Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet

Wikipedia Community Vote On License Migration 95

Posted by samzenpus
from the raise-your-hand dept.
mlinksva writes "A Wikipedia community vote is now underway on migrating to Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike as the main content license for Wikimedia Foundation projects. This would remove a legal barrier to reusing Wikipedia content (now under the Free Documentation License, intended for narrow use with software documentation, because Wikipedia started before CC existed) in other free culture projects and vice versa."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Wikipedia Community Vote On License Migration

Comments Filter:
  • Existing content? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bcmm (768152) on Monday April 13, 2009 @06:42PM (#27564119)
    What about existing content? I don't recall being asked to allow my edits to be re-licensed later. Won't they face the same problem Linux would if it went to GPLv3?
    • by RobotRunAmok (595286) on Monday April 13, 2009 @06:48PM (#27564179)

      I don't recall being asked to allow my edits to be re-licensed later.

      Think of your edits as free promotion for your concerts, and figure to make your money on T-Shirt sales.

    • Re:Existing content? (Score:5, Informative)

      by bcmm (768152) on Monday April 13, 2009 @06:52PM (#27564225)
      I should have voted before posting:

      "make all content currently distributed under the GNU Free Documentation License (with later version clause) additionally available under CC-BY-SA 3.0, as explicitly allowed through the latest version of the GFDL;"

      That clause seems to be written specially for Wikipedia:

      "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.
      ...
      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.

      Neat legal hack...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Neat legal hack...

        I don't think that special-casing a specific corner case qualifies as "neat". But a hack it is, that's for sure.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Kjella (173770)

        Neat legal hack...

        Or a clear violation of basic FLOSS principles like "No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups", depending on how you look at it since it discriminates against everyone not Wikipedia. If the FSF can do that, there's in principle nothing against releasing a GPL4 that said "You have the right to relicense to BSD, as long as you're Richard Matthew Stallman". Or just make an equally bullshit definition that fits just him. Despite their good intentions I think it sets a bad precedent that is much broader.

        • by maxume (22995)

          The FSF doesn't need to play games with GNU software, they require copyright assignment to the FSF (I'm talking specifically about GNU software here, not any software licensed under the GPL).

          Basically, the GFDL trick demonstrates that the 'or later' clause means you damn well better trust the person who defines later.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by mysidia (191772)

            The GFDL is not intended or suited to be used for Wiki articles; it is for documentation, and includes terms and options that not only render it a non-free license but also present practical issues for a Wiki.

            If you use a license for something totally outside its intended scope, you should not be surprised if future versions are problematic for you, or if their workaround is to allow a different license (altogether) to be used instead.

            Wikipedia article pages are not software. And the FSF don't single

            • by maxume (22995)

              The fact that they didn't specify Wikipedia in the license text is academic, they generated the new license in cooperation with Wikipedia.

              Personally, I don't have any skin in this game, but I would hesitate to use a FSF license with the or later clause intact (but I would have prior to this).

          • by spitzak (4019)

            The worry is not about the copyright assignment. The worrying thing is that they encourage people to put "and any later version of the GPL" on software, and lots of people (me included) do so.

            So a GPL4 that says "Richard Stallman can sell closed-source versions of this" would technically be possible and would affect a lot of GPL software, not just stuff with FSF copyright assignment. It would not affect Linux because the "any later version" text was deleted.

            Seriously though I would not be worried. Any real

        • by jakykong (1474957)
          The clause looks like it applies to just about every wiki to me... and there are lots of those.

          Anyway, I believe it has to do with the fact that Creative Commons didn't exist with the previous version (correct? I gathered that from the article... Didn't check that yet), or some similar situation. That CC happens to be a better license for such content, and the FSF seems to have decided this too, seems to make sense to me. Having a path for moving from one to the other makes some sense to me.
        • Which is a perfect example of why, in all GPL code I have written, I remove the "or later versions" clause.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by TuringTest (533084)

            That creates a problem of its own, in that it locks the project into the current version of the license.

            A much more sensible option should be to redirect the "or later" clause to yourself: rewrite the GPL in your code to be updated by you, instead of "as published by the FSF". That way you keep some control of your project as the original creator, and don't doom it to have an eventually obsolete license.

      • by Carnildo (712617)

        That clause seems to be written specially for Wikipedia:

        Actually, it's written for Wikipedia and all wikis that went with GFDL for Wikipedia compatibility -- the idea is to get everyone shifted over to a more appropriate license. The "August 1, 2009 or earlier" clause is there to prevent license-washing of GFDL content: you can't, for example, use the GFDL 1.3 to put the Emacs manual up on a wiki and then re-license it as CC-BY-SA.

        • by mysidia (191772)

          The deadline isn't what prevents that sort of thing, it's the other restriction: (2) were thus incorporated prior to November 1, 2008.

          i.e. Works added to a Wiki or edits made after November 1, 2008 cannot be relicensed under the relicense option.

          For Wikipedia, that would probably mean they need to discard all edits made in the past 5 months which are not properly subject to the relicense option, if they really want to be safe and stay within the GFDL requirements for section 11.

          Otherwise, if not fo

      • "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....

        Neat legal hack...

        Wikipedia links to v1.2 of the GFDL, which doesn't mention MMC. I licensed my contributions to them under the GFDL. They are not the owners of the content, as their copyright page clearly states in a big read box. If they try to relicense that content, it'll be copyri

        • by mysidia (191772)

          Actually, the copyright warning contains a link to this page [wikipedia.org], which states that: Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;

          Meaning distribution is permissible under the terms of 1.3 as well, which includes the time-limited option to RELICENSE.

          • Perhaps, but I'd never read that until yesterday, and I doubt many others had either. The wikipedia footer specifically links to the original 1.2 license, and I think it's valid to see other contributions with that footer, and trust that your contributions will be using that specific license. Technically, you're correct, but I wouldn't want to bet on which way it would go in court.

            • by mysidia (191772)

              This is really the same as software that contains the clause " This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version."

              The text of the license itself includes the provision to use the terms offered by any future version.

              There's no specific licensing requirement to include a copy of the version of the license in advance, w

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by grumbel (592662)

      The GFDL license [gnu.org], under which the current Wikipedia content is licensed, has a "or any later version" clause, which Wikipedia uses [wikipedia.org].

      With the newest update of the GFDL, the FSF introduced a new section, 11. RELICENSING, specifically designed to handle this update:

      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

    • by mysidia (191772)

      A special clause the FSF introduced into the GFDL allows GFDL [gnu.org] works to be relicensed, see Section 11.

      11. RELICENSING

      This was because the CC-BY-SA was a license that did not exist at the time the GFDL was the only free documentation license available.

      The GFDL was intended to be part of the "licensing stack" for copyleft software; a counterpart to the GPL for copyleft software, where the code itself would be GPL, the documentation would be GFDL.

      It was never designed to be used for sites like Wikipedia

    • Because so many here are clueless about copyright licensing, I thought I'd give a brief explanation of what it entails.

      See many people think that you can't relicense a work without explicit agreement of anybody and everybody who ever edited that work. Picture go through the mind like vast emails asking a submitter about the semicolon at the end of line 35,219 in one of over a million files.

      But if that were the case, a work could basically NEVER be relicensed! You're never going to get explicit permission fr

      • by Kjella (173770)

        But if that were the case, a work could basically NEVER be relicensed!

        So? If lots and lots of people have submitted to a work under a certain conditions WHY should it be possible to change that without their active consent?

        Instead, there's a legal process wherein the license change is proposed in a very public forum, clearly documented as such, for a 'reasonable' period of time which depends on the work in question, the number of people involved, and the reqirements of the legal jurisdiction(s) in question.

        In the words of wikipedia [[citation needed]], in the US there'd probably be a class action where some lawyers would get rich and the rest screwed but in most other countries you'll be open for lawsuits for the next 150 years.

        • by Spasemunki (63473)

          Because one of the conditions they agreed to when the submitted the work was that they granted permission for just such a change at a later date without their active consent. They essentially signed a contract that said 'by signing this contract, you grant us to change the contract that you signed in certain ways at a later date, without needing to ask you.' Terrible idea to agree to that if you're signing a real estate contract. Perfectly reasonable if you're donating content to a free encyclopedia that

      • This is rubbish. If you can't get explicit agreement from a contributor you need to trace them down or replace their contribution, unless you have explicitly obtained the contribution under a licensing agreement.

        In this case, Wikimedia's licensing agreement under which contributions were made explicitly allows changing the license to a later version of GFDL, and the latest version of that allows relicensing under CC-BY-SA 3.0 - see many other posts here for the full explanation.

        So the voting is about whethe

      • by mdwh2 (535323)

        Really? So if someone wants to relicence the latest movie DVD they have under a Creative Commons licence, all they have to do is propose it in a public forum, and if the movie company doesn't object, it's okay?

        During this time, having been given legally recognized reasonable notice, copyright holdeers can either agree to the change (by doing nothing) or they can object to the claim and withdraw copyrights to their works.

        Firstly, what does "withdraw copyrights" mean?

        If you mean refuse to allow their contrib

  • by ErMaC (131019) <ermac.ermacstudios@org> on Monday April 13, 2009 @06:51PM (#27564211) Homepage

    Existing content contributed to Wikipedia was done under the GFDL license, which like the standard GPLv2 includes a "or later version" clause. Wikipedia's license includes this clause.
    The latest version of the GFDL now contains a section I think written to specifically allow Wikimedia to do this. See section 11, "Relicensing" here:
    http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html [gnu.org]

    • by lfaraone (1463473)

      Existing content contributed to Wikipedia was done under the GFDL license, which like the standard GPLv2 includes a "or later version" clause. Wikipedia's license includes this clause. The latest version of the GFDL now contains a section I think written to specifically allow Wikimedia to do this.

      Kinda. It's broad, in that it allows pretty much any wiki to do the same thing, but it *was* a collab between WMF and the FSF.

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      So when I relicense it under GPLvMINE, which allows me to give you the finger and do whatever I want with it, what are you going to do then?

      • I would sue you for copyright infringement. The GFDL specifies that relicensed content must use the CC-BY-SA license. Any other questions?

    • by Wildclaw (15718)

      includes a "or later version" clause.

      IANAL, but such a clause sounds extremly questionable legally speaking.

      The right to disagree is a very fundamental right. I doubt that courts would allow you to just give up that right as it would imbalance the whole contract section of the law.

      Now, someone in another thread said that the license is backwards compatible so it may be of no interest here. But I am just curious about that clause in specific as it seems to be used in more than one open source license, and I just can't see how the courts would a

      • by Kjella (173770)

        IANAL, but such a clause sounds extremly questionable legally speaking.

        You can sign away all your rights, so I don't see why "or later" shouldn't be legal even if it means the same as "the people in charge of the license can relicense it any way they agree on". It'd be pretty close to a copyright assignment except you keep your own rights and your name by the (c). It might be that developers don't understand what they're doing, but I doubt other developers will be held accountable for their ignorance.

        • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          >You can sign away all your rights,

          Not really, there are several fundamental rights that a simple contract cannot contravene. lrn2law

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You're right. At least under Dutch law, the clause would be illegal. For it to be legal, Wikipedia should either have explicitly asked their contributors to give up any copyright claims to their contributions, which they did not do (in fact Wikipedia explicitly stated that contributors kept their copyright, allowing relicensing of their own contributions if they wanted), or it should have included some kind of termination clause, granting contributors the right to opt out of the license switch. American law

        • by jra (5600)

          American law works differently.

          The issue here is not copyright law.

          Licenses are an aspect of *contract* law, and you can grant damned near anything in American contract law, unless it explicitly contradicts other statutes or "public policy".

          There's nothing about "or any later version" that carries those connotations, so there's no reason why a contributor would be deemed unable to agree to that term, and therefore it's valid.

          (IANAL, E)

    • by wigaloo (897600)
      These licenses do not include an "or later version" clause. A project may declare that a given license or later version may be used, but is not required to do so. The linux kernel is the most famous example of a project that only allows v2 of the GPL.
  • Backwards compatible (Score:5, Informative)

    by rhinokitty (962485) on Monday April 13, 2009 @06:51PM (#27564221)
    The CCSA is backwards compatible [gnu.org] with the GFDL.
  • Vote yes! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bcrowell (177657) on Monday April 13, 2009 @07:14PM (#27564437) Homepage

    If you have a WP account with at least 25 edits before March 15, please vote yes on this. The only reason WP picked GFDL was that CC-BY-SA didn't exist when WP began. GFDL and CC-BY-SA are the same style of license; they're both GPL-ish as opposed to BSD-ish, because they both require derived works to be under the same license. GFDL sucks for a variety of reasons:

    1. It's long.
    2. It's got a windbaggy ideological preamble; people shouldn't be forced to put their support behind a particular politically loaded credo just because they want to contribute to WP.
    3. Although GFDL can be a free license, it can also be a non-free license if you choose to use it with some of the optional parts like invariant subsections. This creates confusion, and has also caused lots of smart people to waste amazing amounts of time arguing and worrying about it, e.g., Debian wrangled for months before eventually deciding to exclude certain documentation that was under non-free versions of the GFDL.

    CC-BY-SA is far more widely used at this point. Switching to CC-BY-SA eliminates legal hassles that would otherwise be involved in making derived workds using WP. As a concrete example, I wrote some CC-BY-SA-licensed books [lightandmatter.com], and when I want to use a photo or something from WP, the GFDL licensing creates hassles. I ended up having to dual-license the books, and that shouldn't be necessary. If people want to use the commons (both putting in and taking out), there shouldn't be artificial barriers to doing so.

    Plenty of people have already posted about the legal aspects of why relicensing is possible, but the long and the short of it is that relicensing complies with both the letter and the spirit of the law. It complies with the letter of the law because of the later version clause. It complies with it in spirit because GFDL and CC-BY-SA are similar types of licenses, just implemented badly in one case and well in the other.

    • Re:Vote yes! (Score:4, Informative)

      by DanielHast (1333055) on Monday April 13, 2009 @07:29PM (#27564553)

      Mod parent up. That's the basic idea: GFDL was never really designed for something like Wikipedia, and CC-BY-SA accomplishes the same thing much more elegantly while preserving the intent of the GFDL.

      One other issue is ease of compliance. The CC-BY-SA license only requires attribution "reasonable to the medium", including the author(s), title, and URI where applicable. The GFDL has the additional requirement that the entire text of the GFDL be included with every copy of any part of the work. This makes technical compliance much more difficult, and thus conflicts with Wikipedia's goal of widespread distribution in many mediums.

    • It's got a windbaggy ideological preamble; people shouldn't be forced to put their support behind a particular politically loaded credo just because they want to contribute to WP.

      It's sad how people don't understand how important ideology is.

      Although GFDL can be a free license, it can also be a non-free license if you choose to use it with some of the optional parts like invariant subsections.

      This statement deliberately confuses what it means to be "free". Free doesn't mean "I can do anything I w
      • by bcrowell (177657)

        You wrote: It's sad how people don't understand how important ideology is.

        On the contrary, I think it's very important. That's why I object to telling people that if they want to contribute to WP, they have to put their name behing a license with a particular ideology attached to it.

        I wrote: Although GFDL can be a free license, it can also be a non-free license if you choose to use it with some of the optional parts like invariant subsections.

        You wrote: This statement deliberately confuses what it mean

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The GFDL is one of the most non-free open source licenses available. It very rigidly controls how you can and cannot use the content.

        In my case I was looking into the legal ramifications of offering a voip based version of wikipedia. I contacted the FSF about the legality of it and they said that audio reproductions aren't even permitted by the GFDL.

        Sucks to be a blind person.

        Additionally you can use the GFDL to create a kind of monopoly of information by adding some of the invariant section requirements to

      • Although GFDL can be a free license, it can also be a non-free license if you choose to use it with some of the optional parts like invariant subsections.

        This statement deliberately confuses what it means to be "free". Free doesn't mean "I can do anything I want." Free means "I have all the basic freedoms required to take advantage of this data, while at the same time it is guaranteed that others will have these freedoms as well."

        No, the statement means "the GFDL is not necessarily a free license by the definitions of OSI, Debian, etc.". It's possible to put severe restrictions on derivative works: prohibiting end users from removing or modifying parts of the work, for instance. There are also dodgy restrictions on the use of things like DRM. Because of this, Debian has concluded that the GFDL is a non-free license. [debian.org]

        • No, the statement means "the GFDL is not necessarily a free license by the definitions of OSI, Debian, etc."

          This is exactly what I meant about being less than forthright.
          The OPEN SOURCE INITIATIVE would be a group that determines whether a license meets their criteria as being "open source", not free. The FREE SOFTWARE FOUNDATION would be a group that determines whether a license meets their criteria as being "free", not open.

          The OSI has published criteria to determine "openness" and the FSF has publ
    • people shouldn't be forced to put their support behind a particular politically loaded credo just because they want to contribute to WP

      Because the CC-BY-SA license isn't making a ideological and political statement? Sure...

    • by afabbro (33948)

      GFDL sucks for a variety of reasons:

      This is a pretty lame list.

      It's long.

      WTF? This is your lead-off complaint? It's "long"? Well, the GPL is long, too - should we replace it? Heck, the BSD license is two paragraphs - that's kinda long, don't you think? Perhaps there is a cartoon version...

      It's got a windbaggy ideological preamble

      Unlike the Creative Commons? Not.

      Although GFDL can be a free license, it can also be a non-free license if you choose to use it with some of the optional parts like invariant subsections. This creates confusion, and has also caused lots of smart people to waste amazing amounts of time arguing and worrying about it

      If they wasted amazing amounts of time, how smart can they really be?

      I think I'm going to vote no on this license change because the reasons presented here are very lame.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It's long.

        WTF? This is your lead-off complaint? It's "long"?

        ... and, unlike CC-BY-SA, has to be appended to every document that reuses Wikipedia content, even if it's just a few paragraphs. Especially nice in print.

        I think I'm going to vote no on this license change because the reasons presented here are very lame.

        Compatibility alone is a good enough reason. Almost everybody uses CC nowadays, and not being able to combine two works created in the same share-alike-spirit just sucks.

      • by Spasemunki (63473)

        How about this for a reason: the reason it's long is that the GFDL is encumbered by a number of clauses and options that are totally inappropriate for Wikipedia or a project like it. Their presence in the license terms can be confusing and off-putting to contributors (who will read things like 'We have designed this License in order to use it for manuals for free software'), and contributes nothing to the project.

        Some of those particular options present in the license make GFDL content incompatible with Wi

    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      Sharealike I can understand, but attribution ? Is that necessary ? Couldn't we just have CC-SA ? I don't care to not be credited for the typo fix I made on Nausicaa's articles or the "PENIS PENIS" I reverted on a Chinese history page...
      • by Spasemunki (63473)

        I imagine attribution is necessary to make it possible to dual license with the GFDL going forward. GFDL requires attribution, which is one reason why things like preserving page history in an article merge are considered important; the page history is essentially the GFDL-required attribution list for the entire article.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      A license change seemed inevitable to me, I read through the original GDFL and it didn't seem to be a very good fit for WiKipedia or it's sister projects. I was guessing there would be either through an addendum to the GDFL itself, or through a move to an entirely new license, now it seems we're getting both.

      Several comments above are calling this a hack, but the way Wikipedia was placed under the GDFL seemed to be a hack to begin with. With the GDFL "...in any medium, that contains a notice placed by the

  • by staeiou (839695) * <<moc.liamg> <ta> <uoieats>> on Monday April 13, 2009 @07:28PM (#27564545) Homepage
    I'll be the first to admit that this seems pretty tricky at first - that the GNU and Wikipedia could get together and retroactively re-license an entire project through the "later versions" clause. However, the later versions have to be "similar in spirit" to the original in order for this to happen. If they did this to re-license Wikipedia's GFDL content under the BSD license or the public domain, that would not be similar in spirit. The differences between the CCSA and the GFDL are minor, especially in the context of Wikipedia - which uses no front cover texts or invariant sections. The big one is the need to attach a copy of the license to the content (as opposed to a URI to the license) - it is a bit absurd that I've violated the GFDL by printing out a copy of a Wikipedia article and giving it to my students, because I didn't think to attach a copy of the GFDL to it.
  • Good move. It is wrong to re-license public domain or complete free materials with a more restricted license.

    There are many more such cases, please correct them all.

    • by maxume (22995)

      Wrong? It's not even possible. You can probably interweave them sufficiently with other licensed material that it is simpler to go back to the less restricted source, but you can't actually claim a stronger license to the material (well, for public domain anyway, the licensing of other materials may allow it to be relicensed).

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Spasemunki (63473)

        You can make a derivative work from a public domain work and then license that under a more restrictive license. Happens all the time. Say, for instance, I was a creatively bankrupt entertainment company whose mascot was a disease carrying vermin. I could just dig up old public domain works- say, fairy tales, or stories by Victor Hugo- and make my own cinematic version of them- add a few musical numbers, perhaps. Then I assert copyright over the derivative work. Public domain doesn't travel with the co

        • by maxume (22995)

          Hence the comment about interleaving. Still, if you leave an original song intact and prove that I gained access to it by transcribing it from your work, as I understand it, it would still be public domain.

  • Wiki Voting (Score:5, Funny)

    by isnoop (239143) on Monday April 13, 2009 @08:31PM (#27565129) Homepage

    It's a good thing they outsourced the voting. If they tried to handle it through the wiki, you'd have a good chance of the whole site being renamed Colbertpedia.

  • by qazwart (261667) on Monday April 13, 2009 @11:46PM (#27566265) Homepage

    I've been in this business a long time. There are dozens. Heck, maybe hundreds of "Open Source Licenses", and I really can't tell the difference between them. There's Apache, GPL, Eclipse, CPL, QPL, and even BSD which get some people into raging fits.

    Okay BSD is a bit different because you can -- in theory -- produce your own changes and keep those as proprietary. Apple did this with Mac OS X. However, they could have done pretty much the same thing with Linux too. Watch:

    1). Company "X" submits to the Linux project some code changes that will allow Company "X" to hook its proprietary code into the Linux kernel. Completely legal according to the Linux GPL license.

    2). These hooks would probably be rejected by the Linux project, but Company "X" could still use them although they'd be under the GPL license.

    3). Company "X" now creates a proprietary layer on top of Linux using their GPL hooks to link it to the Kernel. The proprietary layer would sit above the GPL'd code and officially be separate from it.

    The end result: Linux kernel under GPL, Company "X"'s special code that hooks into the proprietary layers under GPL, but not supported by the Linux project. Company "X"'s proprietary code on top not under GPL. A full OS. Yes, it's a bit more work than simply taking the basic BSD code, adding in proprietary changes directly into the kernel, but in the end, it's pretty much the same to the end user.

    I use a lot of OSS software, and I support many OSS projects. But all this care and concern about licensing is unbelievable. Linux is Linux not because of the license, but because Linus Torvalds is a top rate project manager who knew what was important and what wasn't important.

    Torvalds didn't jump on the microkernel bandwagon because he thought it the cool design wasn't worth the performance hit. Linus created his code to be X86 specific because it was faster that way.

    Linus has carefully avoided all these piddling political wars about nonsense and has carefully focused his entire project and has kept his project from splitting apart in fratricidal wars that had engulfed the BSD world.

    Yet, we get into these silly arguments. Was it worth the time and effort to create the GNOME project just because KDE depended upon a small set of propriety (even though freely licensed) QT Libraries? (BTW, I tend to use the GNOME desktop myself). What would the Linux desktop look like if the desktop environment wasn't split into two major camps and all that effort could have been put into building a full feature, yet friendly desktop?

    In the end, it's all OSS and it's all good.

    • 1). Company "X" submits to the Linux project some code changes that will allow Company "X" to hook its proprietary code into the Linux kernel. Completely legal according to the Linux GPL license.

      Um, no. According to the interpretation of the FSF and most kernel developers I've heard from, and according to the intent of the license (it's clearer in v3), hooks, plugins, drivers, etc. must be released under the GPL. That's what distinguishes it from the LGPL: you can't combine it with your proprietary code.

      You'd have to do it "at arm's length": from userspace, for instance. An OS where you refuse to modify your own kernel isn't going to be very successful. Good luck hooking a userspace program i

  • I voted for the change yesterday, but after doing so, I began to think about what this will actually solve.

    I mean, their problem is the GFDL in its current implementation being slightly too difficult to work with, and generally not really what they want for Wikipedia. Correct?

    My question is, since they plan to DUAL LICENSE everything, not only replace the GFDL with CC-BY-SA (apparently [wikimedia.org]), won't they still be bound to whatever problems they have with their old license? So how will this fix their problem?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Spasemunki (63473)

      Not everything will be dual licensed. In particular, this allows Wikipedia to incorporate a large amount of media (images, sound, and video) that are CC-BY-SA licensed but aren't GFDL licensed. It also allows other projects that use CC-BY-SA (like other Wikis) to incorporate Wikipedia material without having to comply with the GFDL.

  • Oppose it (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I contributed to Wikipedia because it was GFDL, so that I could get improved versions of my articles back with GFDL. Now, if someone incorporates CC-only third party content into an article, I cannot get it back with GFDL. Therefore this licence removes my ability to use content, and as such I am opposed to it and this is what I am going to vote for. I ask open content comrades who agree with me to oppose Wikimedia's proposed changes as well.

    On a political level, I trust RMS and GNU far more than Lessig and

After an instrument has been assembled, extra components will be found on the bench.

Working...