Barbara Page, a Wikipedia Visiting Scholar and Wikipedian in Residence at
the University of Pittsburgh, has written a blog post for Wikipediocracy
about how the Amazon Echo's Alexa assistant reads out Wikipedia articles in
response to queries. This includes queries that do not specifically ask for
What's the deal with the CC licence here?
To quote from the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
Licence identified at the bottom of each English Wikipedia page,
If You Distribute, or Publicly Perform the Work or any Adaptations or
Collections, *You must,* unless a request has been made pursuant to Section
4(a), *keep intact all copyright notices for the Work and provide,
reasonable to the medium or means You are utilizing: (i) the name of the
Original Author (or pseudonym, if applicable) if supplied, and/or if the
Original Author and/or Licensor designate another party or parties (e.g., a
sponsor institute, publishing entity, journal) for attribution
("Attribution Parties") in Licensor's copyright notice, terms of service or
by other reasonable means, the name of such party or parties; (ii) the
title of the Work if supplied; (iii) to the extent reasonably practicable,
the URI, if any, that Licensor specifies to be associated with the Work,
unless such URI does not refer to the copyright notice or licensing
information for the Work*; and (iv) , consistent with Section 3(b), in the
case of an Adaptation, a credit identifying the use of the Work in the
Adaptation (e.g., "French translation of the Work by Original Author," or
"Screenplay based on original Work by Original Author").
Some similar services preface their Wikipedia readings with "According to
Wikipedia, ..." This is at least a minimum amount of attribution. While I
am not a legal expert, I guess it could be construed as an attempt to
comply with the "reasonable to the medium or means" passage above. It also
tells the user where the information comes from, which is useful from the
standpoint of transparency.
But the Amazon Echo appears to include no attribution whatsoever when
providing Wikipedia-based answers. On the face of it, this would seem to
violate the terms of the Creative Commons licence (as well as obscuring the
origin of the information provided). Am I missing something?
Has this ever been the subject of discussions, agreements or understandings
between Amazon and WMF?
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