It appears that it is widely known and accepted within the Wikimedia
projects that the law in some countries makes images with identifiable
persons whom did not consent to the photography problematic.
What seems to have been far less discussed is that if we are going to
worry about things which are merely civilly actionable that the
problem isn't just limited to "some countries".
In the US persons who have their clearly identifiable image used for
commercial purposes for which they did not consent have little
difficulty getting a judgement in their favor. Since this is the
case, can we really regard an image with identifiable people to be as
free as an image without identifiable people or an image with
identifiable people and a suitable release?
What really brought my attention to this matter is an image recently
proposed as a featured image on enwiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Sunbathe_Buttocks.jpg ... Now it
may be that the image was created with the consent of the subjects, I
don't intend to criticize this particular image... But really, lets
consider such an image with identifiable subjects who didn't know the
image had been taken. What if she were to return to her dorm room and
find the Wikipedia article on sunbathing stapled to it? Were the
image taken without her consent it's quite possible that she'd be
pissed, and I believe that she'd be justified. There is no reason that
illustrations like this in Wikipedia can't be ones which are created
with the subjects consent. So even ignoring any possible legal issues
with such images, I think we're breaking good ethics to use images
like this without the subjects consent.
Here is a US centric article discussing the matter:
On enwiki we already have established practices which absolutely place
free images over non-free images. For example, given two images which
serve the same purpose one which is available under a free license and
one which we could only try to claim fair use for, we will always
replace the fairuse image with the free image and we will not permit a
free image to be replaced by a fair use image... Even if the free
image is of lower quality.
I'm considering proposing an addition to that practice, saying we
should always prefer free licensed images which have no identifiable
people or for which we have appropriate model releases over images
with identifiable people and without releases.
No image deletion runs, no prohibitions against uploads, just a
preference. In the majority of subjects on Wikipedia, any identifiable
people are fairly incidental to the actual subject of the
photograph.... Encouraging people to avoid getting identifiable shots
of people where possible would probably be good for overall image
quality even ignoring the potential legal and ethical implications,
because clearly identifiable faces can be distracting.
Thoughts? I'm especially interested in knowing how the French
Wikipedia handles identifiable images of people.
Muijz in his bid to force me of wikipedia is busy editting articles on
Thailand because he doesn't agree on their style. He is randomly picking
articles and changing links etc. I am desperate as nl.wikipedia has no
arbcom. This is terrorism in it's purest form.
I have worked on those articles for over 2,5 year and I like to put in
red links on subjects I know I am going to write about preventively.
Muijz takes them out and changes the total setup of them all. He is now
destroying my work of 2,5 years. I have worked fine with tens of other
people on these articles. They respected the work I dod.
I am desperately pleading to the Board. Please please please install an
arbcom on nl: . Force it on there please.
A desperate Waerth/Walter
A little opportunity to make an advertisement for the wikizine (the
amount of stuff one may learn through the wikizine is amazing).
Plus a special thank you note for the comment on the Foundation and its
activity below -:)
I like this zine !
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [Announce-l] Wikizine - number: 18
Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 00:07:38 +0100
From: Wikizine <info(a)wikizine.org>
Organization: Wikizine.org, an internal news bulletin for the members
of the Wikimedia community
__ __ _ _ _ _
/ / /\ \ (_) | _(_)___(_)_ __ ___
\ \/ \/ / | |/ / |_ / | '_ \ / _ \
\ /\ /| | <| |/ /| | | | | __/
\/ \/ |_|_|\_\_/___|_|_| |_|\___|
Year: 2006 Week: 12 Number: 18
An independent internal news bulletin
for the members of the Wikimedia community
=== Technical news (*)===
[Move page] Normal users can now move back a moved page. Seems to work
on all WMF wikis.
Example; [[user:Tom]] moves page [[Tom's page]] to [[Tom's moved page]].
[[Tom's page]] is a redirect to [[Tom's moved page]].
Any user (non-sysop) can now move [[Tom's moved page]] back to [[Tom's
page]]. [[Tom's moved page]] is a redirect then. This only works if the
redirected page is not edited. If so you need to delete it first.
A sysop has a option to delete the target page directly when moving that
[Blocked/edit] blocked users on the English Wikipedia can still edit
there own talk page. Seems to work only on the EN Wikipedia.
[renameuser] Bureacrats can change the user name of a user. But there is
a ceiling limit of the number of edits that a user can have done to be
able to change the username. That number used to be 6,800 edits. It has
been raised. Possibly to 20,000 edits. Because it is not sure that the
limit is really 20,000. Or even if it is so you can not trust that if
will not change without notice, it is best not to say to users with more
then 20,000 that the can not apply for a renameuser. Try it and you will
see of it works or not.
[SpamCop] the mail server of wikimedia has been blacklisted by spamcop.
The blocked made that emails send out by Wikimedia email handling system
OTRS where bouncing. According to SpamCop spam has been send by
Wikimedias systems. The block is now expired.
[Weird] on Meta normal users get a "block"-link in RC for newly created
users. This block-link does not work. So far as know this behavior is
only on Meta.
(*) Remark: the meaning of the word "news" in the context of Wikizine
does not mean that it is really something new. It can be a new function
but also a function that is (not) widely known. So is the fact the
blocked users on EN Wiki still can edit there own talk page is many
months old. But if you are not from EN Wikipedia, it is news. Also can
it takes weeks before changes to the software are noticed so the report
of it is delayed.
=== Foundation ===
[Meetings] Wikimedia Polska is organizing a meetup at the end of April.
The big international Wikimania is at the begin of August 2006 in
Boston, SA. And the Chinese will hold a meeting in Hong Kong end August
2006. And also end of August or early September a meeting in the
=== Community ===
[NW] The Chinese Wikinews starts. And the new Wiki seems already full of
[Internal news] On the English Wikisource a local internal news section
is started in the spirit of the Wikipedia Signpost (EN wikipedia). On
the French Wikipedia the have since some weeks also a new internal
news-project. It is called "Wikizine". The seem to have discovered
Wikizine.org and are now voting for a new name.
=== New project proposals ===
[Proposal] New proposal: One encyclopedia per child.
[Proposal] New proposal: Wikikernel, a new project incubator for new
Wikimedia project proposals.
=== Media ===
[Wikia] is the commercial company of Jimmy Wales and Angela Beesley. The
New York venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners is investing $4
million to help Wikia expand its Wikicities operation.
=== Did you know ... ===
... that we are *all* volunteers?
The core-editors are the people who are sharing there time and knowledge
to work on the projects and really make the product; a encyclopedia, a
dictionary, a free textbook and so more. You have also sysops,
bureaucrats and stewards. The are working on different layers of
management of the projects. The need to take in to account a bigger
picture and take responsibility also in the function as volunteers.
Without the software developers and the system administrators to make to
fantastic software we are all using and keeping it online there would be
no Wikimedia projects. And the are also volunteers (mostly).
And the board of the Wikimedia foundation whit elected community
members, the committees of the WMF, we are all working on the same
project. But on different levels, whit different responsibility's.
>From the point of view of a blocked user a sysop can be seen as a
tyrant. But it is only a user, a sysop, who doing his job, his function.
Blocking user who hurt the project. A steward can also not please
everybody and that is also not his function. Rules and policies are
there for a reason.
So can it be possible that the Wikimedia Foundation, who needs to deal
whit the real world, needs to take discussions for the good of the
global Wikimedia family. Also when those actions can be unpopular. Do
not attack the Wikimedia Foundation for doing there job. The are also
volunteers working for us all. To keep the projects legally safe and
online. It is only that you can not vote about everything. Assume good
=== MediaZilla-IRC Quotes ===
Doesn't "Votes for Deletion" mean we're deleting the votes?
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm
not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe
is that it has never tried to contact us. [Just a note, that quote is
from Bill Watterson's 'Calvin and Hobbes" comic strip.]
Number of subscribers: 335
Editor(s): Walter, Shizhao
E-mail: ihavenews AT wikizine DOT org
Wikizine.org makes no guarantee of validity.
Wikizine.org is not a publication of the Wikimedia Foundation.
Content is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.
Announce-l mailing list
On Wed, 15 Mar 2006, Jimmy Wales wrote:
> Furthermore, our *goals* -- neverminding the legal problesm that
> Jean-Christophe Chazalette wrote about -- our *goals* include a very
> high degree of reusability. Hosting materials that are subject to
> copyright everywhere in the world except in the USA is a mistake on the
> simple grounds that such work would not be redistributable anywhere else.
> This is why we should take a very very skeptical eye toward the use of
> "fair use" even in English.
In counterpoint, Wikipedia is a prime example of the importance of fair
use as a catalyst for better information and education. To the extent
that the world is still working out the 'right' way to allow commentary,
satire, and analysis while protecting author's rights, it is relevant that
Wikipedia takes advantage of fair use. Changing policy to stop doing so
would likewise influence those ongoing "fair use standards" debates.
> ! Chris Sherlock wrote:
>> Jean-Christophe Chazalette wrote:
>> As I already told you, hosting material subject to copyright everywhere in
>> the world except in the USA is a mistake. The fact some texts by Andr? Gide
>> are PD-US because written before 1923 won't impress Gide's heirs. Foundation
>> has certainly better things to do with its money than spending it in lost
>> villy ~~JC
>> PS: and please please stop telling that the fact the servers are in the USA
>> is good enough to strictly care only for the US law - with the Yahoo case,
>> you should know better. Foundation could be sued right here in Paris and
>> should spend money on explaining how it comes that its site, reachable in
>> France, offers copyrighted material for free.
>> I was under the impression that the U.S. had treaties with France and in
>> some circumstances will honour their laws. Is this the case or not?
>> foundation-l mailing list
Wikimedia Polska is organizing a meetup at the end of April, during
which we'd like to hold a panel discussion on the future of the
Wikimedia projects in Europe. I'd like to call out for speakers and
panelists from various European countries on foundation-l, to hear if
anyone would be interested in joining us. I've already notified the
European local chapters on this fact.
The meetup will take place in Wroclaw, during 29th April - 1st May.
30th April will be the most interesting part, during which we'll hold
every discussion, including the discussion panel I mentioned earlier.
Hope to hear back from anyone interested soon.
As American counsel, I would not dare contradict my French counterparts, but the answer is really simple - we will get sued by someone in France, and would subject the Foundation to the possibility of jurisdiction in France. As our colleagues at Yahoo! Can attest, that is not a good thing. It is not necessarily always in the interests of the mission of the organization to be aggressive at every turn. This is one such example.
From: foundation-l-bounces(a)wikimedia.org [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Yann Forget
Sent: Tuesday, March 14, 2006 5:25 PM
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
Subject: [Foundation-l] Copyright on Wikisource
The question is asked whether we can host on Wikisource French authors whose works are not yet in the public domain in France, but are in the USA.
Recently Villy and JB Soufron said we can't. JB Soufron supported the site "les Classiques des sciences sociales" when they host the very same works.
Why not on Wikisource?
However we do host such works in Wikisource for the last two years. Why changing policy now? On all subdomains, we apply US law regarding copyright.
Why applying different laws, different standards, on different subdomains?
More over, there are hundreds, maybe thousands of web sites hosted in US laws which have these kind of works. AFAIK, there never was any judgement against them. So I don't understand why Wikisource could not host these works.
Further more, I would suggest than Wikisource should be hosted in Canada, so that the benefit of Canadian copyright law could be used.
http://www.non-violence.org/ | Site collaboratif sur la non-violence http://www.forget-me.net/ | Alternatives sur le Net http://fr.wikipedia.org/ | Encyclopédie libre _______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
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The question is asked whether we can host on Wikisource French authors whose
works are not yet in the public domain in France, but are in the USA.
Recently Villy and JB Soufron said we can't. JB Soufron supported the site
"les Classiques des sciences sociales" when they host the very same works.
Why not on Wikisource?
However we do host such works in Wikisource for the last two years. Why
changing policy now? On all subdomains, we apply US law regarding copyright.
Why applying different laws, different standards, on different subdomains?
More over, there are hundreds, maybe thousands of web sites hosted in US laws
which have these kind of works. AFAIK, there never was any judgement against
them. So I don't understand why Wikisource could not host these works.
Further more, I would suggest than Wikisource should be hosted in Canada, so
that the benefit of Canadian copyright law could be used.
http://www.non-violence.org/ | Site collaboratif sur la non-violence
http://www.forget-me.net/ | Alternatives sur le Net
http://fr.wikipedia.org/ | Encyclopédie libre
[resending to foundation-l]
August seems to be "Wiki conference month" this year : WikiSym is
moved back to Aug 21-23 (in Odense), and both Dutch Wikimedians (ca.
August 20) and Chinese Wikimedians (August 27-29) are arranging
August meetups around Wikimania. I like the familiar look of the
Chinese page... ;-) but there are logo / name issues involved.
How should such events be named? The Dutch event gets "Wikimedia
Conference" in there. 'Wikimania' is a nice nickname for the global
conference; it might be useful if it were unique. But it would also
be nice to have a way of indicating solidarity among other related
events. (For geeks in the US, think 'Foo Camp' vs. 'Bar Camp')
Below is an email sent by Siriudie from Chinese Wikipedia to the
foundation, asking whether they could use a derivative of the
foundation logo for their satellite event... which raises the
question: what do we want to do for Wikimania proper? Does it make
sense to have a separate icon for Wikimania, in addition to the
(unaltered) Wikimedia logo? There was a recent suggestion that we use
a version of Ben Yates' swoosh logo for Wikimania:
On 3/13/06, wikimania-l-bounces(a)wikipedia.org
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Wikimedia Foundation <board(a)wikimedia.org>
> To: siriudie(a)mail.sdu.edu.cn
> Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2006 17:35:44 +0000
> Subject: Re: [Ticket#2006031310004535] Request for grant of the logo.
> Dear Siriudie,
> Thank you for your mail.
> I forward it to wikimania mailing list, because I am not entirely sure what
> you mean by Chinese Wikimania 2006. They will certainly be able to help you.
> Siriudie <siriudie(a)gmail.com> écrit:
> > Dear Sir,
> > I am a wikipedian from China. And "Chinese Wikimania 2006" is now under
> > preparation. So, I modify the logo of WIKIMEDIA FOUNDATION for the logo for
> > "Chinese Wikimania 2006".Someone tell me that I should be authorized by
> > WIKIMEDIA FOUNDATION before we use it, so that I'm writing to request for
> > grant.
> > Yours Sincerely.
> > *Siriudie*
> Yours sincerely,
> Florence Devouard
> Wikimedia Foundation
I received the following email today:
I am writing to you to ask you about your objectives as a Wikipedia
My name is Mai Pattarawan. I am an academic at the City University of Hong
Kong, researching Wikipedia. Specifically I am interested in the objectives
and motivation of Wikipedians who take the time and make the effort to
I would like to ask you just three questions and hope you will be able to
1. Why do you contribute to Wikipedia? Would you say it is a personal
matter, where you enjoy the opportunity to reveal your knowledge on a
subject, or a collaborative goal where you enjoy sharing knowledge with
2. In what ways do you find your contributing to Wikipedia beneficial? (E.g.,
satisfaction of building the world's largest encyclopedia). Would you say
these benefits (personal or for the entire community) are felt right away,
or do you expect the benefits to arise as time goes by?
3. Do you expect that your contributing more to Wikipedia will lead to
others to contribute more?
Please just type your answers right behind the questions, or below, if you
I am sending this email only to about 100 Wikipedians, so I very much hope
you will answer me and allow me to gain some insights. I found you via
Google, by searching for Wikipedians who post their email address in
If you like to receive feedback about the results of this inquiry, please
let me know and I will email it to you. Of course, yours and everyone
else's personal information will not be disclosed. I will only share
non-personalized and summary information.
Thank you very much.
Pattarawan (Mai) Prasarnphanich, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Information Systems
City University of Hong Kong
The IP address of the sender
is from Hong Kong, and AFAIK, China blocks wikimedia projects. So, how can a
person from Hong Kong possibly access wikipedia extensively so as to analyse
the contributions and nature of wikipedia? and moreover, he says that he is
sending it to only 100 wikipedians. This can make the result very different
from the actual fact.
should i participate in the enquiry?
i am also posting the msg. header as it may interest you:
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From: "Pattarawan (Mai) Prasarnphanich" <pprasarn(a)cityu.edu.hk>
Subject: Academic inquiry on your objectives and motivation as Wikipedian
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2006 14:12:09 +0800
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