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Requests for comment/Copyright issues on DAWP

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The following request for comments is closed. No consensus at this point in time for action to be taken, with several aspects of this discussion now being out of date or inaccurately reflecting the state of current events. ~riley (talk) 02:39, 17 January 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Hello. I contribute on Wikipedia in Danish. On our Wikipedia there are a lot of copyright violations. Basically the issue is that there are several users who have been copy/pasting old articles from Nordish Lexica like da:Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon and sv:Nordisk Familjebok (which are online on www.runeberg.org).

Although DAWP allows for copy/pasting (which I deem to be a stupid idea) from very old works (old language/style/POV) which seem to be public domain, not all the writers were dead before 1947, and therefor those articles aren't in the public domain. Although I have argued on many occasions that this practice is flawed, and I have raised the issue about copyrights on several pages like the users discussion page, the "Village Pump" and "Administrator Request for Action" all I got was to be deemed "to have no clue about copyrights" or that I am irritating.

One of these users has written thousands of articles with no references what so ever, and under == Literature == he wrote the source. He has copied text between <!-- --> only for months later to remove these under "small edit" and "m" (minor edit) so it won't be noticed. That is deliberate action, knowingly breaking the law!

It started with an article of the News Paper "Jyllandsposten". And then I found more. I made people aware of it, but the user denies that it is copyright protected, as he rewrites these articles (Read: adds sentences, changes a few words with synonyms, etc, he even adds other sources to statements made in the Swedish "Nordic Familjebok" that are clearly is a one on one copy/past from the Danish "Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon.

I want DAWP to be cleaned from all copyright issues, but the admins are working against me. Saying that I should refrain myself from this user, because that user gets stressed. In fact. The proposed ban, was unsuccessful, when one admin stated to have no clue about what was right or wrong here. So he would rather not vote for a ban, although he agrees that this user has many issues. There are - as far as I know - 3 active users working on removing copyvio on DAWP. da:User:Kjeldjoh, da:User:Madglad and myself. Madglad and I have been fighting against these misunderstandings about copyright. We have raised these issues on many pages. One admin, da:User:Ramloser, has spend several hours to go through the edits of this user, and found that he only could conclude that this user doesn't live up to the promises he made, he doesn't follow the instruction to solely focus on cleaning the mess up, etc. I feel that the admins have been lacking the guts to block this user. Even though there have been enough reasons for it. Furthermore, these articles should have been deleted on sight. As it is, Rmir gets permission to just reformulate the text (which he can't as he self admits: He can't stay neutral to the text)

I have tried to reason with the administrators, but they perceive me as irritating as I keep repeating the same, over and over again. I can't get help elsewhere it seems, but someone referred me to this page. I would like some one who has understanding of the legal complications if these copyright issues don't get fixed soon. This issue has been going on since mid February.

So I need help to make these admins understand that this user is a danger for Wikipedia, unwilling to conform to basic copyright law. And all these articles (many over 50.000 bytes big and "deemed promising articles") should be deleted on spot, but they rather try to keep as many as possible by rewriting them (just reformulate basically) which is not good enough!

I have mentioned the experiences that the Dutch Wikipedia (NLWP) has had over the years, and how they have handled these cases. But all I get is: This is not NLWP, but DAWP. They don't even want to ask the administrators from NLWP for assistance!

A proposed ban of this user was denied as three admins voted no, mostly because - as one admin put it - he is in doubt, and blames most of the problems on surrounding circumstances. Well. There is nothing other than to see though the edits of this user as Ramloser did. But they didn't. So now we're stuck with a user who doesn't conform to basic copyright laws, and Admins who let him be.

So you can read that I am frustrated with these admins, See the page in my sandbox her: da:Bruger:Rodejong/sandkasse12! See the page with all the relevant articles her: da:Wikipedia-diskussion:Ressourcebibliotek/Forfattere i DBL og SK/huskeliste! Furthermore da:Wikipedia:Anmodning om administratorassistance/Rmir2 og Copyvio and da:Wikipedia:Afstemninger/Bandlysning af Bruger:Rmir2. (I first wrote this on Wikimedia Forum#Question for help. Which I now understand was on the wrong page. Then I was referred here by another user.

Please help?Kind regards,  Rodejong  💬 ✉️  12:41, 9 May 2018 (UTC)[reply]

I can confirm that I'm working on cleaning up after the copyvio from www.runeberg.org. We are using the page DA:Wikipedia-diskussion:Ressourcebibliotek/Forfattere i DBL og SK to keep track of the process. But I do not agree with User:Rodejong on the reason or solution to the problem. --Kjeldjoh (talk) 13:23, 9 May 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Can you explain, as what would be a better sollution? And what is the real reason then? Kind regards,  Rodejong  💬 ✉️  13:32, 9 May 2018 (UTC)[reply]
As I understand it, the reason for this problem, is that a significant number of users have copied text from www.runeberg.org, thinking that this was public domain. Some of these users have copied a great number of articles. The problem have not been caused by this one user. The solution is, as I see it: 1) Mark the copied articles with the template designed for the propose. 2) Credit the original author in the reference, and if the author haven't been dead for 70 years, then add the article to the working list. 3) Possible, but not necessary, prioritise the list. 4) Rewrite the listed articles. 5) Review the articles and hide versions there are copyvio. The solution is not to delete a great number of articles, there have been on Wikipedia for several years. The solution is not to ban a user, there is working on improving the articles, the rewriting is not always sufficient, but he is working on it. The solution is not to keep arguing, and spreading the talk to other wikimedias.--Kjeldjoh (talk) 18:36, 9 May 2018 (UTC)[reply]
The issue is the attitude of the admins towards this issue.
The user made edits, assuring that his copyviolations were not detected by placing that text between <!-- -->. Agreed?
There are three users who added materials from older works, but only this user (as far as I know of) has copy/pasted from obvious sources, like Jyllandsposten. It is naive to say that he wasn't aware of copyright violations, when deliberately placing text between <!-- --> or copy/pasting from newspapers.
When each violation was discovered, we confronted the user with it. And he either denied that it was copyvio, or explained that losing the text would be a great loss for Wikipedia and rather rewrite the text. But all the rewrites so far have not been good enough. He endlesly attacked us for stalking, misinterperting and clearly wasn't going to accept the demands we asked for to be followed. The admins had countless opportunities to block him for ignoring what the admins were saying to him.
  1. He ignored to solely focus on the copyvio articles, in stead he was occupied with other stuff and discussions. (See Ramlosers conclusion)
  2. He categorically refused to accept that slightly rewriting these articles is not a sollution.
  3. He attacked those who gave critisism
  4. He reversed our added templates, and even began editwarring to keep the copyvio template of "his" article.
So there were ampel opportunities to act as administrator, but the refused to do so. In stead those who found copyvio, and raised the issue on several places and levels, get critisized or blatantly get hammered down by the admins. That is my issue here.
These admins don't live up to what is requiered of them, and therefor I wish that outsiders take a fresh look in to the matter. Kind regards,  Rodejong  💬 ✉️  20:02, 9 May 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I am now blocked for a period of 6 months because I am openly talking critisism on the Danish Wikipedia in a tone they don't like.
It would be nice if someone didn't look at the messenger, but hears what the message is, and does something about it! Danish Wikipedia is not going to get better with me out of the way! Kind regards,  Rodejong  💬 ✉️  21:45, 24 May 2018 (UTC)[reply]

@Rodejong: If you can get no satisfaction from volunteers, I can only suggest contacting WMF Legal. StevenJ81 (talk) 19:26, 17 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]

tl;dr Rodejong does need to improve his dispute resolution and will probably need some help with that. Multiple dawiki users are fed up with that behaviour of his. Whether there is an copyright issue or not needs to be reasearched further by someone familiar with danish sources.
I understand Danish well enough not to use an dictionary and I am not part of the Danish community.
  • Editquette/blocks
Rodejong used to repeatedly revert other users which disagreed with him, that practice is known as editwarring. The blocks that the admins used on Rodejong were meant to calm him down (IMO), but Rodejong still is a bit antsy in those cases. Even though there is no recent example of editwarring, his dispute resolution is still not quite adequate. Rodejong has an long standing issue with Rmir2, but since Rmir2 was blocked for using an sock puppet, that is not really an issue anymore.
Rodejong has an history of blocks on dawiki. His current block is based on his poor dispute resolution skills, not the copyright dispute. Rodejong´s blocks that exceed 1 month where discussed in the community prior to being enforced. I do think that the dawiki community considers Rodejong an good editor, but his lack of skill on working with others is more important. Rodejong was an patroller twice, and the second time around he already had some history of blocks. That was an chance for him to redeem himself, which sadly he did not use.
  • Policies
Rodejong has an long standing issue with the fact that dawiki does not have the same polices as other wikis, particularly enwiki. I was able to find several discussions, both 3 years old and recent one where that is an issue for him. When the other languages of wikipedia (other than enwiki) where formed, it was decided that those language versions would not become translations of enwiki, but independent projects. As such, the fact that dawiki does not have the same policies as enwiki is not an fault or an sign that that policy hasn´t been translated over. Dawiki has it´s own discussions on how their own rules should be.
The fact that some policies on dawiki come from enwiki is largely due to the fact that those polices have improved the quality of the articles on both wikis. There are global policies, but those come from metawiki (this wiki), not enwiki. For example, the practice of oversighting, e.g. hiding/removing revisions from edit history, has to follow the metawiki rules, since dawiki does not have such an policy.
  • Copyright
The pages with the copyright issue are split into three categories, (1) those where the text is younger than 70 years old (clear-cut copyright infringements), (2) those where the copyright is still active due to that less than 70 years have passed from the death of the author and (3) those where there is no copyright. There is no disagreement in category 1, everyone, including Rodejong, thinks that those should be deleted.
The disagreement is in the second category. Rodejong wants to delete those articles, while others want to paraphrase them. Rodejong´s main argument is the 75th article of the Danish copyright law which restricts modifications of the text. However, after reading the Danish copyright law, it is clear that the 75th article is really about the moral rights of the author and does not restrict paraphrasing the text.
This copyright issue will be dealt with eventually, although isn´t going at the rapid phase Rodejong wants. Perhaps the users of dawiki overlooked something about the copyright issue, but I will not help Rodejong on that until he has addressed his poor dispute resolution skills.--Snaevar (talk) 14:07, 9 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]