Wikipedia talk:GFDL upgrade

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Essays
WikiProject icon This page is within the scope of WikiProject Essays, a collaborative effort to organise and monitor the impact of Wikipedia essays. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion.
 Low  This page has been rated as Low-impact on the project's impact scale.
 

I moved this talk page from Wikipedia talk:Creative commons migration since that one didn't have an article with it and this one didn't have a talk page with it, and because the discussion below on being compatible with the CC is related to moving to a new version of the GFDL. The discussion started on the Wikipedia:Village pump. Angela. 14:26, Aug 6, 2004 (UTC)


Orginal post[edit]

Okay, new Creative Commons migration plan. No horrendous programming involved. For a list of reasons why I think migrating toward dual liscensing under both the Creative Commons and the GFDL is a Good Thing, please visit my user page.

  1. Proceed with the getting permission phase. For those just tuning in, this consists of:
    1. Changing the submission copyright notice so new, post-changeover material will be released under both Creative Commons and GFDL.
    2. Presenting registered users with a dialog box at their next login asking for permission to release pre-changeover submitted material under the Creative Commons (in addition to the GFDL).
    3. The Wikimedia Foundation agrees to release material contributed by it under the Creative Commons.
  2. Mark in the page histories which versions were submitted by dual-licensers, and which were submitted GFDL-only. The CC and GFDL (or GNU) logos would be a good marker.
    1. Also mark all versions before the first GFDL-only version with a “This version is licensed in its entirety under both the Creative Commons and GFDL.” notice.
    2. Mark all versions after the first GFDL-only version and before the first “liberated” version with a “This version may contain material that is only available under the GFDL.” notice.
  3. If an article has never had a GFDL-only submission, have a copyright notice in the article saying “This article is available under both the Creative Commons and the GFDL” or something to that effect.
  4. Wait a month or so to give time for registered users to give their permission.

Then:

  1. If an article has had a GFDL-only submission in its history, have a link in the article saying “Portions of this article maybe available under the Creative Commons. Click here for a Creative Commons compatible version.”
  2. The Creative Commons compatible page will be “seeded” with the last version of the article that hasn't been tainted by a GFDL-only submission.
    1. If the first version of the article was GFDL-only, the page will start off blank.
    2. This will effectively fork the article.
    3. In addition to the usual submission copyright notice, add a line like this: “This submission contains no material that is licensed solely under the GFDL.”
    4. Users can then manually add CC-licensed material from later versions of the article.
  3. When the Creative Commons compatible version is just as good as the original version, replace the original article with the CC version.
    1. Since the exact moment when the CC version is just as good as the original is a matter of opinion, I suggest that registered users should report candidates to the sysops, who will then do the actual replacing.
    2. Mark this version and all later versions in the page history with the “This version is licensed in its entirety...” note.
    3. Have a "This version is available under both the Creative..." notice in the now liberated article.

Does anybody see any problems with this plan?

Crazyeddie 00:58, 2004 May 24 (UTC)

Cyrius[edit]

I may be reading this wrong, but doesn't it mean we have to start over from scratch? -- Cyrius|&#9998 01:16, May 24, 2004 (UTC)
Okay, I'm now regretting not putting in a bit more of an introduction. I left off a lot of intro material in the interets of brevity. Anyway... Starting over from scratch is exactly what I'm trying to avoid. This plan would fork articles that might contain GFDL-only material into a regular (GFDL only) and Creative Commons + GFDL versions until they could be combined. Crazyeddie 01:49, 2004 May 24 (UTC)
You realize that "articles that might contain GFDL-only material" is nearly synonymous with "every article on the entire site", right? -- Cyrius|&#9998 02:23, May 24, 2004 (UTC)
Oh, brother, am I ever. The CC fork would be reverted back to the first version that would be CC compatiable. By what I mean by CC compatiable, read down. Crazyeddie 02:34, 2004 May 24 (UTC)

Dori[edit]

It's not going to happen, many users have just plainly left. What about anons? What about permissions already obtained from other sites? Dori | Talk 01:19, May 24, 2004 (UTC)
Anons and registered users who haven't yet give permission, or users that have refused permission would be considered "GFDL-onlies" whose submissions would have to be worked around. I'm not sure what you mean by permissions already obtained from other sites. If it helps, a user who has submitted GFDL material that's copyrighted by someone else would have to refuse permission. In theory, they could give permission for each individual permission, but I think it would be better to just count them out entirely. Crazyeddie 01:58, 2004 May 24 (UTC)
I believe Dori is speaking about the materials brought from outside with permission to use them under the terms of GFDL. They will remain GFDL, not dual licensed, unless someone contact the original copyright holder and get a new permission. Tomos 00:54, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

RikK[edit]

Several objections:

  • Presenting registered users with a dialog box at their next login asking for permission to release pre-changeover submitted material under the Creative Commons (in addition to the GFDL).
Some people, such as myself, don't ever log out, so would never see this unless their cookie was somehow damaged.
  • The Wikimedia Foundation agrees to release material contributed by it under the Creative Commons.
Why would they do that?
  • Mark in the page histories which versions were submitted by dual-licensers, and which were submitted GFDL-only. The CC and GFDL (or GNU) logos would be a good marker
How do you plan on doing that? Manually? And what if the "version" consists of a one-character minor change?
  • Also mark all versions before the first GFDL-only version with a “This version is licensed in its entirety under both the Creative Commons and GFDL.” notice.
What is the first GFDL-only version? The current Wikipedia, as we speak, is GFDL. There is no first version.
  • Mark all versions after the first GFDL-only version and before the first “liberated” version with a “This version may contain material that is only available under the GFDL.” notice.
What does "liberated" mean? And what if the article is GFDL only? Do you somehow make it unviewable? And why would you do that?
  • If an article has had a GFDL-only submission in its history, have a link in the article saying “Portions of this article maybe available under the Creative Commons. Click here for a Creative Commons compatible version.”
I still don't see how you plan on splitting the different edits out.
  • The Creative Commons compatible page will be “seeded” with the last version of the article that hasn't been tainted by a GFDL-only submission.
I find the use of the term "tainted" highly offensive, and suggest you re-think not only your terminology, but your entire idea as to why you think this entire, man-hours intensive project is a good idea.
  • If the first version of the article was GFDL-only, the page will start off blank.
STRONGLY oppose. Wikipedia is Wikipedia, not the "Creative Commons Wikipedia."
  • Since the exact moment when the CC version is just as good as the original is a matter of opinion, I suggest that registered users should report candidates to the sysops, who will then do the actual replacing.
Nice of you to volunteer the immense amount of work involved for us sysops to do.

As you may see from my above comments, I see no good coming of this project and must ask once again, just WHY do you think this is needed? RickK 01:24, 24 May 2004 (UTC)

Crazyeddie's Reply to RikK[edit]

Okay.... You bring up a number of good points, but I guess I better start out with a general declaration of principles. First off, I believe that the entire reason that the Wikipedia didn't start out under the Creative Commons from Day 1 is that it simply wasn't invented yet. The GFDL was simply the best available at the time. I have nothing against GFDL myself, but I'm told that if a outside agency wishes to use a Wikipedia article under the GFDL, they would have to attach 12 pages of legalese along with a 1-2 page article.
The new wikis that have been inspired by the Wikipedia have looked at the copyright choices, and by and large, have chosen Creative Commons, even though this means they have to work completely from scratch! For example, the LQwiki, which I contribute to, is having to write an article on Richard Stallman from scratch, even though there is a mature, multi-page Wikipedia article, whose creators, in all likely-hood, would love for us to use. (This initative is not sponsered by the LQwiki BTW, it's all my stupid idea.)
Essentially, I feel that the Creative Commons better reflects the spirit and intent of the average Wikipedian than the GFDL, and that the sole reason for the use of the GFDL is historical. Further, if the Wikipedia doesn't migrate toward Creative Commons, than the Wikipedia's work will have to be reduplicated from scratch. There is even the possibility that the Wikipedia may fork. Almost any thing will be less work than having to make the Wikipedia all over again. Crazyeddie 02:08, 2004 May 24 (UTC)
Now on to your individual points:
  • Presenting registered users with a dialog box at their next login asking for permission to release pre-changeover submitted material under the Creative Commons (in addition to the GFDL). Crazyeddie's orginal post
Some people, such as myself, don't ever log out, so would never see this unless their cookie was somehow damaged. RickK
This is a minor technical difficulty. Is there anyway to force users to logoff? (Sorry if this seems dismissive. It's just that I think that it's too early to worry much about questions like this while big ones like "Why are we doing this again?" Still need to be answered.) Crazyeddie


  • The Wikimedia Foundation agrees to release material contributed by it under the Creative Commons. Crazyeddie's orginal post
Why would they do that? RickK
Maybe I should expand this a mite: "The Wikimedia Foundation agrees to release Wikipedia content that it created itself into the Creative Commons." By this I mean such things as the US city articles created by Rambot. (I'm assuming that Rambot was created by the Wikimedia people.) The main reason why the Wikipedia has not already migrated to Creative Commons is that the individual contributors, not the Wikimedia Foundation, holds copyright. All this means is that they agree to release whatever content that they hold copyright into the Creative Commons. If they don't wish to agree to a simple thing like that, then this whole plan is moot. As for why they would want to do this, see the "general declaration of principles". Crazyeddie
The Rambot data was added by Ram-Man. The Wikimedia Foundation doesn't own a significant amount of intellectual property. It owns Jimbo's edits, probably Larry Sanger's edits, and perhaps some of Tim Shell's. -- Tim Starling 04:30, May 24, 2004 (UTC)
  • Also mark all versions before the first GFDL-only version with a “This version is licensed in its entirety under both the Creative Commons and GFDL.” notice. Crazyeddie's orginal post
What is the first GFDL-only version? The current Wikipedia, as we speak, is GFDL. There is no first version. RickK
By first GFDL-only version, I mean "the first (by first, I mean by earliest date of submission) version of an article that was submitted by someone not in the CC-permission database and was submitted before the CC changeover date. Every version after that, until the remerging with the CC fork could contain material that is liscensed only under the GFDL. Crazyeddie

Cyrius[edit]

Which means we have to start over to achieve dual licensing. -- Cyrius|&#9998 02:50, May 24, 2004 (UTC)
No, I think this fork method will work. I'm just trying to iron out the bugs.Crazyeddie 02:57, 2004 May 24 (UTC)
If you have to "fork" all the way back to the first non-GFDL-only version, you're going back to a blank page for nearly all of the pages in Wikipedia. -- Cyrius|&#9998 03:01, May 24, 2004 (UTC)
This forking would start sometime after the inital phase of the changeover. (I said a month.) By this time, most registered users who are going to do so would have given permission for their previously submitted work to be released under the Creative Commons. So the only versions that are GFDL-only would have been submitted by anons, or users who have not given permission or have refused permission. I believe that a majority of versions by that point will be CC+GFDL. So most articles in the fork would have something in them, but it would be a very earlier version of the article.Crazyeddie 03:12, 2004 May 24 (UTC)
My experience looking at page histories says that we'd have to throw away an enormous amount of work to go all the way back to before anon edits. It just won't work. -- Cyrius|&#9998 03:16, May 24, 2004 (UTC)
From where I sit, either we fork the articles or we fork the project. Manually copy and pasting already existing, CC+GFDL material is less work then creating the same material from scratch. And this work would be done mainly by those who need the material under the CC. Unless the lawyers work out away for GFDL material to be released under CC, I'll keep trying to think of a way to make this as easy as possible. Crazyeddie 03:29, 2004 May 24 (UTC)

Crazyeddie's reply continued[edit]

  • Mark all versions after the first GFDL-only version and before the first “liberated” version with a “This version may contain material that is only available under the GFDL.” notice. Crazyeddie's orginal post
What does "liberated" mean? And what if the article is GFDL only? Do you somehow make it unviewable? And why would you do that? RickK
By liberated, I mean the first version where the CC+GFDL fork remerges with the orginal GFDL-only fork. The GFDL-only versions will still be visible, even after the remerging (through the page histories). All this messages means is that you can't use material from this particular version of the article under the Creative Commons. You can still use it under the GFDL. Crazyeddie
  • If an article has had a GFDL-only submission in its history, have a link in the article saying “Portions of this article maybe available under the Creative Commons. Click here for a Creative Commons compatible version.” Crazyeddie's orginal post
I still don't see how you plan on splitting the different edits out. RickK
Hmmm, that should be "if a version of an article has had a previous GFDL-only submission,...." The link would go to a seperate wiki page- the CC+GFDL fork. I guess a good place to put it would be en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CC_GFDL_fork/<page_name> This fork page, at first, would be the first version of the article before the GFDL-only material was submitted. Users then could add CC+GFDL material from later versions manually. I hope that explains it. Crazyeddie
  • If the first version of the article was GFDL-only, the page will start off blank. Crazyeddie's orginal post
STRONGLY oppose. Wikipedia is Wikipedia, not the "Creative Commons Wikipedia." RickK
The only reason I can see for you to get this angry is if you think I mean that the main, regular, GFDL-only article would be blanked. I'm only talking about the forked CC+GFDL article which most people will never see. Crazyeddie

Cyrius[edit]

You mean the start-from-(almost-)scratch CC+GFDL article. This is looking like a worse and worse idea. Even if you got the majority of active logged-in users to retroactively agree, and even if you wrote software to handle chopping out the singly-licensed bits, you would still have to go through 90+% of articles manually to rewrite them back into a coherent state. It simply will not work. -- Cyrius|&#9998 03:45, May 24, 2004 (UTC)
The only thing I can say in defense, is that it's the only way I've come up with to get wikipedia content released into the Creative Commons besides waiting for the FSF and CC lawyers to solve it, which I'm not sure can be done. Crazyeddie 03:54, 2004 May 24 (UTC)
The only way that this idea would work would be if a version of the GFDL were to come out which explicitly cited the CC license as an equivalent license. (And what license would it be, anyway?) That would allow the cross-licensing to occur legally. Otherwise, it's a violation of the GFDL, and just too much trouble to manage the fork, with too much immediate chaos, for too little gain. And I'm unconvinced that the CC license is better suited to Wikipedia - the GFDL is really the revolutionary license. Others just followed along. Snowspinner 03:49, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
I've long wondered, if a version of the GFDL came out that was compatable with the CC, would older versions still be compatabile with the new GFDL? That's one reason I'm not willing to wait for the lawyers. Crazyeddie 03:54, 2004 May 24 (UTC)~
In defense of this incarnation of the forking idea, the ones who would be doing the grunt labor (manually readding CC+GFDL material) would be the ones who need the CC material. Of course, managing the damn thing would be a royal hairball in and of itself. My main purpose at this point is not to suggest any single solution, but to at least get people thinking about reliscensing. Crazyeddie 04:15, 2004 May 24 (UTC)
The difference between the two liscenses is really too subtle for me. The only reason I care is because the difference is just enough to seriously impact other wikis' work. I agree the GFDL, since it came first, was truly revolutionary. However, isn't it possible that later liscenses, following in the GFDL's path, might have done a better job? Crazyeddie 04:19, 2004 May 24 (UTC)

Crazyeddie's Reply continued[edit]

  • Since the exact moment when the CC version is just as good as the original is a matter of opinion, I suggest that registered users should report candidates to the sysops, who will then do the actual replacing. Crazyeddie's orginal post
Nice of you to volunteer the immense amount of work involved for us sysops to do. RickK
I do apologize for that. It does seem to be the nature of sysops for work to be dumped on them, doesn't it. This was only one alternative among several that occured to me. The problem is that remerging the two forks will not be a simple decision to be taken lightly. If it's done too soon, somebody will revert to a previous, GFDL-only version, or inject GFDL-only material. However, like the "some people don't logoff" problem though, the exact solution to this problem can wait until the bigger issues of this project are settled. Crazyeddie 03:54, 2004 May 24 (UTC)

Well that's the best I can do for now. Crazyeddie 03:54, 2004 May 24 (UTC)

I've added sections and indicated who was talking where in my rather massive reply. I'm going to take one last look over, then go off to recover from this. Crazyeddie 04:09, 2004 May 24 (UTC)


You'll forgive me thinking that perhaps the cure is worse than the disease. After all, Wikipedia has no invariant sections, front cover texts or back cover texts, so the freedom of redistribution is not limited in that sense. It's true that distributing a paper copy of a single article would require the 5-page license to be attached. But compared to what you're proposing, printing GFDL licenses seems pretty trivial. -- Tim Starling 04:59, May 24, 2004 (UTC)


I think the only realistic way to do this is to work with the FSF and try to get a more compatible future version of the GFDL; preferably one which doesn't require a copy of the license with every page, but just a link to it. Wiping the majority of our articles because they are not dual licensed is certainly not an acceptable solution. Angela. 16:11, May 24, 2004 (UTC)

It might be worth building Wikipedia:List of dual-licencing Wikipedians so that we have a minimal list of people who go for this if this if it ever happened. That list current consists of at the very least AxelBoldt (public domain), Jamesday (lots of licences) and me (cc-sa). Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 20:30, 24 May 2004 (UTC)

There's one at m:Guide to the CC dual-license#List of dual licensors. Angela. 00:39, May 25, 2004 (UTC)

Let me repeat what I recently said on WikiEN-l:

What we really need is a GNU FDL 2.0 with a clause stating something to the effect of "Any documents licensed under the GNU FDL 2.0 or any later version with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts can also be licensed under the GNU Free Content License."

The GNU Free Content License would in turn be made to be compatible with a future version of the Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike License and would have no provision for the evil Invariant Sections, Front-Cover Texts, or Back-Cover Texts (although those could still be added by transferring FCL content back to the FDL, but once that is done, that version would be locked into the FDL).

If we had a hand in drafting the GNU FCL, then we could ensure that it could be friendly to all content and more lax in what needs to be done in order to comply (requiring pretty much what we require for compliance - which happens to be a *very* liberal interpretation of the GNU FDL in order to make is practical for people to copy us).

The GNU FDL is a complicated mess. The sooner we can be free of it, the better. IMO.

-- Daniel Mayer (aka mav)

It is simply not possible to have the many thousands of people who have contributed to this project all agree to dual license their work. Most of those people we simply cannot contact (esp anons) and many others will not care to go through the bother. Even attempting to seriously do this would cause great harm to the project: We simply could not mix GNU FDL only text with dual licensed text in any article so we would have to start a project fork with the old Wikipedia being one prong and the tiny number of dual licensed articles being the other. Work would have to stop on the GFDL-only Wikipedia.

We could also only import dual licensed text into the project and downstream users would have to choose to use one, and only one, license when they copy our text (that is how licenses work). Thus we would be in the very odd situation of not being able to re-incorporate any improvements made outside of Wikipedia unless those improvements are also dual licensed in the same way. Kinda counter the the whole idea of free content if you ask me.

It is simply not at all possible to get out the GNU FDL any other way than to take advantage of the "or later version" clause of our license. That allows us the ability to work with the FSF to make a GNU FDL 2.0 with an out clause - possibly to a license better suited to our needs. --mav 06:42, 25 May 2004 (UTC)

People who release under "1.2 or later versions" have a (moral, at least) right to expect that any later versions would be substantially similar. Because we would be restricting attention to the "no invariants" body of work, it is just possible that the FSF might see a licence like you propose as a "substantially similar". Are there any formal plans afoot to lobby them? I guess Jimbo's input is important as he has the relationship with RMS. Do we know that he wants to see something like this? We must know what the FSF thinks, and the sooner the better, even we have to risk having the door slammed shut. That would be better than having a door that's slightly ajar letting in a chink of light that we can't go through. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 11:33, 25 May 2004 (UTC)
It seems there are plans. Jimbo said on IRC earlier this month: "It is planned for me to meet with Larry Lessig in Berlin to try to work on that issue... Well, what I am seeking is a few changes to GNU FDL 2.0 which will simplify things and resolve some compatibility issues... RMS has made general friendly noises about that."
Angela. 15:53, May 26, 2004 (UTC)
That sounds like very good news, time to make a meta:What the ideal GFDL 2.0 would do for us for Jimbo to have in mind when he goes to Berlin? Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 19:11, 26 May 2004 (UTC)
Having the license changed is part of my platform. --mav
Well it is nice to have several strong candidates in an election (sadly it is often quite the opposite here in governmental politics!). Tomos has already asked you to expand on your FCL idea on your questions page, which is what I went there to ask! I agree with the broad brush of your approach, though I think I disagree with how much you want to water down the history section. If I give away my work freely, and one of the five principal authors of an article, I would like to be listed as an author ON the mirrored webpage, not through a backlink to Wikipedia and from there to the history page. Five authors should be one line of text, so it is not an undue burden. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 07:40, 27 May 2004 (UTC)