[uf-discuss] Re: Voluntary Public Domain declarations now enabled on the wiki

Rohit Khare khare at alumni.caltech.edu
Fri Jul 20 12:36:18 PDT 2007

Well, it's been two days since this thread began, and I wanted to  
echo back what I've heard from the discussion. [Fair warning, I've  
been flying quite a bit, and will be for the next week, so I may fall  
a bit out-of-date...]

As soon as I first edited the wiki page to describe this strategy,  
Andy reached out to me to inquire how the public-domain release  
interacted with the original 2004 copyright statement. I don't have  
any firm ideas at this point; Tantek replied to this thread by taking  
the admirable step of clarifying that as much as possible for all of  
the pages that he could, individually removing the 2004 statement  
from pages he'd edited.

However, as Ernie noted, the wiki medium arguably calls for tracking  
the contributions of *all* the contributors who modify the pages,  
above and beyond the stated "authors" of a page/spec. We're hardly  
proposing any kind of automated checking at this point, but it's an  
interesting direction for the future.

Andy's initial public reaction did take me aback, though: while he  
may be correct the PD text currently states that "unless otherwise  
stated" (because that's what was copied from Wikipedia), the intent  
is different. Perhaps we should be discussing "unless otherwise  
prohibited," for example.

More generally,though, I think volunteering in this case makes for  
better game-theory than holding back until 'everyone else' commits to  
a more open strategy first. Taking the incremental step of marking  
your profile clearly states an individual's intent and also sets the  
stage for finding out whether there *is* community consensus that the  
public-domain approach is appropriate for microformats.org -- a first  
among even remotely-standards-like efforts to my knowledge.

Migrating to  a new, clearer copyright regime will not happen  
overnight and must be done clearly and cleanly -- but it begins, I  
submit, by offering to cooperate in the construction of a new regime.  
Please consider joining in by adding the release to you user profiles  

   Rohit Khare

More information about the microformats-discuss mailing list