In December 2007, the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation formally decided to ask the Free Software Foundation, which administers the GNU Free Documentation License under which Wikipedia is distributed, to release a new version of the license which will allow Wikimedia to switch its content to the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike license (CC-BY-SA). The underlying motivation of this change is that CC-BY-SA is an easier-to-use license granting the same essential freedoms as the GFDL. It is also more widely used by other educational projects, and switching the license would allow Wikimedia wikis to freely share content with those projects.
We’re very pleased that the Free Software Foundation has today released version 1.3 of the GNU Free Documentation License which implements this requested change. Next, the Wikimedia Foundation will organize a community wide referendum to decide whether existing GFDL wikis should be made availabe under the terms of the CC-BY-SA license.
We are deeply grateful to the Free Software Foundation for making this change. I’ve posted a more in-depth summary of what it means on the Wikimedia Foundation mailing list, and an energetic discussion on the topic has already begun. We will post more details on this topic soon.
- Free Software Foundation FAQ on the FDL 1.3 release
- Creative Commons blog entry on the FDL 1.3 by CC VP Mike Linksvayer
- Blog entry on the FDL 1.3 by Creative Commons founder Larry Lessig