Conservapedia talk:Copyright

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Dual users

As a dual user (and now a dual administrator) of Conservapedia and CreationWiki, I have some questions that I think every registered user of multiple Wikis should ask himself--and here is the best place to put the answers.

What obligations does a dual user labor under?

May a dual user submit content--and by "content" I mean that user's own words--directly to Conservapedia and to another Wiki?

If a dual user has already submitted content to another Wiki--say, CreationWiki--then how long does he have to submit that content to Conservapedia before having to do an extensive rewrite?

How extensive a rewrite would be required to avoid all questions of liability?

In asking these questions, I realize at once that some content requires an extensive rewrite because the "target audience" is not the same, and has different values and, for lack of a better term, needs. But if that situation does not apply, then a dual user might be tempted to submit exactly the same words to both projects. If a user is going to do that, then how many days apart may he do that and still stay within a legal definition of "a simultaneous submission"?

I am glad to have the opportunity to open a discussion on a topic of vital importance to Conservapedia. A firm policy on dual-user rights and obligations will go far to ensure that Conservapedia can get good content submitted to it.--TerryHTalk 12:15, 6 April 2007 (EDT)

Other Wikis embrace, mistakenly in my opinion, the copyleft approach. We do not. As a dual user, I suggest submitting to Conservapedia first because our copyright is less restrictive than other Wikis. If you submit to other Wikis first, then they might insist that impose the burdensome copyleft conditions on reuse of that material elsewhere. We impose no such requirements.--Aschlafly 13:46, 6 April 2007 (EDT)
  • Just on the broader point of comparing it to Wikipedia's license... Differences with Wikipedia and Wikipedia copyright both currently say that contributing material to Wikipedia prevents the author from re-using their work elsewhere. This is manifestly untrue. By U.S. law, authors automatically own the copyright to their work, and the GFDL has no clauses that reassign copyright ownership to anyone else.    If I write a poem all by myself, license it under the GFDL, and post it to Geocities, then I still own the copyright. The same holds for Wikipedia.     Wikipedia authors can and do multiply-license their works under other licenses in addition to the GFDL, which can include licenses that are more restrictive than the GFDL. --Interiot 13:57, 6 April 2007 (EDT)
That's not correct to the extent your work has been edited on other Wikis. I don't know if you are right about your unedited original work and what Wikipedia or other Wikis may require as a condition of submission there. The provisions governing submission on those websites would need to be checked.--Aschlafly 14:09, 6 April 2007 (EDT)
I should think that any contributor who built his contribution on his own machine, or otherwise re-created his original submission prior to any edits, would satisfy the original-submission requirement. Happily, any Wiki has a history section that preserves the source code of every version of every article since its creation, or perhaps fifty edits back. All that a user has to do is look back to how his article looked before anyone else edited it (not counting immediate reverts) and then view and copy the source. I maintain that a contributor who does that, should be able to dual-submit. But I agree--once the article has been edited by another person, it's not that submitter's original work product anymore.--TerryHTalk 14:16, 6 April 2007 (EDT)


As I (not a legal type - this comes from my experience as an artist and a writer in dealing with copyrights) understand it there are two issues here - original work and deritive work. In the case of original work, unless you assign the copyright or "irrevocably waive and relinquish all copyrights"[1] you own the copyright. You are free to license it however you want. You can put it on a gdfl wiki and you can publish it in a book, and that is not an issue (some publishers may want exclusive publishing rights in which case having published the material at a wiki means they won't be interested in it). The only thing you have to be aware of is that someone else can come along and use the material in a way granted by the gdfl and they are not violating your copyright. If the material is a deritive work - it is edits based on other edits of someone else's work, while you own the copyright to the edit, you have to abide by the licensing of the parent work - if it is gdfl, then that means if you want to publish the material you have edited, then it is also under the gdfl. --Mtur 14:17, 6 April 2007 (EDT)
I think both Terry and Mtur are right. Thanks also to Interiot for alerting us to this aspect of the issue.
By the way, those you who have influence with other wikis might persuade them to abandon their burdensome "copyleft" or gdfl licensing requirements.--Aschlafly 14:30, 6 April 2007 (EDT)
Could you remove that disconcerting "irrevocably waive and relinquish all copyrights" bit here? As an artist that kind of scares me. --Mtur 14:32, 6 April 2007 (EDT)
I've clarified it for you, but I don't see how to change what's in quotations without allowing people to cause problems in protesting copying of their entries. Do you have a suggestion consistent with the purpose of a wiki?--Aschlafly 14:38, 6 April 2007 (EDT)

From Wikipedia on multi licensing

Wikipedia:Multi-licensing

All text edits to Wikipedia fall under the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) with the copyright being retained by the original author.

This edit[2] is not correct in that manner.

1. We allow broader reuse of our material than Wikipedia does. By entering information on Wikipedia you are actually losing rights to your own material to the extent anyone else edits it, as you cannot then copy your entry for use elsewhere without complying with Wikipedia's burdensome copyright restrictions.

You still own the original material even after it has been edited. (ps: could you make that a wiki style numbering instead? It should make your life easier if you ever want to insert a point between it or if you use a local style sheet to change how ordered lists are presented) --Mtur 14:39, 6 April 2007 (EDT)

OK, you're right. I made it this: "you irrevocably consent to the display, copying, reuse or editing of your information, edits and entries, with or without attribution." And I'll fix the numbering also. Thanks.--Aschlafly 14:42, 6 April 2007 (EDT)
That is much better. Thank you. --Mtur 14:44, 6 April 2007 (EDT)

Can Wikipedia (or any Wiki) Stop Copying of Entries?

One editor here has suggested that Wikipedia (and other Wikis) never own any rights in any of their entries, and that Wikipedia (and other Wikis) cannot stop any copying of their entries even if in violation of the GNU license. Wikipedians, do you have a view on this? (We don't want to copy any Wikipedia here but this is relevant to our own copyright policies).--Aschlafly 19:51, 6 April 2007 (EDT)

Well, though I'm technically still a registered user of Wikipedia, I must disclaim anything more than a passing acquaintance with Wikipedia's copyright policies.
But I am an administrator at CreationWiki, and I am in at least weekly contact with their Chief Bureaucrat, Christopher W. Ashcraft. He says that he won't accept any verbatim copies from Conservapedia to his site, and he has advised all of us on his end not to copy stuff that we did not write over here. (As to things we did write--well, he doesn't mind dual submissions, and he said that simultaneous submissions are perfectly permissible as a matter of law. But I think he would agree with you, Andy, that we must submit our own words before anyone else edited them.)
Frankly, that's about all that matters. I'll tell you how I use Wikipedia: I go to their sources whenever possible, and where that's not possible, I rewrite. In fact, most of the time, I couldn't accept their content, because they have a POV that I don't share. And even as regards my dual submisions here and at CreationWiki, I can't always write exactly the same thing here and there. This project and CreationWiki have two different target populations and two different scopes.
Now as to whether anyone can stop the copying: I suspect that they could. I'll give you an insight from another context: firmware for a wireless router. When the company that currently owns the Linksys name incorporated code from the Linux operating system in the firmware for their WRT-54G family of wireless combination access point/routers, the Free Software Foundation sent them a cease-and-desist order. Linksys concluded that they just couldn't keep that code proprietary anymore, so they released the code. The result has been the invention of a number of "alternative firmwares" for that device. But it has also set a precedent that "copyleft" provisions are enforceable.
And even if they couldn't go to court--well, I'd certainly hate to see any of our dual users get blocked for unlawful copying. That kind of misunderatanding would truly be a crying shame.--TerryHTalk 20:33, 6 April 2007 (EDT)

Photographs

To place a photo on wikipedia, you have to have specific proof that you have the copyright holder's permission to post it. Here, you can post any photograph. That's a violation of copyright law. Czolgolz 01:39, 9 April 2007 (EDT)

Are you sure? The Sysops monitor all photograph submissions, and insist that everyone provide that proof in a free-text field. We also warn people that photograph submissions not in accord with our guidelines are subject to deletion. Wikipedia offers a menu of copyright-rationale choices. Perhaps Conservapedia would be well-advised to construct something similar, if only to make things easier on uploaders. But "anyone can post" is not a violation per se. Retaining a photograph in our image archive that we shouldn't have--now that might be a violation.--TerryHTalk 08:36, 9 April 2007 (EDT)

time to grow up?

Is Conservapedia mature enough yet to remove "To compare this with Wikipedia's more restrictive copyright policy, see Wikipedia copyright." from this page? We don't compare it to the copyright policy of the US government, or of paper encyclopaedia publishers, so comparing to Wikipedia here is not really helpful either.

I see this page is not presently protected, but it probably should be, as I believe only the site owner should change its copyright notice. --Scott 21:46, 13 April 2007 (EDT)

Thanks, I protected it at your suggestion.
As to your substantive comment above, Wikipedia's copyright requirements are burdensome. Conservapedia's copyright allows much broader and easier reuse. This is factual, well-supported, and no one seems to dispute it. Users should be aware of this.--Aschlafly 14:01, 14 April 2007 (EDT)
Thanks. If Conservapedia is supposed to be an alternative to Wikipedia, it shouldn't need to compare itself on every page. Someone wanting to know under what conditions they are contributing here, or whether they can reuse something found here, doesn't need or want to read the comparison any more than at the end of point 1 (revocable) "This is different to material published by the US Government which is released to the public domain and can be used for any purpose without restriction." or "Encyclopaedia Brittannica does not allow reuse of their published material." --Scott 19:34, 14 April 2007 (EDT)

Self-defense?

This licence is simpler that the GFDL only at the expense of the vagueness inherent in the sentence "This license is revocable only in very rare instances of self-defense, such as protecting continued use by Conservapedia editors or other licensees." Much of the GFDL licence document is concerned with enumerating the precise conditions you must meet in order to be sure that that your right to use the material will not be revoked. By maintaining the right to revoke the licence under the poorly-defined grounds of "self-defense" users can't be sure that they actually have the right to use the material; Nor can they be sure that a use that is permitted at one time might be disallowed at a future time. In this sense the Conservapedia license is less free than the GFDL. I suggest that this clause is replaced with a BSD-style "no endorsement" clause.--Jalapeno 04:12, 15 May 2007 (EDT)