Talk:GNU Free Documentation License

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Apart from "no one understands it" what is the issue with GFDL? This doesn't actually say what is wrong with it. Scarlet A.pngtheist 20:02, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

There is more detail in the article. But no-one understanding it is quite enough when you're talking about reusing stuff under a copyleft license. Reusing GPL or CC by-sa stuff in accordance with the license is not onerous; but there was literally no-one who could work out with any legal confidence how to reuse GFDL in safety from a malicious author (the test of license freedom), a lot of people being nitpicking arses to Wikipedia reusers (who were then put off) because the license is so opaque. And when "no-one" includes the FSF, I think that's pretty spectacular - David Gerard (talk) 20:37, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
So yeah, I should rant a bit more (the above is not meant to actually disagree with you) - David Gerard (talk) 20:53, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
I have long thought a problem with Wikipedia is it's content is too easy to reuse. Hundreds of sites scrape WP content without citing either GFDL or WP, so even if slander, vanity articles, or obvious disinformation are removed or deleted from WP they still wind up copied all over the web with little recourse to fixing them since most of those sites don't even allow editing. Their failure to cite GFDL would at least seem to give Wikipedia some legal resource against content scrapers. Is this article saying GFDL makes it too difficult to reuse WP content and this is somehow bad? I'll also admit to not paying much attention to the GFDL vs CC debate, it smacked of one of those "who cares unless you're a lawyer" issues. Secret Squirrel (talk) 02:48, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Considering reusability is a large part of its rationale for existence, you've missed the point. The GFDL vs CC stuff is important because CC by-sa stuff is trivially reusable and the terms are easy; reusing GFDL stuff is stupidly difficult because the license is rubbish, and this is important when reuse is a large part of the rationale for the text in question - David Gerard (talk) 10:22, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Ah, but reusability on Wikipedia (or on a serious fork of Wikipedia that anyone can also edit) is the point, right? Secret Squirrel (talk) 10:26, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
No, that's part of the point. The other part is just using a photo or single article. Wikitravel went CC-by-sa because the GFDL meant a travel brochure based on their works would require three pages' worth of fine print. Printing a "reusable" GFDL photo would require three pages' worth of fine print in the newspaper next to it. Even in the case you note, no-one could work out how to do it in a way that would guard against an author on crack (and crack is in no shortage on Wikipedia), and spurious threats against reusers from annoying nerds were commonplace. (The reuser could theoretically argue common practice and that a sincere effort like everyone else did was enough, but obviously almost all just went "fuck it.") It was technically a free content licence, but in practice was all but unusable as one - David Gerard (talk) 11:20, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
So one of the big problems was/is that GFDL required printing of the entire fine print while CC also requires the logo and a link to the deeds which are stored online? That makes sense. Might be also worth gathering selected quotes from the GFDL, reading the highlights on WP is sort of proving that it is impossible to understand. Scarlet A.pngtheist 11:51, 8 August 2010 (UTC)