We will need to do a search to determine if we have other images from
this site as well. The error was due to the assumption that if it is
on the Nasa site, and is a picture from space, it is in the public
In my opinion, NASA ought not to enter into roundabout deals like this,
----- Forwarded message from "Customer.Support" <customer.support(a)orbimage.com> -----
From: "Customer.Support" <customer.support(a)orbimage.com>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 16:51:27 -0400
Subject: Illegal Use of SeaWiFS / OrbView-2 imagery
Dear Mr. Wales:
It has come to our attention that our SeaWiFS (OrbView-2) imagery is
being used on your website located at:
<http://www.greeklandscapes.com/maps/satellite.html> and that you
claim that "This image has been released into the public domain by the
copy right holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for
copyright. This applies worldwide."
Please note that ORBIMAGE is the copyright holder of the image, it has
not been released into the copyright domain, and the copyright has not
expired. The SeaWiFS program is a partnership between ORBIMAGE and NASA
by which all operational and commercial use is coordinated and purchased
through ORBIMAGE. NASA has the right to use OrbView-2 imagery for
research and educational purposes.
A license or permission from ORBIMAGE is required to use our imagery
outside of NASA's researchers' use. Additionally, a statement crediting
ORBIMAGE and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is required with all
SeaWiFS imagery. To this end, it is our belief that the imagery is
being illegally used on your website.
Since our records do not indicate that a license was issued to
Wikipedia, you must remove the imagery from your website immediately or
contact our Support Department for a licensing quote.
Your immediate response to customer.support(a)orbimage.com is required.
ORBIMAGE Support Services
Phone: (703) 480-7539
Fax: (703) 450-9570
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----- End forwarded message -----
"La nÃ¨fle est un fruit." - first words of 50,000th article on fr.wikipedia.org
>wanker lawyers. Remove the images and tell them that we will never use
>them / give them credit again.
I don't think this is helpful. They have every right to inform us that
we a violating their copyright.
I think this just means that, if a particular satellite image reveals
important military information, the government is allowed to keep it
secret -- instead of being REQUIRED BY LAW to make it public, i.e.,
reveal it to enemies.
I really doubt that the typical "map showing my house" or "aerial view
of my community" is in any jeopardy.
It's like the GPS satellites, I guess: a high-grade signal for navy
ships and infantry teams -- with a degraded signal for commuters and
A former soldier
For more than 90% of articles, there have been no reversion wars. The
latest version is accurate, uncontroversial and fairly well
spell-checked & copy-edited.
Of the remaining 10% of articles, there are some subjects which would
benefit from some sort of approval marking system. Still, I hope for
these that we will include the 'development version' along with any
'approved' versions in Wikipedia 1.0 print or DVD publications.
For that fraction of 1% which are highly controversial, approval marking
is not really an issue. No academic or cleric has sufficient authority
to settle the hottest disputes of our times.
So let's concentrate on putting into effect a system which will boost
consumer acceptance of 90% to 99% of our articles. Librarians aren't
warning students against our global warming or Invasion of Iraq articles
-- or at least we don't care much if they do. But it would be nice if
our math and physics articles, as well as our non-controversial history
and biology articles, could get some respect.
Who has thought about this a lot, while reading Snow, Mayer, et al.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Michael Snow [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2004 1:29 AM
> To: wikien-l(a)Wikipedia.org
> Subject: [WikiEN-l] Re: Why Academics are Useful to Wikipedia
> Daniel Mayer wrote:
> >--- Geoff Burling <llywrch(a)agora.rdrop.com> wrote:
> >>Last time I ventured my two cents concerning the print
> Wikipedia, the
> >>response I got led me to conlcude that there was no support for
> >>forking Wikipedia even in the slightest to make the content more
> >>acceptible -- which is what any approval board would end up doing.
> >>Then the project seemed to go into hibernation. Then it
> seemed that a
> >>group was working on it. Now it appears we are back to
> discussing what
> >>should be done.
> >What? How do you come to that conclusion? There *will* be no fork at
> >*all* - the only thing that will be done is selecting one
> version of an
> >article that is approved in some way. Any future approved
> version would
> >be based on the development version (that is, a regular Wikipedia
> >article which would be in perpetual development), not the
> last stable
> If we adopt a formal approval system, the idea that all
> future approved
> versions will be based on development versions, rather than the last
> approved "stable" version, sounds naively idealistic to me.
> Even without
> an approval system, this is already not the case on some of our more
> contentious articles. When changes are not agreed on quickly,
> one side
> or the other, and sometimes both, may adopt the tactic of
> reverting back
> to an earlier version of which it "approves". However, since
> the sides
> generally do not approve of the same version, the dispute
> continues and
> often results in a revert war.
> Any system that marks a particular revision as "approved" or "stable"
> will inherently increase the temptation to blindly revert
> changes back
> to the "stable" revision, instead of trying to work with
> those changes
> and improve the article. This is already a problem in some places and
> among some editors (no names, this is not an invitation for
> finger-pointing). If we want to implement a system that lets
> people flag
> specific article revisions, let's at least be aware of the possible
> downsides to this as well.
> --Michael Snow
Let's not confuse goal with method (or ends with means): I don't agree
that the goal is "a great, neutral encyclopedia".
Rather, the goal is a "a great, free encyclopedia" and the METHOD OF
* to let anyone, anytime, edit any article; and,
* not to take sides on controversial issues
Either of these primary methods can be set aside, if it interferes with
the GOAL. We restrict some contributors (via bans) or some articles (via
'protection'). And as consensus develops on shared values we might even
set aside the restriction on taking sides.
For example, regarding [[terrorism]] the consensus is that it is "bad"
(in an absolute moral sense) to shoot children in the back as they run
away from gunmen who have taken over their school. Of course, we don't
say, "Those evil men murdered the children", because a matter of policy
we are writing the [[Beslan school massacre]] article with NPOV. But if
no one raised a significant objection, we *could* call it evil.
Our official mandate from Jimbo is the philosophy of WikiLove: i.e.,
consideration for others. In our dealings with one another on this
mailing list, it's mandatory: be nice, or be elsewhere (violators have
This dovetails with the Unification Church idea of "living for the sake
of others"; it's also consistent with the church's official definition
of Good as "benefiting others" and Evil as "taking advantage of another
for one's own benefit".
It's possible that Wikipedia could one day adopt an absolute value
perspective based on these ideas -- and STILL be "a great, free
> Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2004 14:38:59 -0700 (PDT)
> From: Robert <rkscience100(a)yahoo.com>
> Jens Ropers wirtes:
>> The only thing I am lobbying you all against is
>> that we (a) make degrees a requirement of some sort
>> at any stage in the process
> I would agree with this.
>> (b) and/or automatically value input from an academic
>> more than input from a non-academic. I still think
>> it is obvious (to me anyway) that ''most'' of the
>> time academics will prevail with their views.
>> ''But they will do so '''based on the merit of what
>> they say'' and NOT based on the recognition of their
> I would agree with this as well. I do feel that someone
> who spent four years in college and an additional two years
> earning a master, or an additional three to seven years
> earning a Ph.D. is much more likely to be worth listening
> to. Wikipedia contributors, myself included, are a
> self-selected bunch of Internet-advocates. Some of us are
> very much worth listening to, while some are not.
Did you notice that I said "AGAINST"??
>> The only thing I am lobbying you all against
Because unless you misread me I cannot understand how you can reply as
above and agree with me??
A very confused
-- Jens [[User:Ropers|Ropers]]
On 14 Sep 2004, at 06:34, wikien-l-request(a)Wikipedia.org wrote:
> Message: 3
> Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2004 18:47:09 -0400
> From: Delirium <delirium(a)hackish.org>
> A minimally cheap newly built computer system these days can be easily
> had for under $500
Which is COMPLETELY out of reach for probably well over 90% of the
world population. They just can't spare $500. Nevermind electricity
re:A future for Nupedia? Academic degrees have real
Jens Ropers wirtes:
> The only thing I am lobbying you all against is
> that we (a) make degrees a requirement of some sort
> at any stage in the process
I would agree with this.
> (b) and/or automatically value input from an academic
> more than input from a non-academic. I still think
> it is obvious (to me anyway) that ''most'' of the
> time academics will prevail with their views.
> ''But they will do so '''based on the merit of what
> they say'' and NOT based on the recognition of their
I would agree with this as well. I do feel that someone
who spent four years in college and an additional two years
earning a master, or an additional three to seven years
earning a Ph.D. is much more likely to be worth listening
to. Wikipedia contributors, myself included, are a
self-selected bunch of Internet-advocates. Some of us are
very much worth listening to, while some are not.
Interestingly, our qualifications change while we are
writing. I know more now about cladograms and the
evolution of reptiles than I knew two years ago. What I
would have written two or more years ago probably would
have been misleading, incomplete or totally wrong. What I
have written in the last year, in contrast, is pretty much
up to snuff (That is, AFAIK.)
Having an expert or two on a particular subject adds quite
a bit, because they can correct oversights on points we
aren't even cognizant of!
> Currently, no contributor is allowed to argue: "But I am
> a senior professor of quantum dynamics, so I win and you
> shut up!" It is VERY important that this remains so.
Well, this depends on the case. If someone is saying that
multiple theories on quantum dynamics exist, and our
reviewer favors one theory, then Jen is correct: Such an
argument by a reviewer would be invalid. Even Ph.D.s have
to follow our NPOV policy. At best they could say "Most
physicists accept Prof. Simon's formulation of QED, while a
small minority accept Prof. Timov's forumlation of QED."
No Wikipedia contributor can speak "ex cathredra".
However, a a Ph.D. in this subject can and should say "so I
win and you shut up" when dealing with someone who is
trying to write stuff like "I am a self-taught PHYSICIST,
and I have discovered that QUANTUM MECHANICS is NOT real,
and my theory is being SURPRESSED by the intellectual
elite. My theory, on my WEB PAGE for $25, should have equal
mention in this article!!!" Statements that clearly and
obviously erroneous, or crank views held by a tiny
population (often a population of one!) do not need mention
in our articles.
IOW, I agree with Jen's concerns. As I currently understand
it, our standard NPOV policy should prevent the abuses that
she is correctly concerned about.
I�m astounded by people who want to "know" the universe when it�s hard enough to find your way around Chinatown. - Woody Allen
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I've watched this topic get debated endlessly here, & I feel some
contributors misunderstand the importance of having academics (i.e.,
people with advanced degrees in their fields who also either teach
or publish) contribute to Wikipedia. As with any resource, asking
Academics to contribute has its weaknesses & strengths:
* Training or certification does not mean they are infallible in
judgement. There have been countless examples of an academic
abusing his or her authority to furtherher/his view, at the cost
of delaying the advancement of human knowledge. (Ec & I mentioned
2 some months ago in this maillist: the delay in translating Mayan
writing, & the publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls.) And anyone
who has attended college probably can recite examples of various
professors asserting as incontrovertible truth apalling howlers
of judgement. (I could quote a few myself, but that would likely
lead to OT arguments.)
* Arrogance. By the fact they have arrived at the end of a long
road of training, academics tend to be prima donnas; some handle it
better than others. I feel this is one reason that some academics
have problems dealing with the Internet. It's not so much that they
have to respond to every objection -- even if it comes from a crank,
a child, or someone quoting an out-of-date textbook -- but that
when an Internet group works, it is because its members only care
for accuracy & correctness & are equally harsh on anyone who
violates these terms whether they are a tenured professor, a crank,
a child, or someone quoting an out-of-date textbook.
* Careerism. It's an open secret that competition for academic
posts is fierce, if not vicious. And if a person knows that she/he is
not the brightest & best in a gvien field, there is a temptation
to compromise standards. Instead of Wikipedia receiving the benefit
ofexpert knowledge, it may instead be victimized by someone only
seeking to advance a career.
* Their training or education is systematic, which means they usually
know what they don't know. Self-educated people frequently don't
realize that, despite their deep amount of knowledge, that what the
holes in their nkowledge are.
* By teaching or publishing papers, they confront the problem of
communicating the subject. They have dealt with the problem of explaining
jargon & complex ideas into words a non-expert can understand, & again,
know what points need to be covered for an article on a given subject
to be considered complete.
* They usually are up to date on the secondary literature; they know
what are important POVs that need to be included. The problem
with importing so many articles on ancient Greece & Rome from EB 1911
is not that facts have changed. The ancient Greks are still considered
the victors in the Persian Wars, Augustus is still considered a Roman
Emperor, Plotinus is still a philosopher. The problem is that in the
last 90 years scholarship has turned to other issues that the editors
of the EB 1911 did not think of covering, most noteably the social &
economic history of ancient Greece & Rome -- which is contained entirely
in the secondary literature published since 1911. And much of that
secondary literature is in the form of specialized periodicals only
available at University libraries -- & sometimes not even there.
In short, if faced with choosing between an expert who does not care to
conform to the Wikipedia way (by which I mean is willing to engage in
give-&-take in the writing of material) & a non-expert who is willing
to learn & "play nice" with other contributors, I would choose the
latter. And I hope I am not alone in this preference.