Daniel Arnold wrote:
I personally would suggest the following policy:
* Do not give the impression creating an official Wikimedia product as long as
there hasn't been an official agreement.
That is easy to say as a guideline, but the line between acknowledging
the WMF and appearing as endorsed by the WMF can seem to be a fine line
here. The Wikijunior Big Cats book did not really imply being endorsed
by the WMF, but simply stated that the WMF had a copyright claim.
Apparently that was in error, although I still havn't seen a formal
statement by the Foundation disclaiming copyright as well, even though
I've read statements here on this mailing list suggesting that the
Foundation doesn't want to have copyright over Wikimedia content.
* Speak only for yourself and involved people as long
there hasn't been an
* Respect Wikimedia trademarks.
This is a tricky point here in some ways. Trademarks identify all of
the various Wikimedia projects in a number of ways, and it gets into
similar issues with what happened regarding simply using the name of the
WMF in any capacity, even for an ackowledgement that the WMF was
involved with the creation and preparation of the content (which they
were.... the content originated on WMF servers).
The use of the title "Wikijunior Big Cats" is itself a trademark, as is
even just "Big Cats". BTW, this is exactly the situation that the Free
Software Foundation got into when they established the invariant
sections portion of the GFDL, where they tried to make a way for free
content to keep a registered trademark (aka Wikijunior Big Cats) but
still allow others to be able to freely print and distribute textual
content. In this case the title would be one of the invariant sections
under the GFDL, perhaps with a disclaimer that publication does not
imply endorsement by the WMF.
This would be the same issue as if you printed a physical edition of
Wikipedia, such as has been done by the German Wikipress group:
Mind you, I think there are going to be some individuals who are going
to go beyond simply using the names and really will imply endorsement by
the WMF, as does happen already with mirrors of Wikipedia content. And
I think that the WMF does have justification to protect trademarks. The
question here is should 3rd parties simply not use any Wikimedia
trademarks of any kind on any product, including even the name of the
WMF not even being named in the credits, nor even links to WMF servers?
Or should there be reasonable uses of these trademarks where it is
noted that while the content was developed on WMF servers, this is an
* If it is a community project (community is nothing
official just a larger
crowd of good faith people) make a project page in the wiki for organisating
the matter that naturally also can contain links to offsite pages connected
That is a safe way to proceed, as it removes any liability problems from
the WMF for any actions of a group of users going independent and
publishing on their own. And if there is a group doing this sort of
organizing, it makes sense that it should be on a seperate website. I
think that even if it becomes an "official" and sanctioned project, it
should be on a seperate wiki as well anyway.
* Try to merge back any improvements.
* Never link from article namespace to the project
(page) and it's results
only link from the relevant project and portal page (I generally think that
portal and project page links should be removed from articles).
* If the book can be buyed link the ISBN (not Amazon book numbers and such in
order to be vendor neutral) alongside (!) a link to the free downloadable pdf
at the allowed places in the wiki, so that people can freely choose by
This is the point I really don't understand. I'm discussing a way to
publish content and as a "publisher" I generate the ISBN number. We are
in a very interesting situation with the GFDL as you can have multiple
ISBN numbers for the same book, each one of which goes to a seperate
publisher. In other words, the attempt to be vendor neutral just got
lost by even including the ISBN link in the first place. All you have
done is open up additional sales outlets to handle the distribution of
the content in the first place with the inclusion of the ISBN number.
Normally this isn't a big deal with traditional copyrighted material as
there are exclusive publication rights for a single publisher, so one
book title has only one ISBN. For free content, that is no longer the case.
It is very natural path for some people to want to have a physcial
printed copy of some of the project content on Wikimedia projects.
Indeed, there is a "printable version" link on every page right now
that encourages this. The question then comes up on where to get a
printed copy you can simply purchase with a couple of clicks of the
mouse? Offering any link, including just ISBN numbers, is going to
imply some sort of endorsement in this situation.
* An upload of the final pdf to the wiki is part of the
back merge and thatfor
So I personally think that Wikisource project page link of the "Wikijunior"
book would have been ok if the book wouldn't give that false impression that
it is an official Wikimedia product and and if the book would have another
name (beside respecting the GFDL).
Using the name Wikipedia (as the Wikipress group has done) is pretty
much the same thing here in terms of how the name Wikijunior was used.
Again, the only implied endorsement for the Wikijunior book was because
the WMF was listed as a copyright claimant. Offering a title to some of
this content is going to be an interesting task, as the titles
themselves for many other Wikibooks (like Blender 3D: Noob to Pro) can
be defensibly considered trademarks of the WMF. Indeed this title uses
the trademark for another non-profit foundation, Blender.
My impression is that using the title of the book (Wikijunior Big Cats)
is an acceptable use of trademarks, but perhaps I'm wrong. How this
sort of trademark applies to GFDL'd content is untested legally. The
GFDL implies (as do comments by the Free Software Foundation on this
issue) that titles of content are important for recognizing, even
"branding" content, yet they also want to make this sort of content
freely available for redistribution. This is no different than having a
GPL'd copy of Firefox and putting it on a CD-ROM with the name "Firefox"
and the Firefox logo on the label, then trying to sell the CD-ROM. This
is not only happens, but is encouraged. You don't change the name of
this software simply because it has been handed to a 3rd party. I'm
sure there are contrary opinions to all of this, but the point is that
copyleft content does have some different rules to work under than
traditionally copyrighted content.
We really are moving into an interesting legal area here, and it is
natural to try and be very cautious before trying to push any legal
point including telling people to not do things that may in fact be
perfectly legal to do anyway. Much of how this content will be
published is going to depend on the tone toward trademarks that the WMF
sets toward such usage and what is even going to be considered a
trademark. I don't think that the board members are trying to be
anti-user or anti-publication, but it is also natural for people like
Brad and Jimbo to try and strongly defend trademark usage and keep it
tightly controlled. I am also not trying to push the legal envelope but
rather trying to do what is best for the Wikimedia projects and offer
something that has been requested by some Wikibooks users and readers.
Robert Scott Horning