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Year: 2006  Week: 13  Number:19 Extra         


An independent internal news bulletin 
for the members of the Wikimedia community


=== The WMF is closing the French Wikiquote ===

The French language Wikiquote is closed by the foundation.

This notice is placed on the main page of the locked wiki;

After analyzing the data contained in the fr.wikiquote site, the Wikimedia Foundation has determined that the material stored in the fr.wikiquote database does not provide the basic assurance of legal soundness necessary to the permanence of the project. Therefore, the site will be entirely taken down to be erased and relaunched. A policy requiring greater traceability of quotations will be put in place on fr.wikiquote version II. This action has been taken for the benefit of all Wikimedia Foundation projects.


The new FR Wikiquote is announced to re-open for editing on 1 April with a new empty database.

The origin of the this dates back to August 2005. Wikimédia France received a letter from a company maintaining a 
quote database. They claim Wikiquote extracted a substantial part of their database. 


The closing now of FR Wikiquote seems to be the end result of this.

On Meta a FAQ about this is posted;

*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.


There has not yet been a official statement of the Wikimedia Foundation about this to the community beside the service announcement on fr.wikiquote 

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