User talk:Ram-Man/archive5

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Bread crumbs leading to NYC Meetup[edit]

I just added "Wikipedia:Meetup/NYC" to the bottom of my User Page on the principle that the more "bread crumbs" we leave about leading to the NYC Meetup, the more likely it is that people will learn about it and show up. Dennis (talk) 17:18, Dec 10, 2004 (UTC)

Repent and change your ways! WikiSpam is not the answer. Follow me, and I shall lead you to salvation! ;-) Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 18:47, Dec 10, 2004 (UTC)
I saw this and I wouldn't have heard of it otherwise... - Omegatron 18:54, Dec 10, 2004 (UTC)
I was being somewhat sarcastic, but I'm glad you've now heard of it. Actually considering the traffic this talk page has been getting over the past few days, just placing it on my talk page is better advertising than putting it on my user page! Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 18:57, Dec 10, 2004 (UTC)


Hi, Neutrality and I are engaged in an edit war. He has also contributed to a request for arbitration (and RfC) against me. He has just blocked me.

Please note that the block occurred just after I had discovered a new RfAr against myself, and was starting to provide rebuttals to it.

I consider this an abuse of his adminship.

Could you look into this action, and consider whether un-blocking me is appropriate? CheeseDreams 23:14, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I don't know if this is an abuse and it appears as if the arbitration com has granted a temporary injunction, or close to it. Just lay low for a period of time and take a breather. It isn't the end of the world if your edits or complaints have to wait some time. Wait till things calm down. You should then be given a chance to air your grievances. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 23:26, Dec 10, 2004 (UTC)
I don't remember the Arbitration committee granting a temporary injunction
I only discovered the Arbitration request by chance today, so I haven't even been allowed to make any defence
What I am concerned about is Neutrality's lack of neutrality and asserting his POV by blocking me, without any authority to do so, and in violation of Wikipedia:Blocking policy#What is not allowed (or whatever the section is called)
I have NEVER been notified of any Arbitration committee request or injunction.
Would you mind checking out whether Neutrality is acting in accordance with policy or a formal ruling/injunction,
Or whether he has in fact violated policy, and thus I ought to be re-instated as an allowed editor
?CheeseDreams 23:47, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

You are correct that the Arb Com has not yet enacted a temporary injunction, but they are close to, and I don't want to take the fall for a decision that may stand. Now if Neutrality did violate Wikipedia policy, I can't enforce any punishment on him. However, you will be given an opportunity to state your case. It may not be this very minute, but it may be in 24 hours, which given the controversy you should be able to handle. If it was unfair, it will be bearable. But if Nuetrality was in violation and is found guilty after a review, his punishment would be more than 24 hours! If you continue to stir up controversy, including defending yourself, you may be blocked even with your IP. I highly recommend just sitting on this until things calm down, even if you are totally innocent and a victim. I can't do anything else for you, especially if you are not willing to follow my advice. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 23:45, Dec 10, 2004 (UTC)

I was always under the impression that controversial topics were, well, controversial. I don't see why I should be forced to support a POV cabal's opinion of an article, or is controversy against policy?
But if I am totally innocent and a victim, then why should I have to wait?
For example, innocent prisoners are immediately released if found to have been imprisoned by a corrupt policeman by the policeman's colleagues.
CheeseDreams 00:00, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)

According to [1] there is no injunction, so could I please be unblocked? CheeseDreams 00:30, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Article Licensing[edit]

Thanks for the info. I'm confused though about the various CC licensing options, they're not explained very well, like what is the difference between 1.0 and 2.0 or even {{MultiLicenseWithCC-By-All}} Spinboy 20:04, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Nevermind, I figured it out and selected the {{MultiLicenseWithCC-ByNCSA}} Spinboy 20:15, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Changed my mind again, I'm gonna leave it GDFL and sleep on it, it is all way too confusing. Spinboy 20:36, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)
A fine idea. Just let me know what you decide. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 20:36, Dec 10, 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for the info Ram-Man. I have to say I'm a little ignorant when it comes to licensing/legal issues on the 'Pedia, but it does sound like a good thing. In either case, it makes my rather drab User page look a little more interesting. Cheers. --DropDeadGorgias (talk) 20:17, Dec 10, 2004 (UTC)

  • Thanks for the info - I'm now {{DualLicenseWithCC-BySA-Dual}}. --[[User:Whosyourjudas|Whosyourjudas\talk]] 20:43, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Good initiative, Ram-Man! I wasn't really aware of these licensing issues. I've decided to release my non-userspace edits under CC-by-sa too. Sietse 20:59, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I've added the statement you suggested to my user page. ike9898 21:15, Dec 10, 2004 (UTC)

Dear Ram-Man,
No, you can't do this: make your robot "go crazy" all over wikipedia (at least 2000 half-page edits if I understand you well), and then state you're out for the weekend (even if it's for something important like the NYC meetup).
Please revert your bot crazyness, "stopping" it half-way through is not enough.
--Francis Schonken 08:47, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Remaining Neutral[edit]

I'll remain neutral with regards to this licensing thing: from what I've heard, it's a complicated scenario, and I am not that well-informed of the situation. kelvSYC 02:20, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Count me in[edit]

Hi Ram-Man, I agree to multi-license my articles. BigT27 02:35, 2004 Dec 12 (UTC)

Dual License[edit]

I went ahead and did it. I don't care what peopl do with my work product. We are here to create knowledge for everybody, after all. Nelson Ricardo 01:34, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)


It is on my user page. -Vsmith 01:26, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I'll accept, permission given to use any of my contributions. Grunners 01:43, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Could you please take a look at these diffs, [2] [3] [4], particularly the third, and consider whether Lady Tara should be blocked?CheeseDreams 20:48, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I'm completely unrelated to this, but going by the latest comment, I'd say that a warning or temporary block is in order.

More Licensing[edit]

Done at my page (PD). Thanks for asking and for providing the copy-paste text. That is: thanks for programming the bot and keeping it running :) Good luck. Pfortuny 09:08, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

BTW I do not know whether you asked for a personal opinion. Trash teh GFDL and the GPL and encourage people to put their work into the public domain and to get paid for work-not-code (work-not-text etc...). Pfortuny 09:10, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

This seems like a good idea. I have agreed to put my contributions in the public domain. Not that there are a lot of them... - Sandman 11:01, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Hi Ram-Man, I have also agreed to release my work into the public domain. Raj2004 12:53, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I'm in ({{MultiLicenseWithCC-BySA-Any}}). [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 06:37, Dec 13, 2004 (UTC)

I have agreed to dual-licence my contributions into the Public Domain and have placed {{MultiLicensePD}} atop my user page. Thanks for your dedication, sir. --Alexwcovington 07:23, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Sorry about this delay - I've had some other concerns lately.
First, I am not averse to that the articles I've written would be used in Wikitravel. However, the only suitable ones would be couple of stubs about archaeological places outside USA - Sagalassos and Augusta Raurica are tourist destinations as well (thought I would not advise anyone to go to Ciudad Perdida right now). Capuchin catacombs of Palermo could be borderline. However, in general, I'd rather stick to GFDL in other articles. - Skysmith 07:57, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I saw a lot of other people have made negative comments about this, so I just thought I'd let you know even though you haven't contacted me about this. I prefer the Creative Commons license to the GFDL. I think it's a bit sad so many people misunderstand the ramifications (or lack of them) of what you're proposing. Johnleemk | Talk 19:12, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I also support it and appreciate the efforts you've put in. Thanks! — Matt Crypto 00:40, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I also prefer the CC licenses to the unFree GFDL, and would like to point folks to the draft Debian position statement on the issue, which is the best summary of the problems with the GFDL that I am aware of. Note that I have chosen not to offer my text under the (also non-Free, albeit for different reasons) BY-NC-SA license.
On the meta-issues, I don't mind having been contacted via my talk page; I can't think of a better way to reach a large subset of the active contributors. I think it would have been better to point people to documents describing the differences among the various licenses suggested, so that they could make informed decisions even if they weren't already familiar with the licenses involved. I'm not totally confident of the Freeness of the CC licenses, although they're clearly better than the GFDL; neither do I understand the differences between the 1.0 and 2.0 licenses. If anyone knows of any discussion of these concerns, I'd appreciate a pointer.
Zack 04:29, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I am fine with dual licensing. Yann 08:23, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I am also fine with dual licensing. Cheers. --Khendon 13:23, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

No problem with dual licensing either. I've copied {{DualLicenseWithCC-BySA-Dual}} on my userpage. D.D. 15:48, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Happy to go with Option 1 licensing. --mervyn 13:47, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Me too Tiles 08:36, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Article licensing... I'm going to have to say no, at least for now. I actually like the CC licences, but I'm just not happy that I know what your proposed change would actually mean. For example, I note from elsewhere on this page that articles with a substantial anonymously-contributed section can't be dual-licensed. If, and only if, there is a clear explanation in plain English as to what this would mean, I'll consider it. If legalese means that such a clear explanation is not possible, then I'll stick with GFDL - rather one bit of lawyerspeak than two. Loganberry 14:49, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Not interested. I also think this is a bad idea for Wikipedia. Tempshill 00:13, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I'm going to hold off decision for now, which in practice I suppose is a "no". I'm not really saying "no", just saying I don't feel I understand the issues involved well enough to make an informed decision. This seems to be instigated by something about Wikitravel. Can't Wikitravel simply adopt the GFDL? It also seems to me that unless this is done uniformly, it would be very cumbersome. Most (one calculation was about 95%) articles have anonymous contributions, so few articles would be completely covered, even if all 2000 top editors agreed. I would feel a lot more comfortable if there was some discussion on the mailing list I could turn to for reaction, or if it was brought up on less of a case-by-case basis. So, for now, I'm holding off. I'm sure this is an earnest attempt to do go, I just don't know enough about it yet. Revolver 01:17, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Hi. I've added a "Multi-licensed with the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License versions 1.0 and 2.0" to my user page. In all honesty, I don't know whether it will make much difference (I don't really understand the issues), but I don't really see any harm in me agreeing. -- Vardion 04:49, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Do you know what the legal situation is with v1.0 vs. v2.0 of by-sa? I have released under the latter since it seems much improved, but am concerned with whether there is "compatibility" with the former, used by WikiTravel, etc. If not, I might add also the former, but they "should" be compatible. VeryVerily 07:16, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I'm a defender of GFDL only, as far as my contributions to Wikipedia are concerned.

I'm a defender of full copyleft too. I was the one who wrote down the distinction between "full" copyleft and "partial" copyleft in the copyleft article, since I know that many of the licenses Creative Commons have in their basket ar not full copyleft. I admire the Creative Commons initiative greatly, you know, because it allows artists etc... to use the license most appropriate for what they want to do. But as far as Wikipedia is concerned: full copyleft only. I hadn't yet the opportunity to check the alternatives you propose today, whether they are full copyleft or not. I hadn't yet the opportunity to check whether there is no incompatibility in the licenses that are proposed for dual licensing now (I don't know whether the GNU website has a compatibility/incompatibility list for GFDL as they have for GPL). Yes, I know, I should make some time for that, but there are many other things going on too. But I promise, as soon as I can I'll be getting involved on this issue.

Further, I'd advise you to have a look at User:Jimbo Wales/Statement of principles, especially point 5 of that page, and the intro that reads something like "this is how Wikipedia will be run". Well, this text by Jimbo is several months old. So maybe his views on GFDL are not as strict any more as they used to be. But let there be no doubt: you'll have to convince Jimbo (and the Wikimedia Foundation board) too, if you want to carry on with this initiative.

--Francis Schonken 08:07, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Share the wealth. I'm in. The tag will be up momentarily.

I'm in as well. --Iowahwyman 17:20, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  1. please do not write here but on my German discussion page. You may write in English, German or Polish. Thanks a lot. ...Sicherlich 17:16, 4 Sep 2004 (UTC) .. it is written on my talk page ... so please .. do not wrtie there...
  2. i dont know what you want from me!?! ...Sicherlich 08:16, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

My edits have always been in the public domain. I first formally declaired so here [5], May 24, 2004. Darrien 08:21, 2004 Dec 11 (UTC)

I'll stick with the GFDL. Rsduhamel 08:38, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I've added "MultiLicenseMinorPD". Maurreen 09:06, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for bringing up the question of multi-licensing. To tell the truth, I didn't know about the incompatabilities that existed. I have released my contributions under all CC licenses with {{MultiLicenseWithCC-By-All}}. --Slowking Man 09:14, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)

Feel free to do what you like with the USA! Thortful 09:44, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Approached by Ram-Man as one of the top 2000 users, as well as a prolific maker of geographical articles about the environs of Melbourne, Australia, I decided to think over the issues involved. The below is my honest and principled opinion adter I have tried to consider.
I was pleased with the idea that WikiTravel (to make an example) may use and improve our articles. :I have not done any US edits, so that part does not concern me too much, except for the principle of the thing. My principled decision is now to go with Creative Commons in preference to FDL. Information wants to be free - I do believe that. I have found the FDL hard to enforce in practice though I support it very much in principle. Of course I will respect multi-licenced articles and encourage others to do the same, but I respect FDL. In practice it has worked for me very well over the past eight months. I am very excited about many psychology sites using our Wikiwork, as well as those of children's literature. I can see that it has applications beyond geography!
My decision is effective as of December 11 2004 (AEST), and it is in favour of Creative Commons. I will indicate such on my user page.
Postscript: Would you be able to make a page just about who has agreed and who has not? The ordinary talk page is getting very unwieldy. I will respect your decision if not.

EuropracBHIT 10:07, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC).

Thanks for bringing up the question of multi-licensing. I have released all my contributions under all CC licenses with {{DualLicenseWithCC-BySA-Dual}}. --Darwin 10:10, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

How about this one Option 1 I agree to multi-license all my contributions, with the exception of my user pages, as described below:

Multi-licensed with the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License versions 1.0 and 2.0
I agree to multi-license my text contributions, unless otherwise stated, under Wikipedia's copyright terms and the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license version 1.0 and version 2.0. Please be aware that other contributors might not do the same, so if you want to use my contributions under the Creative Commons terms, please check the CC dual-license and Multi-licensing guides.

SpookyMulder 10:15, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Hi. Good for you Ram-man, in raising the CC license to such a high profile on Wikipedia. :) Much of my writing on my personal home page has been CC-licensed for some years, and I've happily added a CC license to my user page on Wikipedia tonight.

That said, I think you could have made your bot-posted 'Article Licensing' just a wee bit shorter. Perhaps by posting a short request, and a link within Wikipedia to an explanation of the complexities of the issue, and to the following discussions? Guess what I'm saying is that I'm not opposed to what you did; I'm more concerned others will follow your example, and we may then have a flurry of bot-spam-on-talk-pages hit the Wikipedia. :) Cheers, Madmagic 10:34, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)

Hello. I prefer to keep all my contributions as GFDL, unless I mark them otherwise. - Mark 10:58, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I formally put my contributions into the public domain. -- TheGrza

..., except user/talk and with the addition of a requirement to credit Wikipedia (rather than me) Icundell 12:08, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Edit. — Jeandré, 2004-12-11t13:07z

For I am more active in Ja: and they do not allow CC, I can just use GFDL or PD... I am sorry. --Ramendra 13:28, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Does not the Japanese version of Wikipedia allow their contributors to use CC licenses in addition to GFDL? What are the reasons for that? I am just curious. --xDCDx 16:08, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I joined Wikipedia because all the information it contains is free to all. Licensing any content would pretty much destroy that principle, so I can't do this. -- The KoG | Talk 14:22, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)

My contributions may be used for other Wiki projects. -- The KoG | Talk 19:09, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)

Hi, I have added the Multi-Licensing template. Let information be always free. I hope this new license does not create problems for the wikipedia in terms of licensing or related issues. Besides, all this while I thought that all contributions on the wikipedia could be used by anyone. Robin klein 15:02, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I don't really understand this, but I have no reason to be a holdout. PS: you'd do well to create a subpage with some kind of clear tallying format. Gazpacho 15:25, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Hi, Public Domain for me. I never checked this out too carefully before today, but I had assumed that Wikipedia "free" = "public domain". Actually, I'm a bit disappointed to find out that Wikipedia isn't in the Public Domain. Thanks --Confuzion 15:30, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I've also released my contributions into the public domain. It's not "my" knowlege to begin with, so let those who need it, have it. McMullen 16:16, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Does the licensing info have to be on my main user page, or can I hide it away in a subpage such as User:GK/Licencing? [[User:GK|gK ¿?]] 15:39, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I am no licenses expert, but I would want to use ByNCSA rather than BySA, is this useful to Wikitravel too? Which CC licenses are compatible between each other? --xDCDx 16:01, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I was wondering if you discussed this thing at the Wikipedia mailing list (or anywhere else) before you went around putting it on everyone's page. If you did I'd love to know what was the general view. If you did not - this is a tremendous waste of time. Frankly I don't care what licence wikipedia uses (or I use.) I'd go dual-licence the day the wikipedia community does so by consensus. Otherwise it does not look like a smart idea to me. If say 50% wikipedians did agree to dual licence and a wikitraveler came here for say information about Timbuktu he would have to go through the entirety of history and know about the licence used by every contributor to be able to use some exact text and that would be a horrible pain in the neck. So do it the proper way - everybody or nobody. Besides seriously I am sure Jimbo wont give a heck if wikitravel used our content and released it in Commons. For people who download entire movies from the net (I am talking about the current generation of Internet users and not wikipedians) we are not improving our ethics much by caring about the licence our own contributions are released in. --Ankur 16:38, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I have agreed to multi-liscense all my edits to Wikipedia (with some exceptions, of course) under the multi-liscense. Glad to help. Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 16:53, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

This is a great idea - thanks for taking the initiative! Intrigue 16:56, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Until I get better info about this project, I'm a NO.

1. I would like a better, clearer explanation of the change, and what the benefits would be. You're asking for a major change, and therefore IMO you have to make a compelling case.

2. I'm uncomfortable with a process that seems to be endrunning a fundamental founding principle of Wikipedia, GFDL. I remember all the back and forth we had on the logo, for instance. Why not a similar, more formal, more open process for this major change?

3. The claim of >90% agreement among the top 2000 users has not been substantiated. I would like to see a tabulation, name by name, so I could verify this claim. NuclearWinner 17:20, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I have no idea what exactly you are intending to do with the licensing thing so I can't answer either way. I will probally be a anyway suits me once I get a explanation though.

I was all set to do this on the grounds that what's good enough for Tuf-Kat is good enough for me. But reading the CC license makes it look to me as if it's too sticky to be good for a wiki page: any edits that other people make to my multi-licensed contributions would also have to be multi-licensed. Given that this would effectively limit future contributions to any Wikipedia page with my edits on it, I'm uncomfortable doing this, unless there's some convincing counterargument. --Matt McIrvin 17:49, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Good AM, Ram-Man: I'm one of those folks who is putting my stuff out there to put it out. As long as i can still be free to use my material were I to say, create my own website or write a book and as long as my images that I take and post remain my own [realizing that I'm releasing whatever version I choose to post here], count me in with the 90%, be it in fact 90, 80, 70, 60 ,50 40,30, 20,or 10%. i was not offended by your message and am not just content to go along with consensus. Go for whatever it is you're up to. Carptrash 17:52, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I'm not with you. --[[User:Valmi|Valmi ]] 18:21, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

CC is fine by me. i overheard on mirc something about cc-gfdl incompatibility, but gfdl 2.0 will be compatible? Whatever is fine with the wikipedia legal people is fine by me in concerns my contributions. Kevin Baas | talk 19:49, 2004 Dec 11 (UTC)

Ok, let me see if I understand this: The creative commons linscence allows other wiki's to use the work and allows other people in general to use the article. It does not conflict with the GNU Free Documentation Lincense. Asuming my explaination is correct, could you put in simple terms what the main difference between the two is? (I just want to make absolutly sure I understand this). TomStar81 20:23, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • Axe that, I didn't relise you had an FAQ thing at the top. OK, I'm in, but you need to work on makeing the dual linscence discription more user friendly. TomStar81 20:43, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Agree in principle, but am nevertheless not going with it. Why? Loopholes. It's already a problem for me that people can 'derive' work from GDFL (wink wink cough splutter) and then go on to restrict its use (money makes the world go round) which is why I'm firmly against releasing images, for example.

For the record, I do resent implications (not just from you) that those of us who don't release everything 'freely' to anyone have something wrong with our moral fibre. I make my living writing, so it is a big deal. I have no problem with Grandmama's sewing circle, Small Hometown Undefunded College Class, Little Janie doing homework or Mrs. Dibble's Sunday School using my work for their own or educational purposes. However, Big Bad Corporation X who really should know better and have the money to spare or Petit Entrepreneurial Schmuck making a quick buck while the impovrished artists doing all the work don't even get credit never mind a sou or two--well, I object and will not help them to be exploitative.

p.s. I wasn't in the least bit troubled by the 'spamming'.

Quill 20:58, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

As others have said, I'm surprised I'm in the top 2000. That said, I'm confused about the purpose of this licensing stuff. If {{DualLicenseWithCC-BySA-2.0}} is essentially the same as the GFDL, why do we need to do it? And I thought GFDL was the same as public domain, which the attribution part of CC-By-SA is different from. What's the point of it all? Doesn't it make things more confusing if some people have different premissions on how their work can be used? Also, wouldn't some people then start using more restrictive licenses than GFDL, so we couldn't use their contributions in the rest of Wikipedia? -- zandperl 21:36, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Thanks Ram-Man for your message, yes personally I'll be licensing my work outside Wikipedia on CC too, so I'm more than happy to make it my contributions via Attribution-ShareAlike dual too. - Mailer Diablo 22:15, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

My editing at Wikipedia is under whatever is the latest Wikipedia agreement about copyright and licensing. Wikipedia constantly warns people on the Editing page: "If you do not want your writing to be edited mercilessly and redistributed at will, do not submit it." How could any editor later complain about the copyright issue given this? Rather than ask each editor individually to acknowledge they agree to the copyright situation, shouldn't Wikipedia just keep an updated description of the latest copyright situation available at the front page and in the Editing page for each article? I never thought of my submissions as my personal property due to Wikipedia's unique situation that they try to describe in their faqs. Perhaps there is a way to make this more clear somewhere so that you don't also have to make all 100,000 editors post an agreement? Or else the agreement would be something agreed to in the log in agreement, and you could set wikipedia to not allow edits without logging in? Bebop 22:41, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I've dual-licensed my contributions. --Chessphoon 04:51, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I'm just set to multi-license my contributions. Thanks for the talk-page message, Ram-Man. -- Bobo192 05:43, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Hi. I certainly don't mind multi-licensing my work. I would not be contributing here if I wanted to restrict distribution of it in any way. So far I have not contributed to any of the articles you specified (U.S. counties, cities and states), but I'll add the multi-license tag to my user page as you suggested . Regards, Redux 05:43, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I want all of my material to remain in the GFDL license only. MShonle 05:54, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Absolutely, added the tag now. Thanks for doing this organization effort. - [[User:Cohesion|cohesion ]] 05:55, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)

Look, all my stuff is under GFDL. If WikiTravel or someone else wants to use it, they can, but they need to attribute the material by following the usual guidelines (e.g. linking to Wikipedia, importing history) etc - GFDL has served me well and I don't see why I should depart from it.

If you can give me one good reason why WikiTravel can't use the material to their own devices, explain in detail here please, or post back at my talk page. Enochlau 06:18, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I'm fine with dual-licensing myself. I don't know how to go about doing it, though. Rickyrab 06:23, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I wonder whether it might not be better to go public domain with my Wikipedia stuff, though. The trouble is, how would I keep someone else from copyrighting stuff I wrote? Rickyrab 06:29, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I personally do not care how my articles are licensed. I use creative commons for my music. However, this website runs on one specific license, so I think it should stay that way. On the other hand, I do think this is a good thing. --Beau99 06:49, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I'm going to read Creative commons license presently, but I kind of wish that your bot message or at least your FAQ at the top here had addressed the question: why isn't the creative commons license compatible with the GFDL? All you say is that it is different. in what way different? Is it a copyleft copyright license? is this analogous to the difference between the GPL and the LGPL in software? -Lethe | Talk

The FSF doesn't recommend the creative commons license? can you make a case for this license other than "it will allow others to take our work"? I am not inclined to concede permission at this stage. -Lethe | Talk

I'm complimented to hear that I'm one of the top 2000 wikipedians *insert embarassed smiley*

anyways, mind explaining it again to me, using smaller words? I'm a wee slow sometimes Pellaken 06:56, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Hi; I'd be glad to allow my submissions to be dual-licensed under the CC license. I have added a notice to this effect on my user page. (In fact, I'm a big fan of the CC license and am glad to see it propagating. Thanks for launching this effort!)

Cheers, Radgeek 08:01, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I've added the tag to my main page; I have no problem with the idea. --Xinoph 03:26, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)

Yeah, I'll do the same now. - Vague | Rant 03:31, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)
  • I've always favored public domain over copyleft, so I'm going with that. The one thing I'm not sure is going to go over well is that if Jimbo doesn't know about this (and the above talk indicates he doesn't) he may not take people people dual-licensing his site out from under him--although he might not see it that way, of course. -Litefantastic 03:49, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • PD from me too. (me bing -User:Grinner, I keep being logged put for some reason today.) 15:07, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I've added the Dual license as requested, for all but my user page, sub-pages and the associated talk pages. Silverfish 01:44, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Have also added dual license. I think this here is a good explanation why it is useful to support dual-licensing. Der Eberswalder 02:28, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I see no problem with the concept. It makes particularly good sense for wikitravel to have access to the geographic articles. I've agreed to dual license. RivGuySC 03:08, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

So what exactly are the differences between GFDL, CC-by-SA 1.0 and CC-by-SA 2.0? You give the impression that the only difference between GFDL and the rest is the name... --ZeroOne 02:13, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • I agreed to the {{DualLicenseWithCC-BySA-Dual}}. Dralwik 02:52, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • I also agreed. Good luck with the project. Sir Paul 02:54, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)
  • I agreed to multilicence. I'm no lawyer, Ive seen W content pu

popup in lots of places, so what's the problem? TonyClarke

Please see User talk:El C/Article Licensing for my response[edit]

Thanks. El_C 01:09, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

no spamming please[edit]

phe 01:51, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but I find the idea of claiming copyright on what is supposed to be a collaborative project to be against what Wikipedia stands for. I also do not appreciate the fact that you are spamming 2,000 talk pages to try to get this to happen; I believe this should be something that Wikipedia as a whole decides, not individual users. Why couldn't this have been a policy proposal? [[User:Mo0|Mo0[talk]]] 00:02, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Sentence1: Wikipedia uses the GFDL, go read Wikipedia:Copyrights. S2: It's not commercial and it's not email; it is however unsolicited, but then so are most of the comments in the talk namespace. I think it's much better for individuals to choose to add additional licences to their work (or not), than to have others decide for them afterwards. S3: It's not about changing policy, read the sections at the top of this page. — Jeandré, 2004-12-11t12:17z

Ok, I'm game. Guettarda 00:03, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Hi, just read your note re multi-licensing. I think this is a mistake. It opens a big bucket of worms, because (1) you'll never find all the authors of all the articles - some must be dead by now, and of course there have been lots and lots of edits by anonymous ip addresses; and (2) of those you do find, some will not agree.

Result: we end up with a WP where some articles are licensed one way, some another way, others still other ways. Public domain. CC. GFDL. Multiple. A mess, and a potential legal nightmare. Who would want to deal with that? I think we should keep it as it has been since inception: one license applies to the whole thing. Simple. Straightforward.

And what do you mean, above, when you say "we may be forced to change our license from GFDL to CC-by-sa"? Thousands of people have contributed work under the GFDL. No one can just "change" the license on that work without the authors' permission. The most anyone could do is say "we're starting over with this other license, let us know if you want to relicense your work so we can include it". Offhand, I'd guess maybe 25-40% of the articles would have few enough, alive enough, and cooperative enough authors for that to work. The rest would have to be rewritten.

I agree the GFDL is not a perfect license. But it has worked well enough. It ain't broke enough to justify fixing it this way.

Tualha 00:07, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

In the scenario where the FSF refuses to "fix" the GFDL, it is possible that Jimbo would support a move to CC-by-sa (I plan to ask him about this on Sunday). If that situation were to occur, this whole thing would cease to be academic. You are correct that we could not change, but it is possible to remove incompatible edits from articles. This could result in large swaths of articles not being usable. But really you're dealing with semantics and how you define "change". I'm really not that picky. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 00:12, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)
Let me take a step back here for a second. Even if Wikipedia stays GFDL forever (which would be ideal if the FSF fixes it!), then many users like myself would still want to share our articles with other projects that don't use the GFDL. It's a choice we make, but it's not a choice that everyone has to make. But everyone does need to be asked. This is not a drive to try and change Wikipedia. It is a drive to share. And it is TOTALLY OPTIONAL Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 00:29, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)

Licence added, not a big deal, I didnt read the GFDL either, I'm not proprietorial about what i type here either way, long as its useful. FT2 01:58, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)

Hey Ram-Man, thanks. Nice job there. I have already put {{MultiLicensePD}} on my user page. --Lst27 (talk) 00:21, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC) Same here. Cluster 00:28, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I'm already PDing all my contributions. I'm not using the standard template however as 1) I don't like its wording (aesthetically that is) and 2) I don't like the honking big category bar at the bottom of my user page. I'll have to hack up a __NOCATEGORYBAR__ statement some day, but until them I'm staying away from categorising my user page. --fvw* 00:47, 2004 Dec 11 (UTC)

Your long multi-user (to 2000 users...?) licensing message on my talk page got me to put a note at the top of the page to discourage people from spamming it. (I did think that was already supposed to be bad wikiquette). Please use the Village pump instead.--[[User:Bishonen|Bishonen (talk)]] 00:56, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I don't use the pump cuz I'm dialup and I can't stand to lose that much time. Same goes for some other pages that ought to have an add-section facility exactly like the comment link you have here. I'd probably pop more copyvios if it wasn'g such a @#$% hassle. It's easy to just drop in the {{copyvio}} slug and I've seen some pages where that is all that's been done. But it would be cool of there was an automatic method to pop you into the page where you list it. But that's probably not practical. It's probably better to have something in the boilerplate that comes up with that slug to generate a section like just happened with my other comment further down this page. ;Bear 01:32, 2004 Dec 11 (UTC)
Perhaps others on dial up rather not lose that much time by viewing spam left on their own talk pages. Perhaps everyone rather not lose the time from possible system strain if everyone decided they had no other choice but to use bots to leave comments on a thousand talk pages.--Paraphelion 18:06, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

In response to your request at my talk page; I have no opinion. Wikipedia can license my works as it see fits. Is there a category for this? Samw 00:57, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I dual-licensed my stuff (expect for my userpage and talkpages). :-) --Conti| 01:21, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)

Done. --H.K. 14:59, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Dude, listen.

  • Spamming me is BAD, m'kay. Even if I was going to be all sympathetic to your cause before, now I'm at best neutral.
  • Spamming across half my watchlist (I have a lot of talk pages on there for some reason), is probably not really a good idea.
  • GFDL is part of the founding principles of wikipedia. I think dual licencing kind of defeats the object. Especially the bit where you admit that dual licencing means that people can choose to NOT share alike. Hmm, maybe you're missing an essential clue here. :-)

You claim that 90% of the people are agreeing to this? Brrrr!

  • Is Jimbo Wales aware of this campaign?
  • Have you made sure that it's possible for the lawyers to untangle the web you're weaving?

I commend you on your efforts to get projects to work together, but I don't think this is the way. :-(

Kim Bruning 01:34, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Actually, as messy as this is, there is no other way for projects to work together with incompatible licenses. They simply can't share without individual users agreeing. I'm trying to get individual users to agree. I am not trying to change Wikipedia's license, so the founding principles will always be there. And if Jimbo does not know, I plan to ask him on Sunday at the WikiMeet. You'd be surprised how many people agree with me on this. But then, a lot of people disagree, and I respect that right! When I'm completed, I will have a list of all those people who want each option and it will be revealing. Obviously the statistics about who agrees and who doesn't change each moment. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 01:43, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)
I've tried to make it clear that their is no way possible that you can enforce share-alike to everyone everywhere. I wish there was. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 01:54, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)
Personally, I don't care if it's enforceable. The fact is, that's the method under which I have chosen to release my edits. I think lacking some concrete reason to change my mind (for example, kittens are actually dying as a result of my refusal to re or dual license), I'm not likely to reconsider. --ABQCat 05:30, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Look, R-M, I'm just this guy who contributes every now and then to Wikipedia, OK? Why are you spamming me with stuff (however important and vital) I haven't got the time or interest to look into? If what you've just plonked onto my talk page had anything of immediate obvious relevance to what I've been doing of late I'd do my best to understand it. Since I can, however, see no such relevance I have to conclude that you are bombarding all and sundry with some private bee-in-the-bonnet, and you will therefore understand why I am drawn to regard what you have to say as junk mail until such time as you can provide me with more convicing evidence in understandable English. -- Picapica 02:18, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I agree. This is terribly annoying. If I had interest in multi-license, would it matter anyway? How many wikipedians can claim to be the sole contributor of an entire article? that's the only way this would be useful - otherwise I can only release under a different license the ORIGINAL MATERIAL I have written. That doesn't get you useful content. In any event, please use some consideration before mass-commenting 2000 wikipedians. --ABQCat 23:58, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)
It's one message, and that is terrible?! And what method would you suggest me to ask every 2000 other than to ask them? You may not agree with multi-licensing, but that is a separate issue from whether or not I ask. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 00:03, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)
I'm not really bothered by it, but you could have posted it on the village pump or as a notice on the recent pages page. Most of the top editors check those places fairly regularly. [[User:BrokenSegue|BrokenSegue]] 00:13, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

May I ask where the discussion happened where you got permission to post to everyone's talk page with your request for the multi-licensing? I can see that this looks like a worthy project, but really, this looks like spamming. -- Ponder 23:54, 2004 Dec 10 (UTC)

I'm sorry if I've offended you by posting this on your page. For what its worth, I posted 400 of these messages manually, and then employeed the bot to do the next 1000 or so. The text of the message is the same regardless of who uploaded it, so if no one complained about me adding it using my main user account, why should the bot matter? I had also hoped that most people would consider my proposal not based on how it got to their user page but because of the content itself, and in fact I've so far only received 4 complaints out of about 1,500 requests. I am legally required to ask for explicit permission if I would like to seek to use someone's contributions under a different license. Since I am seeking a rather large group for permission, it is just not practical to ask thousands of users using a personal letter each. So in that respect, I was forced to use a spam-like message. My task would otherwise take me months to complete and you would STILL get a message dealing with this same topic on your page. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 00:03, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)
It might have come to pass where the community agreed this was the best method to get the permissions you need, but I think it would have been better to discuss it first before turning your bot loose. I see now there are comments indicating you limited it to just the top 2000 users, so I guess it wasn't all users like I thought at first. It would have been good to say something like "this special mass-message to the top 2000 contributors was approved by consensus in this discussion here: (link)" -- Ponder 00:15, 2004 Dec 11 (UTC)
Please read some of the text below where I explain how the purpose is not to change Wikipedia, but to share. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 00:51, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)
I have not yet taken the time to digest the proposal itself, I'm only commenting on the method you chose to alert people about this project. I bet anyone who follows my suggestion above will get zero complaints next time. -- Ponder 00:58, 2004 Dec 11 (UTC)
I appreciate the desire not to have spamming. In fact, after the first 400 people, I had about 1 person who had anything to say about my message. A few people complained about wording of the statement or the size of it, but not that I put it on the talk page. I figured that 1 in 400 was acceptable, so I started using the bot. I've stopped the bot for now to see what everyone has to say, as I don't want to start a war. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 01:13, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)
It's really one message x1500 or so, which probably puts a bit of a strain on the Wiki servers for a short time. On the subject of the "multi-licencing"'s actual validity... can user still claim copyright after signing their work over to the GFDL? I'm not sure how you'll avoid snaring non-relicenced material either (for example, where users have rephrased an article). Sockatume 00:12, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)
There is no strain, don't worry. When Wikipedia runs slow, so does the bot. Yes, Wikipedia does not take your copyright. You are merely licensing what you already own to Wikipedia. In fact, Wikipedia did not even exist as a legal entity until this year, so how could Wikipedia own the copyright? The "snaring" issue is the same as if someone adds non-GFDL content to Wikipedia. It's up to the contributor to verify that there is no copyright violation, not the person licensing. You can only license that which you have the copyright for. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 01:23, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)
I think there must be some strain? The assertion that your bot runs slow when wiki is slow sounds like "my pollution is only a factor when everyone else pollutes". Does it matter that if everyone did this, there would be some strain? Your reason of "how else am I to tell everyone?" does not seem like reason enough - commercial advertising spam could make the same argument, no? Not to beat a dead horse, but lastly, who are you to determine that your spamming causes no strain? Do you help maintain the wiki servers or otherwise have some way to quantitatively determine the impact your bot has made? I am wondering how useful this is at all, as ABQCat mentioned it is only useful for articles written by one person (I don't know if this is true). Does a disclaimer have to be added to these articles? What happens if that article is then edited by another user who does not wish to participate in this? Then does that disclaimer have to be removed? PS, I really don't know much about licencing to understand how this works, I am very new to wiki and came across this issue while reading the talk page of the person who welcomed me, Mgm. --Paraphelion(talk) 03:22, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I am also a bit hesitant about this and agree it would have been best if you had first sought some sort of consensus somewhere and/or posted this in a common area. Also, I am sorry if this sounds paranoid, but I am a little concerned, and find it suspect, that the information at Wikipedia:Multi-licensing has been almost entirely authored by you. I am going to refrain from making a decision until I can see some consensus about whether or not this is a good idea. I am by no means an intellectual property expert, but my nose smells fish. - Jord 01:21, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)
By all means feel paranoid, and if you choose not to multi-license, then don't. Actually the multi-licensing page is heavily based on the page on meta, which I did not author. I did add additional information and was hoping that others would contribute to it as well. At this point many people have looked over it, so it has been reviewed. As I mentioned on a talk page, I asked the first 400 people without using the bot and got at most 1 complaint about the message. In a sense, that was a form of consensus from those users who perform the most edits here. And right now we are having a discussion about it, which is constructive. And the bot is not doing anything while we discuss this. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 01:27, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)

That spam doesn't interest me very much. bbx 23:44, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for your message. I'll definitely consider multi-licensing my text. I wish the Wikipedia article on the Creative Commons article went into more detail on the license and on comparisons with the GFDL. It seems like you aren't arguing that the Creative Commons license is particularly "better", but simply that it's different, and that we'd like our work to be licensable under that license as well.

I'm particularly confused as to what you're planning on doing about anonymous users. I've written substantive contributions to controversial articles as an "anonymous" user. Anonymous users have only given their permission for their work to be used under the GFDL, and there isn't a way for us to get their permission to relicense retroactively. I assume you will be unable to dual-license any article with substantive contributions from an anonymous user? -- Creidieki 23:45, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

You are absolutely correct on that part. However, my purpose is to try to get as many articles as I can, not all of them. I wish I could get all of them, but that's just not reasonable. Now if you know which IP addresses you made your changes under, they can be attributed to you and then that partially solves the problem. There is not much else you can do about anonymous edits, which is why an improved GFDL might be nice. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 23:49, Dec 10, 2004 (UTC)
Well, that makes me really curious about the statistics on User:Rambot. The page says that if all user behavior is equal, all articles receive equal numbers of edits, and 35% of edits are anonymous, you currently can redistribute 15% of Wikipedia's articles. However, if the average article has 8.24 edits per page (Wikipedia:Statistics), then the chance that an article will contain no anonymous edits should be (1 - (1 - .35)^8.24) ~= 2.87%. Over 97% of articles should contain at least one anonymous edit. Are you using some method of estimating which edits are copyrightable? -- Creidieki 05:22, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Alright, I've multi-licensed. Thanks, and viva la revolucion! Philwelch 23:50, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

User_talk:Haabet On me talk page, you have write about Article Licensing, but I do not understand. The Danish Licenses are more Simple. Move Wikipedia to Denmark. Haabet 23:57, 2004 Dec 10 (UTC)

As compelling a case as you make, and interesting as it is, I'll hold off on multi-licencing for now. This is the sort of issue which should be solved for the Wikipedia as a whole, not for individual users. Sockatume 23:56, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I'm also in, and thanks - Schissel 00:37, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)

Why not - kinda makes sense I suppose - Hammersfan 02:15, 11/12/04

Opting in for public domain here. - [[User:Furrykef|furrykef (Talk at me)]] 02:15, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I don't have a clue what all this licensing stuff is about. But I've added the template to my home page anyhow. --LeeHunter 03:21, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I really don't care one way or the other, so I went ahead and dual-licensed. Now admit it, this is all a trick to try to get the "Fastest Growing Talk Page in Wikipedia" award, isn't it? Well, I've got your number, mister! I'm not going to add anything more than the bare minimum. That's right, you'll get no long tirades out of me! You'll just have to live with my "O.K." and be happy with it. (Well, would you believe about 90 words?) Mpolo 09:01, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)

I would prefer to keep my contributions under GFDL. That said, I don't have anything against what you are trying to do, but I'm quite sure it's not the best way to do it. I'm not concerned about users' claims that you are spamming them, but more that you may have bypassed the procedures most people go through to affect these types of changes. [[User:CyborgTosser|CyborgTosser (Only half the battle)]] 22:04, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Sure, I'd be happy to do one of the suggested licensing releases. What do I do exactly? Post it somewhere? Thanks for the info. Pitchka 23:31, Dec 10, 2004 (UTC)

I'm uncertain about what to decide with regard to your proposal, but for the moment, In the hope that a new CC-by-sa-friendly version of GFDL will be released in the future rather than enter fork questions, and prefering not to resort to public domain, I am not multi-licensing my contributions just yet. --Kwekubo 23:32, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • Thanks for your response to my question re: images. There's now a template on my user page. [[User:Grutness|Grutness talk Grutness.jpg]] 22:44, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I only want to license by version 2.0 CC-by-aa, but you say Wikitravel uses v. 1.0: is that still a problem? Cool Hand Luke 22:45, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

How about I let city and state go public domain, and everything else dual with 2.0. How would I go about that? Cool Hand Luke 22:59, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Yeah. I think the reason I worry about this is that I've contributed significantly to topics around Salt Lake City (buildings, neighborhoods, and so forth) that other projects might find useful. I'll go ahead and use that terminology, but a lot of non-Rambot-proper material will not be accessable this way. Cool Hand Luke 23:09, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Im in. CGorman 23:01, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I think I've done what you asked -- please check on my user page. Jacquerie27

  • Thanks for the message I will read and digest it. I will probably be agreeable since I do appreciate Wikipedia and I agree with the idea of breaking down copyrights that restrict knowledge. Give me a day or so and I will get back with you. (By the way my ONLY gripe is that some admins have lost the art of kindness and politeness and feel that THEY can become the goons that Wiki wants to illiminate. It is quite a contradiction and it is the ONLY thing that sometimes destroys my creative writing. This last bit is NOT about about you, in case you were wondering. LOL!) MPLX/MH 23:12, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I'm in with some exceptions as noted here Alkivar 23:09, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I've decided to release my work into the public domain — J3ff 23:36, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Well, looks like a good plan to me. I've done some reading around, and here's what I came up with.

*copy/pastes from what she put on her user page, with some nowiki tags*

I admit freely that I don't really understand any of this legal stuff very well, but these licenses seem sensible, so I'm adopting them. ^_^ Also, please note that these lisences only apply to article space.

{{DualLicenseWithCC-BySA-Dual}} {{MultiLicenseMinorPD}} --Sparky the Seventh Chaos 23:41, Dec 10, 2004 (UTC)

Considering myself a sort of Information Era communist, I decided to multi-licene all of my text contributions into PD. --[[User:Kpalion|Kpalion (talk)]] 21:34, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

All text content I provide in the article namespace and on my user page and user:talk page may be used by anyone for any purpose at any time with no attribution required.

I have placed the above notice on my User: page, my intent being that I place no restrictions whatsoever on the use of anything I write in the 'for the public' areas.

Is this suitable, or is there some other preferred way of making my intent plain? I'd prefer not to use a template, as templates are subject to change... comments? Pedant 19:55, 2004 Dec 10 (UTC)

I just read your message about multi-licensing (at least that's what I think it was), and I'd probably lump it with the Requests In-Tray, chat rooms, and seals playing trombones -- it's great that we have them, but why? I don't have any problems with public domain; when I started working on WikiPedia, the impression I got was that it's open to edit and open to use. I have no objection to how the information I provide to Wikipedia is used. Just how would applying for more licenses make a difference if I don't personally set limitations on what you can use of mine on Wikipedia? Could you clarify this for me, please? DavidA 22:17, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • Ram-Man, I am cool with licensing the articles which I write or edit to whoever wants to use them. What process do I need to follow? Capitalistroadster 20:25, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I am not happy with the idea of licensing things that I have written in Talk/Discussion pages. What I have written for articles appears to me to be PD anyway. P0M 21:04, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I'm in. -Willmcw 22:40, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

HI, thanks for the message on licensing. Don't have time to look at it closely at this moment. Give me a day or so to look it over and I'll get back to you on it. Thanks --DanielCD 19:55, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

No problem. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]]

What tag should I put in my user page?[edit]

I got this message, but I don't understand the implications of my choice or of not expressing a choice. Is there a simple explanation of this somewhere? Matt Stan 03:09, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

My thoughts exactly. It's laziness on my part, I know, but I really can't be bothered to read, let alone try and understand, the difference between the licences. I am happy for my work (mostly spelling corrections anyway) to be used by anyone. Does using one of the templates suggested cover this? --Lancevortex 12:32, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I'm willing to multi-license. Is there a way to do it without putting anything on my user page? Would putting the notice on my talk page be sufficient? Mdchachi|Talk 16:48, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I've put the notice in my talk page as you suggested. I'm afraid putting it in a /Copyright page would essentially give me a non-blank user page. Thanks. Mdchachi|Talk 20:02, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I have placed my contributions to Wikipedia in the public domain.

RFA Candidate and Edit Count[edit]

Salve, Ram-Man!
I've been away a few days and didn't seen your comment on my candidacy until today. In my absence, however, Andre has been kind enough to copy my comments from my last candidacy responding to Netoholic's complaints when I withdrew. If that did not answer your concern, please let me know. Ave! PedanticallySpeaking 16:45, Dec 13, 2004 (UTC)

U.S. law on copyright for collaborative works[edit]

I received your request for CC licensing, which I will consider.

However, I believe that Wikipedia is a single collaborative work. I do not believe that each individual article is a stand-alone work with the encyclopedia as a whole being a mere aggregation. The extensive use of [[links]], the unified editorial policy, and attitudes of participants treating Wikipedia as a single project testify to this.

As such, under U.S. law any contributor may relicense Wikipedia under any terms they wish, with no obligation to the remaining contributors other than to share any royalties garnered.

The Uninvited Co., Inc. 17:09, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I've been taking the safest route: When in doubt, ask the author for permission. If what you say is true, I'd love for a copyright lawyer to actually say so. I can't presume that this is true because IANAL, and I personally won't take the risk of being wrong. But thanks for the info anyway. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 17:44, Dec 13, 2004 (UTC)
That's pretty scary if anyone can relicense it. - Omegatron 17:53, Dec 13, 2004 (UTC)

Well Wikitravel seems to be the big issue on the 1.0 vs. 2.0 question. I noticed the long discussion over there about migrating, but I don't see any evidence that it is happening or that the founders are taking any such steps or enthusiastic about doing so. At the very least the edit box should say that henceforth users are releasing under both licenses, as the problem is only getting bigger with every edit made. I have an account over there with like one edit; maybe I could jump in. P.s., this is a great effort, one I thought not doable, but you're doing it. VeryVerily 18:46, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

sunday meeting[edit]

did you talk to jimbo about this licensing at the meetup? - Omegatron 03:19, Dec 14, 2004 (UTC)

dino responds to multi-licencing[edit]

Sorry it took so long to get back to you. Distractions. I placed the following template on top my personal page: "{{DualLicenseWithCC-BySA-Dual}}"

More Licensing[edit]

I was amazed to learn I'm among the top 2000 contributors :-) Anyway, this multi-license issue is quite new to me, so I want to take time to evaluate it. Besides, my articles aren't travel-related, as my main interests are sports and music. So, for the time being, I will not multi-license my works. Ciao Ary29 19:12, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I consent to any licensing of my material on wikipedia that satisfies the following criteria:

  1. It does not conflict with or nullify, in full or in part, the copyright and related legal status of Wikipedia in general.
  2. It is not against the interests of the Wikipedia community.
  3. It does not threaten the existence of Wikipedia.
  4. It is a license that makes my material more publicly available and reproducable; that aids in the dissemination of the information.

If/when CC satisfies these criteria, my consent is thereby given to such licensing. Kevin Baas | talk 20:34, 2004 Dec 13 (UTC)

I mostly write and edit articles about mathematics and especially number theory. I don't do much on geography. At this time I'm not aware of any other Wiki project that needs math articles besides the Wikipedias in other languages, and some of them (such as the Slovene Wikipedia) have taken articles I've written and translated them to their language with no trouble whatsoever. PrimeFan 21:11, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Comment responded to at User talk:Quill. No, I'm not upset.Quill 21:30, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Hi, I've added the multi-licensing template to my user page. Thanks, Mark1 05:28, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)

At this time, I do not want to multi-license my work. I believe that the risk of forking articles is too strong. If you remove one decent sentence that is only GFDL licensed out of an article just to make the article multi-licensed, I believe that this will reduce the value of the article. -- JamesTeterenko 06:28, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Well you certainly got some feed-back on the matter. Yes it is an interesting question, thanks for posing it, tho' some seem not to appreciate its being asked as unwanted spam. Well it does warn the poster that their writings could be mercilessly redistributed when contributing to the wiki. I’ve been amused to stumble across several of my contributions elsewhere on the web, this once being the most recent Originally several of the various bits of writing and research I’ve contributed to the wiki were part of a projected ongoing book, so yes I would be v. interested to know where I stand copyright-wise as regards reclaiming original portions of my writings. Indeed my very first experience of wiki policing was to be accused of copyright infringement upon pasting a portion of a web essay straigh onto the wiki. Sure I would like some kind of copyright protection for all the many hours of research, interpretation and writing I contributed to the wiki, just look at the rather rambling, long piece entitled Musaeum Clausum, it was just a scrap-book of ideas I posted. But how is such copyright to be achieved, I’d be interested to know what the options are, shall re-read more carefully what you’ve stated on the matter before deciding, thank you again for highlighting this potential problem . Well after reading i suppose i must go for option 1 Norwikian 08:30, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Hi there,

Thanks for the heads-up on the dual-licensing issue. I also think you should have attempted this campaign without spamming people, but I must confess to double standards here. Although I hate spam, I can forgive things of genuine interest to me, and so I have added the license template you described to user page.

I would love to see my modest contributions being more widely available, particularly to works such as wikitravel. Good luck with your campaign, and I hope the negative reaction only discourages spamming and not the spread of knowledge.

akaDruid 10:14, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I have a number of issues with what I've seen written here. First of all I have no earthly idea what people are saying regarding "spam" on a talk page, since this is about wikipedia business. I thought communicating to users about wikipedia business was the purpose of talk pages.

My main concerns are that I do not think it is good for Wikipedia for articles to be reproduced elsewhere gutted of portions that no one collaborating on an article with anonymous folks or those unaware of the Rambot project considered would end up missing significant portions in later reproductions when we originally copyedited them. Even I started out anonymously. Also sometimes wikipedia logged me out by mistake and I saw no point in repeating the edit just to have my username show up. I can't track all those. I worry that now I'm supposed to rewrite every word of an article completely when I edit it if it contains non-multilicensed material (evidently to help other people mirror or reproduce wikipedia in their own encyclopedias). I also don't want to license comments I make on talk or user pages.

Bebop 10:18, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Since you mention in my page that it will not affect the articles as they appear in wikipedia but just on sites licensing it and that I don't have to multilicense my Talk/user page comments, I have added an agreement to my user page but I may need to make sure it is using a namespace that excludes what I said on article and user talk pages. My first try uses your userpage example. Bebop 16:52, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Thanks, I've added the template code to my user page. Chris Jefferies 13:12, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Ok, I agree to it and have modified my user page to reflect that. Impi 13:13, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I remain (as yet) unconvinced of the merit of opening any loopholes to the potential commercialisation of my contributions. Accordingly, I submit them under the GNU Free Documentation License only. Pedant17 14:44, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)

That's not my issue with it; I came to Wikipedia because of its cohesive, open licensing, and the idea of having multiple licenses on one work rubs me the wrong way. While I may have gone overboard complaining about your spam, the fact of the matter still remains that I do not enjoy the idea of a multi-licensed Wikipedia. [[User:Mo0|Mo0[talk]]] 17:00, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Multi-licensing make brain hurt! Mongo stick with GPL. Dogface 18:13, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Thank you for your message, and for the detailed explanation of the problem and proposed solution. While I think I understand the issue, I see this as more of a problem with the existing GFDL license. Klugeing a workaround will only allow the problem to continue. For the moment, I prefer to stick with the existing licensing arrangement, though I would be open to changing my mind if the Wikipedia standard for new contributions (including those from anonymous authors) includes both licenses by default. --Robertb-dc 18:57, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I prefer multilicensing into the public domain. In fact dump the GFDL and make Wikipedia entirely in the public domain. The more places I might see my work (or bastardizations thereof) is just a bigger ego boost for me. I hope someone thinks my work is good enough to copy for commercial or non-commercial use.Nv8200p 22:24, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Public domain is fine. User:andycjp

I have no interest in licensing anything I've contributed here, so I don't see how the licences make a difference to me. As far as I can see I have nothing to gain from either approving or disapproving any combination of licences. If I'm wrong, please let me know and I'll reconsider. John FitzGerald 22:26, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I have no clue of licensing law and not the time to read up on it either. I do like the GPL and its related licenses and I am perfectly happy to know that people who want to use material I have contributed will have to stick to the rule the GPL etc impose - i.e to remain as free as before. Sorry, mate, good try... Refdoc 23:04, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Essentially, same here. I'm happy with the current licensing arrangements. Good luck, Cwoyte 09:22, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments concerning multi-licensing. All of my contributions to Wikipedia are public domain, and I think I'm happy with the text on my user page which says so. Please comment back to my user talk if you reckon there's anything wrong with that, though. Onebyone 00:54, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Look. Under the GFDL, as I understand it, people can use my work in their articles without asking, even that there WikiTravel, while you say it cannot be done this way. I do like WikiTravel, and have contributed to it, and originally thought it was part of the Wikimedia project (found the link somewhere on an official looking page on meta i think). I don't like share alike, because I really don't care if someone uses my stuff in a commercial project, or not, and I guess that's the whole "Public Domain" idea. But then again, some of my edits I'm not proud of, and I wouldn't really want them to be attributed to me, lol.

You are confusing commercial with copyleft. Share-alike is another term for copyleft. Both licenses allow for commercial usage. Both licenses also require attribution, although I'm pretty sure you can waive that right in the CC-by-sa license if you choose. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]]

What I need is a simple explanation (like is provided on the lovely cc site, which oddly enough is impossible to get as there is in fact NO list of licenses available, even through the sitemap, i have to customize one it seems) of what the gfdl provides, compared to the creative commons license.

The full list of licenses is linked to in the FAQ above. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]]
You know, I didn't even SEE the FAQ, I just saw a BUNCH of posts. Since you placed your TOC above the information which is static to the talk page, it confused me. You can use ___TOC___ to place the TOC underneath static things, so that they are not misconstrued as jibber-jabber. --TIB (talk) 01:38, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)

I'm rather confused, and you asking me to make using what I've written MORE confusing by throwing more legalese into the mix is not going to aid the use of my work in other wikis/websites/media. If there was some easy way to say "Here's what you can do with my double licensed work, also have fun figuring out how you can use work in the public domain and in gfdl, as they conflict with each other!"

It doesn't need to be more confusing for you. Let someone else figure out the details. But since you own the copyright to your contributions, permission must be received from you to do anything else with it other than under the GFDL. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 14:17, Dec 13, 2004 (UTC)

Looks like I'll have to let my lawyer Leonard "J." Crabs look at this. --TIB (talk) 23:20, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)

Article Licensing[edit]

Note: See lots of other users' comments about multi-licensing at the archive4 and archive5.

Hi! I had no idea I was in the top 2000 editors list. Anyway, I doubt that I've got anything useful to contribute as most of my edits have been janitorial work, but I'll look into it nevertheless. You never know what edits I've hiding in my closet :). So far my copyright and license knowledge is lacking, so I need to read up first. I'll get back to you. [[User:MacGyverMagic|Mgm|(talk)]] 23:16, Dec 10, 2004 (UTC)

Hi! Wow, what an honor to be in the top 2000. As per your request I would be willing to do something like that, but to be honest I am not sure what it entails. It may require a bit of reading on my part, so I will get back to you. Feel free to respond to me, if you have any other requests or can offer a simple explanation. Thanks! User:Cbing01 (comment| talk) 18:32, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I support the concept as far as I understand it, but need to know more. I will read up on it and get back to you. Sunray 01:44, 2004 Dec 11 (UTC)

Ram-Man -- thanks for the heads-up on this, I'm happy to have any and all of my contributions licenced. I'm very pressed for time atm but will read through all the material on this ASAP and let you know if I have any other questions. Thanks for your input and assistance. -- dunks58

Hey, sorry it took me so long to respond, but yeah great idea and I'm totally up for it. I'm making my work public domain. All I have to do is put that template in my userpage and I'm set right?--Alsocal 19:47, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I've dual-licensed all my contributions by putting the tag on my user page. I hope it's useful! —JerryFriedman 18:03, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I've dual-licensed all my contributions with a tag on my user page (I think). I didn't known I was one of the top 2000 Wikipedians in number of edits. Sorry it took me a while to respond: our Internet at home's broken and I'm in the libary right now.Kingal86 12:34, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Hi, I noticed the citation templates on your talk page. We should try to merge {{Template:Book reference}} (which is reasonably widely used) in with them, in whatever manner is appropriate. Pcb21| Pete 16:37, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Faster bots[edit]

Please have a look over my responses to the bots policy change and the proposals I've made, then get in touch so we can arrange a chat in IRC and/or phone, so I can answer all of your questions about those respnses and find some way to get done what you want to get done ( a proposal I probably like in content, if not necesarily in details of method). Thanks. Jamesday 05:23, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but I can't agree with major policy discussion taking place on IRC, phone, or email. It only contributes to the few deciding the issues when it should be kept as open as possible. Besides, we need a record of what the discussion was, so keep it on Wikipedia. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 14:34, Dec 13, 2004 (UTC)


  1. could you add UN/LOCODEs as part of the tables in city pages, that have an UN/LOCODE?
  2. could you create shortcuts as redirects to city pages, e.g. UN/LOCODE:USLAX would redirect to Los Angeles, California. With this UN/LOCODE standardized link, other pages from outside could easier link to wikipedia.

Tobias Conradi 23:39, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I'd have to look into it more closely, but this seems like it could be fairly easy to accomplish. Right now the Wikipedia servers are running at a high load and I've been asked to limit bot writes for the most part. So I wouldn't expect it anytime soon, but it can clearly be done eventually. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 01:12, Dec 14, 2004 (UTC)
Thanks ;-). If you need help, contact me. I work with the codes every day. regards Tobias Conradi 23:14, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
to have our conversation in one page: Talk:UN/LOCODE Tobias Conradi 16:55, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)
after thinking A is good, I switched to B, than back to A, to finally end up with C :-). My preferred method would be [[6]]. Tobias Conradi 20:18, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Good idea. I wonder whether you could elaborate some more on the the discussion you mentioned on User talk:Jimbo Wales? Kosebamse 21:28, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)

This weekend at the NYC WikiMeet that I attended I had a chance to discuss licensing and multi-licensing with Jimbo. Interestingly, he had just discovered the project shortly before he attending the meetup and was a bit concerned because I had mentioned "incompatible fork" in some of the information. I explained that my goal was to avoid this, not to work towards it. With that misunderstanding out of the way, he explained that he is working towards an improved GFDL 2.0 with the FSF that is more Wikipedia friendly and similar in nature to the CC-by-sa license, which was not around when Wikipedia was founded. Had it been around at the time, Wikipedia would probably not have been a GFDL project but instead a CC-by-sa project. This is part of the reason for his oking my multi-licensing drive. In any case, if he had the credibility when he created Wikipedia that he has now as the founder of such a successful project, he would have considered adding a clause to the copyright agreement which would have given explicit permission for him to relicense contributions into any copyleft license that is similar to the GFDL, that way allowing Wikipedia's reach to be as great as possible while keeping copyleft intact. Of course now we have the Wikimedia foundation which would bear the responsibility of choosing to relicense rather than Jimbo himself. It might even have allowed him to change the license to a Wikipedia specific license that fits with the community's goals. My purpose with the template is to try to go through the backdoor to achieve this goal. Afterall, what happens if Wikipedia moves to some other medium (CD-ROM, Print, Spoken, etc.) that the GFDL does not match with? We may be technically unable to use that medium due to the limitations of the license. This is especially true of the spoken format, where technically the GFDL would need to be recited if an article was used, since it is required to be included with every copy! Thus, giving them permission to relicense as appropriate would be a great option. Unfortunately I had not thought of this earlier, or I would have asked users in addition to the multi-licensing. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 21:38, Dec 14, 2004 (UTC)

Licencing, the basic basics[edit]

ok, I think I understand what you want me to do, but how do you want me to do it? Note - I'm a bit slow when it comes to things like this, so a "click here, then here" responce would be greatly appreicated :D Pellaken 03:55, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Dual-licensing drive and Wikitravel[edit]

You're misusing Wikitravel's name (incorrectly spelled, I might add) to promote your dual-licensing campaign. Your ideas for dual-licensing got lukewarm (at best) reception on Wikitravel. Our goals are sufficiently different that copying encyclopedia articles in whole over to Wikitravel is unnecessary and, in fact, counterproductive. Please don't use Wikitravel's name to get your ideas across. Also, please read WikiTravel:Wikitravel:Dual licensing for problems with dual-licensing between Creative Commons ShareAlike and the GFDL. --ESP 01:37, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Whether or not Wikitravel decides to use CC-by-sa 1.0 vs. 2.0 really has nothing to do with this drive. If it never happens, it isn't going to be the end of the world. Nevertheless the founder of Wikitravel himself has stated that at some point the move to 2.0 probably needs to occur, he is just not willing to rush into it, which is understandable. I have in fact read the Wikitravel:Dual licensing page a number of times. It is quite similar to the other pages that have been floating around dealing with the same topic. As for spelling incorrectly, it is probably a bad habit of always capitalizing the first letter after the last i in Wiki. WikiMedia, WikiTravel, etc. Not technically correct I suppose, but it doesn't end the world. The fact of the matter is that there are a number of wikitravelers here at Wikipedia who could benefit from this. But even if no benefit ever occurs, that still does not prevent the future use of Wikipedia articles in the CC-by-sa license for any other project/article/magazine/etc. The basic idea is an ideological one: As long as we use GFDL only, we are not truly free but instead only as free as the GFDL restriction. This is not true copyleft, but a limited form. I have made my intentions as clear as possible both here and on Wikitravel. As Wikipedia means more to me, I have focused most of my attention here. Ideologically there are many people who share my viewpoint, including Jimbo Wales himself. I make no apologies for what I am doing, but neither do I force others to follow me. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 02:36, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)
I am the founder you mention. My main concern is that you're using Wikitravel as the poster boy for dual licensing, and that you're using our name erroneously. Please, make your case without bandying our name about, as the benefits to Wikitravel of mass dual-licensing on Wikipedia would be negligible. --ESP 02:47, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Ah yes, my apologies, I did not recognize your name (or picture) at first. I am not trying to use Wikitravel as a crutch, and I can quite easily and I will fix the naming problems as per your request. Now whether or not you think I am using it as a crutch, the fact of the matter is that I was quite excited when I stumbled upon Wikitravel, only to be dashed to realize that none of the articles on Wikipedia had even the slightest compatibility with Wikitravel. I have a strong interest in geographic topics, and people travel to places. When I first started editing at Wikipedia, I tried to add things to Wikipedia's articles such as places of interest and the like. There is a lot of compatible information between the two, despite one being an encyclopedia and the other being about creating things in the travel category. Despite your assertion, I do not believe that the benefits would be negligible. But even if they were, I would still try to multi-license, on the basic ideological principle. Now if you feel, as the founder of Wikitravel, that I am not welcome there anymore, I will cut my losses and not ever contribute to it again and I won't try to add any multi-licensed content that might be useful to Wikitravel. I do not expect Wikitravel to be the only application for multi-licensing, but it is the only one that I am familiar with at this moment. But it would be extremely short-sighted of me to think that we should not multi-license based on whether or not Wikitravel can use our content. I admitted in discussions that Wikitravel cannot (or will not) run under a multi-license, and that is well understood. But sharing *is* what I am about, and Wikitravel is an example. People want a concrete example, and I am giving them one. I am sorry you do not approve of the publicity that has been given. Other wikitravelers here at Wikipedia that have responded have responded with enthusiasm when I asked them to multi-license. Wikitravel was the main reason for my doing this, but apparently my efforts are not wanted. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 03:09, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)
I'm sorry if I made it sound like you were unwelcome at Wikitravel, or that your contributions were unwelcome. You are of course more than welcome to participate in Wikitravel. I continue to be impressed with your work for Wikipedia, and that kind of enthusiasm is always welcome. I'm sorry that I came across too harshly.
I just don't want to give anyone the idea that Wikitravel is trying to subvert the license of Wikipedia so we can steal the content and put it under another license. (Yes, I know that's not what you're trying to say, but seen through a dark lens, that's how it could appear.) It's hard enough using a different license from Wikimedia projects -- I don't want to make that difference into trouble for Wikipedians. --ESP 03:23, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Now that you explain it this way, I have a rather simple solution. I will already not be using the same spam message, so the Wikitravel name will no longer appear on everyone's user page. When I do mention it, I can frame it in the context of dispelling the above concerns. I would be happy to let you review it before I start to "mass produce" it again. By all means I want Wikitravel to have a spotless name! It is important to me that the founders of Wikipedia and Wikitravel both approve of multi-licensing, although technically speaking it isn't required. To be totally honest, this whole thing is one big experiment, and I don't think anyone knows how it will turn out. I'm hoping that the naysayers are wrong and that the sharing with Wikitravel isn't negligible, but I suppose it could be. The whole issues are very thorny, I will admit. If Wikitravel content could be secondarily available under the GFDL in the way that our content here is available under the CC-by-sa, it circumvents the problems that were brought up on Wikitravel with the idea of having multi-licensed content required. Doing so increases the complication for those copying, but it would at least be possible, and doesn't ever hurt the project itself. If the WikiMedia software ever adds support for secondary multi-licenses, this process could be vastly simplified, but that will be some time away. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 03:40, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)

Dual-licensing problems[edit]

The major problem with dual-licensing between CC-SA and GFDL appears to be that further derivative works are forced back to single-license. This problem can be avoided if each author who multi-licenses grants specific additional permission to multi-license derivative works. I've done this - see my user page for tentative legal boilerplate. (I am not a lawyer, but I have had to deal with this sort of problem in the past.) Zack 03:12, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)

When a user multi-licenses "all contributions", this would naturally include any derivative works that they create. In addition, multi-licensing can only be maintained if everyone in the chain does so. This is also implicit. Nevertheless, I've read your boilerplate and have no problems with it. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 03:18, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)
As I read the Wikitravel discussion, it's not enough that all authors have agreed to multi-license their contributions, because the CC licenses are incompatible with the GFDL and nothing in any of them grants you permission to continue multi-licensing. So, if you are editing a page which is multi-licensed, you have to choose which license you accept when you start editing, and then you're bound to release the modified document under that license. (Your contributions may be multi-licensed, but the combined derived work has to be under just one.) This may just be hairsplitting--a reasonable judge might decide that, by releasing a document under multiple licenses all of which allowed distribution of derivative works on the same terms, one had implicitly granted permission to continue the multiple-licensing scheme even if none of the individual licenses said so. But I prefer to make it explicit. Zack 08:15, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)


I'm pretty amazed that you used a bot to send unsolicited bulk messages to people's talk pages. It's very hard to see the difference between these mass edits and unsolicited bulk email. I realize that you have good intentions in doing so, but I think it's a really bad precedent to set. --ESP 01:43, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)

As a matter of fact I also didn't get permission when I spent some time updating the licenses for a couple thousand county images. Frankly, the rambot has long ago since been approved. A bot wins approval and trust of the community based on its actions on a stricter level than regular users. It has done this. It has done city/county updates (many many times), licensing updates to images, as a user interactive spellbot, and just about any other task where using it would be simpler than doing the same thing by hand. As a matter of consistency, you should probably ban my main user account because 1/3 of the "spam" added by the rambot was not added by the rambot at all, but by myself. Considering that there is no practical difference between the two, I suppose since we don't follow the spirit of the law here at Wikipedia, that I should be permanently banned as well. Let's be as legalistic about this as possible. Afterall, I have a track record of not asking for permission. I suppose it doesn't matter that I received implicit consensus based on the results of the first 1/3rd of the "spam". I find it strange that it is suddenly much worse because a bot did it, as if that matters. I guess we don't judge edits based on their content anymore but by who adds them. I suppose with that precedent I should ban you because I don't like you (for sake of argument, not reality), not because there is anything particularly wrong with your content. I should also ban you for the unsolicited comment to my user page that you've given me, right? Did you get permission to do that? What precedent did I set anyway? That if a user desires to user someone's copyrighted work that they have to ask for permission? You give me a better solution for asking every single user for permission to license their work. I've been in discussion with those users who have had complaints and have been working on solutions that have been pleasing to everyone, and so far they have been civil about it. No blocks, just civil discussion. Unfortunately that has apparently ended. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 02:54, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)
I was initially opposed to what I perceived as unsolicited and massive comments to my usertalk page, but Ram-Man has adequately assuaged my concerns (further posts to usertalk pages would be shorter with links to information, etc) and has my support to continue notifying top contributors on wikipedia about the licensing of their contributions. Blocking Ram-bot would be counterproductive as the bot does plenty of other tasks which receive general and tacit approval from the wikipedia community because they improve content (spelling, link checking, etc). Don't block ram-bot for posting an overly lengthy but informative comment on our talk pages. --ABQCat 03:04, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Actually the last time I asked for permission, no one said anything. Rules at Wikipedia are meant to be guidelines. Very few people even monitor the bots page. Often when some bot raises a request, at most 2 or 3 people even bother to comment on it and sometimes it takes weeks. You won't get consensus that way. My method was better, and it worked! Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 03:14, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)

In reply to your comments on my talk page: This is no time to end civil discussion, and I should point out that Wikipedia:Bots states that an administrator should not hesitate to block a bot which they believe is acting in a manner which may be inconsistent with the wishes of the community. There have beem real concerns raised about the precedent of using a bot to deliver unsolicited bulk messages to user talk pages and the precedents it sets. Given the implications above that posts of this sort would continue, I will not unblock the bot until concerns of this sort have been addressed by the community (drop a note at the Village Pump, the Mailing List, and Wikipedia_talk:Bots) or until I see you making a clear and unambiguous statement that your bot will make no more of these edits until they have been explicitly approved. -Fennec (はさばくのきつね) 03:19, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)

It does not authorize an "indefinite" block. As I understand these are meant only for the most serious of offenders. Nevertheless, I'm not terribly concerned about that at this point, as the bot has been voluntarily benched because of the request to temporarily hold off on bot operations because of server issues, so blocking makes no difference. I don't expect the bot to run for some time anyway. I will not, however, create a precedent that a bot has to be treated like a villian at each and every step, and so there will be no statement like you are asking. What you will get is what everyone else has already been perfectly fine with: An improved message that is short and contains links to more information, so that it is unobtrusive. So far most of the feedback has been that the message is "too complicated" and "too large". If you still consider this to be unsolicited spam, I would have to disagree with you. I already have explicit and implicit permission from hundreds of users to perform this action. If that is still not enough for you, I don't know what will be. So far out of everyone, you are the only one unwilling to budge on this issue. Community consensus has been reached and I see no reason to beat a dead horse. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 03:28, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)
If you still insist on this, first answer this question: Would it make a difference to you if I used my regular Ram-Man account vs. my Rambot account? Technically speaking I need no special permission to use Ram-Man. If I wanted to be as legalistic as you, I could use the ugly spam message using Ram-Man as much as I wanted without having to seek permission, but I have to go through hoops and hurdles to use rambot to perform the tasteful alternative to the previous note. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 03:31, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)
I wonder why you have to do this anyways. Important system annoucements have always been added to places like the village pump, the main page, RFCs, etc. Why does your announcement have to go on each and ever user's talk page? How is it different? --ESP 03:39, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I don't know about you, but I never check the Village Pump, any section of RFC other than people, etc. The least controversial way would be to make a page (say, Wikipedia:Dual Licensing), put it as a bold announcement on RC, and attract attention that way. However, I've personally got no problem with the bot thing. ugen64 03:44, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I've explained this many times, but I don't mind explaining it again, but I will simplify. Suffice it to say that in order to get enough people to multi-license to make the whole thing meaningful one must ask everyone. Village Pump, Main Page, RFCs, etc are all good ways for getting out a message to a general population, but certainly not everyone. I personally don't ever view any of them. I've never once gone to the RFC page, but I've heard rumors of it. One person defended me by saying that as a dialup user, if it wasn't on his user page, he never would have heard of it or done anything about it. So I ask everyone, starting with those people who have made the most number of edits, because their edits make the most difference. But eventually I'd hope to ask everyone, as every little bit counts. Does this explain it? Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 03:46, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)
The other reason for using talk pages was because it is somewhat personal. Multi-licensing is controversial, and if we start putting this in a public enough location, people will assume that this is a new Wikipedia policy move, which it is not. Keeping it isolated to talk pages ties the issue to me. People are free to choose what they want to choose and that's the end of the story. This is part of the reason that I've intentionally kept the issue as low key as possible. This is a personal goal that I've set and changing Wikipedia policy at this point would be a mistake. I don't want this to become an official Wikipedia drive. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 03:51, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)

This issue could get big- rather big, really- and I'm not entirely sure that this is the best place to discuss it. Should we move it to another venue (perhaps a subpage) or continue here? -Fennec (はさばくのきつね) 03:46, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)

This page has had hundreds of edits in the last few days. A few more won't hurt. Check the archives if you don't believe me. I've received tons of feedback. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 03:48, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)


A long and somewhat ranting explanation of the block of the bot. Just in case you were confused.

I will not, however, create a precedent that a bot has to be treated like a villian at each and every step, and so there will be no statement like you are asking. Wikipedia:Bots says that the burden of proof is on the bot's operator (you) and if the bot's activity can be construed as villianous (as spamming can be construed) and you say that you intend to continue operating it in a vein of action which can be considered villainous, then blocked it shall remain.

I don't believe that it is villianous, and I believe that I have answered all of the complaints to the satisfaction of the complainers, with the exception I suppose of you. Maybe you can think of an example otherwise? You seem to be complaining about the lack of consensus, which of course is not there because you won't agree. A catch-22 if you ask me. I believe I *have* shown the enough proof. I don't intend to continue the action while there is conflict, if that is what you mean, but I will eventually ask everyone using some means, bot or otherwise. -- RM

I don't particularly despise the message (the No Solicitors bit was an idea born of a moment's frustration after multiple solicitations for uninteresting projects :). The matter here, though, is two-pronged: the mass delivery of messages to user talk pages, and the delivery of such messages via a bot. Either has the potential to set a rather important precedent with regards to such messages.

I agree that unsolicited bulk messages are going to pose a greater problem, and discussion should take place on the topic. The rambot has a way of bringing to the forefront controversial issues. I think the discussion of bulk messages should be moved to another page, say Wikipedia:WikiSpam or Wikipedia:Bulk messages. -- RM

Unsolicited bulk messages - particularly on this scale - are a new and potentially dangerous phenomenon on Wikipedia. Whether they should be allowed at all is still a matter which has not been addressed and is significant in at least one recent fiasco (in which it came to pass that a sysop was blocked and then went and unblocked himself, but I digress). To let a bot engage in such activity, however, would be completely contrary to the aforementioned standing bot policies. I will go so far as to say that I feel current policy would prohibit me from removing this block even if I agreed with what you were doing. (And heck, I have nothing against multi-licensing, not that I think it'll be particularly useful or effective.)

The bot policy does not state explicitly when a block should be lifted. I suppose it should be lifted when it satisfies the 4-point criterion again. The only debate at this point is "approved". -- RM

Assorted other points:

  • As you've mentioned, "indefinite" blocks are not explicitly authorized in these cases. However, they're not explicitly forbidden, either. The exact duration, I think, matters not, so long as the bot is blocked while the bot's owner intends to engage in unauthorized activities with the bot. (For values of "unauthorized activity" as determined by a community-elected administrator making a block, if he feels that the community would disagree with the use of the bot.)
Let's just solve the problem and not quibble over the length of a block. I think I explained above that I don't intend on doing these activities until the issues are resolved. It should be noted that when I received the first message complaining about WikiSpam, I immediately stopped the bot, and it has not run since. This should be enough of a good faith gesture. -- RM
  • You claim that the bot has won the trust of the community. I will agree with that, but only insofar as the bot has been updating articles with new information. Pushing messages to user talk pages is a radically different form of activity. To justify these actions by the prior trust won doing good in the community would be like a mayor of a city justifying embezzlement citing the trust he's won for bringing the community more jobs, better education, bigger civic improvements and lower taxes. (Deliberate Back to the Future reference.)And although some moral systems may make it a point to disagree, I think it is commonly accepted on Wikipedia that doing good things does not provide you with an excuse to do bad things.)
Your point is taken, but I think what we are saying here is not that previous actions can justify future actions but that the bot itself has won approval separate from its content. Maybe I need to be clearer: When a bot is created, no one knows what result it will have, so they need to evaluate how a user uses a bot to see how it works. Eventually the community approves it and at that point it tends to ignore it. Any problems are dealt with the user directly as they come up. Part of the process is to make sure that a bot owner knows how to properly use a bot, but this can be quickly established. Content is another animal altogether. If a regular user can use the content, then why not an approved bot? The only difference is the speed at which it can be done (and I suppose the user account used). One can easily do what I did and just use the main user account to do the same thing. In the end it comes down to building up trust. In the event that this process goes wrong, it has been previously discussed that reverting changes would be relatively straightforward. -- RM
  • Justifying your bot's action with "implicit approval" (of the sort gathered by responses to your drive on your talk page) is not only contrary to the standing bot policy, but raises questions about whether the people who are supposedly giving you implicit approval actually are aware of the scale of the operation and the techniques employed-- or even if those giving vague disapproval (sufficiently vague to ignore the message entirely because they are busy) are aware.
Now you are confusing two things: scale and content. I did not receive approval for the scale of the edits, but I did receive implicit consensus based on the acceptability of the content. In fact the "spam" message took on a number of versions as I adjusted it based on user input. I did not violate bot policy by increasing the scale of edits, as the only restriction is whether the type of changes is acceptable, and I established that far better than posting something on the bot page. Do you understand my point? I didn't strictly follow the letter of the "law", which I often don't, as I follow the be bold rule quite strongly. But I did follow the spirit of the "law" in all of my actions. I stopped when problems arose and I responded to those problems. I received far more than 70% approval for the content of the messages based on user responses. It goes without saying that bots do things on a large scale. Permission for that would be redundant. When users finally started to complain, they realized that no unified policy on "bulk advertising", so to speak, was made. That is a totally separate issue and should be kept that way. -- RM
  • Consider- Presumably you would agree blocking a bot publishing brief blurts of nonsense text on thousands of users' pages. Compare it with your bot- Why should you get to push out messages to many users? Are you special? Is the message itself special? Who decides on which messages or users are sufficiently special? You claim (in bold) that you don't want this to become an official Wikipedia-sponsored drive: why then should thousands of Wikipedia users be solicited?
As you yourself understand in the example: The content is what matters. nonsense text is unacceptable. Pushing out messages to many users is not in the scope of bot policy, but it will probably quickly result in the creation of a "bulk message" policy. I am not particularly special. Any user can create message content without prior permission. If it is unacceptable, that user will be told and the edits will be mercilessly edited. In the case of the bot, the community consensus tends to decide what is sufficiently "special" as you call it, which was done (as explained above). -- RM
The reason not to make this an official solicitation is because this is a group project and the multi-licensing drive does not represent the desires of every Wikipedian. It also does not strictly have anything to do with official Wikipedia policy, as the status of Wikipedia will remain unchanged and intact. Now my proposal to Jimbo is something that would affect Wikipedia policy and would be a good candidate for an official solicitation, if it was accepted. Whether or not it is "official", however, is irrelevant in this context because a solicitation would still need to occur to get explicit permission. Multi-licensing is inherently a private issue, not one that Wikipedia needs to be delving its hands into. -- RM
I apology, but here, I think you are not very honest. If you wanted this not to affect Wikipedia policy and not to sound official, and to be simply a relicensing of your geographical pages, you should have asked only editors who edited those articles, and you should have asked them to only relicense the geographical articles. As soon as you begin to ask people to relicense ALL their contributions, then it becomes official and it affects all of us and all projects. I am sure you would agree that it would be damned stupid that the english wikipedia is under one license while all other wikipedias be under another license, because in becoming compatible with wikitravel, you would cause our projects to become non compatible with one another. So, in effect, this is a global issue and you are trying to force all projects to follow what you started, without even involving them. I think this is just incorrect toward other projects. user:Anthere
The reasoning here is rather simple: I originally started asking exactly that: only for the geographic articles. But when it became increasingly clear that the consensus was to multi-license all contributions, I changed accordingly. Only a very small subset of people want to restrict it in that way, and it should be noted that it is not just articles that I've started are useful to be shared, and even if they are not useful, it is purely on the spirit of open and free information. Multi-licensing is fully optional and it appears you misunderstand how it works. This will never ever cause Wikipedia projects to be incompatible with each other! Wikipedia will hopefully never see the need to change to something other than the GFDL, and as long as that is the case, we will never have trouble. Because I am not trying to change Wikipedia's license, this has nothing to do with Wikipedia, and therefore cannot and should not have anything official to do with it. As individual copyright holders, the users need to be asked if someone desires to reuse there contributions elsewhere under a different license. This only makes sense. It sounds strange and it surprised me too, but users just don't want to restrict their multi-licensing. They would rather share without that restriction. See User:rambot/Progress for the complete list. -- RM
My second point is that you mentionned last time you could use your bot in the way you wanted and no one complained. You were bold, that was perfect. But if this time some user complain, then it is just fair to hear their complaints. user:Anthere
I agree! I have and will continue to make every effort to hear complaints until people are satisfied. A simple review of the comments on this talk page will attest to this fact. -- RM
  • I am considering starting a request for comment - not about your activity in this affair, for I am sure you are acting in good faith, but about whether a bot should be allowed to engage in this sort of activity. What are your feelings about this course of action? Can you think of a more appropriate venue for this?
I personally think this can be resolved by civil discussion among those here that have an interest in this. That said, if you feel that strongly about it, I won't stand in your way. I think that this user page is a fine venue for dealing with this topic, excluding forming a Wikipedia policy on mass messages, which I've stated above. I think it is far more important to discuss whether or not anyone should be allowed to mass message, bots or otherwise. For this page, we can continue to discuss the method of mass message delivery, not the mass message policy itself. -- RM

Regards, -Fennec (はさばくのきつね) 04:26, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I will respond in 8 - 12 hours when I return. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 05:12, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)
I don't see anything wrong with this. It seems legal to me, and I don't mind it. It's just one comment per talk page, and Ram-Man actively discusses the issues with the user once he/she responds. Johnleemk | Talk 06:34, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Suggestion: Opt-out for Bot Talk-Page comments[edit]

Agreed (speaking for myself personally), but at the same time, I can also see how others may find it problematic. First, I am of the opinion that in light of the sheer scope of the positive contributions by user:Ram-Man with respect to his operation of the Rambot, the block should be removed immediately. But mass mailing talk pages with 'drives' (whether official or not) is a policy issue, and I agree with Fennec that it is one which needs to be more clearly defined on several levels. I think one solution would be to have an opt-out disclaimer button for Rambot talk page comments. While I, for one, will choose to stay subscribed (not that I am professing more than a mild interest interest in Ram-Man's licencing drive as channeled through the Rambot, but still), those who don't wish to recieve these will, as soon as this modification is launched as such, only recieve one. I hope Ram-Man can see the need for these measures; and why, as operator of the Rambot, he has extraordinary power to channel his own drives through mass mailing talk-pages – different from systematically mass-agumenting WP articles. El_C

I fully acknowledge everything you are saying. Just for the record, I maintain a list of people who have opted out already. Some of them just want to wait to see how big the project gets before I ask them again. But others just have no interest at all in ever multi-licensing. The fact of the matter is that those people, because they have opted-out, will not be bothered by me about it at minimum for some time,so they won't keep receiving "spam". If I ever do ask them again after the project grows larger, I would much rather write them a personal message to try to convince them. So far the number is a manageably low number of around 50. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 12:57, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)

Suggestion: A Collaborative structure for Bot Talk-Page comments[edit]

Indeed, Ram-Mam has committed himself to answering thousands of responses, and he has devoted prohibitive time & energy to fulfil this pledge. Still, the tricky part remains, and this relates to one of Fennec's points that invariably will have to be addressed through a wider policy resolution: should opponents (or others) of Ram-Man's approach to 'licensing,' for example, be allowed to participate in how future mass comments towards these ends are formulated (with such formulation reflecting consensus), and significantly, if they are to be sent at all ? I think they should. When it comes to 'drives,' the use and nature thereof of the Ram(any)bot needs to be collaborative, not unilateral (even if no one but Ram-Mam ends up getting involved in these discussions, there should still be a subpage where this can take place and where consensus-derived conclusions can be noted and itemized, concisely and neatly). Then Ram-Man could engage in initiatives without worrying about undesirable stress from both people who object to the mass mailing aspect (they will be able to opt-out from all, or perhaps also some, future bot comments), and he can rightly claim to be operating under the ausepcies of consensus. It should not be too complex to work out the details. Everyone wins. El_C

There is an alternative that I have recently become aware of. Because the bot was producing some server load, it was suggested that some actions can be done by the system administrators (the ones that maintain the servers) directly with the databases. A short, couple sentence message about licensing could be added the everyone's user pages that way to alleviate load on the server and to avoid having to use a bot. It would also be much faster, but of course it would still be a batch message. I just have this question: I have a very real question that I am asking people, and if I do it in a lower format couple sentence message, how is this different from any other question to a user page, other than the scale. For most spam, a message does not even have to have anything to do with the person asked. It's a type of advertising. In this case, this is not advertising at all. The message is validly directed at the person receiving the message, just as any other message from a normal user would be. I think that we would not even be having this discussion if the message was not such a large message in the first place. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 13:05, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)
Had I known about the draft proposal in Wikipedia:Spam, I could have followed the advise and avoided this problem. Just FYI. -- RM

Bulk is the problem[edit]

Now you are confusing two things: scale and content. I did not receive approval for the scale of the edits, but I did receive implicit consensus based on the acceptability of the content. I don't think you can separate the scale from the content. When you sent me a message from your Ram-Man account, I assumed that you personally took the time to click the buttons and copy/paste the message and whatever else it is you did. This is fine. You found the message important enough to personally spend the time to send it. But if you had sent the message using a bot, which apparently you did to many other people, then I think you've fundamentally changed things. You're not willing to spend the time sending the message, but you expect me to spend the time reading it. That's not fair, and that's why I strongly oppose unsolicited bulk edits to talk pages (as we've discussed on Wikipedia:Bots about a month ago, I include bulk edits to article talk pages too). To me "bulk" means that they are sent by a bot, and not a human, it has nothing to do with volume. anthony 警告 17:01, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)

My comment referred only to bot policy, not bulk message policy. Right now scale is assumed and only the content is really under discussion. That is not to say that you don't make a good point. There is something about the perception of receiving a message from an actual person. But in this instance, I was just copying and pasting anyway, which I very well may have done with your user page as well. I could in theory use the User:Ram-Man account to perform the edits at a much slower rate and it would be invisible to the user whether I copied and pasted it vs. used a bot to facilitate. I can very easily do that if the source of the comment is that important. Of course if I do things manually, I may be able to do no more than 5 per minute. With 36,000 users (and growing), this 120 hours of work. Assuming I work a 3 hours a day doing nothing but copying and pasting, this would take me 40 days to complete! But that's 120 hours of my life best spent doing something else. I'd much rather have the bot look like me and do it that way. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 17:10, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)
Personally I don't have a problem with you copy/pasting. I of course reserve the right to ask you to stop if you start copy/pasting nonsense, but I'm fine with opt-out for those types of messages. I think you should turn around that 120 hours figure though. If Rambot sends out 36,000 messages, and it takes people an average of 12 seconds to read it, then you've had others spend a cumulative total of 120 hours of their lives for something most of them could better spend doing something else. This may not be a big deal if you're the only one who does it, but I think you have to consider what happens when everyone else starts doing the same thing (I know I personally would start sending out regular unsolicited bulk talk message if I tought it was acceptable). If only 100 people a week send a message to everyone, it'll already reach the point where I'll start ignoring my user talk page. In my mind it's like taking a penny from 30 million people without asking (if time is money and 12 seconds is a penny that's only $3/hour). Sure, it's only a penny (or a few seconds), but you've gotta look at the cumulative effect to see what the cost is to the community as a whole. If sending the message isn't worth 120 hours of your life, then don't take up 120 hours of our lives reading it. anthony 警告 18:14, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Lots of useless messages suck, I got that. So if the community approves, then it is ok? -- RM
I'm an idiot. Your example makes very little mathematical sense. For the bot to be a problem, you are assuming that there must be a large number of other users doing the same thing. Whether or not a bot is used, over time, the law of averages with make the number of messages added to each user page at any given time to be exactly the same thing, and you will spend exactly the same amount of time dealing with them anyway. Whether or not they use a bot is totally irrelevent. What is relevent is whether they send the messages in the first place, but if the messages are perfectly valid, then using a bot saves a huge chunk of time for the sender. You obviously can't eliminate the time it takes for someone to read a message. Why should anyone have to waste time when they are going to add them no matter what it takes? It does not benefit Wikipedia to have such a wasteful policy. -- RM
Not unless the whole community approved, in which case there would be no point in sending the message in the first place. anthony 警告 13:00, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)
There's no compromise with you then, is there? Because someone else might send something unwanted, legitimate uses are disallowed. It's just totally cut and dry: you can never ever use a bot to send anything to talk pages, that's what you're proposing. Well in the same spirit, I totally disagree, but I suppose further discussion would be pointless on this if you are not willing to compromise with me on this, like others already have. -- RM
you can never ever use a bot to send anything to talk pages, that's what you're proposing Yes, that's precisely what I'm "proposing" (well, unless the message is solicited, or I suppose if the Mediawiki board approves the message since it's their computer). If someone doesn't want to spend the time to personally send me the message, then I don't want to waste my time deleting it. I suppose further discussion would be pointless on this if you are not willing to compromise with me on this, like others already have I guess so. I don't want unsolicited bulk messages under any circumstances. Take me off your list. (I should note that I never intended to compromise on that point, only to explain my reasoning. If you thought I did, I'm sorry I didn't make myself clear). anthony 警告 13:55, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)
We'll then I bother to try to seek your permission/approval, since you've already decided. -- RM
FWIW, if I can't use the bot, even in the hidden fashion above, then the multi-licensing drive is essentially over, defeated by red-tape. I can't dedicate that much time to this. I already spend most of my time dealing with the many responses to my request. When I was unemployed, I created and edited over 3,000 county articles before the rambot was every invented. This took me a long time to do by hand. Eventually at some point I don't recall I switched over to using a bot. Nevertheless, many thousands of articles were created and edits manually and it took up weeks of my time. The bot took weeks of work and translated it into a matter of hours. -- RM
People multi-licensed before this particular drive and they will continue to do so afterward. Judging from some of the comments I've seen on your talk page I think the email you sent may have confused as many people as it convinced. Multilicensing is going to take a lot more than 120 hours, and a lot more than a few weeks. Even then it's only likely to be useful for narrow cases. I'd rather see you focus on getting a version of the rambot articles under CC-by-sa first. That'd be a much simpler task, and it'd prove the concept for the rest of the encyclopedia. anthony 警告 18:14, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)
(1) Let's not make this a red-herring. When people were confused, I individually clarified on their talk pages. The confusion varied from person to person, as this not a simple issue. (2) I tried to focus just on the rambot articles, but there was not much interest in restricting it to those articles only. But what I could do is have the rambot parse the history of all of the rambot articles and find every user who has ever modified one of those articles and just ask those users, rather than the full subset of users. I would be willing to do that as a proof-of-concept, as that seems to be a perfectly fine compromise. (3) Only about two dozen people multi-licensed before the project started and this was relatively frozen. That number is now over 500 and growing. The amount of content available increases somewhat exponentially with the number of users. -- RM
WRT 1), I think you are discounting people who were confused and therefore just ignored the message. But I'm not using this as an argument, just a suggestion to slow down and pay more attention to detail. If you disagree, fine, let's just drop that part. 2) The purpose of focussing on those articles is you would have a lot fewer people to convince, and once you were done talking to everyone involved you could more easily look at the scope of what would need to change to put the rest into compliance. I've been thinking about this, and I'd start out even more narrow than that. Pick one or two articles first. I'm not saying that when you talk to people you shouldn't try to convince them to make as broad a statement as possible, but I really think something like this needs more human attention than just sending out a message and hoping people respond. Parsing the history of rambot articles and starting with those users is basically what I'm saying. I don't know how big of group that would be, but I'd be willing to personally help you talk to people in that group, if it's too big for you to tackle yourself (without resorting to using a bot). anthony 警告
(1) The large message was a mistake. I could go back and replace it with a smaller version, or I can just leave it and let the whole situation past. I am way past the point where I agree that a small and precise message would be best. (2) I've already done that sort of attempt in two parts. The first 10 or so people I asked were all major contributors to rambot articles, including the Sethbot and some others. Most of them have already agreed to multi-license, although the most major of them (Docu/D6) has asked for time to respond and has not to this date. I will do exactly what you suggest and just focus on those people. With regards to help, that would be great, but since this is a highly redundant task it is well suited to being added to the database directly. See the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Bots. Because of current server load issues, it would be preferrable from the point of the server admins if we could just avoid bots or people altogether. I was waiting to ask until we were completed with our discussions here. 34,000 writes is the equivalent to 4-6 minutes of exclusive server writes (and nothing else) plus various other performance hits, according to our developers. This may not seem like much, but considering the rambot is going to have to many other thousands when it updates the cities again, you can see why the developers have requested this. Technically this doesn't require approval from anyone at all, but in good faith I am seeking a resolution no matter how they get added. -- RM
I don't think this is nearly as redundant a task as you're making it out to be. But what exactly are you trying to do? anthony 警告 14:32, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Append a few sentence message to the user pages of a list of users. -- RM
That's not a very lofty goal. I thought you had some purpose beyond just annoying people. anthony 警告 15:40, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)
For a similarly large task, look at Wikipedia:Image copyright tags. That's taking a really long time, but I think we're moving at the right pace (I say we because I've personally tagged almost 1000 images). At least we're moving in the right direction, where more images are tagged than uploaded without tags. I think that's a good example to follow. We could have just set up a bot to message everyone and tell them to tag their images, but I certainly don't think that would have succeeded, and maybe would have even had a negative effect. What we're trying to do here is really the same thing, for text.
Why don't you use a bot?! I think you're crazy. If someone uploads an image without a tag, they are already violating wikipedia policy in the first place. A short message alerting them to the fact on their user page would make total sense. Personally I think it's a waste of effort that could be done automatically, just because of some bizarre fear of using messages fast instead of slow. The fact that you do things differently should not preclude me from doing this differently. In fact you should consider coordinating your efforts with the developers in order to bypass the web in this action to help free up Wikipedia's resources for other stuff. If you don't do that, it would be better for you to run a bot to perform the image tagging project during non-peak hours than for you to do it by hand during peak hours. Honestly, you're crazy. You can save tons of time, use your regular user account as a bot so there is no difference, and cut down on server load, all at the same time. There are no downsides to this. -- RM
I'm not sure how a bot would be the best solution. Regarding users "violating policy" by uploading new images without a tag, the best solution is to simply not allow users to upload images without a tag. For images already here, it's not a task that lends itself very well to mass messaging people. I suppose we could get a couple responses by leaving a note on everyone's talk page, but really this is something which requires individual attention. Getting a list of users and the images they haven't tagged would be useful, but once that list is obtained I think it'd be best to go through it manually. anthony 警告 14:32, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I'm not familiar enough with the project to know those specifics. If it doesn't lend itself to automation, then so be it. Feel free to run it however you feel is best. -- RM
Just to clarify, I'm not "running" that project. No one is, really. anthony 警告 15:45, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)
3) I'm just worried that you might have solidified some people's opinions. But what is done is done so let's not focus on that. Is there a page somewhere which talks about these templates and what they're for? If not, let's create one (I see there's User:Rambot#Free the Rambot Articles project, but let's put it somewhere that others are more comfortable editing). If nothing else it'll be a place to put a FAQ so that you're not answering the same questions over and over. We could link to the page from tags themselves, so people who come across a tag and want to know what it is can do so. I'll create a page now, copy over some of the text from Rambot's page, and label it as a proposed project. anthony 警告 13:00, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Are you referring to the template tags or something else? No sense repeating the work if it is already done. (Wikipedia:Template_messages/User_namespace). Now I don't want to beat a dead horse, but since our biggest problem here is community approval, you are personally in the minority by wanting to multi-license only those rambot articles. If we were to base our next action based on community consensus, then we should focus our efforts on all articles, not just the rambot articles. Doing otherwise would give your personal view a higher priority than what most people want: All or nothing. -- RM
As I've said, I don't think we should only multi-license Rambot articles. I've personally only released those into the PD for now because I think those are the only ones that there's any reasonable chance it will make a difference in the forseeable future. I see very little point in multi-licensing with CC-by-SA, because you still have to figure out every author and put a list of them in the document. As I've said on my user page, I am quite open to granting requests for additional licenses, but I'd like to see an actual purpose before I do so. If someone came to me and said they were planning on including all my edits in Wikitravel (and had some kind of script to extract such information), I'd gladly give them permissionw, but that script would have to be pretty damn smart, because for instance it'd have to somehow determine which edits I've made which were solely my own and not derived from somewhere else. Anyway, my point is that you've bitten off more than you can chew, as is obvious from the fact that you've resorted to spamming people to try to accomplish it. If you think there is a subset of articles which is easier to get everyone to agree on a single license other than the Rambot articles, by all means use that for the test case. But since the Rambot articles were started as public domain, I think those are going to be the easiest ones to switch over. anthony 警告 14:32, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)
The rambot articles are not public domain, although the data source was. -- RM
At one point I remember specifically asking you about this and I could have sworn that you said they were. But as far as I'm concerned your additions were not creative enough to merit copyright protection, and they are easily rephrased so as to completely close the argument that they could be, anyway. anthony 警告 15:45, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I don't recall ever saying that, but considering that the courts are considering the case that phone books are creative expressions of information, I would say that they are probably not PD. I'm not terribly concerned about this issue though. It's totally academic until someone copies them in such a way that I feel is a violation, and then such a discussion would occur. Until then, it's rather pointless. Actually now that I think of it, if my contributions were considered to be PD, I probably wouldn't contribute to Wikipedia because I believe in the general principles of copyleft. If some court find that they are actually PD, well then so be it. -- RM
It must have been on IRC because I can't find a record of it anywhere on your talk pages, but maybe I'm just misremembering. Can you point me to the case regarding the phone books? While I don't think they're applicable to this particular case (I mean, you're not the one gathering the data here, you're just taking it from the government), I'd certainly be interested in the news if Feist was overturned. I agree it's academic, and not just because you aren't likely to sue, but because it's trivial to simply go back to the original source and copy that instead. As for saying you probably wouldn't contribute to Wikipedia if your contributions were considered to be PD, I never was saying that all your contributions were PD, just that your copying of facts from the US census data is quite arguably PD. Perhaps it would be useful if I started a bot to recontribute all that data to the articles without using your words. Then it'll be clearly PD. anthony 警告 16:29, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Please don't waste your efforts doing that when your work is best done elsewhere. I'd almost release it into the public domain before I'd make you do that, but I'm very uncomfortable with the idea of someone taking my work and releasing it under a non-free license. I'd much rather make them go through the work of doing it themselves if they want to be non-free about it. If someone asked for special permission, I'm typically quite open to that sort of thing. I've already granted the Wikimedia foundation permission to relicense all my work however they see fit as long as it is copyleft. That way even if I am not around, my content can be shared. But I don't like the public domain for major contributions. (See Template:WikimediaTextLicensing). -- RM
Please don't waste your efforts doing that when your work is best done elsewhere. Well, I do intend on freeing the data from the GFDL for my own copies, but I'm not going to recontribute it to Wikipedia solely for the reason of copyright. Anyone who wants the PD version can just come to my site, once it's finished. I'm very uncomfortable with the idea of someone taking my work and releasing it under a non-free license. The problem is that this stops people from taking the work and releasing it under a free license other than the ones that you've explicitly given permission for. If someone asked for special permission, I'm typically quite open to that sort of thing. I guess I could pre-emptively ask for permission under ShareAlike 1.0 and the QingPL. But I'd still be reliant on you to give new permission if a new and better license comes along. anthony 警告 17:47, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I've granted you limited relicensing permission. See here for the permission. Out of curiosity, are you creating a Wikipedia fork of some sort? -- RM
Well, I already have a "fork", in that McFly includes articles that are deleted from Wikipedia. Almost of the non-deleted articles are kept in their original form, though. Where I'm most interested in using this would be Wikiteer, which might wind up being a Wikimedia supported project (I'd prefer this) or might not (if Wikimedia refuses to start it, then I'll eventually start it on my own). I'd prefer it if we made Wikiteer to be PD (or maybe CC-SA), as the requirements of the GFDL and CC-by-SA, especially the requirement to list each and every author, is not very conducive to a site which has a huge number of authors and is freely editable. I think this point is well evidenced by Wikipedia. CC-by-SA eliminates the requirement to include the license in every copy, but it still requires a list of every author. The research it would take to find out every single author of a well edited Wikipedia article would be prohibitive, as you'd have to look at each edit to make sure that it was an original contribution and not copy/pasted from another part of Wikipedia (which is commonly done). So the only reasonable solution is to list every author of Wikipedia, which as you know is over 36,000 people, and doesn't apply well to a print copy. anthony 警告 20:05, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)
You make a compelling argument and I find it hard to disagree with, however, Jimbo in discussions with the members of the FSF who are responsible for writing licenses, has been pushing for changes to the GFDL which would be more flexible in that they would only require links to both history (where attribution would be) and the license itself. That is probably what you are referring to. If that mission is successful, then the GFDL would become a lot more popular in many people's eyes. This is the main reason for keeping the multi-licensing project separate from Wikipedia policy. If the GFDL 2.0 has those improvements in it, then the CC-by-sa may become inferior in most peoples' eyes to the GFDL! But we'll have to just wait and see. -- RM
Apparently we already have Wikipedia:Multi-licensing. anthony 警告 13:14, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Fairness is the problem[edit]

Why should somebody that has the time, resources and expertise to run a robot have a more voice in the community than all the regular users? In my opion, this whole question should have been dealt with at the policy level in the first place. PRiis 19:35, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Rambot has been unblocked — well, Rambot will be unblocked as soon as I can load the !@*#&*! unblock page! :) — and you may feel free to use it for maintainence and updates of articles. However, please obtain approval via the standard approval mechanism described at Wikipedia:Bots before you use it to place additional messages on user talk pages. Thanks for your concern in this regard.

Also, if you haven't already seen it, you may be interested in these mailing list posts. -Fennec (はさばくのきつね) 22:50, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Would like to publish my meetup-pointing signature on my User Page[edit]

I've figured out a way to modify my signature the way I want it and would like to place the coding in a "My sig:" box on my User Page, but can't figure out how to insulate it so the coding won't be interperted by the wiki software as commands. Any ideas? Dennis (talk) ('Wiki NYC Meetup)[[]]

Went back to a sig cloned from yours[edit]

I went back to a sig based on yours until I can get the other sig debugged. After I get that working, I'll worry about figuring out a way to pass it along to others so the NYC Meetup meme can spread.

Dennis (talk)| Meetup/NYC 17:16, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)

NYC Pictures[edit]

I just check my pictures, and I think the only picture I have of you is foggy :-( Sorry. SweetLittleFluffyThing 18:52, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I have not uploaded the pictures that I took, but there are plenty of good ones at Wikipedia:Meetup/NYC1. -- RM
yup. Very good ones. And a great one from you, so all is well :-) Ant

Mapit templates[edit]

I just came across one of the coolest set of templates I've ever seen. What they do is take just two variables, longitude and latitude, and give links to an appropriately-sized street map, topographic map and aerial photo! It would be most wonderful if these were added to an ==External links== section in each Rambot-maintained U.S. city during the next Rambot pass. I'm sure somebody will soon create templates for county scale and state scale as well.


--mav 22:18, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Letting you know[edit]

You asked to be let known in the spam, so here is mine, in bullet form:

  • I may multi-license my contributions. I haven't decided yet; right now I'm leaning towards no. I will have to read the CC by SA license a few times.
  • From the bot page, I haven't yet seen you provide proof that using your bot to spam users is harmless or was approved. That's disconcerting. If you think the bot policy is wrong, you should change the bot policy, rather than breaking policy and then making excuses.
Actually, unless you haven't actually been reading the bot page, I have been in discussion about whether the bot has been harmless, so your characterization of me is totally inaccurate. I'd encourage you to check the ongoing discussion on the topic, and chime in if you have a point of view. In addition, I recently asked for approval for other tasks and the request was totally ignored, so I decided to seek approval by other means. The request is still there. Not many people even look at that page, let alone respond to it. As it stands, I have had many explicit comments about this on my talk page as well as the ok of Jimbo to run the multi-licensing drive. Look, everyone here is quibbling over how I got approval, not that I did. Everyone knows I didn't strictly follow the rules, but is that more important than the purpose of those rules? Apparently that is where we disagree: I think the spirit of the rule is far more important than the legalistic application of said rule. -- RM
But you didn't get approval, you just assumed that since you had done things before without asking, that it was ok to do this gigantic drive without asking. I don't think it is. Asking about something on the bots page and getting no replies is much closer to implicit approval than doing something unannounced and getting no complaints. -- BB
  • The spam is way too long. If a person is on the wikipedia, they're capable of following links to read your plea, rather than pasting the entire thing in every page.
Indeed, and this problem has been resolved. I will no longer be doing this because of requests like yours. It was a lapse of judgement on my part, and it won't be repeated. I am quite sure that doing this new method will allow me to better present my case anyhow. -- RM
  • I don't want to discount the contribution of your bot, because it has made a lot of useful stubs. But I don't consider the spamming activity as a positive contribution.
Your point has been noted. Had I gotten approval on the bot page like the rules suggested, I assume you would still have not believed that it was a positive contribution. So that seems to be a totally separate issue. -- RM
But you wouldn't have gotten approval on the bot page, so the contribution wouldn't have been made. In the unlikely possibility that you had gotten approval, then it wouldn't have mattered. --Ben Brockert 01:48, Dec 17, 2004 (UTC)
  • You should have had a policy discussion before embarking on this. You're effectively trying to CC by SA the entire Wikipedia, which is a huge change in policy. Saying that it isn't a change in policy becouse you're just talking to users is a dodge; if every user on Wikipedia changes their policy, then there has been a change in Wikipedia policy.
I heartily disagree that such a discussion would have been wise or wanted. Wikipedia has so many "rules" and "regulations" which contradict each other in many places. People pick and choose which ones they want to follow. Shouldn't we remember the "There are no rules" rule which is there to remind everyone that except for a few things set in stone, that Wikipedia policy is more guidelines than rules. Or maybe that rule doesn't count anymore. Multi-licensing does not change Wikipedia one bit. It has nothing to do with policy. Policy would be requiring users to multi-license or even to add a software feature to the WikiMedia software to allow users to opt-in or opt-out of multi-licensing. Each user is an individual copyright holder and Wikipedia policy has no business telling them what they do with their copyright. You don't ask the licensee for permission to use something under a different license, you ask the licensor. Even if every user agrees (which they can't because of anonymous users), Wikipedia remains just a licensee, and that will never change unless Wikipedia starts a policy drive to make every user agree to permit Wikipedia to license it's contributions. (See Template:WikimediaTextLicensing) Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 13:49, Dec 16, 2004 (UTC)

--Ben Brockert 02:10, Dec 16, 2004 (UTC)