Wikimedia Forum/Archives/2010-10

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Warning! Please do not post any new comments on this page. This is a discussion archive first created in October 2010, although the comments contained were likely posted before and after this date. See current discussion or the archives index.

Server

How to setup a server for a certain Wikipedia edition in a certain language? Abdullais4u 10:07, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

For a new language wiki in any of the already established projects you would need to post a request on Requests for new languages. -- Mentifisto 12:03, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, but the question actually was about physically setting up a web-server for Wikipedia (or an edition of it). We (me and colleagues) want to establish a server in Tashkent, our town and make it available in TAS-IX (Uzbekistani internet exchange point). So, how can we do it? Abdullais4u 10:13, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
The WMF is actually interested in creating new squids but currently no resources are allocated for that and I don't know if Uzbekistan has been considered as a possible place, so some time may be needed for a response. You may try to contact Danese Cooper, dcooper@wikimedia.org. --Nemo 17:48, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

A strange feeling...

I'll jump straight to the topic - open the door and see the mountain, to use a Chinese phrase. A lot of projects are now a mess. Namely, WB, WN, and (possibly) WV. I'm an active contributor of Wikibooks, and it's been really, really quite these days. After a controversial transwiki discussion, an admin, b:User:Thenub314, has decided to semi-retire. And after that, at Wikinews, n:USer:HJ Mitchell and n:User:Tempodivalse decided to retire. I've heard, in meta, from WB bureaucrat b:User:Adrignola that WV is a mess too. Shouldn't something be done about this? Kayau WP WB WN 11:29, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

...And, considering the WN matters, a global ArbCom probably won't help much. Kayau WP WB WN 11:30, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
I can best provide personal thoughts on the English language Wikibooks. Not that I'm complaining (I like involvement with the community), but I should note that there are times where my talk page at Wikibooks is more active than all the community discussion rooms at the time (such that I archive by month and after a seven day delay). I used to have to view the last 250 recent changes to patrol what's happened during the night; for the past couple months I've only needed 100. Apparently conflicts between editors have been responsible for problems at Wikiversity and Wikinews. Wikibooks has been pretty quiet, so quiet that any evaporation of its community would easily go unnoticed. For more objective analysis, I give you: 3 month admin statistics (I only consider five active—check contributions histories), number of admins over time (Wikibooks removes after 1 year of inactivity), content pages; stats.wikimedia.org hasn't been updated for Wikibooks since January, so it's not going to provide anything accurate for comparison. I don't know the solution, but I know it's not to be found at Wikimedia Wikipedia Outreach (try to find a page not about Wikipedia there). There is continual concern over Wikipedia growth, but the other projects would love to have even a fraction of the contributions and they have greater potential for growth than a mature platform. Adrignola 14:22, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
I'd hoped the quietness was due in some part to the summer vacation season, although it does seem quieter than last year. Unusual? Quite TalkQu 13:53, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Wikinews is even worse now, it seems. I've just decided to take a stroll through the water cooler and I was surprised at how frank Wikinewsies had been with each other earlier this month. And I finally learnt some stuff I've overlooked before. C628 and Blurpeace left as well. It looks terrible. Wikibooks on the other hand is taking the opposite course. Thenub just came back and became a CU, and the discussion about Kohs is cooling down. Dunno about WV though... Kayau WP WB WN 13:45, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

I can provide a little insight into Wikinews; it's indeed doing badly due to massive internal disputes and incivility. Six active users and admins (including me) retired during the course of the summer, and others, while not officially "retired", have told me they don't want to edit there anymore. That's about half the entire user base, and no new editors have been attracted since to cover the gap. (Never in project history has there been such a mass exodus.) It's taken a toll on article production - en.wn now frequently has the same stories hang around for around a week or more on the front page - not good for a site that's supposed to provide the latest info and always be up-to-date. For WB and WV I can't speak for, although the latter seems strained the last few times I've been there.
I wish there was something that could be done, but I'm not sure what. In wikinews' case, a Foundation staff member actually posted several comments, in an official capacity, saying he condemned what was going on and requested it to stop; nothing changed. Given that the WMF is loathe to interfere in local projects' affairs, looks like things will keep going downhill for the time being. Tempodivalse [talk] 14:34, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Re the current state of Wikinews: My impression, from the inside, is somewhat different, and not so bleak. There are two new reviewers since you retired. I'm also rather dubious of "frequently ... the same stories hang around for a week or more", which though vague sounds like an overstatement (and one that would take an awful lot of time to investigate objectively). I see community spirit, and we continue to grapple with the great puzzle of how to keep frank discussion from overheating. I'm optimistic. --Pi zero 02:41, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, I'm inherently somewhat pessimistic. :-) I haven't been following closely, just looking in once in a while, so perhaps my interpretation is not completely accurate. But it certainly doesn't seem as good, or active, as I remember it 3-4 months ago. The two new "reviewers" don't appear to be nearly as active as those that retired. Right now it's better, but the last few times I checked, the "Recent News" list on the main page had week-old stories - a very rare occurrence before. (I've refactored that in my previous comment now.) *shrug* Tempodivalse [talk] 13:13, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Also, I found this. Not sure how to interpret the statistics, but looks like en.wn hit a peak at around early 2007 and has never got past it. Tempodivalse [talk] 13:22, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

It would be useful to cross-promote these other projects on Wikipedia with banner ads such as we do with fund-raising. Most Wikipedia readers are probably unaware of some projects' existence. The ads should explicitly state that editors and content are needed. This wouldn't solve everything but it would help both readership and eventually content creation.

It seems these comments in this section have only been about English language projects. How are the other language versions faring? If any are doing well, are there things they're doing that could be applied to the English versions? --A. B. (talk) 04:01, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

Swahili Wikipedia

Dear members,

I would like to create a suahili Wikipedia which will consist many words of Computer as much as possible,this will help Africa Continent as well as other people who are interested to learn Swahili,this will help to speed up economic of African countries in both sectors. Many people all over the world are interested to learn Swahili through Wikipedia but they lack many words which already are in Wikipedia.

Anyone can suggest a good method to solve this fatal problems?

Regards,

Raphael Zellah

Mbeya/Warsaw peaceful cities.

sw: and wiktionary:sw: already exist. --Martin H. 08:52, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Arbitrary blocks on Commons

The following discussion is closed.

Commons is a central repository for images, and many projects do not allow local uploads. This means that it is very difficult to illustrate one's articles for editors that are blocked on Commons. So it should be a systemwide concern when commons administrators issue arbitrary blocks with false motivations. Some recent example:

  • commons:user:Mbz1 was blocked for two weeks for uploading a collage; there was no copyright problem. The block was quickly rescinded, but no measures were taken against the unrepentant blocking admin.
  • That same admin had permanently banned commons:user:Hcrepin for unclear reasons. User tried to appeal as an IP number (commons:Special:Contributions/91.178.228.98), but nobody listened. I brought up the problem on the commons IRC channel, Herbythyme was approached, who made this statement, then Huib/Abigor unblocked. No apology, no consequences for the blocking admin.
  • And of course the reason for me posting this: I myself have been permbanned on Commons for no good reason. Commons administrators talk about "discipline", intimidating those that feel that my block is undeserved.

The problem is especially severe for contributors that cannot easily express themselves in English. /Pieter Kuiper 09:09, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Commons is a large enough community that it should consider the formation of an arbitration committee. Regardless, they do have a dispute resolution system in place that should be attempted. If you feel there's enough of an issue that it deserves multiple project scrutiny, you can start a request for comment here, but I would warn you that it's a bit of a drawn-out process and, frankly, only rarely results in any sort of useful change. There are many proposals for a sort of a "global arbcom", but none have reached enough support to be a serious contender in the dispute resolution arena. Kylu 01:24, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
That dispute resolution system is not accessible if one is blocked. A Commons Arbcom would not solve the problem: the crowd is actually quite small, and an arbcom would just be recruited from the small circle of active administrators - the people that look at commons administration first, more than at the other projects. Commons should get an Arbcom with outside representatives. /Pieter Kuiper 13:09, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

A new one: commons:User:Adambro blocked three contributors for a week, on a whim, out of the blue. Just because he felt like it. /Pieter Kuiper 16:28, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Here are some discussions of Adambro's 3 new blocks and related issues:
This looks pretty complicated for outsiders on Meta (like me) to sort out -- I wonder if Commons can sort it out for themselves? They don't have to do it elegantly -- just your typical wiki muddle followed eventually by a consensus solution should be sufficient. I didn't have time to research the issue of the earlier blocks you cited.
Are you looking to Meta-Wiki to fix something? Or just play the role of "Dear Abby". Or just sing "Dear Abby"? (a great song, by the way.) Either way, I think trying to resolve this on Meta would be much less satisfactory to the Commons community than handling it themselves.
Pieter, I think I know some of what Dear Abby would write:
"Pieter, it looks like you've been a big part of these controversies. Are there changes you could make that would help things or is it just others that need to change?"
… and …
"Pieter, be the change you want to see."
… and …
"If you can't get others to change, then at least then I recommend you at least seek out professional counseling for your own needs. Don't let others cause you mental distress."
Oprah would likely say the same sort of stuff.
--A. B. (talk) 04:57, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
I have posted notice of this discussion at:
--A. B. (talk) 05:06, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
PS -- great images, Pieter![4][5][6] --A. B. (talk) 05:19, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
Something really wrong is going on on Commons. I was blocked 4 times by commons:User talk:rama. All 4 times for the issues concerning antisemitism, but rama, who made antisemitic statement, who has extremist views on replaceability, and tagged several historical and obviously irreplaceable Holocaust images for deletion as "replaceable" had no business of blocking me on any issues concerning Jews and/or antisemitism. Three out of those four blocks were lifted as soon as I asked them lifted. The forth one was not lifted only because I did not bother to ask. commons:User talk:Malcolm Schosha is blocked now for saying that commons:User talk:rama made an antisemitic statement, but commons:User talk:ramais not blocked, and is not even warned for this absolutely false accusation against me "I would like to insist that Mbz1 has issued and quoted numerous statements that can easily be spinned into racist comments". The only difference between what commons:User talk:Malcolm Schosha got blocked for and rama did not even get warned is that Malcolm's statement was correct and supported by difference, while rama's statement is an absolute false, and is not supported by difference. IMO it is about time to make it right.--Mbz1 06:37, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
Hi AB, thank you for looking into this. You gave many diffs involving me, which makes the case look a bit complicated. But there are also very simple cases, like the permbanning of Hcrepin and of Elkawe. And indeed, both cases were solved on Commons, but only after I had pushed for their "rehabilitation". The basic problem is that one can get blocked on Commons just because an admin gets annoyed at you. And yes, I will admit, I do annoy some admins, and I could probably change that by not questioning their actions so much. A better solution might be to define the rules better. I could add some to commons:COM:BLOCKING. But it already says that blocking is a "last resort". Which in my view makes it clear that warnings should be issued first, and that an admin cannot justify a block by referring to warning that are a year old. The admins do not follow the rules that are in place - no reason to believe that more detailed rules would help. /Pieter Kuiper 06:39, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

Pieter Kuiper has been blocked not only on Commons but on many other Wikimedia projects for gaming the system, disrupting the work of other users, pretending to be an expert on legal issues and pushing his political views into the projects. I still remember his attempts to remove images from Israel, and disrupt a free-content Israeli project, on the ground that they allegedly violate local copyright law, and yet he has no knowledge of the local law and he cannot read the local language. He also uploaded highly offensive material by an anti-Israeli Brazilian cartoonist and tried to make it visible with bogus categories. In one case he nominated a particularly offensive cartoon a "recommended image", and he harassed other users by asking to delete their images with false claims of copyright violation. Having said that and despite my support for his block, he has a point in this discussion. Actually, not only on the Commons, it is on the Commons, on the en-wp and perhaps on other projects as well, blocking is way too easy. All it takes is a user who files some kind of complaint and ask an admin who owes him a favor to handle it. The block is usually immediate, even if the blocked person did not have time to respond, even when the complaint is far-fetched, even when the complaint was not entirely in good faith. The worse part is that, once blocked, the person has no option to protest. The best he can do is mail the "unblock" list. It is very hard to locate the address of this list. In short - blocking is very easy, unblocking is a long tedious process. This is a very unhealthy state-of-affairs. Dror_K 07:33, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

Says someone who is currently using sockpuppets on the project.
Anyway, as a Commons admin, and alleged member of the secret cabal trying to have Pieter assassinated, I would like to reply to his accusations.
  • First off, I agree that some people can be indef blocked too easily. However, our policy is, generally, that those who are continually disruptive should be continually blocked, no matter how many pictures they upload or deletion requests they file. Good work should never excuse a general bad attitude. In the case of Mbz1, she has been blocked numerous times before - not just by Rama - for the same things, and yet her behaviour has not improved. It is clear, and she admits this, that she cannot work on Middle East-related material because she is prone to, frankly, explosion. However, she will not accept simply staying away from this sort of material, unless the community itself imposes a topic ban, which at last attempt did not achieve consensus. She was then blocked for the same reason she's been blocked before.
    As for Pieter, here we have a serial offender who has quite impressively managed, single-handedly, to split the Commons community into two camps who are at each others' throats over everything. PK's vindictiveness - if you ever say a bad word to him, expect every upload you ever made to be in the firing line for a deletion request for some obscure reason - is well documented, as is his ability to game the system. I accept AGF, but I further accept that you cannot AGF forever - at some point you need to say enough is enough, this person is taking me for a ride. That is my opinion on PK, and while I fully admit I would rather he be indefed, I accept that there is no consensus for it currently.
  • I think that generally, in recent months, there has been a deterioration of the Commons community. We have always prided ourselves on being MELLOW against's Wikipedia's unending drama. This has fallen by the wayside in the face of what is frankly a war, fought on the administrators' noticeboards, featured picture pages and any material even vaguely related to Carlos Latuff. This war looks like a never-ending series of "user said something antisemitic" "user hates Israel" "user thinks all Palestinians are terrorists" "ban him ban him ban him!!!!!!!!!11112¬!!!¬!¬`1`". And when people do get banned, temporarily, over it, rather than just accept it, look at their behaviour and come back in a week, they call in their friends from other projects as meatpuppets, who show up "out of the blue" having maybe edited Commons twice before, and start weighing in on how all admins are fascist anti-zionist bigots, then upload disruptive material and claim censorship when it's deleted. More than likely they also use the talk page to continue the abuse they were blocked for to begin with, leading to more punitive blocks and the forum shopping that is this thread.
  • I can't speak for the Hcrepin thing, I vaguely recall there was a fuss about it but can't speak to specifics.
  • In all, I accept that not all Commons decisions have been brilliant, but when you find yourselves harried every day by people demanding your deadminship and permanent banishment over a single statement you made back in the mists of time, as seems to have happened to every admin who has opposed certain people or fought for the inclusion of cartoons by a notable cartoonist, you'd find it rather hard to assume good faith as well. We're all human, we make mistakes. Some big ones. There are decisions I disagree with, but in the end, I accept community consensus, and that is something the people I am apparently fighting against seem unable to do.
</rant> -mattbuck (Talk) 12:21, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
Oh and thanks for informing us AB. -mattbuck (Talk) 12:21, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
It is not about me, Mattbuck. If an involved admin (rama) blocks me 4 times in a row, and 3 of those blocks are lifted, one of which by yourself, there's something wrong with that administrator. He's abusing his tools. BTW your blocking of Malcolm was very unfair too. There were no PA against rama. All that things just do not look good. --Mbz1 13:08, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
BTW, may I please ask you to provide a difference to support this statement of yours: "and she admits this, that she cannot work on Middle East-related material because she is prone to, frankly, explosion"? I hardly work on Middle East-related material. I simply try to do the right thing about stinky, Nazi style, antisemitic, hate propaganda, cartoons that flood commons. It has nothing to do Middle East-related material because as I trust you know, antisemitism is a very common thing around the globe, not only in Middle East. --Mbz1 13:11, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

I could have said a lot about the subject and about the comments by mattbuck, liftran, rama and prosfilaes, about rama's blocking me, which was extremely unfair, but I will not. No, not because I am not right in my assessment of those cartoons. I am right, and even the prospect of indefinite block will not make me to change my mind. I will say nothing because there's no use, and mostly because I've created more than enough troubles for those, who put themselves under fire because of me. I do not want this happen ever again, I would not like anybody to get attacked ever again because of what I said. That's why I support my topic ban or even block. I mean it. I cannot do this voluntarily. It should be official because I cannot and never will be capable of being calm about a subject, mattbuck. Here's why: Please compare two anti-Semitic cartoons [7] [8]. What an original idea to use an octopus to describe "blood thirsty Jews"! Are they both ware drawn by latuff? Not really, the first was not not. This cartoon was published in the Nazi newspaper Der Sturmer in the 1930s, and then there was w:Babi Yar, and many, many Babi Yars around Europe. Would you like any more examples that compare anti-Semitic hate by latuff with anti-Semitic hate by Nazi,mattbuck? BTW although both cartoons are hateful anti-Semitic propaganda, the nazy one is added to categories Antisemitism and Nazi propaganda, the other one is not. So, no, mattbuck I cannot and never will be capable of being calm about the subject. I would not like another w:Babi Yar to be on my conscience because I kept silent. @Malcolm Schosha, I lived 20 minutes ride from w:Babi Yar --Mbz1 (talk) 22:55, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

From commons:Commons:Administrators'_noticeboard/Archives/User_problems_15#User:Liftarn_.26_User:Kordas. Emphasis my own. -mattbuck (Talk) 13:29, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
Here we go, Mattbuck. As I said it was not about " Middle East-related material". It was about antisemitism.I've always known you have a great difficulties to distinguish between Judaism and Israel, between antisemitism and Middle East-related material. I've just never known to what extend you do not understand those terms. So now, when I explained to you what my so called "explosion" is about , may I please ask you, if you have any problems with fighting antisemitism, Mattbuck? Do you really?--Mbz1 14:24, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
Yikes! I thought my home project, en.wikipedia, was supposed to the the chaotic, drama-torn, Wild West of Wikimedia. Commons was supposed to the exact opposite. If this dispute is typical, I'd say en.wikipedia is looking pretty boring these days. How will you guys get this back on track? Does anyone there even want to try? You need to do something -- call a loya jirga of your clan lords?
--A. B. (talk) 13:37, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
The only thing commons should do in this particular issue is to call the things with their real names.If antisemitic cartoons are uploaded to commons they should be added to category antisemitic pictures because, if they do not, it might look to the outside world as Commons not a media storage for free online encyclopedia, but a media storage for neo Nazi sites. But once again I came here not to discuss those cartoons, but discuss abuse of administrative tools by commons:User talk:rama. I always try to be fair to myself and to others. Involved administrator should nod handle neither blocks nor unblock request. Here I challenged rama about declining kuiper's unblock request--Mbz1 14:37, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
The number of clan lords is small. My proposal is too follow the rules: blocks are a last resort; no controversial blocks without prior discussion. /Pieter Kuiper 13:43, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

OK, stop the Judaism/Zionism/anti-semitism/etc. arguing here.[9][10] It's unclear Meta-Wiki's an appropriate place to discuss even Commons' internal issues; it is most certainly not a place to thrash out Modern European History and Middle Eastern Politics. You certainly don't advance your other arguments here by doing that. Nobody active on Meta wants that sort of rancor here. I will close this discussion if it continues in that direction.--A. B. (talk) 16:32, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

I only explained how rama is involved with me, and why he should not have blocked me, and then I responded to muttbuck false accusation. I was not going to discuss those issues here, and I will not, but I will really appreciate, if you would avoid screaming and yelling at me. I do not like it. Please have a nice day--Mbz1 16:44, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree! This discussion belongs on commons not here. fr33kman 16:35, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
Oh no, it isn't. You're making your life way too easy. Pieter Kuiper does not come with clean hands, and I generally agree with Mattbuck's description of his case, because, unlike some of Mattbuck's other remarks, it can be easily proved by following PK's edits on the Commons. PK is one of the people responsible for making the Commons and Wikipedia a battlefield. He has some enthusiastic partners, and, for the time being, I resist the temptation of listing their names. There is no use in telling admins "be more prudent". They won't. The solution to the very evident problem of arbitrary blocks should be much more profound. And yet, PK's block cannot be said to be arbitrary, so we should thank him for bringing up this important subject and yet there is little to do in his personal case. Dror_K 00:34, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Please file a request for comments if further discussion is needed; The content of this discussion has gone beyond the scope for Wikimedia Forum. Relocating the dispute here isn't going to solve it. Kylu 14:42, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Meta's RFC is the best venue. Sending people back to Commons to discuss does not work. Everyone knows that editors who are blocked in Commons cannot voice their appeal on any page other than own talk page (which receives much less traffic than admin noticeboard pages). Whoever suggesting Commons as the appropriate venue is either forgetful or trying to game the system so that the complaint can't be heard. OhanaUnitedTalk page 00:13, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Zh.wikipedia sockpuppeteer/vandal

If a long-term sockpuppeteer/vandal in zh.wp makes accounts in other WMF wikis, is that enough to justify a local indef block/ban where he has made accounts or even a global ban? Sorry for my ignorance. Kayau WP WB ZHWB WN 11:53, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

I think that if a long-term local vandal/socker begins branching out then local blocks or a global lock might be in order. I'd inform the local admins (or global sysops as needed) where s/he has made accounts and possibly alert stewards to ask if they will do a global lock of the account(s). fr33kman 13:53, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
What if the sockpuppeteer has made only sockpuppets in other wikis but did not make unconstructive edits (but did make edits such as applying bots and requesting adminship?) Kayau WP WB ZHWB WN 13:45, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Making Wikimedia a landmark of human civilisation, for millenia

Greetings! I was thinking about how the Wikimedia Foundation can extend itself not only as much as it does in present time, but also for centuries or even millenia from now. Having projects that contain the most comprehensive encyclopedias about human culture and civilisation, it is very precious and all the information should be kept safe for all the generations that are to come. But what if a natural disaster happens (meteor, solar storms, etc.), or an unexpected nuclear war, that would affect the current mediums through which Wikimedia expresses itself (computers, internet, electricity...)? It should find another medium that can withstand most natural disasters and the effects of a nuclear war, such that it can be a milestone of human history for the future of humanity, especially if an "interruption" in human history happens, like the possibilities talked about earlier. It would be similar in concept to the project of the Long Now Foundation. Planning for the far future of humanity. The preceding unsigned comment was added by 78.97.157.68 (talk • contribs) 22:41, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Engraved onto gold plates? Carved into stone? It's hard to see how anything could survive an interruption to human history and, even if it did, remain useful. If humans managed to survive they are unlikely to find much of the content of the WM projects very useful, although reading the proceedings of the EN WP Arbcom would probably be very informative of why a nuclear war happened. In practical terms, being operating system and DBMS independent provides the greatest chance of the data being retrievable. That is, something stored as plain ASCII is likely to be capable of being read by any computer system that might survive in the future. Something that is stored in binary form using complex compression algorithms using esoteric features of an advanced DBMS is less likely to be usable. QU TalkQu 16:39, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
It was discussed somewhere (foundation-l? i can't find it) to use some technology which offers to write a bazillion of words on some bronze or copper plate, but it was very expensive... --Nemo 18:00, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
QU, may I just say that comment is brilliant. Thankyou for making my day. -mattbuck (Talk) 12:23, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
Any time... :-) QU TalkQu 21:16, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
See w:en:Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 2#Protecting Wikipedia in case of a global disaster -- OlEnglish (Talk) 16:08, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

A more uniform approach to copyright issues across Wikimedia Foundation projects

I would like to raise an issue regarding attribution of copyrighted content between different Wikipedias. I noticed today that en:User:Rapsar (aka tr:User:Rapsar) translated English Wikipedia's article on La Massana into Turkish Wikipedia here and here. The English Wikipedia has a policy on translations: en:Wikipedia:Translation#How_to_translate; it says editors who are doing translations of foreign-language articles into English Wikipedia must include an attribution in the form of an edit summary in the translated article as well as a talk page notice, both identifying where they obtained their source material on the foreign-language Wikipedia. At the moment, trwiki's La Massana has no such attribution in an edit summary on the article or on the talk page.

I asked User:Rapsar on his enwiki talk page to remedy this oversight. He replied, "I didn't just translate it. I found some extra sources to write the article. BTW, we don't have any policy like this in tr. Wiki. So, I can't do this."

Although User:Rapsar is one of the most active and experienced editors on Turkish Wikipedia, I think his position is out of line with Wikipedia's copyright licences GFDL and CC-BY-SA. As for Wikimedia Foundation's policy, I think the terms of use require editors on all Wikipedias to attribute their sources when doing translations of articles from other Wikipedias. If it is correct that Turkish Wikipedia does not have any relevant policies about attribution of translations, it seems there is potential to encourage widespread copyright non-compliance. For all I know this may have been happening for some time in other articles on Turkish Wikipedia, not necessarily translated by User:Rapsar. It needs further research by somebody fluent in Turkish; I am not, so I cannot check. It may also be happening on other foreign-language Wikipedias. It is very difficult for editors to know when it is happening to their contributions. I found out about the lack of attribution in this instance purely by accident when I spotted an interwiki link being added to en:La Massana by User:Rapsar, and then had a look at the Turkish article.

Are there any administrators or stewards here who could provide policy-based advice on this issue, and are there any Turkish-English bilingual administrators or stewards here who may be in a position to help Turkish Wikipedia come into copyright compliance? I have informed User:Rapsar of this thread. I hope this is the right forum to raise this issue; please say if it is not. en:User:Ks0stm raised the issue at trwiki's embassy, and I already raised the issue at WP:ANI, and the consensus was I should ask at Meta.

This raises a broader issue. We're all here to contribute to the building of free content. We enjoy doing it. However, it is very discouraging for editors to find their contributions on one Wikimedia Foundation project are being copied/translated without any attribution into other WMF projects, and then to find there are different systems — or even worse, as seems to be the case on trwiki, no systems at all — on different projects for dealing with such copyright concerns. As the scale of Wikipedia grows, the number of translations without source attributions is bound to increase. Without a more uniform approach to this issue across the Wikimedia Foundation projects, it is hard to see how contributors can be confident that their copyrights will be respected. What policies is the Wikimedia Foundation developing in this area to encourage a more uniform approach to dealing with missing attributions in translations in different Wikipedias and other WMF projects? Would the Foundation consider proposals for automated tools (bots) to play a role in helping identify copyright infringements between different language Wikipedias? I look forward to hearing your views. Thank you. 85.94.184.115 23:03, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for mentioning these problems and starting this discussion. If we approach from a general point of view, this post, and the previous one (placed by me) are raising the similar questions. Wikipedia is a global, but a united and consolidated project, but the editors in different language divisions behaive as if they contribute to seperate, independent, national Wikipedias that paractice their seperate rules. I am sure, there is an urgent need for a structure that will monitor and control the content, comparing the articles in different chapters and divisions of Wikipedia, starting from the rules that as I noticed are not translated completely and in adequate way from English. What may happen, if such a structure will be ommitted is easy to understand, if one imagine the various vehicles, chained to the center but moving in seperate directions. So, if there is such a structure, acting already, how I may contact it? Best wishes, Zara-arush (talk) 08:53, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree there is a need for greater uniformity of approach to copyright and other issues across different WMF projects. If you don't mind, though, I would like this discussion to focus on the copyright issue, at least for now! Thanks. 85.94.184.115 15:50, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
After my post and owing to your discussion I found the proper template in Russian Wiki and added it at several articles in Russian Wiki that I remember that I have translated. So, I think the users would add the same template, if they were awere that it is practices and it is a must. Thus, some coordination will be soon a must, if it is not already. Then, I should mention here that some notions even in translated articles are not found the correct equavalent in the target language. F.i. I have translated an article about a hypothetic prehistoric protodialect (some 7,000 years BC, if I am not mistaken according to the authors). The article is named Graeco-Armenian. Some month have passed, and now I am not able to defend that in English the title means the name of a language, not the name of a hypothesis. In Russian some linguist turned the name into Greek-Armenian hypothesis, but of this name none may guess that the article is about a a hypothetic prehistoric language. It is just an example, but both the copy-rights and content shall be protected. There are lots of rules in English, but not all rules are translated completely, and not all users know all the rules, Zara-arush (talk) 20:39, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
It is good to know that ruwiki has a similar template, and that some editors are using it! I see ruwiki's translated page template also has revision identification parameters like enwiki's translated page template's for identifying which revision in the source article was translated into which revision in the destination article. 85.94.184.115 22:45, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Automated tools are very unlikely to work if the issue relates to translated articles - an automated tool is unable to compare two different language versions and find a match. If an article is transwiki'd then the chain of movement from source to destination is visible, albeit only to administrators if the redirects are deleted. I think, however, the issue is actually one of compliance to the licensing. A WMF project can't say it doesn't have a policy of attributing content when it copies something that is licensed with a requirement for attribution and failure to comply with copyright law is a breach of the T&Cs under which WMF projects run. I am saying that the issue is one of enforcement by WMF of its terms and conditions on projects that fail to comply. The projects that are believed to not comply by having defective local policies or fail to enforce their local policies should have their policies or enforcement of them reviewed via RFC here QU TalkQu 12:28, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for the suggestions. I beg to differ about the possible role of automated tools. There certainly are automated tools for comparing and matching translated passages, and they are effective; however, they are not in the public arena, so tools here would need to be written from scratch. 85.94.184.115 15:33, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Reliably enough to deal with the vagaries of translation introduced by WP editors (i.e., amateur translators)? I'd be surprised. Even the CorenSearchBot misses same language copy / paste violations. However, some kind of "watermark" process might work. For example, matching the image links, Wikilinks, categories, etc., rather than a word for word translation. An interesting challenge either way QU TalkQu 19:08, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
I just want to add re automated tools. It depends on the language pair they may work well. I liked the quality of the text I got, when I did Google translation from Spanish to English. The worse is in case of French-English, then German-English. It is funny to use it in Russian-English. One may get a subject for a joke. Only the main idea may be understood in Turkish-English pair. That is in Spanish-English an editor may complete the text. More work will be in French-English. But in Russian-English, not only a translator is a must, but a qualified one. Believe, I need more time to correct machine-translated text from Russian into English then in case of "human" translation. I hope it was a useful info. Luck, Zara-arush (talk) 00:55, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that tr:Vikipedi:Çeviri grubu is the Turkish translation policy page. I can't really tell, but this template might be their version of the English en:Template:Translated. I would need someone with knowledge of Turkish to tell me for sure whether or not the possible policy page addresses the need to attribute translations, though. Ks0stm (TCG) 22:52, 31 October 2010 (UTC)