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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Assistants Using Wikipedia

A conversation at Wikipediocracy discusses how personal assistants like Alexa, Google Home and Siri use and attribute (or not)  knowledge from the Wikipedia.   Back to the complicated world of licenses and copyrights.   Was also re-introduced to the considerable undercurrent of WP authors complaining about how their work is used.

1 comment:

Gregory Kohs said...

Franz, there has been a long history at Wikipedia of the authors getting "screwed over" (in a sense) by the site owners at the Wikimedia Foundation. For example, Wikipedia content used to be housed under a "GNU Free Documentation License". It was a loose and open license for re-use purposes, but a bit more restrictive about giving named attribution. Then the Wikimedia Foundation (namely, Jimmy Wales) wanted to be associated with an even looser license at the even-cooler organization, Creative Commons. They asked Wikipedian to "vote" on whether they wanted to port the GFDL over to the CC-by-SA, and while 90% agreed with the move, 10% did not. The licensing rights of those 10% were simply shat upon by the Wikimedia Foundation, the license was switched against the objectors' permission, and they were told "if it bothers you so much, you can go back and delete any content that you wrote for Wikipedia, but someone else will probably just reinsert it, and when it gets reinserted now, it will be under the new CC-by-SA license". The WMF had a whole big party with booze and music to celebrate this with Larry Lessig and the Creative Commons folks. Jimbo and Larry sang "I've Got You, Babe" together. For those whose license rights had been trampled by a "majority vote", it was not a beautiful celebration.