentially meaningless whether or not
> > those URLs have different domain names (at least assuming they are both
> kept
> > nearly 100% reliable).  None of these three things are true with books,
> > T-shirts, or movies (for a movie a URL would be especially obnoxious).
>
> As a contributor to these 'ere projects myself, I personally would
> prefer the less reliable but more informative URL for attribution
> myself. That's a personal preference only, and I don't see any need to
> push that on others.
>

I understand that viewpoint and think it is reasonable.  How about adding a
checkbox to preferences, that says "allow attribution by URL"?

Our authors contributed to our projects with the expectation that
> their content would be freely reusable. Requiring even 2 pages of
> attributions be included after every article inclusion is a non-free
> tax on content reuse, and a violation of our author's expectations.
> Demanding that authors be rigorously attributed despite having no
> expectations for it, while at the same time violating their
> expectations of free reuse doesn't quite seem to me to be a good
> course of action.
>

I think it's clear that at least some people expected to be attributed
directly in any print edition encyclopedias made from Wikipedia.  Do you
deny that, or do you just think it doesn't matter?

> I think reusers should determine what the best way is to give credit.
> > However, if they can't meet a minimal standard, then they ought to not
> use
> > the work at all.
>
> Letting reusers "determine what is the best way" is surely a pitfall.
> You're assuming that miraculously corporate interests are going to be
> preoccupied with providing proper attribution.


I qualified my statement with the fact that they do need to at least meet a
minimal standard.  That said, I believe that corporate interests *are* best
served by providing proper attribution.  There may be some short-term gains
to be had by violating people's rights, but in the end doing so will kill
the goose that lays the golden egg, so to speak.  (They'll also be unable to
distribute their content legally in most any jurisdiction in the world other
than the United States.)
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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Nikola Smolenski
In reply to this post by Sam Johnston-4
On Thursday 22 January 2009 16:56:57 Sam Johnston wrote:

> On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 8:46 AM, Nikola Smolenski <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > We can develop tools that would identify principal authors with
> > sufficient accuracy; and this list of authors is likely to be short
> > enough to be practically included in full.
>
> I disagree with this assertion regarding automation and can think of many
> situations both in which this does not hold true, giving false negatives
> (e.g. single/initial uploads of large contributions, uploads using multiple
> aliases, imports, IP numbers and not-logged-in contributions, etc.) and
> false positives (e.g. minor edits not marked as such, spam/vandalism,
> comprehensive rewrites, deletions, abuse/'attribution whoring', etc.).

I find your disagreement wrong, your lists of examples mostly meaningless, and
even a large percentage of false positives and false negatives preferrable to
no attribution at all.

> masse. Oh, and I would place anyone who considers their own interests
> taking precedence over those of the community (both within Wikipedia and
> the greater public) into the category of 'tool' too :)

If people feel they are not adequately credited for their contributions, they
are less likely to contribute. Proper attribution is a need of the community.

> Wikipedia is a community and those who contribute to it for egotistic
> rather than altruistic reasons (even if the two are often closely related)
> are deluding themselves given they were never promised anything, least of
> all grandeur. What value do they really think they will get from a 2pt
> credit with 5,000 other authors? If it is relevant to their field(s) of
> endeavour then they can draw attention to their contribution themselves (as
> I do) and if they don't like it then they ought to be off writing books or
> knols or contributing to something other than a community wiki.

Great way to care about community interests, there. Sure to draw a lot of new
contributors.

> "Requiring even 2 pages of attributions be included after every article
> inclusion is a non-free tax on content reuse, and a violation of our
> author's expectations."

Luckily, that is not required.

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Andrew Whitworth-2
In reply to this post by Sam Johnston-4
On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 10:56 AM, Sam Johnston <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Please consider this, especially in light of recent research that shows that
>> most Wikipedia contributors contribute from egoistic reasons ;)
>
> Wikipedia is a community and those who contribute to it for egotistic rather
> than altruistic reasons (even if the two are often closely related) are
> deluding themselves given they were never promised anything, least of all
> grandeur. What value do they really think they will get from a 2pt credit
> with 5,000 other authors? If it is relevant to their field(s) of endeavour
> then they can draw attention to their contribution themselves (as I do) and
> if they don't like it then they ought to be off writing books or knols or
> contributing to something other than a community wiki.

I have "Author at English Wikibooks" listed very prominently on my
Resume, and often reference it in cover letters I send out. This is
especially true for job listings that require "good communication
skills". My work on Wikibooks, even if it showed nothing more then my
proficiency in the English language, helped me get my current job.
Part of my current responsibilities involve writing documentation, for
which I was considered to be very qualified because of my work on
Wikibooks.

So I would say that yes, our editors can derive very real benefits
from their work on Wiki. I will temper that by saying that it's up to
the authors to derive that benefit themselves. We don't send out
royalty checks so if authors want to be benefitted by their work here,
they need to make it happen and not rely on other people properly
applying attribution for them.

--Andrew Whitworth

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