[Foundation-l] Copies of Wikipedia's articles found on Knol

Nathan nawrich at gmail.com
Mon Jul 28 15:57:21 UTC 2008

Yup, there's a stack of knols "written" by me that are actually copies of
Wikipedia articles. On any given search on Knol, most of the results are
crap or Wikipedia articles.  Its an interesting experiment, I think. All
Knols under my name (now) include the GFDL notice at the bottom, and they
have always contained the link to the Wikipedia revision in the summary -
more than most reusers do. The issue of how CC-BY is not compatible with
GFDL is a little opaque, to me, but the intent seems to be pretty close to
the same. Still, as I said, everything is posted with the appropriate
license. The "attribution" is a little limited, but providing the revision
link makes it possible to determine who wrote what.

As far as the question of should Wikimedia content be copied over to Google
Knol - I guess I don't understand how doing it negatively impacts the
greater goals of the WMF. It just increases the exposure of good
information, putting it in more places, etc. There are some issues of
maintenance, of accuracy in an article that won't be updated frequently if
at all, etc. - but no different than with anyone else who reuses our

The only downside to Knol for Wikimedia is if it draws away contributors and
donors - I don't think it will, because generally speaking I expect the
noise, low quality and lack of uniformity of organization/style/etc. to
prevent much of our reader traffic moving there permanently. If we keep our
donors and editors, then republishing material on Knol fits just fine with
the mission of spreading free information.


P.S.: The protest ratings are pretty comical.

On Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 4:00 AM, Dan Rosenthal <swatjester at gmail.com> wrote:

> Interesting, that there's one by Nathan Awrich. Nathan, you're on
> foundation-l right? Surely you'd know better than that? You wrote 22 knols,
> most if not all of which are copies of the relevant Wikipedia
> articles....why?
> -Dan
> On Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 3:52 AM, Nicolas Guérin <nguerin.zurich at gmail.com
> >wrote:

More information about the foundation-l mailing list