Talk:GNU Free Documentation License 1.3

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Notes[edit]

This is the GNU Free Documentation License. The license requires the posting of this license.--Dmilewski 10:57, 14 February 2007 (MST)

Updating[edit]

Discussion moved from Talk:Main Page#Site nominated for an Award and Discussion:Updating and Understanding D&D Wiki's License. --Badger 13:01, 28 August 2011 (MDT) and --Green Dragon 13:53, 11 September 2011 (MDT)

As this debate has spilled across numerous other pages, that are not necessarily meant for it - I've decided to try to keep all talks on one page. First, to assist everyone in understanding the license we currently have, I am providing a direct quote, which is about Wikipedia (a project we model our licensing and policies after), and it is in regards to when a poster contributes original material (which is what most of our stuff is):

"...you own the copyright to the material, for instance because you produced it yourself...", begins the section - then it breaks away for a moment for other possible contributors (which are not related to our userbase - though it fits our OGL stuff - which is already properly acknowledged) and continues "In the first case, you retain copyright to your materials. You can later republish and relicense them in any way you like."

Now, most of our user base understands this. But let me put it simply: the legal authorities state that if you created the homebrew content, when you license it here you still retain full rights, and may re-license it any way you wish. However, do be aware that "...you can never retract licensing for the versions you placed here." This is why, after the former site split - content the authors created was allowed to be moved, but not deleted from here. It was legally appropriate for both forks. Anyways, with that in mind hopefully we can all move past the "other sites are breaking the law/license" fallacy.

Now, I propose that we update our license, as is legally allowed, to GNU's most up to date license release - with an understanding that we will continually update it should GNU create a newer license. The guys behind these licenses are experts in their field, more so than any of us - and if they release a new one, we should take heed. Especially since they keep wikis in mind when creating them. --  Hooper   talk    contribs    email   08:53, 27 August 2011 (MDT)

Support I agree with Hooper's suggestion, not only because this would solve far more problems than it would create, but also because of the later point made: GNU FDL, no matter which version, is understood by it's creators far better than any other individual or entity. If they seek to update/improve/upgrade the license, then we would do well to consider doing so, as well, because let's face it: If the creator's of the license can improve on it, then we can benefit from the newer, improved license, instead of the older, obsolete and apparently flawed license. That's just simple rational procedure.
The benefit of doing so is simply made more visible by recent issues and discussions, of which, this upgrade will also alleviate. --Jwguy10:16, 27 August 2011 (MDT)
Support I support the notion of updating our license. However, more to the point, if we're smart about it, we'll only have to update it once, but always have the best protection. GNU FDL allows you to license your content under v1.2 or most recent version. If we were to have added that line, we'd currently be licensed under 1.3, and we'd up upgraded to 2.0 when that releases. I support licensing us under GNU FDL v1.3 or most recent, because the upgrade from 1.2 to 1.3 was designed specifically for wikis, and we will constantly be getting the most recent (and therefore best) version of their licenses.
I'll be completely honest, I don't like having this debate. From my participation in the last 20 incarnations of this discussion you might get the impression I enjoy fighting about licenses, but I'd much rather be arguing about the balance of the latest class that was added, or how to write mechanics for water-bending. I'd love to just settle this, and then let D&D wiki be about D&D. That's why I come here anyway. --Badger 12:34, 27 August 2011 (MDT)
This is comparable to a stub article trying to define something which is already well defined. This is blunt, however to continue this discussion an understanding of workings must be present. This does not show this. When I say workings I mean it in the loosest broadest sense encompassing multiple areas and procedures and I do not mean working. Think abstract, think about this and get back to D&D Wiki when this is "correct" in all workings. Such a discussion will not be defined by something with a lack of knowledge.
I will not comment unless this is done correctly. If someone starts a "fight" (for a lack of a better term), I will not respond. This is not because I do not case, however because such a discussion will not be defined by something with a lack of knowledge.
I will comment when something (or somethings, depending) are done correctly. Of course you have no need for my comments in this matter. My reasoning is because I understand things can be difficult to do correctly for many people. --Green Dragon 21:31, 27 August 2011 (MDT)
GD, with all due respect, your comment above is very vague, and hard to follow. This text has been removed as it is not civil. Please see the warning below and/or the Warning Policy. You are not getting your message across clearly. In the debt collection industry we have a term called the "least sophisticated individual." What this means is that we must always speak extremely clearly and use low-education wording and phrases to make sure that our point is understood by the person we are speaking to. With the acknowledgement that it may seem like you're having to "talk down," could you please restate what you just said above in a more clear and concise manner so that the rest of the site may be able to follow what you are trying to say. Please try to refrain from vagueness. Keep in mind that whatever it is you are referring to above as "already well defined" is obviously not as the entire rest of the user base doesn't understand your stance. --  Hooper   talk    contribs    email   21:54, 27 August 2011 (MDT)
[1] (etiquette: argue facts, not personalities, be civil) (2:1). Issued on 11:41, 28 August 2011 (MDT) --Green Dragon 11:41, 28 August 2011 (MDT).
This I will elaborate on as it is a new aspect of the discussion. I call it "a disregarding of status quo". You (and debt people) can call it whatever you want to. --Green Dragon 22:07, 27 August 2011 (MDT)
We're just trying to have a civil discourse here, there is no need to be rude. Are you openly stating that, regardless of the feelings of the user base (i.e. if we hold a vote and everyone but you votes for updating the license) that it will not be updated? The user base deserves to know what we're getting into - whether or not this type of a decision will truly be collaborative or not. I apologize if running the site on the back-end is tasking on you. We just wish to make that easier. --  Hooper   talk    contribs    email   22:10, 27 August 2011 (MDT)
I have a problem with your statements, Green Dragon. I can, and will always say, that while I can be direct and somewhat cold, even if I do not think I've had to do so, yet, I always attempt to place my respects where they are due, and to garner an understanding for the opposing argument. I have tried to do that with you, this time, as well, even to the point where I can somewhat understand your conflict regarding the license issue. With that said, I am going to continue:
"This is comparable to a stub article trying to define something which is already well defined. This is blunt, however to continue this discussion an understanding of workings must be present. This does not show this."
This discussion is regarding an upgrade to GNU FDL 1.3; I can assure you that at least I understand the terms of that license, and I have faith that Hooper and Badger do, as well, given their involvement. We're not trying to define the license; You 'might' be referring to the discussion on the main talk page regarding the various interpretations of GNU FDL 1.2. As I understand it, that's done. We're talking about moving on, and getting rid of 1.2 for 1.3, a license that will completely absolve that problem. This is completely communicated in Hooper's individual post.
I can only see three explanations regarding saying this: Either 1) You made a mistake interpreting main purpose of this discussion. 2) You have a disagreement regarding the second and third paragraphs of the original statement, in which case, I would ask that instead of just saying the equivalent of 'You don't know what you're talking about' and getting nowhere, that you abide by your own advice; Do this 'correctly', by pointing out, quoting if necessary, what you have a problem with, and clearly explaining why you believe it is incorrect. Granted, this is an extraneous argument regarding the proposal to upgrade to 1.3, but at least explain your ideas and assertions instead of just blatantly writing off our own as 'wrong'. That, I must say, is incredibly rude. 3) That you are simply trying to discredit the argument or proposal. I would like to believe that you are not that petty.
"When I say workings I mean it in the loosest broadest sense encompassing multiple areas and procedures and I do not mean working. Think abstract, think about this and get back to D&D Wiki when this is "correct" in all workings. Such a discussion will not be defined by something with a lack of knowledge."
Please, Please, Please refrain from saying one thing, and meaning something else. If you have to instruct us to temporarily change the definition of a word to understand what you are trying to say, then I hate to be the guy to say this, but you 'need' to use a more correct word, in the first place. I'm not going to think loose, broad, or encompassing just so your argument will seem 'more right', and I'm not going to refrain from discussion simply because I don't see things as you do. That's the whole point of a discussion. Be strong, be bold, and be simple, and help us chisel out a straightforward understanding among each other, and submit a contribution to the discussion, not an opinion that seemingly only has purpose to try to invalidate everyone else's. Discussion, Arguments, Conflict, for whatever term you will use to describe the clashing of ideals and perceptions, are the keys to knowledge and understanding. Never was there a greater teacher, about your opposition or about yourself, than that of conflict. Speak simply, and learn with us, and we might just have a better wiki for it.
"I will not comment unless this is done correctly. If someone starts a "fight" (for a lack of a better term), I will not respond. This is not because I do not case, however because such a discussion will not be defined by something with a lack of knowledge."
This isn't a fight. It's a disagreement. If you liken the two by a looser definition, specifically, that of conflict of any kind, then I will allot you that definition. That said, if you are going to invalidate all opposing arguments simply because they oppose your viewpoint, I advise you to think carefully about what kind of precedent you will be setting, and what the point of discussions are, even, if all of this is null and void next to your seemingly supreme view of things. That is what I am interpreting the statement above as. The argument holds no other suggestion, condemnation, or support for the current issue and proposal, and instead appears as a simplistic, indirect dismissal of this discussions' participants' thoughts on the matter.
I mean nothing in malice, but as I said above, I will be direct, and I will use this as a discussion should be used: I will clash against your arguments, to attempt to decimate it, while fortifying my own, in the pursuit of a singular truth. I will do so with regards to rules of etiquette, and I will always allow good faith to reign over my argument, but I will challenge the possibility, and you, if you allow the possibility to become fact. This is an example. I now argue with you, as the opposition. I invite you to argue to provide rebuttal, though that goes without saying, nor does it require the invitation. It is, however, my formal declaration of good faith preceding the arguments that are likely to follow.
"I will comment when something (or somethings, depending) are done correctly. Of course you have no need for my comments in this matter. My reasoning is because I understand things can be difficult to do correctly for many people."
I do, and I believe that the discussion also does, need a comment from you. The comment is more of a reply, however. If this discussion, and all it's participants, or at least the distinct majority of the participants, does agree that the upgrading from GNU FDL v1.2 to GNU FDL v1.3 is the best course of action for this wiki, will you comply?
I do not begrudge you your opinion. If you think it's silly, unnecessary, or without reason, I do not blame you. The point is, however, I am asking you that if the active user-base thinks differently, will you willingly put aside your opposition in favor of letting this democratic process prevail? I don't ask that you back down, and I don't ask that you discard your opinion, and believe that we're all right, and that you're completely wrong... but I ask if you'll respect the collective decision and assist in it's implementation? If not, then there is no reason for this discussion under such tyranny. --Jwguy 07:56, 28 August 2011 (MDT)
"loosest broadest sense encompassing multiple areas" may also mean show an understanding of workings. What is a working? For example, and here is some instruction, is this "discussion" format correct? Why should anything regarding the GNU Free Documentation License 1.3 (hint) happen here?
I don't want to give instruction. I don't care. You should understand wiki enough to do it correctly, so it can be discussed correctly. --Green Dragon 10:54, 28 August 2011 (MDT)
This text has been removed as it is not civil. Please see the warning below and/or the Warning Policy. The discussion should happen here as it is very wide-effecting. If there was a subcommittee creating a new license update proposal, it would be appropriate to have it on the GNU talk page. However, since we model our site off wikipedia, why not have a discussion like they do - on a single central location? Now, if you could just please answer the question: are you willing to let the democratic process prevail, or have you already decided against updating and are not open to collaboration? --  Hooper   talk    contribs    email   11:17, 28 August 2011 (MDT)
[2] (etiquette: do not make misrepresentations) (3:1). Issued on 11:41, 28 August 2011 (MDT) --Green Dragon 11:41, 28 August 2011 (MDT).
"Have a D&D question you need answered? Not completely sure about something in D&D? Confused about certain rules?" applies so well... Wikis work in certain ways. If you care about wiki it would be done right. Logical. --Green Dragon 11:41, 28 August 2011 (MDT)
Alright, GD. We've moved the discussion here. Now that we're in the right place, would you mind answering Hooper's question? Are you willing to let the democratic process prevail, or have you already decided against updating the license and are not open to collaboration? --Badger 13:01, 28 August 2011 (MDT)
Another answered topic is that this discussion is unreadable in its current state. See also Help:Talk Pages. --Green Dragon 16:46, 28 August 2011 (MDT)
You've had no trouble reading and contributing up to this point. Are you going to make me reformat everyone's comments to get an answer out of you? --Badger 16:48, 28 August 2011 (MDT)

→Reverted indentation to one colon

It shows an understanding and caring of wiki and how D&D Wiki works. There still is more to do, of course. It must be farily intuitive. --Green Dragon 17:14, 28 August 2011 (MDT)
What? What shows an understanding of how D&D wiki works? What more is there to do? What has to be intuitive? Ok, what I would like you to do is make a list of all the hoops we're going to have to jump through before we can have an honest discussion, and a vote. I'm going to tell you right now that there is no active user on this wiki, except maybe you, that understands and cares more about wikis and D&D wiki than I do. --Badger 17:20, 28 August 2011 (MDT)
It may show the understanding of how the wiki works, as you say, but the fact that you continue to dodge the question and are forcing the community to jump through hoops is degrading, not only to this wiki, but also to your own reputation. Under a level of triviality and, dare I say it, stubbornness, this wiki cannot help but be doomed. I've asked you to assume the mantle of a leader, and to do as a leader would do; Accept the views of your community, or at least what remains of it, and answer one, simple question: Will you allow this democratic process to prevail, regardless of the outcome? Honestly, I feel that your behavior is beginning to resemble a level of uncooperative nature that we will simply be forced to wait until it is out of your hands, though I won't say what that means.
Is this no longer a wiki? Where the collective of editors believe in majority consensus on issues of controversy? Is this your last gasp in authoritarian style, struggling to reign in and impose obstacles on people simply because they disagree with you? You claim so much importance in all these trivialities and simple necessities in order for you to even acknowledge this argument, and yet you don't care enough to implement them yourself, or even take our arguments in good faith, the key ideals of wikis everywhere? Instead, you appear purposefully avoid the question, avoid the argument, and seem to imply, by actions and statements, that a vote we carry out would have no meaning to you. I am sorry to say, but if that is how you will operate, then I cannot say that I can respect you as an administrator. This issue will resolve itself, in time, and for the better, likely with or without you. I am sorry that you do not seem to be interested in participating in a manner befitting that of this website. Jwguy 17:58, 28 August 2011 (MDT)
I would answer, however this has already been answered. This question I will answer on Meta Pages as it was very loosely defined before. As I was saying something which shows an understanding of D&D Wiki is a must. Should anyone get people to do what they want just because they are human? A level of irrelevancy exists, and it must in wikis.
It's answers like these annoy people. Can anyone read Consensus? Does anyone care? Has anyone looked into this? Why do I have to explain this. If leaders did this (for example) Obama would have zero time away from answering irrelevant letters. --Green Dragon 19:06, 28 August 2011 (MDT)
Alright. I know all about consensus. I was raised Quaker; Consensus is our thing. First thing we've got to do is have everyone simply and clearly state what their feelings are with the current situation. Don't speak for anyone else, and don't make references to other's opinions. After we all discuss our opinions, we go around and cite facts (in this case, in the forms of links) that cover everyone's problems with the current situation, and potential solutions. I'll start:
I feel that the current license (v1.2) is inadequate for our needs, and a new license (v1.3) would be better suited for our needs. There are special sections of v1.3 that are designed for multi-user websites, like our wiki. I feel that an upgrade would better suit the wiki in the long term, and would cut down on a number of arguments we have been having.
Who would like to go next? Remember, we're just stating our opinions right now, so no talking about other people or their opinions, just your own feelings. Don't even say things like "I disagree/agree with ____" as that isn't the point of consensus. If someone has already voiced the same opinion as you, you may remain quiet. Consensus is assumed when there's no evidence of disagreement. You are free to re-join the discussion at any point, of course, if you feel you have something more to add. --Badger 21:58, 28 August 2011 (MDT)
I feel that the current license is adequate. 1.3 was designed (as far as I can tell) for Wikipedia's desire to multi-licesne everything. I feel that making things simpler rather then confusing is better for users. I also understand that licensing situations are as easy as applying a template to fix (for compliance with the current licesne; if that is what is being discussed). Like Template:OGL Top, Template:OGL Bottom, Template:Copyright Disclaimer, and Template:Cc-by-nc-sa. Saying there is a problem adding templates for compliance issues is like saying there is a problem with editing.
I would also appreciate if the entire discussion was moved (that which relates here from where it was started) as well as pags which are leftover are removed. --Green Dragon 19:00, 29 August 2011 (MDT)
Alright. If anyone else has anything they'd like to add, feel free to do so. If no one has anything else to add, at this time tomorrow we should begin to provide links to better explain our problems, as well as our solutions. If anyone is, for any reason, unable to add to this conversation, I'm sure they can think of a way to get their voice heard. Like I said, we'll start addressing complaints this time tomorrow (naturally, we can push this back if we feel we need more time on this first step, as it is perhaps the most important). --Badger 19:09, 29 August 2011 (MDT)
With permission, I am adding the below text on behalf of Hooper:
"I personally believe that GNU 1.3 is best for D&D Wiki's future. This is because it was specifically designed to close previous gaps between CC-BY-SA and 1.2. I believe that expecting users to intuitively know to post a template on their FIRST edit to a page they want licensed outside GNU is not realistic, as we can't even get most novice users to understand our basic naming identifiers and tags. This means that our current template situation is actually more complicated.
Additionally, GNU 1.3 exemptions were made specifically for collaborative projects - like wikis. Additionally, some of the text in the GNU 1.3 is more clearly written (instead of in "legalese") and will help solidify the correct understanding of author's rights to all our members." --  Hooper   talk    contribs    email   19:28, 29 August 2011 (MDT)
Truly, I believe that progressing towards GNU FDL 1.3 would be in the best interest for the wiki. This is because the 1.3 license is the improved and revised form of GNU FDL 1.2, the site's current license, which is currently obsolete. It is my personal opinion that our duties regarding the upkeep and maintenance of this site extend to our license. Even if it were only symbolic, the upgrade is necessary because lack of vigilance and proper administration, especially on such important, legal issues, must be avoided.
The license provides even more reason than simple vigilance, as well. v1.2 has a notable history of conflict, involving this site and many others; It was because of this reason that it was further revised and appended into what is now GNU FDL v1.3. The current revision was designed for wikis and similar projects, and therefore it addresses many of the issues that were present under v1.2, such as compatibility with other licenses, and a welcomed transition to more plain speak, which, while subjective in terms of significance, is something I believe will lead to far less conflicting interpretations in the future. Perhaps most of all, the exemptions present that deal with projects like this very wiki, present the greatest benefit to our community and its cohesion. Jwguy 21:21, 29 August 2011 (MDT)
The changes can be seen here. I change my stance.
Why not?
Simplicity, yes, will be harmed a bit. We must implement a policy on Meta Pages that content it licensed as it is. If someone desires to change the licensing they must do it at the creation of the page or request it (or something). A little more confusion, but it should be fine. --Green Dragon 19:34, 30 August 2011 (MDT)
Simplicity could be maintained if we were willing to have all content be dual-licensed under GNU-FDL v1.3 as well as CC-BY-SA (which, if I'm not mistaken, is how Wikipedia does it). That way pretty much everything would be covered. We could put a note at the bottom of the edit window (where current copyright information is) that says "if you choose to license this under additional, fewer, or different licenses, please see an administrator before uploading your content. Most people would probably be fine with this and allow dual-licensing. It would be the best way to help people license their content under another license. If you would prefer, we could dedicate an particluar admin to handle licensing arrangements on top of their other duties(and I would be more than willing to handle this). We could work out what licenses were ok, and how to go about licensing things, and then it'd be as easy as having a user leave a message to an admin that says "I would like to license my content under licenses 1, 2, 4 and 5", and one of us could swoop in and add the correct templates to the page. --Badger 20:02, 30 August 2011 (MDT)
This text has been removed as it is not civil. Please see the warning below and/or the Warning Policy.
  1. It would be close to admitting that licensing is up to the author, not the website owner, which is COMPLETELY incorrect. By posting this, for example, I have given away all rights for what I have produced and cannot claim any intellectual ownership for my ideas.
This text has been removed as it is not civil. Please see the warning below and/or the Warning Policy.
In summary, I hope you all rethink your stance on this licence change. Please. Think of the lulz to be had. --Aarnott 20:17, 30 August 2011 (MDT)
[3] (direct rudeness: personal attacks, rudeness, belittling) (1:1). Issued on Green Dragon --Green Dragon 20:39, 30 August 2011 (MDT).
Please read the diff.
"You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Document except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute it is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License."
The other point of interest to this... whatever... is
"An MMC is "eligible for relicensing" if it is licensed under this License, and if all works that were first published under this License somewhere other than this MMC, and subsequently incorporated in whole or in part into the MMC, (1) had no cover texts or invariant sections, and (2) were thus incorporated prior to November 1, 2008."
No, things are licensed. This has been discussed multiple times and every major website says the same thing. An internet myth is not correct because of your desires. --Green Dragon 20:39, 30 August 2011 (MDT)

→Reverted indentation to one colon

I agree. Things licensed they are. We have multiple times gone over this discussion of major websites. The internet myth is what I'm saying.
"An MMC is "eligible for relicensing" if it is licensed under this License, and if all works that were first published under this License somewhere other than this MMC, and subsequently incorporated in whole or in part into the MMC, (1) had no cover texts or invariant sections, and (2) were thus incorporated prior to November 1, 2008."
means that we can't relicense anything after November 1, 2008. The same page is great to be on. My desires are the same as yours. Maybe my point wasn't enough clear. --Aarnott 20:44, 30 August 2011 (MDT)
It also means that a website must be "under this License". Make sense? --Green Dragon 20:54, 30 August 2011 (MDT)
Honestly, Green Dragon, I was just posting to cause a ruckus. This text has been removed as it is not civil. Please see the warning below and/or the Warning Policy. I don't agree with your understanding of the licensing, nor does it seem that your community does. Now, putting aside my immaturity, I think the reasonable thing to do would be to listen to your community on a big issue like this one. You treat them with respect, and they will continue treating you with respect. This text has been removed as it is not civil. Please see the warning below and/or the Warning Policy. --Aarnott 21:07, 30 August 2011 (MDT)
[4] (direct rudeness: belittling, personal attacks) (2:1). Issued on 21:15, 30 August 2011 (MDT) --Green Dragon 21:15, 30 August 2011 (MDT).
There is so such thing as "your community". We are all free (or at least live within our social constraints), thank you very much.
I could care less who thinks what about what. I will do as it is done. I'll listen to reasonableness. I don't care if it comes from God or a bacteria (you get the idea). --Green Dragon 21:15, 30 August 2011 (MDT)
Getting back to the point, what do you think of my suggestion above? --Badger 13:44, 1 September 2011 (MDT)
I agree that that we need a policy detailing licensing. However, I do not feel that we need to dual license anything. What is wrong with one license? Why make more things more confusing? It's not like one license is great and the other is not. They both (basically) allow the same things. Why do as Wikipedia does? Who cares? --Green Dragon 18:37, 1 September 2011 (MDT)
I merely suggested it because, as far as I know, we follow Wikipedia's policy where we can. Since we're considering a license update, we could easily dual-license, like they do. As for who cares, well, I prefer CC-BY-SA to v1.3, but I figured the switch from v1.2 to v1.3 would be easier for everyone involved. The CC-BY-SA people have a really nice website that explains everything super clearly. That's why I prefer it. But, of course, that's just my opinion. GNU FDL v1.3 is a fine license in its own right. --Badger 18:50, 1 September 2011 (MDT)
Wikipedia's policy is not Wikipedia's licensing. The beauty of v1.3 is that one can re-license it later under the CC-BY-SA. One must not license it as they desire at the pages creation. So, with this in mind, why should D&D Wiki dual license? We should keep things simple and if someone wants to license it differently (even later for the CC-BY-SA) they may. I am also of the mind that one should read the license if they care (not trust a link). --Green Dragon 19:20, 1 September 2011 (MDT)
You're completely right, of course. We can dual-license anything we want under CC-BY-SA should the need arise, so there is not any particular need to dual-license everything. I just thought that automatically dual-licensing everything would create more simplicity because then no one would need to learn how to dual-license, as it would have been done automatically. However, if that is likely to be a small percentage of cases, I suppose we don't need to. Reading and understanding the license we used (whatever license that ends up being) is of course, important. However, the people in charge of CC-BY-SA have created simple to understand pages that make it so anyone can easily understand the license, and there is no confusion (as you surely must admit is common with our current arrangement). --Badger 22:01, 1 September 2011 (MDT)
I don't think we can relicense anything. See also Meta Pages#Mediations. --Green Dragon 14:35, 11 September 2011 (MDT)
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