Wikimedia is not mentioned in PETA's lawsuit. Instead, PETA is suing Slater, his company, and his publisher, on behalf of the monkey, who they identify as Naruto. According to PETA "The lawsuit seeks to have Naruto declared the 'author' and owner of his photograph. Our argument is simple: U.S. copyright law doesn’t prohibit an animal from owning a copyright, and since Naruto took the photo, he owns the copyright, as any human would." PETA would administer the copyright and use the proceeds for the benefit of Naruto and the macaque habitat.
Legal experts are divided on the merits of the case. David Favre of Michigan State Universitytold the Associated Press "They have a fair argument, but I would have to say it is an uphill battle." Laurence Tribe of Harvard University disagreed, telling the AP "It trivializes the terrible problems of needless animal slaughter and avoidable animal exploitation worldwide for lawyers to focus so much energy and ingenuity on whether monkeys own the copyright in selfies taken under these contrived circumstances."
PETA's actions are disrespectful and ignorant of all the work so far done and what can be achieved in the future. With an organization who seeks to criminalize a wildlife photographer to further their own agenda only makes them appear as bad as Wikimedia, with both lacking integrity and honor and a knowledge of copyright law...PETA are now guilty of distracting from the original intention of the photos, which is to alert people to these animals, their plight of survival, their brilliant personalities and similarities to us, so we can learn to be more genuine and humble. We need to learn from these monkeys in Sulawesi, and not the monkeys at PETA and Wikimedia who care only for their own image.
According toBBC News, Slater argues that it took "much time and more perseverance" to obtain the famous shot:
He had to spend several days with the monkeys so that they became relaxed in his company. He said he only managed to get the photo by setting up his camera on a tripod with a cable release switch which the monkey in the famous selfie pressed.
In addition, he had to make sure that the light and contrast switches on the camera were properly set – work which he says is more than sufficient for him to claim copyright of the photos.
"I was lying down at the time with at least two macaque juveniles on my back and nursing a few bruises from a male who had whacked me several times all over in the belief that I was a challenge to his females.
"So please don't tell me these photos are not my property."
Its creators have solved one of the internet's fundamental problems: How to provide authoritative, rigorously accurate knowledge, at no cost to readers. It's something the encyclopedia, or SEP, has managed to do for two decades.
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy today contains close to 1,500 entries (less than 1/3,000 of Wikipedia) and is updated continuously. Unlike Wikipedia, however, its articles are full treatments of their topics, written by experts. The Encyclopedia enjoys an excellent reputation, and has become an important resource for students, instructors and scholars as well as the general public.
8 times a blog plagiarized Wikipedia: Phil Edwards, the "Ephemera correspondent" at Vox who wrote about Wikipedia:Lamest edit wars last week (see last week's In the media), has posted a story about what might be "the first photobomb" in history. This story is remarkably similar to one recently posted to the WMF blog by former Signpost editor-in-chief Ed Erhart, a fact pointed out on Twitter by Katherine Maher, the WMF's chief communications officer. While Edwards does not seem to have taken any text word for word from Erhart and does link to Erhart's post deep in his story, it appears to be a textbook example of "churnalizing", an increasingly frequent practice where stories are essentially copied and rewritten by other publications. Maher writes that "it grates especially hard" when the content re-purposed by paid writers and journalists is "work done by volunteer contributors". (Sept. 25) G
More on Wikipedia's Google rankings: Stone Temple Consulting reports (Sept. 23) that comparing data from April, May and August of this year shows that Wikipedia has experienced ranking drops – "the site did lose many of its #1 and #2 ranking positions". However, Wikipedia was still more strongly represented in search results than Google's own web properties, and the authors note with some surprise that "Wikipedia's presence in commercial queries is actually higher than it is in informational queries". AK
Booker bet: The Telegraphreports (Sept. 22) on a man, "described as middle-aged, well-spoken and fair-haired", who was able to correctly predict last year's Man Booker Prize winner, enabling him to win over a dozen bets he had placed on the envisaged outcome. He later rang a newspaper to describe his methods, which partly relied on the judges' Wikipedia biographies: "I did a case study of each judge, using Wikipedia and YouTube, and read as much as I could about the books they had written, their interests, their politics and religious beliefs and then, through a process of Sherlock Holmes deductive reasoning, tried to intuit which book they would go for." This year, the mystery punter is betting on The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota. AK
Traffic report becomes art: Signpost's own Serendipodous has a rival! Hyperallergic magazine describes (Sept. 21) how American artist Jason Salavon has compiled a massive list of all the 5 million Wikipedia articles ordered by page views. A display this month at Expo Chicago, titled "The Master List (Semaphore)", featured lists of the most popular articles. Close by was Salavon's colorful video work based upon Wikipedia articles on art topics. N
Computer decides Wikipedia is reliable: TechCrunch, the online technology mag, was impressed (Sept. 21) with the "incredible" capabilities of IBM's "Watson" artificial intelligence (AI) system. Watson was asked to determine whether Wikipedia was a reliable source. In "just a few seconds" it went through all the articles on Wikipedia and "concluded that it was in fact an accurate source of information". However, Dr John Kelly, head of the Watson project, reassures us that AI won't be replacing humans just yet, instead helping us make decisions. N
Open-source taxonomy project: Timereports (Sept. 21) on what it calls, somewhat misleadingly, "the Wikipedia for new species" – an academically curated project to create an "Open Tree of Taxonomy". AK
Over the last couple of years I've seen numerous examples of community members describing their fellow Wikipedians as "obsessive-compulsive", "ultra-pedantic", etc. when talking to journalists. Being a long-term Wikipedian myself, I know that these kinds of descriptions bear some truth. However, I'm also convinced that we're sometimes too focused on the negative aspects of community behavior when talking to the press. And I believe Wikipedia could benefit from us being more mindful about how we describe our community to the public.
I know that we're far beyond the point where journalists are solely enthusiastic about the "encyclopedia that anyone can edit" as a novel concept that no one believes will ever provide any real value to society. And I'm also not suggesting that we sugarcoat things. However, journalists tend to amplify negative descriptions of our community in a way that hurts our ability to recruit new Wikipedians.
Seriously, who would like to join a "rancorous, sexist, elitist" environment ruled by an "entrenched, stubborn elite of old-timers"? It's like saying: "I'd like you to become a member of our soccer club. We are all super tense and we don't get along well with each other."
Here are three simple things that you could do instead:
Explain why Wikipedians behave the way they do. I believe we can do a better job at explaining why members of our community revert bad edits without necessarily describing them as "ultra-pedantic". Consider talking about how Wikipedians are devoting large amounts of their free time to keeping the information on Wikipedia accurate and free of vandalism. How people are performing this onerous task without ever getting paid or even being acknowledged for their work. We do this because we believe in the idea of providing the world with high-quality information free of charge.
Tell people about the satisfaction you get out of editing. Correct me if I'm wrong. But I haven't seen many examples of people talking about the joy that comes with creating or substantially improving Wikipedia articles or adding a new image to an article that had no illustration. However, I know countless Wikipedians (myself included) who get a deep satisfaction out of building something online, of tinkering with articles until they meet their own high quality standards. What a great talking point.
Talk about why you joined Wikipedia in the first place. I don't know why you joined Wikipedia. I can only talk about myself. Back in 2005, I felt like coverage of topics that I cared about was missing. Some stuff on Wikipedia was simply inaccurate. After I started making my first edits, I felt connected to that unique group of people who were funny, smart, and dedicated to the cause of free and open knowledge. Getting their feedback and interacting with them deeply satisfied me. And I'm close friends with some of them since (even far beyond our shared interest in writing articles and uploading photos).
Now, to which extent would talking in a more positive way about Wikipedia and its community make a difference? Honestly, I don't know. What I remember, though, is the effect that an article in the German magazine Der Spiegel had on Wikipedia in late 2004. A large wave of new editors flooded the German Wikipedia. Even up to the point that the existing community at that point wondered whether it would ever be able to onboard the huge amount of new editors appropriately.
Is it likely that a journal article about Wikipedia would have the same effect today? I doubt it. However, and that I know for sure – I wouldn't want to join a "rancorous, sexist, elitist" group of people. That's why I'm committed to trying my best in changing the public perception of a community and a cause I love. Are you?
Frank Schulenburg is the Executive Director of the Wiki Education Foundation, an independent organization that supports the use of Wikipedia in education in the US and Canada. He has been a Wikipedia editor since 2005. The views expressed in this editorial are his alone and do not reflect any official opinions of this publication or the Wiki Education Foundation.
Last week a few issues with UploadWizard were fixed. Before this was done, UploadWizard would stop you from uploading your files if something went wrong.
More Wikipedias can now use information from any Wikidata item in any Wikipedia article. Previously they could only use the Wikidata item that matched the subject of the article.
The VisualEditor welcome dialogue has been changed. The intention is to make it more helpful for new users.
Wikimedia Labs' HTTPS certificate expired for most of Tuesday 15 September. To reach Wikimedia Labs and Tool Labs securely you had to ignore your browser's security error message. There was no risk to data security during this time.
Last week the notification system was split into two parts. This was temporarily undone because of a bug and performance concerns. It will return to two parts this week.
UploadWizard couldn't upload files larger than 5 MB when using chunked uploads. This has now been fixed.
Changes this week
The new version of MediaWiki will be on test wikis and MediaWiki.org from September 22. It will be on non-Wikipedia wikis from September 23. It will be on all Wikipedias from September 24 (calendar).
The page move tool has been switched over to the new standard look for forms.
You can now choose whether to extend a link or not when editing one in VisualEditor. This means it is easier to choose how much of what you type before and after the link is part of it.
You can join the next meeting with the VisualEditor team. During the meeting, you can tell developers which bugs are the most important. The meeting will be on 22 September at 19:00 (UTC). See how to join.
This week, drug lord and wannabe BolivarPablo Escobar was joined by a whole host of somewhat more primetime-friendly political insurgents, as the tidal wave of anger against the managerial styles of many political parties finally seemed to be bearing fruit across the world. Eleven people took part in this week's Republican US Presidential debate, but the only ones who made it on this list were those with no prior political experience. The debate saw Carly Fiorina, who had fought to be included, rise to second place in the polls. In Australia, Malcolm Turnbull staged an uprising from within and swiped the throne from Tony Abbott.
For the full top-25 list, see WP:TOP25. See this section for an explanation of any exclusions. For a list of the most edited articles of the week, see here.
As prepared by Serendipodous, for the week of September 13 to 19, the 10 most popular articles on Wikipedia, as determined from the report of the most viewed pages, were:
Holding steady in the top spot for a third week (down by about 300,000 views). The Capone of cocaine shot from the bottom to the top of this list two weeks ago, thanks to the Netflix series Narcos, which charts his rise, brutal rule, and (presumably, at some point) bloody end. It is odd that the Colombian drug lords haven't been romanticised as their Italian Chicago predecessors were. Perhaps it's simple xenophobia, or more likely, because we are so much more aware of how barbaric they were.
The media's declared "winner" (if there can be such a thing) of Wednesday's second Republican US Presidential debate, held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California and hosted by CNN. Having fought fiercely to be included in the main debate, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO held a steady course that night, keeping herself stern and no-nonsense, even when confronted yet again with Donald Trump's now legendary description of her in Rolling Stone: "Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!" When asked during the debate to comment on Trump's backtrack that he was referring to her "persona", Fiorina countered coolly, "I think women all over this country heard what Mr. Trump said.". It worked; polls now show Trump has slumped, while she has shot to 2nd place.
Interest in this Boston Irish mobster, brother of a state senator and coddled FBI informant has skyrocketed thanks to the trailer for the film Black Mass, which features a bonechilling performance by Johnny Depp, playing a particularly icy variation of Joe Pesci's "You think I'm funny?" scene in Goodfellas. The trailer led to a respectable $23 million opening weekend gross.
The Lebanese Americanporn star (she is apparently the most viewed star on PornHub, thanks largely to the support of patriotic Lebanese) got into a bit of bother with a fifth of the world's population this week when, after a hack of her Instagram account falsely claimed she would be appearing on the Indian version of Big Brother, she huffily replied on social media that she was "never stepping foot in India". This of course led to massive backlash from that proud and still largely sexually conservative nation, one she has yet to comment on.
For a moment there it looked as if the Donald was done, at least as far as this list was concerned; hovering above relegation last week, his numbers doubled after this week's latest Republican debate. His performance was not praised, and may have cost him in the polls, but if his rise has taught us anything, it's that there is no such thing as bad publicity – provided you don't care.
In one of those Shakespearean coups that make parliamentary democracies so interesting, the erstwhile Australian Minister for Communications launched a bid to replace then-Prime MinisterTony Abbott, on the (arguably correct) grounds that he had become an electoral liability. The bid succeeded, granting Turnbull the dubious honour of being the third person in six years to govern Australia without a mandate. Only time will tell if he outperforms his predecessors, though if recent history is anything to go by, not much time.
American cuisine has a habit of sacrficing pleasure on the altar of pure calories, and this delicacy of the Colorado Mine Company restaurant in Denver, is no exception. It consists of a hollowed loaf of bread filed with an entire jar of peanut butter, an entire jar of jelly, and a pound of bacon, and costs $65, hence its name. Despite this, Elvis Presley once flew from his home in Tenneseee to Denver at midnight, just to try it, as learned on a Reddit thread this week.
The six-foot, ten-inch 12-time NBA All-Star and three-time MVP, who finished his career with a record 7,382 offensive rebounds, died in his sleep this week at the relatively young age of 60, of heart failure.
The soft-spoken neurosurgeon and Republican Presidential candidate (much like Trump and Fiorina, he has yet to hold political office, which appears to be a boon in this race) has seen his viewing numbers jump by more than 50% since the last debate, even as his polls decline slightly in favour of Carly Fiorina. Thanks to his appeal to his party's religious conservative base, he has been nipping at Trump's heels for weeks now, and even scored a point for rational skepticism during the debate by showing Trump up on his belief in the old myth about vaccines causing autism. He still managed to flub it a bit with the odd addendum that parents should have the option to exclude those vaccines that "[don't] prevent death or crippling," despite there being no such vaccines, since all the diseases we vaccinate against can cause death or crippling.
What motivated you to join WikiProject Latin music? Are you a musician, or just a fan of the genre?
Victor Lopes: I'm an amateur musician, but mostly a fan of the genre, and since I live in Latin America, I'm obviously surrounded by it.
Magiciandude: I grew up listening to Latin music all my life (I am of Puerto Rican descent) and I continue to do so as it is my favorite genre. I created the WikiProject as an effort to reach out to other editors who have similar interests.
Have you contributed to any of the project's fifty Featured or 131 Good articles, and do you find them easier or harder to promote than articles regarding other subjects?
Victor Lopes: I did some editing here and there, but never took any of them to Good or Featured status.
Do you think that Latin music receives a reasonable amount of editor attention on Wikipedia, or should there be more editors involved?
Victor Lopes: The coverage is much beyond my expectations. As a matter of fact, the coverage here is much better than in my native Portuguese Wikipedia, though highly popular artists such as Shakira tend to be as well-covered as they are here.
Magiciandude: It varies. As Victor Lopes said, artists such as Shakira, Ricky Martin, and Enrique Iglesias tend to receive more coverage due to being internationally known. Likewise, music from popular countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Spain, and the United States also gets more contributions. We could definitely use more editors who are knowledgeable about music from other Spanish-speaking regions of Latin America that receive much less attention the project. We can also benefit more users who can speak Portuguese as the number of Spanish-speaking users on the project greatly outnumbers those who speak Portuguese so that articles related to music from Brazil and Portugal can be improved on.
The project has many DYK (did you know) items listed on its front page, more than most WikiProjects. Are your editors particularly encouraged to nominate new articles for DYK?
Magiciandude: Credit goes to Jaespinoza for bringing so many DYKs to the project. Most of the other active members also tend to be active making DYKs.
What is your most popular topic or article, measured by reader page views? Should it be a project aim to improve your highest visibility articles?
Magiciandude: As mentioned, Latin artists who are internationally known such as Enrique Iglesias and Shakira tend to have the most views as well as the countries I've said before. The project aims to improve artists and recordings that have received the highest visibility to attract new members while also reaching out to users who are interested in other Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking music from Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula that receives less attention from the project.
How can a new member help today?
Victor Lopes: We have recently expanded our to-do list. New members (anyone, actually ;D) are invited to help creating those articles.
Magiciandude: There are many ways a new member can help out whether it'd be contributing to their favorite Latin artists and their recordings or their favorite Latin genres. Since we include any music in Spanish and Portuguese that have been released in Latin America, the Iberian Peninsula, and the United States, we are open to members who want to contribute to artists who frequently cross over to the Latin market such as Laura Pausini and Manu Chao. We also accept recordings with indigenous languages and dialects from Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula for anyone who is interested in either of those. I have also compiled a list of resources to help users find information for Latin music articles much easier.