In a much-awaited move, the non-profit Citizendium (http://www.citizendium.org/) encyclopedia project announced that it has adopted the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-by-sa) as the license for its own original collaborative content. The license permits anyone to copy and redevelop the thousands of articles that the Citizendium has created within its successful first year.
The license allows the Citizendium to join the large informal club of free resources associated especially with Creative Commons and the Free Software Foundation. Wikipedia uses the FSF’s GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL), which is expected to be made fully compatible with CC-by-sa in coming months. Therefore, Wikipedia and the Citizendium will be able to exchange content easily. A minority of Citizendium articles started life on Wikipedia and so have been available under the GFDL.
Avoiding a Balkanisation of the digital content commons through incompatible licences is critically important.
22 December 2007