User:Jtneill/WikiEducator/Questions and comments/Licensing

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Wholesale copying/mirroring of WMF articles

  1. Is is "OK" to do wholesale copying of WMF sisterproject articles into WE without acknowledgement? e.g., see these articles (pasted from WP) and edit histories:
  2. Is it legal? (e.g. GFDL vs. CC)
  3. Should the source be acknowledged?
  4. Should a forking proposal be provided?
  5. Or would it be more appropriate to provide a link to the WP article? (e.g., using Template:Wikipedia) and focus WE on building unique content?
  6. Is it good for the integrity of WE to contain unacknowledged copies of WMF articles?
  7. Is there relevant WE policy?
-- Jtneill - Talk 00:46, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
    • Hi James, good questions. As you may know, I also serve on the International Advisory Board of the WMF so I also look out for the interests of WMF projects taking into account my fiduciary responsibilities.
      • First, from a legal perspective, while the GFDL and CC-BY-SA licenses are philosophically compatible -- legally speaking derivative works must be released under the original license. Therefore if you copy an article which is licensed under GFDL -- any modifications are legally required to be released under a GFDL license. WMF are exploring the options for possibly converting to a CC-BY-SA license, but this will require wide community consultation because effectively all content in the WMF projects (exept Wikinews) are licensed under the GFDL. I understand that Jimbo is on record stating that they went with the GFDL as this was the most appropriate license for the project at the time. Creative commons was instituted after the inception of the WP project.
      • It is possible to copy and include GFDL content on WE, however the source must be acknowledged in accordance with the requirements of the GFDL. WE has a better template for WP content which meets the requirements of the GFDL, including the requirement of linking to a copy of the GFDL. We would need to create duplicate equivalents for the other WMF projects like Wikibooks, Wikiversity etc.
      • Personally, I don't encourage competition between WE and WMF projects -- our respective projects compliment each other as contributions to the free knowledge community. That said, there are legitimate reasons for including content from WMF projects in WE, for example developing a lesson plan incorporating WP content. Similarly, I'm sure that Wikimedians will want to include content from WE projects and we welcome this because this is the purpose of free content projects.
      • Another alternative is to contact the original authors and request permission to have their content released under a CC-BY-SA license. If for example, you are the sole author of the GFDL content -- you can simply copy and release the subsequent version under CC-BY-SA.
      • WE doesn't have a policy on this -- we are partners in the free knowledge community and adhere to the licensing requirements of the original content.
      • WMF and WE are keen to explore the development of technologies for more useful inter wiki linking of content -- however this is dependent on securing funding for development. --Wayne Mackintosh 01:43, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
        • Thanks, Wayne. Lots of useful info in this reply. I've suggested use of Template:WikipediaContent to Minhaaj for the articles mentioned above (Thread:Please share/expand on what you think about copying/mirroring articles ... (1)). -- Jtneill - Talk 12:54, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
          • Thanks for broaching the topic Jtneill. I think WMF is an open source initiative and WE is a similar endeavor. WE has the edge when it comes to educational content and i believe any help that WMF can be in educational context should be utilized. Whole Sale dump should be fixed though. I have done editing on some articles and i would clean more up in future, but i strongly believe that WE should have everything that makes it an excellent OER that it is. I am proud to be a WE and it will always be that way and i will do anything to make it better :) Cheers.

--minhaaj 22:24, 25 June 2008 (UTC)