Wikipedians to Vote on Creative Commons License Adoption

Via ars technica

The Wikimedia Foundation, the organization behind the popular Wikipedia website, has called for the project’s contributors to vote on a proposal which calls for the adoption of the Creative Commons Atribution Share-Alike (CC-By-SA) license. This change would lower the barriers for repurposing content from the Internet encyclopedia.

Wikipedia content is currently made available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL), which was devised by the Free Software Foundation to govern the distribution of technical documentation that was produced by the GNU project.

The GFDL serves most of the project’s needs, but it has some well-known flaws and limitations. It is not compatible with the GPL or any Creative Commons licenses. This weakness has largely prevented Wikipedia material from being mixed with other free culture content. The GFDL also imposes significant burdens on print distribution, which consequently reduces public accessibility of the content. The CC-By-SA license is functionally similar in intent but provides greater flexibility, clearer language, and fewer restrictions.

Voting will be open to all content contributors who have made at least 25 edits before March 15, 2009. If the proposal is supported by a majority of the voters, it will be passed to the board of trustees for approval before it is implemented. Because the board has already endorsed the proposal and it’s relatively uncontroversial in nature, it seems likely that it will be implemented.

Read the entire article here.

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