[Foundation-l] GFDL Q&A update and question

phoebe ayers phoebe.wiki at gmail.com
Sat Jan 10 23:12:38 UTC 2009

On Sat, Jan 10, 2009 at 5:26 AM, Anthony <wikimail at inbox.org> wrote:
> On Sat, Jan 10, 2009 at 8:22 AM, Anthony <wikimail at inbox.org> wrote:
>> On Sat, Jan 10, 2009 at 2:38 AM, Lars Aronsson <lars at aronsson.se> wrote:
>>> Anthony wrote:
>>> > My complaint was that the WMF was (and still is) copying and
>>> > distributing my copyrighted content in a manner other than that
>>> > expressly provided under any license I have granted them.
>>> Apart from the "expressly" provided (GFDL), there is the tradition
>>> of how Wikipedia and other wikis "have always worked", namely that
>>> we sometimes cut-and-paste text between articles without fully
>>> attributing the original author.  This is how wikis work, and if
>>> you don't like it, you better not contribute your text.
>> I've stopped.
> By the way, I stopped during a period where the rules at least stated that
> such cut-and-paste moves were unacceptable and would be fixed, and before I
> realized this was never intended to be followed:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:How_to_fix_cut-and-paste_moves

A historical sidenote, for those following along at home (perhaps with
popcorn?): The page Anthony linked to here refers to how to fix entire
pages that are moved to new titles without using the "move" button.
The move button was a technical development that allowed pages with
their history to be moved intact; otherwise, people would just cut and
past content to a new page, which didn't preserve the editing history.
Fixing these moves is a somewhat complicated procedure that involves
deleting the offending page then restoring it to merge the histories
of the two articles. Cut and paste moves used to be much more common
on en:, when people were still getting used to move procedures and
subpages were allowed in the main space, but this merging technique is
still sometimes necessary.

This procedure doesn't cover the more troublesome (from a copyright
view) and much more common scenario of moving a paragraph of text from
one article to a more appropriate one. E.g.: someone adds a biography
of a basketball coach to an article about the team, not realizing that
an article about the coach already exists. Someone moves the
biographical paragraph to the appropriate article, thereby complying
with a whole host of stylistic rules for the encyclopedia. Even if the
mover complies with best practices and puts a full citation in their
edit summary, only the most dedicated history analysis would be able
to come up with the original author.

I do sometimes wonder how many of our pseudonymous and anonymous
contributors are concerned with preserving their real-world copyrights
in their work. "I want my spelling corrections to be attributed to Mr.
Hottie25, no matter what happens to them."

-- phoebe

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