Wikipedia:Copyright problems/Clerks

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The copyright problems board clerks are editors whose roles are to assist in the maintenance of the copyright problems board, with housekeeping tasks, and with assessing individual listings.

List of clerks[edit]

The following is the list of all CP clerks, currently active or inactive; they are listed here for ease of contact and coordination.

  1. NortyNort (talk · contribs · email)
  2. Belovedfreak (talk · contribs · email)
  3. Voceditenore (talk · contribs · email)
  4. Darkwind (talk · contribs · email)
  5. Justlettersandnumbers (talk · contribs · email)
  6. Crow (talk · contribs · email)


CP clerks are selected by the administrators and current clerks who volunteer in copyright cleanup on Wikipedia and the current clerks serving at the board and must gain consensus among those. Discussions are held at Wikipedia talk:Copyright problems/Clerks. They ensure the smooth operation of the CP page and may perform the following tasks:

  • Evaluating listings to help determine if content is public domain or compatibly licensed (which may allow for speedy processing of a listing)
  • Determining—if content is in violation of plagiarism or copyright process—when material was added and if the adding contributor has been properly advised of issues
  • Evaluating if repeated prior issues warrant contributor copyright investigation and requesting an investigation if so
  • Addressing at any point in the process articles tagged {{close paraphrasing}} or {{copy-paste}}
  • Stubbing or rewriting, if appropriate, content flagged {{copyvio}} after a period of no less than five days
  • Marking listings that require the use of administrative tools so that any volunteer administrator may take action

CP clerks have the following qualities:

  • They are users who are in good standing within the community, and are experienced with Wikipedia's copyright cleanup processes.
  • They have a good working knowledge of Wikipedia policy, especially in the area of copyright.
  • They are trusted by the administrators who volunteer in copyright cleanup in their knowledge and judgment, and the administrators should not feel that they must continually check over their work.

While CP clerks are permitted to remove {{copyvio}} tags from articles after investigations, CP Clerks do not have any special authority over the general community; the community may request administrator review of a CP closure if the handling is in dispute. Clerks are expected to remain civil in communicating with other users about issues. Just as with the volunteer administrators who work at Wikipedia, they are not expected to be experts in copyright law and are encouraged to seek feedback when encountering copyright situations outside of their experience.

Trainee clerks[edit]

A good first step in obtaining experience to become a CP clerk is volunteering at suspect copyright violations. Many of the tasks performed at that board are identical, and volunteers there are called upon to exercise many of the same evaluations drawn upon here. Anyone may request to become a trainee clerk on this page's discussion page. Users in good standing with experience in copyright areas may ask any current clerk to be a trainee clerk. Please keep in mind that new CP clerks are selected on an as needed basis; it is not unreasonable that clerk nominees who are otherwise knowledgeable and in good standing be turned down if there is not current need.

Trainee clerks perform all the roles of regular CP clerks except removing {{copyvio}} templates and closing listings where the {{copyvio}} templates have been used.

Clerk review[edit]

To ensure that clerks are operating within expected parameters, their work may be subjected to periodic review by a group of administrators experienced in copyright cleanup on Wikipedia. Perfection is not expected; what is being evaluated is whether or not the clerk is still demonstrating the requisite qualities. Clerks who are not may be mentored. Clerks who persistently make problematic closures of listings or otherwise violate decorum may be asked to cease contributing here.

Admin patrollers[edit]

Please note that administrators are still required to interact with copyright problems where clerks have marked a need for administrator action, including deletion and revision deletion. Administrators are not required to follow clerk recommendations for deletion, but it is requested that administrators engage clerks in conversation before unilaterally restoring content that a clerk has judged to be problematic (unless new information has come to light). While there is always some subjectivity in copyright work, clerks are expected to be experienced in Wikipedia's approach to copyright matters, and in our goal to create free content we may sometimes have to reach informed consensus on disputes or (in particularly complex matters) consult with the Wikimedia Foundation's attorneys.

Please see Wikipedia:Copyright problems/Advice for admins for general instructions for administrators on how to handle copyright problems.

Advice for clerks[edit]

A detailed document setting out recommended practices for clerks is available at Wikipedia:Copyright problems/Advice for clerks.