There is a request for a Wikipedia in Ancient Greek. This request has so far
been denied. A lot of words have been used about it. Many people maintain
their positions and do not for whatever reason consider the arguments of
In my opinion their are a few roadblocks.
- Ancient Greek is an ancient language - the policy does not allow for
- Text in ancient Greek written today about contemporary subjects
require the reconstruction of Ancient Greek.
- it requires the use of existing words for concepts that did
not exist at the time when the language was alive
- neologisms will be needed to describe things that did not
exist at the time when the language was alive
- modern texts will not represent the language as it used to be
- Constructed and by inference reconstructed languages are effectively
We can change the policy if there are sufficient arguments, when we agree on
When a text is written in reconstructed ancient Greek, and when it is
clearly stated that it is NOT the ancient Greek of bygone days, it can be
obvious that it is a great tool to learn skills to read and write ancient
Greek but that it is in itself not Ancient Greek. Ancient Greek as a
language is ancient. I have had a word with people who are involved in the
working group that deals with the ISO-639, I have had a word with someone
from SIL and it is clear that a proposal for a code for "Ancient Greek
reconstructed" will be considered for the ISO-639-3. For the ISO-639-6 a
code is likely to be given because a clear use for this code can be given.
We can apply for a code and as it has a use bigger then Wikipedia alone it
clearly has merit.
With modern texts clearly labelled as distinct from the original language,
it will be obvious that innovations a writers needs for his writing are
This leaves the fact that constructed and reconstructed languages are not
permitted because of the notion that mother tongue users are required. In my
opinion, this has always been only a gesture to those people who are dead
set against any and all constructed languages. In the policies there is
something vague "*it must have a reasonable degree of recognition as
determined by discussion (this requirement is being discussed by the language
subcommittee <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Language_subcommittee>)."* It
is vague because even though the policy talks about a discussion, it is
killed off immediately by stating "The proposal has a sufficient number of
living native speakers to form a viable community and audience." In my
opinion, this discussion for criteria for the acceptance of constructed or
reconstructed languages has not happened. Proposals for objective criteria
have been ignored.
In essence, to be clear about it:
- We can get a code for reconstructed languages.
- We need to change the policy to allow for reconstructed and
We need to do both in order to move forward.
The proposal for objective criteria for constructed and reconstructed
languages is in a nutshell:
- The language must have an ISO-639-3 code
- We need full WMF localisation from the start
- The language must be sufficiently expressive for writing a modern
- The Incubator project must have sufficiently large articles that
demonstrate both the language and its ability to write about a wide range of
- A sufficiently large group of editors must be part of the Incubator
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The next strategic planning office hours are:
Wednesday, 04:00-05:00 UTC, which is:
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-Tuesday (11pm-12am EST)
There has been a lot of tremendous work on the strategy wiki the past
few months, and Task Forces are finishing up their work.
Office hours will be a great opportunity to discuss the work that's
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As always, you can access the chat by going to
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Imagine a world in which every human being can freely share in
the sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!
My name is David Castor and I am known on Swedish Wikipedia (and less known
but somewhat active on Commons and a few foreign language Wikipedias) by the
user name dcastor. I am one of the users who have been pushing for a change
in the way we handle the copyrighted WMF logos. I would like to clarify and
announce a few things on the way the dilemma is presently being handled.
First off, we have not yet made any final decisions; the topic is still open
for discussion at the Swedish village pump. No changes have yet been widely
As a background it is important to know that there is an almost unchallenged
consensus on Swedish Wikipedia not to allow fair use imagery, in part
because the "fair use" concept is not applicable in Swedish law, Sweden
being of course home soil for a majority of the users. It's been years since
we blocked local media upload, now depending solely on Commons. This means,
as far as I am aware, that the WMF logos are the only pictures used on
Swedish Wikipedia that are not being spread under a "free" license, free in
this case concerning copyright of course, and not trademark or personality
rights (making comparisons to proper names irrelevant to the discussion).
The use of these logos are thus the only thing standing in the way of
stating that all material from Swedish Wikipedia can be freely reused,
without any further permission. (The license template on the WMF logos
reserve all rights and call for specific permission for use.)
The argument is not, and has never been, whether or not we are allowed to
use the logos. Some users on Swedish Wikipedia as well as in this thread
have given replies suggesting that they think that is what the issue is
about. It is not. The issue is whether it is compliable with the principles
of Wikipedia to include copyrighted material, which may not be re-used by
others. I suppose that this dilemma is less problematic in jurisdictions
that implement a "fair use" system, but where such are not present a
copyrighted picture may not be freely redistributed.
The current discussion on Swedish Wikipedia is divided into three main
1. Should we keep even the Wikipedia logo in the top left corner?
2. Should we keep the WMF logos of navigation templates placed in
3. Should we illustrate articles on the Wikimedia projects with the
The discussions have, as far as I can tell, led to a near consensus "yes"
for question 1, with the rationale that the picture is part of the GUI
rather than of the article, and a near consensus "no" for number "3". Most
of a lengthy debate has been over discussion number 2.
The opinions on how to relate to number two diverge greatly. Some of us,
including myself, would prefer to have all WMF logos removed from article
space, including template use, making it free to redistribute printouts and
PDF:s from Wikipedia articles. Some argue that since WMF will not pursuit
any copyright breaches, we don't need to bother. This viewpoint is supported
by those who think that the usability of the logos is too important to let
the copyright issues take effect. A few have, in support of status quo,
stated that there may be more to it, legally, than we know, but such claims
have yet to be supported.
For some users a main perspective is that of NPOV. They argue that since no
other external links are supported by pictures, neither should the links to
sister projects be. Also, since no other copyrighted logo are allowed,
neither should WMF:s logos be. To some of these users, the use of the logos
in well framed templates is agreeable, since this implies that the links are
part of the GUI rather than of the article itself.
Right now it seems like one of two suggestions will be the result of the
discussions. Either (1.) to allow the WMF logos in a few specific navigation
printouts and PDF:s. This has been tested and seems to work. The second (2.)
solution discussed is to implement a separate section for sister project
links, including logos, in the GUI menu section on the left.
I hope that I, despite having made rather clear stands on the issue, have
managed to convey a fair description of the discussion.
In a message dated 3/31/2010 12:21:33 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
> In openstreetmap we are not allowed to import the positions of items
> based on the locations in wikipedia because they are derived from
> geoeye/googlemaps for the most part. So there is a rift between what
> is supposedly creative commons and what is really creative commons.
> Basically wikipedia is turning into a minefield of copyrighted material.>>
Are you suggesting that the mechanical determination of a longitute and
latitude of some object is copyrightable material? I.E. it's "position" is
Or am I reading this wrong? Perhaps you're suggesting merely that the map,
as an entirety is copyrightable.
Recently a friend noticed a sudden improvement at Translate.wiki,
concerning Wikipedia in Limburgish (li.WP). All remaining untranslated
items (28,18%) have been translated in one time. This is quite
When he told me about, I looked up again what I had written about
(small) Wikipedia language editions in my handbook (in German):
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:Ziko/Handbuch-Titel . I then, in
2008, found li.WP relatively good, but there were also some
difficulties, for example the lack of a technical vocabulary.
When I now checked Wikimedia Statistics again, I was stunned by very
impressive figures. For example, during 2009 the number of editors
with 100< edits a month increased from 13 to 37. I believe that li.WP
is nowadays the best among those of small Germanic languages. Nearly
all articles have encyclopedic quality and show a lot of pictures,
maybe sometimes a little too many.
When I examined the background I found out that most of the
li.Wikipedians indicate their real names and many are women. With
permission, here what Gebroeker:JennySteen wrote to me:
'I started editing in November 2008. Because I knew nobody I asked
friends to join. Most of us study at the university of Mestreech. […]
We meet nearly every week in a local café and talk in Limburgish to
keep our language skils fresh.'
Jenny explains about the unusual appearance of the site: 'We did not
like the original colours because they where cold and ugly. User pages
now have nice orange tones, and talk pages a green background that
helps to keep aggressiveness down.'
Jenny: 'When there is a conflict I talk to the person in the café. It
may happen that we ask a guy to stop visiting and editing for a week
or two, and after he has cooled down he is welcomed again to sit with
us.' On the other hand, if someone did well: 'We copy and paste lovely
icons on the user page, like flowers and kittys. Unfortunately there
was a case that someone misbehaved to a new user, and we had to take
those icons away.'
But there is still a problem: maintaining a Wikipedia language edition
means also doing a lot of technical stuff. The gals from Limburg would
love to see users from other language editions supporting them with
MediaWiki extensions, geolocalisation and the not so easy aspects of
Ziko van Dijk
Some of the people posting to this mailing list don't seem to understand how
to write a decent, readable reply to a mailing list thread. This makes for
far more noise than signal, as people wade through six copies of the
foundation-l footer or eight old and irrelevant replies trying to find the
content of the reply to the previous message.
The Toolserver wiki has a fantastic page that explains how to reply to a
mailing list thread the Right Way. If you suspect you've been Doing It
Wrong, please have a read.
David Castor writes:
The use of these logos are thus the only thing standing in the way of
> stating that all material from Swedish Wikipedia can be freely reused,
> without any further permission.
Is there any obvious legal problem with stating that (for example) "All
material from Swedish Wikipedia may be freely reused, without further
permission, with the exception of the Wikimedia trademarks and copyrighted
logos, for which separate, specific permission for reuse must be sought"?
Yes, that is a longer sentence. But in my experience the kinds of people who
agonize over copyright permissions are uniformly capable of parsing longer
Note that my suggestion handily dodges the need to instruct anyone about
whether the Wikipedia image in the corner of the page is freely licensed for
reuse. It also avoids the need to explain to someone what constitutes part
of the user interface and what doesn't. It also doesn't require a
non-law-trained user to parse issues of trademark versus copyright. So in
fact it is a simpler, user-friendlier solution that seems consistent with
David's statement of what Swedish Wikipedians want to be able to do.
I am working alot on openstreetmap.org and there seems to be a big
difference in how the copyrights of the maps are handled in Wikipedia.
In wikipedia you will find maps that have no real sources claimed, and
they are not checked.
People can just upload any and all maps that they somehow created
themselves, even if they are derived from works that clearly do not
allow a creativecommons sharealike processing of them.
In openstreetmap we are not allowed to import the positions of items
based on the locations in wikipedia because they are derived from
geoeye/googlemaps for the most part. So there is a rift between what
is supposedly creative commons and what is really creative commons.
Basically wikipedia is turning into a minefield of copyrighted material.
Why is this permitted and encouraged in wikipedia but forbidden in
Is there any chance of aligning the policies so that we can use the
map material in wikipedia for openstreetmap?
Do you want to start enforcing stricter checking of the sources of maps?
The idea is that Wikipedia is to host free knowledge, but what good is
this knowledge of the world (maps) if we cannot use it?
If wikipedia were to enforce the same standards for maps, there would
be very few maps available in it.
In a message dated 3/31/2010 1:56:45 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
> The issue is the location of things that are only visible using high
> quality sat images from googlemaps and co. We don't have those
> positions for many of the locations and they are only available from
> non free sources. Because wikipedia does not have a problem with them
> being submitted in mass, it makes the total collection in effect not
> usable for openstreetmap.>>
I'm fairly sure you're wrong about the copyrightability of "high quality
satellite images". Since Google themselves did not produce these, they don't
own their own satellites. So from where did they get them? My suspicion is
that these are free images, they are merely rehosting, and so not