What's appropriate attribution?

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Re: What's appropriate attribution?

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
The question is not what is compatible with the GFDL or CC-by-sa, the
question is what is appropriate. Those lead to different answers. I like
your approach to compare how things work in the real world and what is
stated in a license.

In the end it is about having a license that will work and that can be
enforced because it makes sense for our users.
Thanks,
       GerardM

On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 6:52 PM, Robert Rohde <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Let me make a radical suggestion.  One that, for the moment, ignores
> all those overbearing legal questions.
>
> Why not assume that the appropriate amount of attribution for a
> Wikipedia article is essentially the amount that it has now?
>
> When you look at a Wikipedia article there is no list of authors
> (principal or otherwise).  There is simply a link to "history", a
> statement at the bottom of the page saying that the content is under
> the GFDL, and a link to the GFDL.  On the Wikipedia page itself, that
> is essentially the full extent of the licensing and attribution.
>
> I assume that practically all Wikipedia contributors are comfortable
> with recieving this very low level of attribution for Wikipedia
> articles.
>
> So, by extension, perhaps the goal should be finding a way to codify
> this scheme in a way that works both for us and for reusers.  Namely,
> making the requirements for redistribution of Wikipedia content to
> simply be:
>
> 1) A link or reference to the article's history
> 2) A statement acknowledging the free content license
> 3) A link or reference to the text of that license
>
> That's very simple and practical.  One can add some details regarding
> new versions and modifications, but even there I think you accomplish
> more by keeping it simple.
>
>
> Now I suspect there are about three dozen reasons why defining
> attribution as simply a link to the history page is legally impossible
> and incompatible with the GFDL.  But even so, doesn't it make some
> sense to start with:  How are Wikipedia articles being used?  and work
> backwards backwards to construct the licensing scheme that best
> resembles actual practice while still being legally rigorous?
> Wikipedia authors don't seem to want or expect prominent and overt
> acknowledgements when writing articles, so why should our licensing
> scheme require reusers to add more overt statements than even we
> ourselves have?
>
> -Robert Rohde
>
>
> On Mon, Oct 20, 2008 at 12:46 PM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > The GFDL has specific attribution requirements that were designed for
> > software manuals. What's appropriate attribution for a wiki, where a
> > page can have thousands of authors, and a collection of pages is very
> > likely to? I would like to start a broad initial discussion on this
> > topic; it's likely that the issue will need to be raised more
> > specifically in the context of possible modifications to the GFDL or a
> > migration to CC-BY-SA.
> >
> > The relevant GFDL clause states: "List on the Title Page, as authors,
> > one or more persons or entities responsible for authorship of the
> > modifications in the Modified Version, together with at least five of
> > the principal authors of the Document (all of its principal authors,
> > if it has fewer than five), unless they release you from this
> > requirement."
> >
> > Most people have chosen to ignore the "principal authors" requirement
> > and to try to attribute every author instead because there's no
> > obvious way to determine who the principal authors are. I remember a
> > few years back that Anthony tried a completely different approach,
> > where he created a full copy of Wikipedia (under the assumption that
> > it's a single GFDL work) and attributed it to five people on the
> > frontpage. Anthony, please correct me if my recollection is incorrect.
> >
> > The community process that has developed with regard to GFDL
> > compliance on the web has generally tacitly favored a link to the
> > article and to its history as proper credit. But, for printed books,
> > publishers have generally wanted to be more in compliance with the
> > letter of the license. So, the Bertelsmann "Wikipedia in one volume"
> > includes a looong list of authors in a very tiny font.
> >
> > Is that practical? How about Wikipedia articles on passenger
> > information systems (screens on subways, airplanes)? How about small
> > booklets where there isn't a lot of room for licensing information?
> > Should a good license for wikis make a distinction between print and
> > online uses?
> >
> > I haven't heard anyone argue strongly for full inclusion of the
> > _license text_. But I'd like to hear opinions on the inclusion of
> > username lists.
> >
> > My personal preference would be a system where we have a special
> > "credits" URL for each article, something like
> >
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/credits/World_War_II
> >
> > which would list authors and also provide full licensing information
> > for all media files. If we had a specific collection of articles, the
> > system could support this using collection IDs:
> >
> >
> http://en.wikipedia.org/collection_credits/Bertelsmann_One_Volume_Encyclopedia
> >
> > (These URLs are completely made up and have no basis in reality.)
> >
> > The advantage that I see of such an approach is that it would allow us
> > to standardize and continually refine the way we display authorship
> > information, and benefit the free sharing of content with a very
> > lightweight process. The disadvantage (if it is perceived as such) is
> > that if we would officially recommend such attribution in printed
> > books, individual contributors would be less likely to see their
> > username in print. But we might see more print uses because it would
> > make the attribution more manageable.
> >
> > It's also conceivable to require full author attribution for printed
> > collections of a certain length or printed in certain quantity. (The
> > GFDL has "in quantity" rules, but they do not seem to apply in any way
> > to the authorship information.)
> >
> > Aside from what the legal implications of any given approach are, the
> > first question I think that needs to be answered is what's desirable.
> > Thoughts?
> > --
> > Erik Möller
> > Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation
> >
> > Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > foundation-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
> >
>
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Re: What's appropriate attribution?

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by Gerard Meijssen-3
On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 11:57 AM, Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]
> wrote:

> Hoi,
> I find it interesting to see how this thread is being weaved. If I read
> Erik
> correctly, he is asking us what appropriate attribution is. He is asking
> any
> and all observations. What I find is a thread about existing legalities.
>

The appropriate attribution is certainly no less than what was promised in
the first place.

When we observe the current practice, you find that people attribute by
> referring to Wikipedia.


Copyright violations on the Internet are rampant.  So what?
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Re: What's appropriate attribution?

phoebe ayers-3
In reply to this post by Anthony-73
On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 4:40 AM, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
....
> Absolutely agreed.  My longstanding interpretation of the GFDL was that
> attribution of all (non de-minimus) authors was required, in the section
> Entitled History.  Considering moral rights laws and the ethical principles
> behind them, I still believe this is the correct interpretation, and that
> the phrase "as given on its Title page" should be interpreted to apply only
> to "publisher of the Document".

I actually based my only-citing-five-authors-per-article tactic on
advice from Eben Moglen, who as I understood it, felt that as long as
our metric was consistent and we linked back to the history on
Wikipedia, citing all the authors of every article in our print
version was not necessary.

In general, I think part of the trouble with the GFDL as it stands is
that very different interpretations are not only possible but likely
among people who have spent a good deal of time thinking about and
studying it. The intention is clear -- provide appropriate attribution
to the people who wrote the thing you're trying to cite -- but the
implementation is entirely murky. Pity the random person who tries to
reuse content and has to figure out the license...
-- phoebe

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Re: What's appropriate attribution?

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by Gerard Meijssen-3
On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 1:07 PM, Gerard Meijssen
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> Hoi,
> The question is not what is compatible with the GFDL or CC-by-sa, the
> question is what is appropriate.


Appropriate for what?  Are we considering starting a new project, or
something?
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Re: What's appropriate attribution?

Gregory Maxwell
In reply to this post by Robert Rohde
On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 12:52 PM, Robert Rohde <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Why not assume that the appropriate amount of attribution for a
> Wikipedia article is essentially the amount that it has now?
[snip]

This is basically what is proposed at
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/GFDL_suggestions but there are a few
differences such as:

# Conventional named attribution be preserved in cases where it is
easy and reasonable to do so.

Consider, we copy an image from RandomFreeContentPhotoHost and stick
it in a Wikipedia article without the author's knoweldge.  Joe
publisher takes just that image and uses it in his printed book, and
captions the image  "RandomImage (source: Wikipedia.org;
http://.../randomimage.jpg)".

This may well surprise and offend the author, and we'll have to deal
with someone yelling at US saying they revoke the license, and yelling
at the reusers "the license says you must provide attribution!", the
mess here would be doubly compounded if in the meantime we'd deleted
the image and made the publisher look like a liar.

In cases where attribution can be directly provided, we should avoid
the middle-man.  This will match people's expectations.

# that history requirement doesn't depend on you linking to a
particular site, but to any that provides the history, which avoids
making a special right for initial ISPs and webhosts

Imagine:  Wikipedia turns evil and the entire community moves as a
whole to NotEvilPedia™.  Does it make any sense that NotEvilPedia must
forever direct everyone to the evil Wikipedia forever and always
simply because Wikipedia was the initial webhost for the community?

Of course not,  the purpose of needing a history link is to provide
the history information not to invent a new class of content ownership
for ISPs.  Anyone with a complete copy of the history should be able
to fulfill the roll.
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Re: What's appropriate attribution?

phoebe ayers-3
In reply to this post by Robert Rohde
On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 9:52 AM, Robert Rohde <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Let me make a radical suggestion.  One that, for the moment, ignores
> all those overbearing legal questions.
>
> Why not assume that the appropriate amount of attribution for a
> Wikipedia article is essentially the amount that it has now?
>
> When you look at a Wikipedia article there is no list of authors
> (principal or otherwise).  There is simply a link to "history", a
> statement at the bottom of the page saying that the content is under
> the GFDL, and a link to the GFDL.  On the Wikipedia page itself, that
> is essentially the full extent of the licensing and attribution.
>
> I assume that practically all Wikipedia contributors are comfortable
> with recieving this very low level of attribution for Wikipedia
> articles.
>
> So, by extension, perhaps the goal should be finding a way to codify
> this scheme in a way that works both for us and for reusers.  Namely,
> making the requirements for redistribution of Wikipedia content to
> simply be:
>
> 1) A link or reference to the article's history
> 2) A statement acknowledging the free content license
> 3) A link or reference to the text of that license

<snip>

Totally agreed with this. See my message upthread. My sample citation
is missing an acknowledgment of the license; add that in and I think
you'd be good to go for most purposes. I think the concept "this came
from a bunch of authors on Wikipedia" makes more sense, intuitively,
as a crediting device than trying to say "this came from JoeBlow9567,
a particular Wikipedia contributor with bits of help from half-a-dozen
other people."

As for the argument that's cropped up occasionally that most articles
have only a few primary articles -- that is true for many articles but
by no means all, and we need to develop a metric that will work with
all cases, not just many of them. Additionally, as we go along,
Wikipedia pages will simply acquire more authors, not less, and we
need to develop a metric that will work over time. The problem I faced
when citing policies that had thousands and thousands of substantial
revisions is a perfect example of this.

-- phoebe

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Re: What's appropriate attribution?

Gregory Maxwell
In reply to this post by Anthony-73
On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 1:08 PM, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Copyright violations on the Internet are rampant.  So what?

Another point about attribution which we need to be mindful of is the
proposed Orphan Works law in the US which is getting closer and closer
to passing: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=s110-2913

I expect it to make attentive copyright holders far more aggressive.
We can expect to get perfunctory complaints about many of our valid
fair use images just as we already receive from trademark holders.

In particular we can expect copyright holders to become more
aggressive with respect to attribution because unattributed (or
incorrectly attributed) copies floating around on the Internet will
cause an effective loss (if only temporary) of copyright protection.

(The orphan works act as currently drafted also has other risks
outside of current topic of discussion, such as the prohibition
against injunctive relief and the pure monetary damages focus which
may wedge copyleft enforcement, at least for works claimed to be
orphaned)

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Re: What's appropriate attribution?

phoebe ayers-3
In reply to this post by Gregory Maxwell
On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 10:13 AM, Gregory Maxwell <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 12:52 PM, Robert Rohde <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Why not assume that the appropriate amount of attribution for a
>> Wikipedia article is essentially the amount that it has now?
> [snip]
>
> This is basically what is proposed at
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/GFDL_suggestions but there are a few
> differences such as:
>
> # Conventional named attribution be preserved in cases where it is
> easy and reasonable to do so.
>
> Consider, we copy an image from RandomFreeContentPhotoHost and stick
> it in a Wikipedia article without the author's knoweldge.  Joe
> publisher takes just that image and uses it in his printed book, and
> captions the image  "RandomImage (source: Wikipedia.org;
> http://.../randomimage.jpg)".
>
> This may well surprise and offend the author, and we'll have to deal
> with someone yelling at US saying they revoke the license, and yelling
> at the reusers "the license says you must provide attribution!", the
> mess here would be doubly compounded if in the meantime we'd deleted
> the image and made the publisher look like a liar.
>
> In cases where attribution can be directly provided, we should avoid
> the middle-man.  This will match people's expectations.
>
> # that history requirement doesn't depend on you linking to a
> particular site, but to any that provides the history, which avoids
> making a special right for initial ISPs and webhosts
>
> Imagine:  Wikipedia turns evil and the entire community moves as a
> whole to NotEvilPedia™.  Does it make any sense that NotEvilPedia must
> forever direct everyone to the evil Wikipedia forever and always
> simply because Wikipedia was the initial webhost for the community?
>
> Of course not,  the purpose of needing a history link is to provide
> the history information not to invent a new class of content ownership
> for ISPs.  Anyone with a complete copy of the history should be able
> to fulfill the roll.

Dude, now I really want to join NotEvilPedia. But where to host it? Sealand?

Also, agreed with both of these things, though how you determine
whether someone has a full copy of the history or not seems a little
dicey. We should really provide better easily-downloaded metadata for
articles (such as initial creation date, etc). And I would say that in
the photo example the proper credit would be both to the author & to
Wikipedia as source: Randomimage. (Credit: Joe Blow. Source:
Wikipedia.org, http://...randomimage.jpg, licensed under GFDL 11.16,
etc.)

-- phoebe

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Re: What's appropriate attribution?

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

Michael Bimmler writes:

> Thomas, Mike, as much as I'm amused by this debate, can we drop this
> here? It's getting unproductive, really.

I confess I am amused too, which is why I indulge myself. It's a bit  
as if I were to show up at a programming conference and say something  
like "You know, that C++ stuff is very complicated -- it requires a  
knowledge of object-oriented-programming principles, you know."

If I were really self-important, I'd repeat this C++ pronunciamento  
two or three times, ideally in front of a large group.


--m





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Re: What's appropriate attribution?

Thomas Dalton
2008/10/21 Mike Godwin <[hidden email]>:

>
> Michael Bimmler writes:
>
>> Thomas, Mike, as much as I'm amused by this debate, can we drop this
>> here? It's getting unproductive, really.
>
> I confess I am amused too, which is why I indulge myself. It's a bit
> as if I were to show up at a programming conference and say something
> like "You know, that C++ stuff is very complicated -- it requires a
> knowledge of object-oriented-programming principles, you know."
>
> If I were really self-important, I'd repeat this C++ pronunciamento
> two or three times, ideally in front of a large group.

To be more precise, it's as if you showed up to a programming
conference and said that to someone who had just dismissed OOP
principles as unimportant.

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Re: What's appropriate attribution?

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

geni writes:

> Worse than that. Technically most EU countries should have identical
> moral rights clauses. Implementation of the clauses is inconsistent
> and in many cases there is a lack of caselaw (although the lawsuit
> over changing a bridge design failed).

There's a reason for the lack of caselaw, even though implementation  
among Berne signatory countries is inconsistent -- it's that truly  
problematic moral-rights problems don't come up very much.  What's  
more, even if our own follow-through on attribution requirements of  
GFDL (or CC-BY-SA) is less than it might be, the thing to note is that  
we're actively trying to maintain attribution, even though a massively  
collaborative environment such as Wikpedia makes such an effort both  
difficult and (arguably) less than meaningful.  Most moral-rights  
disputes arise in cases where someone is actively trying to *remove*  
attribution or to *misattribute* a work.  That's not normally our  
problem.

> For the average wikipedian on the ground the issue is less one of what
> you can handle or find people to handle (I generally assume that the
> foundation can deal with pretty much any copyright issues should it
> have to)

It's nice to know somebody assumes that.



--Mike





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Re: What's appropriate attribution?

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen
In reply to this post by Gerard Meijssen-3
Gerard Meijssen wrote:
> Hoi,
> I find it interesting to see how this thread is being weaved. If I read Erik
> correctly, he is asking us what appropriate attribution is. He is asking any
> and all observations. What I find is a thread about existing legalities.
>  

You are not wholly accurate. There is discussion about laws
which refer to the *fact* of law, that it is impossible to rely
on some copyleft "wishes" (which aren't really provisions
in those jurisdictions, no matter how one might click ones
red shoes together at the heels), when there are more
strict moral rights in play in those jurisdictions. Personally
I find it entirely appropriate in terms of attribution, that we
don't present un-necessary problems to downstream users.

The downstream users have to deal with legal facts on the
ground.

It would certainly be an evil trifecta for us, to ignore certain
facts of morality. We shouldn't do it because we *want*
people to safely re-use our content. We shouldn't do it
because we respect the fact that there is a genuinely
good reason why attribution is *the right thing* to do.
And thirdly, we shouldn't do it, because generous
attribution is a genuine incentive and an argument
in favour of wikipedia, in comparison to many other
compendia, which only list the whole list of contributors,
without specifying to which articles in their work they
have added wordage. (EB Micropaedia being a case in
point).



> When we observe the current practice, you find that people attribute by
> referring to Wikipedia. This is an effective way of providing access to any
> and all the people who have contributed to what has been used. When you read
> the byzantine requirements under the different licenses, you have to be a
> lawyer to understand them properly and there is no tooling to help you
> define such things as "principal author" or the five most significant
> authors.
>  
This is a nice fiction, but not true, if a downstream user, which
I think is the focus in ultimo, is going for a fixed published media.
Linking is good, if what you have is on the internets, but if not,
not so hot. You are not provided access, if you can't follow the
link.

> If all we can do is discuss how things are currently legal, then we are not
> looking for something that works practically. It is for practical reasons
> that I wonder about the number of trees that have to be felled to attribute.
> Certainly when you have a print of all the Wikipedia articles on the popes
> of Rome and all the Christian saints and martyrs, you have a long list of
> articles that may all need their own attribution. When you approach these
> articles as a single work, you do no justice to the individual article and
> its authors.
>  

Now, this I find quite silly on several grounds. First you
mentioned linking to history, and now you shift ground
and talk about felling trees. If you are felling trees, you
can't link to the history, to save your argument.

One might quite more legitimately worry about the amount
of trees that have to be felled to include citations, references
etc. In short, this argument is very poor indeed.

Do not be blinded by the fact that moral rights are
recognized in law, from the fact, that they are recognized
as such, because of a strong ethical foundation. Slavery not
being nice is not just a fact of law, there are strands and roots
deepset into general philosophy and ethology.


> Really, why are we not talking about how this is to WORK for the people that
> will use our data.. Please remember that this is what we do it for.

I think this is a case where asking the doctor to heal themselves
is not totally amiss...


Yours,

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen



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Re: What's appropriate attribution?

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

Gregory Maxwell writes:

> Another point about attribution which we need to be mindful of is the
> proposed Orphan Works law in the US which is getting closer and closer
> to passing: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?
> bill=s110-2913
>
> I expect it to make attentive copyright holders far more aggressive.
> We can expect to get perfunctory complaints about many of our valid
> fair use images just as we already receive from trademark holders.

I would be surprised if the Orphan Works Act led to copyright holders'  
being more aggressive, especially since the institutional copyright  
industry is already hyper-aggressive. (They oppose the Orphan Works  
Act.)  The thrust of the Act is to address cases in which copyright  
holders are difficult or impossible to determine.  Aggressive  
copyright holders almost by definition fail to fall into that class.


--Mike






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Re: What's appropriate attribution?

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

Thomas Dalton writes:

> To be more precise, it's as if you showed up to a programming
> conference and said that to someone who had just dismissed OOP
> principles as unimportant.

When you say "to be more precise," can you say what you mean, precisely?

It doesn't seem "more precise" to imply that anyone has dismissed  
moral rights as unimportant.

A more careful reading -- yes, I know it is unreasonable to expect  
careful reading -- might lead to an understanding that the particular  
problem set relating to moral-rights jurisprudence is not terribly  
applicable in a context in which the free licenses in question strive  
for attribution (rather than attempting to dodge attribution or  
misattribute creative works).  Similarly, greater care might lead one  
not to make grand pronouncements either about the number or diversity  
of lawyers required to address the moral-rights issue (especially if  
one is not a lawyer and not an expert on the issue), or about the  
qualifications of a particular lawyer about whose background one may  
know next to nothing.

Just a suggestion. (And I encourage anyone who hears me making  
pronouncements about object-oriented programming to take me down a  
notch.)


--Mike





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Re: What's appropriate attribution?

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen
In reply to this post by Robert Rohde
Jussi-Ville Heiskanen wrote:
> Robert Rohde wrote:
>> Let me make a radical suggestion.  One that, for the moment, ignores
>> all those overbearing legal questions.
>>
>>    

This is only radical in the fashion ("radical" is based on
the word "root"), that it is reasonable to root ones head
in the sand. That is the common metaphor for ignoring
questions of significant import.


>> Why not assume that the appropriate amount of attribution for a
>> Wikipedia article is essentially the amount that it has now?
>>    

Why not assume the moon is made of green cheese? The
significant point is that wikipedia articles will not be offered
in the same form as they are now, for very much longer.
There will be an increasing number of folks who will think
of fixed forms to market wikipedia articles, where a simple
internet link will not be a practical solution.

>> When you look at a Wikipedia article there is no list of authors
>> (principal or otherwise).  There is simply a link to "history", a
>> statement at the bottom of the page saying that the content is under
>> the GFDL, and a link to the GFDL.  On the Wikipedia page itself, that
>> is essentially the full extent of the licensing and attribution.
>>
>> I assume that practically all Wikipedia contributors are comfortable
>> with recieving this very low level of attribution for Wikipedia
>> articles.
>>    
Attribution for wikipedia articles offered only in the form
that they are on the wikimedia sites, perhaps.

Do not make the mistake of extrapolating from that into
fixed media.

>> So, by extension, perhaps the goal should be finding a way to codify
>> this scheme in a way that works both for us and for reusers.  Namely,
>> making the requirements for redistribution of Wikipedia content to
>> simply be:
>>
>> 1) A link or reference to the article's history
>> 2) A statement acknowledging the free content license
>> 3) A link or reference to the text of that license
>>
>> That's very simple and practical.  One can add some details regarding
>> new versions and modifications, but even there I think you accomplish
>> more by keeping it simple.
>>    

This is completely false and misleading. You simply can not
practically link from a fixed media to the internets. You can
tell people what to type into the browser, which will bring
you the right history etc. Sure, technically that is one form
of compliance, but that is going the route of "small print"
stuff that one employs, when one is not too particular about
the ethics of what is doing. That does not work for people
who actually do the editing in chief of articles. This approach
would really give them the shaft.

>>
>> Now I suspect there are about three dozen reasons why defining
>> attribution as simply a link to the history page is legally impossible
>> and incompatible with the GFDL.  But even so, doesn't it make some
>> sense to start with:  How are Wikipedia articles being used?  and work
>> backwards backwards to construct the licensing scheme that best
>> resembles actual practice while still being legally rigorous?
>> Wikipedia authors don't seem to want or expect prominent and overt
>> acknowledgements when writing articles, so why should our licensing
>> scheme require reusers to add more overt statements than even we
>> ourselves have?
>>
>>    

I will let that statement stand by itself, and let intelligent
readers draw their own conclusions...


Yours,

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen


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Re: What's appropriate attribution?

Robert Rohde
On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 1:31 PM, Jussi-Ville Heiskanen
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> Jussi-Ville Heiskanen wrote:
>> Robert Rohde wrote:
<snip>

>>> So, by extension, perhaps the goal should be finding a way to codify
>>> this scheme in a way that works both for us and for reusers.  Namely,
>>> making the requirements for redistribution of Wikipedia content to
>>> simply be:
>>>
>>> 1) A link or reference to the article's history
>>> 2) A statement acknowledging the free content license
>>> 3) A link or reference to the text of that license
>>>
>>> That's very simple and practical.  One can add some details regarding
>>> new versions and modifications, but even there I think you accomplish
>>> more by keeping it simple.
>>>
>
> This is completely false and misleading. You simply can not
> practically link from a fixed media to the internets. You can
> tell people what to type into the browser, which will bring
> you the right history etc. Sure, technically that is one form
> of compliance, but that is going the route of "small print"
> stuff that one employs, when one is not too particular about
> the ethics of what is doing. That does not work for people
> who actually do the editing in chief of articles. This approach
> would really give them the shaft.
<snip>

I am saying that a printed URL address in dead tree media to a site
that contains the appropriate information would be fine by me.
Perhaps you believe that it is totally unreasonable to draw a
connection between printed material and the web, but as the world
becomes increasingly connected, I see no fundemental problem with
this.  You are of course entitled to your opinion, but you seem to be
broadly generalizing that this approach would be unethical and unfair
to editors, and as an editor I'd have to firmly disagree with you.

Also, keep in mind that we are discussing how licensing and
attribution might work.  Obviously, any attempt to faithfully apply
the GFDL as currently constructed will be more cumbersome.  But we
can't possibly get a better GFDL in the future unless we are willing
to discuss what we might want from it.

-Robert Rohde

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Re: What's appropriate attribution?

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen
Robert Rohde wrote:

> On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 1:31 PM, Jussi-Ville Heiskanen
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  
>> Jussi-Ville Heiskanen wrote:
>>    
>>> Robert Rohde wrote:
>>>      
> <snip>
>  
>>>> So, by extension, perhaps the goal should be finding a way to codify
>>>> this scheme in a way that works both for us and for reusers.  Namely,
>>>> making the requirements for redistribution of Wikipedia content to
>>>> simply be:
>>>>
>>>> 1) A link or reference to the article's history
>>>> 2) A statement acknowledging the free content license
>>>> 3) A link or reference to the text of that license
>>>>
>>>> That's very simple and practical.  One can add some details regarding
>>>> new versions and modifications, but even there I think you accomplish
>>>> more by keeping it simple.
>>>>
>>>>        
>> This is completely false and misleading. You simply can not
>> practically link from a fixed media to the internets. You can
>> tell people what to type into the browser, which will bring
>> you the right history etc. Sure, technically that is one form
>> of compliance, but that is going the route of "small print"
>> stuff that one employs, when one is not too particular about
>> the ethics of what is doing. That does not work for people
>> who actually do the editing in chief of articles. This approach
>> would really give them the shaft.
>>    
> <snip>
>
> I am saying that a printed URL address in dead tree media to a site
> that contains the appropriate information would be fine by me.
> Perhaps you believe that it is totally unreasonable to draw a
> connection between printed material and the web, but as the world
> becomes increasingly connected, I see no fundemental problem with
> this.  You are of course entitled to your opinion, but you seem to be
> broadly generalizing that this approach would be unethical and unfair
> to editors, and as an editor I'd have to firmly disagree with you.
>
> Also, keep in mind that we are discussing how licensing and
> attribution might work.  Obviously, any attempt to faithfully apply
> the GFDL as currently constructed will be more cumbersome.  But we
> can't possibly get a better GFDL in the future unless we are willing
> to discuss what we might want from it.
>  

I am happy to have intelligent people read what you
have written, and don't feel any need to add to that.

You are free to make personal allowances as an editor
which other editors might not be willing to do. That is
your personal choice. But that only speaks to you, not
to editors at large.

I won't discuss what I might want from the GFDL, purely
because I don't like blue sky fantasies. Wikipedia isn't
going to get permission from RMS to be pragmatic
about what to allow the texts attribution be. Funnily
enough RMS's criterions aren't even IMO founded in
sensible ethical anchors. But that is completely by the by.

I categorigally refuse to engage in that game. And to
underline it more emphatically, I would most strongly
oppose any move to give prominence to the freedomdefined
site in our negotiations with the relevant interest groups,
as being representative of wikimedias interests.


Yours,

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen



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Re: What's appropriate attribution?

Michael Snow-3
In reply to this post by Robert Rohde
Robert Rohde wrote:

> Let me make a radical suggestion.  One that, for the moment, ignores
> all those overbearing legal questions.
>
> Why not assume that the appropriate amount of attribution for a
> Wikipedia article is essentially the amount that it has now?
>
> When you look at a Wikipedia article there is no list of authors
> (principal or otherwise).  There is simply a link to "history", a
> statement at the bottom of the page saying that the content is under
> the GFDL, and a link to the GFDL.  On the Wikipedia page itself, that
> is essentially the full extent of the licensing and attribution.
>
> I assume that practically all Wikipedia contributors are comfortable
> with recieving this very low level of attribution for Wikipedia
> articles.
>  
I might add that the attribution requirement of the GFDL talks about
listing at least five principal authors, "unless they release you from
this requirement." A fairly straightforward argument can be made that
existing and accepted practice on Wikipedia, and for that matter on
nearly all wikis, amounts to releasing subsequent distributors from this
requirement. If the authors can make this implicit release, then you
have to look at whatever attribution is customary in a given context,
along with any moral rights issues.

Which is why I never get particularly worked up with people's concerns
about attribution. As Mike Godwin pointed out, we do seek to maintain
attribution in our own way, and most people are willing to accept and
work with that.

--Michael Snow


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Re: What's appropriate attribution?

Gregory Maxwell
On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 10:44 PM, Michael Snow <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I might add that the attribution requirement of the GFDL talks about
> listing at least five principal authors, "unless they release you from
> this requirement." A fairly straightforward argument can be made that
> existing and accepted practice on Wikipedia, and for that matter on
> nearly all wikis, amounts to releasing subsequent distributors from this
> requirement. If the authors can make this implicit release, then you
> have to look at whatever attribution is customary in a given context,
> along with any moral rights issues.

Although no matter how well that argument holds for text written
directly into Wikipedia, Wikipedia has a non-trivial amount of freely
licensed text copied from elsewhere, and a large amount of images from
elsewhere.

So the "well they must have known because thats how we obviously do
it" clearly does not hold in many cases.

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Re: What's appropriate attribution?

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen
In reply to this post by Michael Snow-3
Michael Snow wrote:

> Robert Rohde wrote:
>  
>> Let me make a radical suggestion.  One that, for the moment, ignores
>> all those overbearing legal questions.
>>
>> Why not assume that the appropriate amount of attribution for a
>> Wikipedia article is essentially the amount that it has now?
>>
>> When you look at a Wikipedia article there is no list of authors
>> (principal or otherwise).  There is simply a link to "history", a
>> statement at the bottom of the page saying that the content is under
>> the GFDL, and a link to the GFDL.  On the Wikipedia page itself, that
>> is essentially the full extent of the licensing and attribution.
>>
>> I assume that practically all Wikipedia contributors are comfortable
>> with recieving this very low level of attribution for Wikipedia
>> articles.
>>  
>>    
> I might add that the attribution requirement of the GFDL talks about
> listing at least five principal authors, "unless they release you from
> this requirement." A fairly straightforward argument can be made that
> existing and accepted practice on Wikipedia, and for that matter on
> nearly all wikis, amounts to releasing subsequent distributors from this
> requirement. If the authors can make this implicit release, then you
> have to look at whatever attribution is customary in a given context,
> along with any moral rights issues.
>
> Which is why I never get particularly worked up with people's concerns
> about attribution. As Mike Godwin pointed out, we do seek to maintain
> attribution in our own way, and most people are willing to accept and
> work with that.
>
> --Michael Snow
>
>
>  

I think this is very close to precisely right. We do make a good
faith effort at expansive attribution, which is the important bit.

And we do it because it is right, not because it is required
by the GFDL. And as long as we do "the right thing" by our
contributors, it is accurate to say that any moral rights based
lawsuits while unfortunate, would both be perceived to be
a nuisance effort, and easily defensible in law (and really
it would serve no purpose to hash out how such cases should
be handled, suffice it to say that our moral and legal standing
would be firm).

It is is a point of insignificant import, that it is not quite true
that current practice that is accepted on wikipedia is to elide
attribution but for exceptional circumstances, such as may
apply to lost histories due to early disk crashes.

While for instance translations from other language wikipedias
currently only link to the original language article in somewhat
diverse form, in principle the concept behind this has been
that this is something which will be repaired in the future, once
we figure out how to properly attribute edits made in a different
language.

I cannot really thing of any other instances from which one might
make a case for it being "accepted practice" to consider editors
having released their edits without an expectation to a good
faith effort at crediting them for their work.


Yours,

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen


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