Some images on Wikipedia have, in their description, an explanation that they are Public Domain. I have taken this to mean that they are not under copywrite and may be reproduced. However I want to clarify that since I have added such an image to Odin, and other photographs are on various pages such as JFK, Bill Clinton, Macbeth, and so on. Also because I'm trying to find a good ancient Egyptian image of Anubis, and I need to be absolutely clear what Public Domain means. -- Vaevictis Asmadi 21:40, 19 December 2007 (CST)
- My question -- and that's all it is -- is not whether the image is public domain (since it clearly is) but whether the PHOTOGRAPH of the image is public domain?
GNU and quoting Wikipedia
The question has come up here (Talk:ChacIxChel) whether it is legal, and separately whether it is advisable or preferable, to use exact quotes from Wikipedia in our articles. Supermorff is of the opinion that it is not illegal because Wikipedia belongs to the GNU license, however having read the Wikipedia article about GNU, I think that we cannot legally copy any GNU material without licensing our own webpage under the GNU. Also, separate from the legal issues, I don't feel comfortable using unattributed exact quotes in any case.
I'm not familiar enough with the legal stuff to figure this out, but I believe it needs to be discussed, our legal obligations need to be clear -- personally, I want to know for myself what I can and cannot write here, and I'm sure I'm not the only person who isn't sure of the rules. Maybe something should go in the Gargwiki Policy page. -- Vaevictis Asmadi 19:55, 21 June 2007 (CDT)
GNU or gnot, it seems to me that unattributed exact quotations is the definition of plaigarism. Cut and dry. Our standards should be that high, I would think. -- gdw (Course, I just quoted Monty Python in the comic without attribution but (a) it's character dialogue and (b) I DO hope people get the reference and I would always acknowledge it if/when asked. I'm not sure why I think it's different, but somehow I do. Am I being a hypocrite? I'm honestly not sure.) gdw
- I've re-read the appropriate pages on Wikipedia, and have come to the conclusion (as Vaevictis has) that we cannot freely duplicate Wikipedia content on this website unless we agree to adopt the GNU license. I also believe that, even were this permitted, it would be preferable for members to write and add information themselves if they are able to do so. Nevertheless, where this is not feasible, it would be useful to know under what circumstances we are allowed to use information from other sources, such as Wikipedia.
- If we decide not to use the GNU license, let's assume that Wikipedia's information is copyrighted by somebody other than us (a gross simplification, I'm sure). Then we can still quote Wikipedia occasionally by adhering to Fair Use guidelines. The definition of Fair Use is pretty vague, but I think it basically means that if we use only a small amount of information (a couple of sentences per Wikipedia article, ideally from the opening paragraph) and reference Wikipedia (perhaps by linking to the appropriate pages as we generally do), then it should be perfectly acceptable. (This could still affect pages such as White House and United Nations, however.)
- Another, related problem if we choose to not adopt GNU involves the copyright of information on GargWiki. In particular, who holds the copyright, what liberties does this give (or deny) editors of the site, and under what circumstances is it acceptable to duplicate information on GargWiki? This is a thorny problem, and deserves deliberation.
- But first: Does GargWiki use (or intend to use) the GNU license? -- Supermorff 10:44, 22 June 2007 (CDT)
- I'm a little confused -- is it only that we can't quote directly, or that we can't use any information researched on Wikipedia, quoted or in our own words? -- Vaevictis Asmadi 21:15, 22 June 2007 (CDT)
- It's only a problem if we quote directly (not just for Wikipedia, but for copyrighted sources in general). I know I've used the word "information" rather badly above: I only meant that it could refer to more than just text. But, yes, only actually copying counts. -- Supermorff 04:24, 23 June 2007 (CDT)
- Personally, I don't see why we need anything like GNU. There's simply no need to duplicate text from Wikipedia (or ANYWHERE else) here, so this seems like a non-issue to me. I admit, I'm also very reluctant to adopt any legal framework that might complicate the way the wiki has operated thus far. It isn't broken, so why fix it? Jeb 23:59, 27 June 2007 (CDT)
- It would be more complicated if we didn't have a legal framework (of any kind), and then there was some kind of problem that required one. I'm just saying.
- What I'm not saying is that I think we need GNU. I don't. I don't think it would fit in at all with how GargWiki has been working thus far. But some sort of license (even if it's only "we don't copy from copyrighted sources without permission, our persistent use of Gargoyles information is not detrimental to the franchise, don't copy our work either") would not go amiss. My opinion only. -- Supermorff 05:39, 28 June 2007 (CDT)
- Jeb, the whole discussion started because some Gargwiki editors do copy directly from Wikipedia without citing their source, and Supermorff and I started arguing whether it is illegal and needs to be deleted and warned against. -- Vaevictis Asmadi 10:10, 28 June 2007 (CDT)
- I am aware of the problem of copying that prompted this thread. Quite simply, that shouldn't happen here. At best, it's lazy, and at worst, it's plagiarism, as cited above. As for a simple disclaimer/copyright statement... sounds like a good idea to me. I already created a basic "this is fair use" statement under the disclaimers/general disclaimer page, with text based loosely off its counterpart on my MOA site. Do you all think a modification of MOA's Copyrights page would work here? Jeb 18:46, 28 June 2007 (CDT)
- Yeah, that's pretty good. It does sound a bit heavy-handed - maybe tone down the fire and brimstone? But yes, I think it would work. Suggestion: specify that the date needs to be mentioned also, when copying from GargWiki. -- Supermorff 06:41, 29 June 2007 (CDT)
- I like it (but I'm a bit of a nut, so I had a go at modifying anyway). But I'm happy. -- Supermorff 10:25, 30 June 2007 (CDT)