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[FSF] FSF Releases New Version of GNU Free Documentation License

From: Brett Smith
Subject: [FSF] FSF Releases New Version of GNU Free Documentation License
Date: Mon, 03 Nov 2008 11:13:21 -0500

## FSF Releases New Version of GNU Free Documentation License

BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Monday, November 3, 2008 -- The Free
Software Foundation (FSF) today announced the release of version 1.3
of the GNU Free Documentation License (FDL).  This version of the
license allows public wikis to relicense their FDL-covered materials
under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA) 3.0

This new permission has been added at the request of the Wikimedia
Foundation, which oversees the Wikipedia project.  The same terms are
available to any public wiki that uses materials available under the
new license.  The Wikimedia Foundation will now initiate a process of
community discussion and voting to determine whether or not to use
CC-BY-SA 3.0 as the license for Wikipedia.

"Wikis often import material from a wide variety of sources, many of
which use the CC-BY-SA license," said Brett Smith, licensing
compliance engineer at the FSF.  "Wikipedia, however, uses the GNU
FDL.  The incompatibility between these two licenses has been an
obstacle to moving material back and forth between these sites.  The
new provision of FDL version 1.3 will give Wikipedia and other wikis
another chance to choose the licensing policies they prefer."

"We are grateful to the leadership of the Free Software Foundation for
taking this important step," explained Sue Gardner, executive director
of the Wikimedia Foundation.  "In doing this, the FSF is giving the
Wikimedia community an opportunity to make a licensing decision that
honors our mutual commitment to free culture, and best supports the
mission and goals of Wikipedia and its sister projects."

Version 1.3 of the GNU FDL also adopts the license proxy and
termination clauses that are part of the GNU General Public License
version 3, released last year.  The full text of the new license,
along with more information, is available at
<>.  The text of CC-BY-SA 3.0
is available at <>.

The FSF is still accepting comments as it considers a major revision
of the license, FDL version 2.0.  More information is available at

## About the FSF

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting
computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer
programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom)
software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants --
and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread
awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of
software, and its Web sites, located at and, are an important
source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can
be made at <>. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

## About the Wikimedia Foundation


The Wikimedia Foundation Inc. is a nonprofit charitable organization
dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of
free, multilingual content, and to providing the full content of its
wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. It operates some of
the largest collaboratively-edited reference projects in the world,
including Wikipedia, one of the world's 10 most-visited websites. The
Foundation was created in 2003 by Jimmy Wales, the founder of

For a full list of projects, visit

All projects of the Wikimedia Foundation are collaboratively developed
by volunteers using the MediaWiki software. All contributions are
licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License (except Wikinews,
which is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5). This means
their content may be freely used, freely edited, freely copied and
freely redistributed subject to the restrictions of that license.

## Media Contacts

Brett Smith  
Licensing Compliance Engineer  
Free Software Foundation  
+1 (617) 542 5942 x18  


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