On Tue, Dec 22, 2015 at 6:15 PM, Pete Forsyth <petefors...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Dec 22, 2015 at 9:37 AM, geni <geni...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > On 22 December 2015 at 12:27, Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > It's surely not beyond human skill to devise a licence for Wikidata
> that
> > > requires re-users to include the three words above on their website,
> > while
> > > placing no other duties or restrictions on them.
> >
> > You appear to be suggesting a homebrew license
> +1


As I understand it, people here have raised the objection that in order to
follow the letter of CC BY-SA, re-users would have to list all
contributors, the way some of the Wikipedia-based books do for example. I
think we all agree that this would be completely impractical for something
like a Knowledge Graph box, and not in the end user's interest.

What would make sense is the sort of attribution Bing uses today to credit
Freebase and Wikipedia.

Anyone wishing to argue that CC BY-SA requires all re-users to list all
contributors has to realise that if that were true, Google, Bing and others
infringe Wikipedia's CC BY-SA licence billions of times a year.

As I've said before, I'm pretty sure that if you were to take them to court
for not listing all the contributors who participated in creating the
snippets and timelines they display in their SERPs' Knowledge
Graph/Snapshot boxes, you would not prevail.

As I understand it, the CC BY-SA licence only requires attribution that is
"reasonable to the medium or means You are utilizing". I think a court
would agree that given the inherent space limitations, Google and Bing are
being "reasonable" by providing a link to the Wikipedia article they're
excerpting, and providing no more attribution than that.

Do you disagree? Is anyone arguing that Google are in fact breaking CC
BY-SA by restricting their attribution to a link to Wikipedia? Because if
not, we can lay that one to rest.

Now, if that works for Wikipedia, why can't we have the same for Wikidata?

> Requiring that reusers credit the *web site* would be new in the Wikimedia
> world, and I don't see the advantage.

The advantage is transparency about data provenance, as well as creating a
path to Wikidata where users can contest, correct and refine the

This is a benefit to the end user, and in line with Foundation values like
transparency and user engagement. Do you disagree?

> Certainly, serious reusers who wish
> to establish credibility should be transparent about the source of their
> data;

I have never seen Google credit Freebase (Bing does, probably because
Freebase is a Google property), and I think neither Google nor Bing will
credit Wikidata either.

> but it's not our proper role to compel them to do so.

Could you explain why in your view it is not out proper role to do so?

> Attribution requirements in CC licenses are about crediting the *copyright
> holders*.
> Andreas, I realize this has been much discussed in this thread, but I don't
> think I've seen this angle addressed directly: In order for any copyright
> license to apply, somebody has to hold the copyright. Who do you imagine
> has a legitimate claim to copyright over the emergent database that grows
> as multiple individuals and automated processes add individual,
> non-copyrightable claims/statements/facts?



From a legal perspective, a database is any organized collection of
materials — hard copy or electronic — that permits a user to search for and
access individual pieces of information contained within the materials. No
database software, as a programmer would understand it, is necessary. In
the US, for example, Black’s Law Dictionary defines a database as a
"compilation of information arranged in a systematic way and offering a
means of finding specific elements it contains, often today by electronic
may be protected by US copyright law as "compilations."* In the EU,
databases are protected by the Database Directive
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Database_Directive>, which defines a
database as "a collection of independent works, data or other materials
arranged in a systematic or methodical way and individually accessible by
electronic or other means."


So according to that page, created by Wikimedia legal staff, databases may
be protected even by US copyright law as "compilations". In the EU (is
Wikidata currently based in the EU, given that it's a Wikimedia Deutschland
project?) the protections are still more stringent. As I understand it, the
community as a whole holds the copyright, but you'd have to check with
Foundation legal staff or some other lawyer to be sure.

Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 

Reply via email to