2009-04-20

Anarchopedia changed its license

First of all, anarchists don't care about licenses. Because of that, one month of discussion and voting didn't pass with a lot of discussions. Actually, some of the most active members of the community didn't discuss and didn't vote. I didn't vote, too, but it is because I didn't want to influence others.

At the beginning I thought that we have the next options:
  • Stay at GFDL
  • Switch to Wikipedia licensing
  • Switch to Wikipedia licensing with a possibility of importing GFDL texts
  • Switch to the straight dual licensing
  • Switch to the straight dual licensing with a possibility to import GFDL and CC-BY-SA texts
  • Switch to CC-BY-SA
Actually, my mind is so strong inside of the licensing issues that I totally forgot that there are a couple of other options. (I have to think about this problem.)

So, I was thinking that the best option is to switch to the straight dual licensing, while Wikipedia-like licensing would be the most pragmatic approach. (However, again, even two community members voted for the straight dual licensing, I didn't express my opinion.)

But, fortunately, there are anarchists inside of the community :) and we've got the option "Switch to multiple licensing / public domain". At the first moment, I didn't understand that, so I said that this solution is not possible. However, in brief, this proposal is about per-page licensing, as well as that Anarchopedia by default realizes its content under the public domain or attribution-only terms (depending of jurisdiction).

We had a clause that we'll switch our licensing just in case if Wikimedia community switch its licensing. However, during the discussion, it became obviously that the most of the community is willing to change the licensing terms.

The conclusion of the decision making process is:
  • Anarchopedia used the right described inside of the GNU Free Documentation License 1.3 to release its content under CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported license, too.
  • Anarchopedia is switching to per page licensing, which may include any acceptably licensed material for the work based on wiki system.
  • License change is valid since April 22nd, 2009, no matter what Wikimedia community would decide. Almost all of the participants expressed will to switch the licensing terms no matter what Wikimedia community would decide.
  • If not stated opposite at the page, all contributions by editors of Anarchopedia are under public domain (for Anglo-Saxon jurisdictions) or under attribution-only terms (for Continental jurisdictions).
  • As previous conditions will be valid for all Anarchopedia content, any editor of the content may mark article which he or she previously edited as licensed under GFDL and CC-BY-SA.
  • Any editor may mark her or his new content as licensed under any acceptable license if it is not in collision with previously declared per page license.
Acceptable licensing terms by preference for Anarchopedia are:
  • Public domain / attribution-only (depending of jurisdiction). This is Anarchopedia default. If you don't put any license template at article in which you contributed, article will be published under those conditions.
  • Attribution-only forced. We may use and create content explicitly licensed under attribution-only terms of use or under some license which defines it. Such licenses are, for example, CC-BY, GNU Lesser General Public License and BSD Revised License.
  • Copyleft license. Examples of copyleft licenses are GNU Free Documentation License, Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License, GNU General Public License and so on. In brief, such licensing allows any kind of usage, distribution and modification of the content while the content stays under the same license.
  • Solidarity terms. "Solidarity terms" mean that the content may be used just by a particular group related to anarchists and Anarchopedia. We may adopt materials which may be used just by anarchists, socialists, anti-authoritarians and so on.
  • Non-commercial attribution-only licenses. We may use non-commercial content as Anarchopedia is not a commercial project. The example for such licenses is Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License.
  • Non-commercial share-alike licenses. We may use this type of licenses, too. The example of such licenses is Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike license.
  • Anarchopedia only. This is the bottom of the sum of acceptable licenses.
All interested persons may join us in discussion about the final form of the terms of use of the content at the page License.

And a couple of my personal notes:
  • Anarchists are not a part of the free culture movement. Free culture is defined by licenses and licenses are the part of state system.
  • I even think that "free culture" term is an oxymoronic one. There is no free culture. Every culture defines its own rules, which is lowering freedom. Of course, I am not against culture, but I, simply, think that "free culture" is a similar phrase to "free prison". There are no such things.
  • Yes, it is better to have non-proprietary knowledge than proprietary knowledge. As well as capitalism is better than feudalism or slavery. However, licensed knowledge and capitalism are just far away of anarchist political positions.
  • And, inside of current social organization I think that the best option for one anarchist project is to choose the most pragmatic one.

1 comment:

SJ said...

Free culture is NOT defined by licenses. If there is any consensus on this, a good chunk of free culture fanatics need to find a better name for their movement and goals. The replacement of copyright with more sensible social norms for sharing is an important part of sharing culture.

> - I even think that "free culture" term is an oxymoronic one. There is no
> free culture. Every culture defines its own rules, which is lowering
> freedom. Of course, I am not against culture, but I, simply, think that
> "free culture" is a similar phrase to "free prison". There are no such
> things.

I think it's oxymoronic for the opposite reason - there is no rational way to impose 'rules' on culture, which is by definition a set of things freely and implicitly shared... it is like "free thinking", as though anything but a nightmare could prevent thoughts from being free.


> - Yes, it is better to have non-proprietary knowledge than proprietary
> knowledge. As well as capitalism is better than feudalism or slavery.
> However, licensed knowledge and capitalism are just far away of anarchist
> political positions.

you can come up with toy universes and cultures in which any obscure or counterproductive system looks 'locally better'. I think this is a much more practical discussion than 'political positions of a social group'. What is the best way to ensure that almost all factual knowledge is available at almost no cost in almost all circumstances to almost everyone in the world? This is a practical question that enough info and reflection would allow us to answer, in any given year.

> - And, inside of current social organization I think that the best option
> for one anarchist project is to choose the most pragmatic one.

Sounds reasonable to me.

SJ