A few points:
I like tbc's suggestion of assigning aliases to users. I'd like to
extend that, tho, to making the aliases display according to how each
user wants: so that I could, for instance, make 64.192.whatever
display as "FARTBOY" in red in all caps, so I'm sure not to miss his
vandalism when it comes by.
I'm glad Magnus pointed out that IP blocks should be temporary. I'm
on dialup myself. :-) But I do think that *temporary* blocks should
be an option old-timers have in response to vandalism.
I agree with Larry (and Mike and Anatoly etc.)'s suggestion that any
sort of scoring system *not* be public. I've lurked around slashdot
and E2 long enough to see that encourages elitism and frivolous edits,
usually for nothing more than ego-stroking (which is contrary to our
goal). Perhaps we should set up different criteria: say 1) the user
signs up; 2) the user edits article pages at least ''x'' times a week;
3) the user has created 4 or 5 pages which have not been shipped to
[[page titles to be deleted]].
I propose that in the new software, we might want to have better tools
for tracing the work of pranksters.
This shows that the first revision and 4th revision, both written by
168.143.112.xxx, contain references to a "secret Arabic language",
with a link. The link is to a page with a "dictionary". Upon
inspection, you'll see that the "dictionary" is for a pig-latin
So this is obviously a "joke", although since it isn't really funny
and probably isn't meant to be funny, a "hoax" or "prank" is probably
a better word.
Naturally, I wonder what else 168.143.112.xxx may have edited. It
would be nice to be able to click on that as a link and see.
Or perhaps we could just have a special search function to allow us to
* http://www.wikipedia.com/ *
* You can edit this page right now! *
The conversion of the German tarball is finished. It is running at
Everybody, please help me find the bugs. PHP programmers are also welcome!
Remember, once we switch the wikipedia script, you'll have to live with that
I just want to let you know that (hopefully) in the next few hours, I'll
convert the tarball of the German wikipedia into MySQL for my script at
wikipedia.sourceforge.net. I'm not sure if the current contents will
Cross your fingers,
Here's my view: by submitting your article to wikipedia, you keep the copyright. Bomis does not own the copyright
to any article (except maybe the ones written by Bomis employees), just like Linus Torvalds does not own the copyright to parts
of the Linux kernel he did not write.
What you do if you hit the submit button on wikipedia is to release your material under GFDL, without invariant sections.
Bomis owns a copyright on the collection, just like RedHat owns a copyright on the whole Linux distribution they sell.
So if somebody copies the website, simply changes all "Wikipedia" to "Yahoopedia" and publishes it,
keeping individual articles under GFDL,, Bomis could
sue; individual authors could not because none of their rights were violated. If Yahoo wants to publish a Yahoopedia,
they would have to suck the individual GFDL articles individually, and then build a website out of it. Nobody could sue
them for it, just like nobody can sue Suse for starting a new Linux distribution out of available GPL material. Of course,
Yahoo, when publishing their Yahoopedia, would have to follow the prescriptions of the GFDL under which the articles
were released; in particular, they have to release their modifications under GFDL and have to allow others to suck the
articles from their website in easily modifiable form. If they don't, individual authors could sue them. Bomis could not sue,
since none of their right were violated. Analogy: if somebody publishes a proprietary version of emacs, RMS could sue
but Redhat could not.
There is however one issue: if I release my article to wikipedia under GFDL, Bomis, *per the GFDL, section 4B*, has to
maintain information about at least five of the principal authors. I think the easiest way to do this would be to maintain unlimited
page histories, maybe downloadable by FTP somewhere if the material gets to voluminous for the web server.
> I think the whole situation is very unclear. If each
> Wikipedia-author is really copyright-holder of his material,
> we have at least to keep track of the authorships of the diffs,
> or else (IMHO, again IANAL) we violate the FDL. The current
> logs are not sufficient, we would need real accounts with
> mandatory real-world user-identification (*if* the author
> wants to retain his rights).
IANAL, but I have studied law and intellectual property law in
particular for a long time.
Overlapping, even contradictory, copyright claims are perfectly
normal and legally acceptable. Everything I write is in the public
domain; I (or you, or anyone) can use it in any way, including in
ways that violate te GFDL. When I add the text to Wikipedia, Bomis
makes the valid claim of a _collection copyright_ on the whole (which
is a valid claim), and and individual copyright to each article
(which is a specious but perfectly legal claim). It then grants the
public rights under the GFDL. Remember what a copyright license is:
it is a grant of permission to use something that I otherwise claim
as mine; it is saying, in essence, "if you use this text in
accordance with these terms, Bomis won't sue you for infringement".
Whether or not Bomis is actually _entitled_ to sue is a tricky issue,
but it's still OK for them to claim that they can. In the case of
text that's entirely mine, they don't have that right. In the case
of collaboratively-authored works, they might (or might not; none of
this has really been tested in court).
I think it is pretty clear--and should be clearly stated if it is not-
-that individual authors agree to the GFDL licensing terms for text
they post here. In other words, by putting text here, you are making
an overt grant of permission to use that text in ways consistent with
the GFDL, and you are further granting Bomis the right to grant that
same permission to others. Now as an author, you personally still
have the right to use your text in non-GFDL ways, but that's not
something that Bomis realy needs to care about. You've granted Bomis
the right to do what it needs to do; the fact that somebody else
happens to have _more_ rights shouldn't concern them.
The question is who has the right to sue for infringement if someone
other than the author violates the GFDL. If somebody tries to
violate the GFDL by copying large portions of Wikipedia as a whole,
Bomis's collection copyright comes into play. If someone does
something proprietary with an individual article, Bomis might still
have standing to sue under the GFDL under the theory that the author
(s) of the work granted them that right. If not, then the authors
have the right to sue, because they only granted GFDL-like
permissions. For works by one author (which are hopefully rare,
because that's where all the quirks appear), the author can also
refuse to sue, or even supply a brief in defense of the infringer by
claiming his own personal copyright and granting beyond-GFDL
permissions to the infringer.
In short, I don't think Bomis's continued use use a problem, but
their ability to enforce the terms of the GFDL _is_ a problem (if,
unlike me, you are concerned about that). I think the best way to
cure that is to place explicit notice near the "save" button on each
edit page stating that by putting text here, you explicitly transfer
to Bomis the right to sue for GFDL violations.
>Patience. I'm merely advocating patience. Under-promise and
>over-deliver. Good advice for any dot-com venture these days, eh?
> "still looking forward to the Wikipedia 1.0 CD-ROM"
Exactly. Wikipedia has had a lot of coverage; if we push for too much more,
people will start labeling it "hype". That doesn't mean that we shouldn't
look for help from appropriate sources (USENET, mailing lists, etc), but
let's quietly work away, and wait until we have some big news before we
seek more press coverage.
I'm new on this list and interested in finding out if I can use the
wikipedia method of working in a specific collaborative project to
document a computer industry technical standard. Collaborators are
all over the world and in different companies so it looks like an
(1) Is the wikipedia server software available so we could set up a
documentation server of our own for this specialist purpose?
(2) if the software isn't available, could I set up a really
specialized set of pages in the wikipedia itself? For example pages
of the kind the would be added see
Thanks in advance for any advice and pointers
I like the idea of using the Nupedia approval process to bless Wikipedia articles.
Only one little concern: a link on every page "Submit to Nupedia" seems overkill. Nupedia
editors will get annoyed by too many, and repeated, submissions, and users will be
confused what this is all about. Why not restrict the submitting action only to logged in users,
and then only from the edit-page? That way, the unwashed masses never have to deal with it.