Volker Haas wrote:
as the title suggests I would like to introduce a website to the
wikimedia community that offers books consisting of wikipedia articles
that areprinted on demand.
I am curious how you plan to compile these books in a format that looks
good on paper and not strictly as a web format. While this can be
automated to an extent, I do think there are some issues that come from
trying to move content from a web format to a printed page, and not all
of these can be completely automated. As I havn't been able to preview
a book yet,
* we e-mailed with Angela Beesley (member of the Board of Trustees of
the Wikimedia Foundation) and Brad Patrick (general counsel to the
Wikimedia Foundation) who did not see anything problematic with our service.
While notifying the Wikimedia Foundation board may be demonstrating good
faith, I want to emphasis that it is not necessary to seek permission in
order to republish Wikimedia project content. The GFDL spells out the
terms and conditions quite clearly and in theory should be sufficient
for non-lawyers to get into print versions of Wikimedia content.
This does get back to the point in question that I raised with my first
posting about print versions of Wikimedia content. What should
reasonable project guidelines be for links to print versions like this?
As I've pointed out, this is but the beginning of a huge number of
request that will be coming for services like this, and telling
everybody to get their own legal counsel and duke it out in the
courtroom is not going to be a pleasant experience for anybody.
Not permitting any links to services like this might be a solution, and
encouraging independent advertising of these services outside of
Wikimedia projects as the only real advertising venue.
There is, however, some value for individuals who want to purchase print
versions and it would be logical to offer some links to printed
versions. This would be a service to our "readers" that may want to get
some added value to Wikimedia projects. Some sort of standard should be
applied *if* we permit some external links, even if of the variety like
the ISBN links to on-line booksellers. That we do offer links to
commercial services on Wikimedia projects already for books should
demonstrate at least some sort of precedence to permit reprint links as
well, as long as they are just as descrete and don't clutter up the
Robert Scott Horning