When he says "The result is what is important" (09:32, 6 May 2006
(UTC)) (see link 1 below), Arnomane seems to be following a
philosophy likely to be disrespectful of individuals, risking to
condone humiliation as a routine practice. "The principle that the
end justifies the means is in individualist ethics regarded as the
denial of all morals. In collectivist ethics it becomes necessarily
the supreme rule." (Friedrich A. Hayek, link 2 )
On that same Template_talk:Lang-mp page, at 14:43, (UTC),
Mormegil uses the worded "forced" (albeit with quotation marks) to
express what happened. One shouldn't be forced (with or without
quotation marks). I am convinced that a smile is more powerful than
Arnomane's stick, because whenever I asked (in Spanish, with a
smile) for a translation on the Spanish village pump of Commons,
or on the Japanese village pump of the Japanese Wikipedia, or on
the Chinese village pump of the Chinese Wikipedia, I found
everytime people who provided the needed translations.
I think "notafish"'s idea(3) of "launching a massive
translation rally"is a good idea. I am ready to go to every village
pump of every concerned Wikipedia, use babelfish or Google
language tool when I can, or leave a message in French or English
when I can't, and recruit a voluntary translator for the Main Page
in each language. It is also possible to use all our connections to
people who know someone, who know someone... who knows a
given language, as Brianna (4) who says she knows someone who
speaks arabic. It is also possible to use the History of the pages in
the various languages to find the names of the people who wrote
them. I think this is a workable alternative to Arnomane's threats,
but I am fearful of implementing it in conditions that would enable
Arnomane to think that his threats are showing positive results,
and of going to these village pumps as a message bearer of a
On Sat, 2006-06-05 at 03:43 +0200, Erik Moeller wrote:
On 5/4/06, amgine(a)saewyc.net <amgine(a)saewyc.net> wrote:
> > The Foundation should (and did) describe the projects goals and missions,
> > and approve any modifications of these.
> Wikisource ("Project Sourceberg") was created before the Foundation
> even had a Board. This was during the time when new projects were
> essentially set up when something had to be dumped from Wikipedia.
> People were adding texts like national constitutions to Wikipedia
> verbatim. Hence, the only mission statement I've seen for Wikisource
> is on [[m:Wikisource]]:
> "Mission: Allow people to handle primary sources better than
> currently, so that no one gets upset. Maybe that means provide a
> repository for primary sources; maybe that means figure out how to
> improve the Wikipedia interface for linking to outside repositories."
> People get flamed nowadays for even submitting project proposals like
> this. You say I want to "dictate terms". But in actual fact, I want to
> be clear about what the project should _allow_, not so much about what
> it should _prohibit_. I do _not_ want a small group of a handful of
> people to retroactively create a definition that has never been
> written when it should have been. But that is exactly what will happen
> if you leave, for example, the question of whether to allow
> translations to the small, existing community of de.wikisource.org.
> There are different scales of community involvement that are
> appropriate for different purposes. Even for an individual page, you
> may see cases where a group of editors is annoyed because someone else
> suddenly opens up a discussion without ever having worked on the page
> or having read past discussions.
> However, nobody would argue that the people who have worked on a
> single Wikipedia article have some special "right" to make up their
> own policies -- because Wikipedia follows a particular philosophy,
> which, to a certain extent, is even shared across languages. Nobody, I
> hope, would seriously make the case that each language edition of
> Wikipedia should have a different logo symbol (as opposed to the
> subtitle). So these decisions are made on a project-wide level.
> And in addition to the project level, there is the Wikimedia level.
> This includes involvement from the entire Wikimedia community, whether
> they have worked on a specific project or not. This is where we decide
> whether to launch a new projects. And in the case of old projects that
> did not go through this process, I think this is where the scope will
> have to be, gently and through a largely consultative process that of
> course involves the existing community, gradually defined or refined.
> This has nothing to do with "dictating terms". Some see Wikimedia as a
> group of largely disparate tribes, others see it as a single
> community. It is, however, both. Some decisions are best made locally,
> some globally.
> The ability to make global decisions, to arrive at a single definition
> for a project scope, to consistently enforce free content principles
> and NPOV, and so forth, is one of the reasons to have an organization
> like Wikimedia in the first place. The other key reason I can see is
> to build an ever larger community that is given ever more
> opportunities to do good. Both are negatively affected by excessive
> What else do we need Wikimedia for? Fundraising? The projects would
> probably be more effective in this regard if they could work
> independently, and besides, none is even remotely on the same scale as
> Wikipedia. Wikimedia without a Wikimedia community identity is a
> pointless entity.
> I hope "Wikisourcerors" see themselves also as members of the larger
> Wikimedia community. I hope everyone who works on a Wikimedia project
That's an awfully long way to say we should ignore the last half of my
sentence - "and approve modifications of these" - and instead have a
top-down approach where changes come from outside and not from the inside.
Since yesterday, smaller languages have been removed from the multilingual links displayed on the Commons' Main Page. Most removed languages are languages with a smaller Wikipedia community, like Arabic, Indonesian, Welsh, Danish, Korean, Romanian, Russian, Vietnamese, Turkish, but a few larger languages, like Spanish, Japanese or Swedish have been removed too.
I cannot spend my time reverting the page, so I ask for your help.
The initiator of the change contends that the communities he punishes have not been quick enough to update the page in their language. To this I object that he did not seriously take contact with these communities and ask them in a polite manner to perform the updates he wishes.
Do you think imposing smaller languages the same pace as that of the larger ones is fair ?
Couldn't we have, like in sports different categories (junior, senior, men, women seldom compete in the same categories in sports) with expectations and rules differentiated in function of the size of a language community ?
Do you think a regime of the bigger boys on the block punishing the smaller ones is what we need on a Wikimedia project ?
Just in order to get the background on the issue. I am rewriting since
Februrary all english help pages in Commons and the large majority does like
my changes and in case not I was able to solve the issues in no time with all
people but Teofilo in a collaborative manner (if you do not count
licensing/deletion flames every admin faces).
@Teofilo: Do you think that Wikimedia foundation list is the right place for
such an issue?
* This small step was not a sudded one (or shall I give you the all the links
discussing that matter since February?).
* There is a debate on the issue at
there is really no need to debate such an issue here.
@Erik: Yes the criterias for doing so are at
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Help_page_maintenance (yes was
created by me ;). For sure they were and will be adapted further with
experience. Of course this page is also prominently linked in several places
in Commons and of course also on Commons IRC topic and I made a lot of
advertising of that page (by the way I badly need many people translating the
first steps tutorial, and yes French is sadly one of the worst supported
languages in Commons).
Currently the hiding affects only static content of pages that have more than
20 translations and only in case certain translations are outdated
("outdated" gets defined as well there and as well also a detailed rationale
why doing so at all).
@Paweł: I don't think that the current solution is the best one but it was the
easiest one. Have a look at the link to Village pump above where I gave more
details. The nicest solution would be a expandable list displaying by default
only the up to date translations but I hesitated doing so as this would
page if you want to access the outdated pages too.
@Delphine: The problem was that at first Commons help pages were just crap
even in english. So since February I'm mainly doing nothing else but totally
rewriting all english Commons help pages and have come quite far. So now a
greater translation call can take place. However I have often advertised it
in the past to others doing more translations of pages that are done
(especially to French people) but success of these translations calls was
@GerardM: Commons bashing does help nobody and is in case of nl.wikipedia also
at least in some cases far from truth have a look at:
(especially my last call and the end of the thread, as otherwise I predict you
that "suddenly" there will be the next nl.wikipedians flame against Commons
because of a severe copyright issue, only nl.wikipedians can solve).
So sorry for the larger post here and I really hope that people just keep the
following in mind:
* Wikimedia Commons is a project faceing many technical difficulties (much
more than Wikipedians can imagine). We have written several essential tools
and interface tweaks on our own but Rome wasn't build in one day...
* Multilinguality in Commons is no easy matter. You always need to keep in
mind that the projects needs to remain maintainable and that creating just
some non-english strings is not enough.
* Many people do upload images in Commons throw them over the wall and forget
about them as they don't want to contribute to the Commons project itself.
Now try to imagine how busy the tiny fraction of active Commons
Daniel Arnold - Arnomane
>Date: Thu, 4 May 2006 16:11:01 +0200
>De: GerardM <gerard.meijssen(a)gmail.com>
>This seems to be yet another fine mess that the Commons crowd is
>getting itself into. The question is when will they learn that they
>are serving the other projects and that their good intentions have
>resulted in projects NOT adopting Commons because of the fiendly
>cooperation as it is perceived.
>What do they think they achieve by doing this? Is this in the interest
>of the projects? Is this the considered opinion of the Commons
>community or is it a solitary excercise? It is indeed a great way of
>creating more hostility.
I think one should be prudent on whether Wikimedia Commons is
or is not a "community". Personally I would consider Commons as
a confederacy of communities, rather than a single community. If
you consider Commons as a single community, you will hear only
the voice of the stronger ones, that is the English native speakers
and the Other-native-language+English-bilingual people. You will
quite never hear the voice of the strictly non bilingual non-English
The person that made the changes has done a lot of good jobs on
Commons and has therefore an authoritative voice. The issue has
been discussed on the English speaking village pump of Commons.
But should we consider the English speaking village pump of
Commons as an authoritative voice in a multilingual project, which
includes tiny minority languages, and also somewhat less tiny
minority languages yet less active and dynamic than the English
speaking community (and represented there mostly by bilingual
people, non bilingual people being almost absent and
underrepresented if not unrepresented) ?
Or should we say that these languages communities are not
included, but merely tolerated under restricting conditions in a
basically English-speaking Wikimedia Commons project ?
Over the past few weeks, OTRS has seen quite a few messages concerning
companies that are putting information about themselves onto Wikipedia for
advertising purposes, insisting that it is their right to do this. An article in an
online SEO (search engine optimization) magazine described how to mine
wikipedia to get web traffic. We have had emails from such diverse groups as talent
agencies (we will take the copyright off our own website, as long as it is
included in Wikipedia), a Dominatrix, a vaporizer (I have no choice but to
keep inserting my links on your site so as to fend off the competitors), and
many others. In fact, this appears to be a growing trend in Wikipedia, as is
evidenced by similar phone calls to the office (I did not write the article
about my, my PR firm wrote it, and I paid them good money so you can't take it
off). Shoppingtelly.uk has written that as long as we allow links to the BBC,
they will insist on their "rights" to put links to their site on Wikipedia.
This is a worrying trend on the English Wikipedia which raises issues of
POV, notability, and verifiability. Ironically, we do not allow paid
advertising, but we are buckling when people use our site in order to get free
I do not know the solution to this problem--several have been raised, but in
my mind none is completely satisfactory. I am simply posting this here in the
hope that it will elicit discussion and, perhaps, a real policy decision to
counter this worrying trend.
As part of the planned release of the English Wikipedia's "Version 1.0"
release, one editor had created a logo for the project based on the
Wikipedia globe, which would constitute a derivative work. I recently found
out that the logo, found at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:WP1_0_Icon.png, was "released" under the
GFDL. As this is not possible due to the Foundation's policy, after
consulting with Anthere, I changed the copyright of the image to point to
the Foundation, as done in the Wikipedia logo page.
I'd like to know if this is enough to transfer ownership of the image to the
Foundation, or if there is something left to be done. We might need another
derivative logo for a planned test release, dubbed "Wikipedia 0.5" for now,
so I would also like to know if doing so would be possible, if it became
necessary for the responsible editorial team to do so.
Dear Wikimedia community,
I am posting this to multiple lists, as I believe it is relevant to
each of them (more on that below).
For years, we have been using the term "free content" to refer to our
projects. However, what exactly is free content? Does it include the
right to make commercial use? Does it allow derivative works? A year
ago, Anthere, one of our elected trustees, noted that the English
Wikipedia article [[free content]] is confused and contains no clear
definition. This is no surprise, as the term has evolved purely
through its usage. One year on, the article doesn't look much better
and still doesn't contain a single reference.
It is clear that we need a definition. With the help of feedback from
the likes of Richard Stallman and Lawrence Lessig, and an increasing
number of collaborators, I have drafted up a first version of such a
definition, called the "Free Content and Expression Definition":
You can also use the URLs <http://freedomdefinition.org/> or
<http://freedomdefined.org/>. Please use the URL
http://freecontentdefinition.org/static/ (with trailing slash)
when submitting this link to high traffic sites.
Licenses covered by this definition must grant the following freedoms:
* the freedom to study the work and to apply knowledge acquired from it
* the freedom to redistribute copies, in whole or in part, of the
information or expression
* the freedom to make improvements or other changes, and to release
The essence of these freedoms is not negotiable. However, in order to
best express, interpret and elaborate on these freedoms, I would like
to announce an open editing phase to push this Definition to a 1.0
version. There is a stable, protected version of the definition and an
unstable, openly editable one. The openly editable one, which may
already differ significantly from the one above by the time you read
this, can be found at:
You can suggest changes on the talk page, or be bold and make them
directly. The change process will be consensus-based. In order to
decide when a consensus has been reached on a change, I have appointed
three moderators besides myself:
* Benjamin Mako Hill. Mako is a co-initiator of the definition and a
prolific figure in the free software community. To quote Wikipedia, he
"is a Debian hacker and author of the Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 Bible
(...). He currently works in the electronic publishing group of the
MIT Media Lab, and is on the boards of Software in the Public
Interest, Software Freedom International (the organization that
organizes Software Freedom Day) and the Ubuntu Foundation."
* Angela Beesley. You may be familiar with her. ;-) She's the other of
the two elected trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, and also the
Vice President of Community Relations at Wikia, Inc.
* Mia Garlick. General Counsel at Creative Commons, and an expert on
IP law. Creative Commons is, of course, the project which offers many
easy-to-use licenses to authors and artists, some of which are free
content licenses and some of which are not.
None of them is acting here in an official capacity related to their
affiliations. Please treat their comments as personal opinion unless
otherwise noted. See
<http://freecontentdefinition.org/Authoring_process> for details on
the authoring process and
<http://freecontentdefinition.org/Moderators> for more about
The Creative Commons project has welcomed the effort to clearly
classify existing groups of licenses, and will work to supplement this
definition with one which covers a larger class of licenses and works.
In addition to changes to the definition itself, we invite you to
submit logos that can be attached to works or licenses which are free
under this definition:
Why is this relevant to the projects I am alerting about it?
Has the most significant problems distinguishing between free and
non-free materials simply because of the sheer amount of uploads and
user-submitted content. The English Wikipedia, for instance, allows
limited "fair use" in addition to free content uploads, but prohibits
licenses which forbid commercial use. This definition allows us to
state clearly: "An uploaded work must either be free content, or fair
use. If it is fair use, strong restrictions apply, and your upload may
be deleted or replaced at any time."
The definition also contains remarks about interoperability with other
licenses. This is a problem that concerns us at the moment when it
comes to importing texts under licenses which are philosophically
similar, but legally incompatible with the GFDL. If the definition
gets widely adopted, we can push for changes to licenses to make them
more compatible with each other.
Commons was launched as a free content repository. We have effectively
followed the terms of the definition in the licenses we allow and
prohibit for uploaded files; however, the discussions about whether to
allow, for example, pictures which cannot be used commercially keep
coming up. Clearly labeling the repository as a free content archive
under this definition will help to avoid that.
I've seen some uploaded photo galleries that were under licenses which
forbid derivative works. If we limit Wikimedia projects to free
content, that would explicitly not be allowed. This is an example of
"non-free content creep" that may be observed on other projects as
The definition contains recommendations about license complexity.
Wiktionary as a resource for terminological and lexicological data
does not benefit from the highly complex terms of the GFDL, which
require, for example, reprinting the entire license text when copying
a single page.
The definition makes it easy to resolve the question of which licenses
to allow or disallow across projects. For example, a Wikimedia-wide
policy could be that: "All content in all projects must be free
content as per the Free Content Definition 1.0, with the exception of
works which are used under exemptions granted by national copyright
laws, such as 'fair use' in the United States. These exemptions are
defined on a per-project and per-language basis."
Outside Wikimedia, the definition will make it easier for us to
communicate. For instance, many people use the very vague terms "open
access" or "open content", or simply talk about "a Creative Commons
license" when describing licensing of their work. The term "free
content" has an existing usage in the sense described herein. With the
additional support of this definition, it is a powerful and simple way
to determine whether a work is usable in the context of the Wikimedia
One note on the choice of name. Not all people will be happy to label
their works "content", as it is also a term that is heavily used in
commerce. This is why Mako and I have compromised on the name "Free
Content and Expression Definition" for the definition itself. We are
suggesting "Free Expression" as an alternative term that may lend
itself particularly to usage in the context of artistic works.
However, we remain open on discussing the issue of naming, and invite
your feedback in this regard.
All that being said, I hope that you will join the open editing phase
or the logo contest. Even if there will be very little feedback, I
hope we will be able to release a 1.0 version of this definition
You will find a general announcement that you can copy and paste to
other places at:
Please leave a quick note in the log when distributing it. As a final
note, if you create an account on the wiki, I would appreciate it if
you could use your real name as your user name.
Thanks for your time,
I'm pleased to announce that Andrew Westphal has accepted a request
for an interview with Wikinews.
Andrew Westphal is the Project director for the Stardust@home project.
Stardust was an interstellar capsule that collected samples from Comet
Wild 2. The project allows user to sign up, scan the capsule in the
frame they are assigned, to find interstellar matter from the comet.
We will be doing research and developing questions at:
This months Interview will be taking place on Thursday, 18 May 2006 in
the International Wikinews IRC channel