Talk:HM Passport Office

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We're from the HM Passport Office - we actually have seven main offices rather than six (including Newport), as listed here: Please could you update? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:40, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

Edit of 26 September 2014[edit]

User @Pol098: added the following text to the article which I now have reverted as copyvio:

Following a fiasco involving a backlog of half a million applications—which was denied at the time—and long delays which led to the revelation that tens of thousands of applications had been stacked in a conference room, the Home Secretary announced that the Passport Office would cease to be an executive agency from 1 October 2014, and would be directly accountable to ministers.[1] A report by MPs on the home affairs select committee said that it had been a mistake to close overseas passport application centres and replace them with a centralised service in Britain. The report called for compensation for travellers out of pocket due to the delays. The agency's chief executive, Paul Pugh, said that he had considered resigning, but decided instead to see the agency through “tough times”.[1]

This is an important information IMHO and needs to be rewritten in own words and resinerted. Current version unfortunately contains whole sentences "borrowed" from The Guardian.

kashmiri TALK 19:36, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

As the person who made this addition, I'd appreciate some discussion on this. I'm always careful not to copy text verbatim, but to try to include the relevant information. In particular the statement above contains whole sentences "borrowed" from The Guardian is not true; there is not one single whole sentence copied verbatim. Mention of "tough times" is quoted from what Pugh said, not a Guardian turn of phrase. It must be borne in mind, both by those who make additions and those who criticise them, that it is perfectly OK to mention published facts, but not to copy wording. I'll listen carefully to any opinions, but would be particularly interested in those from people with a legal background. I'm not arguing or trying to get my wording into the article, but would like more than one opinion, for my own future guidance (I'm not concerned about the detail of this particular incident, but need to be sure not to overstep the line). (P.S. I've made a tiny edit to the above comment, made the references display in the right place, not at the end of this Talk page.) Best wishes, Pol098 (talk) 20:15, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
P.S. "This is an important information IMHO and needs to be rewritten in own words". I agree, this should be done reasonably soon. Could I encourage you to rewrite the information you deleted as of inappropriate form expeditiously, it needs to be there? Improve, don't destroy. Pol098 (talk) 21:07, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
P.P.S. I've reported myself to the copyright police, to see what they have to say. This is for my guidance, not any sort of dispute, Pol098 (talk) 21:47, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

I further note that there has as of yet been no response to this in the past couple of days, not from further opinions, not from the original complainer, not from my formal report. I think the appropriate response is simply to reinstate the text in its original form, and see if any new opinions are advanced—I agree with Kashmiri that the information is needed. If there are no further opinions, I will do this soon. Pol098 (talk) 09:14, 28 September 2014 (UTC)

I'm not a copyright policeman, more a sort of coffee-boy in the station. I saw the self-report by Pol098, and thought I'd see if there's anything I can say or do to help here. I'll try to tell it as I see it: it isn't a copyright violation; but it is uncomfortably close in a couple of places (I used this useful tool to compare; the phrases "but decided instead to see the agency through “tough times” " and "a mistake to close overseas passport application centres and replace them with a centralised" came up as present in both the article version and the source); "curly" quotes, as round "tough times", can sometimes be a sign that some copy-pasting has happened. You might consider making a few changes before restoring the passage to the article, and possibly running the DupDet tool over the final version as an extra check. Does that help? Great story, by the way! [[User:|Justlettersandnumbers]] (talk) 00:25, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you very much for that opinion Justlettersandnumbers. As I said, I'm not particularly interested in this particular issue, but guidance for me (and others) for the future. The situation seems to be that relevant and necessary information has been deleted here on grounds that someone though it might be a copy violation, but that it is not. It might have been better to report it directly, rather than act on personal opinion, but of course an editor can do whatever they want. I would suggest that someone reinstate the deleted information.

Re the suggestions: I think I'm quite good at avoiding violations (I've made a fair number of edits, and in only one case has there been doubt, where I deliberately copied a sentence verbatim, in quotes and I think attributed. I often copy and paste phrases from sources; I make a point of accurate quotation, and frequently edit text to make it closer to the meaning of the source, using brief verbatim phrases ("in quotes" where relevant) as required. (I usually replace curly quotes with straight ones, for style not disguise, and obviously forgot here.) In this case I'm quite happy that people concerned with copyright have looked at it and deemed it not to be a violation (I'm not worried about being close to the line, so long as it's on the right side. Expertise is about knowing how to make these judgements and mostly get them right).

Anyway, I think this information belongs here; it is not a copyright violation, so would suggest that it be reinstated as it was. Perhaps someone will attend to this, I'm not going to even approach an edit war on this. Pol098 (talk) 12:53, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
Hmm, I wasn't quite 100% clear, then. When I said "uncomfortably close" I should probably have said "too close for comfort"; there was in my opinion some unacceptable close paraphrasing, and your text does need some editing to remove that (specifically, the two phrases I've cited above). I think Kashmiri was right not to list this at WP:CP; adding a {{close paraphrasing}} tag to the page would have been a better option in this case. As before, I'd suggest making some changes, and then re-adding the text. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 17:25, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Justlettersandnumbers, that's exactly what I felt, too. Sorry I had very little time to expand on the topics. As Pol098 rightly noticed, I was imprecise as regards the extent of paraphrasing; but even if they were not entire sentences, IMHO the length of passages copied verbatim from the Guardian article warranted my request to rework them before publishing. It is all a relatively minor issue, so I won't go war about it, either. Still, if someone was willing to rewrite these few sentences so as to avoid entire phrases "borrowed" from the Guardian, that'd be much appreciated. Regards, kashmiri TALK 10:48, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, useful guidance, I'll definitely bear it in mind for future use; I've always been careful not to simply lift text, but will try to paraphrase more loosely. I have put a brief mention on my Talk page, in the spirit of full disclosure. Pol098 (talk) 10:56, 1 October 2014 (UTC)