Wikipedia talk:GFDL Compliance

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What does High compliance mean?[edit]

What do we consider as high compliance? Is it sufficient if, on each page, they credit Wikipedia, link to the original Wikipedia article, and link to a copy of the GFDL? Is anything more required? Is less than this acceptable? -Rholton 03:08, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Some issues to consider:

  • are the links to GFDL and/or the source article only available through Java/Javascript? If so, is this a significant difference?
    • or putting it another way, must GFDL/Wikipedia be in the source code for the page so that those (such as search engines) have some dynamic functions turned off still pick the text up? --Henrygb 17:45, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
      • The notice must be visible to those without scripting support. Superm401 - Talk 02:07, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
The GFDL's requirement to include a list of original authors is a condition met by essentially none of the sites currently categorized as 'high' compliance. While a link to the original article could be seen to alleviate this problem, it is dubious for the same reasons that the GFDL requires local hosting. I'm not sure that anything can be done about this, but perhaps this detail should be clarified on the project page. Feezo (Talk) 00:11, 1 December 2007 (UTC)


Id like to move this subpage to Wikipedia:Compliance. I understand how all the listings are organized under Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks - Im just talking about the GFDL compliance subpage. Objections? -SV|t|th 21:33, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Needs coordination with mirror list[edit]

We have a mess when it comes to reporting GFDL violations. The mirror list lists, as does meta:Non-compliant site coordination, but this page does not. All of these are hard to find with google. I've put a link from Copyright to Wikipedia:Copyrights, and I'll put a link from there to the pages that deal with /other/ people violating /us/, but it really needs to be organized. Lunkwill 03:08, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

Print Violations[edit]

Something that came top my attention recently; how are we to deal with offline violations of Wikipedia content? A local business directory was recently delivered though my letterbox that contained a fair chunk of the article text about my local area, verbatim and without attributation. I noticed this as I actually wrote a chunk of the printed text!

Admittedly this is only an extremely minor violation ( and it's nice to be a published writer :) ), but the point remains as I was unable to find any articles detailing Wikipedia's policy on this type of violation. May be something to consider in the future. MrJRT 01:31, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

To my knowledge, there's no separate place for offline violation. They're rarer, but should go in the same place (here). Superm401 - Talk 05:15, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Wikitruth?[edit] is publishing the former content of Justin Berry, but is licensed under cc-by-sa. This would appear to be a violation of the GFDL. Is this being discussed somewhere else? --Philosophus 08:36, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

They seem to be using the GFDL now, but there's no on-site copy. I've added them at Wikipedia:Mirrors_and_forks/Vwxyz#Wikitruth. Superm401 - Talk 05:12, 3 January 2007 (UTC)


Should we remove articles that are archived from this page (Wikipedia:GFDL Compliance)? Superm401 - Talk 05:17, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Never mind. I see the former users section. :) Superm401 - Talk 05:18, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Another fork[edit]

Hey guys, I'm totally lost looking at this page, but I wanted to point out another fork, which I don't think has been mentioned: In question is the article, which clearly has copy and paste sections of Wikipedia's text of Penelope Cruz (article history shows it's clearly them copying us - for example, it has the text They are also distant cousins of Alexandra Cruz., some nonsense added by an anon on Feburary 14, 2006: [1] (it was later modified)). The site appears to use texts from other sources as well. Thanks ahead of time. Patstuarttalk|edits 02:28, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Added to Wikipedia:Mirrors_and_forks/Stu#The_Planets. Thanks. Superm401 - Talk 07:36, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Medium vs. High[edit]

I have a question about the "medium" vs. "high" descriptions on this page. Specifically, what the hell does "May link to offsite GFDL" mean? I saw no description of "offsite GFDL" on this page or on WP:MF. Thanks. ~a (usertalkcontribs) 21:11, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Offsite GFDL simply means that the page links to a copy of the license stored on a different server. For example, The GFDL requires that the license be reproduced in its entirety. — Feezo (Talk) 04:41, 8 May 2007 (UTC)


I am not sure if this site was report before, but [2] has copied our content, verbatum, of the Flag of Belgium and Coat of arms of Belgium. No mention of Wikipedia is made and the web owner is copyrighting all content from 1995 until 2007. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 23:28, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Another violation[edit]

I found a possible copyright infringment: the page at is probably copied by the article History of Rome (less probably the other way around).

Is this the right place to signal the violation? Is there anything it is possible to do?-- (talk) 19:01, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Sites that use individual articles[edit]

(CC to Wikipedia talk:Mirrors and forks)

Hi, this (and Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks) appear to be places to report sites that fork Wikipedia content, but what about a web site that only uses a couple of articles without attribution? Should they be mentioned here as well? (if you want to look at the specifics that I'm looking at, please see this and this. Thanks, Deathphoenix ʕ 19:50, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

You could put them here, but they'll be a low priority, just because there are still so many full, non-compliant mirrors. It's better to track down the authors of those pages and get them to do something directly. Superm401 - Talk 01:48, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

A book?[edit]

See Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous)#Plagiarism/GFDL violation? (permanent link) Nil Einne (talk) 21:09, 4 April 2008 (UTC)[edit]

It might be the case that a page has duplicated content from Electricity distribution without satisfying the GDFL requirements, as per this discussion (here) - A course of action would be really nice! Do we take matters into our own hands and talk it over with the host?? User A1 (talk) 06:55, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Offline author non-compliant with GFDL[edit]

I'm a longtime reader/user of Wikipedia and recently purchased an ebook in which two appendices have been lifted verbatim from Wikipedia, one of them from a section on memory, another on mindmaps. The material wasn't similar in tone to the rest of the book, so I put it into a search engine and turned up the Wikipedia source. When I contacted the author, the author said it was an oversight and will now cite Wikipedia as the source, though presumably he will continue to sell the material and put his own copyright on it. So he remains noncompliant with the GFDL.

I have posted on the discussion pages for both topics. What do you do about this? What does anyone do about this? Is anyone interested in taking this up as well? You would probably want to verify my claim; I'm happy to provide evidence.

I might also mention why I care: because I admire Wikipedia and believe in building the cultural commons, I find this sort of piracy repugnant.

UPDATE: OK, I just added the name of the offender to the low compliance list.

OrangeBlueRed (talk) 02:40, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Please also insert the details of the publication. With the nice way wikipedia jumps up search engine rankings, this should be near the top of anyone typing the book details into a search engine, so they are quickly alterted to the plagarism, and don't buy the publication. User A1 (talk) 08:28, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
There was a happy ending. I confronted the author directly, and after going back and forth via email, he agreed to remove the Wikipedia material from what he was selling.

OrangeBlueRed (talk) 19:51, 6 August 2008 (UTC)


Unsure whether anything should be done with it (and equally unsure how to validate), but Cuil's "categorisation" model seems to closely follow the Wikipedia cat structures, names and contents - without any reference to GFDL or Wikipedia. Take a Cuil search on "Dublin Ireland". The categorisation widget which appears on the righthand side of the result-set looks more than a little familiar. It's titles, labels, contents, and sub-cats very closely match the Category:Dublin cat and its sub-cats. The labels that really leap out (because the naming scheme is otherwise pretty unique to Wikipedia) include "Buildings And Structures In Dublin" (equiv to Category:Buildings and structures in Dublin, "Squares In Dublin" (equiv to Category:Squares in Dublin), etc. It's possibly a coincidence, and, even it it does leverage WP content, it may not be worth pursuing as a GFDL compliance issue; Given that Cuil (and other SEs like Google) composite all kinds of licensed content from all over the web. I'm also not entirely convinced that it's a direct correlation anyway. (Given that not all labels are identical, EG: Wikipedia's cat is titled "Transport in County Dublin", where the equivalent on Cuil is titled "Transport in Dublin"). But I thought it worth mentioning. Guliolopez (talk) 15:44, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Its absolutely lifted. Try hovering your mouse over "Dublin Aiport" - Wiki:
Dublin Airport (IATA: DUB, ICAO: EIDW), or Aerfort Bhaile Átha Cliath in Irish,
Dublin Airport EIDW, or Aerfort Bhaile Atha Cliath in Irish...
Busarus, on Wiki:
Busáras is the central bus station and hub for intercity and regional bus services operated by Bus Éireann in Dublin, Ireland
Busarus on Cuil (tooltip)
Busaras is the central bus station and hub for intercity and regional bus services operated by Bus Eirann operated by Bus Éireann in Dublin, Ireland
Their "Categorisation" algorithm is simply looking up wikipedia. This is a clear GDFL violation -- well spotted. User A1 (talk) 01:26, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
My advice is to boycott the cuil search engine until they meet GDFL compliance. User A1 (talk) 01:30, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

local hosting?[edit]

This article used to indicate that local hosting was required by section 4(H) of the GFDL; however, it seems to me (according to a literal reading) that it may be required by section 2 instead. Am I reading it incorrectly? (talk) 19:07, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

QQ: Isn't this all OR?[edit]

Has anyone ever got a legal opinion on what criteria are here called "highly compliant"? It seems to me to be matched to the desires of the community on Mirrors and Forks but shouldn't really be called GFDL compliance whilst it contains areas which do not seem to be directly derived from GFDL; or at least please provide some well sourced opinion that these are implied by the GFDL to be included. We wouldn't accept such a high degree of original research on our articles so we shouldn't on our license, could someone point me to a good third party source explaining to which elements of WP which passages of GFDL apply or change the title of this page to read "compliance to community wishes on mirrors"? --BozMo talk 21:58, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Birdforum Opus[edit]

Found various articles in this Bird Encyclopedia which are at least partly copied from Wikipedia. There is no link or reference to Wikipedia. What to do? Martin, 18 November 2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:38, 18 November 2008 (UTC)


I'm thinking of creating a mirror and want it to be all above-board. I saw that there are API's (google search "wikimedia api") which seem to be written to *encourage* mirrors to grab data directly in realtime from wikimedia. However, from this community, it seems like that's highly discouraged, that mirrors should download everything all at once and serve it from local copies. But then what's the point of the API? I can't find anything anywhere in official project pages saying we're not allowed to use the API to grab content in realtime for a mirror, however, I've seen specific projects where Wikipedia stops sending content and sends the "Leech (Computer)" notice instead. Again, I'm trying to be above-board here so please don't clump me in with all the obnoxious spammers, the mirror I have in mind would add real value and not just be another wikipedia copy. It's just that it would be infinitely easier for me to do this if I can use the API's... Glowing Face Man (talk) 23:02, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Bump. Anyone able to answer the above? Glowing Face Man (talk) 11:20, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Flashgame caesary uses Wikipedia texts[edit]

The Flashgame caesary uses Wikipedia texts ingame, while not mentioning the source at all. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:18, 24 June 2010 (UTC) problems[edit]

I just found which is an outdated mirror of the Chinese speech synthesis article. Presumably they have also registered lots of other domain names corresponding to Wikipedia articles. They do acknowledge Wikipedia as the source, but they do not mention the GDFL. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:49, 22 May 2011 (UTC)