Wikimedia Forum/On disbanding Wikiquote

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There is no consensus to disband. There does, however, seem to be general affirmation of the proposal to clean up. Such is, I believe, getting underway locally on Wikiquote presently. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 17:08, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Moved from MetapubAnonymous DissidentTalk


On disbanding Wikiquote[edit]

I think it is time that we (Wikimedia) disband the Wikiquote project. It is currently (in various languages) a hotbed of copyright violations and other non-free content. Pages like q:Pick-up lines or q:The West Wing or q:The Simpsons are in direct contradiction to basic fair use policies and Wikimedia's mission of providing free content.

Any public domain material can and should be moved to Wikisource. All other material can be incorporated into Wikipedia (if appropriate under fair use) or simply removed from our sites altogether.

Disbanding a Wikimedia project is a bit of an odd task and so I'm posting here to hear reactions and to see what the next steps would be. --MZMcBride 00:59, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

This is probably the wrong forum for a balanced discussion of the subject, which should really be on a large and active wikiquote. That said, I encourage you to promote this page on wikiquote pub/cafe pages if you want the discussion taken seriously. +sj | help with translation |+ 06:00, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
  • This sounds like an okay idea at first impressions with the copivios and etc, but I'll look into it some more. This may be a tough task to just disband a website with a lot of members spread across many languages. This obviously needs some more input also, maybe we should ask someone at WikiQuote?. RedThunder 01:06, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
  • My larger problem is that this is just a lousy thing for a wiki to do. It seems like the main advantage Wikiquote has over other quotation resources is that other quotation resources limit themselves to things the subject actually said. Phil Sandifer 01:21, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
    This is funny, but I don't find it accurate. quote collection can be usefully done on a wiki, and wq is fairly good as such sources go. +sj | help with translation |+ 06:00, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm in agreement with MZ's sentiment, however, what about the legitimate uses of quotations: Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and other long-dead people (and so forth)? I'm not really sure they were meant for Wikisource. That said, input from Wikisource as well might be helpful.
    Perhaps, of course, disbanding is not the key here, but rather, a tightening of the rules at Wikiquote should be had. No doubt that the project there has allowed these things because it has been rather ignored, even in comparison to Wikinews or another of the non-pedia projects. Or because the contributors do not understand the goal of Wikimedia is to host free things rather than non-free things, which they similarly and possibly do not understand that stuff that is said on TV and such is not free... --Izno 01:49, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
It wouldnt fit into wikisource to well since it is meant to hold entire works. Copyright issues can be sorted although generaly you need a very robust definition of the problem.Geni 01:59, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Wikisource could easily have a quotes page attached to our Author pages. i.e. Author:Benjamin Franklin/Quotes (the Quotes page hasnt been created on Wikisource; this is just an illustration on how it could work). I just now have created s:Category:Author subpages to illustrate other lists that have been created in the Author namespace. s:Author:Thomas Jefferson/Letters and s:Author:Barack Obama/Floor Statements are good examples.
    Wikisource would of course be more rigorous in removing unattributed quotes, and by the nature of Wikisource being primarily about sources, newcomers would be encouraged to find the full source for every quote. I dont understand why anyone would want to use a quote without the entire source, as it is likely to be used out of context.
    I am not a fan of Wikiquote, as the only content that is there which isnt suitable for Wikisource is the material that is covered by copyright, which means it is a fair-use playground (I have played there too). John Vandenberg 03:21, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
    Wikisource is not a place to gather collections of quotes. Of course we /could/ semantically combine all wikimedia projects into a single namespace, with different features for different sorts of data structure; and I'm not against that. Nevertheless, the desire and need for a quotations project is as old as copyright itself. +sj | help with translation |+ 06:00, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Frankly said: this is an insult. (This is also the wrong venue, but let's not even get into that.) How about we try to fix the problem before determining the the project should be disbanded? Actually, there is no problem. Quoting is allowed due to fair use and we are very careful on Wikiquote with regards to how much quoting is allowed. I often see other admins hacking down at page content because it is too much and breaches copyright. Do not make such rude and outrageous suggestions when you don't know the situation. Furthermore, how could you even consider closing a project because of one user? *sigh* The logic of certain people really baffles me sometimes. Cbrown1023 talk 03:53, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Indeed. you don't need to get too annoyed; this is clearly the wrong way to start the discussion, but the discussion will be interesting and may help improve WQ, so we should run with it. +sj | help with translation |+
Erm... have you had the opportunity to read q:Pick-up lines lately? Some of the content is grossly, grossly offensive. And the page for q:The Simpsons can't possibly be construed in any sense to fall under fair use. All of the quotes listed there are copyrighted material that were "released" under the GFDL when submitted to Wikiquote. But there's no critical commentary, no outside sources, just a horrible amount of copyright violations. The same can be said for q:The West Wing. And your comment about one user makes no sense to me. I assume you're referring to me.... I posted this thread to look at possible future options for exploring disbanding Wikiquote. "Testing the water", if you will. It's not as though we were going to lock all the databases tomorrow morning based on this thread. And this is the wrong venue? This is the board to go to for Wikimedia matters, no? --MZMcBride 04:53, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
The "one user" bit was in response to what brought this discussion up, the recent controversy on Wikiquote. With regards to wrong venue, the polite thing to do is to go to the project and either discuss solutions there or actually do some cleanup like Risker did (see, was that so hard?). Then if there was still a problem, you'd bring it here and this would still not be anything to do with closing it. You would need to advertise a discussion and discuss on mailing lists and with the board. Cbrown1023 talk 16:55, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
I would tend to agree with Cbrown1023 (talk · contribs) on this. This doesn't seem to be the correct venue, but even if it were, the issue of quoting is clearly fair use - especially if admins are on top of removing portions that are too extensive as Cbrown1023 says. Cirt (talk) 04:09, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
  • My view is rather that the project clearly requires some cleanup, but that it should not be closed, and that such a preposition is quite premature. The idea has potential, but the platform might need some tweaking. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 04:17, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Projects were started for their legitimate reasons; without a review of whether they are endeavouring to fulfill their missions towards their goals, this proposal amounts to an attempt to solve temporary, local problems with long term, drastic and global means, i.e. 用牛刀殺雞 。 If you want to pursue this idea, I would suggest that you go around all active wikiquotes and check with the communities. Hillgentleman 05:39, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
    • Completely agree. I'd like to add that fair use is nice to have, but does not work in all countries. Several years ago, the French Wikiquote was discovered to be a huge copyright violation, not so much of the quotes themselves but rather of the database structure of another (commercial) company. We chose to entirely start from scratch. Following this rather drastic event, the French wikiquote was started again, but with clearer and stronger guidelines. Since then, situation seems much better. I am not saying that deleting the english wikiquote is the solution, however, better working on the mission and the rules of wikiquote might be helpful. I would start by thinking of what "educational" mean. The huge page about the Simpsons fails to appear to me "educational". Nor even informational actually. But recreational. I do not think our mission is to provide recreational activity for bored internet users :-) Anthere
  • Thankfully, that crappy pick-up lines page has been cleaned up (thanks Risker). That said, I agree with Phil Sandifer and MZMcBride. Pages devoted to holding quotes just fly in the face of free content by nature, which is what I thought we're about. Free content can be moved to Wikisource; either as a full work, or as a quotes page (I agree fully with Jayvdb about that and would be equally happy to have some PD quotes there). I think moving towards closing Wikiquotes is a good idea. Giggy 10:45, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree with the above. I've never seen much potential of Wikiquote, and agree that the free content could easily be moved to Wikisource (or even Wikipedia). I also think this page is the best place for such discussion. Majorly talk 12:27, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
  • I support this motion. Quotations arn't free, unless explicitly licenced as such by the person (or the copyright has expired). Wikiquote would be a giant fair-use project (except for some really old people) and it's hard to draw the legal line at which we start to get into copyright infringement. Firefoxman 14:29, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Question: So, this is a request to close all WikiQuotes even though only CopyVio evidence with the English one was provided. According to Anthere, a lot of work was done cleaning up the French WikiQuote. You want to close the French WikiQuote down, too? --MarsRover 16:21, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
    • The relevant quotes could easily be moved to French Wikisource. Majorly talk 16:29, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
      • That's like saying that the relevant quotes, along with wikisource and wiktionary, could be moved to the 'source materials' part of French Wikibooks. It avoids the basic question about how to support the world's best book of [in this case French] quotations. +sj | help with translation |+ 06:00, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Arbitrary section break[edit]

Wikiquote shouldn't be locked, closed or disbanded. But in my opinion it should not be a Wikimedia project. Move it to Wikia or another place.

Wikimedia projects are intended to provide free knowledge and information. An encyclopedia (Wikipedia), a dictionary (Wiktionary), and a bookshelf (Wikisource) are things which can be found in the households of most people who have aquired formal knowledge or want to aquire more formal knowledge. Every erudite will have these three things on or besides his or her desktop. A newspaper (Wikinews) is another typical thing found in every scholar household. These four things are key competences in information and knowledge provision. Wikiversity is like taking courses at the adult education center or like organizing a private study group. Wikibooks is like an additional bookshelf with how-to-books, manuals, guides etc. Both are useful supportive ways of information and knowledge provision.

But Wikiquote is like a single book about, well, quotes. Its some kind of useful information which enjoys popular interest, but there are dozens of possible projects which contain useful information enjoying popular interest. Think about projects about genealogy or about collecting stamps. Useful information, but Wikimedia cannot cover all useful information. It has to focus on the basic things. Quotes are not basic. It's a relatively narrow niche. Too special.

(By the way, if we have a second look at the typical accessoires of our erudite household, we may notice, that one of them is missing from the Wikimedia project list: The atlas or globus. We have no project dedicated to collecting free maps and geoinformation [well, Commons has maps, but only static and not in a coordinated system].) --::Slomox:: >< 17:58, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

I am rather offended (but not surprised) that Wikia would be singled out as a potential receptor of the Wikiquote project, were it to be canceled. Doesn't anyone here understand "self dealing" and the laws that surround that? -- Thekohser 02:54, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
  • more than just one is missing, Slomox :-) We are also missing a book of laws, a "who's who", and a book of detailed anatomy. There is quite a list, for anyone who cares to properly flesh out the list of wikipedia siblings. +sj | help with translation |+ 06:00, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
  • I tend to agree with MZMcBride and Giggy. Even if the content does fall under fair use, Wikimedia is supposed to be about free content, how does having a project based around fair use fit into that goal? Do any of the Wikiquote projects comply with Resolution:Licensing policy? The closest thing to an EDP I could find on the English Wikiquote is q:Wikiquote:Copyrights, which would seem to go against "Such EDPs must be minimal." The resolution is unclear though, in some cases it refers to "files" suggesting it only applies to uploaded media, but in other places it refers to "content," which would presumably mean all content. Mr.Z-man 19:06, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
    • our projects are about the free sharing of human knowledge and culture. This includes knowledge and culture which for whatever social reasons is not available under ideal licenses for remixing. It is the new work that we do which should be carefully crafted to comply with that licensing policy, so that we are a generative force for scalable expansion of shared culture -- that is not a reason to shun or disown culture that are not so available. +sj | help with translation |+ 06:00, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
  • I strongly disagree do shut down wikiquoutes. We had a similar problem on the german language wikiquote, but we solved ist, the projekt ist no on good standards. I don't think it is a good job when some subprojects mad mistakes to shut all down. It is a better job to reform them and bring the the single projects to good standards or shut one single projekt down - but if all other attemps failed. --Joergens.mi 19:29, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
    • Bartlett's Quotations and similar works are common household ornaments, which is precisely why Wikiquote is an appropriate Wikimedia project. We can organize things in ways that go beyond the provenance of Wikisource. I agree that there is much police work to be done, but if we are to shut down projects over the potential for copyrights to be violated, then we will have to shut down Wikipedia as well. It is beyond question that there must be vast swaths of information on Wikipedia that have been copied from printed works for which a simple internet search will not reveal the copying.

      For my part, I have been spending considerable time at Wikiquote adding quotes from a variety of books of quotations which are themselves in the public domain. It would be an absolute travesty if all of that work were wiped out. BD2412 T 23:22, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
      • If this proposal gains traction, no free content would be lost. I agree that Wikiquote is better at quotes than Wikisource could be, and the topical pages like q:Education, q:Knowledge and q:Happiness are the better part of Wikiquote: those pages wouldnt naturally fit within Wikisource, however we do have s:Wikisource:Education; we could add notable quotes onto that page. So, I can see limited value in Wikiquote as a distinct resource/project, and the potential is there, and is being realised by several users such as yourself who work very hard in creating well sourced quotes. However, for the large part the contributions to the project would be better to be either: 1) not accepted, 2) on Wikisource, 3) on Wikipedia, or 4) a "Quotations Wikibook" could be created. BD2412 it would be helpful for you to show us some of the pages that you think make the project worth keeping as a distinct project. John Vandenberg 23:50, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

I also tend to agree to the proposal. There seems to be a big copyright problem with most of these projects. But if Wikiquote is shut down, I think it is necessary to keep all non-copyvio content and move it to the respective Wikisources. --Thogo (talk) 19:42, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

As administrator of the German Wikiquote project I agree with the impression that en Wikiquote is full of copyvios (without any fair use rationale). I have suggested serveral times changes but without success. If you will shut down a Wikiquote project please choose en Wikiquote. I strongly disagree with the opinion that all Wikiquote projects doesn't have educational content worth to keep. Attaching WQ to WS would'nt be a good idea. German Wikiquote has now strict rules: from authors who are not 70 years dead we only accept 5-10 quotes. We don't accept any new quote without a serious source. There is a lot of quotation collections in the web but most of them doesn't have sources like German Wikiquote. In this direction I see the future of all Wikiquote projects. We cannot tolerate the massive copyvios in en Wikiquote anymore but shutting also down the German project which has high quality standards would be nonsense --Histo 19:47, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for this practical and useful contribution. Sourcing is certainly one way to improve and solidify the practices of all language WQs. +sj | help with translation |+
@Thogo: If you are able to keep all non-copyvio content and move it to Wikisources, then you are also able to simply keep the non-copyvio content in Wikiquote. Guido den Broeder 20:30, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Some of these issues have already been raised very recently on en Wikiquote.[1][2] It is a small project which tends to move slowly, but a responsible one and I'm sure admins and editors will take the necessary steps to fix problems. I agree it needs to be stricter and cleaned up, but there's no reason why this can't be done to make it viable. Tyrenius 21:17, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Seit Anfang des Jahres werden auf de-wq sämtliche Urheberrechtsverletzungen entfernt, über 1000 Artikel wurden gelöscht, fehlende Quellenangaben werden nachrecherchiert. Bei Autoren, deren Werken geschützt sind werden maximal 5-10 kurze Zitate mit genauer Quellenangabe zugelassen, letzteres gilt auch für jedes neueingestellte Zitat. Ich halte es für unerlässlich, sich die einzelnen Projekte anzusehen und nicht diejenigen mitzubestrafen, die sich an die Gesetze halten. --Paulis 21:18, 7 September 2008 (UTC) (admin de-wq)

ACK. Paulis says: One has to check each project and not to punish projects which are according the law. Since begin of 2008 all copyvios in de.WQ were removed, 1000+ pages were deleted. --Histo 22:04, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
A concerted effort should be made to fix the project before a proposal for shutting it down is discussed. Wikipedia contains many of these same fair-use quotations, so if absolute adherence to free content is the standard we'd have to shut down that project as well. It would be a simple thing to go through WQ and delete unsourced content. Decisions on what sourced content to keep will be harder but no harder than similar decisions made every day on other projects. Will Beback 23:32, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
That makes a lot of sense. Wikiquote could be fantastic if it had some meaningful quotations from Dickens, Shakespeare, Henry VIII, etc., presented in an attractive format, and there could certainly be a very fruitful discussion on how much content from modern, non-PD authors to include (very little, I'd hope). But at the moment, while some pages are great, others seem to be really long extracts from the scripts of current or recent television shows. Stratford490 22:18, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes, dewq is a wonderful exemption which is much appreciated, but why shouldn't the content go to Wikisource? Is it really necessary to have two different projects that provide original texts (be it whole texts/poems/stories or citations)? --Thogo (talk) 09:41, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm bureaucrat of the German Wikiquote project and I'm also familiar with the German Wikisource project. Both projects are dealing with spoken or written words but they have nearly nothing in common. Some reasons why it's impossible to merge German Wikiquote and German Wikisource:
  • Due to wikisoure policies you could only move those quotes to Wikisource which are already in the public domain. On the other hand there doesn't exist any problems with quotes that are sourced but the author is still living or not dead since at least 70 years. That's because most short quotes threshold of originality hasn't been reached.
  • Due to wikisoure policies you have to scan every single word you want to post in the project. Therefore you wouldn't even been allowed to move those quotes which are already in the public domain. To the contrary, you would have to begin to scan right now every single phrase, and upload the images. In other words, you would lose the whole content of the current German wikiquote project, even those several thousand sourced quotes.
  • In German wikiquote there are two different kinds of "standard" pages. Pages that contain quotations of a single person, and pages that contain quotes of serveral persons but all those quotes belong to a common topic. Those topical collections doesn't fit to the concept of German wikisource project. But these pages are nearly unique. There are nearly no quotation collections that consist of this elementary division. There is no way to transfer these pages to German wikisource project. Even the sourced quotes will be lost.
  • In Wikisource there are almost exclusively old texts. In Wikiquote there is a great mixture of old and current quotes. This matchless and varied mixture is one of the most important things concerning contribution to education.
To cut a long story short, if you shut down project like German Wikiquote you will lose valuable and sourced content that can't neither be transfered to Wikipedia nor to Wikisource. If the foundation wants to disband wikiquote projects for some reasons, it should decide which one has to be shut down and which one will be supported in the future by having a very close look at every single project, their policies and the quota of their sourced quotations as well as the value of the content for the other Wikimedia projects. --WIKImaniac 20:52, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Quoting from English Wikiquote Village pump

Bear in mind that we have much greater leeway with quotes than does the author of a commercial product being sold for profit.

17 August 2008 - BD2412

This is not correct; free content (which Wikiquote is by way of being hosted by the WMF) should be able to be published commercially in book format without any copyright lawyers beating down the doors of the publisher. At the very least, English Wikiquote needs to put in place an EDP that is approved by the WMF. John Vandenberg 00:02, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, you can't have a fair use claim except for a specific use. For example, Commons can't have fair use images (even if it wanted to) because we don't use them in articles (or whatever) - you can't claim fair use when compiling a stock media repository any more than when compiling a stock quotation repository. What that means for Wikiquote, I'm not sure. Perhaps only quotations which have fallen into the public domain may be acceptable, as on dewq?  — Mike.lifeguard | talk 00:33, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Hi. I happen to be an intellectual property attorney. My above statement is correct - the nature of the use, be it commercial or nonprofit, is one of the four factors weighed by the courts in making a fair use evaluation. Wikiquote is a non-profit, educational entity, meaning that any use by Wikiquote of a quote would be weighted more heavily towards being a fair use than would the same use in a book published for profit. BD2412 T 14:48, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
I am not saying your legal opinion about fair-use is incorrect; I know what you are saying is absolutely correct when assessing fair-use in general. My point is that Wikiquote should not use this "non-profit" aspect of fair-use to its advantage. The definition of "free content", as is used by WMF projects, stipulates that all content must be free to be used commercially. Any project that makes use of the "not for profit" element of fair-use assessment results in an undesirable limitation of the freedoms we expect. As an example, Commons, Wikipedia and Wikisource all reject any text/media which has non-commercial limitations placed on it by the copyright holder, such as CC-BY-NC. John Vandenberg 15:42, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
If that were the case, we would never be able to make a fair use of anything. We can, for example, host and display a movie poster in an article about that movie; but if some other party were to copy the poster from our website and sell it for a profit, that would be a clear copyright infringement. On the other hand, I would say that most Wikiquote pages containing text still in copyright would be fair use even if they were compiled into books and sold for a profit. BD2412 T 23:33, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
I completely agree with everything that BD2412 has said here. I also have contributed heavily to wikiquote along with its sister projects. However, I have found wikiquote to be the best source of collective knowledge, interpretation, and a genuine basis for finding fundamental quotations, with the insurmountable amount of quote derivation and sourcing. I have too high of a respect for wikiquote to see it defragmented, separated, disbanded, or even closed completely. I am highly against this and I thought it would be wise to let as many voices be heard, as necessary. - Zarbon 20:14, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Arbitrary section break 2[edit]

Wikiquote does have a fair use problem, but it's not from lack of trying. Most of the regulars - myself included - have been trying to cut down on copyrighted material. Sceptre 01:33, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Wikiquote needs to have the freedom and autonomy to solve its own problems without interference by copyright paranoiacs who do not participate in that project. It is up to the participants there to establish standards to judge when claims to fair use have become excessive; the law does not make the limits very clear. It is certainly correct to say that Wikiquote would have greater leeway than a commercial enterprise; that directly addresses one of the four fair use factors outlined in the law. Whether that in fact helps the situation is debatable. Nevertheless, fair use, when a passage properly fits that classification is not a copyright infringement. Without fair use Wikiquote or any other compendium of quotations would be laughable by virtue of carrying only quotations that are more than 70 years old. Some level of fair use in publications of that type is a generally accepted practice. I would be interested to know if there have been any legal cases involving that kind of publication; these could be a useful guide. Eclecticology 02:05, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
The US law does allow quite a bit, but Resolution:Licensing policy does not:

Such EDPs must be minimal. Their use, with limited exception, should be to illustrate historically significant events, to include identifying protected works such as logos, or to complement (within narrow limits) articles about copyrighted contemporary works. An EDP may not allow material where we can reasonably expect someone to upload a freely licensed file for the same purpose, such as is the case for almost all portraits of living notable individuals. Any content used under an EDP must be replaced with a freely licensed work whenever one is available which will serve the same educational purpose.

How does a page full of non-free quotes from a television show or a book meet that? Mr.Z-man 03:13, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
That policy statement should be updated to appropriately allow for quotations and other short excerpts which are noteworthy in their pith without context. There is generally no 'replacement' of quotes with 'freely licensed quotes', so that clause itself does not apply; often the perfection of the quote is what makes it so memorable and timeless. +sj | help with translation |+ 06:00, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
It is true to say that some fair use is acceptable in compendium of quotes, however if I was to publish a book of quotations of modern day people, it would be expected that I obtain permission from those people, or their estate, where possible and feasible. Not doing so at all would result in legal battles that my publisher would not be willing to enduring, and would tell me to sod off. Has Wikiquote obtained any permission from any of the quoted people? If Wikiquote cant be published for profit, it is not free content.
Also you don't touch on the educational value of the wikiquotes project, nor the structural benefit of having a compendium of quotes as a distinct project rather than within wikibooks. John Vandenberg 03:20, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
If you made a compilation book of quotes (just a couple lines) of living persons you most certainly would not have to get permission from the person. That is text-book fair use that wouldn't stand a chance in court. Take the book Bushisms/President George Herbert Walker Bush in His Own Words New Republic ISBN 1-56305-318-7. That book is a wholesale ridicule of hte commander in chief that is largely just quotes, and nothing else. So is George W. Bush -- On The Trips Of His Tongue -- A Linguistic Legacy ISBN 978-1430317951 as is George W. Bushisms: The Accidental Wit and Wisdom of Our 43rd President. ISBN 0-7407-4456-9. And that is just George Books. Go to your local Barnes and Noble and it will be teeming with not only quote books, but memoirs, magazines, quiz books, board games and everything else FULL of quotes from people that were not asked for permission and that are often even disparagingly reproduced.--Esprit15d 21:24, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Are you asserting as a fact that those books you mention do not have permission to quote from the named people?
Irrespective of that, much of what Bush has said was as part of his job, which means they are covered by PD-USGov. John Vandenberg 06:06, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
I think Wikiquote needs some kind of notability guideline - only quotes that people actually quote should be included, any funny line from a given film is not worthy of inclusion in a collection of quotes regardless of copyright. What would be a useful project is a site where people can go having heard a quote and find out a) if the person really said it b) what exactly it was they said and c) who it was that said it (some clever search algorithms may be needed if (b) and (c) are being asked at the same time). --Tango 05:11, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Agreed -- quotes that have obvious value should certainly be included; they have provided inspiration and guidance in every generation. Quotes should have both notability and utility guidelines -- a useless quote that is verifiably said by a famous person, but never used, is not a great quote. +sj | help with translation |+
It is already discussed on the English project and consumed as q:Wikiquote:Quotability. The problem here is that more than half edits come from anons who don't notice Wikiquote is a non-profit project under clear policy but confuse it with sort of fansite.
Also I would like you to remind you cannot say roughly on Wikiquote. The details of policy is vary from language to language. If you talk about Wikiquote , please clarify which language version you are talking on then. And if you don't know anything about its policy, please give a look on its project pages before saying Wikiquote needs so-and-so. It doesn't make a sense to demand to create what it has already. --Aphaia 06:16, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Ok, so the English Wikiquote doesn't need to make such a policy, but it does need to enforce the one it has better. There is no point having a policy if you don't use it. --Tango 11:23, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
  • My take on the issue:
    • Copyright is not an important issue here. Any argument for something as major as shutting down Wikiquote should work even if Wikiquote adopted an editorial policy such as 'no non-public domain quotes'. Copyvios can be dealt with, and have been, and I have never held with 'copyright paranoia' being a guiding principle. Copyright's so messed up that nobody has clean hands, and striving for clean hands can easily swing right into fighting-monsters-and-becoming-a-monster territory (or more proverbially, the cure being worse than the disease).
    • Perhaps the pickup lines and Simpsons articles are putrid cessholes which deserve to be burned with fire. I'll bet the English Wikipedia has deleted orders of magnitude bad more articles at CSD alone than exist in all the Wikiquotes, though...
    • Wikiquote does have clear value to me. It integrates well. I read a Wikipedia article on Alexander Pope, say, and I go to Wikiquote and read excerpts from his poetry and writings. These link to full editions of the original work on Wikisource which I may or may not consult for context. From there I might check out Commons to see if any of the famous quotes appear on monuments or something, and perhaps I wander back to Wikiquote...
  • Do I do a lot of work on Wikiquote, do I know much about it, do I know people who are Wikiquotians? No, not really. But I still appreciate it, especially after I try some of the other quote pages floating around. Just today I had cause to appreciate the nice Ludwig Wittgenstein quotes page after I had tried some other online sites of much lower quality. --Gwern 06:28, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Two quite different sorts of text. Secondly, two quite different sorts of copyright aproach (PD in Wikisource, fair use or something that fits in Wikiquote). And thirdly, and important: when osmebody says that Wikisource users could better keep attention on this, so it is on the other hand wrong: I am not sure if every (small) Wikisource subdomain could and would solve the problems arising from the fact that suddenly there are dozens of new users editing the quotes, not having sufficiently experience with editing Wikisource and respecting the copyright rules there. If you join the two projects so you join also the two different communities. I am not sure if this works. -jkb- (cs.source) 07:17, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
By the way. When there is a proposal to disband Wikiquote as project so I would expect arguments that all Wikiquotes are that bad. In my opinion and in my experience this is not true - many domains are very carefully in the question of copyright. -jkb- (cs.source) 07:45, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Could someone briefly explain to me how Wikiquote's content meets fair use laws? I'm currently of the opinion that if the project is to be kept (admittedly, good work has been done), limiting it to PD would be the best way to go. I'm happy to be proven wrong and challenge someone to do so. Giggy 07:42, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
    • Whether content meets fair use criteria is not something that one determines in one mass across the entire project. Each quote needs to be separately evaluated. Quotes from The Simpsons may very well be excessive, but that too needs to be evaluated in its own right without extrapolating those determinations into something greater than the facts will besr. If you want to evaluate a particular text consider it in the light of the four factors in the law and make a conclusion based on a balance of probabilities. Following strict PD would lead to a compendium of obsolescence; how could that possibly be the best way? Eclecticology 09:06, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Because some cause trouble, all have to be erased? We wont deal with the cause of an effect, we simply erase the whole project? Of course, who realy needs a quotation collection? Simply trash it for gods sake! Das deutsche Wikiquote Projekt widmet sich mit Erfolg seit langer Zeit einer copyright-violation-free Zitatesammlung. Das zeigt, dass man sehrwohl das Problem mit Urheberrechtsverletzungen lösen kann, auch wenn dies nicht immer so einfach ist - eines ist sicher man muss nicht einfach das Projekt auflösen. successfuly attend to an copyright-violation-free quotation collection - of course, not all is done yet. This shows that its possible to create a wiki-based and copyright-violation-free quotation collection. Überhaupt ist eine Zitatesammlung nicht nur für sich genommen eine großartige Sache, sie ist ebenfalls eine außerordentlich tolle Ergänzung für Wikipedia. The idea to merge wikiquote with wikisource is´nt good at all. A cobbler should stick to his last. Both projects have their own goals and purposes, and they also add something unique and important to Wikipedia. de:q:Benutzer:Tets -- 08:14, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

This proposal is too poorly written to take serious. As said on the above, German Wikiquote has a strict rule about this so it is not their matter. French Wikiquote has a strict citation rule also. And please note still German Wikiquote accepts fair use to some extent. Japanese Wikiquote goes far: it accepts only PD quotes. There would be much more other Wikiquotes which have strict control for copyrighted materials. Disbanding the whole Wikiquote makes no sense, even if one project - English Wikiquote is not controllable as claimed. And in the truth, it isn't; English Wikiquote community has established citation criteria as q:Wikiquote:Quotability and not welcome anything written just because it was written somewhere else. There are already some attempt of cleaning massive potential copyvios. The community has tries to limit the quotes within the legitimate scope of fair-use, and cut down articles sometimes. It is a problem for years since we continuously accept newcomers who don't pay attention to our norms and policy, but if you think English Wikiquote does nothing, you are simply misled. And again, if you think English Wikiquote is in a problem, please address your problem properly, not drag all other language Wikiquote projects to your playground. It is totally nonsense to disband, for example, Japanese Wikiquote due to copyvio, since its all contents should be taken from PD materials. --Aphaia 08:25, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

  • Completely disagree with any proposal to disband this valuable and desirable project.
  1. While current and 20th century quotes may hit copyright problems, there is a vast source of historic quotes, as witness many many paper encyclopedias of quotations, to which copyright doesn't apply. So a legitimate encyclopedia on quotations is completely feasible.
  2. Cleanup is no reason to disband a viable project; I'm not familiar with wikiquote but I am sure it gets unusable posts exactly as enwiki gets unusable copyvio article texts. Cleanup and take measures is the way to handle these. Only if vast and unfixable might one do more, and given the validity of the project and its usefulness, mirrored in many paper quotations encyclopedias, I cannot see that even remotely likely.
  3. Most quotes are small snips of text and will not be a problem within a reasonable reading of copyright/fair use law. (If they are and some articles are entire chunks of the script or text, then see above and it's more than likely fixable.)
  4. Permission to quote is quite optional. You don't legally need permission to say "X said Y", or "in book W, X said Y", or even "According to W, X said Y". (To underline this, English Wikipedia contains some 2.5 million articles many of which quote or cite using that structure. Just because this is an encyclopedia of quotations rather than of <wider topics>, doesn't change that. It is either okay to, or not.)
Thoughts. FT2 (Talk | email) 09:32, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree Wikiquote does have fair-use licensing problem, but that wiki has been around for ages, why wasn't this brought up earlier, and shutting down a project only after some recent event is highly suspicious and I also heard of rumours of people trying to disband another top project..instead of trying to disband, why don't you all try to clean it up and improve it instead of wasting time creating more politics and unnecessary drama....--Cometstyles 09:58, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree with what Cometstyles said here. This proposal to dispand Wikiquote is imho nonsense, make it better instead of closing, it is a Wiki... Also if de.wikiquote is such a good example of how it could work (I believe to have read it more than once here), why not implementing its standards to other wikiquotes too instead of closing something good.
„The great thing about being the only species that makes a distinction between right and wrong is that we can make up the rules for ourselves as we go along.” —D.Adams
--birdy geimfyglið (:> )=| 10:22, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

I am a French Wikiquote administrator, and I also disagree with the proposal. I think there are a few misunderstandings there:

  • We do create free content, so we fit in the Foundation's aims. We are creating a free quotation database, licensed under the GFDL. Of course, the text itself is not GFDL (as for Wikipedia articles), but the collection (i.e., database) is.
  • We're not illegal. We do respect the Foundation principle of abiding by the laws. In almost every country, including in the US, there is a "quotation right" which permits to use text extracts from copyrighted works. We also check when multiple quotes get inserted at once, or when one user adds multiple quotes very quickly, whether they might be from another database.
  • We care about local laws, too. AFAIK, Japanese Wikiquote only allows quotes from free (DP or freely-licensed) works. French Wikiquote checks quotation length according to the law and known court cases.
  • We care about quality. As some of you pointed out, French Wikiquote was closed a few years ago because of massive copyright violation (large parts of an external database were copy/pasted, and the community wasn't able to track and remove the offending content). It was re-created after we wrote a Foundation-approved "rulebook", which forbids unsourced quotes.

Of course, there is work to be done:

  • Many Wikiquotes need to be cleaned. I think this is a very difficult job when you don't have clear rules about sources & length & co. I do think every project should try to work on their own rules, taking into consideration quality and legal problems.
  • We need to make these rules and guidelines clearer for editors, especially new ones. But that's a difficult thing to do on every project, including Wikipedia.

If you're concerned about Wikiquote quality & legality problems, you're more than welcome to work with us. But disbanding Wikiquote is not the solution. Manuel Menal 10:13, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Hi. I read above that german Wikiquote's rules are good. Can I see them anywhere in english? Thank's. --Unai Fdz. de Betoño 10:32, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

In this sense, supporting birdy above. The Wikiquote domains should discus somewhere if the German rules suits all and then how to implemet it. Let us close this proposal. -jkb- (cs.source) 11:37, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Well, I'd disagree to use the German rules for every project. I don't think a limit to 5-10 quotes per author makes sense (no legal necessity). Perhaps it has something to do with German law, though. Manuel Menal 12:44, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
"Of course, the text itself is not GFDL" - That doesn't make any sense, the text (and any accompanying images) are the only things you can license under the GFDL. How can you have a freely licensed collection of non-free material? That would be like giving away free software, that only works if you pay a registration fee (yes, I know, different definitions of free). The content is either free or its not. Mr.Z-man 12:57, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, the law disagrees with you. Databases are copyrightable works. Each element may or not be free, but the final product (organized in pages, sections, categories, with metadata (sources, comments...)) itself is free. The database, which is under the GFDL, is 1) used 2) re-distributed 3) modified (you can add, move, remove quotes as you will) 4) re-distributed in a modified version. Manuel Menal 15:28, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
I should add that the fact that databases are copyrightable works themselves is the reason why French Wikiquote was closed in the first place, and the main legal risk with Wikiquote. You can't take a collection of quotes from any website and copy/paste it: although they have no rights on the quotes themselves, their database is protected. Manuel Menal 15:34, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
As someone who has done some work on wikiquote, and who agrees it is both confusing and problematic as to what does and does not belong; it needs fixing not disbanding. It needs clear guidelines, and well thought out MoS policies. There might be a wikiquote central discussion page set up by the remaining administrators for discussion of the recent shocking events and its potential future. IMHO It has potential but needs clarification and front page parameters. Modernist 13:15, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

First of all, do not forget ja.wikiquote, which only uses public domain quotes and fr.wikiquote, which startet from scratch, only accepting quotes with sources. Those are good examples, how a wikiquote can be run without copyright infringements. At de.wikiquote, we see a big cultural importance in collecting also quotes from living persons and persons, where the copyright still applies - provided that their quote has a wider distribution and is publically known. As we cannot safely apply fair use - collection of quotes is not fair use according to German jursidiction, see w:de:Zitatensammlung, we try to reduce the risk of copyright infringement by ohter means. Quotes are principally allowed for educatinal projects by german law. Therefore we try to have an educational value in the collection of quotations by emphasizing on well-known quotes, by providing extensive sources - which typical quotation collections usually lack and also starting by collecing commented quotes and providing a history. Moreover, we are restricting quotes of persons where copyright might apply to short sentences and to few quotes. We assume that by doing so, the risk is low that we exceed the w:Threshold of originality/w:de:Schöpfungshöhe and that the risk of copyright problems is reduced significantly. Our rules are far from being perfect, but I try to sketch out the most important ones, which every new starter gets on his talk page (see [3])

  • Only quotes of persons, that have been deceased 70 years ago or longer are public domain and can be used without restrictions
  • For Novelists and authors, only 5-10 short quotes are accepted. Per movie, only 5 shot quotes are accepted.
  • All quotes that are added to wikiquote have to have precise sources. As fas as books are concerned, it is required to give the page number also.
  • Quotes added to Wikiquote need to be quotes that have been quoted by others and that have a certain distribution
  • All Quotes that are collected in an article dealing with a topic (as Love etc.) need to be also added to an article that is collectiong quotes of the particular author also. Anonymous quotes or quotes of institutes etc. are only accepted if they are really wide spread.
  • The "Recent changes" are monitored by regulars in order to enforce these rules.
  • Quotes without sources are being removed - this applies after a period of grace to existing quotes also.

Best regards --Hei ber 21:23, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Arbitrary section break 3[edit]

I am a sysop on Wikiquote. As of yesterday a discussion has been started on our Village Pump to deal with pages having copyright issues. The goal is: 1) to start a project in which these pages will all be dealt with; 2) to agree upon the allowable limit of quotations per movie, TV show, etc., so as to prevent the creation of any more copyright problems. We have had discussions about these problems at various times in the past as well as discussions on the question of deleting unsourced quotations; but we are closer now, I would say, to reaching a consensus on policy decisions. We have mostly been dealing with copyright problems by deleting or reducing new pages which have this likelihood of violation. In the mean time we have had a backlog of previously created pages which have been marked for copyright problems. It is hardly that we are unaware or indifferent to these matters; rather, we have so few regular administrators and other editors to work on these things that we spend most of our time on routine daily chores (patrolling, etc.) and ongoing individual projects.

I have begun to work on the pages with copyright problems and will do at least five per week. In any case, the copyright cleanup will be done. Even if I have to end up doing it all, I will; but I feel confident that there will be other assistance. - InvisibleSun 17:37, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

There's no need to delete wikiquote as a whole. Just delete Category:Productions and everything within it (except for some possible exception that may arise) and we are just fine. Thialfi 14:29, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Researching sources and removing unsourced quotes is a somewhat painful process. We lost some very active contributors, had some rows but in the end we were able to unite to the goal of omitting legal problems and increasing the quality. An short discussion in English language how de.wikiquote deals with unsourced quotes - and comments on the many articles, that had to be deleted - can be found at q:de:Wikiquote:Fragen_zur_Wikiquote/Archiv2008#Mass_deletions. --Hei ber 18:34, 10 September 2008 (UTC)


I am an active cotributor to Wikisource, not at Wikiquote. However, I find Wikiquote to be a wonderful resource, very often helpful in ways that Wikisource is not and cannot be. And in ways that are part and parcel of the Wikimedia Foundation's goal to provide "the sum of all knowledge." A useful book of quotations is part of making that "sum of all knowledge" available.

As far as whether this useful tool could be incorporated on Wikisource, I think the answer is: absolutely not. Why not? Consider what a Wikisource contributer wrote above about this:

Wikisource could easily have a quotes page attached to our Author pages. i.e. Author:Benjamin Franklin/Quotes (the Quotes page hasn't been created on Wikisource; this is just an illustration on how it could work).

This is absolutely correct. Such a think could easily be done. The problem is, however, that it only works for authors, i.e. for people whose out-of-copyright books we curate at Wikisource. But aren't there plenty of important people who have said plenty of important things who are not authors? Aren't there important collections of quotes from cultural icons such as theater, movies? Isn't it important to assemble important quotations from people who didn't live a century ago or more? For anyone and anything that doesn't have an "author" page, Wikisource is irrelevant, and Wikiquote would advance "the sum of all knowledge" far less.

Finally, I suggest that pages like this one at Meta about disbanding projects are ill-considered and wrong-spirited. First of all, remember that Wikiquote exists in dozens of languages. Even those who don't consider the English version useful (something I find hard to understand) cannot even begin to estimate the value of the project in other languages, where it may provide information that isn't in reach any other way. Simply spitting out a "proposal to disband" here at Meta in English based on observations of the English wiki is unfair and mean-spirited.

Secondly, even regarding the English wiki proposals-to-disband such as this one are ultimately an act of selfishness: Because the wiki doesn't seem valuable to me let's get rid of it! Why not consider others, who find things useful that you yourself do not, and are willing to sacrifice their time and effort to contribute it for the public good?

Real issues regarding Wikiquote, such as policy guidelines and copyright, should and must be discussed, of course. But they should be discussed at Wikiquote, not on pages like this. Feedback from the wider community is also fine, but with an eye to help rather than to squash. I move that the proposal on this page be closed. Good luck to Wikiquote. Dovi 18:19, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Thank you Dovi, I completely agree with you. We should try to fix problems but not forget the different objectives of the projects. For wikiquote, the important tasks are
  • Identify the important and relevant quotes - "I have a dream"
  • Provide a proper source for the quote - Goethe is just not enough
  • Goup quotes according to topics - as quotes dealing with Love, Relativity or Books
  • Discuss, where well known quotes originate from, document false atributions: Who really said "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
  • Also collect important quotes of people like politicians, scientists, but also actors or even athlets - if the quote is spread and has a cultural significance.
Wikipedia, Wikisource and Wikiquote do add to each other, but they are really different. --Hei ber 21:39, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Let me give you some examples of pages that can not effectively be moved to any other project. Robert H. Jackson was a leading Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and also lead prosecutor at the Nuremburg Trials. His Wikiquote page has a collection of about 65 poignant selections from both his Supreme Court opinions (which are in the public domain) and his books and articles (which are not), along with about a dozen quotes about Jackson and his work by fellow jurists (in articles, also not in the public domain). No single article is the source of more than four quotes, and the longest quote is under 200 words, out of the tens of thousands of words in each article. This page could not be included in Wikisource, and would not be appropriate in Wikiquote Wikipedia under its current inclusion criteria, but fits with excellence in the structure of Wikiquote.
X me no Xs is a page collecting together representatives of a literary meme which goes back to the 1590s, whereby the same word is used as a verb to open the phrase and a noun to end it (e.g. "Plot me no plots"). So interesting is this meme that 1919 edition of Bartlett's Quotations had a section on it, except their quotes are less fully sourced than Wikiquotes, so we have actually built on that public domain work with the addition of superior sourcing and additional quotes, including some that are still in copyright, although our usage is of small snippets from much larger works.
And, of course, see Bigotry. BD2412 T 01:16, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
"..and would not be appropriate in Wikiquote ..." <- do you mean Wikipedia?
I dont doubt that there is some very good content on Wikiquote, and dont suggest for a moment that the good work should be abandoned entirely. The better quality Wikiquote content is typically being created from Wikimedians we all respect. That said, my limited analysis of Wikiquote (from watching the RC feed for a while), indicates that there is a problem in that most content being added is (in my opinion) over-use of fair-use. English Wikiquote has been tolerating massive copyright violations. If this can be corrected, that is great. When I suggest that other projects could absorb the Wikiquote content, it is as a means of ensuring that if the problems cant be corrected, there are positive solutions. This discussion is comforting - we are hearing that other Wikiquote projects are more strict, and that English Wikiquote is hearing the message.
As an aside, many of the books by Robert H. Jackson are in the public domain, as they were not renewed. John Vandenberg 02:46, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
Fixed. Yes, I meant Wikipedia. I'd just as soon be rid of all pages on TV shows on Wikiquote, but if we can conform ourselves to copyright law without doing so, I'm willing to live with that. As an aside, what other people may choose to do with our work is their problem. We fall under the DMCA safe harbor provision, so if any copyright owner has a problem with any of our content, they must inform us and give us a chance to remove the offending material before taking any further action. I have yet to hear of a copyright owner making a complaint over any of our pages on TV shows, films, or books. BD2412 T 02:57, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
What about starting with "no TV episodes" and/or "all TV quotes must be the subject of scholarly papers". That will help put a feasible control on TV show quotes. Oh I just looked at q:The Simpsons - that page is huge.
I appreciate the need for our projects to rely on the DMCA safe harbor provision, otherwise allowing unknown people to post is impossible, however that reliance should not extend beyond a few weeks: only long enough for the project to discuss the work and nix it if they think it is a problem. It should always be possible for someone to publish "Wikiquote" in book format, and not have any fear of a valid copyright case being sent their way. Published books do not have safe harbor. It is the projects responsibility to ensure that the content is commercially publishable at all times.
We have had similar problems on Wikisource, and still do. The worst backlog is Works without a known translator, however we have removed most of them, and usually do a big cleanout every quarter.(and I am feeling guily now; I had better go nominate some for deletion) Insufficient dedicated volunteers makes it very hard to keep on top of the RC feed, and reluctance to delete borderline contributions results in deteriorated standards. John Vandenberg 15:33, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
I am quite confident that it would be impossible to publish the whole of Wikipedia in book format without violating a horde of copyrights, and that it never will be possible to publish the whole of Wikipedia in such a format. Selected and vetted articles, sure, but never the whole thing. BD2412 T 05:23, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Having read many but not all of the above statememts, I once again feel assured that, WikiQuote should not be abandoned. If (which I disagree with) we come to the final say that, WikiQuote was not among the projects, WikiMediaFoundation should be supporting, I still suggest it to continue as a useful ressource. Saying, content of WikiQuote were not free content to some extent, is imho both wrong and misleading. Quoting quotes is always allowed, so everyone is usually free to quote, thus content is free. Of course nonwithstanding the fact, that the entire work(s), some quotes may be taken from, may not be equally free.

As to giving other possible projects priority, let me tell that e.g. Open Streetmap already does free maps, so why duplicate their effort? Several sites are offering free recipe ressource. There are others like them. Since there are tons of free dictionary sites, sould we not rather close Wikitionaries? Noone suggested that. Last not least, WikiQuote does not cost us (the foundation) much, so, imho, the idea of closing WikiQuote, is greatly unreasonable, and unfair towards its supporters. --Purodha Blissenbach 09:35, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Consider me yet another person opposed to this proposal. If there are problem articles, address them; closing down the entire project is like taking out a fruit fly in your kitchen by burning down the house. Articles like those in q:Category:Themes can't just be kicked over to other projects; Wikisource isn't a very good alternative, and Wikipedia isn't much better. EVula // talk // // 14:50, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

  • I'm an editor (and sysop) at the german language wikisource and helped to some extend during the reform process on the german language wikiquote. From my point of view, there are big differences in the idea and contents of the two project-types, therefore it would bei misleading to incoporate a wikiquote into a wikisource projekt. It is usefull that wq is a standalone projekt. And if - by some accicdents, failures and missing knowledge - there are legal problems in the language specific wq, we should take every effort to put this projekt on a stable and legal base. A simple shutdown - the standard solution of a a bone idle community - is definitly the wrong solution. The legal problems seems to be a special problem to quotes (see french and german) but they solved it. Both projects had had a hard time, but now they are on the correct way.

I think it's simple

  • Define a set of rules according to the laws. (I'think there are two good examples (french and german), how to do that)
  • Take all members of the projekt and clean the whole projekt.
  • Find some guys who are willing to check the recent changes against the rules
  • Have a good time after finishing the hard job of cleaning

I'm quite shure that there are people from german and french wikiquote that will assist you (with their experince) to set up the guidelines and even during the cleaning process. --Joergens.mi 17:24, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

  • Shutting down an entire project should be the solution of last resort. First, try reform. And if that doesn't work try a better reform. If all attempts at reform are systemically impossible, come back with empirical evidence to support why. Durova 05:54, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes, that must be it, it must be evil suppressive censorship,m it could not possibly be that it's nothing to do with the English Wikipedia. Damn those evil rouge admins. JzG 22:49, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Comments
    I think it's clear from the discussion above that everyone agrees that there are problems concerning Wikiquote.
    I also think that most everyone agrees that a clear policy concerning the usage of "fair use" quotes needs to be in place of all the Wikiquotes.
    And then from there, each Wikiquote could then build upon that for their own set of guidelines. (Such as the differences between the German and the Japanese Wikiquotes.)
    In the meantime, "something" should be done until that occurs.
    Perhaps start a discussion here on meta, and blank all wikiquote pages, and lock all the wikiquotes, until the policy is completed. Why? Because it's becoming apparent that there is a significant question of "fair use", and it's better to blank, than to display inappropriately. And if so, it's rather likely that, as a result of the policy discussion, a fair part of the Wikiquote wikis will likely be deleted. And if not, well, the information is retained, and it would be rather simple to restore, following that discussion. So I think blanking and locking is a fair compromise. - Jc37 21:27, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
The idea that we just out-right blank every Wikiquote page is certainly not going to be productive, and I'm amazed that it would be put forth as an option. Until we actually come to some sort of conclusion, it's just as destructive as closing the project down, which is something a lot of people (myself included) are opposed to. EVula // talk // // 22:24, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
If there's indeed a copyright problem, then it's approriate to not display such. And I simply think that we're better off erring on the side of caution here. Copyright issues trump IWANTIT, period. Get the policy made. If the content of wikiquote is determined to be valid, then it's just as simple to "unblank" pages as to blank them. - Jc37 01:24, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
Thinking about this, the easier way to handle it might just be for the wikiquote wikis to be taken "offline". They'd still be there (for potential restoration), but not "presented", while the policy discussion is ongoing. - Jc37 01:28, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
Taking them offline would prevent all analysis, which is needed to write a better policy. I dont agree with this idea of very drastic solutions like you are suggestion, however, I would like to suggest another drastic solution that might interest you, and should be technically feasible.
Wikiquote could install Flagged Revs, with a "fair use reviewed" flag. All pages which are about people who are long dead can be flagged by a bot, and then the site config changed so that all pages that have not been fair-use review are not being displayed to logged out users. Then English Wikiquote admins work on a policy and or EDP, and only when a page has been reviewed for fair-use is it shown to users who are logged out.
I have seen many very good pages on English Wikiquote. I am sure that if a radical approach like this was taken, many hands from other wikis would come and help review the important pages necessary to bring the site back to normal operation. A list of pages with a high number of page views would be a suitable list for everyone to work on. John Vandenberg 15:02, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Section break 4/Where to start[edit]

Though the copyright issues are a problem, blanking and locking everything is a bit much. Each Wikiquote will need to do this (some have already done it), so as far as English Wikiquote goes, let's do the following. (Other languages are welcome to do this as well, of course).

  • Decide on a cohesive policy on what is allowed, what isn't allowed, and what is gray-area enough to warrant discussion. Formulate it keeping in mind the goals of the project, and so that there's enough agreement among participants (and the copyright rules in place by the Wikimedia Foundation). I'm assuming English Wikiquote already has this kind of policy -- but I am saying, make it rock solid. Make it the best it can possibly be.
  • Go through each page, and keep what is allowed, and delete what's been condemned. As for the gray area items, begin discussions, and decide on how to proceed. This systematic discussion could either be based on challenging specific quotes, or challenging entire types of quotes. For the former, I'd imagine a quote being tagged with something like "does this belong on Wikiquote?" Don't be afraid of liberally considering things in the gray area.

If you want to make it a bit fun, you could base it on a color system of blacklist, graylist, and whitelist. Colors are always fun. Always.

I hope that this sets a framework on cleaning up Wikiquote so that it adheres to all relevant missions. harej 01:12, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Addendum: To clarify, once the inclusion criteria, the exclusion criteria, and the gray area criteria have been established, a "hunting season" is more or less declared. harej 01:19, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
  • I can see no benefit in deleting or disbaning Wikiquote. Keep. Bstone 01:22, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
    • ... the hell? This is not a vote in any sense. --MZMcBride 04:21, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Just a reminder here and a followup on the note I posted above. I'm one of the sysops at English Wikiquote, where we're discussing the improvement of guidelines on copyright enforcement. For a link to the same, see here. When we arrive at these guidelines, we will then begin to enforce them. Even before arriving at these guidelines, we have already begun a project to trim pages marked for copyright concerns. Our discussion is only a few days old. I cannot give you a deadline on when it will end; but we're advancing, in my opinion, fairly efficiently. - InvisibleSun 01:49, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

It's more than just problems with copyright. Most of the material I've seen on Wikiquote consists of poorly sourced original research. Editors apparently cherry-pick anything that an individual has said, or is alleged to have said, and insert the material that makes whatever point it is they are hoping to make. If nothing else, quote should be restricted to those found to be notable by multiple, reliable, secondary sources. Jayjg 02:22, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

That could be another part of the rules: demanding reliable/multiple sources, or the quote is removed. harej 02:40, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
One of the proposals being discussed now at English Wikiquote is the elimination of unsourced quotes. The consensus so far has been unanimous to do this. In tandem with our discussion of trimming for copyright, we are working on guidelines for reducing the number of quotes in order to ensure notability. In doing so we will necessarily be editing to eliminate many other concerns: misleading or incorrectly edited quotes; trivia; lengthy or unrepresentative remarks; repetitive points; poorly substantiated sources. But as for original research, it hasn't been our policy to limit ourselves only to famous quotes, merely reproducing what could be found in standard collections: we have allowed contributors the option of choosing unfamiliar things they like. Naturally, these will all have been backed up by sources once we eliminate the unsourced quotes. Freedom of choice has sometimes resulted in contentious articles, especially about political or religious figures; but many of these are already being discussed and worked on for problems. As mentioned, once the limitations on the number, length and memorability of quotes are imposed, this will by its very nature begin to curb the more unworthy additions. - InvisibleSun 02:54, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
The problem with allowing "contributors the option of choosing unfamiliar things they like" should be obvious; editors comb through the statements of individuals, searching for stuff they can use to score points. And what's to stop someone from, for example, combing through all the speeches of Richard Nixon, and including every single thing he has ever said, sentence by sentence, each in an individual quote? You say you're interested in removing "trivia"? Well, if the quote isn't found in multiple, reliable, secondary sources, then it's "trivia". Jayjg 05:41, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
By the way, if you think I'm exaggerating, have a look at the quote page someone is building right now: [4] Jayjg 06:11, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
I would agree here with the editor Jayjg. I myself have used Wikiquote to cherry-pick some of Jimmy Wales' less-notable, but highly controversial quotes, in an effort to "balance" the sweet and adulatory quotes that pervaded his page. -- Thekohser 02:58, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
Very well said, Jayjg. --MZMcBride 04:21, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Would there be any alternative to disbanding? I'd rather keep Wikiquote. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs 05:57, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Sure, it might be possible to clean it up, if it had reasonable policies, and admins willing to follow them. However, my recent discussions with the leadership there lead me to believe that they are completely irrational, so I don't hold out much hope for that happening. Jayjg 06:11, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

"The irrational" says he tried me to bend the policy and I denied and asked them to submit the request publicly and properly. It was also recommended by Lar to the person in question on ENWP already. Rejecting favoritism is now for them irrationality. How sad to see they try to bring those enwiki drama and politics to the other project. --Aphaia 06:27, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Um, no. Actually, I asked you to do the right thing, and rename an obvious troll account, and you responded by saying you weren't going to do it because I hadn't renamed an account you wanted renamed on en.wp, despite the fact that I'm not a bureaucrat on en.wp, and had no idea what you were referring to. Then you demanded an apology from all en.wp bureaucrats and stewards first, before you would do anything. On, and you said my comments were a "sort of second rape". That's what I mean by "completely irrational". The conversation is here, for those who are incredulous/interested. Jayjg 01:52, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Hello. I recently received word about an ongoing discussion about disbanding Wikiquote. I noticed the big "On disbanding Wikiquote" on Special:RecentChanges, so I assume this is it. :-) While I have to agree, Wikiquote does have copyright problems, mainly on many of the bigger Wikiquote wikis, I don't see how it can be that big of an issue that we would have to disband it. Let's not go to our last resort now. Disbanding of Wikiquote shouldn't be done unless bigger concerns occur (I can't really think of any instance of any situation such as that right now). In my honest opinion, the copyright problems (alone) aren't enough to lead to the point where we would have to disband all of Wikiquote, a widely used source. I would suggest that all the Wikiquote wikis make a new policy of some sort to handle these problems from occurring, and that the administrators of those Wikiquote delete any copyright violation (or just simply remove them; depends). I'm an administrator over at the Simple English Wikiquote, and I'm sure our wiki will be able to come up with something to handle with these problems. I'm probably not going to reply or comment any further in this discussion—I just wanted to add my 2 cents. Anyway, I am basically opposing the disbanding of Wikiquote. I'm sure we can handle these problems in a different way without having to go disband Wikiquote. -- RyanCross (talk) 07:09, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Harej proposal. There's no need to disband Wikiquote. We have just to do some cleanup. -- Sannita - not just another sysop 08:55, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. -- Philcha 20:56, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Truly, Wikiquote needs a very huge cleanup. True, Wikiquote contains very many copyvio's as the proposer states but that doesn't mean that all of its content are. Quotes from people dead a hundred years ago are practically in the public domain just as old works are. This is like deletionism on a largest scale; and deletionism is bad. Wikiquote doesn't need to be disbanded, locked up or moved to Wikia, it just needs a stricter policy implementation. That's all. -- Felipe Aira 09:26, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Intellectual Property Attorney's Opinon > Copryright Paranoid's Opinion[edit]

BD2412 is someone who is not only an intellectual property attorney, but (the last time I checked) is also someone who lives in Florida. I trust that he knows better then anyone here, besides Mike Godwin, what is and what is not a legal threat. He seems to state that people here are making a mountain out of a mole hill. Let's cut the bullshit about massive copyright violations and actually get to the crux of the issue. Are we to compile the sum of all human information or just the free information? Shouldn't we be promoting loosening of restrictions on information, not reinforcing them? Excessive copyright paranoia, as demonstrated above, is just not helpful at all. As a side note, it seems that this proposal is suspiciously timed to the recent revelation of a massive cross-wiki sock-puppeteer gaining CU status on en-wq. Let's cut the wiki-political crap and knock off the excessive whining about fair use. --Dragon695 14:45, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Please read the discussion BD2412 and I have above, where I point out that BD2412 has made his assessments of fair use based on Wikiquote being a non-profit, which is a limitation of freedoms that is not permitted in free content. i.e., the problem is not that Wikiquote is a massive copyright problem per se; it is that with an abundance of fair-use, largely left to grow without restriction due to under-resourcing of RC patrollers, there is a point at which Wikiquote stops being a free content project. Many people who have commented here are concerned that line has already been crossed. Please don't dismiss those concerns as paranoia. John Vandenberg 15:16, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
I guess we just have to disagree on the interpretation of free. I personally see fair use as not just a privilege, but a freedom to take advantage of. Fair use is plenty free to 99% of our consumers. Like BD says, it really shouldn't be our concern if people want to profit from the content. I can understand the concept of trying to encourage people to get permission, etc. However, I do not subscribe to collective punishment, where quality and completeness are sacrificed because something doesn't meet someone's limited views of freedom. --Dragon695 00:22, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
For the record, I am no longer living in Florida - but I am most definitely still an intellectual property attorney, and I stand by my assessment. Not saying Wikiquote is without problems, but it is certainly not legally in the soup as it stands, especially given the safe harbor protection afforded the project under the DMCA. BD2412 T 12:58, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
The problem is the definition of "excessive" (and no, that's not an invitation to link to wiktionary). Four, maybe five lines from a TV episode is alright; if that TV show had twenty episodes, okay, that's 80 to 100 lines. Spread across twenty pages, it wouldn't cause anyone to bat an eye, but put them all on a single page (which is generally how Wikiquote organizes stuff, and I think that's the best method), and suddenly people start spazzing out. q:Mystery Science Theater 3000 is an excellent example of that; most of the episodes fall within a reasonable amount of content, but on the whole it looks "excessive". EVula // talk // // 15:27, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
Regardless of arguments to keep or disband Wikiquote, that page is far, far too large. "WARNING: This page is 429 kilobytes long; some browsers may have problems editing pages approaching or longer than 32kb. Please consider breaking the page into smaller sections." Good Heavens. Quite a few users still access the projects from dial-up or mobile connections. Have they done something wrong to deserve this punishment? --MZMcBride 04:02, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Ok, I'll even admit that on this one MZM is 100% correct. I made the unfortunate mistake of clicking on that link and was greeted with a rather nasty result — FF crashed =(. --Dragon695 14:34, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Really, the idea of someone trying to edit the entire page (and not a sub-section) hadn't even crossed my mind; I've been watching it for a long time, and everyone that edits does so by section (even if it wasn't a massive page, the sheer number of individual sections makes editing it any other way prohibitive). FF crashing is rather strange... at any rate, I'm initiating a discussion over there about splitting the page. EVula // talk // // 16:13, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
  • I'd like to remind people of something I mentioned elsewhere in this discussion: namely, that English Wikiquote has begun a copyright cleanup project. In our determination to start trimming these pages, we decided not to wait until we have finished our new guidelines policy but to begin the cleanup immediately. Some of the pages complained of throughout this discussion have already been tagged for copyright review and will be worked on by the project. I'd also like to inform people here that in English Wikiquote's discussion of new guidelines we are considering placing caps not only on individual episodes of shows but on total quotes for every season of a series. Once our guidelines have been completed and carried out, this will greatly reduce the pages with huge KB. - InvisibleSun 17:50, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

q:Special:Longpages is the first place to start the cleanup; those are most like the worst offenders. For posterity, here are the top 25:

  1. q:Mystery Science Theater 3000 ‎[439,833 bytes]
  2. q:M*A*S*H (TV series) ‎[406,142 bytes]
  3. q:Red vs. Blue ‎[370,566 bytes]
  4. q:Grey's Anatomy ‎[362,233 bytes]
  5. q:‎House (TV series) ‎[356,771 bytes]
  6. q:‎Beavis and Butt-Head ‎[353,315 bytes]
  7. q:Warhammer 40,000 ‎[339,301 bytes]
  8. q:The West Wing ‎[322,729 bytes]
  9. q:The Office (US) ‎[319,088 bytes]
  10. q:‎Qur'an on infidels ‎[307,737 bytes] - This doesnt say which translation is used, which means half of that page is a possible copyright violation.
  11. q:Angel (TV series) ‎[305,738 bytes]
  12. q:The Suite Life of Zack and Cody ‎[287,166 bytes]
  13. q:Charmed (TV series) ‎[282,353 bytes]
  14. q:Noam Chomsky ‎[280,314 bytes]
  15. q:Carmen Sandiego ‎[278,276 bytes]
  16. q:Babylon 5 ‎[272,168 bytes]
  17. q:Scrubs (TV series) ‎[266,587 bytes]
  18. q:Boy Meets World ‎[263,532 bytes]
  19. q:Aqua Teen Hunger Force ‎[260,645 bytes]
  20. q:Tenth Doctor ‎[258,065 bytes]
  21. q:‎Smallville ‎[257,548 bytes]
  22. q:‎Bones (TV series) ‎[242,603 bytes]
  23. q:Jesus ‎[241,293 bytes] - This is using the KJV, which is not redistributable in the UK. On Wikisource we do have a copy of the KJV, as it is permissible under US law, however we clearly inform the reader that it is covered by copyright in the UK, as it is not "free content" in the strict sense of the term.
  24. q:‎SpongeBob SquarePants ‎[237,478 bytes]
  25. q:‎Whose Line Is It Anyway? ‎[231,241 bytes]

Notice that of those, 23 are fair use abuse, and two are are dubious. None are primarily and undeniably within the broad definition of free content. Also, in my opinion the pages that have the most content are about topics that are least useful. John Vandenberg 11:38, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Of the 25 titles listed here, 15 of them have already been marked by us for copyright concerns (we place the copyright-check tags on the talk pages). This means that they are going to be cleaned up by our q:Wikiquote:Copyright Cleanup Project. Once the pages marked for copyright concerns have been completed, it would make sense for us to treat these other pages as high-priority. The Noam Chomsky page is a special case: a sysop who has done a lot of work on it had informed us, when complaints were made about its length, that Chomsky has given unlimited permission for all of his works to be quoted. Nevertheless, as this same editor also remarked, it is one thing for an author to give permission and another thing for publishers to do so. This will need further investigation. - InvisibleSun 18:39, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
I am aware of the excellent work that has gone into Noam Chomsky, as we have also seen some of that effort over at s:Author:Noam Chomsky. It is one page that warrants being in the longpages list! In order for the "permission" to be durable, any supporting evidence needs to be sent to the OTRS permissions queue where it can be independently assessed, and kept on file. John Vandenberg 04:09, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
The issues with the KJV in the UK are widely ignored across projects. This does not present much of a problem.Geni 22:02, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Utter incompetence[edit]

Days after the Poetlister scandal broke, we have the following situation:

  1. The Poetlister/Quillercouch, Yehudi, and Cato accounts on Wikiquote are still administrators on Wikiquote.[5] Poetlister/Quillercouch is still a bureaucrat.[6]
  2. Poetlister/Quillercouch/Yehudi/Cato apparently admitted creating the Crum375 account,[7] yet weeks after Crum375 requested that the usurper Crum375 account on Wikiquote be renamed,[8] the account still has not been renamed. It isn't even blocked, since Poetlister/Quillercouch unblocked it.[9] Crum375 refused to post the request on Wikiquote, quite rightly suspecting that a malicious CU (e.g. Cato) might create/use the opportunity to harvest his IP.
  3. Aphaia, the bureaucrat on Wikiquote, insists that she won't rename the Crum375 account because some en.wp bureaucrat apparently didn't rename an account she wanted renamed 3 years ago.[10] She insists on an "public apology" "from all ENWP sysops and b'crats who just reject my request saying that was their policy" before she'll do it.[11] By the way, the en.wp account Apahaia objected to has, in fact, been renamed, and the situation was not really the same as the situation on Wikiquote.[12]
  4. No other bureaucrat, steward, or sysop on Wikiquote has done anything about this.

If for no other reason, this absurd amateur night is why Wikiquote should be disbanded. Jayjg 02:28, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Hold up. Who cares what privileges these accounts still hold - they are not operational. Please dont rush things. Wikisource has a process for votes of confidence, and Wikiquote is working out how they are going to tackle this. These communities operate very slowly because it is harder to obtain a range of opinions, because not everyone comes online all the time. We often have to email 'crats to tell them that a major discussion point needs their attention. There is no looming doom, so this is a good opportunity for them to figure it out.
In regards to Crum375/Aphaia/enwp account, do you know roughly when it was renamed? It sounds like that really should be raised as a separate RFC here on meta. John Vandenberg 03:04, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
What does that mean, "they are not operational"? They appear to be fully operational to me. Regarding your question, I don't understand what you're asking. Jayjg 03:07, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
These accounts are not doing anything, and we dont anticipate any malicious actions from them. Also, the crats on both projects are aware of the ongoing discussions regarding Requests for comments/Poetlister and Cato‎, and are happy to give the accused time to respond before acting. While you have concerns about this multi-project problem is being handled, it is not a "Wikiquote" problem.
Aphaia is finding fault with an en.wp account rename, and you have shown it has been renamed. Can you given an approximate date for when the en.wp account was renamed? John Vandenberg 03:47, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Oh, I see, they're still operational but "not doing anything": not at this moment, anyway. That's a huge relief. As for the account, it was renamed on August 10; I presume the day someone realized that Aphaia was complaining about it. Jayjg 01:54, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
None of this relates to the alleged copyvio situation. Wikiquote has a smaller community and a narrower mission than the bigger projects, so things move at a less frantic pace. Relax, everything will be resolved soon enough, and no harm is ongoing with the situations asserted in this section. BD2412 T 12:55, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Right, it relates to the actual issue of this thread, the disbanding of Wikiquote. And the situations in the section aren't "asserted", they are described, and quite accurately. Jayjg 01:54, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Jayjg. This is absurd. Enigmaman 22:27, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
In total agreement that it's absurd, but I think to extrapolate from it that the entire Wikiquote system should be shut down is even more absurd. It's simply not a matter for this discussion. EVula // talk // // 22:56, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Update Just want to clarify that by "it's absurd", I'm talking about them still retaining their privileges (I'd love to see a faster-moving community process, but the current "no confidence" system is adequate). Lar is entirely correct that it's not a steward matter; as it stands, no rogue promotions are being made, no articles are being deleted arbitrarily, and no vindictive blocks are being placed. The stewards are very justifiably not stepping into a community matter. EVula // talk // // 16:05, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm in lockstep with EVula here. It's absurd they still have the rights and that they aren't blocked. I don't know whether wikiquote should be disbanded, but if this is the way that project is run, it probably should be shut down until people to lead the project are found. I don't care how active a project is. For this to happen and for there to be no reaction for days? Completely unacceptable. Enigmaman 00:55, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Action has already been taken and a vote will start soon (after we imported a bit of policy for this and agreed to it). The access to nonpublic data has already been removed, we just need the community to confirm that removal and decided upon the rest of the rights (if we want him to keep any, remove all, etc). Cbrown1023 talk 01:46, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
With respect to Jayjg's point 4 "No other bureaucrat, steward, or sysop on Wikiquote has done anything about this", this is not, at this time, a steward matter. I have every reason to believe that stewards other than myself have awareness of the situation, and I have (as a user without any other special standing, and without claiming any special privs because I am a user at a different wiki or whatever) been trying to do constructive things to get this matter resolved, as I have been all along.
The matter is being discussed at q:Wikiquote:Changing_username/Usurpation#Crum375_-.3E_any_name_desired where I and others have been trying to find creative solutions. I don't think that bombastic rhetoric is the way to build credibility, so I've not been using it, but instead have tried to put the request into the proper form, give explanations about why it's a legitimate request, and reflects the view of Crum375, and address points raised. I find that tends to be a more productive approach than invective. I agree with EVula that this matter doesn't extrapolate to the entire Wikiquote system should be shut down... although I'm certainly concerned about the implications. It could at some point become a matter for steward intervention, but I'll be quite surprised if that comes to pass. ++Lar: t/c 15:35, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Update, Due to Aphaia's leadership, English Wikiquote has tentatively adopted the English Wikisource "vote of confidence" process to address Poetlister et al. see q:Wikiquote:Requests for adminship#Cato, Poetlister and Yehudi. This is a matter for that community to deal with, so if you want to play a part in those discussions, you have two days left to build up credibility with the local community, if you havent already. :-) John Vandenberg 12:01, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

This sounds like an internal matter and should be discussed on Wikiquote - why is it being discussed here? Disbanding a project is a legitimate topic for meta, a few admins acting up on a project isn't. --Tango 15:56, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
The issue is not the "few admins acting up", but the extreme reluctance of the bureaucrats and stewards to deal with the issue, which is indeed a legitimate topic for meta. Jayjg 01:54, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
It was raised here by Jayjg as evidence of "why Wikiquote should be disbanded". If one thinks it is evidence of a larger issue, then it's certainly germane here. I personally don't exactly see it that way (although it's certainly not winning wq any plaudits, is it?), but I see where some might. Resolution of the issue belongs there (and I gave a pointer, above, to where it's being discussed) but perhaps, in the view of some, highlighting the issue is on topic. ++Lar: t/c 16:22, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
En has been known to get into long looping debates over how to deal with new situations. Judgeing a community by how they deal with a new situation isn't useful.Geni 21:59, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Why are we considering disbanding the project? I use it regularly, and it is a goldmine of information. Why not just remove the crappy parts like the TV Show quote sections?

You can include citations in a fair use way. -- 05:45, 19 September 2008 (UTC)


The key problem with wikiquote is that it's unstructured - over the next few weeks I will be working on a proposal to fix this (which will require extensions - does anyone here have experience writing extensions for mediawiki and interested in this?) —Random832 15:39, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

  • Is that the key problem? Or is it that a vigorous shake-up and cobweb removal is overdue? It would certainly be best to get copyright compliant before the DMCA notices start coming, but there's also the issue of a near-zero bar to inclusion, isn't there? These are not, of course, insurmountable. Seems to me that the minimum would be a verifiable source of the quote, one or two independent sources establishing its significance, and some kind of policy against including quotes for malicious or defamatory reasons, plus a proper fair use policy that is compliant with the current Foundation position on fair use. JzG 18:35, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
I heartily agree with JzG. -- Thekohser 19:12, 11 September 2008 (UTC)


As a sysop on English Wikiquote, I would like to give examples of some matters which, although touched upon already, could use some further explanation. I'll present them one at a time here throughout the day.

1) There has been a concern here over what has been called "original research," i.e., allowing quotes other than the famous and the most easily sourced. On the page for Samuel Taylor Coleridge there are quotes from his letters. I chose almost all of these myself regardless of fame. (Are any of them familiar? - no.) Based on the opinions gleaned from this discussion, I have therefore engaged in original research. Have the results been undesirable? Does anyone reading those quotes feel that they are uninteresting, inappropriate or trivial or that they should be discarded on principle? We often speak of gaining wisdom or pleasure from the literature of the past. Is it only possible to get this from the tried and the familiar? Should we actively discourage those who would like to believe they are capable of finding valuable things? Earlier generations chose what they considered to be memorable and have handed them down to us; shouldn't we have the same privilege? Why should the practice stop with us? I hope you'll excuse my getting a bit rhetorical; but I really do wonder at the notion that this is "original research" which is regrettable by nature and comparable to selecting unfamiliar, misleading or tendentious facts for Wikipedia.

The difficulty, of course, is chiefly when we get closer to the present day, in articles about the living and especially the ones who are the subjects of heated debate. Here is where I think we have failed so far in Wikiquote. We have practiced NPOV in a way that we thought appropriate for the "people" pages: namely, that the gradual, accumulated efforts of editors would create a natural balance. This hasn't happened. The attackers, the prosecutors, the slimers have outnumbered the defenders and the impartial. Plainly we have to do something more proactive here. Once we at Wikiquote have finished devising new guidelines (something we're doing right now), one of our first priorities should be to step in and weed these pages: they are mostly about political and religious figures. - InvisibleSun 16:34, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

2) As part of our discussion of revised guidelines, we have so far had unanimous agreement on discarding all unsourced quotes. Why did we allow them in the first place? Well, take this example: Samuel Johnson. At one point this article had about 40 unsourced quotes. In January 2006 I worked on them one by one. The article now has only one unsourced quote. If we had adopted a policy of accepting no unsourced quotes, that page would be 39 sourced quotes the poorer. Other examples would be Victor Hugo, Honoré de Balzac and James K. Polk, where many of the quotes had originally been unsourced. Our difficulty proved to be the one that has been pretty much at the root of all our problems: we don't have nearly enough regular editors to keep up with goals and ambitions. And so we've decided, for numerous reasons, to allow no more unsourced quotes in articles. So far we've discussed either deleting them outright or transferring them to talk pages so that people can have a chance to work on them eventually. A quote then sourced in that manner will go into the article if it meets all the new guideline limitations (number of quotes per work, length of quote, memorability, etc.). - InvisibleSun 19:21, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Would moving unsourced quotes over to the talk page be enough when it could possibly defame them? harej 00:13, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
That question came up yesterday in our English Wikiquote discussion on guideline revision. I had asked: "If unsourced quotes were to be transferred to the talk pages of articles, does this eliminate the potential for claims of libel? If so, then I would agree with placing them on talk pages, where they might eventually be sourced, than merely getting rid of them at once." So far no one there has replied to this. If someone here happens to know the answer, I could relay it back to our discussion. Naturally, if placing these quotes on talk pages is legally unfeasible, then our solution will be simply to delete them. - InvisibleSun 00:55, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Moving them to the talk page would be good from a policy point of view. It would deter unsourced quotes from being added, because the "Unsourced" section wont exist on the main page.
Also, a commerically published edition of wikiquote would use the page content, not the associated discussion pages, so having unsourced quotes, or over-fair-use quotes on the talk page is less problematic from that point of view. It is more reasonable to utilise the non-profit status and DMCA safe harbor provisions to allow the talk pages to be a bit messy - the talk pages are there for the project, and are not part of the product. John Vandenberg 01:03, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Hi. Can I remind everyone, please of the safe harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act? No Wikimedia project can be sued simply because either defamatory material or copyvio material has been posted there unless the injured party makes a formal request that the material be removed, and that request is not honored. I have never yet heard of any copyright owner requesting the removal of material from Wikiquote, nor have I yet heard of a purportedly defamed person making such a request. In short, there is no need to panic. We will reign in our problems (and are working on it now), but no one faces any liability over anything we presently host. BD2412 T 03:55, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

In Spanish WQ, as in others, we have some valuable pages that would hardly fit into WP or WS, but also have problems of unsourced quotes and excesive amounts of quotes excerted from copyrighted works. Current policies are vague, so we are debating on how to improve them. We can take into account fr:q:Wikiquote:Charte, or en:q:Wikiquote:Quotability, but I'm afraid none of the regularly active users can understand German nor Japanese, so please let me ask here: Histo pointed that deWQ "don't accept any new quote without a serious source". But also "all copyvios in de.WQ were removed" Does it mean you keep barely sourced quotes that were added before the big reform? --Javierm 09:30, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

I think, the position of German WQ is clear. Please take a look on the RC of our project. User Toledo (a female) is commenting in English in these days to show what work is done. --Histo 23:54, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Excuse me, Histo. What is the RC? --user:Javierm (q:es:usuario:Javierme) 09:31, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
"RC" is Recent Changes. John Vandenberg 11:17, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Also, I see pages of living people with more than ten quotes, like q:de:George W. Bush. Are German WQ considering some of them to be in the public domain? --Javierm 09:36, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Publicly made statements of politicians, official bodies, etc. are alway fully quotable in Germany. You cannot prohibit them from being redistributed (Other than convincing people not ot do it). That does not put them in the PD but allows you to use them. -- 15:28, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Mike Godwin's view[edit]

Wikimedia's counsel, Mike Godwin, had the following to say on this matter:

I can't speak for the Board, but I don't see in this case a compelling argument for Wikiquote to change its current practice.

Copyright law cases typically involve multifactorial analyses and lots of nuance. I would not assume that a commercial book publisher's use of "Seinfeld" quotes necessarily tells us anything about a non-commercial reference's use of quotations.

Many people believe that copyright jurisprudence gives clear and obvious guidance about how one should use copyrighted materials in future cases. My experience has been, however, that this belief is mistaken.

If we were contacted by a copyright holder with a complaint about Wikiquote, of course, we would attempt to respond within reason to resolve the complaint without anyone's having to resort to litigation. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act actually provides for services like Wikiquote a way of resolving copyright complaints without serious risk of litigation through its notice-and-takedown procedures. I'm not aware of any DMCA notices regarding Seinfeld quotations on Wikiquote.

—Mike Godwin 21:20:23, 10 September 2008 (UTC), The foundation-l mailing list

This pretty much echoes what I have been saying all along both about copyvio concerns and about the DMCA as a shield to the same. I admit, I lean a bit more towards endorsing the changes we are now undertaking with respect to trimming excessive selections, but the essence is that our current practices present no reason to shelve a product that has much good to offer. BD2412 T 22:01, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Mr. Godwin is IMHO wrong and he explicitely didn't spoke for the Board. For me e.g. the Seinfeld article is a clear copyvio with its 1000+ quotes and I think that en WQ should be disbanded because there is no acceptance of free content according the WMF Licensing Policy --Histo 23:50, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

  • The discussion on English Wikiquote regarding new guidelines is proceeding in any case, as is the trimming of articles marked for copyright concerns (of which Seinfeld is one). Fair use is just one the reasons for these guidelines; quality, balance and appropriateness are others. - InvisibleSun 00:00, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
  • I also object to Mr. Godwin's position, which I think is more along the lines of "how far can we push it without getting caught?" than "what works best with our free content mission?". InvisibleSun (or BD2412 or someone else), could you please add a link to the current discussion somewhere prominent, such as in big letters at the top of this page, please. Giggy 06:44, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
    • I have linked to the pages in other posts but will make them easier to find now by creating a section below, entitled "Links to English Wikiquote discussions and projects." - InvisibleSun 17:52, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
  • I think Mike has made a fundamental error is using the non-commercial nature of Wikiquote in its defence - Wikimedia projects are meant to be re-usable by anyone, that includes for commercial purposes. I'm quite confident that the foundation is almost entirely safe from litigation about Wikiquote (and that is Mike's primary concern, admittedly), but if it's going to continue we need for contributors and re-users to be almost entirely safe as well. --Tango 08:10, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

There have been complaints at de.wikiquote. A user, who had given his real name at his userpage [13] stated [14] that he received a letter from the legal department of a film-company that holds the exclusive rights of the quotes of the article q:de:Raumpatrouille. The article was deleted by an wikiquote administrator. According to German law , which could be applied hiere, the film-company could have charged the user for an w:en:Abmahnung - what the company did not do. This could similarily happen to an user that enters quotes at en.wikiquote, if he is identifiable and if the rights of a german copyrightholder is violated. This should also be considered, even if there was no risk for the foundatin in the U.S. --Hei ber 11:39, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

From a legal point of view, Mike Godwin is entirely correct. What you have to decide on is what policy you want to follow. Guido den Broeder 13:36, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Mike Godwin. Even If, which I sincerely doubt, he was on a "let us see how far we gan go" kind of path, that would imho be okay as long as we do not cross the line. As long as we can get most for our readers in a sane, safe and fair way, wy not do it? Insecurity about unforessen, or unforeseeable, possibilities is already giving may of us quite a big push away from the border line, so there is imho generally no real risk to accidentally cross it.
As to the above letter from the legal department of a film-company that holds the exclusive rights of the quotes of the article q:de:Raumpatrouille, rest assured that their rights, if any, do not entitle them to prohibit quoting, at least not in Germany. Since the series Raumpatrouille afaik has been on German public tv, every German w:de:Gebührenzahler has the right to own his own copy that one has made from the broadcast. Like any book, or recording, on the market, according to the Bern treaty, they can be quoted. So taking the page down was not neccessary. Believe me, they did not try to charge anyone for an w:en:Abmahnung because they knew perfectly well that they were chanceless to win the case.
-- 15:17, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
  • It's certainly welcome to see Mike add a note of sanity to these discussions. It is a clearly refreshing alternative from the dogmatic extremism expressed by some free content advocates. The realpolitik of the situation is that the "let us see how far we can go" approach is a vital part of legal strategy; the recording and film industries use it to good effect with great regularity. "Getting caught" is not really a part of the argument if we are sincere in our analyses; in some circumstances we may even want to get caught because we firmly believe that our adversaries are the ones who are trying to see how far they can go. This is not to say that I am not without some concerns about a wikiquote page with 400k of content from one TV programme. How can such a load of crap possibly be effective? Is there even 400k of quotable material in all of Shakespeare, and that work has had four centuries to sort out the memorable from the mundane. Eclecticology 18:26, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
This just goes to show what a futile notion it is to try to bring me in to resolve a dispute about law and policy. I actually do know some law and policy, but my authority, as evidenced above, is approximately zero (regardless of whether what I say is technically correct). So, guys, please understand that the discussion above is precisely why I take pains to avoid wikidebates of this sort. It's not a good use of my time. MGodwin 23:06, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Anthony's View[edit]

Imagine I had proposed disbanding Wikipedia a few years ago, when it was "(in various languages) a hotbed of copyright violations and other non-free content"? I easily could have found three examples of Wikipedia articles which were "in direct contradiction to basic fair use policies and Wikimedia's mission of providing free content". I don't see this as an argument for disbanding a project. I see it as an argument for slapping it with a cluestick and getting it back on mission.

"Any public domain material can and should be moved to Wikisource." Can, yes, but should? There's definitely a benefit to separating out certain quotes from a larger work. Why should this be done on Wikisource, which already has the work as a whole?

"All other material can be incorporated into Wikipedia (if appropriate under fair use) or simply removed from our sites altogether." Given a few hundred years I'm sure this could be done, but in the mean time, it's useful to have a place to store the quotes before they get incorporated.

Anthony 14:18, 13 September 2008 (UTC) (I plan to modify and/or add to the above text if I think of some improvements I could make)

If Wikisource already has the information, wouldn't it be more logical to keep it all in the same place, rather than duplicating the content to a different domain / database? --MZMcBride 21:06, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Bracton's View[edit]

I oppose disbanding it. It has some flaws, but serves a useful purpose of providing short quotes that don't work well on Wikisource. However, I would like tools to more easily cross-link a quote on Wikiquote to its complete document on Wikisource.

I would urge, however, a standard template for citing below the quote, if we are not going to use endnotes. There is now some confusion about standards on this.

I don't see the concerns about copyrighted material. Short quotes are almost certainly fair use. It is Wikisource that might have that problem. In any case, policing copyright infringements is all in a day's work for editors, and it makes little difference whether it is on Wikipedia main, Wikiquote, or Wikisource. 01:35, 14 September 2008 (UTC)


I think if WQ were more popular it would attract some more serious editors who could watch out for problems and correct them. One objection I have with WQ is giving unsourced quotes from living persons, the page on Hillary Clinton was especially bad for this. Another thing is off-topic quotes and POV pushing quotes in controversial topics. Another thing is copyright problems. Someone pointed out that about 10% of the text JRR Tolkein's novels was quoted on WQ. Otherwise I think WQ is a good idea. Adding quote pages to WP articles is also an interesting idea. 17:32, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Another thought: (Sorry I'm not registered here, I'm Steve Dufour on WP and WQ.) I think there really should be a standard on WQ that a quote shouldn't be included unless it would be interesting regardless of who said it or the social or political context in which it was said. So then a quote saying Barack Obama is not really black or that Sarah Palin is a pig wearing lipstick would not be allowed. 18:11, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Tolkien's pages were worked on last week by an editor in our Copyright Cleanup Project. They have been vastly reduced and much improved in quality. Naturally, as in all cases of copyright cleanup, we will have to keep watching these pages so as to keep them in trim. In our discussion of guidelines for page maintenance, we have been unanimous in agreement that all unsourced quotes will be removed from Wikiquote pages. Some of the topics that attract controversy on Wikiquote (politicians, religious figures, etc.) are being worked on by various editors, but these topics in general will need much closer monitoring. We had hoped in the past that balance on these pages would be achieved gradually but steadily in the natural course of community effort, as in Wikipedia articles. What has happened instead is that the agenda-ridden have overwhelmed the more impartial. As for quote sections on Wikipedia, the trend is in the opposite direction. Quote sections from Wikipedia are being transferred to Wikiquote. I think that this trend has worked well. It avoids the redundancy of quoting on both Wikipedia and Wikiquote. Another good reason is that Wikipedia editors are often peculiarly indifferent to sourcing their quotation sections. It's as if the verifiability of the quotes were being taken for granted. At one time, looking over the quotation section on the WP page for Voltaire, I found that not only were few of them sourced but that many of them were garbled or not even genuine. I eventually deleted their quotation section after seeing that all of the quotes not yet on the WQ Voltaire page were transferred to Wikiquote and sourced. - InvisibleSun 18:31, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm glad to hear that progress is being made. 21:42, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
How does Wikiquote deal with translations?
Does Wikiquote require that all translations are published in a peer-reviewed manner prior to appearing on Wikiquote? Do you allow "collaborative" translations? What is done to ensure a reader knows which is which? John Vandenberg 22:46, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Our translation practices have been quite rudimentary: they consist mostly in discouraging editors from doing their own translations and in encouraging them to name translation sources. Most of our editors supply only the English for any quotes from other languages, not naming the translation sources. The practice has been to treat quotes as sourced if they name the works in which they are found. This is another area where our being short-staffed has caused us to fall pretty far behind. When sourcing quotes ourselves, our inclination has been to use older and more standard translations (i.e., the traditional ones, such as might be found in Bartlett's), with translations taken whenever available from Wikisource and Project Gutenberg. We do this in part because the older translations are the ones most likely to be used by readers in searching for quotes. In this way we also hope to avoid the problems of translation copyright, but there is still a lot to do here. Because our guidelines discussion has agreed on removing unsourced quotes from pages, it seems to me that we could expand this to removing any quotes with unspecified translations as well, placing them on the talk pages to be worked on as we can. I'll present this question over at Wikiquote. - InvisibleSun 00:07, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
  • First off, I oppose the disbanding of Wikiquote. Yes it has copyright issues, but this is simply because it has less traffic than the other sites. If that is a reason to shut down a project, Wikipedia should be disbanded immediately. Hundreds of copyright issues are dealt with there every hour. The only reason they are more pervasive here is that Wikiquote is the red-headed stepchild of WikiMedia. I think that this could be remedied with a (volunteer) drive at Wikipedia that encourages editors of featured articles to check if the corresponding pages at Wikisource, Wikiquote and Commons are also up to par. This would siphon off some of the enthusiasm and traffic of our admittedly most popular site and spread the wealth, so to speak. We here at wikiquote should make sure that every article here has a link or box at the corresponding Wikipedia article to generate more traffic. Also, currently, contributing at Wikiquote is somewhat cumbersome; there needs to be more implementation of templates and other tools that make contruting and policing easier.--Esprit15d 14:41, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Links to English Wikiquote discussions and projects[edit]

Disbanding Wikiquote is a ridiculous idea[edit]

  • I sincerely believe this is a ridiculous idea. No offense to anyone but Wikipedia probably has more copyvios than most/all editions of wikiquote. When a copyvio is noticed on wikipedia it is quickly removed *either deleted or often just reverted). In addition a lot of quotations are not even copyrighted! Consider historic quotations... -- Cat chi? 14:23, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree with above Leujohn 10:12, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree too, the idea of moving the material to Wikisource is a non-starter. Either it will be moved wholesale, copyvio and all, or else it will have to be filtered first. In which case the filtering can just as easily be done in project and leave the material where it is. In fact, more easily as there is no pressure to do it all in one hit, an impossible amount of work. Spinningspark 10:53, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Are we going to start a poll or voting system to make the decision of disbanding Wikiquote? Or does the decision lies within the community of each Wikiquote language. Diagramma Della Verita 16:57, 17 September 2008 (UTC)


This needs closure[edit]

This discussion has become unbelievably convoluted. Resolution is now required. We either need a straw poll or someone, or a group of people, to determine the consensus. Either way, this pointless bickering and back-and-forth discussion that really isn't bringing any closure to this matter needs to stop. —Anonymous DissidentTalk 10:25, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

  1. Oppose. Strictly enforced cleanup is preferable to the drastic deletion of a project. Spinningspark 10:56, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
    I support the closure of this discussion, and a poll to be created. -- Felipe Aira 11:36, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
    Let's try to see if we can form a consensus in via this section before moving to a poll --Shaggorama 12:11, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
  2. Strong Oppose. We need more sourcing enforcement and maintenance/clean-up task-forces similar to the vigilant anti-vandalism units on en:wp. --Shaggorama 12:11, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
  3. Oppose- Let's give it one more chance. Perfect Proposal 00:56, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
  4. Weak Oppose - One more chance, they seem to be cleaning up their act. Thunderhead 09:29, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
  5. Oppose but only if extreme measures are taken in cleaning up, like the German WikiQuote did. --JohnPrefect 01:04, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
  6. Oppose - as a fly by non contributor (sic) - trying to read what has been happening - cleanup looks like the way to go sustain that position SatuSuro 03:27, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
  7. close. After the discussion here the project knows that the deficits must be corrected. Let them do it first. -jkb- (cs.source) 12:25, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
  8. close: The proposals on disbanding all wikiquotes and as translating the quotes to their respective wikisources did not make grat sense to raise a poll (at least as they were stated here). Now we should keep on cleaning the projects (not only the Wikiquotes but also others that have copyright problems) and when it doesn't work, study separately the closure of the wikiquotes that present the greater problems, not the ones that grow correctly. --Javierm 15:26, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
  9. Close I think it's pretty clear that nothing presented on this page is swaying anyone to the idea that Wikiquote should be disbanded (some of the reasons presented aren't even relevant). Cleanup is different from disbandment. EVula // talk // // 15:33, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
  10. Close discussion, do not disband all wikiquotes, no further voting needed, imho. --Hei ber 04:43, 24 September 2008 (UTC)