Talk:Licensing update/Implementation

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Side by side English[edit]

"and the unmodified English original must be included in equal prominence to any translation" might it be an idea to present both text next to each other, i.e. in a two column format? Dedalus 11:53, 9 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I think link should suffice. OhanaUnitedTalk page 17:08, 9 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I like the suggestion of a two-column format, and have incorporated it into the text.
The reason why I believe a link is not sufficient is that I believe the visible presence of the English text will deter the kind of semantic drift we have seen in the licensing terms across languages over the years. A small notice pointing to the English version may help readers find the correct, relevant terms, but it does not really help to orient community members towards making only very careful changes.--Eloquence 02:47, 13 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

First read through[edit]

Well the Terms for edit screen is unacceptably long

The current English wikipedia copyright terms are "You irrevocably agree to release your contributions under the GFDL" which clocks in at ten words. There are another 13 words of editing guidance.

Your version clocks in at 112 words or a 380% increase. When dealing with such widely used interface elements the trick is minimalism.

As has been pointed out the terms are split on en.wp; I've suggested a split here as well and shortened a bit. However, they will be somewhat longer as they need to carry additional meaning.--Eloquence 02:47, 13 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Moving on to the Project:Terms of use

A Terms of use is a working document. Vision Statements can go elsewhere

Because more people will likely read the ToU than the license itself, I consider it completely appropriate to pay attention to messaging and framing for a general audience unfamiliar with the concepts it refers to.--Eloquence 02:47, 13 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

"general public" horrid apart from the fact it is flat out false (legal persons and governments are not normally considered general public).

Eh, close enough, as it's an explanatory section. But if you want to tweak it, feel free to suggest a revision.--Eloquence 02:47, 13 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

"For compatibility reasons, we also ask you to license it under the GNU Free Documentation License (unversioned, with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts)."

Not good at all. Firstly the reasons are unimportant and secondly we don't ask we require.

Again, it's completely appropriate for the ToU to have some explanatory content. But yes, it should be more forceful (not that it really needs to be as the submission language is already clear).--Eloquence 02:47, 13 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

"Information for multimedia contributors"

I think you mean non-text media here (yes I'm aware this in turn creates issues with tables). Strictly speaking images are not on their own multimedia.

Fair enough, changed.--Eloquence 02:47, 13 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Information for re-users

Giving what is effectively legal advice is always kinda dicey. Getting it wrong worse still.

"Attribution of text: To re-distribute an article page in any form, provide credit to the authors either by including a) a hyperlink (where possible) or URL to the article or articles you are re-using, b) a hyperlink (where possible) or URL to an alternative, stable online copy which is freely accessible, which conforms with the license, and which provides credit to the authors in a manner equivalent to the credit given on this website, or c) a list of all authors. (Any list of authors may be filtered to exclude very small or irrelevant contributions.)"

Completely false. This at absolute best only applies to content created after June 15 with no content imported from non wikimedia sites.

Regarding the first statement, you know that our legal position is different from yours on this matter. Regarding the second, that's already been pretty clear from the terms as a whole, but I've clarified. This issue is blown out of proportion anyway, as in the cases where it would matter most, the attribution would likely be part of the article text to begin with, and hence automatically be included in any copying operations.--Eloquence 02:47, 13 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

"Attribution of rich media: Rich media files must be attributed in any reasonable manner consistent with the chosen license specified by the contributor(s)."

Reasonable to the medium or means. Kinda dicey. Should probably stick to "must be attributed in a manner consistent with the chosen license specified by the contributor(s).

btw "chosen license specified by the contributor(s)." is a horrific bit of phrasing.

Attribution of externally contributed content yeah its a sensible sub-clause but it comes in the wrong place. Since the Attribution of text doesn't even consider the possibility of text that doesn't fall under it's remit you've got a nice internal contradiction in the TOS.

Copyleft/Share and Share Alike:

You start talking about pages here when before you were talking about articles. Consistent terminology should be used

Terms for multimedia files

Another outright error. The eligible files definition claims say FAL (and more importantly GPL) are eligible for additional licensing.

In practice that whole section would be better left to commons which has a fair number of people who really know what they are doing with regards to image licensing. Heh The the Licensing update/Implementation phrasing is actually so bad it release the wikipedia logo under the CC-BY-SA-3.0 license.

All in all the whole things suffers from being sloppy and appears rushed. Poor and inconsistent phrasing, internal contradictions and legaly questionable assertions.

The June 15 target is unrealistic at this point since some of the issues are going to be tricky to fix (an awful lot of thought has gone into the english Terms for edit screen over the years) or requires actual decisions.

Genisock2 00:30, 11 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for your feedback. I've made some further edits in response to some of the smaller issues above.--Eloquence 02:47, 13 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

No one will read an edit screen text this long. I think the first sentence (plus a see terms of use for details) should suffice. The rest can go below the buttons (to MediaWiki:Edittools) if absolutely necessary. --Tgr 21:36, 11 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Revision for proposed MediaWiki:Copyrightwarning[edit]

(That's the text between the editing box and the "Submit" button.) I'm cribbing this heavily from the current text on the English Wikipedia, which geni mentions above. This text is written for maximum project portability and concision, but I fully expect individual projects to add bits on verifiability or neutrality or whatever.

By clicking "Save page" you irrevocably agree to release your contribution under CC-BY-SA 3.0 (unported) and the GFDL. See Project:Terms of use for details.

IMHO, Project:Terms of use would be a good place for the "re-users must do X and Y and Z" stuff, and MediaWiki:Edittools would be a better place for the "do not post copyrighted works" and the "edited mercilessly" reminders. I'm open to suggestion and revision, though. - jredmond 22:10, 11 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

By clicking "Save page" you irrevocably agree to release your contribution under CC-BY-SA* and the GFDL. You agree to accept credit through through a hyperlink or URL. See Project:Terms of use for details.
Would be closer to being able to argue that users are legitimately informed about what happens when they edit.Genisock2 22:26, 12 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I've revised a bit to shorten, but we need to have the attribution requirement in the click-through.--Eloquence 02:47, 13 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]
We already put part of the requirements on a separate page (the "no invariant sections" bit); are CC attribution requirements any different from that? --Tgr 08:56, 13 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Yes. The issue of invariant sections is completely noncontroversial; nobody has every argued (to my knowledge) that Wikipedia should have invariant sections as per the GFDL. People do have, on the other hand, a lot of different opinions as to what the ideal attribution model for wiki text should look like, and we want there to be no doubt about what the official Wikimedia Foundation policy is.--Eloquence 18:54, 15 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I see. Still, could you at least put them in the lower part? The part between the textbox and the buttons should be kept as short as possible. (I would also prefer CC-BY-SA instead of the long form.) --Tgr 19:43, 16 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Copyvios and deleted history, article splittings[edit]

On, when a page contains copyvios, we remove them and sysops delete the page, restore the revisions without copyvios and copy the deleted history on the talk page to credit authors whose edits were deleted but non removed (a simple example). Is this correct (we had many discussions, e.g. this)?
Moreover: the re-users-oriented guideline «If you are re-using the page in a wiki, for example, indicating this in the page history is sufficient» means (if I remember correctly the foundation-l discussions: it's not so clear) that we can split an article moving part of its text in another article, if we indicate in the edit summary something like «moving from [[OriginalPage]]». But, are we required to add particular tags (like this or more detailed)? What if the original pages's history gets deleted? Would this be a violation of ToS and CC-BY-SA?
I would like to have a definitive answer (and a clarification of the ToS), after years of uncertainties. Thanks, Nemo 23:48, 13 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Point by point comments on terms of use[edit]

In the following I will be quoting from the current text and using strikethroughs and bold to suggest improvements:

  • To build a commons repository of free knowledge and free culture, all users contributing to Wikimedia projects are required to grant broad permissions to the general public to re-distribute and re-use their contributions freely, as long as the use is attributed and the same legal terms apply freedom to re-use and re-distribute applies to any derivative works.

In my experience "commons" doesn't really evoke the right meaning for people who aren't already familiar with the Creative Commons movement. I think plainer language is better suited to this introduction. I also think it better to move the statement about "legal terms" lower and simply spell out the meaning in the first sentence.

  • Therefore, for anything any text you hold the copyright to, by submitting it, you agree to license it under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0 (Unported).

Text != images.

  • For compatibility reasons, you are also required to license it under the GNU Free Documentation License (unversioned, with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts). Anyone may re-use and re-distribute your text as long as they abide by the terms of at least one of these licenses, including applying at least one of the licenses to any derivative works that they may create. Please note that these licenses do allow commercial uses of your content, as long as such uses are compliant with the terms.

I think it is useful to say expand here on what the effect of the licenses is.

  • For content text that you found elsewhere or that others co-created with you, you can only import it if it is available under terms that are compatible with CC-BY-SA. You are under no obligation whatsoever to obtain such content also under However, such content does not need to be compatible with the GNU Free Documentation License. Indeed, please note that you cannot import information which is only available under the GFDL.

The "no obligation whatsoever to obtain" language strikes me as an unnecessarily indirect phrasing.

  • Where such credit is commonly given through page histories (such as Wikimedia-internal copying), it is sufficient to give attribution in the edit summary, which is recorded in the page history, when importing the content.

I'm wondering whether Mediawiki specific terms such as "edit summary" and "page history" ought to be linked to appropriate help documentation. I don't know if there is an appropriately multilingual target for such a link, but I could see a lot of value to adding links to something like enwiki's help pages given both of those items are terms of art that may be unfamiliar to first time readers. One possibility is to explicitly allow local communities to add wikilinks and footnotes, etc., when they serve to clarify things, such as explaining these terms of art or linking to more detailed local policies.

  • In some cases, other forms of attribution may be acceptable to comply with the original publisher's requirements. Decisions about what forms of attribution to allow are at the discretion of the local editing community. Even if you comply with the license, the content you import may the content you import complies with all licensing restrictions, it may still be rejected if the required attribution is deemed too intrusive.

It feels like a connecting portion would be useful here. Also, I find "the license" to be vague in this clause (the "original" license?, WMF's license?, etc). Also I think it is better to phrase it in terms of licensing compliant content rather than licensing compliant users.

  • Non-text media must be available under terms consistent with the Wikimedia Foundation Licensing Policy. Non-text media on Wikimedia Foundation projects may exist and be used under a variety of different licenses that support the general goal of allowing unrestricted re-use and re-distribution. The requirements for such licenses are given in the Wikimedia Foundation Licensing Policy. Individual communities may elaborate upon and refine these requirements.

The single sentence here feels wholly inadequate for the purpose of providing useful information to potential media contributors.

  • Text from external sources may attach additional attribution requirements to the work, which we will strive to indicate clearly to you.

Still punting on this, huh? Might I suggest adding something like For example, a page may have a banner or other notation indicating that it was originally published somewhere else. Where such notations are visible in the page itself, they should generally be preserved by re-users.

  • Availability of GFDL text: For compatibility reasons, any page which does not incorporate text that is exclusively available under CC-BY-SA or a CC-BY-SA-compatible license is also available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. In order to determine whether a page is available under the GFDL, review the page footer, page history, and discussion page for attribution of single-licensed content that is not GFDL-compatible. All text published before June 15th, 2009 was released under the GFDL, and you may also use the page history to retrieve content published before that date to ensure GFDL compatibility.

Tell them where the old GFDL content is.  ;-)

  • Licensing notice: Each copy or modified version that you distribute must include a licensing notice stating that the work is released under CC-BY-SA and either a) a hyperlink or URL to the text of the license or b) a copy of the license. For this purpose, a suitable URL is:

There is a major bullet point missing from the reuse of text section, in my opinion. Under CC-BY-SA (section 4a) each work that one distributes must contain a licensing notice referencing CC-BY-SA and providing, at minimum, a URI to the license text. That's a lot more friendly than having to include the entire GFDL text, but it is not negligible thing either. I would suggest adding the above bullet point.

  • Where not otherwise noted, non-text media files are available under various free culture licenses, consistent with the Wikimedia Foundation Licensing Policy. Please view the media description page for details about the license of any specific given media file.


Dragons flight 07:07, 14 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for all the comments. I've made substantial edits in line with the above, and also some additional feedback from Mike.--Eloquence 18:50, 15 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

The site footer still says "content", which suggests that you can reuse all images under CC-BY-SA. --Tgr 19:40, 16 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Edit to media files section[edit]

I edited the "Terms for non-text media files" section. [1] Unless one wants to actually spell out the requirements more explicitly, I think using a link is better than the only partially complete "i.e." clause. Dragons flight 07:42, 14 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Also, this section might benefit from a different name. "Terms" isn't quite accurate. Maybe something like "Implementation for...", etc. Dragons flight 08:11, 14 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]


Hello. Is this text ready for translation ? Kropotkine 113 07:34, 16 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I believe so, though there hasn't yet been an official translation request that I am aware of. Dragons flight 19:06, 16 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]
The footer and edit page notices should be available in TranslateWiki shortly (they're now folded into the WikimediaMessages extension[2]) as wikimedia-copyright, wikimedia-copyrightwarning, and wikimedia-editpage-tos-summary. Once updated those localized defaults will be used on all sites configured for the new CC-BY-SA 3 setup; they'll still be customizable under the new names where local tweaks are needed. --brion 16:56, 24 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Correct names of licenses[edit]

  1. The correct name of license CC-BY-SA is "Attribution-Share Alike" in both cases (MW:WM-copyright and MW:WM-copyrightwarning), not "Attribution/Share-Alike" - we must name the license by its real name.
  2. We must clearly show the number of license (not only with the aid of URL) in both cases (not only for MW:WM-copyrightwarning), CC-BY-SA as default is 1.0, not 3.0.
  3. I suggest, if we use the full name for CC-BY-SA, we must use the full name for GFDL (GNU Free Documentation License), or vice versa.

Alex Spade 08:43, 28 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I agree with 1) and 2), though there is no legal ambiguity, it's just stylistic cleanup. We can roll this out with the next update of these messages, but I don't see any urgency; if wiki communities want to apply those changes themselves, that's fine with me.
Re: 3), that's a change that was suggested by the English Wikipedia community to reduce the amount of text in the submission form. Again, there's no legal ambiguity, and this is explained in full in the terms of use which are being referenced. I don't particularly care whether local communities spell it out or not.--Eloquence 23:09, 29 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Actually Creative Commons has used both "Attribution-Share Alike" and "Attribution-ShareAlike". The latter form, without a space, is the one on the "legal code" of the license. So one could argue that the exact name is a little ambiguous (though I don't think they have ever used "Attribution/Share-Alike" as currently shown on the implementation). Dragons flight 23:43, 29 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]
PS. If items needs to be fixed, it really should be correctly early on at the translation wiki so the translators can get it right. Dragons flight 23:45, 29 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Relicensing of media files[edit]

How will the relicensing of media files be handled? As far as I can see, only the English WP and Commons are actively reviewing and relicensing their GFDL files at the moment (haven't found any mention or interwiki-links to relicensing efforts on other projects). Due to the various relicensing criteria, languages and other differences between projects, it's unlikely that it can be done in an fully automated process by the foundation/the developers. But as far as I can tell, the individual projects weren't notified what to do with GFDL files and we only have 4 weeks left until the 1st of August. Even on big projects like the German WP, there are currently no plans to relicense the files. And many of the small projects probably don't have the necessary manpower (or, in many cases, don't care that much about licenses and copyrights). So, what can be done about this?

And another question: does "All GFDL media files that meet the eligibility requirements for relicensing will be additionally licensed as CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported beginning June 15, 2009." mean that all eligible GFDL files are automatically available under the CC-BY-SA license too following the the board resolution? Or will they only be available under the new license if they are explicitly relicensed by adding the CC-BY-SA license template to the file description page before August 1? --Kam Solusar 14:28, 28 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

We were hoping to get a sensible process in place using Enwiki and Commons as the proofing ground (and also the largest group that needs to be worked on). Some of that seems to be going okay, other bits are slow. And yes, it does need to be extended to other wikis. I would note that the global push to update site licensing terms is only just now happening for most of the wikis.
Nominally, the relicensing has occurred and already applies to the existing GFDL works meeting the criteria (whether or not they are labeled). However, to avoid ambiguity it would be good to have a template added before August 1st. Dragons flight 22:38, 29 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]
THanks for the clarification. I'll try to start a license migration project on the German WP. At the moment there are ~62,000 GFDL images on de.WP, but we have many users working on our file check project who can help with the migration.. --Kam Solusar 14:55, 3 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]

footer of all sites[edit]

Do you think it's possible to switch the 2 message lines in the footer of each page? I mean the line with "Privacy policy / About / Wikipedia Disclaimers" should be the first, followed by the license message line.
In many languages (so as German) the messages are longer then in English language, so there are ugly line feeds. You can see this at German WP-Mainpage: w:de:Wikipedia:Hauptseite for example. I think it could be a good idea just to change the order of <MediaWiki:Wikimedia-copyright> and the other line.
So in the first line there would be date and time of last page edit and the 3 links "Privacy policy / About / Wikipedia Disclaimers". In the second (and maybe 3rd) line there would be the local licens message placed in MediaWiki:Wikimedia-copyright. What do you think about? --Stepro 14:39, 1 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Link to a translation[edit]

This page says:

It's also acceptable to link to official CC translations of the 3.0 Unported license (not the jurisdictional variants)

If i understand this correctly, then to link to Hebrew cc-by-sa,

Did i get this right? --Amir E. Aharoni 17:03, 1 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Yes. The latter is not CC-BY-SA 3.0 but CC-BY-SA 2.5.--aokomoriuta 17:01, 22 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Link to "Term of Use" translation[edit]

Can we link to the translation version of Term of Use such as wmf:利用規約(ja) on 17:01, 22 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]

oops. Licensing update/Implementation#Terms of Use says "This link can be replaced with a link to a localized version when one has been created. " thanks!--aokomoriuta 17:05, 22 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]

"GFDL unversioned" in ToU[edit]

  1. What's to make of this? Does a Wikimedian license his original text under three GFDL licenses?
  2. If a community wanted to add the GFDL license text to their local ToU, which version would they have to choose?-- 20:19, 5 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]