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Wikitravel talk:Why Wikitravel isn't GFDL

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Revision as of 18:26, 26 May 2004 by Evan (talk | contribs) (License woes)
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As far as I can tell, Wikitravel content can be copied to Wikipedia, is that correct? Wikipedia, by using GFDL, has even tighter restrictions against distributors restricting other people's rights on how to use the content as far as I know, so copying content from Wikitravel to Wikipedia should not breach any of Wikitravel's distribution restrictions. Is this correct? Either way, I guess it's a question which comes naturally, so I think the answer to this should be included in this article. --Gutza 06:59, 6 Oct 2003 (PDT)

Actually, although I'm no lawyer, I don't think this is quite correct. Because Wikitravel content is covered under a "share alike" Creative Commons license, derivative works would formally have to be under such a license, wouldn't they? Now, one could probably argue that the GFDL, since it allows copying the work and commercial profit to be made from such copies is similar enough to Attribution-ShareAlike to qualify. Maybe if a lawyer is reading this, they could give their opinion? Ctylemay 11:46, 6 Oct 2003 (PDT)
IANAL, but my understanding from talking to Creative Commons people, Wikipedia people, and FSF people, is that the Attribution-ShareAlike and GFDL are not compatible in any way (besides normal fair use provisions). This is stupid and wrong, and it's a big mistake that needs to be corrected by the creators of both licenses. Considering that FSF recommends the CC licenses, and vice versa, it seems stupid to have them incompatible. Right now, we can't do much about it -- I recommend that anyone who's got a beef with this should write to the FSF and to Creative Commons and let them know it's an issue. -- Evan 09:46, 7 Oct 2003 (PDT)
I'm not sure I completely understand this, but it seems that Wikitravel is using CC-BY-SA 1.0. When the FSF and/or CC fix their licenses to make them more compatible, the older versions still exsist. The GNU GPL for example has an "or any later version" clause, but when you say CC-BY-SA 1.0, it seems that a later versions is not OK. I guess Wikitravel should be using CC-BY-SA 1.0 or any later version? Or is this not an issue? Comments? Luke Stodola 25 Jan 2004
I guess the problem is that we see "share alike" as a way to avoid having our contributions be amalgamated into a fully copyrighted derivative work, but maybe no one thought of the other restrictions that go along with the way this is done. For example, my understanding is that a derivative of a BY-SA work could not be issued under a BY-NC-SA license! So anyways, I've pointed this out on the mailing list at creative commons and we'll see what happens. -- ctylemay 22:00, 7 Oct 2003 (PDT)
Thanks a whole bunch; I saw your post on cc-licenses, and it was succinct and cogent. I think if people from the Wikipedia and Wikitravel communities put some pressure on CC and FSF, we can see compatible licenses in future versions. It's necessary and valuable. Thanks for the work, again. -- Evan 22:34, 7 Oct 2003 (PDT)
I already got a response from Glen Otis Brown (the executive director at Creative Commons.) Basically, it looks like they're working on it, and that future versions of share-alike licenses may alow inclusion of material into derivative works under other share-friendly licenses. So sit tight Gutza, soon the transfer of content may be easier, even though for now it is not possible. -- CL 22:59, 7 Oct 2003 (PDT)

Re: GFDL "requiring that all copies of the work be distributed with a copy of the GFDL and a changelog, as well as "transparent" (i.e. source) versions if you distribute over 100 copies", isn't the inclusion of the URLs of the GFDL, the changelog, and the source version, considered to meet this requirement?

Not by my reading of the GFDL, no. I don't think it's in the letter or the spirit of the GFDL. The FSF specifically recommends against using the URL-based referencing in the Creative Commons licenses. -- Evan 12:47, 29 Oct 2003 (PST)

Wikipedia breaks about ten terms of the GFDL and its poor governance and use of SQL dumps as the only way to move masses of articles, means it really isn't providing source transparency either. It's technically possible to sue the "Wikimedia foundation" and force them to (a) meet these terms or (b) sign a cross-licensing agreement for a license that actually does satisfy these terms.

Not that this is necessarily the best way! But this really isn't a problem. There are lots of groups printing out 1-2 page Wikipedia articles and assuming that the URL on the pages meets those requirements mentioned. They are not at all wrong to do so, especially since Wikipedia itself can easily meet all of those requirements at one URL, if it actually bothered to make it a priority...

Given the two options -- keeping our legal tail covered, and those of our users, rather than freely being able to borrow from Wikipedia at will -- I'd prefer the former. Most Wikitravellers seem to agree. That said, you are welcome to label your contributions as being dual-licensed, as long as you're not basing them on other people's by-sa licensed work. -- Evan 12:47, 29 Oct 2003 (PST)
OK, so, I got burnt with this discussion, since some people apparently want to dual-license their work. I've created an article on how to dual-license things here; comments and modifications welcome, of course. -- Evan 09:31, 2 Nov 2003 (PST)

CapitanCook / World66

Browsing the meta pages, I found an inacurrency here. You state that CapitanCook is licenced under the GFDL, although the link goes to to World66 which is licenced under Creative Commons. Yann 09:50, 19 Jan 2004 (EST)

HOLY CRAP! You're right! This is a relatively new development -- everything used to be GFDL there. WOW! This is cool news. --Evan 10:32, 19 Jan 2004 (EST)

Good, isn't it? I only noticed the other week. Although I'm interested to know how precisely how valid such a relicensing is. --Earle 11:27, 25 May 2004 (BST)


Evan, what are your thoughts on upgrading to by-sa 2.0, given that 1.0 has no provision for an upgrade (which I'm pleased to see 2.0 does - "You may distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, or publicly digitally perform a Derivative Work only under the terms of this License, a later version of this License with the same License Elements as this License...")? For OGL I'm thinking of doing what I did before and announcing the proposed change and giving people a month or so to object - an "or forever hold your peace" sort of deal. --Earle 11:33, 25 May 2004 (BST)

To tell the truth, I've been dreading this moment since the new licenses were announced last year.
I think the main problem is that technically it's not up to Wikitravel to decide whether the work of folks who contributed in the past is available under this or that license. It's up to the individual authors. So, to move everything to the new license, the most correct action is to get the approval of all contributors to relicense their work under 2.0, or remove work of those who don't want to give that approval, or whom we can't contact. This is, of course, going to be hugely difficult.
The other option is just to go ahead and do it with approval of many or most. This means that we'll have some license time-bombs in our work that may come back to haunt us, or, worse, haunt our redistributors/reusers/derivers. Consider if Lonely Planet decided to include one of our guides in one of their books, and an opportunistic contributor decided to make some money by suing them for license infringement. Although this is extremely unlikely, I would hate to have Wikitravel work under a shadow of license problems, and make the work unusable. (That's also part of my problems with using World 66 content -- they moved from the GNU FDL to the by-sa without getting approval from contributors.)
Personally, I think the advantages of moving to 2.0 don't outweigh these disadvantages. I have some serious qualms about this "upgrade", since I think having a representation of right to contribute is kind of important (it covers the butt of everyone else on the wiki who edits the page later). The main advantage I see is the any-later-version clause, which will make it easier to do license upgrades later. In the case of, say, a court decision or law that invalidates part of the license, we would be able to keep operating with a quickly-amended license out of CC.
I think I'm going to start Wikitravel:Creative Commons 2.0 license to discuss this, though. It's really a hairy, hairy problem. --Evan 14:22, 26 May 2004 (EDT)