[Foundation-l] content ownership in different projects

Aaron Adrignola aaron.adrignola at gmail.com
Wed Jun 22 14:54:10 UTC 2011

> On Sun, Jun 19, 2011 at 6:26 AM, David Gerard <dgerard at gmail.com> wrote:
> > For comparison, I understand that Wikibooks are considered somewhat
> > "owned" by the person starting the book.

As an admin on Wikibooks I'd beg to differ.  I'll point out this page which
sums up the project's opinion:


(Ignore the fact that it's proposed; the majority of the de facto
policies/guidelines are proposals and I've not seen one ratified in the past
two years.  Additionally, that page has been present since 2006.)

The talk page brought forth some interesting points, namely the section on
authorship which led to another draft:


Those outside the project may conflate Wikibooks' idea of authorship with
that of ownership.  Still, this is a significant departure from Wikipedia's
culture.  While both of course have page histories, Wikibooks promotes the
use of a contributors/editors/authors page for books for providing credit to
those that helped write the book.

Now, the reality is that despite our decision that one person shouldn't have
supreme control over a book, at any one time you are likely to only have a
single person working on a book and determining the entirety of its
structure and content.  Should that person abandon the effort, the book can
go years before another person takes up the reins or, more often, never be
worked on again.  There's a distinct desire to control the content and not
have to deal with a previous editor's decisions.  So people will start a new

This is seen in the effort I went through to indicate approximate completion
status for all the books present at Wikibooks.  Just under 80% of the books
are not even half done.


-- Adrignola

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