There aren't two principles in conflict here.

Rather, there is a proposed very major shift in mission and method. Right
now, when we say Wikimedia content is "free", we mean free to fork, reuse,
use however the viewer sees fit.

We support that objective with freely licensed content stored in free and
unencumbered formats. We support educational content on our sites so long
as it is free. Those principles are dual requirements. They are additive,
not conflicting. To be acceptable for a Wikimedia project, content must be
both within that project's educational scope and be free. If it is one but
not the other, we cannot accept it.

This proposal asks to move to a "free as in beer" model, where content will
be free to view, but not necessarily to reuse (and with the opaque license,
it may not even be possible to tell). We could choose to make that change,
but it is a major change to the founding principles of what we do.  As such
it should be discussed directly and across all projects as such a major
change, and not backdoored through a vote that is on its surface a question
about format support.

Liam said:

Or better yet... elaborate on your reasons on the RfC page. https://commons.
I think it is commendable that the WMF legal team is proposing this
discussion in such an open and honest way. It is a discussion that has been
bubbling away for a long time and it is perfectly sensible that we should
address it formally every now and then. Even if we come up with the same
answer it is important to revisit major policy decisions periodically in
case the situation has changed.

I think we can all acknowledge that this particular issue is a good example
of where two of our deeply held principles are somewhat conflicting. On the
one hand we hold firm to the idea that our purpose is to share information
as widely as possible, and on the other we also are very committed to the
principles of open source. These are both real, valid, principles and it is
important that we look at the ways that we can balance the competing
choices that these principles force upon us without pre-judging the

- Liam / Wittylama

On 16 January 2014 14:28, Brandon Harris <> wrote:

> On Jan 15, 2014, at 7:25 PM, Fajro <> wrote:
> > No.
>         I think you should probably include a reason why you feel this
> way.  A one-word answer doesn’t leave room for conversation.
> ---
> Brandon Harris, Senior Designer, Wikimedia Foundation
> Support Free Knowledge:
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