Fantastic news from the Free Software Foundation which has just announced that the latest draft (v.1.3) of the GNU Free Documentation will strive to address problems with license interoperability by allowing users to switch to a CC-BY-SA license:

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 license.

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.”

See also the announcements from Mike Linksvayer and from Lawrence Lessig!

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Dr. Jonathan Gray is Lecturer in Critical Infrastructure Studies at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, where he is currently writing a book on data worlds. He is also Cofounder of the Public Data Lab; and Research Associate at the Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam) and the médialab (Sciences Po, Paris). More about his work can be found at and he tweets at @jwyg.