Wikinews/License

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This page was used to collect arguments regarding a license for Wikinews following the earlier discussion and a poll at Wikinews/License straw poll and preceeding the new vote at Wikinews/Licensure Poll for the new vote.

Voting is now closed! The results were posted to Wikinews-l. Vote counts at the time of closing were at Wikinews/Licensure Poll/Results. The Wikimedia Foundation decided on September 25 to implement the CC-BY-2.5 license across all language versions of Wikinews. Thanks to everyone for participating.

Creative Commons[edit]

Attribution[edit]

Arguments:

  • One-way compatibility with the GFDL (CC-BY content can be incorporated into GFDL content).
  • Maximizes distribution, while any possible improvements are likely to be too late to be incorporated into Wikinews, and even if not, of a nature that allows them to be incorporated without violating copyrights -- the copyleft effect is not worth the reduction of the target audience.

Share-Alike[edit]

Arguments:

  • Incompatible both ways at present, but may be two-way-compatible with the GFDL in the future.

Who is attributed?[edit]

As of version 2.5, the Creative Commons Licenses CC-BY (Attribution) and CC-BY-SA (Attribution and "Share-Alike", i.e. Copyleft) make it possible to designate an entity, e.g. "Wikimedia" or "The Wikinews community", as the author of a work. See CC-BY 2.5, 4 b) as an example. This eliminates one of the main arguments against using them, i.e. that only the "Original Author" receives attribution. But who should receive attribution? Wikimedia.

The original author[edit]

The Wikinews community[edit]

Arguments:

  • Strengthens Wikinews identity and search engine ranking, avoids disenfranchising the community.
  • Not a legal entity, so may not be possible.

The Wikimedia Foundation[edit]

Arguments:

  • Legal entity, so definitely a possibility.

GNU FDL[edit]

Arguments:

  • Two-way compatibility with the GFDL.

Public domain[edit]

Arguments:

  • Does not legally exist in some countries as authors cannot give up "moral rights" (particularly attribution).
  • Can be difficult to grant even if it is legally possible (e.g. clickthrough may not be sufficient).
  • Does not require attribution -- this may reduce Google ranking, or lead to plagiarism (however, see moral rights issue above).
  • Eliminates licensing issues where it is perceived to be functioning, encourages free sharing without any understanding of copyright law.

Usable for any purpose[edit]

Arguments:

Dual-license[edit]

GNU FDL / CC-BY-SA[edit]

Arguments:

  • Advantages of CC-BY-SA while allowing one-way-compatibility (e.g. use of Wikinews stories in GFDL text).

BSD / BSD-like[edit]

Arguments:

  • simplicity; the license covers the restrictions etc. succinctly and is easily understandable
  • few restrictions placed; can encourage reuse of content
    • BSD and variant licenses allow for further restrictions to be added "downstream"; perceived problem of "stealing" -- but the original free content will always be available