×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Wikipedia Moving From GFDL To Creative Commons License

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the please-discuss-in-the-talk-section dept.

The Media 90

FilterMapReduce writes "The Wikimedia Foundation has resolved to migrate the copyright licensing of all of its wiki projects, including Wikipedia, from the GNU Free Documentation License to the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. The migration is scheduled to be completed on June 15. After the migration, reprints of material from the wikis will no longer require a full copy of the GFDL to be attached, and the attribution rules will require only a link to the wiki page. Also, material submitted after the migration cannot be forked with GFDL "invariant sections," which are impossible to incorporate back into a wiki in most cases. The GFDL version update that made the migration possible and the community vote that informed the decision were previously covered on Slashdot."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

90 comments

Oh Boy... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28047503)

Cue the GNU/GPL hippies in 5... 4... 3...

Just wait (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28047577)

Filthy open-source commie basement dwelling pinkos like Richard Marx Stalin and Lenin Torvalds to exhibit the most severe nerd rage in recorded history, far surpassing the current record which was the first time CmdrTaco saw Goatse [goatse.fr].

Re:Just wait (3, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#28047649)

What does Richard Marx have to do with all of this?

He's the number one selling soul singer songwriter of the 80's!

Re:Just wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28049665)

Mod parent up, Richard Marx is my man.

Wait, is Off-topic a positive mod?

For those playing at home (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#28047595)

Like the GNU Free Documentation License, the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license is a free, copyleft license designed for works other than computer programs. It just lacks some of the practical problems that come with the GNU FDL, which was designed specifically for software manuals that run dozens of pages long. Individual encyclopedia articles are much shorter than that, and the ability to incorporate the license by reference is a better match for Wikimedia Foundation's uses. But the Creative Commons licenses have some of their own practical problems, such as requiring distributors to remove an upstream author's credit upon request.

Re:For those playing at home (5, Informative)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 4 years ago | (#28047837)

GNU FDL was chosen as CC was not available at the time. Now CC has additionally become an accepted standard with a lot of material out there. It is great news as this makes it easier to mix content from and to their projects.

Re:For those playing at home (2, Informative)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 4 years ago | (#28049585)

Hear hear. Now that this decision has been made, how long until the full transition occurs? It certainly looks like a much better choice. From the *wikipedia page on the Creative Commons licenses:

"Some within the copyleft movement argue that only the Attribution-ShareAlike license is actually a true copyleft license [24] and that there is no standard of freedom between Creative Commons licenses (as there is, for example, within the free software and open source movements). [25] An effort within the movement to define a standard of freedom has resulted in the Definition of Free Cultural Works.[26] In February 2008, Creative Commons recognized the definition and added an "Approved for Free Cultural Works" badge to its two Creative Commons licenses which comply -- Attribution and Attribution-ShareAlike. "

So Attribution-ShareAlike is a true copyleft license, but how long until we can reuse bits of wiki without having to include a full license?

------

*The quoted material from wikipedia is reposted under the GNU Free Documentaion License. A full copy of the license is included below to comply with the licensing requirements.

GNU Free Documentation License
Version 1.3, 3 November 2008

Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.

0. PREAMBLE
The purpose of this License is to make a manual, textbook, or other functional and useful document "free" in the sense of freedom: to assure everyone the effective freedom to copy and redistribute it, with or without modifying it, either commercially or noncommercially. Secondarily, this License preserves for the author and publisher a way to get credit for their work, while not being considered responsible for modifications made by others.

This License is a kind of "copyleft", which means that derivative works of the document must themselves be free in the same sense. It complements the GNU General Public License, which is a copyleft license designed for free software.

We have designed this License in order to use it for manuals for free software, because free software needs free documentation: a free program should come with manuals providing the same freedoms that the software does. But this License is not limited to software manuals; it can be used for any textual work, regardless of subject matter or whether it is published as a printed book. We recommend this License principally for works whose purpose is instruction or reference.

1. APPLICABILITY AND DEFINITIONS
This License applies to any manual or other work, in any medium, that contains a notice placed by the copyright holder saying it can be distributed under the terms of this License. Such a notice grants a world-wide, royalty-free license, unlimited in duration, to use that work under the conditions stated herein. The "Document", below, refers to any such manual or work. Any member of the public is a licensee, and is addressed as "you". You accept the license if you copy, modify or distribute the work in a way requiring permission under copyright law.

A "Modified Version" of the Document means any work containing the Document or a portion of it, either copied verbatim, or with modifications and/or translated into another language.

A "Secondary Section" is a named appendix or a front-matter section of the Document that deals exclusively with the relationship of the publishers or authors of the Document to the Document's overall subject (or to related matters) and contains nothing that could fall directly within that overall subject. (Thus, if the Document is in part a textbook of mathematics, a Secondary Section may not explain any mathematics.) The relationship could be a matter of historical connection with the subject or with related matters, or of legal, commercial, philosophical, ethical or political position regarding them.

The "Invariant Sections" are certain Secondary Sections whose titles are designated, as being those of Invariant Sections, in the notice that says that the Document is released under this License. If a section does not fit the above definition of Secondary then it is not allowed to be designated as Invariant. The Document may contain zero Invariant Sections. If the Document does not identify any Invariant Sections then there are none.

The "Cover Texts" are certain short passages of text that are listed, as Front-Cover Texts or Back-Cover Texts, in the notice that says that the Document is released under this License. A Front-Cover Text may be at most 5 words, and a Back-Cover Text may be at most 25 words.

A "Transparent" copy of the Document means a machine-readable copy, represented in a format whose specification is available to the general public, that is suitable for revising the document straightforwardly with generic text editors or (for images composed of pixels) generic paint programs or (for drawings) some widely available drawing editor, and that is suitable for input to text formatters or for automatic translation to a variety of formats suitable for input to text formatters. A copy made in an otherwise Transparent file format whose markup, or absence of markup, has been arranged to thwart or discourage subsequent modification by readers is not Transparent. An image format is not Transparent if used for any substantial amount of text. A copy that is not "Transparent" is called "Opaque".

Examples of suitable formats for Transparent copies include plain ASCII without markup, Texinfo input format, LaTeX input format, SGML or XML using a publicly available DTD, and standard-conforming simple HTML, PostScript or PDF designed for human modification. Examples of transparent image formats include PNG, XCF and JPG. Opaque formats include proprietary formats that can be read and edited only by proprietary word processors, SGML or XML for which the DTD and/or processing tools are not generally available, and the machine-generated HTML, PostScript or PDF produced by some word processors for output purposes only.

The "Title Page" means, for a printed book, the title page itself, plus such following pages as are needed to hold, legibly, the material this License requires to appear in the title page. For works in formats which do not have any title page as such, "Title Page" means the text near the most prominent appearance of the work's title, preceding the beginning of the body of the text.

The "publisher" means any person or entity that distributes copies of the Document to the public.

A section "Entitled XYZ" means a named subunit of the Document whose title either is precisely XYZ or contains XYZ in parentheses following text that translates XYZ in another language. (Here XYZ stands for a specific section name mentioned below, such as "Acknowledgements", "Dedications", "Endorsements", or "History".) To "Preserve the Title" of such a section when you modify the Document means that it remains a section "Entitled XYZ" according to this definition.

The Document may include Warranty Disclaimers next to the notice which states that this License applies to the Document. These Warranty Disclaimers are considered to be included by reference in this License, but only as regards disclaiming warranties: any other implication that these Warranty Disclaimers may have is void and has no effect on the meaning of this License.

2. VERBATIM COPYING
You may copy and distribute the Document in any medium, either commercially or noncommercially, provided that this License, the copyright notices, and the license notice saying this License applies to the Document are reproduced in all copies, and that you add no other conditions whatsoever to those of this License. You may not use technical measures to obstruct or control the reading or further copying of the copies you make or distribute. However, you may accept compensation in exchange for copies. If you distribute a large enough number of copies you must also follow the conditions in section 3.

You may also lend copies, under the same conditions stated above, and you may publicly display copies.

3. COPYING IN QUANTITY
If you publish printed copies (or copies in media that commonly have printed covers) of the Document, numbering more than 100, and the Document's license notice requires Cover Texts, you must enclose the copies in covers that carry, clearly and legibly, all these Cover Texts: Front-Cover Texts on the front cover, and Back-Cover Texts on the back cover. Both covers must also clearly and legibly identify you as the publisher of these copies. The front cover must present the full title with all words of the title equally prominent and visible. You may add other material on the covers in addition. Copying with changes limited to the covers, as long as they preserve the title of the Document and satisfy these conditions, can be treated as verbatim copying in other respects.

If the required texts for either cover are too voluminous to fit legibly, you should put the first ones listed (as many as fit reasonably) on the actual cover, and continue the rest onto adjacent pages.

If you publish or distribute Opaque copies of the Document numbering more than 100, you must either include a machine-readable Transparent copy along with each Opaque copy, or state in or with each Opaque copy a computer-network location from which the general network-using public has access to download using public-standard network protocols a complete Transparent copy of the Document, free of added material. If you use the latter option, you must take reasonably prudent steps, when you begin distribution of Opaque copies in quantity, to ensure that this Transparent copy will remain thus accessible at the stated location until at least one year after the last time you distribute an Opaque copy (directly or through your agents or retailers) of that edition to the public.

It is requested, but not required, that you contact the authors of the Document well before redistributing any large number of copies, to give them a chance to provide you with an updated version of the Document.

4. MODIFICATIONS
You may copy and distribute a Modified Version of the Document under the conditions of sections 2 and 3 above, provided that you release the Modified Version under precisely this License, with the Modified Version filling the role of the Document, thus licensing distribution and modification of the Modified Version to whoever possesses a copy of it. In addition, you must do these things in the Modified Version:

A. Use in the Title Page (and on the covers, if any) a title distinct from that of the Document, and from those of previous versions (which should, if there were any, be listed in the History section of the Document). You may use the same title as a previous version if the original publisher of that version gives permission.
B. 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.
C. State on the Title page the name of the publisher of the Modified Version, as the publisher.
D. Preserve all the copyright notices of the Document.
E. Add an appropriate copyright notice for your modifications adjacent to the other copyright notices.
F. Include, immediately after the copyright notices, a license notice giving the public permission to use the Modified Version under the terms of this License, in the form shown in the Addendum below.
G. Preserve in that license notice the full lists of Invariant Sections and required Cover Texts given in the Document's license notice.
H. Include an unaltered copy of this License.
I. Preserve the section Entitled "History", Preserve its Title, and add to it an item stating at least the title, year, new authors, and publisher of the Modified Version as given on the Title Page. If there is no section Entitled "History" in the Document, create one stating the title, year, authors, and publisher of the Document as given on its Title Page, then add an item describing the Modified Version as stated in the previous sentence.
J. Preserve the network location, if any, given in the Document for public access to a Transparent copy of the Document, and likewise the network locations given in the Document for previous versions it was based on. These may be placed in the "History" section. You may omit a network location for a work that was published at least four years before the Document itself, or if the original publisher of the version it refers to gives permission.
K. For any section Entitled "Acknowledgements" or "Dedications", Preserve the Title of the section, and preserve in the section all the substance and tone of each of the contributor acknowledgements and/or dedications given therein.
L. Preserve all the Invariant Sections of the Document, unaltered in their text and in their titles. Section numbers or the equivalent are not considered part of the section titles.
M. Delete any section Entitled "Endorsements". Such a section may not be included in the Modified Version.
N. Do not retitle any existing section to be Entitled "Endorsements" or to conflict in title with any Invariant Section.
O. Preserve any Warranty Disclaimers.
If the Modified Version includes new front-matter sections or appendices that qualify as Secondary Sections and contain no material copied from the Document, you may at your option designate some or all of these sections as invariant. To do this, add their titles to the list of Invariant Sections in the Modified Version's license notice. These titles must be distinct from any other section titles.

You may add a section Entitled "Endorsements", provided it contains nothing but endorsements of your Modified Version by various parties--for example, statements of peer review or that the text has been approved by an organization as the authoritative definition of a standard.

You may add a passage of up to five words as a Front-Cover Text, and a passage of up to 25 words as a Back-Cover Text, to the end of the list of Cover Texts in the Modified Version. Only one passage of Front-Cover Text and one of Back-Cover Text may be added by (or through arrangements made by) any one entity. If the Document already includes a cover text for the same cover, previously added by you or by arrangement made by the same entity you are acting on behalf of, you may not add another; but you may replace the old one, on explicit permission from the previous publisher that added the old one.

The author(s) and publisher(s) of the Document do not by this License give permission to use their names for publicity for or to assert or imply endorsement of any Modified Version.

5. COMBINING DOCUMENTS
You may combine the Document with other documents released under this License, under the terms defined in section 4 above for modified versions, provided that you include in the combination all of the Invariant Sections of all of the original documents, unmodified, and list them all as Invariant Sections of your combined work in its license notice, and that you preserve all their Warranty Disclaimers.

The combined work need only contain one copy of this License, and multiple identical Invariant Sections may be replaced with a single copy. If there are multiple Invariant Sections with the same name but different contents, make the title of each such section unique by adding at the end of it, in parentheses, the name of the original author or publisher of that section if known, or else a unique number. Make the same adjustment to the section titles in the list of Invariant Sections in the license notice of the combined work.

In the combination, you must combine any sections Entitled "History" in the various original documents, forming one section Entitled "History"; likewise combine any sections Entitled "Acknowledgements", and any sections Entitled "Dedications". You must delete all sections Entitled "Endorsements".

6. COLLECTIONS OF DOCUMENTS
You may make a collection consisting of the Document and other documents released under this License, and replace the individual copies of this License in the various documents with a single copy that is included in the collection, provided that you follow the rules of this License for verbatim copying of each of the documents in all other respects.

You may extract a single document from such a collection, and distribute it individually under this License, provided you insert a copy of this License into the extracted document, and follow this License in all other respects regarding verbatim copying of that document.

7. AGGREGATION WITH INDEPENDENT WORKS
A compilation of the Document or its derivatives with other separate and independent documents or works, in or on a volume of a storage or distribution medium, is called an "aggregate" if the copyright resulting from the compilation is not used to limit the legal rights of the compilation's users beyond what the individual works permit. When the Document is included in an aggregate, this License does not apply to the other works in the aggregate which are not themselves derivative works of the Document.

If the Cover Text requirement of section 3 is applicable to these copies of the Document, then if the Document is less than one half of the entire aggregate, the Document's Cover Texts may be placed on covers that bracket the Document within the aggregate, or the electronic equivalent of covers if the Document is in electronic form. Otherwise they must appear on printed covers that bracket the whole aggregate.

8. TRANSLATION
Translation is considered a kind of modification, so you may distribute translations of the Document under the terms of section 4. Replacing Invariant Sections with translations requires special permission from their copyright holders, but you may include translations of some or all Invariant Sections in addition to the original versions of these Invariant Sections. You may include a translation of this License, and all the license notices in the Document, and any Warranty Disclaimers, provided that you also include the original English version of this License and the original versions of those notices and disclaimers. In case of a disagreement between the translation and the original version of this License or a notice or disclaimer, the original version will prevail.

If a section in the Document is Entitled "Acknowledgements", "Dedications", or "History", the requirement (section 4) to Preserve its Title (section 1) will typically require changing the actual title.

9. TERMINATION
You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Document except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute it is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License.

However, if you cease all violation of this License, then your license from a particular copyright holder is reinstated (a) provisionally, unless and until the copyright holder explicitly and finally terminates your license, and (b) permanently, if the copyright holder fails to notify you of the violation by some reasonable means prior to 60 days after the cessation.

Moreover, your license from a particular copyright holder is reinstated permanently if the copyright holder notifies you of the violation by some reasonable means, this is the first time you have received notice of violation of this License (for any work) from that copyright holder, and you cure the violation prior to 30 days after your receipt of the notice.

Termination of your rights under this section does not terminate the licenses of parties who have received copies or rights from you under this License. If your rights have been terminated and not permanently reinstated, receipt of a copy of some or all of the same material does not give you any rights to use it.

10. FUTURE REVISIONS OF THIS LICENSE
The Free Software Foundation may publish new, revised versions of the GNU Free Documentation License from time to time. Such new versions will be similar in spirit to the present version, but may differ in detail to address new problems or concerns. See http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/ [gnu.org].

Each version of the License is given a distinguishing version number. If the Document specifies that a particular numbered version of this License "or any later version" applies to it, you have the option of following the terms and conditions either of that specified version or of any later version that has been published (not as a draft) by the Free Software Foundation. If the Document does not specify a version number of this License, you may choose any version ever published (not as a draft) by the Free Software Foundation. If the Document specifies that a proxy can decide which future versions of this License can be used, that proxy's public statement of acceptance of a version permanently authorizes you to choose that version for the Document.

11. RELICENSING
"Massive Multiauthor Collaboration Site" (or "MMC Site") means any World Wide Web server that publishes copyrightable works and also provides prominent facilities for anybody to edit those works. A public wiki that anybody can edit is an example of such a server. A "Massive Multiauthor Collaboration" (or "MMC") contained in the site means any set of copyrightable works thus published on the MMC site.

"CC-BY-SA" means the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license published by Creative Commons Corporation, a not-for-profit corporation with a principal place of business in San Francisco, California, as well as future copyleft versions of that license published by that same organization.

"Incorporate" means to publish or republish a Document, in whole or in part, as part of another Document.

An MMC is "eligible for relicensing" if it is licensed under this License, and if all works that were first published under this License somewhere other than this MMC, and subsequently incorporated in whole or in part into the MMC, (1) had no cover texts or invariant sections, and (2) were thus incorporated prior to November 1, 2008.

The operator of an MMC Site may republish an MMC contained in the site under CC-BY-SA on the same site at any time before August 1, 2009, provided the MMC is eligible for relicensing.

ADDENDUM: How to use this License for your documents
To use this License in a document you have written, include a copy of the License in the document and put the following copyright and license notices just after the title page:

        Copyright (C) YEAR YOUR NAME.
        Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
        under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3
        or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;
        with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.
        A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU
        Free Documentation License".
If you have Invariant Sections, Front-Cover Texts and Back-Cover Texts, replace the "with ... Texts." line with this:

        with the Invariant Sections being LIST THEIR TITLES, with the
        Front-Cover Texts being LIST, and with the Back-Cover Texts being LIST.
If you have Invariant Sections without Cover Texts, or some other combination of the three, merge those two alternatives to suit the situation.

If your document contains nontrivial examples of program code, we recommend releasing these examples in parallel under your choice of free software license, such as the GNU General Public License, to permit their use in free software.

back to top

Please send FSF & GNU inquiries to gnu@gnu.org. There are also other ways to contact the FSF.
Please send broken links and other corrections or suggestions to webmasters@gnu.org.

Please see the Translations README for information on coordinating and submitting translations of this article.

Copyright notice above.

51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110, USA
Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Updated: $Date: 2009/01/28 13:01:33 $

Re:For those playing at home (2, Insightful)

ais523 (1172701) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051231)

*The quoted material from wikipedia is reposted under the GNU Free Documentaion License. A full copy of the license is included below to comply with the licensing requirements.

Pretty much a perfect example of what's wrong with the GFDL; although arguably your quote from Wikipedia above was fair use, other legitimate reuses of it might not be. The GFDL was designed for books, where quoting the entire license is no problem; it wasn't designed for Slashdot comments, or newspaper articles, or any of a huge number of other possible situations.

Re:For those playing at home (1)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051619)

Pretty much a perfect example of what's wrong with the GFDL; although arguably your quote from Wikipedia above was fair use, other legitimate reuses of it might not be. The GFDL was designed for books, where quoting the entire license is no problem; it wasn't designed for Slashdot comments, or newspaper articles, or any of a huge number of other possible situations.

Fair use in your country? Not saying mine is different, just highlighting that wikipedia which is mostly available in most/all cuntries [sic] should have a license that works in all relevant jurisdictions. Exceptions must be explicitly granted for censorship. CoUNTrieS!.

Re:For those playing at home (3, Insightful)

Teancum (67324) | more than 4 years ago | (#28050905)

GNU FDL was chosen as CC was not available at the time. Now CC has additionally become an accepted standard with a lot of material out there. It is great news as this makes it easier to mix content from and to their projects.

While that may have been Jimbo Wales motivation for the GNU FDL, the real truth goes a bit deeper than even that. This is far too simple of an explaination.

There was another encyclopedia effort called the GNU-pedia being led by none other than Richard Stallman who tried to start an open-source collaboratively written encyclopedia. This was started about the same time that Nupedia was just getting off the ground as well. Nupedia had a slight head-start in terms of getting going a little bit earlier, although the licensing terms for Nupedia were not nailed down as the whole concept of an open-source encyclopedia was still getting established.

Due to the bureaucratic overhead in Nupedia, a much more free-form wiki-style encyclopedia was created by many of the participants in this early encyclopedia effort, and that became what we know today as Wikipedia. Again, with the already established crowd with ties to GNU projects and committed to the general philosophy of the GPL, the GNU FDL was a natural choice... where that document license was just being released. Having Richard Stallman brow beat Jimmy Wales certainly didn't hurt either, although I don't think it was that hard of a decision to be made at the time.

BTW, there were other "open source" type licenses at the time besides the GFDL, even if what we know today as the "Creative Commons" suite of licenses didn't really exist in its current form.

All that has really happened here is the "or later version" clause of the GFDL has been allowed to include a somewhat similar philosophical Creative Commons license as something considered a later version or edition of this particular license. What the Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees has done is to make a political move to explicitly move the content of the Wikimedia projects (not just Wikipedia) to the Creative Commons license explicitly mentioned in that new clause.

That the WMF board also helped to write that clause of the GFDL due to placing political pressure on Richard Stallman and those involved in the Free Software Foundation sort of brings this thing full circle as well. A lot more is happening here besides "the folks at Wikipedia seeing the light" and suddenly deciding to switch licenses.

BTW, I do think harmonization of the various free document licenses is on the whole a good thing, and having the weight of the Wikipedia editors and enthusiasts championing a broader license in terms of something used in more documents can only make that resulting license a much more stable license and less likely to be modified to something generally unacceptable to that community.

Still, to suggest that the GFDL was chosen only because the CC-BY-SA license was not yet written is a gross oversimplification of what really happened and doesn't tell the true story. Those who put reliance on the GPL, however, beware. That license could have the same thing happen in the future, based on whatever whim or political winds happen that can influence the Free Software Foundation.

The one thing that I do regret never happened is some sort of harmonization between the GPL and GFDL.... primarily in regards to open source textbooks and commentaries on software design. It at least had a shot with the licensing staying within the scope of the Free Software Foundation, but now that the Creative Commons governing body is in charge, it seems like something that will never happen. This is still a problem with the CC-BY-SA license and won't get resolved any time in the near future.

Re:For those playing at home (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 4 years ago | (#28047913)

Was it the license that was preventing a downloadable dump of Wikipedia from being distributed on an iPhone? Does the CC license change that?

Re:For those playing at home (4, Informative)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 4 years ago | (#28048069)

Was it the license that was preventing a downloadable dump of Wikipedia from being distributed on an iPhone?

No, it's the size. A text dump of the current version of the English Wikipedia (no images, no history) is 45 GB.

Re:For those playing at home (4, Informative)

atomicthumbs (824207) | more than 4 years ago | (#28048427)

Or 4.7 gigs compressed, if you only download the articles.

Re:For those playing at home (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#28049339)

I only read Wikipedia for the articles.

Re:For those playing at home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28050565)

Like this [wikipedia.org]?

Re:For those playing at home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28055805)

Like this [wikipedia.org]?

Nice bit of trolling. For those who can't see where it points to, that link goes to the wikipedia article on Ejaculation. Not something most want to see or read.

Re:For those playing at home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28048439)

I assume this includes all the talk pages, user profile pages, votes for deletion pages, nerd rage about pictures of a human turd and pages outlining wikipedia policies right?

Re:For those playing at home (4, Informative)

Teancum (67324) | more than 4 years ago | (#28050933)

I assume this includes all the talk pages, user profile pages, votes for deletion pages, nerd rage about pictures of a human turd and pages outlining wikipedia policies right?

This is a fair question, actually, even if it is posed in a rough AC manner.

The short answer is yes, it includes all of these other pages as well, including stuff subject to deletion and spam put on Wikipedia by vandals.

That doesn't make goatse.cx now available under the terms of the CC-BY-SA license, but it does make this page [wikipedia.org] available under those terms, and any side commentaries on the topic as well, even if it is otherwise off-topic on other pages of Wikipedia.

Re:For those playing at home (1)

ais523 (1172701) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051249)

Unless the information in question was a copyright violation in the first place; if the person who posted it didn't have a license to license it under GFDL/CC-by-sa in the first place, they can't magically give Wikimedia or anyone else that right by posting it on Wikipedia. Apart from copyvios, though, you should be more or less correct. (There are plenty of good reasons to delete goatses from Wikipedia, by the way; the fact that it's a copyvio may or may not be the biggest, depending on your point of view.)

Re:For those playing at home (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#28049237)

Thats hardly a problem in times of Bittorrent.

Re:For those playing at home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28051171)

The problem GP brought up has little to do with bandwidth, it's more about storage space.

Re:For those playing at home (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#28049729)

iPhone? Actually sounds like something more useful for an iPod Touch, download on computer, transfer over and you got a reasonably updated encyclopedia even with no phone access. If you've got the phone and you're in coverage as most are most the time, just surf to it rather than trying pushing the whole of wikipedia + updates just to keep a local cache.

Re:For those playing at home (5, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 4 years ago | (#28048285)

Wikipedia has a useful FAQ [wikimedia.org] about the relicensing.

The parent post makes some good points about what was undesirable about the GFDL. In addition, there's the issue of needless proliferation of licenses. What everybody originally intended here was to make a commons that everyone could draw from. If A makes an animation, and B writes a song, and C performs B's song, and A, B, and C all try their best to put their work in the commons, then D should be able to come along and make a video consisting of A's animation with a sound track consisting of C's performance of B's song. There shouldn't be artificial obstacles just because A, B, and C chose different licenses.

I'm not saying there should only be one free-as-in-speech license for written materials. We do need at least two, because there are real philosophical differences between BSD-style licenses and GPL-style licenses. But there is not a real philosophical difference between the GFDL and CC-BY-SA.

Re:For those playing at home (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#28048539)

I'm not saying there should only be one free-as-in-speech license for written materials. We do need at least two, because there are real philosophical differences between BSD-style licenses and GPL-style licenses.

CC-BY and CC-BY-SA appear to nicely fit the roles you mention. But the credit removal requirement in even CC-BY might cause license incompatibility if a free program under a GNU license uses CC-BY images, audio, etc. Or am I misreading the definition of "aggregate" in the GPL?

Re:For those playing at home (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#28049593)

Good one, clearly the work as a whole includes the images and other resources according to copyright law. That does imply that any images and other resources can not put "additional restrictions" on themselves. Funny though, according to the GPL (GPLv3 definition at leasT) that means you have to include the "preferred source" of editing any image - that's usually not the final render. Wonder how many are violating that one....

Re:For those playing at home (1)

ais523 (1172701) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051269)

I know that when I posted a GPL-licensed image (PNG converted from pic) to Wikipedia (it was GPL-licensed by someone else, I had no say in the matter), I posted the pic source code to it on the image description page; the GPL requires that. When someone else converted it to SVG, they didn't; I suspect that's also correct, in that SVG images are generally modified by modifying the SVG, but PNG images created by rendering an image in a vector format are generally modified by modifying the original vector format.

As an interesting and tangentially related side note, there's immense trouble in trying to update the Wikipedia logo, because the information needed to make it has been lost (I'm not sure offhand whether they lost the source code, or the render settings, or both).

Re:For those playing at home (0)

Teancum (67324) | more than 4 years ago | (#28050975)

I'm not saying there should only be one free-as-in-speech license for written materials. We do need at least two, because there are real philosophical differences between BSD-style licenses and GPL-style licenses.

CC-BY and CC-BY-SA appear to nicely fit the roles you mention. But the credit removal requirement in even CC-BY might cause license incompatibility if a free program under a GNU license uses CC-BY images, audio, etc. Or am I misreading the definition of "aggregate" in the GPL?

This is the one thing that IMHO is one of the things that makes working with any of the Creative Commons licenses so difficult.

CC-BY != CC-BY-SA != CC-SA != CC-SA-NC

I've been caught in the trap of referencing one license by shorthand when it really is another license that is being discussed, and getting into philosophical discussions about each of the various Creative Commons licenses.

Or to put it more bluntly, there is no "Creative Commons license".... there is a whole bunch of 'em and they are mostly incompatible with each other. At least if you were referencing the GFDL, you knew you were talking about a specific document that was well defined without this sort of ambiguity.

Yes, I do understand the rationale for all of the different licenses, and there are good things to be had from each variant. Still, this ambiguity is going to be only a larger source of frustration in the future and IMHO is only going to get worse with Wikipedia joining the ranks of Creative Commons-licensed content.

GFDL has invariant sections (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#28052209)

I've been caught in the trap of referencing one license by shorthand when it really is another license that is being discussed

You mean like the GPL vs. the LGPL?

Or to put it more bluntly, there is no "Creative Commons license".... there is a whole bunch of 'em and they are mostly incompatible with each other.

FSF had the same problem [gnu.org] with the Open Publication License [opencontent.org]: the basic license was free, but it allowed option A (no derivatives) and option B (non-commercial), either of which made a work using it non-free.

At least if you were referencing the GFDL, you knew you were talking about a specific document that was well defined without this sort of ambiguity.

The GFDL has its own non-free option, and it is called Invariant Sections.

Re:For those playing at home (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 4 years ago | (#28054097)

But the credit removal requirement in even CC-BY might cause license incompatibility if a free program under a GNU license uses CC-BY images, audio, etc.

As far as I can tell, that was an issue with CC v2 licenses, but it's been fixed in v3:

Re:For those playing at home (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#28054395)

But the credit removal requirement in even CC-BY might cause license incompatibility

As far as I can tell, that was an issue with CC v2 licenses, but it's been fixed in v3:

The third link gave me an untrusted issuer error when I tried to view it in Firefox. I had to edit the URL to use HTTP instead of HTTPS. But then the Legal Code of CC-BY version 3 still has very similar language.

If You create a Collective Work, upon notice from any Licensor You must, to the extent practicable, remove from the Collective Work any credit as required by Section 4(b), as requested. If You create a Derivative Work, upon notice from any Licensor You must, to the extent practicable, remove from the Derivative Work any credit as required by Section 4(b), as requested.

Or am I misreading "to the extent practicable"?

Might I be the first to say... (4, Interesting)

Landak (798221) | more than 4 years ago | (#28047597)

...is this the start of the end of the GFDL?

Re:Might I be the first to say... (3, Interesting)

orngjce223 (1505655) | more than 4 years ago | (#28047895)

Not really, the GFDL is for things that are much longer, and y'know Wikipedia articles really aren't supposed to be very long (the one on the "United States" is about as big as they get).

Basically, imagine the GFDL tacked onto a five-sentence stub Wikpedia article about a town in France. Then imagine the GFDL tacked onto a hundred-page software manual. It's (proportionally speaking) a pretty big difference, which makes it very practical in the latter case but not in the former.

Re:Might I be the first to say... (2, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#28049659)

Everything you said is correct except you gave no real reason why the GFDL should continue to exist. You're free to include the full CC license too if you feel like, and if you only did it by reference I doubt many would care. The CCs have pretty much become the standard for any type of free non-code material, and I can't see any good reason why software documentation should need a special license different from any other text.

Re:Might I be the first to say... (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051031)

The point of the GFDL was to provide a licensing approach to textual content that was compatible in philosophy to the GPL. More specific, the GPL was simply inappropriate to be used in a text-only type document and something more needed to be made so user documentation of GPL'd software could be distributed under similar terms.

If you dive into the fine minutiae of the GFDL, there are some terms and clauses (especially the much maligned invariant sections) that do offer some value and offer licensing terms that are not offered in any of the Creative Commons licenses. If you are publishing a book-length document, you may still want to strongly consider the current GFDL for that document... particularly if you are already committed to the GPL and things tied to the Free Software Foundation.

For my own perspective, the GFDL also goes more into the exceptions and has stronger language to strengthen the viral nature of that license. In other words, content written under the terms of the GFDL strongly encourages additions and similar content to remain in the scope of the GFDL and not change licenses. It is subtle and ultimately something that only lawyers would genuinely appreciate, but there are some larger differences.

BTW, the CC-BY-SA license and the GPL are still mutually exclusive licenses... where content under one can't be used at all in the other except under terms of fair-use and fair-dealing. That is a legal ouch that should be addressed in the future.

Re:Might I be the first to say... (1)

againjj (1132651) | more than 4 years ago | (#28056659)

It allows additional restrictions on secondary sections, like front covers, back covers, and invariant texts, which CC-BY-SA does not allow for. This is intended to make the license more attractive to those who publish books with free content but want control over the surrounding material. For those people who produce GFDL material with no secondary sections, there really is no significant reason to not go with CC-BY-SA.

I didn't RTFA (1)

telchine (719345) | more than 4 years ago | (#28047611)

Is existing GFDL content compatible with the CC licence?

Why can't individual contributors choose their licence like they can with Flickr?

Re:I didn't RTFA (5, Informative)

jrumney (197329) | more than 4 years ago | (#28047723)

Wikipedia is very different from a file upload site like Flickr, in that each page is not the work of one individual, but the combined work of many. Consistent licensing is essential - noone wants to have to check all the licenses of previous edits before they add their own to ensure that no license conflict happens.

Re:I didn't RTFA (2, Interesting)

Meshach (578918) | more than 4 years ago | (#28047815)

Good point. The original license does not account for the fluid nature of articles at wikipedia. From a legal perspective this seems like an improvement (IANAL though).

Re:I didn't RTFA (1)

FilterMapReduce (1296509) | more than 4 years ago | (#28047749)

Each page of Wikipedia (or any other wiki that runs on an open copyright license) is a licensed work, and each version of the page is a derivative work based on the previous ones. Using your suggestion, users could only choose their own license terms when they create a new page—any edits to existing pages need to comply with the license terms of the previous edits, in order to be permitted as derivative works of those edits. And letting the creator of each page choose their own license for it wouldn't work out well, since content couldn't be moved from page to page if their licenses didn't match.

Re:I didn't RTFA (4, Insightful)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 4 years ago | (#28047867)

Is existing GFDL content compatible with the CC licence?

I think (please correct me) what they did was write a GFDL version compatible with the CC. Then they upgraded the licence of the existing content and thus now they can switch over to CC.

I'd read the article, but it's slashdotted :-[

Why can't individual contributors choose their licence like they can with Flickr?

Wikipedia is not a blog. It would become a format like urbandictionary.com or everything2.com: no rewriting and collaborating on content, rather single statements of various truthiness.

Re:I didn't RTFA (4, Informative)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 4 years ago | (#28048105)

Is existing GFDL content compatible with the CC licence?

I think (please correct me) what they did was write a GFDL version compatible with the CC. Then they upgraded the licence of the existing content and thus now they can switch over to CC.

Close: Wikipedia was licensed under the GFDL version 1.2 or later. What the FSF did was write version 1.3 with a clause saying that any GFDL-licensed wiki (with safeguards to prevent license-washing) could be re-licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license 3.0.

Re:I didn't RTFA (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051089)

The exact clause is this:

11. RELICENSING

"Massive Multiauthor Collaboration Site" (or "MMC Site") means any World Wide Web server that publishes copyrightable works and also provides prominent facilities for anybody to edit those works. A public wiki that anybody can edit is an example of such a server. A "Massive Multiauthor Collaboration" (or "MMC") contained in the site means any set of copyrightable works thus published on the MMC site.

"CC-BY-SA" means the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license published by Creative Commons Corporation, a not-for-profit corporation with a principal place of business in San Francisco, California, as well as future copyleft versions of that license published by that same organization.

"Incorporate" means to publish or republish a Document, in whole or in part, as part of another Document.

An MMC is "eligible for relicensing" if it is licensed under this License, and if all works that were first published under this License somewhere other than this MMC, and subsequently incorporated in whole or in part into the MMC, (1) had no cover texts or invariant sections, and (2) were thus incorporated prior to November 1, 2008.

The operator of an MMC Site may republish an MMC contained in the site under CC-BY-SA on the same site at any time before August 1, 2009, provided the MMC is eligible for relicensing.

This really ought to be called the Wikipedia clause, and likely will be if it is discussed in the future. The purpose of the date is to say "good riddens" to Wikipedia and explicitly allow for this licensing change. The Wikimedia Foundation pressured the Free Software Foundation to put this clause in, so the decision to switch licenses is really a fairly old issue.

Re:I didn't RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28054851)

The purpose of the date is to say "good riddens" to Wikipedia

Dear god, I thought "should of" was the worst I'd seen on /., but this is ridiculous.

Re:I didn't RTFA (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051077)

The only rule on Wikipedia in this regard is that all content added to Wikipedia must be licensed under the terms of the GFDL.... although many users have explicitly dual and multi licensed their content under other licenses, including CC-BY-SA well before changes in the GFDL allowed this switch to happen.

BTW, on the Wikimedia Commons site, if you uploaded images and other non-textual content, you are free to select whatever license for that content you wanted to upload... as long as you are the original artist that created the content. The license must be one of the "open source" licenses, but there is a huge variety of options to choose from there. The main rule of thumb is that the image must be somewhat compatible with the GFDL and now the CC-BY-SA license to not cause too much grief.

This isn't even something new, and has been a long-standing practice on Wikipedia as well... at least for images. The one restriction on Wikipedia is that it must be something actually used in an article or something constructive toward building the encyclopedia. Random snapshots are discouraged if the only reason you are throwing the image onto Wikipedia is to find a website willing to host the image.

Okay (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28047633)

I just got off the phone with the big guy, you know, RMS himself. St. Ignacio or whatever.

And he's fucking pissed.

He said and I quote, "Looks like these fuckers don't know who they're dealing with. They need to be taught a lesson... freedom ain't free."

Apparently, he's planning on liberating wikipedia by force.

Re:Okay (5, Informative)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 4 years ago | (#28048013)

RMS actually thinks it's a good idea [fsf.org] :-)

Re:Okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28048637)

Don't ruin our fun with facts. RMS is going to go have to pay Mr. Wales a visit; one does not just move away from a GNU license.

Re:Okay (2, Interesting)

MessedRocker (1273148) | more than 4 years ago | (#28049925)

The FSF actually got the GFDL changed so that Wikipedia would be able to ditch it.

Re:Okay (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051119)

The FSF actually got the GFDL changed so that Wikipedia would be able to ditch it.

Correct that:

The Wikimedia Foundation got the FSF to change the GFDL so Wikipedia could ditch it.

There are a bunch of Creative Commons fanbois on the Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees and in the Wikipedia community at large, and it is those fans that have been pushing for this change for some time. This vote being referenced is merely the last chance for Wikipedia to remain under the umbrella of the GFDL and a license under control of the Free Software Foundation. The move to make this happen in the first place happened more than a year ago and arguably even much longer before that.

Re:Okay (0, Redundant)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051153)

Basically as it became increasingly clear how much the GFDL sucked in practice as a wiki licence.

Re:Okay (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051237)

I would have preferred a wiki-oriented fork of the license that remained within the scope of a GNU license, and I suppose that Richard Stallman considered that approach as well. In fact, that was mentioned in some of the discussion of the last round of revising the GFDL.

The point is though that a fork of the GFDL is essentially what has happened here, but that the Creative Commons governing board is now in control rather than the Free Software Foundation in terms of the future of this wiki-oriented fork of the GFDL.

BTW, while there may be problems with the GFDL in regards to wiki development, at least it gave some structure to the discussion about wiki licensing and a basis to see what a future license of wiki content might look like.

Re:Okay (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051813)

The point is though that a fork of the GFDL is essentially what has happened here, but that the Creative Commons governing board is now in control rather than the Free Software Foundation

You make this sound like a bad thing.

Re:Okay (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 4 years ago | (#28055375)

From my point of view, it was a sort of take over of the content by the Creative Commons governing board. While the ultimate achievement may be in the long run a good thing, the back room politics involved in getting this to happen involved a whole bunch of self-interested folks who not just disliked the GFDL but viscerally hated the license to its core.

This is something that has been an on going fight on Wikimedia projects for some time, but at the moment those in support of the Creative Commons licensing seem to have the upper hand, and this is an irreversible decision.

For myself, I have been presented the choice of going with the GFDL or with CC-BY-SA, and by deliberate choice and understanding both licenses I have chosen the GFDL on more than one occasion. No, I'm not enamored with the Free Software Foundation, but I do appreciate some of the aspects of the GFDL that are being lost with this move.

Re:Okay (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 4 years ago | (#28064217)

The dislike of the GFDL is well justified. It's a badly written license (as is the GPL; every lawyer I know who's ever read either has laughed at how bad they are), it has incredibly stupid and awkward provisions (invariant sections, bad definitions of terms, the retitling requirements, and by a strict reading of the license having to include the entire fucking license when you print it off) and little merit.

What value is there to the GFDL that CC-by-sa does not provide?

Re:Okay (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 4 years ago | (#28069887)

I could give a point by point response on this by directly comparing the GFDL and CC-BY-SA to each other. They are different, although in the long run those difference are only enough to just fuel a flame war between those who like the GFDL and those who stand in support of the CC-BY-SA.

The invariant sections to have a purpose, as do the retitling requirements. Perhaps it takes a historical reading of those requirements to understand them, and I don't care to defend them at this time and place, other than they do serve a purpose. Perhaps not for something like Wikipedia, but there is a role to be played there to have those sections. Lawyers who laugh at this license should spend their time laughing at things even more incredulous, like the Microsoft EULA. At least the GFDL was meant to be read by mere mortals.

The GFDL was written for books, and for books it seems to work out best... even if that book is set up to be edited and developed on a wiki. There is a sense of who do you trust more, the Creative Commons governing board or the Free Software Foundation board of trustees. IMHO both are rather respectable groups of individuals and the rest is merely political infighting. Both the CC-BY-SA and the GFDL do in the long run the same thing and I do agree that for shorting things like encyclopedia articles or news reports that something like the CC-BY-SA is a much better license for textual content.

Perhaps I'm just tilting at windmills here, but I just happen to like the GFDL better and trust the FSF more. I'm not saying that everybody has to, but that I happen to. Why is that such a terrible thing?

Re:Okay (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 4 years ago | (#28072717)

Well, quite frankly, because the FSF is a scary bunch of loons. Nevertheless, it's your right to use whatever you like, and I salute you for your convictions. :-)

Re:Okay (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#28049977)

RMS actually thinks it's a good idea :-) ...but does he want to rename it the GNU Hurd Creative Commons License?

Re:Okay (0, Redundant)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 4 years ago | (#28048399)

Without RMS's approval, this could never have happened. The FSF wrote a clause into GFDL 1.3 specifically to allow this to happen.

Wikipedia does something right for a change (1, Flamebait)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 4 years ago | (#28047639)

From the Licensing Update page http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Licensing_update [wikimedia.org] (Emphasis mine):-

Motivation

The core motivations for this proposed change are as follows:

        * We cannot currently share text (in either direction) with projects that use the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike Licenses. The Creative Commons licenses are used by hundreds of thousands of authors world-wide (see statistics), having quickly become the most widely used legal tool to release rights on works other than software. This interoperability barrier with other non-profit organizations and online communities who share knowledge freely is therefore counter to Wikimedia's mission.

        * The GFDL includes some potentially onerous provisions, such as the requirement to include the full license text with each copy. These requirements impede re-use of both text and multimedia (spoken or printed versions of articles, prints of images, etc.). Wikimedia is committed to the widest possible dissemination of free knowledge. While our terms of use have always allowed for lower barriers to re-use, their inconsistency with the license text leads to fear, uncertainty, and doubt about what is legal and what is not. It advantages those re-users who can afford legal advice and research over those who cannot. This is counter to Wikimedia's mission.

The bold passage was one I found particularly relevant. Gotta love that freedom, eh Richard?

Concerning my own personal message to the FSF regarding this decision, I think the great Duke Nukem said it best.

"Eat shit and die." ;)

Re:Wikipedia does something right for a change (2, Informative)

FilterMapReduce (1296509) | more than 4 years ago | (#28047865)

Well, the migration couldn't have happened if the FSF didn't sign off on the change; they were the only ones with the authority to make an update to the GFDL allowing it. Although it seems that the FSF's decision came out of a negotiation [slashdot.org] that took place back in 2007, so perhaps it wasn't really their idea and it was more a matter of bowing to pressure from the masses. Also, I have no idea how RMS personally felt about it.

I definitely agree that the GFDL was totally unsuitable for Wikipedia.

Re:Wikipedia does something right for a change (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#28048009)

It is slightly chilling for anyone using another FSF license. You can omit the 'or later versions' license and have the possibility that the later versions of other FSF licenses will be incompatible with your version (e.g. LGPLv3 is incompatible with GPLv2; good luck if you were working on a GPLv2-only project that depended on a library that has moved from LGPLv2-or-later to LGPLv3-or-later). Or you can include it and have the possibility that the FSF will decide to grant an exemption for a specific large organisation and allow them to relicense your work.

Re:Wikipedia does something right for a change (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 4 years ago | (#28049587)

have the possibility that the FSF will decide to grant an exemption for a specific large organisation and allow them to relicense your work.

Why do you think that the FSF is in the least likely to grant an exemption to a "specific large organisation"?

The revised GFDL allows relicensing of content on wikis (and any other publicly editable web sites) under another license with a very similar intent.

Re:Wikipedia does something right for a change (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051147)

Have you read section 11 of the GFDL, version 1.3?

There is no possible way to read that section without realizing it is specifically tailored to Wikipedia and only Wikipedia, even though other wikis that fit in the time frame of having been established prior to November 1st, 2008 and make the switch prior to August 1st, 2009 can also fit through the crack. The purpose of the vote is to make sure Wikipedia makes the switch before the August deadline.

This is a one-time only thing and was written into the GFDL explicitly due to pressure from the Wikimedia Foundation. After this deadline, you won't be able to make the switch, and it doesn't allow relicensing of content as you are suggesting here. It doesn't matter if it is on a publiclly editable website, nor if there is similar intent.

Re: "chilling" licensing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28050075)

TheRaven64, you are spreading misinformation.

The entire purpose of the >>LGPL is that its license applies only to it. Microsoft can fucking ship an LGPL lib linked in with Excel and be fine as long as they distribute the source to -only- -that- -library- if requested to by someone who bought it (or they otherwise distributed it to.)

What you're referring to is what happens if you link to a REGULAR GPL library, like 'readline', which was specifically moved from LGPL to GPL for that reason.

Have a wonderful evening.

Re:Wikipedia does something right for a change (2)

Draek (916851) | more than 4 years ago | (#28050655)

If you include the "or later" you're already allowing the license creators (in this case, the FSF) the ability to arbitrarily relicense your work, it's just that in this case the FSF decided the CC group was a trustworthy enough bunch to take care of that one from now on.

Frankly, I see no reason why you'd trust the FSF but not CC, and if you didn't trust the FSF already you should've left out the "or later" part in the first place. So personally, I see this as nothing more than a convenient opportunity to leave some of the licensing cruft that comes with the GFDL out of Wikipedia et al, and that's a big win for everyone.

Re:Wikipedia does something right for a change (1)

Xenographic (557057) | more than 4 years ago | (#28050945)

> You can omit the 'or later versions' license and have the possibility that the later versions of other FSF licenses will be incompatible with your version (e.g. LGPLv3 is incompatible with GPLv2; good luck if you were working on a GPLv2-only project that depended on a library that has moved from LGPLv2-or-later to LGPLv3-or-later).

The "or later" clauses allow the licensee (in your example, the GPLv2 project maintainer) to choose which license terms they choose to follow. That choice is *not* made by the licensor (who is, in your example, the LGPL library maintainer).

While the library can start accepting v3-or-later code, the v2-or-later code will still be usable under those terms, you just won't be able to get any new v3-or-later licensed updates. You can keep that v2+ code in your project so long as you abide by the terms, though you may have to maintain that library yourself from now on.

At least, that's my understanding from reading the GNU website.

Re:Wikipedia does something right for a change (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051227)

While the library can start accepting v3-or-later code, the v2-or-later code will still be usable under those terms, you just won't be able to get any new v3-or-later licensed updates. You can keep that v2+ code in your project so long as you abide by the terms, though you may have to maintain that library yourself from now on.

True, of course, but then you're effectively stuck maintaining a fork. If your project incorporated any GPLv2-only code (e.g. PDF rendering support from Poppler/xpdf) then you can use the next version of the library, which is LGPLv3-or-later. You either have to switch to another library or you have to fork the existing one and make sure you duplicate (but don't copy) any LGPLv3 bug fixes and security patches.

Re:Wikipedia does something right for a change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28050979)

Yes.

Just look at the so-called compatibility-matrix from the last Cisco-FSF case. Easy to understand, right.

Re:Wikipedia does something right for a change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28048047)

+2 Flamebait... If I had mod points, I'd mod you underrated, just in the hope of bring this post up to +5 flamebait.

So? (-1, Troll)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#28047713)

Does this mean the content on wikipedia (which is shamelessly copied from other sites, textbooks, etc.) will be any more "free" or any less butchered, biased, or factually incorrect?

Re:So? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28047733)

My name is sexchestnut.

Freedom Nerds (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28047825)

It seems to me that the freedom nerds have ended up creating incompatible freedom licenses and have thus shackled themselves in such a way as to prevent them from sucking each other off.

That's what I get from this story.

Here's some frosty text. Enjoy.
That's my fucking license.

Re:Freedom Nerds (5, Insightful)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 4 years ago | (#28047871)

It seems to me that the freedom nerds have ended up creating incompatible freedom licenses and have thus shackled themselves in such a way as to prevent them from sucking each other off.

That's a fairly accurate interpretation, yes. However, the point is that the CC licenses allow for mutual fellatio among a greater and more inclusive cross-section of nerds, while also involving less legal restrictions.

Some of us tend to view this as an extremely positive and beneficial thing, because after all, when we're talking about mutual oral sex between nerds, what's not to love?

Re:Freedom Nerds (-1, Offtopic)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 4 years ago | (#28048413)

Offtopic? I've had some blatantly corrupt down-mods from the cult before, but this takes the cake.

You're stretching here, guys. I suppose you could, at a real stretch, claim that my extension of the GP's analogy was Offtopic; but it is a major stretch.

A hint, though; abusing the moderation system in order to exact revenge against me for writing things you don't like, is not really a legitimate use of said system. ;)

Re:Freedom Nerds (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#28052123)

when we're talking about mutual oral sex between nerds, what's not to love?

len([n for n in nerds if self.gender in n.genders_attracted_to and n.gender in self.genders_attracted_to]) / len(nerds)

Tech news? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28048061)

How did this minor piece of lawyering end up on a tech news site?

Re:Tech news? (3, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#28048565)

How did this minor piece of lawyering end up on a tech news site?

You mean as compared to the usual game reviews and Apple rumors?

Scary power.... (1, Interesting)

myforwik (1465003) | more than 4 years ago | (#28050131)

A scary amount of power is shown when places like wikipedia make you submit your work to the GFDL license AND any future versions. So it basically means they can port everyones submissions to whatever they want. One day this is going to back fire terribly. Wikipedia has always been a joke though when it came to GFDL. I used to go around and remove content that was cut and copied between pages by non original authors, because it violated the GFDL because the original authors information was not kept in the edit histories, naturally I was banned. Is anyone really ganna go though all the technicallities of the creative commons license? All the clauses it has are completely meaningless, because they can put out a new version with whatever clauses they want.

Re:Scary power.... (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051201)

While I do think what you were describing here is of a trollish nature (by trying to follow your interpretation of the GFDL to the letter and being disruptive), I will agree that commentary about the GFDL and discussion of its finer points on Wikipedia leave much to be desired.

I have also been concerned about author citations on Wikipedia, and there has been a rather relaxed attitude about the whole process of citing those authors. That this may backfire some day when authorship can be proven but no possible means of citing that author on Wikipedia using existing software tools can be reasonably found is of concern. All it takes is one author to push the point and turn it into an issue, although that may require going through the judicial process.

IMHO, this license switch is only going to make an ugly situation in this case only worse, where a judge and jury unfamiliar with the nuances of various free content licenses are forced to examine the differences in an even more complicated legal maze.

Re:Scary power.... (2, Insightful)

ais523 (1172701) | more than 4 years ago | (#28051549)

I used to go around and remove content that was cut and copied between pages by non original authors, because it violated the GFDL because the original authors information was not kept in the edit histories, naturally I was banned.

Why did you not just add the old history to the new history (either by putting it on the talk page with a link in the edit summary, adding it to the edit history, or by asking an admin to merge the histories for you)? You could have made your point, corrected the licensing situation, and not been trollish.

Wikipedia Moving From GFDL To Creative Commons (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28050753)

Citation Needed

Human Readable Summary is fantastic (1)

sherriw (794536) | more than 4 years ago | (#28057635)

The Human Readable summary that Creative commons gives is fantastic. This is what GPL/LGPL is missing. I've been working with and creating open source software and even I don't understand GPL or LGPL very well.

Re:Human Readable Summary is fantastic (1)

sherriw (794536) | more than 4 years ago | (#28057681)

Wow. and I just found that they provide a summary of GPL and LGPL. Fantastic. I love how I found that AFTER posting on /. Doh!

Re:Human Readable Summary is fantastic (1)

sherriw (794536) | more than 4 years ago | (#28057847)

Scratch that, they have a summary of LGPL(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/LGPL/2.1/) and GPL2(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/GPL/2.0/) but not GPL3.

CC By Share Alike initiatives (1)

hesselv (1043312) | more than 4 years ago | (#28108999)

Love the move of Wikipedia to Creative Commons By Share Alike. Congratulations! Run into business people not understanding the value of this specific license. They understand the power of Wikipedia, so them moving to CC By SA makes my life much easier :-) So from now on, CC By SA licensed: Free Online Encyclopedia www.wikipedia.org Free Online Music Community www.tribeofnoise.com Any other great solely CC By Share Alike initiatives out there? Just reply to this post :-) Cheers - Hessel (Chief of Noise)
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...