On Mon, Jul 20, 2015 at 5:46 PM, Brad Jorsch (Anomie) <bjor...@wikimedia.org
> wrote:
<snip>

> Since when has that ever been a thing? With respect to licenses such as CC,
> we follow the same rules as anyone else.
>

Not really.  Commons actually recommends that an explicit credit line
accompany CC BY images, which is something that Wikipedia doesn't do in
articles.  See below.


> If the description here is accurate, it sounds to me like this harald
> bischoff should be blocked and possibly have his files deleted as
> incorrectly licensed (since he apparently doesn't accept the usual
> interpretation of CC BY), unless he publicly renounces the behavior of
> suing reusers. But I'll leave that to Commons and dewiki to work out.
>

Commons' own guidance to reusers [1][2][3] recommends including an explicit
credit line alongside CC BY images, e.g.

"You must attribute the work to the author(s), and when re-using the work
or distributing it, you must mention the license terms or a link to
them..."
"[R]eusers must attribute the work by providing a credit line"

And recommends credit lines of the form:  "John Doe / CC-BY-SA-3.0", with
an included link to the license.

As I understand it, Harald sent a demand letter to a reuser who failed to
mention his name and the license.  In other words, he demanded compensation
from a reuser who failed to do precisely the things that Commons actually
says that CC BY image reusers are supposed to do.  While I agree that
Harald's actions are not friendly, it is also hard for me to get behind the
notion of punishing someone for demanding that reusers due the things that
Commons actually recommends that they do.  His behavior is either A) a
mean-spirited attempt to extract money from unexpecting people by fighting
against the spirit of the license, or B) a vigorous defense of his rights
under the license.  And I'm not really sure which.  Suppose,
hypothetically, that Harald actually sued someone (as opposed to just
sending demand letters) and the courts actually agreed that the 3.0 license
requires that reusers provide a credit line (not an impossible outcome).
Would that change how we viewed his behavior?

CC BY 4.0 explicitly says that a link to a page with attribution and
license terms is sufficient, but prior to 4.0 it isn't clear whether such a
link actually compiles with the license.  There has been enough recurring
doubt over the issue that CC decided to explicitly address the linking
issue in the 4.0 version.  Wikipedia behaves as if merely linking to an
attribution page is always okay, but Commons' advice to reusers seems to be
written with the perspective that it might not be.  (I don't know the
history of the Commons pages, so I'm not really sure of the community's
thinking here.)

I do think there is something of a problem that Wikipedia models a behavior
(i.e. linking) that is different from what Commons recommends (i.e. credit
lines).

-Robert Rohde

[1]
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Reusing_content_outside_Wikimedia
[2]
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Reusing_content_outside_Wikimedia/licenses
[3] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Credit_line
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