RfC: License update proposal

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Anthony-73
On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 10:56 AM, Sam Johnston <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 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."
>

Even if that were true (and it isn't), that still wouldn't justify the
violation of the rights of those authors who want and expected to be
credited.  If your statement were true (and it isn't), it would mean that
the only right thing to do is to not use the work at all.

To borrow a line from the GPL, "If you cannot convey a covered work so as to
satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this License and any other
pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you may not convey it at all."
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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 11:03 AM, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I understand that viewpoint and think it is reasonable.  How about adding a
> checkbox to preferences, that says "allow attribution by URL"?

Insofar as this satisfies my personal preference on the matter, I say
that this is fine. If we added this checkbox to the software now there
would be, of course, an argument about whether the box should be
checked by default or not. Keeping in mind that the vast majority of
user accounts are now abandoned, whatever we set for the default value
of this box would become the de facto standard for attribution anyway.

> 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 don't deny it, but I am curious to see some evidence that this
preference has indeed been made clear by some of our editors. I can't
say that I've ever seen somebody express such a preference on
Wikibooks, but then again we have a smaller community and are
relatively insulated from discussions like this. To that effect, since
people haven't clearly expressed this situation on Wikibooks, I think
we could end up in a situation where different projects could handle
their attribution requirements differently. The situation over there
is sufficiently different for a number of reasons that it's probably
not a good parallel anyway.

--Andrew Whitworth

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Sam Johnston-4
2009/1/22 Sam Johnston <[hidden email]>:
> What value do they really think they will get from a 2pt credit
> with 5,000 other authors?

Don't underestimate the enjoyment of looking through the page of
credits at the back of a printed book and finding your name! People
like to be acknowledged, even if it doesn't serve any greater purpose.

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

David Goodman
There is an analogous project. The thousands of contributors of
quotations exemplifying use to the Oxford English Dictionary have
their names listed, though not with the items they sent.  the
principal ones are listed separately, but even those who sent in a
single quotation are in a list. I know people who have done just that,
and are quite reasonably very pleased to be included there.

On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 11:58 AM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 2009/1/22 Sam Johnston <[hidden email]>:
>> What value do they really think they will get from a 2pt credit
>> with 5,000 other authors?
>
> Don't underestimate the enjoyment of looking through the page of
> credits at the back of a printed book and finding your name! People
> like to be acknowledged, even if it doesn't serve any greater purpose.
>
> _______________________________________________
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>



--
David Goodman, Ph.D, M.L.S.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:DGG

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Erik Moeller-4
In reply to this post by Nikola Smolenski
2009/1/21 Nikola Smolenski <[hidden email]>:
> 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.

That's evidently not true. Many people in this debate have said that
giving all names encumbers re-use of the work when such lists get very
long, so they are not 'fine' with listing all names, because they
recognize that there is an additional good (ease of re-use) that needs
to be served. It's true that this is not the case for a large number
of articles, but it's often the case for the most interesting ones.
The proposed attribution language - to state names when there are
fewer than six - is precisely written as a compromise. According to
your own metrics, for very many articles, this would mean that all
authors would be named. And the filtering of author names could be
continually improved to exclude irrelevant names.

I would say that it's true that the people who have made the case
against heavy attribution requirements have been typically more
willing to accept compromise. What compromise are you willing to
accept? Saying that 'you can opt out' does not address the concerns of
the other side. Opt-in permanent attribution would be an alternative
that would probably not have huge impact, and it could be offered only
on a retroactive basis (e.g. for past edits, but not for future ones).
--
Erik Möller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

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

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

geni
2009/1/22 Erik Moeller <[hidden email]>:
> That's evidently not true. Many people in this debate have said that
> giving all names encumbers re-use of the work when such lists get very
> long, so they are not 'fine' with listing all names, because they
> recognize that there is an additional good (ease of re-use) that needs
> to be served.

Not really. Remember that "reasonable to the medium or means"
statement? Any means that resulted in serious encumberment would be
unlikely to be considered reasonable. Compared the issues caused by
copyright notices it's a pretty minor problem.

> It's true that this is not the case for a large number
> of articles, but it's often the case for the most interesting ones.
> The proposed attribution language - to state names when there are
> fewer than six - is precisely written as a compromise.

Evidences?

--
geni

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

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

> 2009/1/22 Erik Moeller <[hidden email]>:
>> That's evidently not true. Many people in this debate have said that
>> giving all names encumbers re-use of the work when such lists get very
>> long, so they are not 'fine' with listing all names, because they
>> recognize that there is an additional good (ease of re-use) that needs
>> to be served.
>
> Not really. Remember that "reasonable to the medium or means"
> statement? Any means that resulted in serious encumberment would be
> unlikely to be considered reasonable. Compared the issues caused by
> copyright notices it's a pretty minor problem.

I really don't see how adding 2 pages of names to a 35 page article is
a serious encumberment.

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 1:32 PM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 2009/1/21 Nikola Smolenski <[hidden email]>:
> > 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.
>
> That's evidently not true. Many people in this debate have said that
> giving all names encumbers re-use of the work when such lists get very
> long, so they are not 'fine' with listing all names, because they
> recognize that there is an additional good (ease of re-use) that needs
> to be served.


But they granted a license to use their work under the GFDL, didn't they?
The GFDL certainly allows listing all names, doesn't it?

If you're saying these people have a right to revoke the GFDL from their
work, well, I won't argue against you.  But I find it strange that you would
argue this.
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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Milos Rancic-2
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 2:39 AM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 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.

I really have a problem with the clause related to referring to the
authors just via link to the appropriate page history. (It is not in
the sense of necessity to list all authors everywhere.)

Imagine that online edition of Wikipedia doesn't exist anymore. While
it is not so probable and I hope that it won't happen, it is one of
the relevant options when we are talking about contributing authors of
the content. And, of course, I may list a number of possible reasons
how it may happen. Also, may anyone guarantee that Wikipedia will
exist 90 years after death of the last author (less conservative,
around year 2100; more conservative, around year 2200)?

So, I don't think that *just* linking to the page history is a
reasonably addressed issue. Here are the issues which should be
addressed:

* Thomas already gave distinction between online and offline.

* For the case if online Wikimedia projects don't exist anymore,
appropriate attribution won't be pointing to the history of the
article. It may be solved by giving more detailed information how to
attribute authors if it is not possible to attribute them. It may be
solved by giving an option to link to any database which consists the
whole history of an article. It may be solved, also, by publishing
paper edition of authors lists.

* For the case of offline copies, it should be solved reasonably in
relation to medium. If someone is copying content on any electronic
device, I don't think that it is unreasonable to add there full list
of authors. If there were 1.000.000 of authors with 100 characters
each, it is 100 MB of uncompressed document, which may be compressed a
lot (maybe even to 10-20MB file).

* If it is about printed work, it should point at least to the
appropriate printed work. It is really not any kind of reasonable
solution to allow pointing from less advanced medium to more advanced
medium.

By the way, even I think that in relation to all other issues Mike and
Erik did a great job, this issue is really poorly addressed. Even this
is the last main concern in relation to the licensing migration, you
just put a simple goal "clarify that attribution via reference to page
histories is acceptable if there are more than five authors". This is
simply not an appropriate addressing of the issue.

While I don't care how my contributions would be mentioned, WMF has
the obligation to the authors of the content to protect their rights
reasonably. WMF is not the author of the content and can't act as it
is the sole author. Copyright owners are contributors and protection
of *their* rights should be at the center of any licensing issue, not
protection or promotion of WMF and its projects.

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Michael Snow-3
Milos Rancic wrote:
> * If it is about printed work, it should point at least to the
> appropriate printed work. It is really not any kind of reasonable
> solution to allow pointing from less advanced medium to more advanced
> medium.
>  
Independent of the relicensing debate, I don't understand this comment
at all. Printed works very commonly include URLs to point people to
material that is online. Some amount of adjustment has been involved as
people sorted out the issues involved, but at this point it's quite
routine. So I don't see why we should imagine for ourselves a rule
against pointing to the web from print. (Or vice versa, for those people
who think Wikipedia citations have to be to something available online.)

--Michael Snow

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

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

> 2009/1/22 geni <[hidden email]>:
>> 2009/1/22 Erik Moeller <[hidden email]>:
>>> That's evidently not true. Many people in this debate have said that
>>> giving all names encumbers re-use of the work when such lists get very
>>> long, so they are not 'fine' with listing all names, because they
>>> recognize that there is an additional good (ease of re-use) that needs
>>> to be served.
>>
>> Not really. Remember that "reasonable to the medium or means"
>> statement? Any means that resulted in serious encumberment would be
>> unlikely to be considered reasonable. Compared the issues caused by
>> copyright notices it's a pretty minor problem.
>
> I really don't see how adding 2 pages of names to a 35 page article is
> a serious encumberment.

Now read that article outloud and record it. Reasonable to the medium
or means in this case however lets people follow the common practice
of putting the credit on the record sleeve /CD jewel case.

--
geni

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Milos Rancic-2
In reply to this post by Michael Snow-3
On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 8:16 PM, Michael Snow <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Milos Rancic wrote:
>> * If it is about printed work, it should point at least to the
>> appropriate printed work. It is really not any kind of reasonable
>> solution to allow pointing from less advanced medium to more advanced
>> medium.
>>
> Independent of the relicensing debate, I don't understand this comment
> at all. Printed works very commonly include URLs to point people to
> material that is online. Some amount of adjustment has been involved as
> people sorted out the issues involved, but at this point it's quite
> routine. So I don't see why we should imagine for ourselves a rule
> against pointing to the web from print. (Or vice versa, for those people
> who think Wikipedia citations have to be to something available online.)

This is not about giving more informations, but about giving the basic
informations about the work related to the legal issues. My amateur
knowledge of law says to me that I am always able to ask for printed
legal document, even electronic one is available and preferable. While
you should better know how the right to get authors list in
appropriate form is connected with my right to demand printed legal
document, I see them very connected and I think that we should act as
they are connected. (Note, again, that this is not about referring to
a document as a literature, but to referring to the authors of the
document, which is far from equal.)

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Michael Snow-3
Milos Rancic wrote:

> On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 8:16 PM, Michael Snow <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  
>> Milos Rancic wrote:
>>    
>>> * If it is about printed work, it should point at least to the
>>> appropriate printed work. It is really not any kind of reasonable
>>> solution to allow pointing from less advanced medium to more advanced
>>> medium.
>>>      
>> Independent of the relicensing debate, I don't understand this comment
>> at all. Printed works very commonly include URLs to point people to
>> material that is online. Some amount of adjustment has been involved as
>> people sorted out the issues involved, but at this point it's quite
>> routine. So I don't see why we should imagine for ourselves a rule
>> against pointing to the web from print. (Or vice versa, for those people
>> who think Wikipedia citations have to be to something available online.)
>>    
> This is not about giving more informations, but about giving the basic
> informations about the work related to the legal issues. My amateur
> knowledge of law says to me that I am always able to ask for printed
> legal document, even electronic one is available and preferable. While
> you should better know how the right to get authors list in
> appropriate form is connected with my right to demand printed legal
> document, I see them very connected and I think that we should act as
> they are connected. (Note, again, that this is not about referring to
> a document as a literature, but to referring to the authors of the
> document, which is far from equal.)
>  
I'm afraid I simply don't understand what you're trying to say, then. It
sounded like you were talking about having one document (web, print,
whatever medium) point to another, something that might be done for
attribution or a variety of other purposes. And if it's a question of
pointing, I'm puzzled what difference it makes which medium is used or
which direction one points across different media.

I'm also not sure what you mean by a right to demand a printed legal
document. It sounds sort of like you're referring to this as a right you
hold as an author (whether as part of basic copyright or a moral right).
That's not something I'm familiar with at all. So it's likely that I've
not understood what you mean correctly there, either.

--Michael Snow

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by geni
> Now read that article outloud and record it. Reasonable to the medium
> or means in this case however lets people follow the common practice
> of putting the credit on the record sleeve /CD jewel case.

"Reasonable" doesn't have to mean "common practice". How about reading
out the names at the end? It's going to be a worse ratio than pages of
print (you can't read something in a small font size, after all), but
it's still doable (especially with text-to-speech converters, so you
don't have to waste time reading all the names). Reading credits at
the end is pretty common practice for radio broadcasts, anyway, why
not do the same for CDs?.

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

geni
2009/1/22 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>:
>> Now read that article outloud and record it. Reasonable to the medium
>> or means in this case however lets people follow the common practice
>> of putting the credit on the record sleeve /CD jewel case.
>
> "Reasonable" doesn't have to mean "common practice".

It doesn't but is something of a useful indicator.

>How about reading
> out the names at the end? It's going to be a worse ratio than pages of
> print (you can't read something in a small font size, after all), but
> it's still doable (especially with text-to-speech converters, so you
> don't have to waste time reading all the names). Reading credits at
> the end is pretty common practice for radio broadcasts, anyway, why
> not do the same for CDs?.

Because radio broadcasts have far shorter credit lists. Yeah to an
extent you can do it with CDs but for 45s that is right out. However
the license itself specifies "Reasonable to the medium or means" so
this does not present a problem.

So "to clarify that attribution via reference to page histories is
acceptable if there are more than five authors" is an attempt to fix a
non problem using means of highly questionable legality under the
terms of the license and non US law as well is deny wikipedia authors
effective credit.

It also prevents us from bringing in CC-BY-SA from third party sources
which makes it further unacceptable.


--
geni

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Thomas Dalton
> Because radio broadcasts have far shorter credit lists. Yeah to an
> extent you can do it with CDs but for 45s that is right out. However
> the license itself specifies "Reasonable to the medium or means" so
> this does not present a problem.

Surely you couldn't fit a read out version of [[France]] onto a 45?
What matters is how much space (in what medium) the credits take in
comparison to the content. Reading the credits to [[France]] may take
quite a while compared to reading the article (maybe half as long?
Possibly less, especially if you read the names pretty quickly), but
media big enough to hold the whole article read out will probably be
big enough to still have plenty of room to spare (reading the article
might take, what, 30 mins? Can you think of a medium that can hold 30
mins of audio but not 45?). (These numbers are all guesses, I've never
done any recording like this, so I don't know how long it's likely to
end up being, but these figures should give a reasonable impression, I
think.)

> So "to clarify that attribution via reference to page histories is
> acceptable if there are more than five authors" is an attempt to fix a
> non problem using means of highly questionable legality under the
> terms of the license and non US law as well is deny wikipedia authors
> effective credit.
>
> It also prevents us from bringing in CC-BY-SA from third party sources
> which makes it further unacceptable.

Yeah, that's about it.

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Re: RfC: License update proposal

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

Anthony writes:

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

This is a telling admission. I respect anyone's desire to have rights  
over the copyrighted material he or she generates. That's a function  
of traditional copyright law and it informs the traditional regime of  
"all rights reserved".  But if you don't give primacy to the mission  
of spreading free knowledge to the world -- the function of free  
licenses! --  including your edits of other people's contributions,  
perhaps you are involved in the wrong project?

> 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..."

So is current Wikipedia practice consistent with the GFDL or not?  
Obviously, the History page reachable from a Wikipedia article could  
be interpreted as not being a "section" or a "named subunit."  
Historically, the community has generally interpreted this attribution  
requirement of the GFDL as allowing for a link to a History page.  In  
this respect, there is no essential difference between GFDL and CC-BY-
SA 3.x.

If there is no essential difference, then your concern about getting  
credit is a wash, regardless of whether the license on Wikipedia is  
updated.

This doesn't mean your concern is any less valid or invalid -- it just  
means that there's nothing inherent in the question of updating the  
license that should trigger it.


--Mike





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Re: RfC: License update proposal

Nathan Awrich
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
I understand Milos' concern, actually, and this is the most reasonable
objection to a URL link for attribution purposes that has been raised so
far. It is true that the Internet is by its nature impermanent, evolving
both in content and in structure. It's by no means guaranteed that if we
include "
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dentistry&curid=8005&action=history"
in a printed book in 2009 it will still be accessible in 2019.

On the other hand, if we printed out the names in the book... then as long
as you have the book you have the names, because they travel together. We
may change the syntax of the history link, the most common method for
locating content on the web may change (either structurally, or because of
device evolution), or the sites might for some reason come down. We should
also consider that ideally we want our content to be usefully credited in
areas of the world where Internet access is very limited, or where Wikipedia
is specifically blocked. Thinking ahead, these are the parts of the world
most likely to be using a paper Wikipedia anyway.

I do understand that there are mediums where this is impossible, and I think
perhaps the solution requires an outline that describes different (but
reasonable) standards based on medium category, broadly interpreted.

Nathan
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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 3:38 PM, Mike Godwin <[hidden email]> wrote:

> > 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..."
>
> So is current Wikipedia practice consistent with the GFDL or not?


I believe that Wikipedia practice is not consistent with the GFDL.  That's
why I notified you that the WMF's right to use my content under the GFDL has
been permanently revoked.


> Obviously, the History page reachable from a Wikipedia article could
> be interpreted as not being a "section" or a "named subunit."


On the other hand, the history page *could* be interpreted as being part of
the Document.

Historically, the community has generally interpreted this attribution
> requirement of the GFDL as allowing for a link to a History page.  In
> this respect, there is no essential difference between GFDL and CC-BY-
> SA 3.x.
>

For online copies, as I've said before, I don't see much problem with this.
As I've said before, it's hard to draw the line as to what is part of the
work and what is not part of the work, when it comes to online sources.  But
I don't think the same argument can be made for offline copies.

If there is no essential difference, then your concern about getting
> credit is a wash, regardless of whether the license on Wikipedia is
> updated.
>

My main concern is that CC-BY-SA will be deliberately misinterpreted to not
require direct attribution - and the published draft of the RfC confirms
that this concern is valid.

This doesn't mean your concern is any less valid or invalid -- it just
> means that there's nothing inherent in the question of updating the
> license that should trigger it.


The GFDL is much more clear on this issue.  And some comments Erik has
pointed us to from the CC lawyers make it clear that CC intends for CC-BY-SA
to allow attribution by URL, so even if CC-BY-SA 3.0 isn't interpreted by
the courts to allow this, CC-BY-SA 4.0 very well might.
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Re: RfC: License update proposal

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

Anthony writes:

> On the other hand, the history page *could* be interpreted as being  
> part of
> the Document.

Even if it's on a different server?

> For online copies, as I've said before, I don't see much problem  
> with this.
> As I've said before, it's hard to draw the line as to what is part  
> of the
> work and what is not part of the work, when it comes to online  
> sources.  But
> I don't think the same argument can be made for offline copies.

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.)

> My main concern is that CC-BY-SA will be deliberately misinterpreted  
> to not
> require direct attribution - and the published draft of the RfC  
> confirms
> that this concern is valid.

So you think an online attribution on a separate page (or server) when  
the article is online is "direct"? 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?


--Mike




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