May 1, 2009  ·  Lessig


As I pleaded before, if you’re a Wikipedian (and if you’re not, you should be), and you’ve made more than 25 edits, then you are entitled to vote on whether Wikipedia should be relicensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license (BY-SA).

If you are entitled, then please vote to make free culture interoperable. Voting ends May 3. That’s like minutes from now.

Read more about it here. Vote here.

  • Gregory Kohs

    I’m sorry, but I don’t understand how person A creates content and releases it under the terms of a specific license, but then persons B, C, and D can come along, have a “vote”, then decide that person A’s work is going to be re-licensed under new terms.

    Not only does that sound illegal to me, but immoral.

  • lessig

    @Kohs: The license A created content under explicitly allowed for relicensing under subsequent versions of that license. The current version of the GFDL permit (in some cases) relicensing under the (effectively equivalent) CC-BY-SA.

  • normalityrelief

    Done. I’m so pleased to hear this is something that’s even on the table. Of course, I suppose just being pleased that it’s being considered is an indication of how I tend to see the popularity of free culture…I sincerely hope I’m wrong.

  • Steve Baba

    I thought in the Wikipedia (fantasy) world, VOTING IS EVIL and the great gurus reach consensus with a neutral point of view.

    If you were really into FREE culture, you would put it in the public domain so anyone could use it for commercial books/pamphlets/websites… , but “free” culture is really mandatory zero pay (socialism) culture.

    And I would suggest wasting your time on some other multiplayer game than the game of Wikipedia, where you don’t confuse reality with fantasy.

  • Steve Baba

    on Book TV, the author of:

    The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World’s Greatest Encyclopedia

    expressed highly negative views of the process where someone (Lessig?) set up the process (Change from license A to B, with terms of B designed to allow license C).

    I don’t know or care enough about the details of each license, but having Wikipedia show license on each page would benefit CC, and Lesig has an interest.

  • Steve Baba

    and kids, it’s true that Wikipedians are “A Bunch of Nobodies” and I would suggest you find someone else to hang out with. True, Wikipedian nobodies are better than gang members or drug addicts, but you can do better.

  • Gregory Kohs

    @Lessig: You say, “The license A created content under explicitly allowed for relicensing under subsequent versions of that license.”

    The license that applied to content created by Person A said: “Such new versions will be similar in spirit to the present version…” I have deep doubts about whether a CC license is “similar in spirit” to the GFDL license. I guess the argument here is just how thick is the weave of wool that’s being pulled over Person A’s eyes.

  • Taran Rampersad

    Had my main system not crashed some days ago, I probably would have responded in time.

    You know, the idea of Wikipedia and use of the Creative Commons license makes a lot of sense – it’s something I’ve advocated quite a bit in the past. But the truth is that the content licensing is really the least of Wikipedia’s problems: The administrative bias makes the licensing moot for anyone who doesn’t agree with the administrative bias. While copyright and Law have their place in Culture – a point that you make adamantly at almost every turn – Culture isn’t just electronic, and grandfathering in CultureS to the electronic age requires a level of thinking that transcends Wikipedia’s administration. They’re hardly representative of the international community.

    Thus, years ago, I stopped editing. And years later, I don’t care too much about what happens to Wikipedia – but what I do care about is the rewriting of Cultures under a license which is grossly more effective. Because of that, I would have voted against Creative Commons use on Wikipedia: Making something biased even more viral is a slight to cultures around the world – even Wikipedia culture. But they haven’t figured that out yet. By the time they do, it may be too late.