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Wikipedia's 25000 Basque articles and Creative Commons

Luistxo Fernandez 2008/04/13 08:24

Recently, I've joined the ranks of the Wikipedians. I've come to think that this project is important. Particularly, for a minority language like Basque. So I've started to edit a little bit in Basque articles, and somehow less in Spanish. Very minor anonymous edits in English, so far. But I'm a lazy editor, that's the true. However, there's more people around, so last sunday Basque Wikipedia reached its 25,000th article. Great!

I'm still trying to understand the rules and mechanisms of the Wikipedia. Regarding the licensing of its content, I received with hope the announcement of its future compatibility with Creative Commons. I need to investigate more about that. It seems that Wikipedia content might be used elsewhere with a CC-BY-SA license, but: will content produced elsewhere with CC-BY-SA be ready for direct and legitimate insertion in Wikipedia?

The rules for images in Wikimedia Commons are strict, and uploading of Flickr content is permitted in the open CC versions. This graph above shows it clearly, and it also helps to understand that ND (non-derivative) and NC (non-commercial) licensing are incompatible with free content. I am somehow disappointed with the low understanding of the NC thing among young Basque content producers: people embrace the Non-Commercial line fullheartedly, as if that meant rejecting commercialism, explotation and the trends of savage globalization. They don't realize it's just the opposite: the non-commercial prohibition is the basis of propietary software or content as dreamt by DRM zealots. It means the exclusive right to concentrate all posible benefits of knowledge creation in one point, instead of fostering the spread of wealth among everybody, everywhere. Anyway, I wonder if that model found in Commons for images is appliable to textual information at large. Or geographic information. For instance. Tagzania, OpenStreetMap or Geonames, they all have defined their info in free terms using Creative Commons; does this make their content fit for Wikipedia reuse?

We'll see. The new label that Creative Commons launched, Approved for Free Cultural Works, related to the Wikipedia announcement, is a positive step towards sheding light on the issue of licenses.

marc dio:
2008/04/14 10:21


You raise a very important issue. The incompatibilities of so called free licenses is often not well understood. I would go so far and in the case of data only call by licenses free. The implications for nc but also sa are so serious that it prohibits most real live usage. Nearly every application is sharing data in one way or the other (website, rss feed, etc) and nearly every application has data that should be protected (security, privacy, etc). This means it will be very difficult to comply with sa.


Rhys dio:
2008/04/13 18:17

Congatulations for reaching the 25,000 milestone.

I must admit that i findall the different licences confusing, but understand they must be respected. Where did you find the table, it makes it quite clear. I contribute to the Welsh Wicipedia and like to add images where possible.

Luistxo dio:
2008/04/14 11:21

Rhys: the screenshot comes from a section in Wikipedia Commons only accesible to those registered there. Regarding image use, there are different rules in different Wikipedias, as some languages are probably quite tied to the laws of a given state, but in the case of Basque, only images that are present in Wikipedia Commons can be used (there was voting on the issue, and that rule won), and for images to be there, their free licensing needs to be clear.

Marc: I hope that the process of Wikipedia/CC convergence may also give light to ShareAlike concerns.

BTW, my friends, Gaia means subject, not for URL ;-)

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Luistxo works in CodeSyntax, tweets as @Luistxo and tries to manage the automated newssite Niagarank. This Cemetery is part of a distributed multilingual blog (?!). These are the Basque and Spanish versions:

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