Wikipedia to Go Creative Commons

That Goes for Other Wikimedia Projects as Well

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It appears that all Wikimedia content will become available for free under the Creative Commons License soon. This has been approved by a 75% majority of community voters, though the decision has not yet been approved by the Wikimedia Foundation’s board of trustees. The licensing update/result page says:

The Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) has proposed that the copyright licensing terms on the wikis operated by the WMF — including Wikipedia — be changed to include the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA) license in addition to the current GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). This will affect all text and rich media (images, sound, video, etc.) currently licensed under "GFDL 1.2 or later versions".

Wikimedia Projects

Jolie O’Dell at ReadWriteWeb notes, "The change in licensing was made possible in November 2008 when the Free Software Foundation updated its most recent of the GFDL, adding language specifically to accommodate the WMF’s desire to switch to Creative Commons licensing."

Of those who voted on the change, over 13,000 voted in favor, while only under 2,000 voted against it, and just over 2,000 voted to not have an opinion on the matter. If "no opinion" votes had not been included, the Yes/No percentage becomes 87.9%/12.1%.

The licensing update poll took place over a period of three weeks. Anybody who had a registered account on a WMF project with at least 25 edits prior to March 15th was eligible to participate (apart from those who had been blocked or flagged).

Wikipedia to Go Creative Commons
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  • http://www.akahele.org Gregory Kohs

    …regardless of their wishes.

    I don’t understand what gives the right to 13,000 people to decide how to retroactively re-license work of mine that I expressly released under the terms of a previous license.

    So, nearly 2,000 people will be getting a dry broomstick where the sun don’t shine, and we’re supposed to stand back and applaud? Since when is copyright and licensing terms something we “vote” on, anyway?

    • Guest

      Honestly, Kohs, do you really need to stretch (and widen!) this so far? The Free Software Foundation would never have enabled the change if the licenses weren’t so close anyway as you already know. The change doesn’t affect the spirit of the licenses and will help prevent future license violations by making it easier to comply with the licensing options.

      How this translates to “a dry broomstick where the sun don’t shine”, to use your POSITIVELY LOVELY metaphor, I have no idea.

    • E. R.

      Mr. Kohs, you didn’t release your work under “a previous license” because Wikimedia was operating under version 1.2 of the GFDL “or any later version” published by the FSF.

      Wikimedia’s been rather open about the change, considering that it could have been presented to the community unilaterally (as I understand it) rather than through a vote.

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