Most questions about licensing that have a relation to the GNU licenses are already answered in the extensive Frequently Asked Questions about the GNU Licenses. But almost none of the answers to such questions refer to this FAQ or just add a comment to the question saying that it is a FAQ and not worth repetition here. What people do is to answer such FAQs, often not adding anything that is not covered in the external FAQs (that happens for FAQs already answered by the FSF, OSI, and CC).

Why do we even answer such FAQs?

I do not add questions as seed questions but to highlight the fact that so fare this whole SE site contains very little original content. It mainly is a collection of information found somewhere else.

Why do we duplicate information for which there already are established sources?

  • Remember that FAQ stands fro Frequently Asked Question so sooner or later they will get asked here as well. – ratchet freak Jul 10 '15 at 13:28
  • Asked, yes. But why answer them? Why not just comment with a link= – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 13:28
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    Link only answers are bad. – ratchet freak Jul 10 '15 at 13:29
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    Oh, and whoever places a link answer shall suffer the wrath of deletion! <:) – Zizouz212 Jul 10 '15 at 13:33
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    Link only answers are bad, true. But that's not what I wrote. Why answer a question where commenting with a link is enough? – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 13:33
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    But then what's the point of having a site like this then? In many cases, the link isn't clear, it's doesn't perfectly answer in the said situation, there are many things. – Zizouz212 Jul 10 '15 at 13:35
  • "what's the point of having a site like this?" That's a very good question. What do you think is the point of this site? – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 13:36
  • The point of the site is to have a community that supports the ideas of free/libre software and open source. It's developing yes, the scope is being thrown far, but the community is vibrant. We're fine with having questions that have already been answered in these "FAQ" (note the quotations), as long as they are not a direct copy and paste question and answer. To do that brings a negative reputation on the community, and it's not acceptable. – Zizouz212 Jul 10 '15 at 13:55
  • "have a community that supports the ideas of free/libre software and open source" Would you care to answer opensource.stackexchange.com/questions/1038/… in the light of this? – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 13:56
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    This is an interesting question, and might well trigger more questions on meta. Is it better to have no commercial Q&A sites, or to make sure this existing site links from answers (trivial or complex) to those sites that appear lower down rankings? – trichoplax Jul 10 '15 at 14:31
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    I don't know what's best, but I definitely think this is something that needs discussing. – trichoplax Jul 10 '15 at 14:31
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    I think it just takes a little time and a sensitive approach, so that this can be a discussion rather than feeling like an attack and defense situation. Your approach of posting FAQ questions is giving different impressions to different people, which causes confusion. Not everyone interprets irony in the same way. I think posts like this one that state simply and clearly what needs to be discussed are probably better suited for a conversation in text, rather than the ironic ones. Otherwise we'll get weighed down in discussion about that and lose the original discussion. – trichoplax Jul 10 '15 at 14:44
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    @trichoplax I agree with all your points. Thanks for your input. – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 14:46
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    Again, you're not only getting downvotes, there are upvotes too, but you will get some downvotes. Your new question is phrased much less confrontationally but it's still asking about cancelling something which the current community has put a lot of work and emotion into. Over time with new people joining the majority of the community will be people who didn't go through the process of setting the site up, and at that point the majority community opinion may be different. – trichoplax Jul 10 '15 at 15:29
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    If you want to judge how the community feels, you could post a few answers and see which ones get upvoted and which get downvoted. Most people are going to downvote the concept of just closing the site down, but do you have any suggestions for middle ground? Alternative sites? Agreements with Stack Exchange to exclude this site from their advertising in light of its topic? Proposals for setting up a free Q&A site? – trichoplax Jul 10 '15 at 15:32

No, no, no, no, no.

FAQ's are important.

We want people to be able to search for an answer to a FAQ, and land up here. We want people to refer to us as that useful site that has all the answers.

If we don't answer FAQ's, we lose all of those.

  • "land up here" Why? Why not at FSF, GNU, OSI, CC? – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 13:10
  • Because we're here. If they want traffic, they have to get it - we can't be responsible for trying to get their traffic to them. – ArtOfCode Jul 10 '15 at 13:11
  • I remember that last week there was a discussion about reaching out to these orgs. Now you call them "they". Nice :) – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 13:13
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    @EricGärtner - yes, that's standard English grammar. I'd like you to come into chat and discuss these recent posts with us. – ArtOfCode Jul 10 '15 at 14:10
  • I am not talking about grammar. But if this site is to be taken seriously it must give credit to the organizations on whose shoulders it is trying to stand. That includes linking to them as much as possible even if this will cause this site not to be the primary SE link target. – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 14:49
  • @EricGärtner Could you come into chat please, to avoid us clogging up the comments with this discussion? – ArtOfCode Jul 10 '15 at 14:54

Under this line of thinking we might as well block anyone from answering questions which already have an answer, because the first answer must be sufficient, right?

No. The whole methodology of the SE network is that anyone can write questions and answers. Popular questions sometimes gather dozens of answers, most of which are essentially the same, but which are phrased in unique ways. Everyone gets a chance to answer each question how they want to, and then we vote on which answers are the most useful.

The official FAQs of those organisations are very useful, but how can you say that no one will ever answer a question better than they have?

  • The whole methodology of the SE network is to draw all content anybody can every think of to this network so the VC guys can get a good cut. SE as a company does not care about the company, the want to dominate the community and discussion market. And, sadly, they do. SE is doing to communities what Amazon did to book shops: Dominate by destroying the market, no matter what. – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 12:46
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    @EricGärtner It seems like you have some pre-existing beef with SE. I can respect that, not everyone has to like every website there is. But I'd suggest you let those who like the SE process continue doing so without tearing them down. To your credit I'm not seeing you do that anywhere on the main site, just here on Meta, but still, Meta should be a place of constructive criticism. – curiousdannii Jul 10 '15 at 12:50
  • Meta is a place for discussion. The main site is not about Free Software or Open Source. It does not have the problem this site haves: How can a community that claims to honour values like Freedom use a proprietary platform that is destroying communities elsewhere by drawing all attention? – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 12:56
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    @EricGärtner On the contrary, the Free Software movement has always been about redeeming unjust things like copyright law. The FSF can't reform copyright law, so they'll voluntarily use licenses to protect their works for the future. Making the most of proprietary websites seems to fit right in to me. – curiousdannii Jul 10 '15 at 12:58
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    And please. Destroying communities?!? Where's your evidence for that. This is a website with 280 questions and 593 users. It's an insignificant and miniscule part of the internet. – curiousdannii Jul 10 '15 at 13:00
  • duckduckgo.com/?q=how+to+upgrade+gpl even now returns my copied question on position three, the original FAQ is way down. That's what is happening: search engines link to SE just because it is big. – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 13:08
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    @EricGärtner I can't see any page from this site in those search results. I don't normally use DDG, maybe it depends on your region? – curiousdannii Jul 10 '15 at 13:45
  • Maybe, yes. My general point is that, no matter what you search about programming, you get tons of SO links and almost no links to other resources. SE is dominating and it is expanding quickly. I don't like this because diversity suffers. – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 13:48
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    @EricGärtner Sure. I can understand that. But don't be deconstructive to this site because SO gets the top search results. – curiousdannii Jul 10 '15 at 13:51
  • I try to bring to the attention of this site that this is a problem. If there is any site in the whole SE network that should care about a proprietary platform dominating Q&A for Free Software and Open Source projects then it is this site. – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 13:54
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    @EricGärtner But SO's search engine dominance has nothing to do with its proprietaryness! Wikipedia dominants too, but it is free software. Sorry, but your arguments don't work for me. – curiousdannii Jul 10 '15 at 13:59
  • The goals of WP and SE are different. WP is a non-profit organization to benefit many while SE is a VC funded company for the financial profit of few. WP is in the spirit of Free Software, SE is not. – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 14:30
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    @EricGärtner Your point being? WP and SE are different; we're not discussing the goals of either company; we're just here to provide answers to questions. If those are FAQs, so be it - we can still be helpful to them. – ArtOfCode Jul 10 '15 at 14:33
  • We are all here to generate content so that people land here after doing a web search and SE can sell ads shown to that. – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 14:37

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