I was the [[:m:User:555]], mainly active on the last years of my volunteers
actions on Wikimedia Commons and Wikisource. I've left the Wikimedia
projects mainly because the lack of energy from my side to keep trying to
get free time to work in projects fully neglected by the Wikimedia staff,
developers team and some volunteers in the core of the Foundaction acts.
A friend told me about the http://labs.wikimedia.beta.wmflabs.org/ . I've
surprise! no Wikisource wikis with blue color links! I asked myself
random things about the [[bug:21653]] lasted for 26 months until gets
PARTIALLY fixed and decided to check some 'Recent changes' pages and found
Come on guys! What is the point to run a bot spamming on all wikis if the
tests are only to the Wikipedias? Attempt of a 'politically correct' action
to these worse guys from others projects get's 'socially included'? Like in
the real life, those worse guys aren't in need of assistencialism 
Well, I don't expect any change on the Wikipediocentric actions in short,
medium or long time (in fact the Foundation and some local chapters are
trying to make things for the Wikimedia Commons project, but only because
that project is the central media source for Wikipedias), this was only a
Despite my apparently hatred on this message, I really hope that the 3-4
extensions only enabled on Wikisources wikis don't get's any aditional bugs
than the current ones in the new version of MediaWiki in the same intensity
that your guys hopes that focusing in a project that only describes the
knowledge in an encyclopedic way fully meets the
 - wow, a concept from social sciences yet not defined neither on
en.wikpedia or en.wiktionary? O_O
As on all of my previous messages, sorry for my limited English skills.
A few countries currently do not participate in international
copyright treaties. Most such countries have domestic copyright laws;
however, many works originating in these countries are considered to
be in the public domain in the United States due to the lack of a
treaty relationship. In 2005, Jimbo declared that we would
nonetheless respect the copyright laws of non-treaty countries as best
we can . Since mid-January, English Wikipedia has been having a
well-advertised, but poorly-attended discussion that contemplates
overturning this Jimbo-created rule.
The proposed change would mean all works where the "country of origin"
(as legally defined by US statutes) is a non-treaty state would be
declared as public domain for the purpose of Wikipedia and allowed to
be freely used. The current discussion features a 9-3 "consensus" in
favor of this outcome , and some participants are now pushing for
implementation on this basis .
Though all participants agree there no US copyright protection for
works originating in non-treaty nations, this proposal raises a number
of ethical and logistical problems.
As September 2010, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, San
Marino and Turkmenistan have no copyright relations with the US. 
All works published in these countries by nationals of these countries
are considered to be in the public domain in the US unless they were
also published in a country that has US copyright relations within 30
days of their original appearance.
This means many modern and historical works originating in these
countries may currently be used freely in the US.
Nonetheless, most of these countries have domestic copyright laws
protecting the intellectual property rights of their nationals.
The law here is not in dispute, the question is how Wikipedia should
respond to these works. Under Jimbo-created policy originating in
2005, we treat works from these countries as if they the countries DID
have copyright relations with the US, even though they do not. This
means excluding many works from Wikipedia that we would be legally
Personally, I agree with Jimbo that respecting the intellectual
property rights of authors in non-treaty states is ethically the right
thing to do. Simply appropriating all content published in Iran,
Iraq, etc., as free is disrespectful to the authors involved. This is
especially true since individual authors in these countries generally
have no influence over whether their government chooses to participate
in international copyright agreements.
Allowing such images to be used on Wikipedia would also create a
number of foreseeable problems for us and for reusers. Firstly, works
in the public domain due to non-treaty status can be restored to
copyright if the nation at issue chooses to join the relevant
treaties. At the stroke of a pen, these nations could ensure their
works were no longer usable. Such a change could create significant
additional work for Wikipedians and numerous hassles for any reusers
that chose to rely on such images. It is unclear how likely these
countries are to seek treaty status in the future. However,
membership in international copyright treaties is generally seen as a
prerequisite for full member status in the World Trade Organization.
Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Ethopia all have been applying for full
member status in the WTO (the process takes years, and Iran began the
application in 1996). The desire to join the WTO would appear to make
it significantly more likely that these countries will join
international copyright treaties in the foreseeable future.
Personally, I think Wikipedia ought to focus on truly free content
rather than "public domain" content with a significant chance of being
revoked in the future.
There are also practical problems with determining that a work
originates in a non-treaty state, that the authors are all nationals
of that country, and that the work was not also published in a treaty
state. (Some US courts have suggested that placing a work on the
internet actually counts as publishing in all countries were it is
available, which would imply that internet works would be frequently
covered by treaty obligations.)
Anyway, I think a change of this magnitude needs a more thorough
vetting by the community. A "consensus" of 9-3 shouldn't really be
sufficient to change how Wikipedia deals with content from non-treaty
states. Though this discussion has been presented to RFC and has been
open for quite a while, I suspect that the way the issue was framed
made it hard for most people to participate.
I'm raising the issue here, because I know many people on foundation-l
care about issues surrounding copyright and reuse, and a change like
this could set a precedent for what we ultimately do on the other
I think you guys can all see how useful it would be if the Chinese
Wikipedia also has the ebook/PDF creation feature as seen on other
language Wikipedias. Some countries don't always let their people
visit Wikipedia, so ebooks can be an alternative.
We have tried to solve this bug that prevents the Chinese/Japanese
Wikipedias from having this feature:
The relevant developers (PediaPress) have solved the bug to some
extent, but Shi Zhao, leader of the Chinese Wikipedia, still doesn't
think the resulting Chinese PDF files are good enough, so the Chinese
Wikipedia has not yet upgraded to the latest MediaWiki software to get
My two suggestions:
(1) Persuade Shi Zhao to adopt the latest MediaWiki software, which
can generate ebook/PDFs for the Chinese Wikipedia, although the page
layout is not perfect.
(2) Or find another organization than PediaPress to provide this
feature, because PediaPress refuses to adopt a more Unicode-friendly
PDF code library that provides better Chinese PDF rendering.
(also posted online at
*Telenor makes Wikipedia available to 135 million customers in Asia and
San Francisco, California and Oslo, Norway -- February 28, 2012 --Telenor
Group and the Wikimedia Foundation today announced a new partnership to
offer Wikipedia free of traffic charges on mobile devices to Telenor
customers in Asia and Southeastern Europe. By making versions of Wikipedia
available to 135 million mobile customers, Telenor Group and the Wikimedia
Foundation demonstrate a shared commitment to increasing access to the free
and open knowledge available on Wikipedia.
This initiative is part of the Wikimedia Foundation's mobile strategy,
which focuses on reaching the billions of people around the world whose
primary opportunity to access the Internet is via a mobile device.
“The Wikimedia Foundation is working to remove barriers to free knowledge,
and for most people around the world right now, cost and accessibility are
the two biggest hurdles,” says Barry Newstead, Wikimedia Chief Global
Development Officer. “We applaud Telenor for joining us to deliver free
access to Wikipedia for their customers. Through this partnership, we move
a step closer to providing the sum of all knowledge to everyone in the
This partnership supports Telenor's commitment to bring more value to its
mobile customers. The company has pioneered the development of value-adding
services to rural and underserved communities in Asia. Telenor involve
millions in Asia through the I-Genius project, which has already reached
out to 300,000 Bangladeshi students and school-children with a call to
explore open knowledge on the internet.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with the Wikimedia
Foundation. Telenor have pioneered affordable, mobile communications across
much of Asia, and we have built a track record of offering vital services
with a significant outreach” says Kristin Skogen Lund, Executive Vice
President and Head of Digital Services at Telenor Group. “With this
agreement, we are first in Asia to bring a vast knowledge source to the
millions in underserved communities across the region.”
The 3-year partnership between Telenor Group and the Wikimedia Foundation
will cover 135 million users. The agreement is signed by seven countries:
Thailand, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Montenegro, and Serbia. By
the end of the year, more markets are expected to join. The agreement will
be implemented step by step throughout 2012, with the first markets
launching during the second quarter.
Each local Telenor affiliate will establish technical solutions together
with the Wikimedia Foundation. Customers with a Telenor SIM will be able to
access a version of the encyclopedia for as many times as they like in a
given period, at no charge, as long as they stay within Wikipedia’s pages.
For more information, read the Telnor Partnership Q&A
Telenor Group is an international provider of telecom, data and media
communication services. Telenor Group has mobile operations in 11 markets
in the Nordic region, Central and Eastern Europe and in Asia. The company
also has an ownership stake of 36.4 percent in VimpelCom Ltd., operating in
19 markets. Headquartered in Norway, Telenor Group is one of the world’s
major mobile operators with 140 million mobile subscriptions in its
consolidated operations per Q4 2011, revenues in 2011 of NOK 99 billion,
and a workforce of approximately 30,000.
*About the Wikimedia Foundation*
The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that operates
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to comScore Media Metrix,
Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation
receive more than 482 million unique visitors per month, making them the
fifth-most popular web property world-wide (comScore, January 2012).
Available in 282 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 20 million
articles contributed by a global volunteer community of more than 100,000
people. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an
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Splitting this off, Achal, I hope that's OK :)
There's a discussion on at the reliable sources notice board, for instance,
> which highlights some of the interpretive problems you raise:
Thanks for the pointer there; I'll try and place some comments in there
later. It is certainly an interesting discussion.
But here are some initial thoughts (please bear in mind I have only scanned
that discussion, and whilst I have had an ongoing interest in the oral
citations project I never dug into in too much depth). Also remember this
is based on my interpretation of our policies, so others may well differ!
> Can I ask you how you would analyse the work of the oral citations project
> in terms of our policies on original research, and verifiability?
The best way I can address this is to lay out my thoughts on our sourcing
Material on Wikipedia can be divided into "fact" and "opinion". The latter
of these is, perhaps confusingly, the simplest to address; because opinion,
viewpoints and perception can quite easily be collated and summarised. The
only real difficulty exists in figuring out which opinions are noteworthy
The problem is facts; as I am sure everyone can appreciate, facts are very
easy to get wrong (maliciously or not). This is especially a problem in
History where events can be pieced together via all manner of sources. Even
WW2 history can differ dramatically depending on the accounts you read -
some overuse oral citation (humans are fallible) and others misuse official
records (which can range from faked through to inaccurate).
The problem with primary sourcing of the oral form is that it comes
directly from an individual - with all of their perceptions and biases. To
make an extreme example out of this; imagine taking an oral citation from
Hitler, and a Jew in a concentration camp. Such citations would, I imagine,
give radically different viewpoints of the Holocaust. Obviously other
accounts, by third parties, show us which account is accurate - but if we
had only those two viewpoints I hope it is obvious how
difficult separating fact and fiction could be (ignoring that any rational
person would see the obvious).
So that brings us to the ideas behind sourcing; which is that we should
consider not only the material but author and publisher. This is important
because if the author of the source is partisan to the material then you
have to consider they may be biased to their viewpoint. As less extreme
example might be two citations from a Republican and a Democrat. Both say
"My Party is the Best because our policies are..." - you can't use either
source to say one party is better, because they are partisan. But you could
use it to relate their parties policies; and as partisans they are well
positioned to relate those policies!
If the author is a third party, of course, that lends weight to their
The publisher is the stumbling block in this case; because it is a
non-expert [sic] researcher uploading material to Commons. What could
mitigate this is a detailed description of the methodology used to collect
the citations, which would allow editors to review it for problems.
One final thing to consider is that WP:V talks about controversial or
challenged material. Whilst that might be a risk policy on the face (it
would be easy to present something non-controversial but also not true as
fact) it's critical to letting us actually write article (otherwise we
would be stifled in citations :)). For example; I've sourced material to
personal sites before with minimal problems - sometimes it is questioned
and what I usually say is "If you can show someone saying the opposite, or
make a sensible argument against, then lets remove it". (FWIW, and this is
an aside, I think is relaxed form to building articles is a Good Thing, and
we should do it more often - worrying about being wrong is stifling).
So now I've picked it apart here is my thinking; Oral citations on Commons
could be excellent sources in the right context.
Sure if the material is disputed or otherwise problematic then it is better
to look for a source that has peer review. But for simplistic, factual
things then I think it is rock solid. One example that comes to mind (and I
don't know if the Oral citations covers this sort of thing) is this: I was
recently on holiday in New Zealand. They have excellent museums there,
fanatically maintained (which is amazing compared to most countries...).
One nice feature is that a lot of the Mauri history exhibits have audio
from those of Mauri ancestory describing some cultural fact or other.
Things like recipes.
Something like that is an excellent oral citation; the author is
authoritative (being Mauri) and the content uncontroversial.
Boiled down, I think that oral citations have a distinct place as a source
- and we should encourage people to consider them as sources when writing.
But they are not something you could, for example, base an entire article
around. We should also explore ways to make them more "reliable", and more
usable. For example making them obviously available to experts in the field
It *is* important to get secondary coverage of a topic, because we are
tertiary source. This is the core idea of our primary source policy; if we
utilise primary material and research something to the extent that we are
the main authoritative source that becomes *hugely* problematic!
And further, how these policies might apply to the idea of social media, as
> well as more private archives, say, corporate archives, being used as
> citations? (And on that point, is there a difference between the the Native
> American folk archive at the Smithsonian and the corporate archives of the
> Michelin corporation in France, for our purposes?)
Corporate archives I would deal with in the same way as any primary source;
use it to cite facts, bear in mind the author/publisher. WP:SPS talks about
being wary of unduly self-serving material, and I think that is an
excellent way of putting the approach to corporate archives.
In terms of social media, this is tricky. Because social media is vastly
more accessible than other mediums - particularly to hacks. Wordpress blogs
are trivial to make, for example, and you can sound authoritative or
convincing on a subject to a layman with only medium effort. I'd treat
these with more caution.
Phew, that was dumped out in a stream of conciousness way - so it might be
a bit "buggy". But that's what I figure :)
(Just as a note; I consider "publisher" quite broadly - i.e. the person who
hosts or maintains the material)