Wikispooks talk:Importing From Wikipedia

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Discussion started following observations by User:Geo Swan here and here.

I agree that credit where credit is due is a good maxim and one which Wikispooks should make every effort to adhere to honestly. That said, every effort risks a descent into legalistic trivia. I'm satisfied that, to property credit a source, site/date is probably sufficient in the vast majority of cases. On the question of imported Wikipedia pages that have been or MAY be deleted, my feeling is that to preserve the editing history purely for the purposes of individual contributor attribution is not necessary. Why? As publisher a balance has to be struck. The main considerations as I see them are:

  1. The number of pages likely to be involved
    • likely to be small in relation to the entire site contents.
  2. The sensitivity of their contributors to attribution preservation.
    • Again likely to be small in relation to the entire contributor cohort
  3. Available contributor recourse where he/she feels aggrieved at alleged/possible Wikispooks non-attribution
    • Ranges from threat of legal-action (I consider such a possibility negligible) to complaint (complaints would/will be dealt with objectively and appropriate action taken if judged valid)
  4. The likely size of the item 3 issue.
    • Tiny - considering the average ratio of layout/tidying/typo edits versus substantive original work.

So we have a tiny proportion of pages of which a tiny proportion of contributors MAY have an issue, all but a vanishingly tiny proportion of whom could be dealt with by way of a sympathetic hearing to a complaint - All that discounts malicious intent of course, but that kind of attack is not deflected by careful attention to the minutia of attribution and licensing anyway.

There are clearly other reasons for wishing to preserve contribution history but, on balance, I feel it an unnecessary imposition to do so as a matter of policy just for attribution/licensing reasons.

Comments anyone?

--Peter P (talk) 07:28, 16 February 2014 (GMT)--Peter P (talk) 07:28, 16 February 2014 (GMT)

If page importers want to attribute stuff then putting the history in the talk page as Geo Swan has done seems fair enough, though for non-deleted pages, a link to Wikipedia achieves the same end more simply. I suspect that few contributors actually care either way whether their usernames are attached (I don't), but any that do could always request an attribution. Overall, Occam's razor inclines me to not bother importing contributor histories unless there's a special reason. Robin (talk) 15:39, 19 February 2014 (GMT)
I've cogitated further. From the perspective of a publisher concerned about legalities and with whom any conceivable liability would rest, I do not think imported page histories are necessary. That can be added to the appropriate policy document. If an individual contributor wishes the history to be included, for whatever reason, then they are free to put it on a relevant talk page and should put an appropriate comment and link on the main page --Peter P (talk) 10:55, 20 February 2014 (GMT)
  • Thanks.
When I started to port articles I started from the wikipedia to other wikis I was surprised at how often, even though there had been dozens of edits, none of them added significant new content. Adding templates, references, wikilinks -- all useful, but not intellectual content eligible for intellectual property rights protection.
In Feist v Rural the SCOTUS ruled a mere list of facts, like a phone book, couldn't be protected by copyright. The SCOTUS ruled that it was irrelevant how long a list of facts took to compile, so long as it did not contain a spark of creativity. FWIW, some other nations, like Australia, have a "sweat of the brow", interpretation of copyright.
IMO fully completed {{cite}} templates, and {{infobox}}en are examples of lists of facts, and so those who contributed them are not entitled to attribution.
If I port something from the wikipedia, and, in my opinion, I was the sole author of its intellectual content I won't bother listing the other contributors. If I port something where others made an intellectual contribution, I will attribute the other contributors, without expecting anyone else to follow suit.
Cheers! Geo Swan (talk) 18:13, 21 February 2014 (GMT)