We have a little issue on the fr.wikipedia, and I
wondered whether that
kind of pb already occurred to you (probably did), and what you would do
Some time ago, a new user, Mulot, joined us. She started many articles
all related to religion. These articles were apparently results of
collaborations between her and other people she is related to. Very
valuable stuff imho. However, it appears that she doesnot fit with the
wiki project very well (hum, she got pretty hot with our comments and
modifications, though frankly light). Today, she just blew the lid off
(so to speak, would you say that ?). Put all her articles in the list
“to be deleted”. And said she wanted all of them to be deleted, as well
as the talk pages.
So the questions I would ask
- what rights does she have on pages ?
Under US copyright law, anything you write is your intellectual property
and the copyright is owned by you unless you explicitly give or sell it
away. I believe EU copyright law is the same in this respect, so there
oughtn't to be any strange complications due to location of the author
vs location of the server.
BUT... for anything she submitted to Wikipedia, she implicitly agreed to
license it under the GFDL by not ignoring this message:
IMPORTANT : Toutes les contributions Wikipedia sont publies sous la
license "GNU Free Documentation License". Si vous n'acceptez pas que
votre article soit modifi et redistribu sans votre autorisation, ne
nous l'envoyez pas. Vous nous promettez galement d'tre l'auteur de cet
article, ou de l'avoir recopi d'une source de donnes du domaine
public. N'UTILISEZ PAS SANS PERMISSION DES DONNEES PROTEGEES PAR DES
DROITS D'AUTEUR !!
The license can't really be withdrawn as far as I can tell; she can
still do whatever she wants with her original text, but can't legally
force Wikipedia to remove her material *unless she can prove that the
license was not valid*. (Ie, that she did in fact not own the copyright
and thus could not license it under GFDL, or possibly that the
click-through license notice was not really binding.)
I'm not a lawyer, though.
I specifically think of her personal page. Is a
personal page somebody’s
property ? Intuitively, I would say yes, and I would say someone has the
right to delete his own page as well as the talk page attached. What is
the policy about that ?
What is the “policy” about discussion pages ? Is one’s content of a
discussion page personal or not ?
Technically, personal and discussion pages are under the same GFDL
license as the rest of the site. Someone duplicating Wikipedia (say,
mirroring the site or pressing CD-ROM versions) would be free to include
that material, or even reuse and modify it.
But as they're not _encyclopedia articles_ and are outside the primary
purpose of the encyclopedia, I say it's perfectly fine if someone wants
to delete their own personal page or their contributions on talk pages.
(Whereas deleting an _article_ is detrimental to the project, and
therefore rude and controversial.)
- what can we do against a deletion campaign ?
Is there a
solution other than Aoineko keeping restoring pages until she gets tired
? (in case you ask, she is probably not on a fixed IP)
- what about the threat of the articles finally revealing
themselves copyrighted ?
To say the least, I am very troubled
If she in fact did not own the copyright and was not legally able to
license her contributions under GFDL, we can't keep them. Of course,
that would be equally true if she were still in love with the project!
If there's really doubt in the matter, it might be worthwhile to rewrite
the articles from scratch using the originals only as sources of
information. This should both be unambiguously legal and soothe her anger.
-- brion vibber (brion @ pobox.com