Proposal talk:Allow CSL licensing for Wikibooks

From Strategic Planning

Hell no

I have read the license terms and as far as I can tell this license means each work has an owner who get most of the money and the readers get the right to pay.

As a reader I can't give copies away.

If I work on wikibooks to improve the book then the owner gets to take my contributions and put them into a new edition of the book and he has no obligation to share the new edition with wikibooks.
That is not what I want for Wikibooks. I believe it is important that

  1. works on wikimedia sites can be shared with anybody.
  2. anybody can take our works and create new improved works provided they share those improvements.

I do not believe this license satisfies those requirements and so I will oppose using this license on wikimedia projects. Filceolaire 15:34, 12 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Who gets "most of the money" is the charity. The CSL comes in different versions but the standard version reserves about 90% for charity, hence the name. Of course it would be easy to create a variant that demands 100% of the revenues for charity (after tax and production costs). --Fasten (Wikinews: Aktion Deutschland Hilft asks for donations after the earthquake in Indonesia) 18:46, 12 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]
If your proposal is that the editors of a wikibook can get together and agree that a book should be licensed under this license, as well as the GFDL aand CC-BY-SA then I have no objection and in fact this is perfectly possible under the current system. Of course they must all agree which charity will get the book revenue then all they have to do is put a note on each of their User pages confirming that.
I am not sure what the benefit would be since the charity could republish WP content under the CC-BY-SA license instead. This would let the charity keep 100% of the revenue, instead of 90% under the CSL, and wouldn't need permission from anyone. Filceolaire 11:43, 7 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
The idea is that authors with a financial motivation may improve the works beyond the quality found on Wikibooks. If you say that Wikibooks can reach the best commercial quality without that additional motivation you may be right but that is probably not generally true, even if some Wikibooks may not require the additional motivation. Improved works could also be sold as ebooks, which would not be possible if they were available for free (under the CC-BY-SA license) - people wouldn't buy them or would buy them much less often. --Fasten 17:05, 7 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

To make thinks clear

I have looked into CSL website for checking that exactly does it mean and see The intent of the license is to offer an alternative to open source software as specified by the OSI open source definition with the aim to generate revenue for charity. Software licensed under the CSL can be made available in source code but there is no obligation to do so. Looks very much like BSD. Wikipedia is not a software but likely the proposal is still about relicensing Wikipedia more weakly, allowing improved versions that do not share the content back. Depending on beliefs this may be seen as good or not so good thing, just it is important for all to know that is the talk about. In Apache have happened several times that after making profit companies return the code to the community voluntary, likely because they want it "to grow more" there; then they can continue to develop it closed again. In other cases companies donate big pieces of code to start active projects as they do not easily emerge on empty place (and if they do, they then tend to choose GPL). However I do not know how universal this experience is and can we expect something similar here. AudriusA 08:00, 25 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I haven't really considered relicensing Wikipedia at all. The CSL could be applied to Wikibooks. The situation is different here because books are usually developed by a much smaller group of authors who might agree on a different license more easily. This is possible today, only the Wikimedia Foundation does nothing to promote it. What I recommend is to allow authors to make that decision by putting a CSL license tag on their own work. --Fasten 19:23, 27 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]
This has nothing to do with the BSD license. The BSD license allows commercial entities to make use of the software to generate revenue for themselves. The CSL requires that a large share of the revenues goes to charity. That is a difference. --Fasten 19:23, 27 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]


"Privatization" of Wikipedia will raise further the negative attitude of people who actually believe that strong GPL - like copyleft is a good thing. There are people who were not so happy even with the Creative Commons license switch. These people also contribute to Wikipedia because they philosophy asks them to do so. It is important to know if they will continue to contribute to some "public domain" project instead. AudriusA 08:27, 25 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Again: I was only talking about applying the license to selected Wikibooks, not to Wikipedia. Wikibooks do have smaller authoring groups who theoretically could make the very same decisions outside Wikibooks and relicense their work because they retain the copyright and do not grant exclusive publishing rights to the Wikimedia Foundation. All I'm recommending is that a group of authors can put a CSL license tag on their own work and allow publication under the CSL in order to raise money for charity. This has nothing to do with "Public Domain"; the CSL is a license that requires the licensee to pay. Some of the revenues could, of course, be used to support the Wikimedia Foundation. --Fasten 19:30, 27 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]


If someone wants to multi-license his contributions with a non-free license, he can do it on his user page or through other means, if they are created, which fit for any license, not necessarily a particular non-free(?) license. --AVRS 21:25, 26 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

So what you recommend is that
  • all licenses should be treated the same
  • authors should deal with licensing issues on their user page unless other means are created?
Why should all licenses receive the same treatment. The Wikimedia Foundation has a strong preference for Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike and GFDL. The rationale is to allow more people access to knowledge.
Unicef has a very similar goal but requires funding. It would be reasonable to decide that improved versions of some Wikibooks could be useful to generate revenue that can be donated to Unicef without disturbing the goal to publish Wikibooks for free. That would be a rationale for endorsing CSL. What would be the rationale to endorse any other licensing scheme? --Fasten 19:41, 27 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Do you mean all Wikibooks projects, German Wikibooks only, or particular books or contributions in Wikibooks if their authors choose to do so? If it's the latter, who needs to allow that but the authors themselves (see below)? If somebody does not want to bi-license with CSL, he should simply make a fork of the book in Wikibooks, right?
If authors can add any free license to their list of licenses, there is little technical reason for not allowing non-free licenses in that list (like with these templates at Commons).
--AVRS 14:33, 31 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]
So your recommendation is "Just do it"? I prefer to discuss it here, which could lead to a more general solution or answer to the issue. I also do think that your conclusion is a bit shaky because the Terms of Use do not indicate that Wikimedia projects appreciate arbitrary additional licenses for text that may not be in line with the primary goals of the project — the licenses for pictures on Commons are an entirely different matter and they are not additional licenses.
To answer your questions:
  • Particular books where the authors agree to that license (but possibly on all language Wikibooks).
  • Forking a book is not necessary; later authors can remove the additional license without removing the license from the older version. --Fasten 17:32, 31 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]


That was not really a recommendation (which at that point would be something like: one could put a template like "This book is multi-licensed under the CSL. If you do not want to license it under the CSL, here is the fork without the multi-license."), but more of a question of who is supposed to allow it, how is it different from multi-licensing with other licenses. Is this proposal to endorse the use of CSL?
What is an "additional license"? Why is a non-free license used {for an image at Commons} together with a free one but not allowed as the only license not additional?
Do you mean {the authors of a book / a Wikibooks project / Wikimedia} kindly asking the people who are {editing / going to edit} a book to license it under CSL? So if one of the editors refuses, the new versions of the book are "simply" not under CSL anymore?
What about unregistered users' contributions? I think something like public domain is one of the least controversial licenses for facilitated multi-licensing, but it might undermine the copyleft more than a non-free license would: Proposal:A quick and easy way to release all rights to a contribution for anonymous users
--AVRS 19:15, 31 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]
You appear to have a blind spot when it comes to the purpose of the proposal (It was "#Unicef has a very similar goal").
To answer your questions:
  • How is it different from multi-licensing with other licenses?
    • There are no strict rules for multi-licensing on Wikibooks I'm aware of but the only licenses that are commonly used for text are Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0 and GFDL. It is different to multi-licensing with free licenses because it is not a free license and thus not part of the free culture movement.
  • What is an "additional license"? ...
    • I'm not aware of dual-licensing on Commons with non-free licenses. I'm not aware of non-free licenses on Commons at all. An additional license is a license that is not the only license.
  • So if one of the editors refuses, the new versions of the book are "simply" not under CSL anymore?
    • That is correct. Editors who wanted to maintain a CSL-dual-licensed branch would be able to do so, of course. Who would have to create the branch is a minor issue.
  • What about unregistered users' contributions?
    • Unregistered users who contribute to multi-licensed content make their contribution available under all licenses the content is licensed under. Unregistered users can remove a dual-licensing template if they choose to. (This is my understanding and not a position of any Wikimedia project.) --Fasten 19:49, 31 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • Proposal:A quick and easy way to release all rights to a contribution for anonymous users ?
Thank you for clarifying the scope of the proposed multi-licensing. Now I see it is not compulsory for the participants of Wikibooks.
On the non-free licenses at Commons, this link I've mentioned above shows templates like Cc-by-nc-sa-2.0-dual, GFDL or cc-by-nc-sa, GFDL or cc-by-nc-sa/2.5, GFDL-CC-triple. That's allowed at Commons.
What is the goal of Unicef? If this, I do not understand well how it is "very similar", and I do not think it is similar enough to make WMF endorse CSL (not that the proposal is to endorse it).
The mission of Unicef is, among other things, to build schools and to promote universal primary education. If you do not agree that this aspect is very similar then you may have to think about the mission statement of the Wikimedia Foundation. The CSL is meant to allow supporting Unicef but it doesn't require it. The recipient of donations could also be the Wikimedia Foundation itself or other charities. --Fasten 16:59, 7 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
While wmf:Vision does not explicitly mention free licensing, wmf:Mission statement ("which aims to be a more realistic description of the status quo"), wmf:Bylaws#ARTICLE II - STATEMENT OF PURPOSE, wmf:Values all do.
From what I have understood about CSL so far, it, at least directly, would lead to more non-free content not compatible with the free content.
Is it allowed to compile and use a CSL-licensed work without buying it from a Licensor? olpc:CSL#Source_distribution
That question is related to software (not every reader may understand that from the context). Yes, you can compile a source tree licensed under the open source variant of the CSL without buying it but you end up with a software product for which you need a license. --Fasten 17:22, 7 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I do not recommend anything in this message.
--AVRS 22:08, 31 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

You can already do this


There is no reason you cannot do this already - however I hope nobody is stupid enough to re-use content (whether onsite or offsite) under the CSL license when CC-by-sa is available (and must be available). The CSL is a non-free license which imposes restrictions on re-use which the Wikimedia community rejects. Anyone may reuse any of our content for any purpose including commercial use provided they give attribution and use the same license for derivatives. Given that, why should anyone choose CSL? Mike.lifeguard | @meta 02:10, 15 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

A core idea of the proposal was to generate revenue (See: "#Unicef has a very similar goal"). Generating revenue with ebooks that can be freely copied is tricky. --Fasten 10:25, 15 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I understand what the intent was, but that doesn't mean it'll work (or is a good idea).  — Mike.lifeguard | @meta 17:43, 1 February 2010 (UTC)[reply]