"If you contribute to the Wikimedia projects, you are publishing every
word you post publicly."
"Wenn Sie zu den Wikimedia-Projekten beitragen, veröffentlichen Sie
jedes Wort, das sie abschicken, öffentlich."
and inspires me to loose a few words on how policy writing should be
handled in a multilingual project:
* Decide on the core principles of the policy - the essential rules
* Create a nice, elaborate page in english which you place on the
Foundation wiki as the official policy
* Ask the community to create inofficial translations based on the
essential rules - they may want to phrase a few things differently, some
things may need longer or shorter explanations depending on culture,
country or project. They may translate the english version word by word
but are free to formulate the essential rules in their own words if they
* Each translation should have a note on top that in doubt the english
version is the valid one.
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Datenschutz tries to say the same
as the english one but in own words. Some paragraphs and sentences which
are not part of the core rules were shortened for the sake of clarity
If you disagree with this you may want to find community members who
will create a literal translation. My feel for language and style
doesn't allow me to do so.
the 1st sunrise period for .eu domain registration is going
to begin soon - 7 December 2005
only domain names which are registred EU community/national
trademarks will be registered.
I'm not sure about the status of Wikimedia trademarks, but
guess at least Wikipedia a Wikimedia are suitable. IMO
"we" should apply at least for wikipedia.eu and wikimedia.eu.
Because of trademark issues and eu regulations concernig
who can apply for .eu, I'm affraid it will be a bit
complicated. I hope someone from the foundation can take care
(If the process is allready going, sorry :-)
Jan Kulveit ([[USEr:Wikimol]])
Matt Brown wrote:
>> This is an immensely serious issue since it exposes Wikipedia,
>> Wikisource and the Wikimedia Foundation, not to mention the
>> contributors to the sites, to legal liability. I wanted a definitive
>> statement over copyright and I did not get that statement.
>1) We're dealing with a matter of copyright law and not a basic,
>everyday one. On legal questions where there isn't a huge amount of
>precedent and case law, you can't get a definitive answer. Thus, not
>many people feel qualified to comment on what the legal situation is.
>2) The Foundation, I'm sure, does not want to expose itself to
>liability by giving legal advice to contributors.
I wanted a definitive statement over the copyright policy of the
Foundation. Angela provided that statement on this mailing list a
couple of days ago. The position is that public domain, GFDL and
GFDL-compatible text are what is allowed. That is a clear position and
one that, if followed, will not land the person in trouble at all.
We then come to the area of fair use. The problem I have with fair use
on Wikisource is that Wikisource reproduces the whole of a work by
definition. One of the tests for the likelihood of a work being fair
use is that the reproduction is not a "significant" amount of the
work. The whole of a work is certainly a "significant" amount of the
work. This is not like an artistic work where a reduced resolution
version can be used and where such reproductions have been found to be
fair use in things like Bridgeman vs Corel. When reproducing the whole
of a literary work that work is reproduced with full fidelity. The
typographic setting of the work is not relevant here since the US does
not have typographical copyright. Wikisource is also something that
people are encouraged to make use of for commercial purposes. Again
that's one of the major indicators for finding something as fair use
Fair use, by design, is a legal grey area. I cannot claim to be a
copyright lawyer and an expert on the precedent in the US. What I can
claim to be is a layman with an above average knowledge of copyright
law and also someone who is alarmed by the misunderstandings and
deliberate flouting of fair use that go out on Wikimedia sites. This
UN situation is a classic example of that.
The UN resolutions are copyrighted under US statute law. Therefore in
order to use them on Wikisource either the permission of the UN must
be received or fair use must be relied upon. I don't know of anyone
their website I doubt that they would be willing to license their
resolutions under a GFDL-compatible license. That leaves fair use and,
as I indicated in the previous paragraph two of the major indicators
for finding that a use is fair use are not relevant for this use of
With respect to the Crown copyright material I know that OPSI are not
willing to license things under a GFDL-compatible licence as they were
asked about this by someone at Wikipedia. Since fair use does not
exist in the UK (where the OPSI servers are located) it cannot be
relied upon as a defence for reusing the content and the materials
must be removed from Wikisource. I don't know whether the UN servers
are in the United States, but I suspect they are. If that is the case
then fair use does exist as a defence for use of the copyrighted
material, I would say it is a weak defence in this case given that two
of the indicators for finding material as fair use are not present.
All in all when creating such a high visibility site as Wikipedia and
its allied sites I would say that we are better off erring on the side
of caution when it comes to copyright law. If that means we cannot get
pictures for articles or use certain source texts then so be it. Only
where there is clear precedent for something being fair use, and the
case concerned can be cited in the guidelines for copyright, should
fair use be relied upon.
Will someone explain what we have these "Simple English" sites for?
It's recently come to my attention that there's a simple.wiktionary.org as well
(probably created by accident when Wiktionaries were bulk-created) and
somebody's been editing it and is now requesting a custom logo.
In the four years or so I've been here, nobody's *ever* had a clear picture of
what the "Simple English" Wikipedia was meant for: who it's targetted at, what
kind of "simple" is meant, what's appropriate or not appropriate.
Having a Wiktionary too looks completely useless IMHO. It's bad enough that it's
an unstructured wiki for a dictionary, but without knowing its purpose? Bah.
What are we doing with these? What are they here for? Who are they here for? Do
we actually want to keep them?
-- brion vibber (brion @ pobox.com)
I've filled out a form on MySpace, mentioning the violation.
On 2/24/06, foundation-l-request(a)wikimedia.org <
> Message: 1
> Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2006 04:27:50 -0500
> From: "- Essjay -" <essjaywiki(a)gmail.com>
> Subject: [Foundation-l] Myspace group using our logo
> To: "Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List" <foundation-l(a)wikimedia.org>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> To whomever takes care of violations of our copyrights:
> They are currently using a vandalized copy of an unofficial derivative;
> right in the center is the copyrighted Wikipedia logo. Could we get a nice
> note to myspace.com asking them to take care of the problem?
> On the subject of that given
> if someone with Foundation authority would say so, it could be deleted....
> Wikipedia:The Free Encyclopedia
I tried to summarize at http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/INSPIRE
I'm sorry that I cannot support with more than interest because I'm very
busy at the moment, but if anyone (yes, also you, anonymous reader!)
writes good press releases, information material, plans for activities
etc. I'm sure that there will be ways how Wikimedia Foundation and/or
local Wikimedia chapters will can help with both it's popularity and
financial support if needed.
Jo Walsh wrote:
> dear Jakob et al, thanks a lot for your interest and energy. I
> apologise for the long lag in my response; i've been offline for the
> last 5 days on a long driving trip, and just got back to participate
> in another binge of publicgeodata / INSPIRE outreach.
> I'm cc'ing here Benjamin Henrion, who is doing the Brussels running
> and press negotiation for publicgeodata.org, in the rare moments of spare
> time allowed him by his day job with FFII.org . He's the expert on
> tone in lobbying activities.
> On Tue, Feb 21, 2006 at 02:00:25PM +0100, Jakob Voss wrote:
>>>> There is an oportunity - no: necessity - for active lobbying for Free
>>>> Knowledge in the European Union. The Proposed European Commission
>>>> Directive on European Spatial Data Infrastucture (INSPIRE) is
>>>> endangered to put more intellectual property rights on geographica
>>>> data in the European union.
>>>> See http://publicgeodata.org/WhatIsInspire and
>>>> Any suggestions? I'm still searching for an occasion and easy example
>>>>  to convince your grandma, get into the media etc.
>>> I will look into this and possibly try to contact the right people here
>>> in Poland. Since we already have one win in this field, maybe we could
>>> follow up on that.
>> Thank you for following this. We should use the popularity of Wikimedia
>> to get more attention to this in the public, parliament and/or where the
>> important people are but I don't know how. I press release "Wikimedia
>> criticises Inspire" is missing a specific occasion. But Wikimedia and
>> Wikipedians are mostly busy with other stuff. Maybe Stefan Kühn
>> is interested to help and/or can give you more contact - he is doing a
>> PhD in cartography and is very active in the German Wikipedia with
>> Geodata (see link below).
>> Jo Walsh can probably give us hints where to do lobbying with which
>> arguments (hi Jo, are you reading this?). I hope that he has some good
>> examples. We can also show what is possible with free geodata and Wikipedia:
> http://publicgeodata.org/ActOnInspire is the brief-notes practical
> guide to lobbying INSPIRE. http://publicgeodata.org/Arguments
> currently shows Benjamin's list of what touches MEPs minds most
> I would say that part of what has made focusing on what's wrong with
> INSPIRE difficult, is how many angles there are by which to look at
> it. I would say that the strongest ones are these:
> - Commercial copyright and licensing of geodata risks suppressing
> innovation, leading to less job creation and less economic activity
> for Europeans in next-generation location services built on GALILEO
> - Geodata is a public good and has many use cases not addressed by the
> market - allowing citizens to find recycling facilities, disabled
> access facilities, etc. It actually is more expensive to distributed
> data than to give it away.
> - The aims of INSPIRE and related programs are to facilitate sharing
> of data between member states, especially in order to respond to
> environmental emergencies and to model sustainable alternatives.
> There are huge translation and taxonomy problems involved. The
> quickest way to resolve these is to put the data into the public
> - INSPIRE has been designed without consultation of the broader
> academic, freelance research and business interests which depend
> heavily on how much European citizens have to pay for the geographic
> information collected on their behalf.
> A lot of our earlier writing on the subject of INSPIRE -
> http://space.frot.org/docs/uninspired.html in particular i have seen
> quoted back at me recently - was addressed to a technical/professional
> audience. I tend to get caught up in the philosophy, carried away with
> words; Benjamin is very much immersed in the EU process.
> http://rejectinspire.publicgeodata.org/ is our best ongoing shot at a
> populist rendition of "why sign the petition".
> How can you help us? Let me count the ways:
> - We are gathering testimonials from SMEs and research users of
> geodata. Markus Neteler of the GRASS project is hopefully offering
> one on behalf of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation.
> This would be a great thing to have the Wikimedia Foundation do.
> - Now we have a decent signup base on the petition, we hope to do more
> widespread, popular oriented publicity for publicgeodata soon. It
> would be great to be able to
> * Take this out of the English-speaking, UK-oriented medium more
> * Take this into paper press - Le Monde, Financial Times etc
> This is an area in which the Wikimedia Foundation could be really
> useful, both in offering a press release of its own, and helping us
> get into conduits that reach through to the "mainstream" media
> throughout Europe, more widely.
> - PR and rewriting advice, to help get the message across in different
> ways, is always appreciated.
>> Images are always more convincing.
> Definitely; i've learnt from long experience that pointing and
> shouting at neat hacks like fundrace.org, or the myriad sites that use
> geocoder.us to do spatial things, aren't convincing to Europeans;
> people need to see maps of where they are, places they understand and
> feel really connected to. It's chicken-and-egg for us; we could build
> the convincing demos given access to state collected geodata!
> Markus just showed me this slide from a GRASS talk he is giving:
> The geo-discuss list at OKFN is the central place to talk about all
> this, and would definitely be the best place to braindump any
> followups to this discussion:
> We also have an irc channel on irc.freenode.net#publicgeodata
> (i am 'zool' there, Benjamin is 'zoobab')
> Thanks again so much for your interest; my apologies again for the
> long delay in followup; look forward to finding out more about your
> end of this conversation.
A long time ago, I have worked hard creating teaching material for
people to learn Farsi. Farsi or Persian is the language spoken in
Iran. The material was the material used by a teacher that I know.
The material was created at http://wikibooks.org/wiki/Farsi. It was in
the days when everything was still there. The original material had
one basic flaw; it was written left to right while Farsi is written
from left to right. While working on this material, it struck me that
it is really sad that you have to create teaching material that is as
basic as this for every language.
As we were creating the concepts for what was called "Ultimate
Wiktionary" but what is currently known as WiktionaryZ, it came to me
that we should not have the Dutch words there as the translation for
the Farsi content, but that we should have the translation of the
Farsi words in the language of the student. This would mean that
everybody can use the material.
Today I was asked by someone where the Farsi lessons were, somebody
actually wants to use it.. This means that all this effort had people
use it... It meant that all the pronunciations were going to be
listened to... The material is not there anymore .. it is not useful
I do not doubt that the people who worked on it intended well, but at
this moment it is not Farsi / Dutch, it is not Farsi / English it is
The timing could have been worse; Brion is busy with the integration
of the namespace manager. It is therefore possible to have pages in
the fa.wikibooks that are specific for the Dutch language and pages
specific for the English language. Alternatively we could have a
namespace for Farsi content in the nl.wikibooks. This would mean
however that we should be able to have a namespace that is oriented in
a different direction from the other namespaces in a database. I do
not know if we can do this already, I am sure however that we will
want something like this for the right to left languages like Farsi in
Now there is one practical question remaining; what will we do with
the Farsi lessons in the fa.wikibooks that were originally intended to
teach Dutch people Farsi.