Here is an interresting link :
Encyclopedia Universalis is one of the most well-known
encyclopedia into French. On that page, we learn that
the commpany is owned at 50% by Encyclopedia
Britannica. That they have 50 employees and that they
want to fire 15 persons.
I hope you find this email usefull and not off-topic.
Youssef, aka youssefsan
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Jimbo spoke about his impression that people want to know the
qualifications of authors. This has been discussed to deatch so I will
not comment. :)
Listening to the show I heard something else, it was put forward that
people take wikipedia as the "gospel truth" either because they do not
have more time or because they still do not have the skills to do some
proper research. Jimbo dit put it very well on the show that the
intention of an encyclopedia is to cover the basics of a subject. Having
thought about it for a day, I came up with this conclusion: we emphasise
on providing the sources for the articles written. This is cool for as
far as it goes. However the emphasis should be on where the reader
should go next. It is much more productive to state what and where good
further reading can be found. The point is that the source for a fact
does not necessarily make good reading even though it proves a factoid.
It is much more productive to show where to go next.
The crux is that the mentioning of sources make a Wikipedia article
credible. It does not point where to go for further research or
information. To me this is distinctly different and it is much more
important that we encourage people to learn more.
I've handed over management of the Wikimedia/Wikipedia CafePress shop at
to Daniel Mayer (mav) to focus on my Research role. All questions about
the shop should be directed at him. Thanks to mav for accepting this
Gregory Maxwell wrote:
>With text it's even worse because our public editing process make it
>much easier for someone to prove that our text was a derived work,
>where in a more traditional medium a sufficient amount of refactoring
>would usually manage to hide the violation.
>With images I plan on just replacing all the ones with suspect
>copyright (i.e. everything that isn't CC* or GFDL and uploaded by the
>author, or with an actual letter attached that explicitly says PD or
>an acceptable license) over time... but I have no idea how to solve
Indeed, I'm rather surprised at the glib and easy way with which some
people suggest "refactoring" copyright violations rather than deleting
them when possible. Under normal circumstances, every revision of an
article is a derivative work of previous revisions going back to the
beginning. Simply rephrasing to avoid identical strings of words is not
sufficient to avoid this.
To be confident that you don't have a derivative work, you would need to
remove all content traceable to the copyright infringement, in much the
same way that some editors rewrite an article entirely from scratch if
they find it unsatisfactory. Using the infringing content as a base to
work from is risky at best. When we need to preserve history that
predates the violation, I can understand the dilemma that forces us to
bury these problems instead of excising them, but otherwise it's a
shoddy practice. Images are rather different, because the revisions can
be entirely different, merely taking advantage of the same filename, and
all traces of a copyright violation are easier to remove.
Exactly what qualifies as a derivative work is not always clear, and as
best I'm aware there is effectively an open conflict on the issue
between the rulings of two circuits of the U.S. Court of Appeals. So
better guidance would only be available with a Supreme Court decision. I
rather suspect that under the right circumstances, a Wikipedia article
might provide them with an excellent set of facts on which to issue such
a ruling. However, the expense and distraction of litigation being what
it is, I'm not saying that setting legal precedent this way is something
we should aspire to. Also, once faced directly with the prospect of an
unfavorable outcome, people often discover that they're actually _more_
comfortable with uncertainty.
There was a Jimbo interview about Wikipedia on Friday around 12 noon Boston
time. I was in it as well by phone, so I'm interested in hearing it :-) Did
anyone get a recording and/or transcription?
--- Stirling Newberry <stirling.newberry(a)xigenics.net> wrote:
> On Mar 9, 2005, at 7:52 PM, Mark Williamson wrote:
> > What about people who speak Hopi as their first language and would
> > like to read about Milwaukee?
> What about the vast majority of our readers who have needs that are
> being ignored while certain individuals ride their private hobby
Er, that is what I do already by writing about the things I find to be
interesting. That is the hobby horse I ride. Why is this wrong?
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