I might have been a bit rash but due to the fact that wikimedia.com was stolen
by a cyber-squatter I went ahead and bought wikibook.com and wikibook.org for
the Wikimedia Foundation (somebody else could go ahead and buy the plural if
they want - but I may still beat them to it).
My thoughts are this; Wikibook could be a new uber-project aimed at creating a
host of different types of e-books. Different broad types of wikibooks would
get their own sub-domain.
So for example textbooks would be at http://textbook.wikibook.org while
fiction would be at http://fiction.wikibook.org. Internationalization would
not be accomplished by sub-domains but by having different directories for
each language. All English language textbooks, for example, would be at
http://textbook.wikibook.org/en/ and all Spanish language textbooks would be
This of course is very long-term planning for where Wikimedia may go in the
next several years but IMO it is an obvious extention of where we are already
I'm still open to better ideas on what to name the textbook project though (if
people think that project should have a very specific name). My above
purchase was impulsive but I would probably secure other domain names for
Wikimedia if good names are proposed.
But I kinda like the idea of having one domain name for an uber e-book project
if for no other reason than that would reduce the domain name registration
fee load on the Foundation (which is US$100 for 10 years ; I'm a cheapo and
only registered the domain names for a year at 20 bucks each, though).
--Daniel Mayer (aka mav)
This may interest people looking for GFDL-compatible photos... GNUArt
(http://www.gnuart.net/) has a collection of various media (photos,
music, etc) under GPL license. Apparently they're considering switching
en masse to GFDL, as GPL doesn't really cover public performance rights
etc as clearly as one might like.
I've attached below a couple posts from their mailing list (in french).
Archives at http://fr.groups.yahoo.com/group/gnuart/ , but I think you
have to sign up for the list -- and yahoo -- to get at it.
Of course, even if they don't switch it's always possible to contact
authors directly about dual-licensing.
Okay, back to lurking... :)
-- brion vibber (brion @ pobox.com)
[deja, en mon francais terrifiant]
Peut-etre ceci interesserait des gens ici qui cherchent des photos
compatible avec GFDL... GNUArt (http://www.gnuart.net/), qui a une
collection des media divers (photos, musique, etc) sous license GPL,
commence a penser a switcher tout vers GFDL.
(Naturellement, meme si ils ne changent rien, on peut toujours contacter
les auteurs directement a propos licensing double.)
Voici un-deux postes de sa liste de diffusion (archive a
http://fr.groups.yahoo.com/group/gnuart/ , apparament pas accessible que
pour des souscrits):
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [gnuart] probleme
Date: Sun, 22 Jun 2003 11:06:38 +0200
From: mirko vidovic <mirko at vidovic.org>
Reply-To: gnuart at yahoogroupes.fr
To: gnuart at yahoogroupes.fr
Rien de grave dans ce que j'ai a vous annoncer mais un changement
fondamental se profile a l'horizon :
Il se trouve que la Licence GNU GPL, aussi puissante qu'elle soit ne
considere jamais les "representations publiques".
Donc, pense switcher toute la galerie vers la GNU FDL (Free
Documentation Licence) qui elle gere cet aspect supplementaire.
Y a-t'il des objections ?
[snip, this from a later post:]
On Sunday, June 22, 2003, at 11:10 AM, antman wrote:
> En d'autres mots, concrètement, ça signifie quoi ?
> Quels en sont les principales différences (en français dans le texte) ?
Les droits sont les memes a la difference que les projections,
concerts, expositions, representations, lectures publiques sont
explicitement (au lieu de implicitement) couvertes.
La FDL ne couvre cependant pas les programmes informatiques, seulement
les oeuvres statiques, la seule oeuvre a etre touchee est donc
l'animation Flash d'Esenka.
> Faut changer les textes de licences dans tous nos .zip ?
Ne vous embetez pas, un script Perl y parviendra a merveille.
Artists call me a nerd
Nerds call me an artist
> From: Daniel Mayer <maveric149(a)yahoo.com>
> Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2003 15:37:33 -0700
> Of course you would score a major coup for the project by getting the
> copyright holder (the Royal Navy if I recall) to allow us to use their text
> under terms of the GNU FDL.
I'm working on letters to various government officials pointing out
that since the US government is required by law to publish in the
public domain, its publications are used worldwide. If other
governments, such as Canada, adopted a similiar practice, there
would be more diversity in public domain information to choose
from, and projects like ours would be able balance American
perspective with material from other countries.
I encourage other Canadians (and all citizens of countries without
that lovely American law, for that matter) to apply a little pressure
to your government officials. A few well-placed letters on issues
that aren't in the public eye really can make a difference.
- Stephen G.
Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia
> From: "Stevertigo" <stevertigo(a)attbi.com>
> Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2003 22:42:36 -0700
> This may sound offlandish - but I want to throw support behind the idea =
> spelling proper names in close accord to their actual names' =
> The English spelling/pronunciation "Prague" would redirect to "Praha" - =
> actual name of the place. This is not something that should simply be =
> to stand along English lines.
> All that said, I'd just like to see Prague redirect to "Praha" -(etc) =
> "Prague" be recorded as a depricated way of naming the capital city of
> Czechlosovakia. Proper names, at least we can all agree - belong to the
> denzens of those cities, and not to people elsewhere. Why depricated?
> Because I play go, chat, etc, with people from Czechlosovakia (for =
> . Not something that was a reality as little as a decade ago.
I'm not entirely unsympathetic to this issue, but I believe that this
suggestion is misguided. Proper names have been translated from
their original language into others long before English came on the
scene. Trying to establish a "proper" way to write and say a name
would be next to impossible, and not very desireable. It also
assumes that each place is inhabited by people who speak a
single language and use the same names universally. What is be
the "proper" name of "Africa"? Will Canadian places use English or
French names? Will Korea become Hanguk (used in the South) or
Chosen (used in the North)?
In English, the capital of the Czech Republic is Prague. This is a
translation of the name. As you point out, there is some
momentum in the English to use translations that more closely
approximate the pronunciation in the dominant language of the
area. However, language evolves naturally. Wikipedia can declare
"Prague" deprecated, but it wouldn't make a bit of difference to the
rest of the English speaking world, and it would make the project
- Stephen G.
Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia
I sent this message to the wrong list. Sorry.
---------- Forwarded Message ----------
Subject: Announcing Wikimedia Foundation
Date: Friday 20 June 2003 04:19 pm
From: Daniel Mayer
Jimmy Wales wrote:
>I'm pleased to announce the existence of the
>Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit corporation
>organized under the laws of Florida, United States.
>I am transferring to this new corporation the assets
>1. All Nupedia.com/net/org/etc. domain names
>2. All Wikipedia.com/net/org/etc. domain names
>3. All copyrights in software or articles that were
>previously owned by Bomis, Inc. and already placed
>under a copyleft license. (This includes work-for-hire
>by Jason, Tim, Larry, Toan, Liz, and myself, as well as
>any other Bomis employees who may have worked on
>these projects as a part of their job, but doesn't include
>any work by thoseparties conducted on their own time
>or while not an employee of Bomis.)
Sweet! Thanks for setting up the Foundation (especially with the name
"Wikimedia"). As the owner of the Wikimedia.org and Wiktionary.org domain
names I hereby transfer ownership and control of these domain names to the
Wikimedia Foundation as soon as it is in the position to receive these assets
(per your personal email to me Jimbo).
I also noticed the Nupedia stuff. Does that mean that Nupedia is also now
part of the Wikimedia family? I'm not certain if the Nupedians (if there are
any left or who care) would be too happy about that.... Oh well, maybe we
can bring some life to that project. I still think Nupedia (perhaps under
the name GNUpedia) should be refactored to be a repository of
expert-approved Wikipedia articles (along the lines of Larry's Sifter
project). Thus that project would be a stable distribution of Wikipedia
content but all editing would still take place at Wikipedia.
Which reminds me that gnupedia.org and gnupedia.com are also owned by Bomis
(IIRC). Are these domain names included with point 1?
Oh, and I'm going to assign copyright to all my edits to Wikimedia as part of
my Will and since I plan on living a very long time it will be awhile before
Wikimedia owns my text. I am still weary about having one entity in control
of so much content (which brings up the possibility of proprietary forks if,
for example, Wikimedia goes bankrupt and creditors try to sell Wikimedia's
Is there a way for Wikipedia authors to grant Wikimedia the ability to defend
the author's GNU FDLd copyrighted text without requiring the author to
transfer ownership to Wikimedia? Or am I confusing "ownership" and
-- Daniel Mayer (aka mav)
>From: Kurt Jansson
>We could ask the guys from Spamradio if they'd like to start a Wikipedia
>articles channel :-)
It's an interesting idea. Many Wikipedians have good and commanding voices,
Brion VIBBER recorded some clips of "Our Father", and Chuck SMITH had an
interview in Esperanto. I'm sure others possess great voices too, whether
they realize it or not.
But anyway, is this what Wikimedia is about at all?... :-)
Protect your PC - get McAfee.com VirusScan Online
If we allow fair use of images, which we currently do, we may want to
develop guidelines for what is and what is not a good example for fair
use. Some thoughts:
Good fair use:
- Press/publicity photos. These are typically intended for republication
and it is unlikely that anyone will get in trouble for using them in any
way. Exceptions: Press/publicity photos which have explicit restrictions
- Screenshots and screen captures: A screenshot, especially one done by
yourself, is usually such a small excerpt from the entire work that fair
use is perfectly applicable. Companies don't make money selling
screenshots. Exceptions: Shots of programs whose primary value is their
graphical content (e.g. clipboard collections) or shots containing clearly
copyrighted commercial artwork.
- Important historical photos: Leader meets leader, building explodes, war
crimes etc. Here the educational purpose is prevalent. Exceptions: Photos
of which we know that their copyright is rigidly enforced.
- Sound/music snippets: There exists a lot of precedent law regarding
this, and many large websites offer short (10-second) snippets of popular
- General portrait/celberity photos. Here it is important to at least try
to obtain permission and figure out what the copyright situation is.
- Current news photos. Depends on the importance of the news and the
photo. Again, it should be attempted to obtain permission first.
- Album covers, movie posters. Rule of thumb: If it looks really cool
(nice high resolution photo), it's probably not OK (there are actually
companies that sell these things).
- Modern maps. Map producers directly compete with us, and it is generally
hard to see why we should be allowed to take their work for free, just
like we could not simply take the articles from the Encyclopaedia
- Textbook illustrations. See above - this is an active market, and we can
be expected to create our own.
- Photos of famous, non-historical buildings, places etc. - we can shoot
Of course, pictures in the "black area" can be used if permission can be
>This may sound offlandish - but I want to throw support
>behind the idea of spelling proper names in close accord
>to their actual names' pronunciation. The English spelling/
>pronunciation "Prague" would redirect to "Praha" - the
>actual name of the place. This is not something that should
>simply be left to stand along English lines.
But the English word for the city is Prague, not Praha. If you present an
average English speaker with the word "Praha" they are not going to know what
that is. But present the same English speaker with "Prague" and they will
recognize it. Same for Deutschland vs Germany. Why should we needlessly
confuse our readers and make them feel stupid for not knowing the "right"
word for Prauge or Germany? They will probably take one look at the foreign
title and leave thinking they landed in the wrong place (if not the wrong
Please don't use characters and words in en.wiki for titles that are
unpronounceable and unrecognizable by most English speakers - it is counter
to our purpose of being understandable by the largest number of English
speakers and especially native English speakers (when writing in English, of
course). That will only lead to having misdirected links as English speakers
can't remember the spelling of a foreign word. We already had a major fight
with Lir over Cristóbal Colón vs Christopher Columbus - please don't open up
old wounds. You have already pissed a bunch of people off by having a nick in
non-English characters because they couldn't read or pronounce it.
All that matters is what the majority of English speakers recognize as the
title and for us to make modifications and compromises where needed to
overcome ambiguities. Oh, and there is no such thing as a "real name" for
anything - words play a nominative role and different words are used in
different languages to mean the same things. This is such an elementary fact
that I'm embarrassed to have to mention it to you.
Sometimes this means we use words that are very close to or even the same as
the words used in the country of origin of the thing but other times it means
we use an Anglicization (which is the process modifying foreign words to make
it easier for English speakers to use and pronounce them). All that matters
is what is known and recognized by most English speakers at all familiar with
the subject (and making sure there are no significant naming conflicts and
also making sure we aren't just making up Anglicizations).
This aids in linking for writers and the ability of readers to find what they
are looking for. That's all. Redirects can and should be used for less common
forms of the term so that people looking for those forms can find the
articles too. But leave the terms that are most widely known and used by
English speakers at the head of their articles - not some form of the name
that is seldom used by English speakers (especially native ones).
And article titles should reflect a strong bias toward what English speakers
are going to most often write in a sentence when referring to the subject
(with modifications based on ambiguities). That whole point of doing this is
to maximize the number of direct links to a title - redirects are a hack used
for less common terms.
And why in the world is this being placed on the general policy list when this
is something specifically about en.wik?
-- Daniel Mayer (aka mav)
(Sorry, if you receive this for the second time - MS Exchange does not
like Mac OS X Mail very much, it seems :-/
German / Deutsch (nur ein Versuch - Bernd :-)
(Achtung: Ich weiß nicht, was IRS ist - s.u. Weiß jemand mehr?)
Ich freue mich die Existenz der Wikimedia Foundation Inc. bekannt zu
geben, die nach den Gesetzen des Staates Florida, Vereinigte Staaten
von Amerika, gegründet wurde. Ich übertrage dieser neuen Gesellschaft
1. Alle Nupedia.com/net/ort/ usw. Domain-Namen
2. Alle Wikipedia.com/net/org/ usw. Domain-Namen
3. Alle Urheberrechte (copyrights) an Software oder Artikeln die bisher
bei Bomis, Inc., liegen und schon unter der copyleft-Lizenz
veröffentlicht wurden. (Dies umfasst Auftragsarbeiten von Jason, Tim,
Larry, Toan, Liz und mir selbst, sowie von anderen Bomis-Angestellten,
die an diesen Projekten im Rahmen ihrer Anstellung gearbeitet haben
mögen, aber es umfasst nicht Arbeiten von jeden
Beitragenden/Beteiligten, die diese auf eigene Kosten erstellt haben
oder während sie nicht Angestellte von Bomis waren.)
(All dies wurde bereits unter GNU GPL oder GNU FDL veröffentlicht, so
dass die Übertragung des Copyrights bzw. der Urheberrechte im Grunde
nur eine Formalität ist. Trotzdem möchten wir dies als ein gutes
4. Zusätzlich übertrage ich alle meine persönlichen Urheberrechte zu
Werken, die schon unter der GNU GPL oder der GNU FDL zu Wikipedia und
Nupedia entstanden sind, dieser Stiftung (Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.).
Zum gegenwärtigen Zeitpunkt (und bis auf weiteres) gehören die beiden
Computer, auf denen Wikipedia läuft, weiterhin der Bomis, Inc., aber
meine Absicht ist es, diese (der Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.) zu
stiften, sofern dies unter den gegebenen steuerrechtlichen Bestimmungen
/ Implikationen sinnvoll ist. Ich muss hierzu zuerst einen (Steuer-)
Ich möchte Sie NICHT ermutigen, schon jetzt Stiftungen bzw. Spenden an
die Wikimedia Foundation zu richten. Ich arbeite momentan noch in einem
steuerrechtlichen Ausnahmestatus mit dem/der IRS, und ich habe noch
kein Bankkonto für die Wikimedia Foundation eingerichtet. Dies wird
noch einige Wochen dauern.
Auf der Liste der nächsten Arbeiten stehen:
1. Den IRS-Prozesse für den steuerrechtlichen Status abzuschließen.
2. Erstellung von Formularen für die Übertragung von Urheberrechten
(copyrights) an die Stiftung - falls jemand dies übernehmen möchte,
schaut bitte unter:
Dort stehen Gründe dafür, warum dies eine Gute Sache ist.
3. Einrichtung eines Bankkontos für die Wikimedia Foundation
4. Einrichtung eines Handels-Kontos für die Wikimedia Foundation, um
Geschenke in Form von Creditkarten-Überweisungen möglichst einfach zu
Ich werde alle in den kommenden Wochen über den aktuellen Stand auf dem
(Übersetzungsversuch: Bernd Kulawik)
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