Wikipedia:Contributor copyright investigations

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Contributor copyright investigations is a process intended to identify users who have repeatedly introduced copyright violations into many articles or uploaded many copyrighted images, typically over a long period of time, and to systematically remove this infringing material. The process begins with the filing of a CCI by an editor who notices a large-scale pattern of copyright violation by an individual contributor, and if approved, will lead to a survey of their complete contributions followed by removal of any material suspected to be infringing.

This process is intended only for large-scale systematic copyright violations. To list individual media files or articles for evaluation, see Wikipedia:Copyright problems or Wikipedia:Possibly unfree files, however, attempting resolution is not required prior to filing a CCI request.

Contributor copyright investigations
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(Parenthetical dates indicate when opened. Overview of rough stats here.)


When should a CCI be started?[edit]

As a rule of thumb, at least five instances of clear copyvios (copy/pasting of unlicensed third party material; clear derivative works) should be required to file a case. There are no other requirements for filing a CCI request; in particular, previous attempts at resolution such as contact with the contributor of concern are not required, nor is previous use of the Wikipedia:Copyright problems notice board; see Good faith and copyright.

A CCI is a serious accusation. In general, if you have an on-going dispute with another editor, you should do one of the following:

How should a case be filed?[edit]

A new case should be filed using the template {{subst:CCI-request}}, which is to be placed underneath the requests header below.

{{subst:CCI-request
|user = the user subject to the CCI
|evidence = your reasoning for opening the case
}}

Remember to remain civil. Some contributors violate copyright from misunderstanding of copyright policies or laws. While it may be necessary to intervene to prevent future copyright issues, it is not necessary or helpful to treat individuals listed here discourteously. Good faith requests are welcome even if they should prove mistaken. However, please remember that this is a serious allegation and should not be made without evidence. Requests without evidence may be interpreted as harassment.

After submitting a case, notify the contributor by adding {{subst:CCI-notice}} ~~~~ to the bottom of his or her talk page. It is not necessary to notify individuals who are currently blocked for copyright infringement, even if temporarily.

Please also visit Contribution Surveyor and enter the name of the user you are filing a request against. This will cache their contribution report, allowing us to access and review it more quickly.

Role of CCI clerks and admins[edit]

To verify:

  • That the case is filed properly
  • That concerns are substantiated - non-admin clerks may request admin review of deleted contribs where necessary if this is present in the evidence. A deletion log citing copyright concerns is verifiable evidence.
  • Through a cursory check of the other contributions, that the problem goes past the evidence presented, warranting wider review.

To follow with one of three actions:

  • Dismiss the case if inconclusive (and take appropriate action if the case was filed frivolously)
  • Close the case if no significant evidence of further wide scale problems are found
  • Open a contribution survey

All contributors with no history of copyright problems are welcome to contribute to clean up.

The Green tickY and Red XN (created with {{y}} and {{n}}) signify that there was a copyright violation in the article and that there was not, respectively. An entry ? indicates that the original contribution is now gone or completely rewritten so confirming whether it was a problem is not worth the effort.

Accepted cases[edit]

Accepted cases will lead to a contributor survey. A clerk or uninvolved admin will create the appropriate Contributor survey subpage and populate the contribution data. He or she will further notify any relevant Wikiprojects to ask for their assistance where appropriate and post a notice at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard. Although a user found to be contributing copyrighted material may be subject to sanctions such as blocking in some cases, CCI is not concerned with these sanctions and they are left to other forums.

If contributors have been shown to have a history of extensive copyright violation, it may be assumed without further evidence that all of their major contributions are copyright violations, and they may be removed indiscriminately, in accordance with Wikipedia:Copyright violations. When such indiscriminate removal may be controversial or cause considerable collateral damage, an effort will be made to assemble a volunteer force sufficient to evaluate problematic contributions. If insufficient volunteers are available to manage clean-up, presumptive wholesale removal may be the only choice.

To participate in clean up, follow the link to its listing page. All contributors with no history of copyright problems are welcome to contribute to clean up. Additionally, contributors listed are encouraged to contribute to clean up of their own materials.

Closed investigations[edit]

After completion, any CCI case, including those dismissed, will be moved to the archive subpage.

Responding to a CCI case[edit]

If a user has requested evaluation of your contributions here, please remember that the purpose of this process is not to harass or embarrass you, but to ensure that Wikipedia remains compliant with copyright laws. You can best help by assisting, rather than hindering, investigation. If you believe that your contributions have not constituted a copyright problem under Wikipedia's policies, please succinctly provide your rationale; if you choose to do so, do so immediately, since there is no explicit time period provided in this process for providing your rationale - a CCI clerk may assess a CCI request and open a CCI case within minutes, hours, or days of the filing of the CCI request. If it should prove that the contributor who made the request is mistaken, this will be noted and the section archived. If, on the other hand, concerns are substantiated, you may best demonstrate a willingness to comply with copyright policies by helping to identify and address problems.

Once an investigation has opened, your username will be listed, linked to your CCI case's subpage, here (the Wikipedia:Contributor copyright investigations page) and on the "Main" tab of the Wikipedia:WikiProject Copyright Cleanup project page, until the case is closed.

Once an investigation has opened, you are advised to watch the investigation subpage if you are interested in what actions are taken. You should not expect to receive individual notices of articles or images that are deleted or blanked for copyright concerns in the course of a CCI.

Requests[edit]

Please add any suspected infringers to the FOOT of the list below, following the format at How should a case be filed? above. A CCI clerk or administrator will review your request according to the instructions, then either open the case or close it.

Open investigations[edit]

Only clerks or administrators should add or remove listings in this section. Proposed investigations should be listed in the section above. All contributors with no history of copyright problems are welcome to contribute to clean up. Additionally, contributors listed are encouraged to contribute to clean up of their own materials. New listings should mention the date they were opened, and listed in the order they are opened.

Closed investigations[edit]

All closed investigations, as well as requests that were declined, can be found at Wikipedia:Contributor copyright investigations/Archive.

Templates[edit]

See Category:CCI templates.

Footer[edit]

Put new listings under investigation requests, above.