Wikipedia's reference desk gets a nice mention on Boing Boing:
It also claims that the New York Times changed a published article
without mentioning it on the page or issuing a correction. That's very
interesting in the context of the recent discussion on the reliability
and durability of web-based citations.
> Brandt is not being given a 'free pass' to edit, he is being allowed
> to make useful comments about concerns he has about his own article. I
> am certain that if he were to make any abusive edits to
> [[Talk: Daniel Brandt]], they would be reverted. However, reverting
> his edits to the _talk page_ of the article about *himself* when he's
> merely expressing concerns about an article that could affect his
> PERSONAL LIFE directly is simply unfair and isn't going to help anybody.
I endorse this viewpoint.
Just call it the exception WP:HUMANITARIANGROUNDS
It is the right thing to do morally, as it violates very basic
standards of fairness to discuss a person so directly, yet deny them
the opportunity to defend themselves *in the same forum*.
It is the right thing to do pragmatically, as otherwise
accusations of sockpuppetry fly back and forth.
It is the right thing to do from the standpoint of dispute
resolution, as it allows at least the (admittedly small) chance of
developing some mutual understanding from the discussion.
It is the right thing to do from the standpoint of minimizing
harm, as otherwise the situation looks like something out of Kafka
("Anyone can write accusations against you, but *you* aren't even allowed
to speak in your defense, since we don't like you and we 0wnz ur bi0").
If nothing else, the obvious ill-will that is generated from
not even being able to defend oneself should make the choice clear.
Seth Finkelstein Consulting Programmer http://sethf.com/
Infothought blog - http://sethf.com/infothought/blog/
I have just uploaded a scan of the first page of Bernstein's
Chichester Psalms. I believe this satisfies fair use in illustrating
the article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chichester_Psalms and I am
confident it does not interfere in any way with the publisher's
ability to profit from their intellectual property. This particular
scan includes the copyright statement, which is a bonus.
Acceptable? I would be very surprised if not.
Next up: Duruflé Requiem. Problem: not much happens on the first
page, the obvious target for a scan here is the first page of Movement
II, the Kyrie. This does not have the copyright statement, although
of course I put it in the image description.
Acceptable in illustrating an article on the Duruflé Requiem?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Requiem_%28Durufl%C3%A9%29 Probably OK, I
would say. Yes?
OK, I have a pretty extensive library of scores, and most of them I
can find a single page, usually the first, which illustrates the work
well and does not in any way interfere with the copyright owner's
ability to profit. But there are some hard cases.
* Works where the work is listed in a section in the article on the
composer. In order not to overwhelm the article I would be inclined to
scan a single system, but that does not fundamentally change matters;
it would not have the copyright on the scan, but it would be on the
description page, the question is, would fair use justly apply to use
in illustrating a discussion of the work in an article on a wider
* Works where there are multiple editions, for example Copland's Old
American Songs. Here I have one of a number of different versions,
and available in different keys. Simple Gifts, an iconic melody (it's
the melody in Appalachian Spring), probably the best known of all the
American songs he collected. Melody by Trad, filtered through
Copland, filtered again by the editors of my edition. Valid?
Clearly in the case of a short work like windmills of your mind (theme
from the original Thomas Crown Affair, keep up at the back there) a
full page is too much for fair use, a single system or two systems is
the most one could justify. Would the same apply to Summertime? It's
a short work, but part of a whole opera.
I have few reservations about the Messiah, the Watkins Shaw edition is
now pretty much ubiquitous and Novello publish both that and Prout
anyway. Beethoven Missa Solemnis,no problem, only one edition I know
Mozart Requiem - a problem. The Novello edition, completed by
Sussmayr, is far and away the most widely used in the UK, but there is
a newish critical edition completed by Robert D. Levin which includes
an amen fugue taken from sketches by Mozart. Would a single system or
two systems from that be acceptable in discussing that critical
edition in the article on the Mozart requiem?
What of scores from ChoralWiki? That is public domain, I guess we can
borrow at will? Or should we restrict ourselves to the same level of
caution? Note that some of the stuff on ChoralWiki is actually
copyright, it's externally hosted, so I would have to watch that of
course. Most of them are in PDF format.
Finally, does anyone have a good, cheap or free converter from jpeg /
tiff to a more efficient format?
Stan Shebs wrote:
> Isn't it interesting how nobody ever complains
> about inaccuracies in articles other than the ones about themselves?
> Egos, geez...
Actually, people *do* complain about inaccuracies in other types of
articles. Moreover, there are good reasons other than ego for people
to notice the inaccuracies in articles about themselves. For one
thing, we all know our own biographies in a lot more detail than
other people. I'm willing to bet that no one on WikiEN-l other than
myself knows off the top of their head what city I was born in or my
date of birth. If someone other than myself were to read that I was
born in 1961 in Toledo, Ohio, it's unlikely that they'd know it was
incorrect, whereas I'd notice the error immediately.
In any case, the people who complain about inaccuracies in articles
are doing Wikipedia a favor, not a disservice. Complaints help
Wikipedia learn about errors and improve. It may be momentarily
embarrassing for Jimbo to have an error pointed out to him during a
TV interview, but that's a small price to pay for useful feedback.
Slim Virgin wrote:
> The other solution is to stop publishing biographies of living
> persons, or at least to offer subjects deletion on request.
> By hosting living bios, and by inviting anyone in the world to edit
> them, we're encouraging bad editing in a quantity we have no hope of
Actually, hosting living bios probably helps improve fact-checking
and accuracy more than publishing other types of articles. If there's
an error in an article about some dead guy, he's NOT going to point
out the error. Without the feedback from live people, Wikipedia would
know less than it knows now about the accuracy of its articles and
the validity of its editorial policies.
| Sheldon Rampton
| Research director, Center for Media & Democracy (www.prwatch.org)
| Author of books including:
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| Toxic Sludge Is Good For You
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>From: Steve Bennett [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
>Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2007 06:15 PM
>To: 'English Wikipedia'
>Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] Getting hammered in a tv interview is not fun
>On 3/29/07, Jimmy Wales <jwales(a)wikia.com> wrote:
>> I hope the horse I am beating is still alive: we have to be absolutely
>> ruthless about removing "I think I heard it somewhere"
>> pseudo-information from Wikipedia, and especially from biographies.
>This is a step up from what you have previously requested, namely that
>we must be ruthless about removing *harmful* unsourced information
>Which of these statements most closely matches what you want us to do:
>1) Remove all unsourced material from all articles
>2) Remove all unsourced material from all biographies, and unsourced
>harmful material from all articles
>3) Remove all unsourced harmful or slightly dubious sounding material
>from biographies and other articles
>4) Remove all unsourced harmful or extremely dubious sounding material
>from biographies, and unsourced harmful material from other articles
>If the claim made was not harmful (as I don't believe a fictitious
>family member normally is), and was not implausible (I wouldn't have
>known), then why would we have removed it? How would we have known?
> I don't even know how we determine if a claim is sourced, short of
>tracking down and reading every source mentioned on the page and
>looking for it.
If the information does not have a specific source attached to it such as a page in a book or the equivalent, it is unsourced. You are not obligated to read whole books when no page is given. The priority needs to go to 4) Remove all unsourced harmful or extremely dubious sounding material
>from biographies, and unsourced harmful material from other articles and probably extends to removing such material when that is all that is in the article, even if it is sourced.
[[Special:Statistics]] has a list of the top 100 most
viewed articles on en.Wikipedia.
9 of the top 10, and 15 of the top 20 articles, are
currently semi-protected. Of the 5 that aren't, 2
have been sprotected for major portions of the last
month, 2 for short portions of the last month, and
only one has never been protected.
In addition, pick most any highly notable subject, and
you'll find the article is sprotected. God, Satan,
Islam, Buddhism, United States, and so on. Any major
topic you look at, if they're not protected currently,
they have been recently.
We seem to be sliding towards a policy of
semi-protecting all high traffic articles.
I got [[God]] and [[Giraffe]] unprotected by
requesting it be done, and a day later, they're both
protected again. In looking at those who vandalized
those pages, what I found is that almost all of them
vandalized a bunch of other articles at the same time.
My belief is that semi-protecting our major articles
does nothing to lower the overall amount of vandalism
- it just spreads it around. Instead of messing up
our most popular pages, they just click on unpopular
ones and mess those up instead.
I suppose the positive side of semi-protecting all
popular articles, as we're leaning towards, is that it
makes life easier for the editors who watch those
articles. The rather more substantial negative side
to it is that it takes the vandalism which would have
certainly have been caught and fixed quickly, and
moves it off to low interest pages where it might sit
for days or weeks or longer before anyone sees it.
I believe this policy we're leaning towards, of
sprotecting all popular articles, is a bad idea, as it
basically makes no sense. If we aren't going to let
new editors edit articles, we might as well just come
out and admit that's what we're doing and sprotect the
Be a PS3 game guru.
Get your game face on with the latest PS3 news and previews at Yahoo! Games.
In this thread:
somebody allegedly associated with The American Mutoscope and
Biograph Company is threatening to sue Wikipedia over his company
being "done wrong".
>From what I can gather, the company of that name was active in the
early days of motion pictures, from the 1890s through the 1920s, but
faded out and went completely out of business by the 1930s. Somebody
with no apparent true connection with the original company went into
business in the 1990s under that name (long after all of the original
company's copyrights and trademarks had lapsed into the public
domain), and is making questionable claims at being the legitimate
continuer of the original company's tradition, along with some other
wacky claims such as saying they have purchased land on the Moon on
which they soon will be filming movies.
Of course, Wikipedia is "evil" because it fails to take all of this
guy's claims at face value, and persists in having an article about
the classic original company (which is legitimately notable in the
early history of the movie industry) with only a brief paragraph
noting the existence of an unrelated new company of the same name.
Naturally, this guy's claims and whines are getting a favorable
reception over on Wikipedia Review, where they see no anti-Wikipedia
rant they don't like.
== Dan ==
Dan's Mail Format Site: http://mailformat.dan.info/
Dan's Web Tips: http://webtips.dan.info/
Dan's Domain Site: http://domains.dan.info/
Doc Glasgow came up with this, and I said I'd post it here for feedback...
Basically, we have an issue with the biographies of living people
where - by the simple act of repeating published and verifiable
information - we can give a vastly misleading impression about them;
we report their drunk-driving conviction at 19 in the same tone and
length as we report their Nobel prize. Oh, it's verifiable and true...
but should we be publishing it? Editorial common sense says, perhaps,
Anyway, a thought experiment. I would be very interested to know where
people think we a) should be drawing the line; and b) *are currently*
drawing the line...
Let's take Professor John P. Smith, the ninth-most leading Australian
contributor to the field of marine bioscience. He's written a few
books, say, and he's notable (if barely) for it and his impact on the
1) Now, he gets divorced in messy circumstances - his wife accuses him
of sleeping with her sister or something. it is all there is the
on-line court reports. Do we include it? No - and perhaps court
reports should not count for BLP sourcing - if it isn't in the
mainstream media ignore it.
2) OK, now, although Dr Smith isn't that notable to a world-wide
encyclopedia, he is fairly notable in Smalltown NSW, where he once
served as an alderman. So the Smalltown Gazette runs the divorce
story. Now, do we include it? If we do, we are responsible for taking
a local story to global level - we are essentially promoting it.
Usually, if Dr Smith moves to NZ, people will only know of his shining
academic career - not his divorce. But if it makes Wikipedia - it will
follow him about. Perhaps we should exclude information based only on
local press from BLP sourcing.
3) OK, now supposing the Sydney Herald is running a story on 'sex and
stress in academia', and they use the story for the Smalltown Gazette
to illustrate it? Do we allow it now? It is still the same crappy
4) And what if the Sydney Herald get the story wrong, and claim he DID
sleep with HIS sister - and he sues them. Do we report the libel case
in his biography?
How do we write policies that deal with this?
(Disclaimer: Real people were not harmed in the making of this case
study. Any resemblance to actual events or persons (or their sisters)
living or dead is purely coincidental)
- Andrew Gray