Wikipedia chooses Creative Commons

Big news from the Wikimedia Foundation, the governing body of Wikipedia. The Board of Trustees has announced that Wikipedia will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike licence (BY-SA). This is a huge step for Wikipedia, and follows an unprecedented governance exercise by the Wikipedia community, where 88% of an impressive 17,000 contributors decided to changed the publishing licence from the GNU Free Documentation License to CC.

This may seem like a minor point of interest only to licensing geeks like Yours Truly, but it has huge implications for the open content movement. Firstly, it cements CC-BY-SA as the open licence of choice for open content, and makes it the closest thing to the GPL in the content environment. Secondly, it reinforces Creative Commons in the eyes of the free community, as this licence complies with most of the definitions of openness and freedom out there. Thirdly, I believe that this will serve to establish Creative Commons as the de facto standard in open licensing, as Wikipedia was the largest project not to have adopted it.

Great news for those who beleive in the goals of Creative Commons.

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