First, right up top (not top posting; but noting something intentionally
at the top
of this posting), let me acknowledge that responding to one of ones own
postings is considered bad form. But in my defense I will note that I am
not doing so in order to prolong a thread well past its sale by date,
but to correct
an inadvertent error I had made, which can be of some significance,
after I was
informed of it.
Jussi-Ville Heiskanen wrote:
Andrew Gray wrote:
2009/1/23 Nikola Smolenski
Article length was 82028 bytes, and length of
contributors' names is
(or 0.8% of the article's length). If that would be printed in an
encyclopedic format, the article would take some more than ten
pages, and the
list of authors would take 10 rows, if printed in a slightly smaller
me, this looks reasonable.
It's a lot less unreasonable than many suggestions! :-)
I wonder - would it be possible to get some kind of script set up to
take, say, a thousand of our most popular articles and tell us what
the "cite all named authors who make nontrivial contributions" result
would be like? This might be a useful bit of data...
I think it is useful to note that even in countries where
moral rights are inalienable, there is a requirement of
"originality" and "creative effort".
Just recently there was a question put to the Finnish
"Mr. Intellectual Property law" (Jukka Kemppinen, who
quite by the by, was one of the speakers at the seminar
to mark 100 000 articles in the Finnish language wikipedia)
on whether a text message could be considered to be
sufficiently original to constitute a "work" as defined
in the authors rights legislation. The situation was
related to a tabloid publishing obscene text messages
a government minister had sent to an exotic dancer.
According to Jukka Kemppinen, a simple two line
obscene rhyming text message "Älä luota muihin,
ota multa suihin." - giving a completely hypothetical
example - would be quite sufficient to be
a "work". (and no, I won't translate the message).
But I am sure there are no applicable moral rights
to let's say correcting missing space around punctuation.
I have made some
studies, and it appears this last
sentence is in fact complete bollocks. (xcuse my french)
There is a frequently expressed view that the moral
rights provision of "paternity rights" are there to
protect the authors right to be identified as the
originator of the work, but it is in fact (according to
a finding by Finnish copyrights protection arbitration
committee - which of course has no actual legal standing
as a binding precedent on later court cases) somewhat
TN 1991:7 states that the paternity right extends to
the level of making it obligatory to not only mention
if the original authors work has been tampered in some
way (adapted, translated, modified, whatever; choose
your own term) but to identify specifically by whom, if
This is a very strong finding, though as far as I know
untested in an actual court of law here.
I am sure most cases of shuffling punctuation around
and such is not something that can be considered
creative acts, but certainly they would qualify as
modifications. And I was recently reminded of the
Emily Dickinson poem "A Narrow Fellow in the Grass"
(published as "The Snake" in The Republican) had
a change of a single punctuation mark, which in her
own view changed the meaning of it completely on its
head; so even a mechanical application of considering
punctuation changes as minor, is not universally