Communications committee/Subcommittees/Press/2006/03/28 fr.Wikiquote brief

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The French Wikiquote was closed to edits on 29 March 2006, and will re-open for editing on 1 April with a new database. See the announcement [1]. Press contacts can expect to be asked some of the following questions by journalists, and we have some example text answers. It's very important to be able to answer in your own words, so please read and understand the answers but don't try to memorize them as though they were a script.

What was wrong with the French Wikiquote?
Some contributor had apparently inserted material from copyrighted databases and other sources.
What was the extent of the problem?
It was sufficient to render the majority of the French Wikiquote database suspect, which is why it was deemed necessary to delete it.
Was this a legal settlement?
Yes, we reached an agreement with an outside party, and we are quite satisfied with the outcome.
Can you tell us who the settlement was with, what the terms were, etc.?
What we are doing now is fulfilling the terms. Not every precise detail should be or needs to be disclosed, in order to protect future relationships and negotiation strategies, but the terms that matter are reflected in the official announcement. The project should not incur any legal liability as a result.
What about the French Wikiquote community?
There isn't really a substantial community there. Activity significantly declined after this problem was discovered. Affected contributors have already been notified.
Couldn't you have tried to salvage something?
It would have required extensive work by the community to identify and remove the problems, much like the German Wikipedia recently did in a similar situation, but on a significantly larger scale this time. Since there isn't much of a community, the resources to do this don't exist. That's why we agreed to start it over.
Are there problems on other Wikiquotes?
It's possible, and those communities should let us know if they have any suspicions so that the problems can be addressed without involving outside parties. They should also look at adopting policies similar to the French Wikiquote's new citation policy.
Will this sort of thing happen again? Is my project in danger of being deleted?
No, not at all. Certainly not if you have an active community that is willing to respect copyright and is capable of responding to problems. Obviously if you're involved enough to be concerned about the welfare of your project, then there should be sufficient community oversight to ensure that problems like this do not arise, or are dealt with long before they reach this stage.
  1. [Foundation-l] Redémarrage du Wikiquote Francophone / French Wikiquote Relaunch - Jean-Baptiste Soufron, Thu Mar 30 00:47:31 UTC 2006