There's a fallacy going on here - ie a term with two subtly different
meanings.

The community - who are the ones ultimately "making the gift" do so
altruistically, in the sense of not seeking *compensation*, but that's not
the same as not expecting *consideration*. We do expect consideration.
Attribution (CC-by-SA/GFDL) is one form of consideration. The offer of this
knowledge by editors has quite specific terms that we expect to be met in
return by the world at large, which is the meaning of consideration.

The offer of that knowledge, and its gifting, also doesn't imply *
indifference*. This is more subtle, and arises because we aren't donating
our time and effort into a void. We are donating as a result of, and often
to benefit, things we believe in, such as helping others or free
knowledge.  There is an implied expectation (by some, perhaps not by
others) that it will be treated with respect and used to further humanity.

This kind of expectation isn't contractual, but it's there anyway. It's the
same kind of expectation that says you would probably be upset , if you
spend a week trying to find something as a special gift for me, and I
respond by flushing it down the toilet and saying "well you gave it to me
so why are you upset what I do with my property?" It might be legally true,
perhaps technically true, but it's certainly not socially and perhaps not
morally true.

We donate time, effort and sometimes money, and we are not indifferent to
whether those are supporting things we believe in. We donate for free
knowledge and humanity, and do so because we care about free knowledge and
humanity. Sometimes we say *"Look, we care about these things enough that
we put this effort in, you care enough to support and appreciate us putting
this effort in, so please listen when we say that something is harming the
ecosystem within which that effort is placed"*. That is completely ethical
and appropriate; no less than a wildlife volunteer who cares for dolphins
pointing out things that harm dolphins or any other ecosystem that one
might care for and try to support by nurturing it over time. Very few
people throw sustained effort or money into a vacuum without any care
whether it grows or dies.


FT2


On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 2:28 AM, Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com> wrote:

> For the record, I did not endorse the SOPA blackout, and I deeply resent my
> work in Wikipedia being leveraged to that political end.
>
> And I deeply resent Jimbo's statements to the BBC today*, about how "We
> gave you Wikipedia and we didn't have to, and so you might want to listen
> to what we have to tell you".
>
> A gift is either made altruistically, without strings attached, or it
> isn't. To claim selfless, altruistic purpose and then demand consideration
> in return for what has been given is disgusting.
>
>
> * http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-19104494
>
>
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