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JavaScript cleanup

I've done some extensive cleanup and standardization of the site JavaScript, so it's possible users might encounter new bugs due to minor mistakes in the code. Please report any such here so I can fix them.

Main changes:

  • Scripts indent consistently with tabs. (Previously, some scripts were using tabs, others various numbers of spaces, and some scripts weren't even self-consistent. Some didn't indent at all, or only sometimes.)
  • Each script is below a header comment that briefly describes what it does, and who wrote it. (Previously, only some scripts already had this in various formats.)
  • Removed the script that hid the Main Page title. (This is done with simple CSS now.)
  • Removed the script for multiple OnloadFunctions. (No longer necessary with the newer addOnloadHook default function.)

{admin} Pathoschild 21:47:20, 08 September 2007 (UTC)


Bot request: JVbot

This relates to an archived discussion.

User:JVbot is ready to replace the local images with the ones on commons; the user page contains lots of detail.

There are perceptible differences between the local and scaled down commons image, either because the WFB high res image differed from their low res image, or due to the MediaWiki resize logic. John Vandenberg 09:38, 29 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Any objections? If not, I will start this in a few hours. John Vandenberg 22:25, 2 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No objections against a test run. Good luck!--GrafZahl (talk) 08:44, 3 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Due to the successful test run, if there are no objections, I'll give the account bot status in two days.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 23:04, 10 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I just looked at a few random edits of JVbot. Everything looks fine.--GrafZahl (talk) 14:51, 12 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
JVbot now has bot status.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 19:08, 12 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bot Flag

I was wondering if the community was interested in a bot that could a) deliver wikipedia's signpost, b) deliver a link of a new signpost issue, or c) give both options. The bot would only deliver to users who signed up. Any interest in this, or not? Wikihermit 16:19, 31 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikisource News reports everything that the Wikipedia Signpost does that is relevant to Wikisource, with the exception of API changes and minor bug fixes. There's no harm in delivering the Wikipedia Signpost too, but there's not really much use in doing so. :) —{admin} Pathoschild 16:38:18, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

JavaScript transclusion script

Screenshot of the transclusion notice box generated by Usejs.
Screenshot of the transclusion notice box generated by Usejs.

I propose adding a script I've written, Usejs, to the site JavaScript. It executes JavaScript on any page in the MediaWiki namespace given by the custom &usejs URL parameter. For example, the screenshot at right shows the output at the URL This will make it easy to test JavaScript or demonstrate it, such as in the above discussion. Since only administrators can edit the MediaWiki namespace, there is little chance of exploitation since administrators could just edit the site JavaScript directly. —{admin} Pathoschild 01:24:12, 01 September 2007 (UTC)

  • Support.--GrafZahl (talk) 20:48, 6 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support although I think instead of /(?:\?|&)usejs=[^&]*/i, something like /\?(?:.*&)?usejs=[^&]*/i may be more appropriate, since the ability to specify the JS in the title of a page could be confusing (or in theory even trigger accidently), that's a pretty minor issue. -Steve Sanbeg 16:06, 7 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The pattern matches shortcut URL syntax like /wiki/Example?usejs=Foo.js. I don't think it could feasibly be triggered accidentally, since titles are sanitized (try clicking "apple?usejs=foo" and see what the URL bar is). —{admin} Pathoschild 18:14:48, 07 September 2007 (UTC)
    The pattern change shouldn't affect that case, since the only difference is that it requires a ?, so it would no longer trigger things like /wiki/Example&usejs=Foo.js. I think it's a bit odd to have dynamic behavior on an URL with no ?, but I agree that with the encoding in links accidental triggering doesn't seem feasible. IMHO, it would be better if that were fixed, but I wouldn't hold up deploying it for something so minor. -Steve Sanbeg 19:45, 7 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Oh, I see. I fixed it with "/\?(?:.+&)?usejs=[^&]*/". —{admin} Pathoschild 22:24:51, 07 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Supprt I like the theory and trust the three people above on the practice side.--BirgitteSB 17:54, 7 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Implemented. —{admin} Pathoschild 21:50:01, 08 September 2007 (UTC)

Was this supposed to fix the collaspible navboxes, because my talk page still does not collapse?--BirgitteSB 16:17, 9 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, that's a separate script. —{admin} Pathoschild 19:10:37, 09 September 2007 (UTC)
Try, although there still seem to be some minor issues with the collapsing. -Steve Sanbeg 16:09, 10 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That won't work; only pages in the MediaWiki namespace are accepted (notice that it's transcluding "MediaWiki:User:Sanbeg/Collapse.js"). This prevents users from running malicious JavaScript by appending them to innocent-looking links, since only administrators can edit that namespace. —{admin} Pathoschild 23:06:34, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
Right, my bad, it works for me since it's already linked from my monobook. But an admin would have to link it from a new page for this to work. -Steve Sanbeg 16:39, 11 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Try User_talk:BirgitteSB?usejs=Usejs/Collapse.js. I'll add in a check to see if the page being transcluded exists. —{admin} Pathoschild 17:09:21, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

HTML Conversions Category

I noticed that some of the books added to Wikisource are copied from other sites using HTML. I was thinking that maybe we could start up another category on the Community Portal page for articles like this. It could probably be a subcategory of pages needing to be Wikified but if we made a specific category for HTML, people who are experienced HTMLers could be called to translate the pages from HTML to Wikimarkup. I, for example am working on a book that used HTML and I know some but probably not enough HTML to convert it as well as someone who did.

Just an idea I wanted to throw out.

Skunkmaster IV 21:58, 2 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think it would be useful to have at least one or two categories for this. The reason for multiple categories is that a bot should be able to convert some of the simple elements, but it would still require some human effort to clean up the results. -Steve Sanbeg 16:48, 4 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is there any bots that do this on Wikisource? If so, what is the bot's name? --Skunkmaster IV 03:15, 5 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not aware of any; but I'm also not aware of any pages that would need it. If there was a category, it would be nice for bots to scan it and replace trivial things. If that happens, it would be better if editors who are working on it work first on the ones that the bots have seen, before starting a conversion from scratch. -Steve Sanbeg 18:03, 5 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Collapsible navboxes

Can we make these work here? Compare User talk:BirgitteSB to w:User talk:BirgitteSB--BirgitteSB 17:08, 31 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I always assumed that they worked here. I'd be interested as well in getting them enabled.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 21:08, 31 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's done with javascript on their end. You can see User:Sanbeg/collapse for an example (using User:Sanbeg/monobook.js) of one I extracted from wikipedia & modified a bit awhile back. That could be modified further to do what we want, or we could re-extract whatever they're doing now. -Steve Sanbeg 22:51, 31 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Change inclusion policy

Notability or using other sites' criteria

Discussion moved from Wikisource talk:What Wikisource includes.

As has been mentioned at WS:DEL#Days_of_War.2C_Nights_of_Love, we may need a policy change. A notable work is in question there which some of those voting believe should be kept based on its notability. We are arguing that the current policy is too strict, and needs to be changed to allow for such notable works. -- LGagnon 23:30, 7 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How would you define notability? I fear that any change will open the floodgates for self published works. Folks that self publish think that they are notable with something important to tell the world. I fear that this project will waste time and energy on administrative tasks related to deciding which works are notable and enforcing it. So I prefer to keep the policy the way it is for now. Perhaps I could be persuaded to change it in a very limited way, if clear cut guidelines could be established. FloNight 23:52, 7 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, we need objective criteria. —{admin} Pathoschild 23:56:28, 07 September 2007 (UTC)
The work in question is notable enough to have its own Wikipedia entry. I think that might be a good place to start. -- LGagnon 00:46, 8 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's a good start, but it can't be exhaustive, we host things that haven't been "published" per se, such as Riel letter to a relative - given w:Louis Riel's prominent place in history, "pretty much anything" he wrote should be acceptable - even if they never released a book of his letters, and this was just found in a Canadian museum. But it's unlikely that his letter is going to have a wiki article about it...I dunno, perhaps approaching this from the negative viewpoint would work better than saying "We definitely 100% include anything that falls in X criteria!", we should say "If Y, then we don't include it.". Also, if we do include "an established WP article" it should include being about the author or the work. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Alfred Nobel 02:24, 8 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

My main concern is the unqualified use of the term "self-publishing". I can see why changing it would be a pretty big deal, as any change may result in an increase in the number of borderline works being submitted by people with an agenda. I am surprised that using "self-publishing" as part of the line in the sand is being touted as a success. I suspect the success to date is as much due to the low profile of the site, the requirement that works are in the public domain, and regulars with a clue being able to keep up with the contributions. I could well be wrong about that; to understand that I would need to see a list of times that "self-publishing" has been the primary provision used to reject a work. (Im digging around in the deletion discussions)

I would be slightly happier if that was changed to "vanity publishing", because few serious contributors would be submitting any clear cases of those works. That approach has a few problems. The first is that the research required to prove that a publisher fits into that category would be trying at times, but at least that research is useful beyond Wikisoure and there are lots of other people often looking into those publishers. Also, it is not hard to imagine that if we declared a work was from a vanity publisher, the author may be aggravated enough to be disruptive and we may be putting the foundation at risk of lawsuits.

Another approach is requiring that works are held in a public or university library or archive. The key would be to control the list of libraries and archives that are considered suitable, excluding speciality libraries which often take junk in case it is later useful for research purposes, and initially excluding all other digital repositories to ensure that the works must be physically held by a library. It would be extremely unlikely that a library would care whether their name was omitted from a list of acceptable holdings suitable for inclusion on Wikisource, so I doubt there are legal risks on that front. We could kick start that by deeming any library participating in OCLC as suitable. Can anybody point out any currently hosted "Analytical and artistic works" that are probably not held in a prominent library/archive? And are there any types of undesirable works that would be held by those libraries? John Vandenberg 04:42, 8 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Pathoschild, above I have proposed adding an inclusion criteria of "held in a state/university library/archive", which is both objective and verifiable. Do you see any major problems with that? John Vandenberg 07:41, 15 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We need to have our own criteria for inclusion. Your proposal raises other issues: what are their criteria for inclusion? Would that mean allowing anything that is accepted in the least-discriminating library or archive? If a particular university library decided to collect instruction manuals for Pokémon games on the Game Boy Advance (perhaps contributed following a student thesis), should we automatically accept those? —{admin} Pathoschild 18:15:43, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

The prohibition against self-published works seems a bit arbitrary to me as well. We have several self-published works in WikiSource right now that are quite useful and historically notable. The Encyclopaedia Britannica is self-published. Thomas Paine's Common Sense was originally self-published. I think something being self-published is a legitimate consideration, but it should not be a litmus test. Kaldari 21:49, 14 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have taken a stab at tweaking the guidelines to allow for exceptional works which are not traditionally published. Let me know what you think. Kaldari 22:46, 14 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've reverted your change. Any new criteria must be objective. Subjective criteria like notability or historical significance will result in making inclusion entirely dependent on routine nominations for deletion, wherein a limited number of users dedicated to the deletion process dominate votes as most others ignore the process. This would lead to unequal judgment, with popular modern works—particularly Internet memes—easily survive such nominations while less popular but more significant works—like political diaries of important historical figures— are deleted. Such a policy only encourages divisiveness and conflict, which leads to routine hostility and alienation.
No, we need criteria that are measurable and verifiable. —{admin} Pathoschild 04:26:10, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Allow me to comment, if you will. I decided to read the policy on what Wikisource includes and doesn't include, and I feel that, given the circumstances, it doesn't fit the criteria of what Wikisource doesn't include. While it might appear to be somewhat of an original contribution, it is a notable one, featured in libraries and it has a Wikipedia article, and not a "new talent" kind of thing. Advertisement, evolving works, and reference material are out of the question. As for anonymous works, while on Wikipedia it says it was given to the publisher anonymously, they published it and it was mentioned in the article. The problem is that it does not fall into any of the WS:WWI categories (besides the Free-content one).

My idea is that we create another category for inclusion so that we can define why this book should be included, as you are doing. I'm thinking of creating a "Philosophical Works" section of sorts, though not necessarily with that title. It is difficult to define the reasons this meets our criteria for inclusion, but certainly we can come up with something.

P.S are non-admins allowed to comment? Wikibrarian talk to me 09:15, 15 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

All useful comments are welcome, they bring this closer to a resolution. - Epousesquecido 16:14, 15 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have just created a personal sandbox for editing expiriments and am currently trying to create a new section. But before I implement any form of change, I would like to gather consensusl. The expiriment in question can be found here. Wikibrarian talk to me 18:24, 15 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Notability is not an acceptable criterion, as was argued above. —{admin} Pathoschild 18:28:41, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Ah, yes, considering this is an online library. That part was removed. Wikibrarian talk to me 18:48, 15 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Pathoschild: I have read your arguments against notability, and I still don't understand why if a work is freely licensed and important (in other words, that it is notable) why the work is not suitable for Wikisource. - Epousesquecido 19:59, 15 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Importance is subjective; what you think is important may seem unimportant to me, and vice-versa. The work itself has no inherent importance, only the importance assigned it by users. Therefore, the only way to measure a work's importance is to nominate it for deletion, which leads to the problems I've outlined above.
For example, I think Days of War, Nights of Love is unimportant. Interesting, maybe, but it's really just a modern collection of essays. This is a borderline case, so imagine how much more controversial would be manifestos. Is a manifesto from the United States Republican Party important? How about one from the Hell's Angels? How about one from the East Montreal tattoo gang? Is there any way to decide, besides just holding routine nominations for deletion, and just defining everything by irrational vote counting? —{admin} Pathoschild 21:14:05, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Voting processes are always problematic for those reasons, which makes voting itself a controversial topic. The thing is, I feel notability can be asserted with the fact that it has a Wikipedia article and it is found in libraries. It is a well known book. However, I see your argument as well, and it is perfectly valid. Why waste space on things that do not matter much? In this case, my opinion is keep, but I feel we really ought to decide on a few additions to policy either way. Does anybody support mine? Wikibrarian talk to me 22:43, 15 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Inclusion in Wikipedia is little different, since Wikipedia itself depends heavily on voting to determine inclusion. The only difference between depending on case-by-case voting and depending on inclusion on Wikipedia would be that another community's decisions would apply.
Your proposal ("Philosophical works are works that portray some form of philosophical, spiritual, or knowledgeable topic. Philosophical novels and published guides generally fall under this category.") is far too general. It essentially includes everything ever written, since everything expresses "some form of philosophical, spiritual, or knowledgeable topic". Even if we assume a very strict interpretation, does that include a nonsense philosophical novel I put together in high school? "Published" is unqualified, so does that include self-published, and if so, does that include philosophical emails and forum posts? —{admin} Pathoschild 23:33:10, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
I think characterising Wikipedia's inclusion process as "depends heavily on voting" is not correct. The intent of the process is to reach consensus, and a pure percentage vote is often overturned by better reasoning when the closing admin evaluates the discussion. That's how it is supposed to work. It doesn't always, but when it doesn't, often the deletion (or keep) is overturned by pointing that out. If Wikisource uses, or were to use, pure voting rather than a reasoned, commonsense evaluation of points raised in a discussion, that would be a bad thing. Notability can be objectively evaluated, and it's not a matter subject to a vote. ++Lar: t/c 15:02, 16 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK, it's less general. Now what do you think? User:Wikibrarian/Sandbox Wikibrarian talk to me 00:20, 16 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(outdent) Notibilty of the work needs to be considered, as only notable/significant/important works should be here. Personal essays (or nonsense philosophical novels) should not be included here, precisely because they are not cited in reliable sources, whether the author managed to get them published or not. Inclusion here should not be determined by voting but by the work being referenced from reliable sources, or verifiably being carried in major libraries, or some similar objective evaluation of notability. - Epousesquecido 00:54, 16 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Notability may exclude the most majority of sources that historians from the w:New history movement uses on their daily work. The Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteenth Century Miller written by w:Carlo Ginzburg is a good example of it. Is Wikisource the "web 2.0" version for the antiquarians from the nineteenth century, the next step for the works on the Gutenberg Project or all of this and a useful place waiting to be announced on universities allowing everyone (including teachers, researchers, students and the general population) to help on historical preservation? The WS:WWI needs a change, but not this change IMHO. Lugusto 02:04, 16 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm sorry, I don't quite follow what you are saying, would you mind explaining it again? Epousesquecido 04:58, 16 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've deleted the category thing in my sandbox. It made no sense, and it seemed to contradict the What Wikisourse doesn't include section just a tad. Yet it seems that the category I was trying to add was not what we're looking for, now that I think of it. What we're looking for is a policy of verification to assert notability included there. Wikibrarian talk to me 08:56, 16 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Pathoschild, do you intend to offer a suggestion for how to improve the inclusion guidelines with objective criteria or are you content with merely shooting down everyone else's suggestions? Or do you believe that the current guidelines are truly adequate and that all works not meeting them should be deleted? I don't mean this to be confrontational, I'm just curious. Kaldari 15:11, 16 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Kaldari, the current policy is the result of much thought and consensus-making over the last few years, and established objective criteria that put to rest some difficult disputes. No, they're not perfect, and I'm sure that with much thought we can improve those criteria. I do appreciate your desire to come up with better ideas, but that is no easy task.
You accuse me of "shooting down everyone else's suggestions" for arguing against two suggestions made within the first few days of discussion. I think that, with nearly two years' experience on Wikisource, I am entitled to express my opinion against criteria that I feel would be to the detriment of Wikisource (even if several are suggested). If anyone can come up with workable objective criteria, I will support them wholeheartedly. —{admin} Pathoschild 02:34:46, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
OK, how about Amazon sales ranking higher than 500,000? How about number of library holdings in excess of 10? How about written by a literary or historical figure featured in the Encyclopedia Brittanica? How about held by the Library of Congress or other prominent national library? How about Google hits in excess of 10,000? Are any of these suggestions approaching what you have in mind? Kaldari 23:14, 18 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Our inclusion policy is broken, as evidenced by its routine violation by established editors. Rather than make it more complex by adding numerous subjective or narrow criteria until we cover everything being added, maybe we should strip it down to its most general requirements. Wikisource might accept anything that is legally published in physical form and meets our copyright policy, much like Project Gutenberg has done for decades. We would then need only a very few criteria describing what unpublished works are acceptable.

However, since we're a wiki, that leaves us open to abuse. There would be nothing preventing seedy authors from pushing subpar material through a cheap publishing mill to make them eligible for adding to Wikisource (Project Gutenberg has a difficult submission process and a requirement for extensive proofreading to protect it from such abuse). This is the problem that has so far been prevented by the requirement that works be "published in a medium that includes peer review or editorial controls; this excludes self-publication".

Unfortunately, that criteria excludes most works published before the modern era, since they were typically self-published with little or no editorial or peer review process. Perhaps we could enforce this requirement only for works published within the last hundred years; does anyone have any thoughts on how to replace or fix this safeguard? —{admin} Pathoschild 18:31:03, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

I think a good criteria to prevent excluding works written (but not traditionally published) before the modern era would be some type of exception for works written by historically notable individuals. These types of work are almost more documentary than artistic, but don't fit our current definition of either. The argument then becomes, what constitutes an "historically notable" individual? We could say "Unpublished works may also be included if they are over 100 years old and the author has a Wikipedia article." Would that be useful? Kaldari 19:27, 19 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I personally have no problem with including everything published over 120 ago; diaries, letters, pamphlets, magazines, books, speeches, et cetera. All or most old works are historically significant. The problem is modern works, which (with the advent of cheap printing) are frequently subpar; virtually anyone can publish anything, which is the reason for the above requirement. I'd favour making that requirement applicable only for works created or published within the last 120 years, which would also reduce the likelihood of conflicts of interest. —{admin} Pathoschild 19:58:02, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
  • I am fine with these criterias: Everything 100 years old or more, and with peer review for modern works. Yann 20:11, 19 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Works for me. And maybe using "peer review" to mean something different than "standard delete discussion" ? :) ++Lar: t/c 18:28, 20 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    "Peer review" refers to the industry meaning of the word of review by related experts, copy-editors, publishers, et cetera. Peer review is essentially some form of quality check by an unrelated person before publication. —{admin} Pathoschild 19:32:18, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
    Oh. :) I thought you meant peer review by US. Yes, for non fiction it seems reasonable to require peer review of some sort by third parties of some kind. For fiction I'm thinking we are not going to lose much by requireing non self publication, hmm? Although reviews of the work in major publications might count? ++Lar: t/c 20:33, 20 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I assume that virtually all fiction published recently is peer-reviewed before publication by copy-editors and the publisher's editors. —{admin} Pathoschild 00:18:24, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
  • I think that would take care of all the works I'm concerned with. I support adding that to the inclusion policy. Should it be a new section, i.e. "Documentary Works", "Analytical and artistic works", and "Historical works"? Kaldari 18:52, 20 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    No, this would require completely changing the "Defining what is included" section; most of the current criteria will be superseded by that one, with a few new criteria added for modern works. —{admin} Pathoschild 19:04:51, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Making the concern I raised on IRC official :) My concern is our ability to verify the content for accuracy. Is requiring scans enough for papers that are closely held works? I fear the potential for inaccuracy, and worse fraud, is great. FloNight 20:49, 20 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • I like the idea of encouraging the inclusion of scans for historical works. I've been transcribing scans of various works from a university archive, and I hadn't even thought about uploading the original scans until now. I'm not sure if requiring them would be realistic, but we should definitely encourage it. Kaldari 14:52, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I fail to see what problem this proposal is trying to correct. If there is no problem there is nothing to correct. Why would we even want to consider notability when that concept already causes so many problems in Wikipedia. Talking about "peer review" is complete nonsense; literature is not subject to peer review at all before it's published. Why would anyone want to exclude self-publication? That depends on a sweeping generalisation that self-published = bad. For those afraid about including Pokémon and other game guides, may I suggest that that debate be deferred until the entry of those guides into the public domain is imminent.

The paranoia about abuse has no basis in reality. As long as we encourage the inclusion of page scans (preferably apart from commons so that we can maintain controls of such pages and our derivatives) we will always have those scans available for those who want to verify the texts. At the same time we will be able to retain the wiki features for creating links, annotations and translations. Let's just keep things simple! Eclecticology 07:13, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You're mixing two mutually exclusive proposals. The subsection about notability above is separate; please comment about notability there. This subsection proposes limiting the currently enforced requirement for peer review to works published in the last 100 years. Yes, there is a problem this proposal seeks to correct: there is a policy that the entire community routinely violates.
Would your suggestion allow me to write my own guide to cheating in a Pokémon game, print out one copy and give it out (which would constitute publication), and post it on Wikisource under the GFDL? That's not very far-fetched; people put their own works on Wikibooks all the time, and such creations are deleted on Wikisource from time to time. Simple publication is not an obstacle. Let's keep it simple, certainly, but not so simple as to leave us open to obvious abuse. —{admin} Pathoschild 15:30:13, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
It seems to me that the whole section is about inclusion policy. You still did not explain why you want to add a reference to "peer-review".
The reference to a Pokémon guide is a far-fetched straw man. If something of this sort can be put in Wikibooks then it is enough to say that we do not duplicate the material on Wikibooks. The kind of abuse that you imagine is not at all likely to be a common occurrence. It may indeed happen from time to time, but there is no need to have elaborate rules to cover every possible weird thing that could happen unless those events cause genuine harm. Eclecticology 19:46, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't have to add the reference, it's already in the inclusion policy. I want to limit that existing requirement to the last 100 years, and remove some other criteria.
The Pokémon reference is not far-fetched; it's not a difficult leap of logic to think one might want to post one's own work to a site that hosts works, regardless of whether it is unpublished and subpar. For example, see "Abomination of desolation is defined" (deleted last week), as well as the countless mini-biographies uploaded weekly like "Paula shackleton". —{admin} Pathoschild 21:36:58, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
It seems that you had no trouble deleting this material without the proposed policy in place. People could still not submit their own works. Works still have to have been previously published, and something published in accordance with your strained definition of "published" would not be verifiable. Eclecticology 07:59, 22 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just having different rules for "works created in the past fifteen years" and throw in the phrase "at the discretion of administrators" somewhere in the large inclusion policy - it's a step in the right direction. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Richard Francis Burton 16:26, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Reference to copyright law probably deals with most of the abuses that arise from works published in more recent years. A broadly phrased statement allowing administrators as a group to deal with flagrant attempts to subvert the purposes of the project may be more than enough. I don't expect that we are dealing with a big problem here. The problem with detailed rules is that they provide more opportunities for argument. Eclecticology 19:46, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The purpose of the "fifteen years" stipulation is to avoid the "published Pokemon manuals" that the authors will GFDL just so they can put it on WS.B Basically it's a line in the sand meant to prevent people adding their own works - which is going to be the problem we have to combat as Pathos said. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Richard Francis Burton 20:09, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't see the problem as being real. Requiring that it have been hard copy published could be a more realistic requirement. Eclecticology 07:59, 22 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I personally support any form of inclusion, so long as it is licensed to public domain and it has gone through peer review, and is deemed notable and verifiable. Wikibrarian talk to me 22:25, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What literary works have gone through peer review? A lot of great poetry came out of w:City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco in the 50s and 60s; I don't think that those poets would have been helped by insisting that their works go through peer review. Notability opens up such a wide range of subjectivism that it is useless as a criterion. Notable to whom? I have no problem with verifiable. "Licensed to the public domain" is a somewhat strange term here, though I think I agree with the sentiment you are expressing here. Eclecticology 07:59, 22 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It seems there are two sides of the notability debate: people either feel that it is a highly important criterion, or it is a useless criterion. Forget the peer review part, I just wanted to throw out a suggestion. I'm sorry for confusing you. When I say "Licensed to public domain," I mean something that is not copyrighted, which is an extremely important policy here, as I understand it. Wikibrarian talk to me 22:36, 22 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Fair enough. It's just a matter of terminology. When something is in fact in the public domain nobody can grant a licence for it. Eclecticology 20:42, 29 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Actual wording of policy change

Since it seems that discussion has died down now, I would like to propose a concrete change to the policy based on our discussions. It seems that most everyone agrees there needs to be a different standard for modern published works vs. older published works. How about adding the following sentence to the end of the Analytical and artistic works section: Any works published prior to 1923, however, may be included in WikiSource regardless of the nature of the publication. That would allow older works that were self-published to be included without breaking the rules (and it is an objective criteria). I chose 1923 since that is the U.S. public domain cut-off year, although "100-years old" or some other arbitrary age would be fine with me as well. Kaldari 15:31, 26 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Many works published outside the United States before 1923 without compliance with US formalities may be copyrighted in the US (see Peter B. Hirtle's Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States). I otherwise agree with a cut-off date; I suggested 120 years ago above, but 1923 would be acceptable as long as we clearly emphasized that the copyright status must be resolved. —{admin} Pathoschild 16:05:20, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
I am fine with Kaldari's proposal. We already do include pre-1923 works regardless of the country of origin, so it wouldn't change anything. Yann 16:26, 26 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We already explain the copyright issues in another part of the guidelines, although I admit using the 1923 date may confuse some people (perhaps giving them the idea that there are no copyright issues for pre-1923 works). How about a compromise? Personally, I think 120 years ago is too long (most of the works I deal with are from around 1900), but I would be quite happy with setting it to "100 years ago". It's a nice round number (and exceeds the U.S. copyright limit of 95 years). Thoughts? Kaldari 17:26, 26 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My current draft policy includes the following section.
Works created before 1923
Any written work (or transcript of original audio or visual content) created before 1923 is accepted on Wikisource, so long as it is verifiable through online sources. Valid sources include uploaded scans, but not sources with no content controls (including blogs, forums, and other wikis).

Copyright warnings: before adding a work, ensure that it complies with the copyright policy.

  • Translations are considered new works, with their own copyrights and dates of creation and first publication.
  • Works created before 1923 but published after that date may be copyrighted.
  • Works created after 1903 without publication are copyrighted for 120 years from the date of creation.
{admin} Pathoschild 19:10:11, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Looks good. What exactly is a transcript of visual content though? Kaldari 20:39, 26 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That was meant to cover audiovisual content like movies, but transcripts of silent movies would be possible. ;) —{admin} Pathoschild 21:47:30, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Currently the date 1907 doesn't mean anything in term of copyright, so it is a bit meaningless to choose this date as a limit, even if it makes a round figure. For US copyright, the limit is 1909. I think that the case of "Works Published Abroad Without Compliance with US Formalities from 1 July 1909 through 1922" covers a very small portion of documents, that's why I would propose 1923 as a limit instead, with a note for this special (rare) case. Yann 22:18, 26 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I too, dislike the arbitrary nature of "100 years ago" Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Richard Francis Burton 22:51, 26 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
95 years based on copyright law, if you prefer. 1909 is only significant for works published outside the United States, while 95 years is the longest US copyright term for published works. (That said, keep in mind that this is a line in the sand after which additional criteria deter conflicts of interest and self-publishing, not a copyright policy.)
Works created before 1928
Any written work (or transcript of original audio or visual content) created before 1928 is accepted on Wikisource, so long as it is verifiable through online sources. Valid sources include uploaded scans, but not sources with no content controls (including blogs, forums, and other wikis).

Copyright warnings: before adding a work, ensure that it complies with the copyright policy.

  • Translations are considered new works, with their own copyrights and dates of creation and first publication.
  • Works created before 1928 but published after that date may be copyrighted.
  • Works created after 1903 without publication are copyrighted for 120 years from the date of creation.
{admin} Pathoschild 23:22:47, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Current year - 95 is fine with me, or 1923, either one. Kaldari 02:09, 27 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If people really feel compelled to add something it should be kept simple, and apply to all works published before 1923. This is a permissive provision. Even the phrase "regardless of the nature of the publication" is a redundancy. Viewed by itself this provision is silent about anything published after 1923, or never published at all.
The boxed section above would seem to create a lot of copyright restrictions that are not even a part of copyright law. Not all countries grant a separate copyright to derivative works. While an Englished version published in the United States would likely have protection, it is not at all clear that a translation originally published in another country (such as India), which does not grant a new copyright in a derivative work would be newly copyrighted in the United States. The Itar-Tass case would suggest that that is determined by the law of the translator's country.
The 95 and 120 year provisions only apply to works published after 1922. The special rule that may apply to works published between 1909 and 1922 is an eccentric one that is only binding in the 9th circuit, and is not even recognised by the US copyright office.
Why would we ever want to add, "verifiable through online sources?" What's wrong with paper sources? The bulk of published knowledge is not on the internet. Eclecticology 21:38, 29 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, we do not want "all works published before 1923". For example, old paintings and audio recordings go in the Wikimedia commons, not Wikisource. We also want works that have not been published, such as old diaries and personal correspondence. Simplicity is a fine standard, but it is not the goal in itself. Verifiability through online sources is required to ensure quality; we have no other way whatsoever of proofreading or correcting most texts otherwise. In my opinion, quality is vastly more important than mere quantity; if our main goal were quantity, we could simply close down and redirect users to Google.
I've removed "copyrights and"; that depends on the usual research and licensing tags. If you know some copyright rules we don't (and have reliable sources to back them up), please edit Wikisource:Licensing form. (Note that that page documents codified law, not uncertain loopholes.) —{admin} Pathoschild 22:21:10, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
Your reference to paintings and recordings is a red herring. Nobody has suggested moving away from textual material except to the extend that such other material may be directly related to texts. Reference to my previous comment, "Viewed by itself this provision is silent about anything published after 1923[s/b 1922], or never published at all," clearly indicates that such manuscript material should be dealt with at another time.
Simplicity is a reference to policies, not to the project itself. Simple and straightforward rules make people want to contribute; they don't want to be tied in knots by rule mongers. Of course we all want quality and verifiability, but limiting that to online sources is bullshit. We can still proofread and verify by comparing with paper copies of materials. If more than one person does this the chances of having a valid wiki version will be just as good as with the more limited corpus that is available on line. What does redirecting to Google have to do with anything? Your generic statement about quality is perfectly acceptable, but is nevertheless an empty truism. There is no one way to define quality, and each person thus defines it in a way that is meaningful to him. We still need to assume that contributors are acting on good faith, and not trying to insert bogus text.
Why should I be the one seeking evidence when you are the one inventing the rules? If there is a US rule that extends the 95 and 120 year rule before 1923 where is it? ..other than on the licensing form page which you wrote yourself. That extension is not even consistent with the Hirtle site that you linked to above. I acknowledge that there is a special problem connected with the 1909-1922 period, but reading the Hirtle footnote that you cite would be enough to put that in your "uncertain loophole" category. Even accepting that does not carry it back before 1909. I also know about the recorded music problem and the applicability of state common law, but you have alkready acknowledged that we don't include audio recordings. Eclecticology 01:16, 30 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The results of my own research, with cited sources, is at Wikisource:Licensing form. I've invited you to improve it if it is incorrect, and you attack me for "inventing the rules". That's hardly a productive attitude, and rather uncalled for.
The goal of the inclusion policy is to concretely define what Wikisource includes. Oversimplified policies are user-hostile; the end-result is the mass-deletion of works that we already knew we didn't want, but declined to say we didn't want because we were all about simplicity. This obviously leads to alienation, particularly by the editors who spent hours of their free time on those deleted works. It is specifically to avoid this problem that we need to to rewrite our current policy.
We know we don't want paintings and other non-text works, but many visitors don't. There have been several such mass-deletions on Wikisource in the past, there are occasional questions about the difference between Commons and Wikisource, and we already have uploads of non-text files. There's no good argument to drop a known requirement that is already in the current inclusion policy so that it can be a few words simpler.
Requiring online sources is not "bullshit". If no online sources exist, that's an excellent reason to upload scans of the work. Your generic assumption that nobody would ever be so inconsiderate as to add forgeries to a wiki anyone can edit is very nice, but not very practical, particularly when (without online sources or scans) it will be impossible to know whether they are forgeries. If they are, of course, nobody will ever find them in print to correct them. —{admin} Pathoschild 04:01:28, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
With all due respect, it is bullshit. I may get to read original manuscripts in a rare books library, but I can't photograph or scan them - the best I can do is transcribe the words inside by hand to a notepad, and then put them on Wikisource when I get back. You'd better not have a policy in place to delete what I just brought back to life. A better choice would be to allow users to challenge a "suspicious" work - and then the community can decide how to move forward, whether through consensus that "I doubt Chaucer wrote "The Beauty of Farting" or "I phoned the library in question, they say they don't even have a copy of that manuscript". If something is fake, there are better ways to get rid of it than to have arbitrary rules in place that will also lead to the deletion of legitimate works. Hello, this is internet digitisation of history, if it already existed online, we wouldn't need it. Some of the "best" things we can do, is bring back to life old texts that don't have any online corroboration. You won't find Juvenal's Esse Aliquis Manes online anywhere but Wikisource, neither will you find In a Library or Catullus' Woman's Faith. But that doesn't mean they don't belong here. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Christopher Marlowe 06:28, 30 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Alright, consensus so far seems to be that I'm full of bullshit. If nobody else likes the safeguard against forgeries, I'll strike it from the proposal. And may the cold dead universe have mercy on our level of quality.{admin} Pathoschild 06:57:53, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Hello, I agree with Eclecticology and Sherurcij here. I think we should also accept printed sources, alongside online sources. And I would choose 1923 as a limit (i.e. Ec's comments about works published between 1909 and 1922). Yann 09:55, 30 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

OK, is this wording more acceptable to everyone:

Any written works (or transcript of original audio or visual content) published prior to 1923 or created prior to 1903, may be included in WikiSource, so long as it is verifiable. Valid sources include uploaded scans, but not sources without content controls (including blogs, forums, and other wikis).

Just trying to find a workable compromise. Remember, we can always tweak it further if the need arises. I think this wording should cover most of the ground we want to address though. Thoughts? Kaldari 16:13, 3 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Three points, two major and one minor:
1. Remove the 120 year reference. The implied hypothesis in that would only be relevant to unpublished works anyway, and we are deciding about published works.
2. Remove the reference to content controls; this only adds one more unhelpful, undefined term. In any event there were no blogs before 1923. The primary purpose of this provision is to define what we include, not what we exclude. Replacing this with "and printed paper sources" would make it clear that we accept material from real books.
3. "Works" at the beginning should be singular for grammatical consistency.
Eclecticology 07:46, 4 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

OK, so I guess we're back at my original proposal then. Wow, I love going in circles! How's this:

Any written work (or transcript of original audio or visual content) published prior to 1923 may be included in WikiSource, so long as it is verifiable. Valid sources include uploaded scans and printed paper sources.

Any takers? Kaldari 15:02, 5 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikiproject Split Texts

I wanted to create a new Wikiproject on Wikisource whose purpose would be to:

  • Tag texts needing to be split
  • and get users to split the texts in that category, thus shrinking the amount of texts.

I was wondering if anyone had any extra ideas, objections, better name ideas, etc. before I created the project.


Skunkmaster IV 03:32, 16 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Have you seen Category:Texts to be split? —Benn Newman (AMDG) 13:18, 18 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes. I want to make a project to tag books that need to be split, which would add to the category while at the same time we would work on reducing the amount of articles in that category by splitting and adding headers to the books. --Skunkmaster IV 04:00, 19 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am going to create the projects if there are no more comments or objections by/on Sunday September 23, 2007. Please feel free to comment.--Skunkmaster IV 20:56, 22 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I decided to create a sort of test page for the project here before I acutally create the page and would like people to comment on how it is setup and propose any changes/etc. Please comment on the project's talk page, not here or my main user talk. ---Thanks, Skunkmaster IV 21:53, 23 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't have strong feelings about whether this project should exist. There is no doubt that most of the works listed for splitting should be split. The problem with this kind of proposal is that it rapidly becomes a collection of things for other people to do. I note that that list already includes a number of items that Skunkmaster has himself contributed. Perhaps he would add greater value to Wikisource by going ahead and splitting those pages instead of marking them for other people to do. Eclecticology 21:57, 29 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Okay -Skunkmaster IV 22:22, 6 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We need tags and categories for sources of poor provenance

I have been guilty in the past, and will be again in future, of transcribing texts from sources of poor provenance. For example, a while back I transcribed ten newspaper articles originally from 1830s editions of the Perth Gazette, but my source was a 1984 collection of excerpts entitled The Years of News. This publication does not include the article headlines in most cases, and in a couple of cases I am unconvinced that the article has been transribed in its entirety. Plus there is no guarantee that the transcription into The Years of News was accurate.

A more common example would be the practice of bringing texts across to here from Project Gutenberg; with no disrespect to the fine folks over there, the provenance of such texts is not as good as if we had sourced them directly from the original.

I would like to have the ability to tag and/or categorise such texts as having poor provenance, as a warning to anybody wishing to use them, and as an indication to contributors that they need to be re-sourced. With respect to the latter motive, I suspect that there are a great many texts of poor provenance on this site, for which scans of the original sources are now available online, e.g. on Google Books. In such cases, it would be a trivial matter to proof them against online scans, then update their provenance accordingly.

Hesperian 00:27, 20 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Would this be a binary thing or more of an evaluation (perhaps using quadrants like work completeness)? Seems a worthy idea. ++Lar: t/c 02:45, 20 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I had envisioned a binary thing - provenance either ideal or not - but I don't mind if the rest of you think me insufficiently ambitious. Hesperian 04:31, 20 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


there is a similar discussion. I guess at German Wikisource we have the most advanced quality standards.

"Our intention is not only to fit the needs or desires of the common users, but of scholars, too. Therefore the texts should be based on the best free editions. This means the reproduction of a first edition, an edition of last hand and/or an acknowledged, relevant edition. Even different versions of texts may be collected in individual cases.

Wikisource is not just another mirror of texts already available in the internet. We put emphasis on interesting and rare sources not available elsewhere or - if available - lacking our quality standards.

Wikisource sees itself as a scholarly founded and quality-oriented project aiming at highest standards of reproduction."

We don't accept new entries without scans or - in some cases like court decisions - a very reliable online source or e-text. We are going to upload all scans from Google Book Search to Commons (see 700+ books in the category De Wikisource book) if there is a text in that work we have transcribed from it since we have noticed that journals disappeared for weeks at Google Book Search. We have also uploaded a lot of works in the German language (published after 1864) which can only used with an US proxy.

Naturally we have a lot of imperfections. We have a bulk of texts which are not read three times (our standard) or partly transcribed and a lot of texts with bad source (third-hand, e.g. a Schiller text from an Oxford anthology only because it is available at Google Book Search). We all appreciate what will us lead to common high standards for all Wikisource branches. Feel free to contact us at our Skriptorium if you have answers, most of us can write English (most better than me ...) --Histo 13:58, 25 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Author namespaces

Inspired by the move towards OCLC that I already see on WS, as anyone who works in a library/archive can attest, full names are what matter on a text - "H. Melville" could be anyone - but the odds of two "Herman Melville"s is much lower. I'd like to propose we make it a style policy of putting Author: texts at the full name of the author (where known), and creating redirects as a matter of policy for the possible initials that could lead to it. I'm linking to a lot of authorpages right now where all I've got to go on is "J. Simpson" and it would be terribly helpful if that were a redirect to Author:Jeffrey Simpson - or even a disambig. (Because otherwise we get a broken link and I have no idea if "L. M. Alcott" is anybody we have an authorspace for, or not). It seems like something that could even be bot-automated with the new headers we're using, grab first name (concatenate the two names if two are given), grab last name, move authorpage to that new name. Alternatively, grab first letter of First name, grab last name, create redirect pointing to this page, etc. Sure it would add "clutter", but Wikisource ain't made of paper, so it's worthwhile to have these redirects, rather than just the occasional person making a redirect for Author:H. G. Wells (which already fits this policy), but Author:H. B. Stowe doesn't point anywhere. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Richard Francis Burton 01:06, 20 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agreed. I rename such pages whenever I come across them and create appropriate redirects. —{admin} Pathoschild 01:29:44, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Are you just talking about expanding initials, or do you want full names too. e.g. should I move Author:David Carnegie to Author:David Wynford Carnegie? Hesperian 03:06, 20 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
David Carnegie is usually fine, unless there are several David Carnegies on Wikisource. —{admin} Pathoschild 03:24:17, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
I was talking about moving them to the full Author:David Wynford Carnegie, while making Author:David Carnegie a redirect towards it. Otherwise it's too subjective where I'd find R. L. Stevenson, Robert L. Stevenson, Robert Louis Stevenson Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Richard Francis Burton 04:34, 20 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think the page should be at the most common name (however that can be defined), and redirects should point there from all other options. So if Robert L. Stevenson is the name of the page, Robert Louis Stevenson should point there. That way there's no problem with navigation, and the reader is directed to the "proper" or "most common" name of the author. --Spangineerwp (háblame) 00:34, 24 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's more a question of automating the process, since nobody wants to create "one userpage and five possible redirects", they just want to create the one userpage. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Richard Francis Burton 06:13, 24 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

dab link in header

{{Similar}} is used in three locations; two of those point to each other where there is very reasonable chance that searching will take the reader to the wrong text. L'Envoi (to "The Seven Seas") and L'Envoi (to "Barrack-Room Ballads").

The other use is on Summer (Wharton), pointing back to Summer for no obvious reason that it should be used here and not on The Raven (Poe) (and hundreds others like it).

Rather than have an additional template for this purpose, we could add a param, like "dab = ", to point to the dab page. This can be automatically filled in by scanning all dab pages. John Vandenberg 05:36, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I started a few disamg pages today as I added Author:Paul Laurence Dunbar's work since many of his poems have the same name as other work already here. I wondered if I should also put something on each poems page referring back to the disamb page in case an user wants to find other works by the same title. I didn't do it because I did not see an example to follow. Per your comment, I'm not real fond of the wording "See other works with similar titles." but nothing better comes to mind at the moment. I do see some value in helping users see articles with the same title but will hold off doing it until decide the best way to handle it. FloNight 17:29, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's the intended purpose, which is why "works" is plural: {{similar|dab page}}. —{admin} Pathoschild 21:08:28, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll use it. :) FloNight 21:54, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

New policies

I've been thinking: let's create a few more policies, modelled after certain Wikipedia ones. Policies such as "Assume good faith," or "Verifiability."

Also, is it possible for us to create some form of unblock template so blocked users don't have to e-mail an administrator to request for unblock? Just suggestions to you as the community to see what you think. Wikibrarian talk to me 06:36, 23 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We've historically tried to keep our policies simple and to a minimum. For example, our policy on verifiability is described by the inclusion policy, and "assume good faith" is an obvious statement of good conduct that, assuming we codify it at all, should be in a unified behavioural policy. —{admin} Pathoschild 23:15:34, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Is there a unified behavioral policy? Wikibrarian talk to me 02:10, 24 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, there hasn't been any need for one yet. :) —{admin} Pathoschild 02:59:28, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, cool. Maybe someday there will be. Are you saying you are allowing me to create that policy? With consensus, of course. Wikibrarian talk to me 06:03, 24 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Nevermind. There's no need for one. Yet... Wikibrarian talk to me 07:45, 24 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Other discussions

site-independent JavaScript/article tab breakage

Zhaladshar discovered that {{textquality}} breaks the article tab on the secure wiki. More generally, I've tried to make MediaWiki:Common.js site-independent with respect to the quality indicators before but it didn't work (however, I think the article tab was still working back then). Can someone with sufficient expertise look into this? Thank you.--GrafZahl (talk) 08:22, 21 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I reverted to png, because svg is not allowed as the source of an image tag. However I do not know why png is not displayed on the secure wiki. ThomasV 12:30, 21 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
apparently png is not the problem. the problem is calling Special:Filepath in the secure wiki, because it returns a non-secure url. It is fixed now. ThomasV 12:53, 21 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you! Any idea why svg is not allowed?--GrafZahl (talk) 11:42, 22 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
svg is allowed, but not inside am "img" tag. if you want to use the svg you need to write a "xml" tag. I think that it's not worth the effort. ThomasV 12:26, 22 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In order to avoid depending on the png, I think the JS could "use" the svg with URLs such as [1]. John Vandenberg 13:18, 21 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Unknown Translators

Right now, there is an immense backlog over at Category:Deletion requests/Unknown translators. It's a tedious process trying to identify the translators with no guarantee of success. Many of the articles have been tagged and then gone unedited for months. Some works I would like to attempt to preserve, like some of Tolstoy's, but unknown translators pose too many problematic copyright issues. Do people want to delete all of them, keep all of them, or somewhere in the middle? - Politicaljunkie 23:32, 26 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Based on my experience administering Chinese Wikisource, I prefer asking contributors where they are from. They can say by themselves or copied from somewhere else. If no answer after some time, maybe two weeks, speedily delete them as no known source by presuming them guilty until proven innocent. If other users, especially admins, have different thoughts, I suggest voting for a new policy.--Jusjih 13:47, 27 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I didn't know we had so many left. We deleted a whole slew of them earlier this summer. Maybe we should put the rest on WS:PD and send them through the deletion process.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 16:53, 31 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We have at least dozens of such articles now. I support discussing on WS:PD. Chinese Wikisource has very limited active users, so policy and guideline revisions cannot be practically voted for, but admins are not well known to speedily delete them.--Jusjih 12:21, 3 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'd advise creating a template, or listing them on here for people to go through. We had fairly decent cohesion listing them at PD, but I think that unfortunately convinces people that it's not worth the time to look them up - I'd like to see a table on Scriptorium, or else all of them organised into a list. I'd hate to see something like "The Prayer of St Francis" deleted because we can't find a translator name, so I'd rather focus on *fixing* all the ones we can right now, rather than focus on deleting the ones we can't yet. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Wikisource:Ancient Egypt 16:36, 3 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikisource:Suicide notes

Some of you may remember the Wikisource:Suicide notes page before it got castrated for copyright concerns...anyways, according to the copyright lawyers of, it seems that "On December 31, 2002, the era of perpetual copyright ended. On that date, all works that were unpublished as of December 31, 2002, were released from their perpetual copyright...The term of protection for such works is now the life of the author plus 70 years." - so it was retroactive, and thus the following suicide notes should be un-deleted. Sergei Esenin suicide note (1925, though translation details were not included, off Wikipedia), George Eastman suicide note (1932), Paul Bern suicide note (1932), Sara Teasdale suicide note (1933) and Robert E. Howard suicide note (1936). Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Wilhelm II 06:48, 30 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

But that applies to all works that were unpublished as of December 31, 2002. I would think these notes would have been published shortly after the deaths. On a more general note this information is a really great find!--BirgitteSB 12:25, 30 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The entire argument (not mine!) for deleting them was that they couldn't have been legally published, since the author was then immediately killed - and that thus, without any evidence that they had tried to publish their suicide notes, we had to treat them as unpublished. So either "Sherurcij was right all along, just go re-add all the suicide notes", or "Sherurcij is right now, go undelete at least the ones he just proved". Don't you remember the great fiasco of "they were published in a newspaper after their death..." "Yes, but not legally published! We can't copy illegal publishings by newpapers!" Geez, it's like one of my worst memories on Wikisource, of Ze Copyright Nazis deleting stuff that never would have led to any potential legal trouble. :P Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Wilhelm II 18:44, 30 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I never bought the "newspapers publish these things illegally" argument. I will have to do some archive reading and refresh my memory over this issue.--BirgitteSB 19:18, 30 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  The argument comes down to either "They were published without copyright notice, thus all pre-1970 notes are PD", or "They weren't published, thus all pre 1937 ones are PD". See how simple it is? wink, wink, nudge, nudge. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Wilhelm II 19:20, 30 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Here is the actual deletion closing statement: Deleted. No user has provided sufficient argument placing these works into the public domain. has put forth a strong argument in opposition to this assumption which has not been refuted— a work meant to be read by anyone is not necessarily in the public domain, which can be used for any purpose without any limitation whatsoever and without proprietary rights held by the copyright owner. There being no legal precedent, and the Wikisource community not having the legal right to set new precedents in the name of the Wikimedia Foundation, and fair use being prohibited, these works must be assumed to be copyrighted unless proven otherwise in conformance with the Copyright policy. —{admin} Pathoschild 04:50, 16 December 2006 (UTC)'s argument: I am sure that many suicide notes are written for anyone to read. But does that mean that they are in the Public Domain? Public Domain does not just mean that anyone can read and redistribute the text. Public Domain means that anyone can do anything they like with the text. / 10:35, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

My suggestion is to ask Pathoschild if this new information changes his closing decision for these documents. If it comes to opening up a deletion review, I would like to take some time trying to solicit opinions from lawyers on the issue.--BirgitteSB 19:49, 30 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Didn't WMF just get a new legal counsel person? Maybe we can ask him/her and hope that the WMF gives us more help than in the past.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 20:11, 30 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
THe law seems pretty clear-cut, either they were published or they weren't. In one instance, everything pre-1970s is fair game, in the other instance, everything pre-1937 is fair game. Either way, the ones I listed are public domain, whether they were published or not. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Wilhelm II 20:29, 30 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The law is 17 U.S.C. 303 and you can read it on Wikisource! I suggest that you do, because it doesn't necessarily say what you would like it to. Physchim62 23:48, 2 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Only one of the notes that you mention above was deleted because of the November 2006 deletion request which you so delicately discuss—Sara Teasdale suicide note, which you admit to not having the complete text. This should really be discussed at WS:PD. Physchim62 00:03, 3 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I just re-read the law (Section 302 and amendments), and it says exactly what I said it says, that these works are public domain 70 years after the death of the author, thus all pre-1937 works. Please do not speak in riddles to hide the fact that you have no legal standing, these works are public domain, it is very clear, the law itself agrees with me, as do copyright lawyers. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Wilhelm II 03:13, 3 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well put them up for deletion appeal then, instead of slapping around throwaway phrases here. Physchim62 15:40, 3 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please avoid making this adversarial. There is nothing wrong with discussing the issue here. I don't believe that any admin would reverse Pathoschild's deletion without going though WS:DEL (or his consent), as general process whatever the merits are. But there is no reason to move things to less active forum of WS:PD. I have already expressed my doubts that this new information can be applied to anything published before December 31, 2002. I think it will be hard to determine the status of these works without knowing the first instance (or at least the earliest we can find) of publication (rather than the date of composition). If it was sometime in the thirties, then they should appear in renewal databases if they are still under copyright. I don't think this is as cut and dry as either of you believe, but rather the situation does bear looking into. We have certainly made mistakes in the past with copyright in both extremes (*cough* UN *cough* shorter term). We should be happy to take a fresh look at these sorts of decisions now and in the future.--BirgitteSB 15:46, 3 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree it's not clear whether/when these were "published", I know the previous argument brought up during deletion was that "If newspapers published them, they did so illegally, and thus it doesn't count" which I still believe is armchair legalese - but the thing that bothers me, is that either they were published and thus fall under "published without copyright notice" and are PD, or they weren't published, and thus fall under "life+70 for unpublished works with a known author" as mentioned by the copyright lawyer on copylaw. So ultimately, they're PD either way, it's just a question of which template we should be marking them with. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Wilhelm II 18:40, 3 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Back in August, User:Physchim62 changed the Template:PD-1923 notice on "Author:" pages, from saying, roughly, "This author may have some works in the public domain because they were published before 1923", etc. to "This United States [emphasis mine] author may have some works in the public domain because they were published before 1923" etc. He held the opinion that foreign works published before 1923 would be protected by their home country's laws, particularly the 70 year p.m. copyright law, and if not recognized by the United States, would be recognized by Wikisource.

But according to User:Pathoschild (see recent Scriptorium Question heading "Unclear Policy"), the Wikisource:Copyright policy is, for now at least,

The copyright laws applicable to Wikisource are primarily those of the United States of America, where the physical Wikimedia servers are located. The United States is not obliged to extend copyright beyond what it would be in the author's own country, and virtually all countries have copyrights that last for the author's life plus some number of years.

This is not to say the subject is not still being discussed. But Physchim62's adjustment, even if defensible according to proponents of a different copyright policy, was a half-finished measure that doesn't address the current needs of Wikisource. Many of the author pages with the PD-1923 notice are in fact non-U.S. authors. But rather than championing his point of view in the Scriptorium after having made his adjustment, and calling for the removal of the template on the non-U.S. author pages, he seems to have abandoned his project half-way finished (he was first alerted of the template problem August 15, 2007 and his last post was August 29, 2007, three weeks ago).

That is why I move that we restore the original subject of Template:PD-1923 on "Author:" pages (authors in general, not just United States authors) so that it matches the commonly understood interpretation of current Wikisource policy, until such time as Physchim62 is ready to present his case for a better copyright policy and/or a better way of copyright templating that still meets Wikisource's needs. 05:00, 22 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Update: User: had changed the template back in August to simplify the wording. I didn't have anything to do with that. Then today he made a revision which included putting my proposal into practice without announcing what he was going to do. Again, I didn't have anything to do with his revision. I was planning to wait a while longer, and if there had been no objections to my proposal, I was going to announce my intentions to change the template as I described, and then change it. User:Yann today reverted both of User:'s changes and then locked the template.
Regardless of User:'s activities, I would still like to hear responses to my proposal to change the subject of the Template:PD-1923 from "United States author" to "author" of whatever country because, as I explained, it currently doesn't suit Wikisource's needs. 20:42, 29 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

User:Pathoschild fixed the problem on October 18 (without saying anything here). Thank you, Pathoschild! 05:44, 3 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Wikisource:Protected against recreation


I created this page to include pages which should not be recreated. I think it is much more efficient than adding a template in any page. So I proposed to include all pages listed here and delete the template. Regards, Yann 10:31, 26 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

lol, can we move it to re-creation? I looked at it and thought it was to prevent "recreational vandalism" :D Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Captain Cook 15:37, 26 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's the title used on Commons. I think it better to have a consistent namming accross projects. Yann 15:54, 26 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How is that more efficient than adding a template? A page has to exist for it to be protected to begin with; we might as well use a template that explains to people why it is protected. —Benn Newman (AMDG) 15:45, 26 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, that's just the point: with the page above, you don't need the page to exist to be protected. But you can't do both, or the template will appear on this page also (it uses inclusion). Yann 15:53, 26 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So the page really isn't protected? It's just a list of pages to check to make sure they don't exist? —Benn Newman (AMDG) 15:07, 27 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just log off, and try to create a page listed in there, you will see. Yann 16:06, 27 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Newmanbe, the page uses cascading protection to protect inexisting pages by transcluding them in a protected page. It is a hackish method, but it works. —{admin} Pathoschild 19:20:11, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't think it's more efficient, but it's the only way to protect them without cluttering the main space with a bunch of stubs. So it would certainly be neater to delete all of those protected pages, along with the other infrastructure that was obsoleted by cascading protection; and, as I mentioned previously, update the deletion policy to just transclude the pages there and delete them. -Steve Sanbeg 19:46, 30 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It still doesn't address the real problem, that such re-creations don't tend to follow identical renaming to their previous incarnation. Peter Pan is template-d for example, but Peter Pan and Wendy still exists. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Wikisource:Ancient Egypt 22:33, 30 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, not that real problem; no, it won't preemptively block out a class of title based on regex or such; I think there are other ways of doing that, but I doubt they would be enabled here. It will address the problem of main space (and special:random) being polluted with junk. That was a necessary evil at one time, but now that the technical problem has been fixed, it's just a policy issue here. -Steve Sanbeg 18:00, 5 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This all sounds good. So to be clear, the idea is to delete all the placeholder pages and list them on this one page that is "cascade protected". Should we separate vandalism pages from copyright issues? Copyright issues can be given an explanation or a link to the archived discussion.--BirgitteSB 18:36, 5 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, that's the idea. Yann 18:38, 5 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Which namespace should catalog pages belong to?

This question continues Wikisource:Scriptorium/Archives/2006-12#United Nations resolutions found to be in the public domain partially. As the page United Nations Security Council Resolutions is a catalog page and English, Chinese, and French Wikisources have different practices with regard to which namespace for catalog pages, I just tried enclosing the whole table of contents with editorials into the header note, i.e. after the "note" parameter and before the end of the header. This is based on my experience from Chinese Wikisource for increasing Chinese and Taiwanese laws by enclosing the history in the header to show it not a part of the main text. Even if you cannot read Chinese, an example at 兵役法 (Military Service Law, Taiwan) shows many dates of the amendment history in the header note. The latest version posted there zh:兵役法/民國96年 dated 2007 also shows the amendment history in the header note. This is how I am thinking of dealing with catalog pages. Any comments and suggestions are welcome.--Jusjih 15:54, 26 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Personally, I'm not racking my brains about this question right now. We are a library. Sooner or later, we'll need an OPAC.--GrafZahl (talk) 21:17, 26 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
GrafZahl, an automated catalogue system is a very real possibility within the next year. This is one of the major benefits of the standardized {{header}} system—bot-parseable metadata which can be extracted for such purposes. —{admin} Pathoschild 23:11:45, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
We might be able to do it quicker. The SemanticMediaWiki extension provides all the infrastructure to attach data to a text and group texts together, so the only new code to be written would provide a new page, say Special:OPAC, offering a typical OPAC interface and and constructing a <ask>…</ask> query from user input to be evaluated by that extension. Right now, this is only a raw idea. I'm going to put some more thought into it next weekend.--GrafZahl (talk) 08:12, 28 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Index pages are typically in the Wikisource namespace (like Wikisource:Guantanamo), except lists of chapters in books. —{admin} Pathoschild 23:11:45, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
We have a portal namespace. Could that be better for catalog pages?--Jusjih 13:50, 27 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Since no one says anything for long time, I have moved United Nations Security Council Resolutions to Wikisource:United Nations Security Council Resolutions. If no other comments, I would also like to move UN General Assembly Resolutions to Wikisource namespace and make subpages for each annual session as having too many thousands of resolutions in ome page would be too large.--Jusjih 01:52, 15 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ahh! A REALly "new work"

I've just finished my effort of Annotation on Author:Frederick Marryat's (not quite) masterpiece "The Privateersman, or One Hundred Years Ago": The Annotated "Privateersman". I look forward to other edits to it! 04:43, 31 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Congratulations on finishing that text! I have seen you working away on it for some time. What is the provenance of the e-text? Has any proofreading been done?--BirgitteSB 18:03, 31 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I copied the chapters from the unannotated one, linked above, which in turn came from Gutenberg and is also hosted on the IA (Both state the author of the transcription "Nick Hodson"), where it was given from the original site, Athelstane (Note the category on the IA's site), which inturn states that "This book has been moved to Gutenberg", completing the cycle of PD-ness. I've annotated some of the most obvious errors and will probably go back and fix a few of the most blatantly obvious ones, as well as going over then entire work again. I know we don't OWN pages, but I feel obliged to say that I don't mind anyone editing it as they see best ;D. 00:03, 1 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We considered texts from Gutenburg to already be at 75% proofread. The main thing to watch for, if you get your hands on a hard copy, is special formatting and special or foreign characters. Since Gutenburg only does ASCII there are some gaps along those lines.--BirgitteSB 12:20, 1 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also, if you find errors in the Gutenberg transcription, make sure you contact them about it. grendel|khan 13:25, 10 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Text Advancement

Is there a help page that describes the different stages of the text advancement? If not, could someone please describe them to me?

If you could, please leave a comment on my talk page.


Skunkmaster IV 00:01, 3 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Answered on user's talk page.--GrafZahl (talk) 08:37, 3 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Draft United Nations Guiding principles on Human Rights and Extreme Poverty : is there a possibility to make available to all an existing Bengali version ?

Dear all, Draft United Nations Guiding principles on Human Rights and Extreme Poverty have been introduced since Feb 2007. A friend of mine provided me with a translation in bengali; is there a possibility to use it on wikisource (although I dont see any wikisource in bengali yet) ? This would be very useful to bengali people who would like to ongoing consultations on this text to reinforce the fight against poverty worldwide, working with the poor themselves. Here is the pdf image version of this text, I have it also on a pagemaker7 format. Thank you in advance for any recommendation ! XavierV 16:23, 3 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bengali works are still hosted at the main server, since there haven't yet been enough works or users to justify an entirely new language subdomain. You can find it at Cheers! Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Wikisource:Ancient Egypt 17:32, 4 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for your answer ! I had a look on Unfortunately I have no knowledge of Bengali at all. Would it be possible to get the help of somebody to wikify the electronic text I have and to put it on that site ? Could somebody for instance post a message about this on the Scriptorium of ? Thanks in advance for your help. XavierV 12:12, 6 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hello, You can post a message to Talk:প্রধান পাতা:বাংলা or to one of the people contributing in Bengali, for example Bellayet. Yann 12:29, 6 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

match=undefined arrows everywhere

A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism

What are these double arrows after every link? — Omegatron 03:43, 9 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I am so confused. There are arrows after every link on the page, and when I try to edit it, I just see a bunch of templates. And at the top of the book it says "Please help us proofread the OCRed pages. Thanks." But there is no other explanation. And there is no explanation for what these page templates do. And it is confusing. — Omegatron 03:51, 9 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The arrows are a strange new occurrance; I presume someone has played with some image on commons or muddled up some JS. I am hoping if I ignore them they will go away.
Regarding the proofreading, this Wikisource specific extension is explained at Help:Side by side image view for proofreading. HTH John Vandenberg 04:12, 9 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am getting the arrows too when I work on Eugenics and other Evils, too. Has anyone ever seen this before? --Skunkmaster IV 04:32, 9 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm starting to just get them everywhere now. Is this happening to anyone else? --Skunkmaster IV 04:38, 9 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is now fixed; you can remove the arrows by clearing your cache. This was caused by a glitch in the script that compares a page on different-language Wikisource subdomains, due to changes to the site JavaScript earlier today. I've fixed the problem by disabling it; I'll re-enable a fixed version as soon as I finish rewriting it. —{admin} Pathoschild 06:26:34, 09 September 2007 (UTC)

I've rewritten the script from scratch so that it's more flexible, standard, and easy to read (and fixed). Please tell me if you encounter any further glitches with the ⇔ arrows. —{admin} Pathoschild 07:17:14, 09 September 2007 (UTC)
Im seeing the arrows on the interwiki links. John Vandenberg 08:24, 11 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Those arrows are supposed to be in the "in other languages" side menu. If that is what you are seeing, try clicking on them to compare the page with the linked page. —{admin} Pathoschild 14:30:44, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Oh, well in that case all is well and it looks very useful on pages with real content. In IE 6 I am seeing a script error, but everything appears to be working properly. John Vandenberg 22:29, 11 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Can I add this speech?

I see that Wikisource includes many speeches. There are two questions I have about what kinds of speeches can be included. First, are speeches transcribed from video or audio recordings okay for inclusion? For instance, there's a C-SPAN video archive of commencement addresses. Can I transcribe these and include them here? Second, are speeches which are already transcribed allowable here, or are we infringing the copyright of the transcribers if we don't find a recording and transcribe them ourselves? Consider this set of American University commencement speeches, for example. (I originally found that while looking for speeches by Daniel Inouye, but there's a copy of his speech on his website, along with several others, which might mean it's a work produced in his official capacity, which would make it public domain, wouldn't it?) I'm basing my questions off having seen articles like Al Gore's Defend US Constitution here, which was copied from a non-public domain resource. I wanted to get a clear idea of what the policy on speeches is, before I spent time and effort with my trusty headphones. grendel|khan 22:45, 10 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good news on your questions about transcription, bad news about your question on Commencement speeches.
The good news is that transcriptions of speeches not already online are very welcome, especially if you have a C-span video against which other editors can "proofread" your transcription.
The bad news is that we don't have a "very clear" policy on speeches in general. Obviously all speeches by US Federal employees (Senators, the President, military officers, etc) are public domain...but whether a speech by Malcolm X, Pope John Paul II or Queen Elizabeth are "copyright-free" is a thorny question - and WS editors often don't agree. (I spent eighteen hours with headphones trancribing cockpit recorders and flight tower relays related to the September 11 attacks only to see them deleted because "somebody probably has a copyright", so I can feel your pain.) So it's "debateable" whether a speech by somebody who isn't a US Fed'l employee (most people on C-span likely are), nor given before 1923, will be received. I hope this is some help. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Alfred Nobel 23:03, 10 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yecch. So because we have a lack of clear policy, we're chilling-effected out of using a large body of possibly-free works, and people end up having their efforts wasted when the Paranoia Pendulum takes a swing to one side. So transcribing Jodie Foster's commencement address at U Penn is right out, then. I'll paste in those speeches from Daniel Inouye, then, at least. (But how, then, is Al Gore's speech included? He's not a federal employee any more; he's just a private citizen. Confusing...) grendel|khan 00:53, 11 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Photo links for Yogananda's "Autobiography of a Yogi"

Apparently many of the original photos that go with this autobiography were removed due to the copyright wrangle (see link from tabel of contents page). However, some relevant photos are available on Commons. I would add a footnote and additional photo link to each section... if I knew how. Maybe someone else will? Thank you. unsigned comment by (talk) 12:46, 15 September 2007.

Unclear Policy

Commons has the policy that works have to be PD in the country of origin AND the US. I have'nt found a clear statement on Wikisource:Copyright if PD refers

  • only to the US (main rule: pre-1923)
  • to the US and the country of origin
  • to the country of origin
  • to another rule (e.g. PD if not protected in any country worldwide)

In the UK and the European Union there is the main rule 70 years pma. To find out the date of author's death see the new website --Histo 23:03, 17 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikisource's copyright policy requires that a work be in the public domain in the United States, regardless of its status in its home country. For example, pre-1923 works are tagged using {{PD-1923}}. That doesn't include negated US copyright (such as International Emergency Economic Powers Act sanctions) or orphaned works, which are not in the US public domain. —{admin} Pathoschild 23:21:40, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
Not to beat a dead horse, but you speak as though you are quoting iron-clad policy which, as Histo points out, you aren't. You are authotatively announcing your definition of what falls within WS's copyright policy, but you'll notice if you actually read Wikisource:Copyright policy it doesn't say any of that - there's nothing saying most of what you claim it does. Histo is right, it's vague and unclear, and while that may be how you wish to see the policy interpreted, don't make it sound quite so definitive. In fact, it doesn't mention "home country" at all, nor does it mention the "United States". I have no problem with you advancing your interpretations, we all do it, but please do not pretend you are quoting Wikisource:Copyright policy when you are not. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Richard Francis Burton 23:58, 17 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You're right, though it previously clarified that. I've re-added the missing paragraph, so it once again clarifies the issue. —{admin} Pathoschild 00:19:39, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
That paragraph was removed by yourself, with the note "Implemented BirgitteSB's changes", FYI ;) Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Richard Francis Burton 00:40, 18 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, as I said, it was removed accidentally. That's why I assumed the policy already clarified this. —{admin} Pathoschild 01:30:19, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
The sentence "The United States is not obliged to extend copyright beyond what it would be in the author's own country" was translated in Chinese Wikisource, but American non-acceptance of the rule of the shorter term could extend copyright beyond what it would be in the author's own country. This can create a major turmoil especially in Wikisource and Wikimedia Commons where claiming fair use is impractical and thus forbidden. I am wondering if Wikimedia Foundation can allow mirror servers around the world in the following way:
  1. Materials that are PD worldwide, i.e. 100 pma, are cross-displayed.
  2. Materials that are PD-US but not elsewhere are to be "screened out" at non-US mirror servers unless tagged fair use based on where the mirror servers are located.
  3. Materials that are PD in their source countries but copyrighted in the US due to American non-acceptance of the rule of the shorter term are to be displayed at non-US mirror servers but "screened out" at US main server unless tagged fair use.
I am unsure if opening mirror servers outside the USA is technically possible to bypass American non-acceptance of the rule of the shorter term, but if possible, it may worth a try. Besides copyright concerns, there must be things that are unacceptable in the USA but acceptable somewhere else.--Jusjih 01:02, 18 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think that's possible in MediaWiki without extensive changes. I don't know anything about the legal viability. —{admin} Pathoschild 01:33:29, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
I just made up a possibly funny idea. Only WMF can decide whether to try my idea. If the USA were to accept the rule of the shorter term, my idea would not be needed. Even if nothing changes, contributors outside the USA can use other sites to archive items affected by American non-acceptance of the rule of the shorter term.--Jusjih 02:20, 19 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your theory that the U.S. does not accept the shorter term rule remains highly debatable. See the Itar-Tass case here in Wikisource. Eclecticology 08:10, 21 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Someone can sue WMF at any European court because masses of pre-1923 works are not in the PD in Europe (70 years pma). WMF is not exempt because the servers are in the US. The English WS is also adressed to the UK. Why not respect European laws? See also [2] --Histo 15:39, 19 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A European court cannot sue a US person for putting PD-in-the-US texts onto a US server, no. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Richard Francis Burton 21:01, 19 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Nonsense. Are here working only US citizen? If someone UK person is working on a text which is not free in the UK he can be sued for an UK court. And furthermore: WMF can be sued in every country on the earth for copyvio - ask at commons or at en.WP if you don't believe that. It is not easy but possible. --Histo 19:32, 20 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Histo, you are wrong here. You can argue about works not of US origin which are not in the public domain somewhere. But nobody can sue a US person for putting PD-in-the-US texts onto a US server on copyright issue. Yann 20:02, 20 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It needn't require public domain access in the country of origin, just in North America. And frankly Histo, your argument is perfectly reasonable, but I think that other countries don't mater much in this case. Wikibrarian talk to me 02:39, 22 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sorry, where is the proof that nobody can sue a US person for putting PD-in-the-US texts onto a US server on copyright issue at a foreign court? I would say that I know better e.g. German law like you, and a German court has to decide in most cases according to German law. The execeution of that decision in the US would not be easy but that is annother matter. It is the same constellation as the Tron case [3]. Again: Wikimedia Foundation is not exempt. It can be sued in every country on this earth if the court applies the local law. It is also possible that providers can be urged to block websites like Wikisource if there is a court decision. --Histo 14:09, 25 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If it's public domain in NA, then it shouldn't get legal action against it. I understand what you're saying, but I highly doubt someone from a works country of origin would file a lawsuit against another country's version of a website that has access to public domain documents. And most of our documents here are public domain in every country you can think of, so there isn't much need for concern. Wikibrarian talk to me 22:40, 25 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If your argument that WMF can be sued everywhere is true, we may have to delete things politically considered objectionable in Red China as well as Nazi swastika considered objectionable in Germany. How can we ask the WMF? I faxed it to talk about my concerned American non-acceptance of the rule of the shorter term, I have never got any reply, so I am withholding any possible donation.--Jusjih 01:28, 26 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If WMF didn't respond, then they did as they should. It is not the WMF's role to make such decisions. Without a doubt, all sorts of legal actions can take place in all sorts of countries. So what? I'm certainly not prepared to quake in fear of every nutcase that may want to sue me on the other side of the world. You can't expect WMF to speculate about your hypothesis that the United States does not accept the rule of the shorter term. There has never been a proper hearing of it in the courts. Eclecticology 23:09, 29 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Swastika: You know Godwin's law? We have spoken of copyright not of China. It would be reasonable to go after the important Eureopean audience and to respect the 70 years pma rule also if the item is pre-1923. It is not very likely to be sued in Mexico (100 years pma) or another such country. Wikipedians from the UK which upload protected works are in risk - we should simply avoid that. This has nothing to to with censorhip or China or Nazi symbols -- 03:22, 26 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I am completely against setting such a rule. Why Europe and not the rest of the world? Yann 16:30, 26 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Contributors should learn to accept responsibility for what they do, and quit pretending that they are somehow acting altruistically to protect the WMF. Eclecticology 23:09, 29 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Adding scans of historic documents

The Wikisource page on adding images is very scant. I have scans of historical documents that I would like to add to their respective transcriptions, but I would like the following questions answered first:

  1. Is it preferred to upload the scans to Commons or Wikisource?
  2. What is an acceptable file size for a one-page scan? 100K? 1M? 10M? My original scans are 50+ Megs per page.
  3. If a work is several pages long, it is recommended to upload scans of all the pages for verification purposes? If so, should images of all of the pages be included with the text?
  4. Is it preferred for the scans to be cleaned up in Photoshop (contrast and sharpness boosted, etc.) or left as faithful to the original as possible?

Kaldari 00:28, 22 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Commons, be certain to throw a {{PD-1923}} tag on it (assuming we're dealing with pre-1923 documents, of course) though, they're very quick to delete things even if common sense says otherwise
The largest dimensions of the file possible, with the minimum size before compromising quality. Quality is more important than size - our servers are near-infinite, we'd rather have amazingly detailed scans, than subpar ones.
If we're talking about a Chaucer manuscript, sure upload all 15 pages. If we're talking about War and Peace, then...well, nothing's stopping you - but your time could be better spent elsewhere ;)
Scans are already facsimiles, not originals, so the most cleaning-up you can do would be great. Don't remove original stains or tears from the image, but boosting contrast, cropping borders and enhancing colour saturation would all be great imho.
Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Richard Francis Burton 00:46, 22 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Upload to Commons, but add proper copyright tags. I am going after untagged images there as well as English Wikipedia.--Jusjih 01:32, 22 September 2007 (UTC)(admin here, on Commons, and on English Wikipedia)Reply[reply]
1. Commons
2. We on have file sizes from 200K up to some MBytes. u just have to find a good trade-off between quality and size.
3. Yes i think u should upload every page. there is a special commonist for books somewhere that is very usefull [Commonist Book]
4. yeah sharpening and contrast boost might be ok but no cuting out notes or such things
--CK85 08:35, 26 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Question about copyrights on a possibly plagiarized text prior to inclusion

OK, this is a long one:

I turned up, in a library, a copy of the classic old "Swiss Family Robinson". Now the original texts of this are all out of copyright, so that's clear. The problem is this version ("General[ly] edit[ed]" by May Lamberton Becker, published by "THE WORLD PUBLISHING COMPANY". Here's the problem, the notice says that "THE SPECIAL CONTENTS OF THIS EDITION COPYRIGHT 1947". This obviously includes the introduction, but what about the text itself? I'm curious because an edition on Gutenberg (this version) contains almost exactly the same contents, and is claimed as copyrighted by... someone ELSE!

A completely random example:

PG version:

I employed myself in contriving needles for my wife's work, by boring holes at one end of the quills, which I did by means of a red hot nail, and I soon had a nice packet of various sizes, which pleased her immensely. I also laid plans for making proper harness for our beasts of burden, but could not attempt to begin that while so many wants more pressing demanded attention.

My version:

I employed myself in contriving needles for my wife's work, by boring holes at one end of the quills, which I did by means of a red hot nail, and I soon had a nice packet of various sizes, which pleased her immensely. I also laid plans for making proper harness for our beasts of burden, but could not attempt to begin that while so many wants more pressing demanded attention.

Etc, etc. You could randomly pick a paragraph in that version and I can (and will) give you the corresponding paragraph in this version, which will have limited or no differences at all (Pagescans if requested).

My question is:

Is the uploader to PG a plagiarist? Should we let them know that's an illegitimate upload?, or; Does the PG upload prove that this edition is out of copyright, and I can copy/upload it here and so get a free chFR on here?

Thanx, 23:23, 26 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That's kind of a funny question. According to the Wikipedia article, w:The Swiss Family Robinson, The Swiss Family Robinson was first published back in 1812. Perhaps not knowing this, you seem to find it difficult to believe that the English translations of the work might be out of copyright as well as the original story itself.
I think you had the right idea when you said about the 1947 copyright, "This obviously includes the introduction." According to a reference in the same Wikipedia article, there were English translations of the story (not the intro) by William H. G. Kingston (1879), W. H. Davenport Adams (1869-70) and Mrs H. B. Paull (also 1879).
If either of the general editors of the two editions failed to mention the translator or the edition of translation they derived from and claimed to be the translator (which I doubt) then yes they plagiarized. But I find it even more doubtful that one plagiarized off of the other--They both probably derive from a version, like one of three I just mentioned, that was in the public domain back in 1947. 05:53, 27 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To answer your other question, Project Gutenberg is a trustworthy source; their disclaimer says you can freely redistribute the text at will, so they have motive to go beyond due diligence to ensure they are not sued. As downloader all you need is due diligence as I understand the law. So you can use their diligence as if it were your own. To me that suggests the question: is using someone else's diligence without attribution plagiarism? Which is also the sort of inference which explains why I'd probably never make it as a lawyer. 06:07, 27 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have no trouble believing that there are English translations out of copyright, especially since there's one on PG that's DEFINITELY pre-1909, but I'm not going to make assumptions about public domain-ness in the face of an ambiguous copyright statement. My question is basically this: Can I transcribe this 1947 version of the text and add it here? Is the evidence of this other version on PG acceptable (here) as proof that the main contents of this work are, infact, PD? 22:48, 27 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's definitely evidence of a pre-1909 translator who did the work. But if it's an abridged version of the Gutenberg version it might be considered a derivative work. You probably ought to cut and paste in the gaps from the Gutenberg version if it was abridged. And cite the translator's name on the page where you transcribe the story if possible to indicate your diligence, and the evidence you presented here will be preserved when this page is archived for anyone to check, if they so choose. And don't forget to exclude the editorial introduction if it's not in the Gutenberg edition. If you want to include the intro or present an abridged version, in the first case definitely, and in the second case probably you have to check a copyright database (see the examples and header at WS:COPYVIO) to see if the copyright expired. 08:09, 28 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have no real desire to copy the introduction since it's mostly metacomments about the work itself, rather then the contents. My intent was (if this isn't violatory) to transcribe just the text itself from the book into here. 21:32, 28 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You sounded like a novice, so I did the copyright search for you. There are copyright renewals of 14 different versions of Swiss Family Robinson on the Stanford Copyright Database, but none of them share the editors' names of your version (that I found on WorldCat) or were first copyrighted in 1947. That absence on the Database is exactly the kind of evidence that permits works to remain on Wikisource when challenged at WS:COPYVIO. So common Wikisource consensus says you can go ahead with your transcription if you wish. 05:20, 29 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wait a minute...You're the one who fixed the language in the PD-1923 template! You're not a novice, you're a ringer! 05:33, 29 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ahh, excellent. I checked the two listed DBs and found nothing, but didn't want to double post. 17:10, 29 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Correction (and double post!), had fixed: I got reverted. 17:31, 29 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There should be no problem with the version you have included. It would be extremely unlikely that two translators with come up with two identical paragraphs with the same Victorian stylistics. A new translation would require creative elements. Minor corrections of spelling or punctuation would not be sufficiently creative. Some may introduce spelling errors, etc. in order to test whether the material is being copied, but that would not generate a new copyright. Publishers who reprint such works often will put in an introduction in order to justify a copyright notice; that leaves the user with the problem of figuring out what is and isn't copyright, and most people are very conservative about that sort of thing. Another thing that could be copyrighted are such things as layout, choice of typeface, and the addition of flying heads. Those are of no interest or meaning on a wiki page, but could make a digitized version of such editions infringements. Eclecticology 01:47, 30 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Started at The Swiss Family Robinson. 01:31, 1 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]