License Discussion at Wikipedia

Apr 14, 2009

The Wikipedia community is currently in the process of deciding whether the site’s contents should also be regulated under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike license.

Wikipedia’s contents are currently distributed according to the GFDL (Gnu Free Documentation License). As a result of this arrangement, a few issues have arisen in the past. One such issue comes from the fact that this license deals with text documents primarily and only covers images and music on limited basis. Another shortcoming is the requirement that users have to integrate the full license text into the document. This requirement is not particularly convenient nor practical in relation to image use.

The distributors of the license are apparently in agreement. A passage in
Version 1.3 of the GFDL
allows the GFDL contents to be subject to the
CC-BY-SA
and specifies that this provision applies particularly to Wikipedia material.

The Wikipedia distributors would like this dual license to allow them the ability to exchange Wikipedia material with various projects they place under the CC; an option not previously possibly under the limitations of the GFDL. The CC-BY-SA is to therefore become the favored license while the options availabe under the GFDL would remain on the backburner as a possibility if needed.

All Wikipedia users who have contributed at least 25 entries to the site may take part in the voting process to decide for or against this proposed licensing arrangement. Voting ends on May 3, 2009, and pertinent specifics may be found
here.

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