Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia is free content

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Policy[edit]

While this page contains content that includes links to actual policies, it isn't a policy itself and I would challenge whether we need another policy when all of the content is covered under existing ones: WP:C, WP:NFCC. I don't think this page as it stands really adds anything beyond what can be read in WP:5P and the actual policies linked from it. Is it really needed? The existing pages cover the necessary details, and expansion would risk WP:CREEP. I think it would probably be better to turn this into a redirect to the appropriate section of WP:5P and remove the link from that page, as all it currently serves to do is reiterate the original. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 19:42, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

I agree with MRG. I also have a quibble with a basic point of the wording, as Wikipedia is not free content, it is freely-available licensed content. So in fact, editors do own articles, or at least they do own the creative content which they've added. Franamax (talk) 20:42, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Oh, I don't know about that. Of the 5 pillars, 3 have their own policy pages... WP:NPOV, WP:CIVIL, and WP:IAR. I know I'm making a WP:OSE style argument, but really what I'm trying to show is that there is precedent for a policy page on this topic. I think that simply copy/pasting the pillar definition isn't what we want here. But if there was a nice summary of the existing copyright policies for importing content, for images, and explaining the status of content after it is saved to WMF's servers, I think that would have a place as a policy page. This is a very confusing area of Wikipedia, and I think we could do better in explaining it to the uninformed. LivitEh?/What? 21:07, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
I think the point is that NPOV, CIVIL, and IAR are concepts that while can be summed up in a single sentence, do need to have some more room for discussion of what that point actually means (IAR particularly). On the other hand, being a free encyclopedia is pretty much what it says on the tin. There's probably one of the disclaimer pages that explain free content in detail which we can redirect to if needed, but I agree we don't need something like this here for this specific pillar. --MASEM (t) 21:54, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
This is one of our pillars. WP content is free as in beer, and free as in freedom. Just because there are restrictions on the way WP is used and edited doesn't mean that is not free. If I give away free steak knives, that doesn't mean recipients are allowed to go around stabbing people with them. I simply copy pasted the text from WP:FIVE due to conservatism: it was bold enough to create the page, adding original content would have got it speedied. It was not my intention that this page would stay static. --Surturz (talk) 18:28, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
I think WP:COPYRIGHT is a better page for the policy and don't see the need for extra. This page is more about principles rather than polcy. We already have a good principles page WP:5P plus a few not so good ones. I think this page should be deleted. Dmcq (talk) 23:41, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
"Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia" is one of the five pillars as well, but the separate page is not policy. It includes common-place practices that are also not explicitly policy like Wikipedia:Please do not bite the newcomers and Wikipedia:Spam. This particular pillar is a wonderful philosophy, but not everything inside of it is strictly within policy. Wikipedia:Plagiarism is a guideline; our "fair use" policy is actually stricter that fair use laws (WP:NFCC); we actually don't necessarily discourage all non-free content (quotes are often not only appropriate but demanded :)) and, as Franamax points out, while editors don't WP:OWN articles, they do own the content in them. They don't relinquish copyright, but license the material for reuse. Add to that, we can't really make it a policy that "all of your contributions can and will be mercilessly edited and redistributed" given that we can't guarantee that anything will be edited and redistributed. We can't even guarantee that it will be retained. :) It's a sound principle, but a promise we can't deliver. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 19:54, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Fair enough. It doesn't bother me whether the policy cat stays. However I think all the caveats you have listed are a strong reason to keep this page. Our current slogan is "the free encyclopedia", so it is good to have an article explaining (not necessarily defining) what we mean by free. Also I think while three of the pillars are often quoted in talk pages (WP:NPOV, WP:CIVIL, WP:IAR), rather than "WP is an encyclopedia", what gets used is its hideous twin WP:NOT, and this pillar is hardly quoted at all (except perhaps as WP:OWN and WP:COPYVIO). I think it would be good for editors to get back to basics and start finding common inspiration in WP:ENC and WP:ISFREE. --Surturz (talk) 22:29, 30 January 2012 (UTC)