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This late 15th-century miniature of Jean Miélot (d. 1472)[1] depicts the author at work: he is shown compiling his Miracles de Nostre Dame, in which this miniature appears.

Scriptorium,[2] literally "a place for writing", is commonly used to refer to a room in medieval European monasteries devoted to the copying of manuscripts by monastic scribes. Written accounts, surviving buildings, and archaeological excavations all show, however, that contrary to popular belief such rooms rarely existed: most monastic writing was done in cubicle-like recesses in the cloister, or in the monks' own cells. References in modern scholarly writings to 'scriptoria' more usually refer to the collective written output of a monastery, rather than to a physical room.

A scriptorium was a necessary adjunct to a library; wherever there was a library it can ordinarily be assumed that there was a scriptorium.[3] Scriptoria in the conventional sense of a room set aside for the purpose probably only existed for limited periods of time, when an institution or individual wanted a large number of texts copied to stock a library; once the library was stocked, there was no further need for a designated room. By the start of the 13th century secular copy-shops developed; professional scribes may have had special rooms set aside for writing, but in most cases they probably simply had a writing-desk next to a window in their own house.


San Giovanni Evangelista, Rimini

At this church whose patron was Galla Placidia (died 450), paired rectangular chambers flanking the apse, accessible only from each aisle, have been interpreted as paired (Latin and Greek) libraries and perhaps scriptoria.[4] Their copious illumination, niches .5 meter deep, provisions for hypocausts beneath the floors to keep the spaces dry, have prototypes in the architecture of Roman libraries.[5]

When monastic libraries and scriptoria arose in the early 6th century (the first European monastic writing dates from 517), they defined European literary culture and selectively preserved the literary history of the West. Monks copied Jerome's Latin Vulgate Bible and the commentaries and letters of early Church Fathers for missionary purposes as well as for use within the monastery. The products of the scriptorium provided a valuable medium of exchange. Within the scriptorium, there was typically a division of labor between the monks who readied the parchment for copying by smoothing and chalking the surface, those who ruled the parchment and copied the text, and those who illuminated the text. Sometimes a single monk would engage in all of these stages to prepare a manuscript.[6] By the start of the 13th century, monastic manuscript production declined because secular copyshops had developed to write for the laity. These were closely followed by urban bookshops circa 1250 that before the introduction of printing in the last quarter of the fifteenth century had already virtually replaced the monastery as a source for books.[7]

The individual traditions of scriptoria developed in incomplete isolation, to the extent that the modern paleographer learns to identify the product of each scriptorium and date it approximately by comparison with other, datable productions of that scriptorium. At the same time, comparisons of the characteristic "hand" of scriptoria reveal social and cultural connections among them, as new hands developed and were disseminated by travelling individuals and by the examples of manuscripts that passed from one library to another.

Saint Matthew in a domestic "closet or idealised scriptorium. (Book of Hours, Paris, c 1420 (British Library, Sloane Mss 2468)[8]

The illuminators of manuscripts worked in collaboration with scribes in intricate variety of interaction that preclude any simple pattern of monastic manuscript production.[9]

The physical scriptorium


Of Cassiodorus at Vivarium

The monastery built in the second quarter of the 6th century under the eye of Cassiodorus at Vivarium in southern Italy contained a purpose-built scriptorium, because he was consciously attempting to collect, copy, and preserve texts.

Cassiodorus' description of his monastery contained a purpose-built scriptorium, with self-feeding oil lamps, a sundial, and a water-clock. The scriptorium would also have contained desks for the monks to sit at and copy texts, as well as the necessary ink wells, penknives, and quills. Cassiodorus also established a library where, at the end of the Roman Empire, he attempted to bring Greek learning to Latin readers and preserve texts both sacred and secular for future generations. As its unofficial librarian, Cassiodorus collected as many manuscripts as he could, he also wrote treatises aimed at instructing his monks in the proper uses of texts. In the end, however, the library at Vivarium was dispersed and lost, though it was still active circa 630.

Of the Benedictines

Cassiodorus's contemporary, Benedict of Nursia, also allowed his monks to read the great works of the pagans in the monastery he founded at Monte Cassino in 529. The creation of a library here initiated the tradition of Benedictine scriptoria, where the copying of texts not only provided materials actually needed in the routines of the community and served as work for hands and minds otherwise idle, but produced a valuable product. Saint Jerome stated that the products of the scriptorium could be a source of revenue for the monastic community, but Benedict cautioned, "If there be skilled workmen in the monastery, let them work at their art in all humility".[10]

In the earliest Benedictine monasteries, the writing room was actually a corridor open to the central quadrangle of the cloister.[11] The space could fit approximately twelve monks, who were protected from the elements by only the wall behind them and the vaulting above. Monasteries built later in the Middle Ages placed the scriptorium inside, near the heat of the kitchen or next to the calefactory. The warmth of the later scriptoria served as an incentive for unwilling monks to work on the transcription of texts (since the charter house was rarely heated).

The Benedictine Plan of St. Gall is a sketch of an idealised monastery dating from 819-826, which shows the scriptorium and library attached the northeast corner of the main body of the church; this is not reflected by the evidence of surviving monasteries. Although the purpose of the plan is unknown, it clearly shows the desirability of scriptoria within a wider body of monastic structures at the beginning of the 9th century.[12]

Of the Cistercians

The scriptoria of the Cistercian order seem to have been similar to those of the Benedictines. The mother house at Cîteaux, one of the best-documented high-medieval scriptoria, developed a severe "house style" in the first half of the twelfth century[13] that spread in parallel with the Cistercian order itself, through the priories of Burgundy and beyond.[14] In 1134, the Cistercian order declared that the monks were to keep silent in the scriptorium as they should in the cloister. However, there is evidence that in the late 13th century, the Cistercians would allow certain monks to perform their writing in a small cell "which could not... contain more than one person".[15] These cells were called scriptoria because of the copying done there, even though their primary function was not as a writing room.

Of the Carthusians

The Carthusians viewed copying religious texts as their missionary work to the greater Church; the strict solitude of the Carthusian order necessitated that the manual labor of the monks be practiced within their individual cells, thus many monks engaged in the transcription of texts. In fact, each cell was equipped as a copy room, with parchment, quill, inkwell, and ruler. Guigues du Pin, or Guigo, the architect of the order, cautioned, "Let the brethren take care the books they receive from the cupboard do not get soiled with smoke or dirt; books are as it were the everlasting food of our souls; we wish them to be most carefully kept and most zealously made."[16]

Scriptoria in monastic rules

Rule of Saint Ferréol

Monastic life in the Middle Ages was strictly centered around prayer and manual labor. In the early Middle Ages, there were many attempts to set out an organization and routine for monastic life. Montalembert cites one such sixth century document, the Rule of Saint Ferréol, as prescribing that "He who does not turn up the earth with the plough ought to write the parchment with his fingers."[17] As this implies, the labor required of a scribe was comparable to the exertion of agriculture and other outdoor work. Another of Montalembert's examples is of a scribal note along these lines: "He who does not know how to write imagines it to be no labour, but although these fingers only hold the pen, the whole body grows weary."[18]

Cassiodorus' Institutes

Although not a monastic rule as such, Cassiodorus did write his Institutes as a teaching guide for the monks at Vivarium, the monastery he founded on his family's land in southern Italy. A classically educated Roman convert, Cassiodorus wrote extensively on scribal practices. He cautions over-zealous scribes to check their copies against ancient, trustworthy exemplars and to take care not to change the inspired words of scripture because of grammatical or stylistic concerns. He declared "every work of the Lord written by the scribe is a wound inflicted on Satan", for "by reading the Divine Scripture he wholesomely instructs his own mind and by copying the precepts of the Lord he spreads them far and wide".[19] It is important to note that Cassiodorius did include the classical texts of ancient Rome and Greece in the monastic library. This was probably because of his upbringing, but was, nonetheless, unusual for a monastery of the time. When his monks copied these texts, Cassiodorus encourages them to amend texts for both grammar and style.[20]

Rule of Saint Benedict

The more famous monastic treatise of the 7th century, Saint Benedict of Nursia's Rule, fails to mention the labor of transcription by name. It is important to note that the Rule of Saint Benedict does explicitly call for monks to have ready access to books during two hours of compulsory daily reading and during Lent, when each monk is to read a book in its entirety.[21] Thus each monastery was to have its own extensive collection of books, to be housed either in armarium (book chests) or a more traditional library. However, because the only way to obtain a large quantity of books in the Middle Ages was to copy them, in practice this meant that the monastery had to have a way to transcribe texts in other collections.[22] It is worthwhile to note that an alternative translation of Benedict's strict guidelines for the oratory as a place for silent, reverent prayer actually hints at the existence of a scriptorium. In Chapter 52 of his Rule, Benedict's warns: "Let the oratory be what it is called, and let nothing else be done or stored there".[23] But condatur translates both as stored and to compose or write, thus leaving the question of Benedict's intentions for manuscript production ambiguous.[24] The earliest commentaries on the Benedictine rule describe the labor of transcription as the common occupation of the community, so it is also possible that Benedict failed to mention the scriptorium by name because of the integral role it played within the monastery.

Trithemius' Praise of Scribes

Abbot Johannes Trithemius of Sponheim wrote a letter, De Laude Scriptorum (In Praise of Scribes), to Gerlach, Abbot of Deutz in 1492 to describe for monks the merits of copying texts. Trithemius contends that the copying of texts is central to the model of monastic education. arguing that transcription enables the monk to more deeply contemplate and come to a more full understanding of the text. He then continues to praise scribes by saying "The dedicated scribe, the object of our treatise, will never fail to praise God, give pleasure to angels, strengthen the just, convert sinners, commend the humble, confirm the good, confound the proud and rebuke the stubborn" [25] . Among the reasons he gives for continuing to copy manuscripts by hand, are the historical precedent of the ancient scribes and the supremacy of transcription to all other manual labor. This description of monastic writing is especially important because it was written after the first printing presses came into popular use. Trithemius addresses the competing technology when he writes, "The printed book is made of paper and, like paper, will quickly disappear. But the scribe working with parchment ensures lasting remembrance for himself and for his text". [26] Trithemius also believes that there are works that are not being printed but are worth being copied. [27]

The role of books and transcription in monastic life

John White Alexander, Manuscript Book mural (1896), Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, D.C.

The scribes often spent their entire life in an ill-lit scriptorium. Manuscript-writing was a laborious process that could damage one's health. One prior complained in the tenth century:

"Only try to do it yourself and you will learn how arduous is the writer's task. It dims your eyes, makes your back ache, and knits your chest and belly together. It is a terrible ordeal for the whole body".[28]

The director of a monastic scriptorium was the armarius ("provisioner"), who provided the scribes with their materials and supervised the copying process. However, the armarius had other duties as well. At the beginning of Lent, the armarius was responsible for making sure that all of the monks received books to read,[21] but he also had the ability to deny access to a particular book. By the 10th century the armarius had specific liturgical duties as well, including singing the eighth responsory, holding the lantern aloft when the abbot read, and approving all material to be read aloud in church, chapter, and refectory.[29]

While serving as the armarius at Vivarium c. 540-548, Cassiodorus wrote a commentary on the Psalms entitled Expositio Psalmorum as an introduction to the Psalms for individuals seeking to enter the monastic community. The work had a broad appeal outside of Cassiodorus' monastery as the subject of monastic study and reflection. In his comparison of modern and medieval scholarship, James J. O'Donnell describes monastic study in this way:

"[E]ach Psalm would have to be recited at least once a week all through the period of study. In turn, each Psalm studied separately would have to be read slowly and prayerfully, then gone through with the text in one hand (or preferably committed to memory) and the commentary in the other; the process of study would have to continue until virtually everything in the commentary has been absorbed by the student and mnemonically keyed to the individual verses of scripture, so that when the verses are recited again the whole phalanx of Cassiodorian erudition springs up in support of the content of the sacred text".[30]

In this way, the monks of the Middle Ages came to intimately know and experience the texts that they copied. The act of transcription became an act of meditation and prayer, not a simple replication of letters.

See also


  1. ^ Christopher De Hamel, Scribes and Illuminators, (Toronto: U Toronto Press, 1992), 36.
  2. ^ Scriptorium, from the medieval Latin script-, scribere (to write), where -orium is the neuter singular ending for adjectives describing place.
  3. ^ "Since the early medieval days of the foundling monastic orders, the library and the scriptorium had been linked. for the most part, the library was a storage space. Reading was done elsewhere." (Christopher S. Celenza, "Creating Canons in Fifteenth-Century Ferrara: Angelo Decembrio's "De politia litteraria," 1.10" Renaissance Quarterly 57.1 (Spring 2004:43-98) p. 48
  4. ^ Janet Charlotte Smith, "The Side Chambers of San Giovanni Evangelista in Ravenna: Church Libraries of the Fifth Century" Gesta, 29.1 (1990):86-97)
  5. ^ E. Mackowiecka, The Origin and the Evolution of the Architectural Forms of the Roman Library (Warsaw) 1978, noted by Smith 1990.
  6. ^ Barbara A. Shailor, The Medieval Book, (Toronto: U Toronto Press, 1991), p.68.
  7. ^ Christopher De Hamel, Scribes and Illuminators, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992), 5.
  8. ^ British Library Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts: Book of Hours, Use of Sarum (the 'Hours of the Umfray Family'), Paris, c 1420. Solane Mss 2468
  9. ^ Aliza Muslin-Cohen, A Medieval Scriptorium: St. maria Magdalena de Frankenthal series Wolfenbüttler Mittelalter Studien (Wiesbaden) 1990.
  10. ^ Rule of Saint Benedict, Chapter 57,, accessed 2 May 2007.
  11. ^ Fr. Landelin Robling OSB, Monastic Scriptoria,, accessed 2 May 2007.
  12. ^ A.C. Murray, After Rome's Fall, (Toronto: U Toronto Press, 1998), pp. 262, 283.
  13. ^ An undated Cistercian ordinance, ranging in date 1119-52 (Załuska 1989) prescribed literae unius coloris et non depictae ("letters of one color and not ornamental"), followed with varying degrees of literalness.
  14. ^ The twelfth-century scriptorium of Citeaux itself and its products, in the context of Cistercian scriptoria, have been studied by Yolanta Załuska, L'enluminure et le scriptorium de Cîteaux au XIIe siècle (Brecht:Cîteaux) 1989.
  15. ^ George Haven Putnam, Books and their Makers During the Middle Ages, (New York: Hillary House, 1962), 405.
  16. ^ C.H.Lawrence, Medieval Monasticism, Ed.2 (London & New York: Longman, 1989) 162.
  17. ^ Montalembert, The Monks of the West from St. Benedict to St. Bernard, vol. 6, (Edinburgh, 1861-1879) p.191.
  18. ^ Montalembert, The Monks of the West from St. Benedict to St. Bernard, vol. 6, (Edinburgh, 1861-1879) p.194.
  19. ^ Cassiodorus, Institutes, I, xxx
  20. ^ James O. O'Donnell, Cassiodorus, University of Californian Press, 1979. Postprint online (1995),, accessed 2 May 2007.
  21. ^ a b Rule of Saint Benedict, Chapter 48,, accessed 2 May 2007.
  22. ^ Geo. Haven Putnam, Books and Their Makers During the Middle Ages, (New York: Hillary House, 1962), p.29.
  23. ^ Rule of Saint Benedict, Chapter 52,, accessed 2 May 2007.
  24. ^ Fr. Landelin Robling OSB, Monastic Scriptoria,, accessed 2 May 2007.
  25. ^ Johannes Trithemius, In Praise of Scribes (de Laude Scriptorum), Klaus Arnold, ed. (Lawrence, Kansas: Colorado Press, 1974), p.35.
  26. ^ Johannes Trithemius, In Praise of Scribes (de Laude Scriptorum), Klaus Arnold, ed. (Lawrence, Kansas: Colorado Press, 1974), p.35.
  27. ^ Johannes Trithemius, In Praise of Scribes (de Laude Scriptorum), Klaus Arnold, ed. (Lawrence, Kansas: Colorado Press, 1974), p.65.
  28. ^ Quoted in: Greer, Germaine. The Obstacle Race: The Fortunes of Women Painters and Their Work. Tauris Parke, 2001. Page 155.
  29. ^ Fassler, Margot E., "The Office of the Cantor in Early Western Monastic Rules and Customaries," in Early Music History, 5 (1985), pp. 35, 40, 42.
  30. ^ James O. O'Donnell, Cassiodorus, University of Californian Press, 1979. Postprint online (1995),, accessed 2 May 2007.

Further reading

  • Alexander, J. J. G. Medieval Illuminators and Their Methods of Work. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992.
  • Bischoff, Bernard, "Manuscripts in the Age of Charlemagne," in Manuscripts and Libraries in the Age of Charlemagne, trans. Gorman, pp. 20-55. Surveys regional scriptoria in the early Middle Ages.
  • Diringer, David. The Book Before Printing: Ancient, Medieval and Oriental. New York: Dover, 1982.
  • Lawrence, C.H. Medieval Monasticism: Forms of Religious Life in Western Europe in the Middle Ages, Ed. 2. London: Longman, 1989.
  • Maitland, Samuel Roffey. The Dark Ages. London : J.G.F. & J.Rivington, 1844.
  • McKitterick, Rosamond. "The Scriptoria of Merovingian Gaul: a survey of the evidence." In Books, Scribes and Learning in the Frankish Kingdoms, 6th-9th Centuries, VII 1-35. Great Yarmouth: Gilliard, 1994. Originally published in H.B. Clarke and Mary Brennan, trans., Columbanus and Merovingian Monasticism, (Oxford: BAR International Serries 113, 1981).
  • McKitterick, Rosamond. "Nun's scriptoria in England and Francia in the eighth century". In Books, Scribes and Learning in the Frankish Kingdoms, 6th-9th Centuries, VII 1-35. Great Yarmouth: Gilliard, 1994. Originally published in Francia 19/1, (Sigmaringen: Jan Thornbecke Verlag, 1989).
  • Nees, Lawrence. Early Medieval Art. Oxford: Oxford U Press, 2002.
  • Shailor, Barbara A. The Medieval Book. Toronto: U Toronto Press, 1991.
  • Sullivan, Richard. "What Was Carolingian Monasticism? The Plan of St Gall and the History of Monasticism." In After Romes's Fall: Narrators and Sources of Early Medieval History, edited by Alexander Callander Murray, 251-287. Toronto: U of Toronto Press, 1998.
  • Vogue, Adalbert de. The Rule of Saint Benedict: A Doctrinal and Spiritual Commentary. Kalamazoo: Cistercian, 1983.

External links

Source material

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The Scriptorium is Wikisource's community discussion page. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments. You may join any current discussion or start a new one. Project members can often be found in the #wikisource IRC channel. For discussion related to the entire project (not just the English chapter), please discuss at the multilingual Wikisource.



Match and Split tool

User:ThomasV has graced us with a new tool in the never-ending journey of migrating to Page: images and transcluded text in place of the main namespace text alone. The tool runs using his bot and it undertakes a Match and Split of pages where a user identifies the co-existing pages in the main and Page: namespaces. I am calling for some trial works on which we can do testing, so if anyone has candidates, please identify them. Some draft instructions are at Match and Split.

To utilise this tool, you will need to turn it on via your Gadgets. billinghurst (talk) 13:20, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Found a work. See Special:Contributions/ThomasBot billinghurst (talk) 13:57, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
here is another example where I used it : Pensées/I ThomasV (talk) 18:14, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
I just tried this on History of Norfolk/Introduction, and I have to say it gives new meaning to the word "automagically". Thanks for making it! --LarryGilbert (talk) 06:32, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Good get Larry, I had forgotten about that work, and it is one that would really benefit. billinghurst (talk) 10:00, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
I just added this button Template button.png to the toolbar, so that you no longer have to type ==__MATCH__:[[xxx]]== manually. ThomasV (talk) 23:16, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Update of Gadget Popups

With some hand-holding from Pathoschild, I have updated to the newer version of the gadget Popups. The advantage I have found with this version is that it allows one to copy and paste the title from the popup box. For those who wish to customise, especially admins, have a peek at the customisation available for your monobook.css file. billinghurst (talk) 05:40, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Link needs correcting please, the wikipedia page was deleted. Cygnis insignis (talk) 09:56, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Aha, or it was just my incompetence with not enough Wikipedia links. <shrug> Fixed. billinghurst (talk) 10:39, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Philosophical Transactions articles online

This just hit Slashdot: "One of the world's oldest scientific institutions is marking the start of its 350th year by putting 60 of its most memorable research papers online."[1] Hesperian 03:19, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure just how much is going freshly online by this route, but it's worth noting that in the very early 1800s, about 1809, eighteen large abridgement volumes were printed for back issues of the Philosophical Transactions, covering the original years of publication 1665 to 1800. These are now both out of copyright and already online (at from Vol.1, 1665-1672 through Vol.18, 1796-1800. Terry0051 (talk) 13:26, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
(I've started a page for the abridgement series, there are only links so far, but I guess it's a start. The abridgement volumes seem quite well indexed and also there are some useful biographies by the abridgement editors, not present in the original volumes.) Terry0051 (talk) 12:13, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Irish Times free online for two weeks

The Irish Times has been celebrating 150th anniversary of its first publication. The Irish Times Digital Archive will be free to access from November 30th to December 14th.

The Irish Times Archive found at billinghurst (talk) 10:43, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

The embedded archive browser, while allowing one to browse an entire page, seems to restrict PDF downloads to individual articles only. This would make duplication on Wikisource and Commons tedious at best. --LarryGilbert (talk) 17:48, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Modified version of gadget HotCat

With thanks to Phe's javascript skills (thanks mate), we have made a modification to the gadget HotCat so that it works better in the Index: namespace. Those who use it may need to go through reloading their cache. For relevant info see Commons:Help:Gadget-HotCat. billinghurst (talk) 02:58, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

New copyright tags for posthumous works

As some countries and areas copyright posthumous works based on how many years after posthumous publication but not author's death, I have finally initiated Template:PD-posthumous with automated function to update how many years after posthumous publication, like from 50 to 60 to 70 years. I suggest using it to better categorize posthumous works, but it should not be used alone while I am not ready to combine it with other tags.--Jusjih (talk) 04:38, 31 December 2009 (UTC)


Move PD-manifesto works to Canadian Wikilivres?

After reading the Copyright Act of Canada more closely, I found that possibly copyrighted public speeches may have Canadian legal permission to post per Wikilivres:Template:Manifesto that I moved from Wikilivres:Template:PD-manifesto and rewrote, after discussing with Yann at Wikilivres:Wikilivres:Community_Portal/en#Canadian_copyright_protection_of_lectures. I would like to ask users here, especially my dear fellow administrators, if we should move {{PD-manifesto}} works to Canadian Wikilivres. I propose this as Wikisource:Possible copyright violations talks about 2009 Alaskan Governor Resignation Speech. Meanwhile, I also ask Chinese Wikisource users about a similar page move, as I consider allowing PD-manifesto on Wikisource possibly encouraging more abuses and endless arguments, therefore contrary to wmf:Resolution:Licensing policy about Free Content License.--Jusjih (talk) 04:05, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Nice find, that would free up just about all speeches, wouldn't it? I can get cracking on recent Canadian works...Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:David Livingstone. 04:40, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
Great news! I'm very glad if these are indeed acceptable at Wikilivres under Canadian law; it frees up the concerns that we have here of PD-Manifesto simply being applied willy-nilly to texts that are (usually clearly) not intended to be freely licensed, simply because we would like the text. Indeed, if we do recommend these texts go to Wikilivres, I think we should go through the non-speeches and assign them a license per-text, and remove {{PD-Manifesto}} completely. Jude (talk) 07:39, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps any Wikilivres administrator including myself can start importing PD-manifesto works to Canadian Wikilivres, then delete them here, possibly without further discussion, though courtesy messages to their contributors will be better, as IP edits on Wikilivres are severely restricted after excessive vandalism.--Jusjih (talk) 20:46, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
Nah, only dead fish ”go with the flow” ... Cygnis insignis (talk) with apologies to Sarah Palin, please don't sue me!
Does that mean you are against moving speeches hosted here, notably of dubious legality, to Wikilivres, where they would (apparently) be hosted without copyright issues? Jude (talk) 02:47, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
No. Who put that notice at the top of the page? I think we should argue each case individually on its merits, rather than prejudging them all. For example we would have to give up the Dalai Lama's manifesto for one thing. ResScholar (talk) 04:42, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
I believe it would specifically cover speeches such as 2009 Alaskan Governor Resignation Speech that have been tagged as PD-Manifesto without any noticeable evidence of their being intended to be released in such a manner. The other non-speech works would (and shouldn't) be removed en masse: they need to individually be judged. Jude (talk) 04:54, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
I posted on the top due to very serious copyright concern of the topic. I never intend to prejudge them all. Some speeches are not made so "publicly", so they do not even fit PD-manifesto right here. I agree Jude to individually judge relevant works. Only those clearly compatible with cc-by-sa-3.0 and GFDL should stay here, otherwise, Canadian Wikilivres if fitting Wikilivres:Template:Manifesto, or delete without exporting. These three choices are being applied on Chinese Wikisource as well. As the only administrator of both Chinese and English Wikisources, I now see PD-manifesto misleading too many contributors on both subdomains who could post clearly acceptable works.--Jusjih (talk) 22:45, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the copyright concerns, and had only recently decided to start going through the category and highlight texts which don't seem to be free. There are a lot of speeches on Wikisource that are of dubious freedom, and they all need to be investigated sooner, rather than later. Jude (talk) 23:45, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Comment. FWIW... The Palin Resignation Speech was published on the official Alaska state .GOV site at some point prior to or soon after the event taking place, so I can't understand why it would not be covered as any other publication is covered that can typically be found for public inspection on any of the 50 state's official sites. George Orwell III (talk) 00:22, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

There is currently a discussion regarding its copyright state at WS:COPYVIO, which would be a better place for your comments. Regardless, as pointed out by Prosfilaes, states can and frequently do claim copyright on works. Just because something is freely available on their website does not make it free and useable on Wikisource. Jude (talk) 00:34, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
Sure each state will look at things differently, and I believe that it was not that long ago that Oregon gave up enforcing protection of this sort.Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 07:59, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment. Not be a lawyer I say lets Keep It Simple if a Copyright is automatically granted upon creation unless disclaimer by the Author or the law make it public domain then {{PD-manifesto}} is no good because copyright is assumed. If a work is under copyright it under copyright no matter how many people say it is in Public Domain. There are maters internal to wikisource like Notability then there are maters external to wikisource like copyright. I say let play safe and do not have {{PD-manifesto}} or better yet let a Lawyer do what Lawyers good for keep Wikisource out HOT WATER with to external world, By giving us good info and sometimes making the call.--Lookatthis (talk) 05:04, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
    • I don't think there's any danger of you being mistaken for a lawyer. ResScholar (talk) 07:51, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
    • While copyright is indeed a "Matter external", WMF sites have typically taken a more restrictive interpretation of copyright law than would be demanded by the law alone. If determining whether something is under copyright or in the public domain were so straightforward we would not be having this discussion. There is a very wide gap between what is clearly in one camp or the other. No lawyer can give a definitive answer that will safely apply in all circumstances. The effective ones are able to argue either side of a case, and win. "Playing safe" is too often a loser's strategy.Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 19:48, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
      • WMF can "have more restrictive interpretation of copyright law than would be demanded by the law alone" determining the copyright status is not straightforward That is why I now think we should let someone like an administrator who read lot more copyright law me make the call.--Lookatthis (talk) 23:55, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
        The connection between being an administrator and experience in reading copyright law is a non sequitur. Anyone who has been here for several years is familiar with these laws, and a multiplicity of opinions persist. The call should certainly not be in the hands of a single administrator who has his own strong POV about copyright law. That would be an abandonment of community responsibility. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 07:59, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
      • The question is whether playing it safe is a good strategy depends on how important pushing the limits is. Furthermore, we're making this available as Free Content, for people who may be forced to fold when a serious copyright complaint comes up, which is a good reason to play it safe.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:08, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
        There is nothing wrong with folding when a serious copyright complaint comes up, and the situation is re-valued on its own merits, but neither is there anything wrong with defending against that complaint if that same re-valuation shows that defence is warranted. To make playing safe depend on the importance of pushing limits makes no sense at all. Nobody is proposing pushing any limits on this site. Playing safe is a kind of negative limit. Between the safe negative limit and the foolhardy positive limit there is a very wide range of options. Rather than retreating behind a doctrinnaire interpretation of Free Content, we would be further ahead by not being so risk averse. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 07:59, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
        • Anyone can "pushing the limits" on their own webpage I am not recommending that, Wikisource needs clear limits.--Lookatthis (talk) 00:53, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

I don't read Section 32.2 of the Canadian Copyright Act the way most seem to be doing. It protects "reports" ("comptes rendus" in the French version of the law). How does a report equate to a complete text? I still think that both projects should take a liberal view toward manifesti, but 32.2 alone is not a reliable authority for such action. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 19:48, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Wikilivres would be free to claim under Sections 29-29.2 which suggest that the purposes of "research or private study" allow full reproduction under Fair Dealing. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din. 20:03, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
Although there are some notable differences Canadian fair dealing and US fair use are remarkably convergent. If the lecture provision is not applicable, and we must depend on fair dealing, we are no further ahead than if we relied on fair use. I am concerned that this proposal may be nothing more than passing the buck to the Canadian legal system. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 07:59, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
This is a misconception: fair dealing does not allow full reproduction, and is in fact explicitly prohibited on Wikisource. (Even if this were not a problem, fair dealing would not confer any of the other rights required by Wikisource.) --Piet Delport (talk) 09:35, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Actual manifestos, perhaps. Tagging a speech as a manifesto "just because I want it on Wikisource" is the sort of thing that will cause legal issues for the foundation. We cannot take a liberal view towards manifestos, and we shouldn't take a liberal view to manifestos because the {{PD-Manifesto}} template, as far as I understand, has absolutely no legal backing whatsoever. Jude (talk) 22:32, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
I think that is right--Lookatthis (talk) 00:07, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
The view that "manifesti" will cause legal issues for the foundation is speculation and urban legend as credible as the belief that the sewers of New York City are full of alligators. I can't say that I like the term "manifesto", and I do have concerns about its imprecision and lack of clear legal backing. Maybe the place to start is with a clear definition of what we mean with that word. This is not a simple question of "wanting it on Wikisource." Copyright law does not exist in a vacuum, and needs to be balanced by other considerations, such as the public interest. Copyright in common law countries is historically an economic right; this is also reflected in the fair use factor about the effect on a work's market. Works that could receive the "manifesto" label are largely political in nature — a politician of the day speaking on a current issue. Is it in the public interest to have a politician's words so tied in copyright knots that the transparency required for accountability is thereby so severely hampered. There is an element of irony in the notion that Sarah Palin would need to depend on a freer Canadian law to have her words properly reported. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 07:59, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't appreciate my concerns being compared to urban legends. If we're going to go down the route of name calling and rude comments, then I think this discussion is a moot. Jude (talk) 10:04, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't see how you can confuse a statement that something is an urban legend with a comparison. There was in fact neither name calling nor rude comments. Lighten up! Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 04:13, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
The loopholes for "public interest" in copyright law are called fair use. If Palin challenged the use of her speech as part of a manifesto from an extreme right-wing group on copyright grounds, she'd probably win; thus the speech isn't public domain.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:14, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
This has nothing to do with "loopholes", nor is the discussion advanced by attempting to conflate public interest with fair use. Neither does the applicability of fair use or public interest imply public domain. Who's arguing that? A document whose publication is in the public interest may or may not pass the fair use tests. Public interest in the present context is about the right of the public to be correctly informed about the pronouncements of major political figures, free of political spin. This allows the public to make informed decisions. It is conceivable that this could apply to some other speakers, but I'm not yet ready to make a case for them. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 08:28, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
In the US copyright law, public interest reuse falls under fair use. There's no right to quote in full the text of major political figures; if we want information about The Audacity of Hope, we have to provide a non-derivative summary and explanation, not the text of the book.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:50, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Where in the Copyright Act does it mention Public interest? But if people are going to fall for your conflation there's not much that can be done about it. And why bring up The Audacity of Hope as a straw man? We were talking about speeches; books were never a part of the discussion before this. If there is no right to accurately report political speeches how can anyone be sure that "a non-derivative summary and explanation" is accurate? Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 08:23, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
If it doesn't mention public interest in the copyright act, where are you getting your legal justification to do this? Why is reproducing polished bits of propaganda exactly more important than reproducing books and reports? There's a lot of things you have no right to exactly copy; we know that non-derivative summaries and explanations are accurate because of our trust in the source, and if we have concerns, we compare several sources. And again; Free content, not we can post it. There's lots of folding, spindling and mutilating that Free content demands that aren't in the public interest.--Prosfilaes (talk) 13:40, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Definitely no go
Eclecticology is right: what 32.2 allows is to "make or publish, for the purposes of news reporting or news summary, a report of a lecture given in public, or an address of a political nature given at a public meeting", which
  • does not equate the complete text, and
  • does not permit the other rights also required by Wikisource's free content definition, beyond just publication (that is, modification and exploitation by anyone, in any form, and for any purpose)
It certainly does not make the work public domain, as the use of a PD-* template would suggest. --Piet Delport (talk) 09:15, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
In which case, we need to consider each and every work that is currently tagged PD-Manifesto. I have already said before that I believe each work with this tag should have a detailed rationale. Those for which a detailed rationale cannot be provided should be deleted. Jude (talk) 10:10, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Wikisource requires cc-by-sa-3.0 and GFDL, so reproducing the entire copyright-restricted work to claim "fair" use is impractical and thus forbidden, but Wikilivres just requires any permission to post in Canada, even if non-commercial and non-derivative. Most speeches and manifestos are unlikely getting Wikipedia articles, so perhaps making or publishing for the purposes of news reporting or news summary is possible with a short introduction in the Wikilivres header, maybe combined with Canadian fair dealing while the activities of Wikilivres are strictly non-commercial while not promising that downstream users may commercially copy everything. US fair use and Canadian fair dealing have no clear boundaries with copyright infringement how much may be legally quoted. To clear this matter, we should review the Copyright Act of Canada carefully. Even if moving PD-manifesto works to Canadian Wikilivres is not feasible, many can be found on the web.--Jusjih (talk) 03:57, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes, each and every work should be considered individually. "PD-Manifesto" is a problematic term. I would prefer a "w:Public interest" category, though I am aware of the vulnerability of that term to abuse. This would primarily refer to certain political speeches. Most people who make such speeches do so in the moment without any consideration of copyright, and they only receive it because of the broad automatic operation of the law. A detailed rationale would have the same effect, but if, for example, we considered replies to a State of the Union message it should not be necessary to go into detail for each of these. A single rationale for a class of speeches should suffice. Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 04:13, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

I think we should copy the speeches there, not move it. The latter would (presumably) mean deleting the speeches from Wikisource, which I don't think is necessary. --Ixfd64 (talk) 19:44, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Wikisource doesn't discuss what Wikilivres does; if they or anyone else wants to copy the speeches, they are free to do so. But Wikilivres says "You are welcome to publish texts here if they cannot be accepted in Wikisource. Texts that can be accepted in Wikisource should be published there." So the discussion here is getting rid of a mess of content that's questionably Free content at best.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:17, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
To respond to Ixfd64, Wikilivres never wants to duplicate anything acceptable here. As PD-manifesto is merely the presumed but not necessarily confirmed public domain, it is not really acceptable. M. L King, Jr's "I Have a Dream" is rejected here due to confirmed case law with no evidence of licensing compatible with GFDL and CC. Tagging {{PD-manifesto}} deprecated, I may want to start clearing the 100+ pages through WS:COPYVIO to discuss whether to keep them here (with compatible license), move to Wikilivres, or delete without move.--Jusjih (talk) 02:52, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
I just started a subsection at Wikisource:Possible_copyright_violations#Works_tagged_PD-manifesto, but I prefer to list involved 100+ works in a special subpage if no one objects.--Jusjih (talk) 03:53, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Wikisource:Possible_copyright_violations/Special_discussion_for_pages_tagged_as_PD-manifesto to be more specific.

Mark as patrolled

I suggest that we make a change in the "Mark as patrolled" logic that will automatically "Mark as patrolled" when that edit has been reverted. I find a number of vandalism's that have been reverted but are still NOT "Mark as patrolled". Kind of a waste of patrolling when checking for un-patrolled edits if they have been reverted. Jeepday (talk) 01:00, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

If they are REVERTED by an admin using ROLLBACK, they are marked as patrolled. If someone uses UNDO, then they stay as are. Maybe this is the one reason why Rollbacker permission is useful. -- billinghurst (talk) 04:25, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
I noticed on a few occasions a "mark as patrolled" link next to my own edits, which doesn't make too much sense. Is this configurable, or has this to be adressed by the developers? Paradoctor (talk) 00:47, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Unless you're running a sock farm, that's a bug. ;-) Hesperian 01:03, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
"That one, he knows too much."
Admins and those added to Autopatrolled list do not need to be patrolled and hence will never be so. Users are able to request they be added to the autopatrolled list, or admins often just do it when they are comfortable that a user has demonstrated that their edits in the range of namespaces is not problematic. I generally do that sort of review over a weekend when I have a little more time to be reflective over a range and history of edits. billinghurst (talk) 01:01, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Thx for the info, I asked because I just can't resist clicking. ;) Paradoctor (talk) 01:34, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Janitorial collaboration each month

Validation month is going excellently (and I say that as a reluctant WSer who hates pagescans with a passion), and it occurs to me we might want to do something similar in the future having a janitorial task in the site header each month, perhaps in December we could do pages that have {{numbers}} problems, in January we tackle {{refs}} problems, in February we focus on {{incomplete}} works and such. Again, to encourage participation, I think it helps when we have a list of the works that need fixing - and then strikethru them as they get done. Seems much more "rewarding" than simply removing the template from a work and knowing nobody will ever "see" your progress. Thoughts? Do we have room for one more "Collaboration"? Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din. 05:53, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

After flicking through the history of pages at WhatLinksHere&target=Template%3ANumbers, the solution to this 'problem' would be to stop dumping uncorrected OCR into mainspace. Cygnis insignis (talk) 09:52, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Excellent idea, and the solution to the 'problem' of incomplete texts is to stop abandoning works halfway through adding them. However, that is exactly why we have clean-up templates, because it's better for WS to have a badly formatted work that contains page numbers, than to not contain the work at all...but best of all to have the work and have it properly formatted. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Thomas Carlyle. 15:33, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
I am in favour of getting our house in order and improving our framework, though I do have a preference for pagescans as they seem the best means of robust validation. It was my intention to keep a list of documents (though smaller) needing validation and to add it to WS:PotM, and I was thinking of having it replace the previous list. Rather than a new venture, I think that they interchange well with(in) both CotW and PotM depending on what it is we are looking to fix. billinghurst (talk) 12:45, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
As a general pointer along these lines ... Hesperian has written a script that identifies validated works that have not been transcluded which outputs at User:Hesperian/V. People are welcome to grab any of these works and fix them, especially the long runs of pages. For those pages that should not/will not be transcluded I have been putting Category:Not transcluded and follow that link for some general info
Plus we also have Due's scripts at
  • User:Bookofjude/headerless
  • User:Bookofjude/authorless
billinghurst (talk) 04:51, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Maybe something like w:Template:Active Wiki Fixup Projects that provides a list of house keeping projects, with links to pages describing the processes (i.e. w:Wikipedia:Unreferenced articles). JeepdaySock (talk) 11:50, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Has benefit. billinghurst (talk) 08:44, 12 December 2009 (UTC)


After a short discussion at Wikisource:Administrator's_noticeboard#Alternate_Account I built Draft Wikisource:Alternate accounts, leveraged heavily from w:Wikipedia:Sock puppetry, (checked meta wiki but they don't have much posted m:Meta:Suspected sockpuppets) took out bunches that just does not apply here because we are not making anything new or trying to change the world. Jeepday (talk) 01:05, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

It says best practice. I would hope that we would be looking to apply this, rather than leave users to determine whether they wish to follow best practice. Either we need to upgrade it to something enforceable or we are looking to hold people to best practice. billinghurst (talk) 06:34, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
Removed "best practice" Jeepday (talk) 11:22, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

Phasing out the use of {{PD-old-70}}

As {{PD-old-70}} does not always indicate the US copyright license, I have extensively replaced them with tags specifying the US licenses, mostly {{Pd/1923}}. There are still about 100 pages at Category:PD-old-70 not yet re-tagged because I have not been able to tell when the works were published. Does anyone know how long British organizational copyright lasts? This is why I have not re-tagged many articles from The Times. If you know which US licenses apply to the remaining PD-old-70 works, please help re-tagging or propose moving to Canadian Wikilivres if no US license.--Jusjih (talk) 02:57, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

I don't think we can delete all of them; if we have a PD-US-no-renewal, we should probably have a PD-old-xx beside it, if possible, to make public domain status in Canada and Germany and possibly elsewhere clear.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:21, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
This page by the UK Copyright service says: "If the author [of a literary work] is unknown, copyright will last for 70 years from end of the calendar year in which the work was created, although if it is made available to the public during that time, (by publication, authorised performance, broadcast, exhibition, etc.), then the duration will be 70 years from the end of the year that the work was first made available." I think the upshot is that there is no "organizational" copyright, only a copyright based on the author's lifetime, or if the author is unknown, the work's creation or publication date. (The chief exception is the perpetual Crown copyright.) --LarryGilbert (talk) 03:56, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
We have some further discussion at Wikisource talk:Newspapers#United Kingdombillinghurst (talk) 04:15, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
For Prosfilaes, it is now possible to enter authors' death years in {{PD-US-no-renewal}} and {{PD-US-no-notice}} to better serve those in countries and areas without the rule of the shorter term, like {{PD-US-no-notice|1950}} for relevant authors who died in 1950. Then PD-old-xx is no longer needed. For LarryGilbert, it may mean that The Times published since 1926 may have to go to Canadian Wikilivres because they were not in the public domain in the United Kingdom in 1996, then the USA copyrights for 95 years since publication til year end. Golan v. Holder in April 2009 got an unconstitutional ruling against URAA copyright restoration of non-US works based on the speech freedom in the First Amendment of the US Constitution. A federal district court ruling is not automatically binding nationwide, so I prefer to err on the side of caution until no more appeal is possible.--Jusjih (talk) 02:20, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm glad to hear of Jusjih's latest improvement in his series of improvements of the templates to facilitate placing the p.m.a countries' info on nearly every template. But this is odd: Jusjih and I both started a discussion about the London Times obituaries' copyrights independently of one another on the same day. I was doing routine license cleanup from Category:Works with no license template and picked the London Times very much at random. I hadn't seen the discussion he started here about 12 hours earlier. My first impression is that I understand there are two Golan cases, and at least one of them only applied to entities that had profited from these formerly U.S. public domain works. ResScholar (talk) 09:49, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
There's one Golan case, thought it's bounced up and down the court system, and while the court find in favor of the plaintiffs (loosely speaking "our" side), there haven't been remedies handed down yet (I think; I can't find anything here more recent than April), but most interpretations of what the Judge said are that any remedies are only going to cover people who had used these works prior to 1996.--Prosfilaes (talk) 16:10, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Okay, the other issue that came to mind was whether each London Times page, obituary or otherwise, needed a separate copyright notice describing copyright status in p.m.a. countries, giving the year of publication each time [on each page] (Billinghurst did many of the pages, and he expressed a desire to see some kind of notice regarding non-US countries).
I don't think so. Let me bring up the PD-US-no-renewal template to illustrate.
PD-icon.svg This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was legally published within the United States (or the United Nations Headquarters in New York subject to Section 7 of the United States Headquarters Agreement) before 1964, and copyright was not renewed.
For Class A renewals records (books only) published between 1923 and 1963, check the Stanford Copyright Renewal Database and the Rutgers copyright renewal records.
For other renewal records of publications between 1922 - 1950 see the Pennsylvania copyright records scans.
For all records since 1978, search the U.S. Copyright Office records.

The author died in 1940, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 60 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.

The paragraph would have to be altered to make the description of the copyright include not only terms beginning with p.m.a. but those beginning with date of publication, or a whole new template would need to be produced. (*clarification: these Times articles would need to measure their terms of copyright starting with the date of publication because that is how the lengths of copyrights for anonymous works are measured in the U.K. 07:20, 7 December 2009 (UTC))
Or we could do a minor modification to PD-US-no-renewal and not give quite as much information.
PD-icon.svg This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain). Flag of the United States.svg
We could add the last sentence and the link from the PD-1923 template, without adding a cumbersome qualification or a new specialized template. We could expand on Jusjih's work and make the sentence appear through a conditional statement in the template, by typing 0 for the year, for example. And it could be placed on the main page and apply to all the sub-pages.
ResScholar (talk) 02:16, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Extension of remarks: I wanted to include more than that sentence from the template, but in the middle of typing my note I lost track of what I wanted to include. I found more that I would now wish to include even if it's not exactly the same as what I had originally intended. There is a sentence that appears in the PD-1923 template on author pages that explains copyright status further:
It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain) "However, works published before 1923 may be in the public domain in countries where they would ordinarily be copyrighted (due to the term of 70 years [or less] after the author's death having not yet expired) but whose legislature has waived copyright by accepting the rule of the shorter term)."
These explanations (tangentially) mention the p.m.a. concept to those completely unaware of it, as well as its prominent exception, and, of course, they can learn more through the "Help:Public Domain" link. (By the way, this old explanation from an old template glosses over Columbia, Guatemala and Honduras, which have terms of 80, 75 and 75 years p.m.a., respectively, and so also have pre-1923 works that have not yet expired—another clarification for which we have Jusjih to thank because he introduced it in his "Pd/1923" template.)
As I said, this default, generic message could be added to the template when a trigger year of 0 is used, with the intention of providing an expanded use of an existing template for a "collection" of works by the same author (or corporate author in this case) with works published during a variety of years. ResScholar (talk) 06:24, 7 December 2009 (UTC) 07:20, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
We have {{PD-anon-1923}} and {{PD-anon-1996}} for anonymous and pseudonymous works. As {{PD-US-no-notice-post-1977}}, {{PD-US-no-notice}}, and {{PD-US-no-renewal}} are retrofitted to enter authors' death years when they will expand on the bottom, it may be possible to create a parameter for publication years. I prefer to see these the last three tags limited to works published within the USA. For the latest ruling of Golan v. Holder on April 3, 2009, Judge Babcock ruled in the conclusion [2]: "Congress has a legitimate interest in complying with the terms of the Berne Convention. The Berne Convention, however, affords each member nation discretion to restore the copyrights of foreign authors in a manner consistent with that member nation’s own body of copyright law. In the United States, that body of law includes the bedrock principle that works in the public domain remain in the public domain. ......" The USA does not copyright foreign works published through 1922 even if still copyright-restricted at home, so if we want a new tag based on the latest ruling of Golan v. Holder on April 3, 2009, I can make something like PD-2009, but I just want to know whether doing it is wise now.--Jusjih (talk) 21:13, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I am also moving Wikisource:Possible_copyright_violations#Golan_v._Gonzalez to this page to catch more attention.--Jusjih (talk) 22:00, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Remove Anglo-Saxon IW from main page

Since the Anglo-Saxon WS has been closed, and all the works, presumably, have been moved here, shouldn't we take the IW off the front page? It's a little confusing, especially as it's the very top one on the list.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:42, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Done, and I will seek forgiveness later if need be. ;-) 04:00, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Golan v. Gonzalez

Moved here from Wikisource:Possible_copyright_violations#Golan_v._Gonzalez:--Jusjih (talk) 22:29, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Please familiarize yourself with this case and its related cases. I researched this case when Yann mentioned that URAA Restorations would not be sustained. To me Golan v. Holder seems to say that if a work produced in a country foreign to the United States was in the public domain in the United States prior to 1994 (for example because copyright registration or renewal was not complied with) which is when the United States URAA Restoration acts were passed, it stays in the U.S. public domain. Does anyone else read this differently? ResScholar (talk) 05:49, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

The last page of the Judge's decision in Golan v. Holder[3] says "Accordingly—to the extent Section 514 suppresses the right of reliance parties to use works they exploited while the works were in the public domain—Section 514 is substantially broader than necessary to achieve the Government’s interest."
[4] seems like a helpful and hopefully accurate summary. In particular, this paragraph seems to say the question on whether we are free to upload these works, even in the Tenth Circuit, is still up in the air, as we're not a reliance party.
The second significant issue will be whether the statute should be invalidated on its face as overbroad, or whether it should be invalidated only as applied. If the statute is invalidated on its face, that would allow these plaintiffs to use ANY work of foreign origin that is in the public domain, whether or not they had relied on its public domain status. Indeed, unless and until Congress acted to fix the statute, even non-reliance parties could use works of foreign origin in the public domain. If the statute is invalidated only as applied, that would allow these plaintiffs to use only those works that they were in fact using prior to the restoration, which would be a much narrower decision. In either case, because collateral estoppel does not apply to the government, a decision by the Tenth Circuit would be binding only on the parties and others within the Tenth Circuit; it would not be binding outside the Tenth Circuit. Parties in other circuits could still sued (or prosecuted) for infringing works of foreign origin that were in the public domain prior to restoration.
As for whether we could be considered reliance parties:
Congress would almost surely try to enact some version of copyright restoration again. Remember, the plaintiffs conceded that Article 18 of the Berne Convention requires some type of restoration. [...] There also would be the question of whether a new statute would apply only to parties that relied on the public domain status of a work before its INITIAL restoration (on January 1, 1996), or whether a new statute would also have to protect parties that relied on the public domain status of a work after that date, but before the effective date of the new legislation. If Congress is required to start anew, a party who is considering utilizing a work of foreign origin that is in the public domain for failure to comply with formalities might be well advised to begin using such a work right away, in order to ensure its continued right to use such a work after the next restoration.
(And, yes, that's all fair use material, not GFDL or CC.) So we don't know whether Section 514 of The URAA has been overturned or not--I think the question of whether the court is going to void it in whole or consider it invalid in certain cases, not including us, is still up in the air--, we do know that the case is going to be appealed and that it's not yet been ruled on in a court binding on us, and we pretty much know that Congress is going to pass a new law with the same effect on us if this case survives on appeal and that it or may not require us to remove all the texts we uploaded.
Given all that, I don't see us as justified in uploading works not covered by the URAA, even if there is a narrow chance that we might get to keep them after all is said and done.
I'd also like to point out that the ramifications of ignoring the URAA are much different here from the Commons. The vast majority of non-American works published prior to 1989 would be fair game. Everything written in India in the 1980s would be acceptable. I've seen people storm out of w:Distributed Proofreaders because we were doing pre-1923 Finnish works by an author who died a mere 50 years ago; how many people are we going to alienate by accepting works by living authors made in the 1980s?--Prosfilaes (talk) 14:53, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't understand your last paragraph: why is it different here than in Commons? Indian law is 60 years pma, so I also don't understand your reference to works from the 1980s. Thanks, Yann (talk) 16:15, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Because Commons requires that it be in the public domain in its home country, whereas en.Wikisource has only required that it be in the public domain in the US. Hence the vast majority of works worldwide published prior to 1989 would be in the public domain save the URAA, regardless of its copyright at its home nation.--Prosfilaes (talk) 16:28, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
I am not so sure. At least for European works, I don't think there is a significative difference of quantity: only works of authors who died between 1926 and 1938 are concerned by URAA. While there are some European works which are public domain in USA but not in Europe because there were published before 1923, but the authors died after 1938. Yann (talk) 18:45, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
No; if a work published prior to 1989 wasn't registered for copyright in the US, it was in the public domain in the US. For legal reasons, the Copyright Office has lists of works that were in the public domain that the copyright holder now wants to express legal ownership of[5]; this list includes "Keiji monogatari 3 shiosai no uta", i.e. a 1983 movie, and this list includes the more literary Bambi, written by Austrian Felix Salten, died 1945.--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:10, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Thank you, Prosfilaes, for sifting through the case and its commentary and sharing your learned understanding of this new wrinkle in copyright law. ResScholar (talk) 08:21, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
The URAA copyright restoration since 1996 did not accept the rule of the shorter term. I wonder if any appeal has been filed. I expect the US Congress to try a constitutional amendment to support any new copyright restoration on foreign works once published without complying with US formalities. This court case would not affect foreign works published while complying with all US formalities, in which case they would never lapse US copyright while the rule of the shorter term does not apply. In case of any doubts in the USA, Canadian Wikilivres can host most works that may be under URAA copyright restoration.--Jusjih (talk) 20:23, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
Will the following statement in a new copyright tag be fine?
"This work once lapsed its copyright in the USA for failure to comply with the US formalities. Section 514 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act restored the lapsed copyright but was declared violating the First Amendment of the US Constitution pursuant to Golan v. Holder where Judge Babcock of the US District Court for the District of Colorado ruled on April 3, 2009 in the conclusion: "Congress has a legitimate interest in complying with the terms of the Berne Convention. The Berne Convention, however, affords each member nation discretion to restore the copyrights of foreign authors in a manner consistent with that member nation’s own body of copyright law. In the United States, that body of law includes the bedrock principle that works in the public domain remain in the public domain. ......"
I would like to request comments before starting a new copyright tag coded "PD-2009". I would also like to ask whether those still copyrighted at home should be excluded or included here. Based on the ruling, the American non-acceptance of the rule of the shorter term may cease to apply to foreign works published without complying with US copyright formalities, i.e. published through 1963 with no renewal, through 1977 with no notice, or before March 1, 1989 with no notice and no registration within 5 years. Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. as a decision by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York is not legally binding, and so would Golan v. Holder. The matter depends on whether there are any appeals filed.--Jusjih (talk) 22:29, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't think that all appeals have been exhausted in Golan v. Holder, and I'm just not comfortable playing around with it. One big difference between Corel and Golan is that the ink has dried on Corel, and it's been cited in other cases outside its circuit.--Prosfilaes (talk) 07:17, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure govern any appeals. Likewise, Wikimedia Commons community considers files tagged commons:Template:Not-PD-US-URAA too early to be considered fully acceptable in the USA, without mass deletion there yet. We should also discuss what to do with similar works without US licenses here, while many of them are acceptable on Canadian Wikilivres:. Moving texts is much easier than moving files like images.--Jusjih (talk) 03:54, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
As we are not fully comfortable that Golan v. Holder has been sufficiently "finalized", I just made Template:Not-PD-US-URAA based on and simplified from commons:Template:Not-PD-US-URAA. Please edit it as needed. Most works under this tag may be sent to Canadian Wikilivres when erring on the side of caution. I look forward to hearing Judge Babcock's ruling becoming more "finalized" like Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. before renaming the tag to something like "PD-2009", parallel to PD-1996, while I am proud of renaming Template:CWMG-copyright to Template:PD-India-CWMG to celebrate the 2009 New Year.--Jusjih (talk) 04:20, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Experimental tool for copyright advice

I've been experimenting with a Web application called OpenExpert to see how feasible it is to create a simple expert system for advice on whether a work is still copyrighted. I've been basing its questions on info from the Cornell copyright page. It's on an open-access demo server right now, but if enough people like it and think it should stick around, I could see about grabbing the software and putting it up somewhere more permanent. See what you think. --LarryGilbert (talk) 18:36, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

This is an excellent idea... but it needs some serious disclaimers. Hesperian 01:05, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

{{PD-USGov}} and collapsible pages

When reading w:Copyright status of work by the U.S. government, I see that the USA can still hold the copyright of works covered by {{PD-USGov}} in other countries (if allowed there). As we did not yet have Template:HideH or Template:HideF for collapsible pages as in English Wikipedia or Chinese Wikisource until now, I tried in good faith to edit {{PD-USGov}} when involved works may also be in PD outside the USA, or the USA can still hold the copyright abroad, while thinking globally like in {{PD-old-50-1923}} and {{PD-old-70-1996}}. However, Clindberg made massive reversion while being USA-centric, contrary to m:Mission about "around the world". As I seek third-party opinion about my involved dispute, I am also bringing Template:HideH and Template:HideF for collapsible pages for certain purposes:

  1. If my edited version makes the tag too large, putting the copyright status outside the USA within HideH and HideF will allow readers to see or hide them.
  2. Some works hosted here are PD in the USA but still copyright-restricted at home without license compatible with cc-by-sa-3.0. Using collapsible pages to enclosed texts still copyrighted at home with warning statements outside will better protect some users from unintentionally violating others' copyright at home. Chinese Wikisource article zh:論動體的電動力學 translated from "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" (original German in 1905 by Albert Einstein who died in 1955) uses collapsible page. Even though already in PD in China, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan (all 50 pma), it is still being copyright-restricted at home in Germany (70 pma), so any users in Singapore (also 70 pma copyright where Chinese is one of the four official languages) are also restricted, thus warranting collapsible page to protect Singaporean users. Some PD-old-50-1923 pages may warrant collapsible pages because our Pd/1923 tags do not tell whether the works are PD at home.

After all, my thought is to be bold but not reckless.--Jusjih (talk) 03:32, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

While testing Template:HideH or Template:HideF at On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies (1920 edition) without saving the change, I cannot hide anything. Maybe something is missing so they do not work as in English Wikipedia. Hopefully someone can debug.--Jusjih (talk) 03:39, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

Other discussions


Index page without and with Table of Contents

index without TOC and with TOC, can we remove the blank column when adding a TOC? Or should we use a layout similar to fr:Livre:Bulletin_de_la_société_géologique_de_France_-_Tome_1.djvu (layout provided by MediaWiki:Proofreadpage index template) Phe (talk) 10:20, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

I very much prefer the layout at fr:Livre:Bulletin de la société géologique de France - Tome 1.djvu, which wastes much less screen real estate. But I do not think it can be implemented here without further editing our own copy of MediaWiki:Proofreadpage index template, which I am personally nervous about doing. Tarmstro99 (talk) 14:15, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm comfortable with the idea, and I even looked at doing it, then ran away as it is a maze of coding in which some familiarity was required. billinghurst (talk) 04:06, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
There being no negative comment or other opinion, I have implemented the suggested change (with some coding help). here billinghurst (talk) 13:40, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Having sat with it for a few days, I find I like the old version much much better. This is especially the case for index pages with not content data: the new version gives me a big white square of unused prime real estate, and then I have to scroll down to see the page list. See, for example, Index:The library a magazine of bibliography and library literature, Volume 6.djvu :-( Hesperian 02:11, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

I would think that we would be encouraging (at minimum) for Contents to be transcluded, either the Page:(s) where they exist, or one prepared for navigation. I had thought that this was part of the general discussion. billinghurst (talk) 07:10, 17 December 2009 (UTC)


Has anyone ever see the rendering of "ye" in the image caption of Page:Makers of British botany.djvu/83 before? The plate is a reproduction of a figure from a 1683 book. Presumably this is an archaic rendering? Does anyone know if it is possible to reproduce it in wikicode/html/css/whatever, or is my "ye" the best I can hope for? Hesperian 07:41, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Interested in the answer as I have seen similar overlay with the with the abbreviation for Number where the o was superscript and the period centred directly underneath.-- billinghurst (talk) 09:02, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
Like "N? Eclecticology - the offended (talk) 22:36, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
w:Thorn (letter) covers the ground of these variants, but uses an image to reproduce this one with the e on top. Charles Matthews (talk) 09:51, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
You might be able to find one in unicode. [6] —Dark talk 10:34, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
I just use a normal looking 'ye' because I haven't found a good alternative, and the positioning of the 'e' isn't really that important. But I wouldn't use an image for any portion of non-symbolic text because readers would not be able to copy and paste that portion of text. Special symbols could be images if needed. —Mike 02:25, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

I heard a clamor. What seems to be ye problem? ;) Paradoctor (talk) 02:12, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

Wikimedia Strategy

Hi, good people of Wikisource.

I've come over from We're interested to know two things about how you work here on Wikisource.

First, do you have any competitions? On en:wp there are quite a few different competitions that seem to help motivate editors to do good work and more of it.

Here's an example:

More can be found at:

Does Wikisource run anything like that?

Also on en:wp there are a number of WikiProjects which help editors to bond as smaller communities within the larger one.

Here's an example:

More can be found at:

Can you point to any sort of sub-communities within Wikisource which help editors bond as a smaller group within the project as a whole?

Answers to these questions will be valuable to us as we work on Wikimedia Strategy. I will be grateful for any information you can provide. --Bodnotbod (talk) 18:18, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

I've located these groups:
  • Wikisource:Collaboration of the Week
  • Main page highlights new texts and Feature text.
  • Wikisource:Proofread of the Month and recently every participant gets recognition for participating each month, eg. User:Mattwj2002 no matter how large, or how small. This month we had 8 newbies participate on the project, and it is a great way to learn the ropes.
Can anyone think of any more? FloNight (talk) 18:51, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
Noting that we are a smaller community, so we are able to more closely manage matters wholistically with a smaller group of volunteers/admins, we are at that point of close working relationship, and assisting editors in their parts or in the whole. It seems to be working well as disputes are not prevalent here, and newbies seem to feel welcomed, and work progresses. At this time we are more collegiate than competitive, even across the languages of WS there is a level of cooperation.
Pretty easy ... We have our customised {{welcome}} aiming to get all our new users. And that covers general welcome, our special projects, and our Wikisource:WikiProjects. Apart from the customised welcome, because we have auto-patrolling, each visitor is essentially assisted to our methods & means; given guidance and assistance in joining our projects or assistance with their works of interest to our standardised format.
We have been working quite productively on Wikisource:WikiProject DNB in recent times, making progressive jumps and getting quite productive in getting more source and crosslinks with information to Wikipedia. billinghurst (talk) 02:09, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Wikisource:WikiProject DNB is an excellent example of collaboration project here. I'll add it to our list. The people working on the strategic planning wiki and focusing on the community health of wikis are brainstorming about the different ways that the the local wikis and the Foundation might be more helpful in making collaborative projects work better. My general observation is that the success of most of these projects (on all wikis) is driven by the people that start them. And too often if the people organizing them get busy or loss interest then the project stop. It would great if we could find a way to get enough momentum behind them that they don't cease to exist. FloNight (talk) 08:26, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
The DNB project here is "twinned" in a cross-wiki way with the one on enWP, w:Wikipedia:WikiProject Missing encyclopedic articles/DNB. This was quite deliberately done (the part on WP is technically a subproject of a bigger WikiProject, but still). I'm not aware of other examples of twin projects of this kind, but it would be interesting to know more. Charles Matthews (talk) 08:43, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Interesting. I'll note the the cross wiki aspect of the project. This adds a way to bring more people in to work on it on both wikis. FloNight (talk) 09:03, 26 November 2009 (UTC)


sometimes it is about branding; sometimes it is about critical mass. I like the work of biographical works as they are directly related to the crux of putting referenced works onto WP. Similarly, the pairing of other works where the original content is at WS and the encyclopædic article is at WP. There is the scope for a Poetry project. Similarly some of the history projects could do well to consider housing relevant texts at WS, or vice versa we let specific projects know that a work exists, eg. the PotM work Notes on the churches in the counties of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey is relevant to the projects on those three counties of the UK. Though often requires good means to provide ready references (special templates per work) from WP to WS. billinghurst (talk) 10:49, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Golly, it looks like we're going to end up presenting ourselves as a community rich in structured collaborations, where in fact the opposite is true. My personal view is that our low community overhead is an ingredient in our success. We're not running around tagging talk pages into projects, arguing best practice across a range of style manuals, running competitions and dishing out barnstars left right and centre. We're just getting on with the job. Maybe the strategy dudes need to be hearing this, rather than an enumeration of the occasional collaborative effort. Hesperian 11:14, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Data shows that Wikimedia wikis, including Wikisource, are not retaining editors as well as they could. See data. The ideas is to identify what motivates people to contribute to wikis so that we can do a better job of keeping people interested in editing. Research studies show that positive recognition of contributions of volunteers is a way to retain volunteers. Or course people that don't want to participate in Wikiprojects don't need to get involved in them. But there is some indication that these Projects do encourage content creation and give satisfaction to people involved with them. For the most part, instead of inventing loads of new projects or processes under the Strategic Planning process, I think we should support and expand the existing ones. That is the reason that I want to collect the information about the current projects on the various wiki. FloNight (talk) 12:29, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
I thank Hesperian for his comment, we need to hear precisely what people are thinking; any input is marvellous. To address points raised or implied by Hesperian: the primary aim of any sort of contest must be that it improves the content of the project. If a contest isn't doing that it is cruft. Some contests on en:wp have been very good at increasing the quality of articles and encouraging people to provide great pictures. Essentially, where something works well we want to think how we can support that. But if a project says "we don't run contests because x, y and z" then that's all taken to heart too.
In terms of creating sub-communities, some projects have quite a small population as it is. They likely don't need additional ways of bringing people together because the primary editors are already well aware of each other. On Wikibooks the fact that each book has a tendency to be a community of its own likely means that sub-communities occur naturally there. It is more of an issue in en:wp where there is an increasing atmosphere of hostility; newbies are becoming increasingly alienated by harsh treatment when they make their first edits. On a smaller project people may be treated much more kindly. So it is worth considering if introducing sub-communities to en:wp might engender a bit more kindness and give newbies a way in where they will be given a helping hand. Wikisource may not require anything like that and that's what I'm here to find out. --Bodnotbod (talk) 14:18, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure I interpret that graph the same way, Flonight. For most of the projects there, including Wikisource, they're keeping the number of editors about stable, which is what we'd expect in the long run. But as for Hesperian's comment, part of what causes me to take time from Distributed Proofreaders for here is that fact that I can do things so much quicker and flexibly here; I can type in Alice's Adventures in Cambridge, without fighting about page scans and images, and it will get done sooner than through DP. But the dark mirror of that is that projects that are created in DP are inexorably drawn towards a complete, well-proofread end, whereas here, there's too many projects that are started and sit in limbo indefinitely. At least personally, any project that encourages the completion of projects, especially validation of them, would make me feel more happy about spending my time here.--Prosfilaes (talk) 15:09, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
And to put it terms of community, we do a lot of individual projects; more group validation and the like, and more emphasis on it, would help reduce the feeling like everything was one-man projects.--Prosfilaes (talk) 15:14, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
What Hesperian said! & What Prosfilaes said! Very nice! They are both right, and that is very much how are little patch is successful, and pretty much without the bickering. Common goals, no particular savage ego, though our subject matter lends less to content disputes. Noting also why we had the suggestion for November WS:PotM, and in some ways it success.
One reason recently for our combined efforts is work of ThomasV on his valuable Proofread Page extension that has allowed us to add further rigour to our work, and is very much a joint tool, and one that is very supportive of how we can do our work to a consistent quality and cooperatively by allowing us to move in a direction and to lift our standards, do note however that getting such extensions into place in the Mediawiki upgrade regime is becoming problematic. Being able to look to how there is a smoother and more time efficient process to get valuable extensions in place through the rigamarole would be sweet!
For our project it often varies on why people are here
  • Some to produce a quality product of the work as a meritable work that deserves sharing
  • Some to exhibit the opus of works of a specific person
  • Some to bring an old text out for modern reading
  • Some as source material for other places/projects, especially WP.
All can lend themselves to projects, though the character of each project relates to the commonality of the goals. Each will have its own quirks and each has a different level of requirement for support.
The issue about projects is that they need administrative support, and at WS, many of us want to get on with the transcribing and reproducing the work, not sit back with the less glamorous (boring?) components. So some of the thing that would be helpful for us are (quick brain dump) into the start of a wishlist. billinghurst (talk) 21:12, 26 November 2009 (UTC)


  1. Getting our help and support pages into a applicable framework
  2. Assistance in standardisation of some of our templates
  3. A search engine that gives us better results, and part of this may also be assistance with good meta data management
  4. Finding some vols who love the process of organisation
  5. A means outside of enWS to exhibit some of our projects for wider consumption
I've noted this list, and will consider it as I write recommendations for the Strategic Planning task force about ways that the Foundation can help wikis do these type of things. FloNight (talk) 07:53, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

My wishlist, which has been discussed on IRC with a few other members over the past year, would be for WMF to allow us to keep hard copies of certain texts at their office. If they'd pay for shipping for one book a month or so, even better. We're still organising a group of volunteers who have all pledged money to purchase rare and unique texts off eBay and such...but would really like to know the hard copies end up somewhere as well. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Thomas Carlyle. 08:30, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Copyright notices for Gutenberg?

Can anyone tell me what copyright notices are required for a Gutenberg text posted in Wikisource? In particular, I began to insert de Maupassant's novel [[Bel Ami] Ineuw (talk) 19:06, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

That it is a Gutenberg text is irrelevant as they cannot own the copyright for transcribing a work (no intellectual property rights). The copyright tag will be what is relevant to apply to the author. You might attribute the source as being from Gutenberg in the Notes, alternatively on the talk page using {{textinfo}}. billinghurst (talk) 20:38, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Billinghurst, thanks for the clarification. — Ineuw (talk) 14:40, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Quran translations in 40 languages

Guys, I found something awesome on the Internet Archive it is still being proceed by the Internet Archive. So far it has been processing almost a month. It is the Quran in 40 languages. The link can be found here. It will take a long while before we have all of the DJVU files, but when we do we will have the Quran on a bunch of wikis. Anyways, what do you guys think? --Mattwj2002 (talk) 09:25, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

That's interesting, although there are two issues: the name of the translators are not mentioned (I think it is important in this case), and I am a bit suspicious about the neutrality of the translation when it is promoted by the Saoudi government. I feel the same about the Bible's translation distributed by the Jehovah Witnesses, as an example (see w:Criticism of Jehovah's Witnesses#Biblical criticisms). Yann (talk) 10:20, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
For what it's worth, most modern translations you'll find of the Quran are distributed by the Saudi government; it's a huge deal for them, and the vast majority of (North American) Muslims will use it as their English copy without any concern over accuracy. In part this is because there are no blatant differences between it and other translations, and in part because it's part of the religion that any translation is flawed and not to be trusted, only as a "primer" until you can learn the Arabic original. I wouldn't worry too much about the Saudi aspect as we'd certainly mention it in the header text, just so long as the copyright license is acceptable. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Thomas Carlyle. 16:05, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
That can be true. But the second question is what the Wikisource thinks about it and if the Wikisource is like to accept possible uncorrectness in the translations. I cannot compare it. -jkb- (talk) 09:20, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
As long as it is a published translation, we will accept it even when it is known to be incorrect. For the same reason we don't reject 19th century encyclopedias for bias. It is what it is, just make sure the origin of of the translation is accurately labeled. Copyright is a more likely concern.--BirgitteSB 03:40, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Standard suite/Wikisource-specific

Right at the end of the "standard suite/wikisource-specific" menu below the editing box we find <section begin= /> <section end= />. My question is about the underlining, meaning that each of these falls into three parts. Is this as intended? Generally tags are paired up so that you click once to get the open and close parts together. Charles Matthews (talk) 11:37, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

My incompetence in being unable to get the right coding (as per a talk page somewhere I admitted my uselessness), and the file is differently configured than at WP. In the end, I cheated and simply added them to my monobook.js file and they appear as toolbar buttons. Saved scrolling so is better for me.billinghurst (talk) 11:53, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
I've changed it so that the open & close are each a tag, and will leave the cursor in the name parameter. -Steve Sanbeg (talk) 23:54, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Isn't the normal pairing of such tags because you then want to type your information between the pair? However with these tags there should generally be a page full of text already. So if they are paired you will have to insert them both in the correct location for "begin" and now have to cut and paste the end part to its correct location. Or cut and paste the text that should be between them. At least that is how I remeber using them, and I could be missing something.--BirgitteSB 00:27, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes and no, as the section tags need to be specifically labelled, putting in surrounding tags for a block of text means that you have to go back and label each individually. For section, I type the tag name, and copy it to clipboard, add the section begin tag, then add section end tag and paste in the corresponding section name.

I don't mind whether "begin" and "end" are in the same unit or not: but the situation was of six separate units, which wasn't very useful. Charles Matthews (talk) 13:13, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Yep, my gooby. I have been rescued! billinghurst (talk) 11:15, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
You can highlight text and click a button to format it, so you can avoid some of the cut & pasting that way. But these aren't really paired tags in the usual sense, since the software doesn't support nested tags, so if the open and close were one element, then you'd need to type in the name in both places. Currently, if you highlight something and click the link, it'd format as <section begin="something"/>-Steve Sanbeg (talk) 16:48, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

10 Volumes of Photographic History of the Civil War

Hi guys, I was thinking about adding these 10 Volumes of Photographic History of the Civil War to Wikisource and the Commons. I think they are 10 great volumes for Wikisource and the Commons seems excited because of all of the old photographs. These books are filled with Civil War photographs that are all public domain because the book was published in 1911 in New York. Anyways, I just thought I would mention I am going to work on these volumes. Here is some links to the volumes:

The Photographic History of the Civil War Volume 1
The Photographic History of the Civil War Volume 2
The Photographic History of the Civil War Volume 3
The Photographic History of the Civil War Volume 4
The Photographic History of the Civil War Volume 5
The Photographic History of the Civil War Volume 6
The Photographic History of the Civil War Volume 7
The Photographic History of the Civil War Volume 8
The Photographic History of the Civil War Volume 9
The Photographic History of the Civil War Volume 10

Please let me know what you think. --Mattwj2002 (talk) 06:59, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Looks like a really interesting project. Hesperian 07:00, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
I'd love to tackle the Commons-side categorization. If you upload with Commonist, just create a category for Category:The Photographic History of the Civil War and don't worry about categorising the images beyond that. I'll check in on the category and handle subcategorising all the images so they can be properly used on WP and other projects. Can probably harass me to handle whichever volume has Gettysburg as well - since I visited there a year ago and loved reading about the history. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Thomas Carlyle. 07:22, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
119 Files are already uploaded, the images are great and categorization is really needed. Check the categories--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 13:34, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
The djvu file should contain the text, if we get those we can add the jpg files to page space via an Index. I would like to see these volumes at Source. Cygnis insignis (talk) 14:05, 18 December 2009 (UTC)


Are annotated bibliographies ok? I'm currently proofreading a transcription of this work, and would like to put it up here. Regards, Paradoctor (talk) 18:22, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

If it is a published work that is in the public domain, then you are in the right place. If the annotations are part of the original work, then they are totally okay. If the annotations are yours, then they would not belong in the body of the work, and we would need to have a discussion on whether annotations were to go the talk page, subpage(s), or as transcriber footnotes.
After a quick look at the work, I would like to point you towards .djvu files and also to have a look at our proofreading schema. Doing some more work on the files and having them beefed up at Commons, saves a lot of work at this end. billinghurst (talk) 20:57, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, should have been more precise: My concern is WS:WWI#Reference_material, as bibliographies are basically that, lists. DjVu preferred? No problem, I created my first 700-page PDF in 2003, I believe. ;) Paradoctor (talk) 21:46, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
"unless it is published as part of a complete source text." would hold. As long as it was published as a book, nobody is going to have a problem with it.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:51, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Even if the part is the whole? Logically speaking, I see no problem either, but when I start thinking logically, people usually start complaining. ^_^ Ok, thanks for the confirmation, with a little luck, Djvu and transcription should be up by Saturday. Regards, Paradoctor (talk) 03:50, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I think you are fine as this seems to be a discreet publication. The problem was in the past when there were things like a list of prime numbers or pi to X decimal points. It was argued that such reference material was published in the appendix page of some book, but there was no intention of adding the book. This was before ProofreadPage so we were not using files like we do now. We could probably change the rule into requiring the use of ProofPage without much fuss. The biggest problem with this stuff was that it would be edited to change a few numbers and no one active here had a clue if this edit corrected an error or inserted one. As it was all equally meaningless numbers to our eyes, we didn't feel we were able to maintain it to a minimum level of quality.--BirgitteSB 03:26, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
There is a copyright problem. Several entries are copies from "Scientific Abstracts", probably still copyrighted. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 00:17, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
As stated, this can be solved in case there really is a problem. Paradoctor (talk) 00:30, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Request for usurp User Myst

Hello, I'm Myst on the French Wikipedia, and i want to usurpt User:Myst to complete my SUL. Thanks. 22:07, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

This will need to be asked at Wikisource:Administrator's noticeboard#Bureaucrats if you expect some action. billinghurst (talk) 03:06, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Inclusion question

Do state laws in the United States, such as the ones that can be looked up here, meet the guidelines for inclusion? I found the guidelines a bit hazy when I read through them (probably because of my being used to Wikipedia's notability guidelines, which I can't tell if you have here). Ks0stm (talk) 05:30, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

See WS:IO; in this case, 1) PUBLISHED and 2) IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN would be sufficient to meet WS criteria. billinghurst (talk) 06:35, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
And for the record, Wikisource has no notability guideline; if it's published and in the public domain, or is otherwise of historical note, and it is a "work" (not a collation of information, a list of numbers, or a table of data with no accompanying text) we will accept it. Our inclusion guideline instead takes the place of a notability guideline, and it has specific details of what is acceptable and what is not. Jude (talk) 07:08, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Also for the record, state laws are in the public domain in the US as "edicts of government" (and can be tagged {{PD-EdictGov}}). See § 206.01 of the Compendium II: Copyright Office Practices: "Edicts of government, such as judicial opinions, administrative rulings, legislative enactments, public ordinances, and similar official legal documents are not copyrightable for reasons of public policy. This applies to such works whether they are Federal, State, or local as well as to those of foreign governments.". - Htonl (talk) 15:04, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
The only state that specifically places most of the works from all three branches of its State government into the Public Domain is California.
FWIW... use THIS as a guide - it is a bit dated but has been dead on for me in the few instances where this has come up. George Orwell III (talk) 19:40, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
California may be the only state to expressly disclaim copyright in its works, but that is not the end of the matter, since labeling something copyrighted doesn’t make it so. Although the issue does not come up frequently, the majority view (reflected by the Copyright Office policy statement quoted above) is that state governments cannot hold copyright in (at a minimum) their statutes or judicial opinions. The most in-depth contemporary discussion I am aware of is Veeck v. Southern Building Code Congress Int'l, Inc., which concluded that copyright protection for a privately authored model building code evaporated when two Texas municipalities adopted the provisions of the model code, verbatim, as their local municipal law. Veeck is only a circuit court opinion, so it isn’t binding nationwide, but its reasoning seems to track older Supreme Court cases pretty closely. That doesn’t prevent state governments from falsely claiming copyright protection in statutes or other legal materials (as the State of Oregon famously did last year, before retreating in the face of public opposition), but it does suggest that claims of that sort stand on an extremely shaky legal foundation. Tarmstro99 (talk) 20:23, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Until I see a real legal citation where the internal, woefully outdated, now nearly abandoned Copyright Office manual born in 1973 is indeed given some sort of legal standing or recognition - I do not feel comfortaable following that line of reasoning/notion. Your points and citations are well taken here but I believe each state has its own set of issues (Florida comes to mind) and therefore applying the Federal protection in such a sweeping way to individual states is not so simple. Kansas is not Texas nor is it Oregon and I believe that is the state (or statutues?) in question. I'm not saying I'm right - just that more proof would be better to present, vet and then cite when this comes up again. George Orwell III (talk) 22:03, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
The issue is not often litigated, for better or worse—it is probably just as well that the states, Oregon excepted, have expressed no discomfort with making their statutes more broadly accessible online and have not raced off to court to prevent it. In consequence, we may all be waiting quite a while for a better precedent than Veeck (and the cases upon which it relied). Note also, however, that when it comes to copyright law, state-by-state variation is no longer relevant—that is the meaning of Section 301(a), which abolished state copyright law (with vanishingly few exceptions, such as pre-1972 sound recordings). Congress was quite clear about this: “All corresponding State laws, whether common law or statutory, are preempted and abrogated” by the 1976 Copyright Act. When measuring the extent of federal copyright protection, in other words, Kansas and Texas really do not stand in a different position from Oregon and California; any differences in their local laws are immaterial to the single federal scheme of copyright protection that Congress created in 1976. Tarmstro99 (talk) 22:32, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
The HOUSE is only HALF of Congress. A Conference Report trumps all the Committee Reports before it. Sorry, I'm confused. Following that line of reasoning would then mean only the Dept of Commerce wouldn't have been precluded from securing copyright protrction rather than every Federal Agency in Sec. 105? (yes I understand - Sec. 301 opted for the House language in the passed language anyway if I read it right).
So whatever in blazes was in question originally does/does not fall under 106 (102, 103)? George Orwell III (talk) 00:03, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
One of my favorite copyright lawyers discusses the issue here. Cases cited are Banks & Bros. v. West Pub. Co., 27 F. 50 (C.C.D. Minn. 1886) and Veeck v. Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc., 293 F.3d 791 (5th Cir. 2002).--BirgitteSB 18:22, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
BTW California disclaims copyright on ALL works created by the stare, not merely the statues. For example if the CA Board of Agriculture prints a flier to distribute to homeowners on dealing with Japanese Beetles in their gardens it is public domain. We are only saying that actual statutes enacted by other states are public domain, not every single work produced by state employees.--BirgitteSB 18:30, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Just to add a couple more points on this: note that the exact same language that I quoted above appears in the Senate report on the same legislation (“All corresponding State laws, whether common law or statutory, are preempted and abrogated”), so this is not a case where the House and Senate differed in their understanding of the bill before them. (And Bill Patry is one of my favorite copyright lawyers, too! My own take on the Oregon case (which generally jibes with his) is here.) Tarmstro99 (talk) 02:08, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

← While I can appreciate the significance of the Veck case - I don't see how it can be applied across all 50 states by simple association. Somewhere, the idea was injected that States are trying to claim protection using some state statute to usurp Federal law rather than under Title 17 as all 'authors' are entitled to. The problem lies (I believe) in those instances where either copyright is clearly claimed on the State's website, within the State's publication itself or by the entity responsible for compiling/publishing/hosting that area of State records or whatever (New Mexico for example). In most of these cases, the claim is Not that the work does not belong to the public and authorship some how precludes the public from access to it but that the terms of it's use clearly shows the work is intended for each individual exclusively and not for re-use in such a medium as WS. Kansas, for example, states in their disclaimer. . .

I just don't understand why the trigger (a claim of copyright was clearly given ©) and that's why certain works generally falling under some area of government could not be hosted here in some instances but the same litmus test does not apply in this case or anything else regarding Non-Federal governments.

Moving back to covered ground, previous discussions basically reasoned that only works that had to do with recognized legal proceedings (Judicial) or statutes, slip laws, session laws, etc. (Legislative) qualified for hosting here based on what some internal Copyright Office manual had outlined in spite of the lack of this outline being cited as having any legal standing or binding effect whatsoever by a court of law or even via some regulatory code. This meant that works by "individuals" who happen to be an Officer of one of the branches of government (Governor, Justice, Senator, Judge, President, etc) that were in the form of an interview, a speech, an initiative etc. do not meet the threshold set by said internal Copyright Office manual. This notion is claimed to be a sound trigger for meeting WS standards for hosting and the reasoning given (generally) follows such citations as. . .

Ok fine - Court Cases, the Decisions, individual Opinions cannot be copyrighted because, at the end of the day, doing so is contrary to "sound public policy" or simply part of anybody serving within Judiciary's normal job if you like. Obviously the finished product of the legislative branch (passed legislation) cannot be copyrighted and, by extension, the discourse and debate, interim reports, and any other body of work delivered in a fixed medium during the process that eventually got the legislation passed, such as an interim House Committee on the Judiciary report or the floor statements made during consideration, also enjoy the exclusion from the claim to copyright following the same logic as the Judiciary's.

Yet, when it comes to works by the Executive or entities of the Executive Branch, the above reasoning does not apply, the trigger for acceptable hosting becomes mobile and that little 'c' with the circle around it matters most of all. In some instances even, Senators aren't Senators all of the sudden when they a give speech, aren't working to insure sound public policy (as they interpret it) and so that too does not meet the WS criteria. Am I missing something? George Orwell III (talk) 21:32, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

An aside here: note that Veeck merely applied some (admittedly much older) Supreme Court cases, which remain binding nationwide until reversed by that Court. So it is not entirely correct to state that Veeck carries no force outside Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The Supreme Court has stated that judicial opinions cannot be copyrighted, and its reasoning would appear to extend equally to statutory law (indeed, the Supreme Court based its reasoning in part on earlier cases holding statutes to be public domain). Tarmstro99 (talk) 02:08, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
I do not or did not disagree wth that. What did the post-1978 Federal law excluding any implied or existing state laws have to do with this again? Who was trying to usurp Title 17's exclusions or protections by instead claiming some local statute exactly - Texas, Veeck or SBCCI? George Orwell III (talk) 03:52, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
I am not sure if I follow you entirely. What exactly do you mean by "works of the Executive or entities of the Executive Branch"? It is a broad enough category that I imagine it contains both copyrightable works and administrative rulings which are uncopyrightable. The original question here seemed to be about legislative documents, so I am not sure what sorts of documents that you imagine we disagree about.--BirgitteSB 21:50, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Forgive me for being so unclear; I don't know how to lump the various works under one overall category that makes sense. Basically, these are works most recently booted/debated such as Sarah Palin's resignation speech or the Obama interview with Matt Lauer for example. I have yet to understand how on the one hand, say the questioning of attorneys by a Justice of the Supreme Court during legal proceedings resulting in recorded testimony (OK) differs from a news reporters interview of the President of the United States questioning his policy position(s) (not OK) or how the opinions and/or interpretations of ruling Judges, the floor statements, party platforms or committee reports generated by members of a legislative branch (OK) differ from policy statements, political speeches or press conferences given by the governor of some state (not OK). If the "rule of thumb" here is

. . . works of the U.S. Government, defined in the law as works prepared by an officer or employee of the U.S. Government as part of that person's official duties, are not copyrightable. This provision applies to such works whether they are edicts of government or otherwise. . .
§ 206.02 of the Compendium II: Copyright Office Practices apparently the 1984 version

further expanded by mutual consensus here to include like works generated by State or Local level kindred counterparts found in the Federal Government (President = Governor = Mayor in short) then I don't understand the recent application or criteria applied and need a review or something to clarify the standards for inclusion on WS I guess.
Re Claim of Copyright: Nearly all public domain works online are claimed as copyrighted in the terms of use for the website. Even Wikisource has blanket claim of the CC-by-SA license there. Terms of use are simply not written in a granular way. The only fully accurate TOS I ever remember reading regarding the copyright of hosted works is sacred-texts. Most everyone just writes a blanket claim of the copyright of the most restricted work in the entire website for the TOS. There is no penalty for such claims and no incentive to be as confusingly complex as accuracy would require. A website's TOS simply cannot be relied on as an accurate statement of the copyright status of all the individual works found on that website. --BirgitteSB 22:09, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Points all well taken here and not really in dispute by me so much. The notion (if I understood it right) was that no matter the disclaimer given or the clear presence of © covering certain materials or areas hosted on a State's site (such as those found outlined for the 50 States mentioned earlier} because of a case in Texas where I'm not even sure the State of Texas was named or Oregon's lack of political fortitude to pursue the matter in court equates to using a blanket mentality here covering all the states. All I'm thinking here is that while I believe in the principle the public owns whatever public officials generate, it is best to check for issues on a state by stae basis is all.
FWIW, I've tried to create the appropriate banner ({{}}) that I think would cover a good number of the works frequently questioned regarding Obama's or his Administration but getting the automatic citation thing to work (hidden text in template) was above my pay grade. George Orwell III (talk) 23:56, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
You seem to be conflating things. Works of the US federal government, with a few exceptions, are not copyrightable. That's black and white: USC Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105. The fact that laws and judicial opinions aren't copyrightable is case law, as cited above. The interview with the President is complex, but I think the lines we followed there is that interviewer's words and the structure of the interview were copyright NBC and there was no need to muddle with it. I don't remember the recorded Supreme Court case case, and would find it at least open for debate, but in the President's interview, the recorder was a private party in league with the interviewer to produce copyrightable content for commercial sale, where as in the Supreme Court case, the recorder is the US government, and even the precreated speeches aren't created to sell commercially.
I don't see any point in using the template unless we can find something that's not clearly the creation of the federal government (and hence PD) that would be covered by it.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:33, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Well I beg to differ as far as the Super Bowl Sunday interview goes... The template is accordance with White House copyright guidelines. It was created in hopes of putting to rest questions about material published on such as that interview's transcription or Press Conferences and so on. Water under the bridge if you say so.

Back to the matter at hand; I'm clear on Sec. 105 and the definitions for it found in Sec. 101. I do not, however, buy into the Copyright Offices 'definition' of what construes to be an edict of Federal Government or not. I'm pretty sure "edict" is not specified or defined let alone mentioned even once in Title 17; only "works of the U.S. Government" is to the best of my research. I don't buy into the notion that certain things are works of government officials, created in line with their official duties while others are not just because the internal Office manual says so. Without some precedent of this Copyright Office manual having weight or enjoying standing in a legal setting, I don't think they are an authority on definitions or much else here. Its incredulous to accept it without citing something to support that within the Code of Federal Regulations. The fact that Compendium Sec. 206.01 mirrors the interpretations found in the body of laws and court cases to date that were mentioned earlier or that it has wording that includes State, Local or foreign government edicts is happenstance if anything. The same based-in-wishful-transference rather than some sort citation or legal precedent applies in the opposite way in Sec. 206.02 when the Copyright Office goes back on it's "strictly edicts" to include anything as long as it was created in the course of Official duties ('works for hire' was added in 1999-2000 though not cited). Please believe me, I get the whole . . .

Wheaton’s holding, as has been shown, derives from an analogy between judicial opinions and legislative acts as together constituting “the law,” which is not subject to copyright.

. . . thing - just that the exclusion extends into the Executive as well (besides Proclamations and Orders of course). I just don't subscribe to the idea that making speeches, giving interviews or similar uses of the bully pulpit is not part of the typical Executive's way of carrying out their sworn duties just like the folks working in the other two branches of government are doing. I find no definition of "official duty" in Title 17, Sec. 101, 102, 103, 105 or 106 either. So basically, I see no validity in claiming just because we can't codify or define these works as laws or edicts that they should be disqualified - nor should any of this matter anyway when all these authors are elected by the people if not salaried by the people (the real owners of the crap they all pump out). George Orwell III (talk) 03:30, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't understand what you're talking about. Federal Government is one thing, edicts are another. We understand that works of the executive branch of state governments is copyrighted.--Prosfilaes (talk) 11:39, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Why would works created by the Executive or Executive Officers be any different when it comes to copyright exclusions as the works of the Judicial or the Legislative branches enjoy, Federal or otherwise ( & in the instances where it its not at the Federal level while opting not to try to explictly assert copyright/authorship at the same time)? Are they not created during the course of carrying out official duties as well? George Orwell III (talk) 12:14, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Because there are court cases on the major works of the judicial and legislative branches being in the public domain. Speeches and other creations of the judicial and legislative branches may not fall under those exceptions where they aren't laws and judicial rulings. At a deeper level, because laws and judicial rulings have to be copied verbatim so people can know their exact legal obligations and restrictions. Executive copyrights, however, don't have the same effect; money and stamps only have value when copying is restricted, and the various other publications don't have the same immediate impact on people that restricting the copying of the laws does. What anyone gains by restricting the copying of a driver's manual, I don't know, but there seems to be little evidence that the states are prohibited from doing so.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:11, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

At a deeper level, because laws and judicial rulings have to be copied verbatim so people can know their exact legal obligations and restrictions.

Finally. I think you've alluded to the principle that makes this entire reasoning behind the convoluted notion that just the laws matter but civic knowledge, public participation and overall good citizenship, as obtuse as that may seem at times other souls, are not worthy to host or are being excluded for possible legal backlash a bit circular and silly IMO.

"Laws matter", "Edicts only" whatever "the cosmically-assigned axe-to-grind" of your choice may be here have only risen to the level that they have because the pseudo-first idiot to try to claim his compilation of court proceedings equated to authorship somehow; leading to exclusive protections; leading to exclusive distribution & in the end had hopes to sell that compilation to make MONEY ironically enough was a COURT CLERK/REPORTER. I believe the second idiot was a Legislative officer of the same sort with the same intent to restrict access to inflate value for personal profit. Everybody and every legal case and every new medium standardized since Reporter A and Clerk B are just variations on that same theme. Had some Governor's speech, appointment-book or goof-ball journal entries interested anybody enough to convince an aide to try and turn them over for a quick buck while said Governor was still breathing somehow - I will bet those too would be specifically cited in the manual of no-no's by now as well. While the consequences of making "bad decisions" or "thought it was OK to do that" is more likely to lead to jail time wheb it comes to the lack of access or understanding of legal paramaters; comparable consequences exist well outside the realm of any body of compliled decisions and opinions to date IMHO.

There is no class nor differentiation or privilege between the neatly organized; easy to comprehend; value adding organization of last year's tax code changes with all its individuals' contributions needed to create it properly attributed from the mis-spelled transcription of the tongue-in-check yet unbelievable shallow politicized response given by Governor So-and-So after a State of the Union Address as the counter-point to the National message delivered just moments before. Restricting the access of either is contrary to the generally accepted core democratic principle(s), the public interest at hand, the due process guaranteed, the creation of sound public policy and so on. Nobody can (rationally) "define" the normal or abnormal duties of an officer of government, what is and is not created in the course of his or her work day much less the term "work" itself. I understand just because one is an officer of the government for a paycheck, that fact of life does not equate to automatic copyright exclusion for everything that person comes up with. Then again - I wouldn't know how to market the 1967 Colorado State Motor Vehicle Driver's Manual (Rev. 292.A) into a vast empire nor would it be my intent. Give me the appointment list of all special interest lobbyists visiting the White House last month and then.... no difference. I haven't come across any of Nixon's hi-kus in the Fed Reg either if it matters.


Well having thoroughly disenfranchised the original OP from making a single peep on Kansas State law and whatever it was that riled him/her up enough to warrant asking in the first place, I'll try to move on to something else. I can fully appreciate the realities of hosting some works, having issues with others and further still - knowingly turn a blind eye just because volunteerism is too time consuming in light of the project or work you are neck deep in at the moment, but this indictment, for lack of a better term, of bits and pieces or now dormant & unpopular yet still extremely imperative they be smuggled off & hosted elsewhere based on some the cease & desist boogie-man will get you as you type that -- tis' true!!!!! for the Compendium II has decreed it seems (to me at least because both would have about the same legal standing for apparently never appearing in a legal court/decision until now) sort of ridiculous if not disingenuous for guideline or policy justification as does the existence of an Edict banner at all...

It is, therefore, the true policy, influenced by the essential spirit of the government, that laws of every description should be universally diffused. To fetter or restrain their dissemination, must be to counteract this policy; to limit, or even to regulate it, would, in fact, produce the same effect.

If either statutes or decisions could be made private property, it would be in the power of an individual to shut out the light by which we guide our actions.

All of prior quoted and the above came directly from within the Vreeks decision btw George Orwell III (talk) 18:47, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

rule of thumb here is [works of Federal employees quote] further expanded by mutual consensus here to include like works generated by State or Local level kindred counterparts found in the Federal Government (President = Governor = Mayor in short) I disagree that it is further expanded this way. State and Local level must fall under edicts of government to be uncopyrightable. Forgive me, but I think you might be at the point when you are first realizing the full ugliness of copyright law. It won't fall into neat mutually exclusive columns; it's a train-wreck strewn all over the place. You just have to look at stuff on a case-by-case basis, or else generalize in the abstract. There really isn't any reliable middle-ground. Decisions on copyright are made, and reviewed, and reversed all the time. We have a far from a perfect record in both directions. Don't rely on something being kept or deleted extrapolate out to copyright in general. Rely on the solidity of the reasoning given. Frankly sometimes there just needs to be a decision made. And even more frankly, sometimes both choices are wrong. Copyright is not necessarily something that can always be determined. Sometimes the most accurate answer is "Unknown."--BirgitteSB 03:07, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Books, pagination and long quotations

I am working on formatting some sections of The Life of John Milton: Narrated in Connexion with the Political, Ecclesiastical, and Literary ... (1880) by David Masson. It is fairly strait forwards as I have two OCR copies of the work and can compare them with edit diffs. However I have a few questions.

Although I have placed several copies of documents into Wikisource, they have all been treaties and the like. I have yet to put a part of a book into Wikisource. Please could someone point me towards what is considered to be some of the better formatted books Wikisource?

Should I paginate a book along the lines of the edition I am using as a source or should I just keep to chapters?

What is the usual practice of including longer quotes (a paragraph or more) within the text of a book? For example here is a snippet taken from Page 36, with the original lines format, and with the style of longer quote:

On the same 7th of June on which there were the five
additional exceptions for life and the order for the arrest of
Joyce and Peters there were two other incidents in the
history of the Act of Indemnity. One was the completion
of a resolution by the Commons in these words : " Resolved
" and declared by the Commons in Parliament assembled
" that they do by this their public act, for and in behalf of
" themselves and every one of them, and of all the Commons
" of England, of what quality or degree soever they be, — ex-
" cepting only as is, or shall hereafter be, excepted by this
" Parliament in an Act of Free and General Pardon, Indemnity,
" and Oblivion, now under consideration, — lay hold upon his
" Majesty's free and general Pardon, in his late gracious
" Letters and Declaration granted, tendered, or expressed."

I can not use this style unless I force line lengths to be fixed. It seems to me I could just put double quotes at the start and end of the quote but with long ones that could be confusing. Alternatively I could use <blockquote> ({{quote}}) but that would create paragraphs where none exist in the edition I am copying the text from. What is considered best way to handle such quotes in books on Wikisource? --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 14:09, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Regarding the unusual quotation style: I have run into that elsewhere, and I just removed the extra quote marks, thus punctuating it like a modern book. --LarryGilbert (talk) 21:40, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

The following doesn't wrap, but if you select and copy text from it, it won't contain line breaks:

On the same 7th of June on which there were the five additional exceptions for life and the order for the arrest of Joyce and Peters there were two other incidents in the history of the Act of Indemnity. One was the completion of a resolution by the Commons in these words : " Resolved " and declared by the Commons in Parliament assembled " that they do by this their public act, for and in behalf of " themselves and every one of them, and of all the Commons " of England, of what quality or degree soever they be, — ex- " cepting only as is, or shall hereafter be, excepted by this " Parliament in an Act of Free and General Pardon, Indemnity, " and Oblivion, now under consideration, — lay hold upon his " Majesty's free and general Pardon, in his late gracious " Letters and Declaration granted, tendered, or expressed."

Is that what you had in mind? Paradoctor (talk) 23:09, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

P.S.: If required, the text can be justified. Paradoctor (talk) 23:21, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Personally, I like to lay this out as

... a resolution by the Commons in these words : " Resolved <noinclude><br/>
" </noinclude>and declared by the Commons in Parliament assembled<noinclude><br/>
" </noinclude>that they do by this their public act, for and in behalf of...<br/>

so that the quotes and line breaks appear in the proofing view (i.e. page namespace) but not in reading view. Hesperian 23:38, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Call me dense, but what is the purpose of the <nowiki> tags? Paradoctor (talk) 22:17, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Call me dense. Paradoctor (talk) 22:19, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

It seems to me that to format the text as it was printed in a book published over a century ago is not desirable, as styles change (for example we do not write with spaces before semicolons). This text will be read using a browser (we do not indent the start of paragraphs and we only use single spaces after a full stop), therefore it seems to me more sensible to block quote such sections as is often done in modern formats (it also helps with automated text reading for those visually impaired). -- Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 13:52, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Model United Nations

The Model United Nations(or MUN's), as everyone would know is a platform where extensive research is inevitable.. Given this, does wikisource have any articles which would have content which is more suitable for a MUN research?

As in giving more importance to current events of a region and its impacts on the world relationships?

Wikisource:Texts by Country is helpful (for some countries), and Wikisource:United Nations carries a lot of their real resolutions, so you can figure out how they're phrased, what sorts of things they say and such. What country are you? Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Thomas Carlyle. 18:04, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Rescue job Medina Charter

Doing a cleanup of headerless pages, and found this Medina Charter. Does someone with information about the work want to cleanup and get in order for {{header}} and licence. Thx. billinghurst (talk) 13:27, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

The discussion on its talk page indicates some dissension about which translations are reliable, apocryphal, copyrighted, etc., etc. It looks as if some knowledge of Arabic will be important if not required to research this. --LarryGilbert (talk) 18:10, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
I can handle basic Arabic needs, I can't translate the whole thing from its original Arabic; but if given the original Arabic I can at least tell you whether ours begins and ends on the same sentence, whether they're numbered correctly, etc. I can also navigate Arabic wikisource well enough to add the treaty, if somebody can just find it for me. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Thomas Carlyle. 18:36, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Went looking for a reliable copy but ran into a wall of contradictions and controversy. The wikipedia page has the ones used for the WS version linked in 'External Links' now, FWIW George Orwell III (talk) 00:26, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

by psalmkid:

Is it alright to add small poems? unsigned comment by Psalmkid‎ (talk) .

Yes, absolutely! However, you should be careful to make sure they are poems written by real poets; generally meaning they were published in a legitimate book at some point (some exceptions exist, where they were carved into a rock three hundred years ago, or something like that) - and that they're no longer in copyright. (The easiest way, is that anything written before 1923, or written by somebody who died before 1926, is good to add). Any help we can give, let us know. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Thomas Carlyle. 19:25, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Written by somebody who died before 1926 is questionable; it doesn't work for the US or Mexico or the Ivory Coast, and it doesn't even necessarily work for other nations, if the poet registered for copyright in the US properly or the poems weren't published until after 1977. Written before 1923 is your safest and easiest bet, though works by someone who lived in a life+70 nation and died before 1926 might be worth asking about (or checking up yourself, if you're willing to dig that far into copyright.)--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:12, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Spelling correction?

Constitution of Kiribati has at least one typo ("mist" for "must" in the "Changing the Constitution" section) — but that typo is visible at the source website. Can we change it? As an en:Wikipedia administrator, I'm quite familiar with correcting errors there, but I don't know whether it's a good idea to change spelling here or to leave texts as close to the source as possible. 02:13, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm new to this place, but for the text I'm prepping for upload, I simply provide both: The original version with all the pittoresque warts, and the version edited by me to perfection. ;) Paradoctor (talk) 02:24, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Generally we look to reproduce works, and there is capacity to work around these, eg. {{SIC}}, {{sic}} (they are different}} and capacity for making notes, eg. the pair {{ref}} and {{note}} billinghurst (talk) 06:57, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Author:Onwutalobi Anthony-Claret

Seems like a case of WS:OR. Hardly the author even fulfills the requirements for Wikipedia, the author article there swimms in a small biosphere of circle-referenced articles arround w:en:Codewit Global network. --Martin H. (talk) 15:28, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

There's quite a few authors we have that don't fulfill the requirements for Wikipedia. When Wikisource is complete for pre-1923 works, we'll have an author page for every author who ever posted an article in a magazine. The real question is do his works fit our inclusion policy, which is an issue for Wikisource:Proposed deletions.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:36, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

index pages

Following discussion with BillingHurst I've added two fields to index pages :

  • editor, for books where it is necessary to have it
  • progress : it works with a javascript selector, and adds a category to the index page, describing the work that needs to be done.

ThomasV (talk) 14:09, 18 December 2009 (UTC)


{{MultiLicensePD}} indicates that a work is both licensed under the GFDL and entered into the public domain. Legally and logically speaking, that is the same as simply putting it in the public domain. Is it not? Maybe I'm missing the point. --LarryGilbert (talk) 19:24, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

I tried to read the explanation at w:Wikipedia:Multi-licensing and either I am not sufficiently awake, not sufficiently patient or not sufficiently drunk (or combinations of these) to be able to enlighten you. There is commentary about our move to changing the basis of the licencing too. I know that only one user has it in play, so I think that we could retire it from prominence at Help:Copyright tags and either just have a lead to it as a link, or just list at the category. billinghurst (talk) 22:16, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Who died in 1939?

Of interest because of the 70 year rule. There are at least: Author:Havelock Ellis; Author:Ford Madox Ford; Author:Sigmund Freud; Author:Zane Grey; w:Joseph Roth; Author:William Butler Yeats. Also in a more academic vein: Author:Moses Gaster; Author:Reginald Lane-Poole; fr:Lucien Lévy-Bruhl; w:Harold Temperley. Charles Matthews (talk) 12:01, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

This discussion would be better suited for Wikilivres, since very few things will be lapsing into public domain in the United States anytime soon. See Help:Public_domain, and Wikisource_talk:Scan_parties#I'm_confused for further explanation. Prosody (talk) 17:24, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Indent and paragraph indent

 This is related to a previous discussion, "What is the go with {{Indent}}?"

 I created the template {{para indent}} and the short name redirect {{pi}} to overcome the confusing issue of the {{indent}}, which in reality should be moved to a template named {{leadin indent}}, or {{leadin tab}}, or {{firstline indent}} for that's what it is.

 billinghurst provided the insight when I attempted to indent entries in the TOC tables of the The Popular Science Monthly Project . {{para indent}} works acceptably well for me (for now), but my HTML knowledge is very limited. — Ineuw (talk) 16:33, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

 I used pi to replace the deprecated 1st version if indent {{indent|0}} in the The Doctrine and Covenants Section 16

{{pi|{{verse|verse=1}}xxx}} doesn't work. — Ineuw (talk) 22:33, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

USS Taurus(PHM-3)

I added this for information about the PHM program and the USS Taurus in particular. I really wasn't sure if it should be added. If someone could advise. unsigned comment by Bigroger27509 (talk) .

It would seem to meet our criteria of In/Out and public domain. I have created an Index page at Index:USS Taurus.djvu. There are a lot of photos there, and generally it is best to take screenshots of each individually upload in addition to the DjVu format. I will move the file to Commons where it is more accessible. billinghurst (talk) 03:36, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Back to the future (of the PSM project)

 For those who are interested in coordinating the proofreading of The Popular Science Monthly Project , I posted this document, detailing the strategy developed during work on Volume 1. I hope this helps. — Ineuw (talk) 17:29, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Wikisource:Featured text candidates could do with your opinion

We are very much open for nominations of texts, and for people to express their opinions on existing nominations. We need a decision for January, and can even put in place February, +++. Thanks. billinghurst (talk) 13:06, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

What to do with Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

The work Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is listed as a transcription of a facsimile of an early edition, and we also have a scan of a 1907 illustrated version. Seeking opinions from the community on whether we should be looking to do

  • Source the linked pdf version, and therefore {{versions}} control
  • Migrate to the Index: ns version

billinghurst (talk) 21:10, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

I've been mulling over a similar dilemma with What Will He Do with It?. The version first uploaded here was taken from Project Gutenberg--a single, huge text with few or no changes. I subsequently discovered a scanned DjVu file on Commons. I ran Match'n'Split™ to line up the existing text with the scan. As I've been proofing, I've noticed that the edition scanned and put up on Commons is significantly different--much punctuation and capitalization has changed, not to mention the name of one of the characters. So I've been thinking I ought to keep both versions. (Alas, the whole point of my work was to split up that huge Project Gutenberg text--so that would still need to be done.) --LarryGilbert (talk) 22:03, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
I've tried something with Chapter 2 but it doesn't seem to work. --Zyephyrus (talk) 23:09, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
I would also support seperate versions. I think preference should be given to the version with page scans, and once it 100% done consider deleting the version that is more dificult to validate. JeepdaySock (talk) 11:36, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

Year in the {{header}} template

When we utilise the {{{year}}} within {{header}} we need some better guidance on its use, and I don't think that as a community we have decided on this matter.

Is the year

  • The year of the copyright of the edition?
  • The year of publishing of the edition? Remember that copyright and reprints can vary
  • If a translation
    • the year of the foreign language edition?
    • the year of the translation?

Implications are where we display {{{year}}} in the header can give different connotations, and we are lacking the clarity to properly inform billinghurst (talk) 23:17, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps the earliest one. Cirt (talk) 00:11, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

The date of publication seems to me the most important one. If more specific meaning is needed for clarity or because multiple dates are involved, maybe more fields need to be defined. --LarryGilbert (talk) 01:11, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

Seems to me that trying to define additional fields within the basic header template for what amounts to citation information of one degree or the other opens up more questions than it would resolve given the amount of reasonable space to work with. We tried utilizing the {{edition}} & {{Textinfo}} templates to carry citation-related info instead of cluttering up the {{{notes}}} parameter with it for Presidential Executive Orders, but readers unfamiliar with Wikisource rarely made the connection to jump to the discussion tab to see that info on their own. Inserting an optional citation bar between the light-green and blue portions of {{header}} solved that nicely; maybe the solution here is applying something similar to the basic header template too.
At any rate, I'd think leaving the basic header unaltered and flat out creating a helper template to support secondary information, if so desired, is preferable to trying to squeeze the usefulness out of the current {{{year}}} parameter (which, oddly enough, doesn't even auto-CAT the work to the corresponding [[Category:yyyy works]] from what I can tell???). George Orwell III (talk) 06:44, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
It should auto cat {{#if:{{{year|}}}|[[Category:{{{year}}} works]]}} billinghurst (talk) 07:36, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
I would guess most non-WS-familar readers would infer that it is the year the cited author had first created/written the work just by the output's position directly after ‘by Author Author’ in the header when viewed normally, no? If that is the case, then in my view the above holds true - you've injected more issues by its use then you've resolved if the work falls under one of the other scenarios listed at the top. George Orwell III (talk) 08:27, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

Google Books

Google's project to scan 40 million books and what it may eventually mean to users like us is the subject of an interesting PBS Newshour piece. See Google's Goal: Digitize Every Book Ever Printed. Moondyne (talk) 10:27, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Public Domain Day in the UK

Hi all. WMUK have put out a press release today about Public Domain Day in the UK. It would be great to upload some new content here as a result of works coming out of copyright - however things are somewhat complicated due to international copyright law. Does anyone know any specific examples of works that are now coming out of copyright and can be put here? Examples of authors whose work comes out of copyright in the UK include Yeats and Freud. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 17:32, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

We believe that New Poems (1928) by Yeats will be out of copyright this evening in the UK, and is not in copyright in the US as its copyright was not renewed. The only issue may be if the poems have been published in other compilations. As such, we plan to upload these early tomorrow morning. If anyone knows of any problems with this, please let me know asap... Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 21:58, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
1928 or 1938? You added the latter date on the page. You wouldn't happen to have a scan of the work? If you do, we can do some serious work with it if we convert it to a .djvu file. billinghurst (talk) 06:19, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, that should have been 1938. Unfortunately only 450 copies of the book were produced in 1938, which makes getting a copy to scan a tad difficult... Mike Peel (talk) 09:47, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
Full text is now up. I've also done a book at User:AndrewRT/Books/Yeats' New Poems but the <poem> tag isn't rendering correctly. Any ideas? AndrewRT (talk) 11:25, 1 January 2010 (UTC)


Is there a WikiProject for music here? I'm trying to figure out the best way to add musical illustrations to old texts about music. I don't mean audio files. I mean images in musical notation. Thanks. Rigaudon (talk) 22:07, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Interestingly, there isn't Wikisource:WikiProject, though we do have the inactive Wikisource:Song of the Day. We do have a number of works with music, and our last Proofread was Handel and it had excerpts for which we did screen captures and uploaded the works to attach to File:Romain Rolland Handel.djvu. We were looking to explore music notation extension however no one had the combination of time/experience/willingness to progress the matter.
So, I suppose that for the moment the answer is to screen capture (I use FireShot Mozilla extension), upload to Commons (presuming original file is there) using the Derivatives tool, and link them in as File:s. When doing this, I usually build a page with the links at Commons, current example is Commons:Highways and Byways in Sussex billinghurst (talk) 05:22, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
What about Wikisource:Sheet music? Or oldwikisource:Category:Musical scores? -Aleator (talk) 18:50, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
There has been at some talk about a music wiki extension to display sheet music and play the sounds, but unfortunately it has languished. ( --Eliyak T·C 01:14, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Reference to bibliography

Newbie question: is there an example of how to link to a bibliography? Like the small numbers at the end of sections in Page:A Compendium of Irish Biography.djvu/123. Thank you. Wknight94 (talk) 23:08, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

First you need to decide on the structure you're going to tranclude these pages into. Assuming the root title will be A Compendium of Irish Biography and the bibliography will be located at subpage A Compendium of Irish Biography/Bibliography, then you should probably link them something like
[[A Compendium of Irish Biography/Bibliography#68|68]]
For an example, see Page:Makers of British botany.djvu/390, part of Makers of British botany/Index.
Hesperian 03:39, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
A couple of things.
  • I did a tidy and sort of the work, and it is missing pages, see Index:A Compendium of Irish Biography.djvu. We may be better of getting a fresh copy of the file before we progress further. There is an alternate copy available via
  • We have the template {{TOC link}} that would manage the linking to pages. However, one wonders with a little work, we would place anchors to each link and do it is a little more specific linking.
billinghurst (talk) 04:25, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
Comment: My gut feel is that as the work is incomplete, and we have identified it early that the easiest alternative is to reload at Commons, and to ditch the beast with the exception of the few pages that we have proofread/validated which we can just move. Happy to do the mechanics at WS, however, would prefer someone with more bandwidth downloaded and uploaded the alternative file. billinghurst (talk) 04:30, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
Downloading it ... slowly Cygnis insignis (talk) 05:15, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
Uploaded, replacing the old file. Cygnis insignis (talk) 06:08, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

Happy New Year

Happy New Year and best wishes to all in the coming year. — Ineuw (talk) 02:00, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

Thank you Ineuw, and for you too! --Zyephyrus (talk) 22:14, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Translations of Republished Ancient Works?

I am getting a book of works in Latin dating back to the 5th century. The book itself is a printing of manuscripts that were collected by a scholar recently and published in their original language. I intend to translate them into English for my own use. Now I know that the Latin itself is copyrighted and cannot be placed in the public domain. But what about my translation of them? Would these be in the public domain, if I chose? Also, if they are in the public domain, are they wikisource material? I know that wikisource does not permit self-publishing, but this is just a translation, so it seems to be a sort of grey area?Mad2Physicist (talk) 06:35, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

What year were they published? Check the year against and if Latin versions are out of copyright, they belong at la:. Either way, if they are your translations then you will own the copyright to your own translations (your intellectual property), and, if you wish to contribute that to enWS, then please choose the appropriate tag at Help:Copyright tags to allow us to house them. Also see Wikisource:Translations. billinghurst (talk) 07:39, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, the original manuscripts are obviously not copyrighted, but the publication/typesetting that I am getting of them was done in 1981 or so, I believe. So the originals are not copyrighted, and if I were to go and get the originals I could put them on la:, but I don't have access to the original manuscripts. But you say that if I translate them from the new typesetting, then that translation is my intellectual property? Thanks.
Maybe I'm missing something, but isn't any transliteration you create either PD or your own work alone? I'm assuming you drop the material added by the 1981 edition, of course. You can republish PD sources any way you see fit, that's the whole idea. Paradoctor (talk) 14:13, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, that is what I was wondering. I would of course not include any commentary made by the scholar, just a translation of the original stuff. But, as mentioned below, the scholar did use several different manuscripts to put together this typesetting...Mad2Physicist (talk) 02:49, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
Kinda hard to say anything without knowing how much remixing has been done. Assuming the author was sufficiently detailed with sourcing, you can transliterate the different manuscripts separately, that should work in all cases. Failing that, just ask. If the author is anything like me, there should already be a set of such transliterations in electronic form, maybe s/he is inclined to share? Paradoctor (talk) 03:16, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
You maybe meant translate? Anyway I think the scholar who did the work is dead, or I would just ask him (the works in question which I intend to translate are Pelagius' Expositions on the Pauline Epistles, a critical edition of which is available by Alexander Souter, and of which the first was translated by De Bruyn but that is copyrighted from 1993 and I think he only did one).Mad2Physicist (talk) 05:36, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
"transliterate": That's what I get for checking terminology before I write. ;) No, the last sentence before my previous reply stated that the translation matter was resolved for you. I was referring to your wish to make the original latin texts available. Paradoctor (talk) 12:15, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
Oh, I don't think I can do that legally, as I think that would be copyrighted, but to be honest, I am a little unsure of that as well.Mad2Physicist (talk) 04:07, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Both the text and layout of the original manuscript are in the public domain, so you are free to post the text at the Latin Wikisource; and you would be free to post page scans of the manuscripts if you had access, which you don't. To the extent that the text of the 1981 publication is identical to that of the original manuscript, the 1981 text is also in the public domain; but beware of annotations, orthographic changes, etcetera. The typesetting of the 1981 publication is, as you say, copyrighted, so you don't have the right to post page scans. Your translation of the text is your intellectual property. If the text is in the public domain, then the translation is solely your intellectual property; if it is not, then your translation is shared intellectual property. In the former case, you are permitted, and very welcome, to release your translation under a suitable license, and post it here. Hesperian 08:14, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

Right - here is the other concern. These works are available only in something like three manuscripts or families of manuscripts that have been found which all subtly differ from one another. So I am hoping that this edition (which is still in the mail to me at this time, I just thought I would ask about the copyrighting now anyway) clearly marks which manuscript has which sections so that I could do a public-domain translation (either by following one manuscript or by marking variants). I would of course love to get ahold of the originals but that is unlikely to ever happen, sadly, unless I ever meet someone with better connections than mine! I doubt that my own requests to see the originals would be heeded.Mad2Physicist (talk) 09:14, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
We have plenty of works for which we wish the provenance was better, or clearer. If the provenance of individual sections is not as clear as you would like, but you're still willing to go to the trouble of translating them, we're still happy to host them. Hesperian 11:25, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
Ok, well I am going to translate them anyway for my own use, so, when I get that done, I will post them and if anyone finds a problem then they can always be removed. I don't think it will be an issue, however. It looks to me like it is "very likely" that the translation would be my intellectual property. Thanks for the advice.Mad2Physicist (talk) 02:49, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Let me try and weigh in with my understanding of US copyright law. While in theory the US copyright on unregistered, uncopyrighted texts was eternal, I've never seen it applied to pre-modern texts, and the copyright wouldn't be the property of the university, though the "I own it" copyright claim was, is, and will continue to be made. There's no copyright on typesetting, nor I believe on orthographic changes. Critical editions are a bit more confusing; to the extent that creative choices are used in choosing between pieces of different manuscripts, it's probably copyrightable. I've never heard of translators licensing the critical text before, so despite what the uberpedantic part of my head says, it's probably best to just translate it and not worry about it. (I'd like to say that you should talk to the author, and between scholars it shouldn't be a big deal, but publishers can get real huffy.) Oh, and Paradoctor, there's a big difference between transliteration (changing alphabets on a letter by letter basis) and translation.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:48, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

My English is bad, but not that bad! ^_^ We were talking about republishing the Latin text, not about the translation. ;) Paradoctor (talk) 04:08, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
Actually I was talking about publishing my own translation of the Latin text, although I could possibly type up the Latin as well if it were allowed and people were interested.Mad2Physicist (talk) 04:14, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
That would be transcription, unless we're using Cyrillic on la.WS now.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:14, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
"transcription, which is a rendition of a word in a given script, based on the word's sound rather than as a process of converting of one script into another", Transcription shares this view. Paradoctor (talk) 04:34, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
Hm? Transcription says that transcription "can also mean the conversion of a written source into another medium, as by scanning books and making digital versions."--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:50, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Sure, but how does that contradict the idea that producing an electronic version of a Latin manuscript is a transliteration process? This almost feels like the vis viva controversy. ;) Paradoctor (talk) 22:57, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Transliteration doesn't mean that; look it up.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:23, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
I did, why do you think I linked the articles in the first place? OED agrees, do you have any sources that contradict them? Latin manu-script to unicode, what could be clearer? A puzzled Paradoctor (talk) 00:43, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
That's not the OED, and it says the exact same thing Wikipedia does, only terser and less clear. Neither manuscripts nor Unicode are alphabets. Looking Google Books, Zupitza uses it in the sense you are in the 19th century, but the rest of the usages are clearly writing Russian or Arabic or Egyptian words in Latin characters.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:20, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
OED: Ouch! Right between the eyes! Thankfully, the other instances of this fail are buried in my edit history. ^_^
As for "other usages", I still don't see how the existence of alternate meanings invalidates the meaning used. By that line of reasoning, you would have to drop all ambiguous terms from the language.
Unicode is not an alphabet? I'll give you that if you promise to ponder an innocuous puzzle: What are the itty-bitty patterns of magnetic domains on my hard disk? Paradoctor (talk) 02:50, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
When I say that there's no copyright on typesetting, we couldn't use scans with the footnotes, nor could we use scans with critical text on them, but any scans that just had the original text from the manuscript (plus simple headers, page numbers, line numbers) could be uploaded, at least in the US.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:02, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
"There's no copyright on typesetting." I did not know that, Prosfilaes; thankyou. In hindsight it makes sense, since copyright protects creativitity, and modern day typesetting has been robbed of creativity by a combination of automation and convention. But as with all things, there must be exceptions. Hesperian 05:27, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
Yeah that makes sense, it is really just a question of getting at the 'original' form of the manuscripts and not making use of the scholarly monkeying about (since there's several variants involved).Mad2Physicist (talk) 05:44, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
Actually, there is a copyright on typesetting in the UK, from 25 years from the date published. See commons:Commons:Licensing#Typographical_copyright. So if you're dealing with a UK book, or are based in the UK, then you need to take this into account too. There is also a database right, which lasts for 15 years (or for works from 1982-1997, until 2012). Neither of these would affect a book published in 1981, though - which should be clearly in the public domain if it just reproduces pre-existing works in the public domain. Mike Peel (talk) 11:23, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, in the UK and some other countries. But if you're in the US, the typographic or database copyright on British works isn't legally binding.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:50, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

New Public Domain texts

From 1 January 2010, some more texts have become public domain and therefore are eligible for uploading here. We at Wikimedia UK have done some media work on this and would appreciate hearing any examples you have uploaded of work that became public domain on 1 Jan. Please post a comment on our blog at Thanks! AndrewRT (talk) 11:21, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

The only works that have become public domain for our purposes, under US law, are works not published until 2002. That's not a very big set of books, unlike elsewhere in the world.--Prosfilaes (talk) 12:42, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
Gah! [7] [8]--BirgitteSB 20:01, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
Why the "Gah"? Mike Peel (talk) 01:27, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Because it is misleading. The body of work by authors who died in 1939 are not acceptable here as public domain. Their pre-1923 works have always been acceptable here and there post-1923 are still not acceptable here; nothing significant has changed. The article implies that everything that just became PD in the EU is now acceptable to upload here and that is not true.--BirgitteSB 16:59, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
High time that WMF puts up a few servers outside of the US. Paradoctor (talk) 17:29, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree that the telegraph article got a bit carried away, although that is probably somewhat our fault. See the original press release for what we said in the first place. Anyhow, doesn't the rule of the shorter term apply? Also, users in the UK (and all works with authors from the UK?) will have to obey both UK and US copyright law when uploading - so before the 1st e.g. I could not upload any Yeats, but now I can (and have). Mike Peel (talk) 17:30, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
No, the rule of shorter term does not apply in the US.--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:00, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
This would be a good time to point out that for the past four years I have campaigned on the idea we should allow works which are PD in either their home country or the United States. Daily Telegraph agrees with me :) Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Thomas Carlyle. 18:27, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
The law is what the law is. As long as we're going to ignore our requirements under the law, I'd like to use the publication + 40 rules that Jim Baen pushed.--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:00, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
I just want to point out that English Wikisource is not the only Wikisource. When the news articles say that the complete works of Sigmund Freud can now be made available at Wikisource, they're right: Freud wrote in German, and his works are now eligible to be included at German Wikisource, where 70 years p.m.a. is the only criterion. Angr 13:05, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
When the news articles in question are English language news articles which can only be seen as accurate regarding non-English Wikisources, I still find it misleading. Frankly the issue seems to me to be that Wikimedia UK passed out incomplete information and announced it here after the information was already released. We at Wikimedia UK have done some media work note the past tense. Which resulted in their understanding being corrected too late to be very useful. I don't think the issue was that Wikimedia UK really meant to be telling people about what is acceptable at the German Wikisource. Especially as they placed the notice here.--BirgitteSB 14:07, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
We tried to be as open as we could be during this - the press release was on the wiki for some time, and was not actually started by WMUK's board but by volunteers, see the history of wmuk:Press releases/Public domain day. It was widely discussed on our mailing list, and it was mentioned here a few times (see above). It would have been better to have advertised it more widely, I admit. Anyhow, lessons learnt: let's make sure that future things like this happen more smoothly.
BTW, if the German wikisource only requires death+70, not accounting for US law, why does the English one use US law only? I can't see the logic there... I thought that US law was required as the servers are hosted in the US? Mike Peel (talk) 22:46, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Maybe because the vast majority of German Wikisource's contributors, readers, and anyone who would want to reuse its content, live in the EU (or Switzerland or Liechtenstein, which have the same rules), which isn't true of English Wikisource. Angr 10:00, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
I understood that the servers were located in Germany. Cygnis insignis (talk) 11:44, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
I think that's just the toolserver, which isn't actually a Wikimedia asset; it is run by the German chapter. My understanding is that all Wikimedia servers are located in the US; therefore whatever Wikimedia serves is subject to US copyright law; therefore no Wikisource should be hosting materials that are protected by copyright in the US. Hesperian 13:24, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Whichever way it was perceived, as a marketing move, it seems to have worked a wonder. There have been many new users at the site since the newspaper articles, and many bringing new contributions. All eager to learn and contribute. So CONGRATULATIONS to Mike and Andrew on that.

However, it is to the point, that it would be excellent if there more people who could spend the time to add {{welcome}} (logged in users) or {{subst:welcomeip}} (IP addresses) and to help patrol Special:RecentChanges offering some gentle advice and applying some gentle fixes. billinghurst (talk) 00:12, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

If the techies add Friendly to Gadgets, I use it on en.Wikpedia every time I come across a new arrival. Paradoctor (talk) 00:33, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
I am a partial technoid, and will see whether it can come in "as is" or whether it is going to need big configuration. There is usually some layer of configuration, and it will depend on whether it is coded completely for WP, or whether we can insert our underlying aspects. But later. billinghurst (talk) 00:42, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Forgive the intrusion. I'm going to write a detailed post on it.Wikisource to point out the current copyright/PD conditions. On it.source we have the following problem:
  • As long as we upload Italian texts, we have to comply with Italian law about their copyright,
  • and, as long as servers are located in the USA, we have to comply with USA laws about copyright
Obviously when these laws clash we have to obey the hardest :)
So, as far as USA Law is concerned, how safely can I cite Help:Public Domain on my post? Thanks for your kind attention. - εΔω 11:22, 5 January 2010 (UTC)


Project scope question... What is the consensus about including old genealogy literature here? There are zillions (approximately) of old books about family history available. Just curious. Thanks. Wknight94 (talk) 18:26, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Surely it's the same as anything else: if they've previously been published and are not protected by copyright, they can be included, can't they? Angr 22:29, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Of course. It'd be great to have some genealogy works on here. So long as they meet the requirements Angr mentioned, they won't run amiss of any policy.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 23:00, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Biggest problem will be the family trees as they don't wiki well, and we will probably need to have images of them. (To me, our existing templates are ugly) My solution to maximise the usefulness of that would be to put a list of names onto the talk page of the sheet, and we can probably transclude it somewhere useful, even if it is the corresponding talk page in main ns. Alternatively, I could see that we could look to use the Portal: namespace for such a venture. billinghurst (talk) 23:08, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
There is a kit at wikipedia, w:Template:Clade, that could perhaps be adapted for this purpose. Cygnis insignis (talk) 11:42, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
They are alright for showing a straight descendency, or an ancestry, however, no good for family trees which have multiple branching at a generation. This was a specific issue even for genealogy programs, so I see the solution as someone copy the image, or generate a new image in a software program, which, while having modern benefits, would never replicate the image as is. billinghurst (talk) 20:30, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Could you link an example? I'm curious, never a good sign. Paradoctor (talk) 22:19, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
The clade template is mostly used for phylogenetic trees of organisms, such as that at w:Carnivora#Phylogenetic tree, and also for languages. Most geanological uses are for royal families, so as Billinghurst pointed out, they are no good for family trees which have multiple branching at a generation. I think there is some appropriate template, rarely used at Wikipedia. —innotata (Talk • Contribs) 23:14, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
The template is w:Template:Familytree, which can generate both vertical and horizontal trees. --Eliyak T·C 23:31, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
The Template:Familytree is also located here at wikisource.--Xxagile (talk) 00:13, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

LDS films

On an aligned point, I am wondering whether people know about the Latter Day Saints and their library collection Family History Library Catalog. Well they now have an online film ordering service so you can order in your film to your nearest centre. Go armed with your digital film scanner and I think that we are in business. Emblem-BadTooth.svg billinghurst (talk) 23:12, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Proofread page help

I'm working on the Hymn to Dionysus and I'm confused by the documentation. It says "Section transclusion is possible for the first and last page: <pages index="foo.djvu" from=100 to=200 fromsection=section2 tosection=section1 />. ", which is great, but I have no clue what section2 and section1 is, and whether I can drop just one.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:41, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Yes, if you're only doing full pages, then you can drop the section parameters (see The Passenger Pigeon/Chapter X). Sections are for when you want to include partial pages (see Ambrosius Aurelianus (DNB00)). That's my newbie understanding anyway... Wknight94 (talk) 18:51, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Okay, next question, how do I get the spurious paragraph break to go away? Does it have anything to do with the fact I'm using pages not in order?
Should be fixed now. Cygnis insignis (talk) 19:51, 6 January 2010 (UTC) Now it is :P 19:55, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Thank you.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:27, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

(Q&D guide for those passing) Wrap and name the two sections of text, at the the first and last pages, with these:

<section begin= Dionysus />
The text on the first or last pages.
<section end= Dionysus />

then using fromsection="Dionysus" for the first and/or tosection="Dionysus" for the last in the transclusion in main-space.

References in a single page display

On this single page display Popular_Science_Monthly/Volume_1/May_1872/Quetelet_on_the_Science_of_Man, transcluded from Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 1.djvu/55, Is it possible to hide the reference showing in the middle of the page, and display it only at the bottom? Now it's displaying in both places. — Ineuw (talk) 16:47, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

I fixed the problem. The issue was the djvu Page: was calling <references /> in the main text space. I moved it to the footer space. It still shows up but is no longer transcluded.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 16:58, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Talk about instant help. :-) Many thanks (Talk). Is it necessary to use the {{small}} template in the reference, if {{smallrefs}} is placed in the footer of the source, as well as in the transcluded page? I would have a lot to correct. — Ineuw (talk) 17:13, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
No, don't small the footnotes themselves; use smallrefs. Hesperian 23:15, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Hi Hesperian, that's what I thought about the small fonts but I am still having footnote reference problems. There are 3 footnote refs in this article Popular Science Monthly/Volume 1/May 1872/Causes of Dyspepsia. One shows up (twice) and the other two, not at all. The problem page seems to be: Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 1.djvu/89. What am I doing wrong? — Ineuw (talk) 03:10, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

You had a smallrefs on page 88 that wasn't noincluded. Removing it seems to have solved your problem.[9] Hesperian 06:36, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Naming convention?

As someone who works mostly on non-fiction with many cross-references, I often deep-link into nonexistent works. This requires me to make assumption about how works and sections will be named. Though I have often declared the lack of rules here part of the place's charm, I now find myself wishing we had some documentation of our naming conventions. I am willing to volunteer to write something, if there is support for it.

The meta-question is, do we want to document agreed conventions on how to go about naming pages?

[This discussion has been moved to Wikisource talk:Naming conventions. Present proposals and points of discussion are:

  • Omit subtitles unless necessary for disambiguation.
  • The subtitle, if it exists, is the first choice for disambiguation.
  • Second choice for disambiguation is the author.
  • Sectional numbers are always given in arabic numerals
  • Editions are given in parentheses using "(Ordinal edition)" formula
  • Use "/Rank Number" for numbered sections
  • Use titles for numbered sections that are standalone works
  • When disambiguating translations, use "Title (Author/Translator)"
  • Use full names for author pages
  • Title case versus sentence case

Please join the discussion there. Hesperian 11:52, 9 January 2010 (UTC)]

{{TextQuality}}: to use with transclusion?

Now that we have the <pagequality> where the markers transclude through to the main namespace, it is probably opportune to determine how we wish to use {{TextQuality}} into the future. My basic thought is that if a work has been transcluded, that this template can be removed, and let the transclusion markers work for us. The TQ template can continue to be used for works that have not been transcluded. billinghurst sDrewth 06:56, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

I agree. the information given by the TextQuality template is deprecated whenever transcluded pages are proofread. ThomasV (talk) 21:57, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
All the same, I kinda like using the graphics to track my progress; e.g. the contents section of Index:Makers of British botany.djvu. Hesperian 15:09, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Why are the lists of authors, etc so hidden away?

Please provide an easier way of getting at the various lists (authors, dates, genres). Currently you have to keep clicking down (again and again) many seemingly empty or nearly empty categories, and you get nowhere and give up. Also the categories give misleading information about what your destination is, since they say that something only has for example 2 categories, which does not seem promising and makes the user give up. However these two categories may contain the long list of many authors that you are seeking.

It would be far better if for example, the user seeking to browse a list of authors did not have to click down several empty levels to get to any names, but was presented with a page full of authors whose names began with "A", and with links to the Bs, Cs, etc. And the Abs, Acs etc. if required. It is like having to search though an empty maze. According to this page it seems you do not have any authors whose name begins with A. 11:48, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

I've used/abused {{categorytree}} to 'cheat' on navigation like that around here after determining the best logical Common- Category for some range of works, years, authors, etc.
Authors-A (22)
Authors-Ab (25)
Authors-Ac (5)
Authors-Ad (44)
Authors-Ae (3)
Authors-Ag (5)
Authors-Ah (1)
Authors-Ai (12)
Authors-Ak (3)
Authors-Al (64)
Authors-Am (15)
Authors-An (51)
Authors-Ap (6)
Authors-Aq (2)
Authors-Ar (37)
Authors-As (13)
Authors-At (15)
Authors-Au (15)
Authors-Av (6)
Authors-Ax (2)
Authors-Ay (3)
Authors-Az (2)
Not much help for drilling down to specifics within a sub-category but it does cut down on the constant Category clicking up or down & opening then closing pages within the branches. George Orwell III (talk) 12:38, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Attribution request

I wish to copy some translated text here to help move the Shulchan Aruch translation forward. The author of the new material agrees to release his text under the GFDL, and asks that he be credited

In BOTH the page itself and in the Discussion Page, My name (Dr. Jay Dinovitser DO) and my web site ( must be listed as the original source for the material.

Is there some Wikisource policy regarding such on-page credits? --Eliyak T·C 02:46, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

There is a contradiction here. An author agrees to release material under the condition of the GFDL, and then attempts to impose conditions incompatible with the GFDL. Our history tab is specially designed to meet the attribution conditions of the GFDL. If the works are indeed released under the GFDL, then it suffices to credit the author in your edit summary, so that it shows up in the page history. The author's willingness to release the material under the GFDL implies that they are satisfied with this; conversely, if they are not satisfied, then they must not release the material under the GFDL.

For my part, I see no harm in providing attribution on the discussion page; but I think that providing attribution on the main page is setting a very bad precedent. Hesperian 04:46, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

I don't think attribution requires to list all contributors on every view of the work, merely that it is easy to find this information. What could be done is placing a link "authors of this page" at the top or bottom of the page. The "history" tab is fine for us, but not totally clear for read-only users and newbie editors. The link could go to something like this, enriched by whatever text individual contributors require. Paradoctor (talk) 08:20, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
As a general rule, we and everyone else credit translators right by the authors. I'm not sure I see the issue with this in theory.--Prosfilaes (talk) 15:00, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
Wouldn't this be managed by 1) putting the names of the translators in the translator fields, and then use an OTRS to host the translation, 2) add data within {{textinfo}} on the talk page and link to it with {{edition}}. Or am I missing something? billinghurst sDrewth 22:04, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
I think the header fields describe the work as published. If I translate something for Wikisource, I don't get my name in the header; I get my user name in the history tab page, and that's it. If I translate something and get it published, with myself attributed as translator, and that published translation subsequently ends up on Wikisource, then my name goes in the header, as publication metadata. Hesperian 14:26, 17 January 2010 (UTC)


Any reason for making this banner larger than a typical page header would be now? George Orwell III (talk) 09:25, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Not that I do the tags, however, I am not sure of the context of your statement. Width? Height? Are you talking about the tag width versus {{header}} width. Can you link to a page where you see the issue and provide some specific detail about the issue? billinghurst sDrewth 21:59, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
Never mind - another user reverted the 'billboard' back down to a reasonable sized banner once again since last. George Orwell III (talk) 23:59, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
Your thought seems too persuasive. We have no written policy of what exactly "a reasonable sized banner" is.--Jusjih (talk) 02:51, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree, no artifical limits, please! Paradoctor (talk) 03:10, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
You both take my sarcasm too literally - the point was that the previously changed banner gave far too much extraneous information for use specifically on the EN server based WS. The developed discussion continues over at Template talk:PD-USGov for the most part. George Orwell III (talk) 03:57, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Appletons' editions

I was going to start filling in blanks in Appletons' and uploaded File:Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography (volume 1).djvu. But it looks like I uploaded an earlier edition than what is already here. Compare Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Adair, William Penn (1900 apparently) with Page:Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography (volume 1).djvu/30 (1888). Recommendations? Should I try to find the 1900 edition and upload that instead? Should the 1900 entries be replaced with the entries from 1887-1889? Or should they live side by side? Or none of the above? Thanks. Wknight94 (talk) 04:25, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

If you want to continue with the existing work, then we would be looking to have the same edition. The 1888 entries can sit beside the 1900 entries, as they are separate works, and each work is unique. Do we have a preference, assuredly we all will, and assuredly they won't align. :-) 07:21, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

Books digitised by google

If a book is in PD (Published 1882) can I upload here the images of the book, even if it is written there "digitised by google"? --Helohe (talk) 23:53, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

Yes. Hesperian 04:05, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
A few points with that.
  • Files are loaded to Commons, rather than to here at WS (more at Proofreading)
  • Files preferably should be in the .djvu format
  • If you are comfortable with the djvu format and have the application, you can prune pages that are not part of the original work. billinghurst sDrewth 04:27, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. --Helohe (talk) 13:33, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Copyright of Texts published in Iran

Another Question: the WP Article says that works published in iran are not protected by copyright outside iran, if I understand correctly. So is it possible to upload poetry by Ahmad Shamlou, Sohrab Sepehri, Forrough Farrokhzad, etc... to the Multilanguage-Wikisource or even to the Persian-Wikisource? --Helohe (talk) 13:33, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Iranian law is not the issue, it is the US law that determines whether we can house the work (as that is where WMF houses the servers). Unless there is an exemption in the US law to Iranian published works, then the existing guidance holds. billinghurst sDrewth 21:53, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
True but in the article it says: According to Circular 38a of the U.S. Copyright Office, Iran has no official copyright relations whatsoever with the United States.
Published works originating in Iran thus are not copyrighted in the United States, regardless of the local copyright laws of these countries. See 17 U.S.C. § 104(b), quoted in the Circular. Unpublished works, however, are copyrighted regardless of their origin or of the nationality of the works' authors, as long as they remain unpublished. See 17 U.S.C. § 104(a).
--Helohe (talk) 22:02, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Clarification, the copyright outside of Iran is only under US law; and may not be relevant to other jurisdictions.
Well that then is the answer. Ensure that they are published works originating in Iran, and not London, New York, or wherever. For us it would only be the works written in English, not those translated, as they would have translation copyright. Probably worthwhile looking deeper at the actual clauses in the Code, as I don't think many of us are fully around the actual law as relates to Iran. billinghurst sDrewth 03:42, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Interesting. I will try to compile a list of English works published in Iran.
I would also be interested in modern Persian Poetry: There is the question if works written in persian should be uploaded to the multilingual ws or to the persian Is hosted in the usa too (do us laws apply) or in iran? My knowlege of persian is unfortunately quite limited, otherwise I would have asked also in the relevant scriptorium on --Helohe (talk) 12:04, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Post it on; it's far more likely that someone can answer there even if the message is posted in English.--Prosfilaes (talk) 15:53, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
It's unlikely that many other jurisdictions support the copyright of Iran, since they aren't a signatory of international copyright treaties. I suspect that there's some material translated into English in Iran; at the very least, I suspect the Iranian government has a propaganda wing translating into English as needed.--Prosfilaes (talk) 15:51, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
We, in the Persian wikisource, have decided to omit those works which their writers are alive or have been died during the last 30 years. This is according to Iranian law and we have decided not to go beyond that. I dare to say that we've deleted all of those works so far. --Yoosef Pooranvary (talk) 19:34, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Good. Thank you for your reply. This would therefore still allow the complete works of w:Forough Farrokhzad to be put on . Especially it would be interesting to have a source printed before 1979. Because today most available books are censored.
Also of interest would be w:Sadeq Hedayat. Whose works are also heavily censored today.
kindest regards --Helohe (talk) 22:35, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Illegible scans

What can be done to replace pages as this? Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 3.djvu/413 — Ineuw (talk) 16:55, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Find a separate source of the information. There is a possibility to separately upload the pages, and have a rudimentary patch job, works fine for main ns, however, it is less neat and tidy in Page: ns. Alternatively you can look to build them into a new .djvu file if you have the skills, though I would suggest waiting until you know that they are the only problematic pages. billinghurst sDrewth 21:57, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, and yes, I saw others.— Ineuw (talk) 22:35, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Did you know?

That at 6 pm (UTC)_on the 19th Feb there wuill be a "Did you know" for w:Isaac Crewdson that has a wikilink to his book which was recently wikisource book of the month. I think its the first time a wikisource book has been linked onto the front page of wikipedia. Be interesting to see how the stats reflect this. Does someone monitor wikisource views? Victuallers (talk) 15:36, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

I don't regularly, though you may wish to have a poke at billinghurst sDrewth 21:37, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Edward Bulwer-Lytton: some dark and stormy issues

Sorry, couldn't resist the subject line.

There are a number of variations on Edward Bulwer-Lytton's name on here:

  1. Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  2. Lord Lytton
  3. Edward Bulwer Lytton Lytton
  4. Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton
  5. Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer

...and for some reason, all roads point to the last one there. However, Wikipedia looks like it's settled(?) on Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton. Would it be all right to make that our main page as well? (Or does someone more learned know of a truer name to use in both places?)

Also, I am working on a novel he originally wrote under the pen name "Pisistratus Caxton". However, the edition I'm using does a curious thing and gives both his pen name and "Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, Bart."). (the latter in yet another variation.Should we use one, the other, or both in the headers?

—LarryGilbert (talk) 20:06, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Use one in the header author field, possibly use the other in notes field.
This is a topic that still has some variation of opinions, and was more recently approached (presumably, again). The book purists say as it is on the book, while the Author: purists would say for the header always use the full decided name, and leave the book as it and wikilink as appropriate. The pragmatists say as long as it all leads to the same page, what does it matter. In the end, our naming practice was to fully expand names and there is discussion at Wikisource talk:Naming conventions#Use full names for author pages
WP is more (less?) fortunate that it only looks at the person's name with a static reflective gaze, rather than at WS, where we are often dealing with a dynamic name, (women marrying, British aristocracy, military and those who are awarded honours. SBDEL refers to him as Lytton, Edward George Earle Lytton-Bulwer, 1st Lord. billinghurst sDrewth 22:39, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Do-over on Hoyt's

I have discovered that Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations (1922), which we have imported from a Google Books version, has already been completely imported into with pages divided by subject, and their version does not contain the numerous typos and missing punctuation that our current import has. Can we start over and just copy theirs (and their formatting)? Seems it would save a great deal of formatting effort. Cheers! BD2412 T 22:05, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

  • Note, we would have to retain the indexes of the current import, as Bartleby's has only the quotes. BD2412 T 22:28, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
We could consider a Match and Split if the text is updated onto the main namespace pages to be transcluded back into the Page: namespace. We would need to reproof from there, however, it sounds like it would be a lot easier than scratch. billinghurst sDrewth 22:46, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
I have no preference as to the method, so long as the end is to have the more accurate rendition of the material. BD2412 T 04:50, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Just looked deeper at the version on Commons, and it looks to be 1940 edition which I have now nominated as possible copyright. At there is a 1922 edition, and another is the 1895 edition, which do you think we should be looking to house? Want to check which Bartleby is quoting as their source? billinghurst sDrewth 14:59, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Bartleby says 1922 (which makes sense because that's what they do as well). I say we take the cautious road, ditch our current scan of Hoyt's and scrape Bartleby's. They have no rights to it, since they've copied the original right down to the formatting. BD2412 T 01:21, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Image frames

Is it possible to change image frames like this to transparent, so that they blend better into the background? — Ineuw (talk) 18:06, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Use frameless instead of thumb. I would crop the caption from the image. Consider letting the user's preference dictate the size of the image, it may interfere with access and greatly increases each page's size. Cygnis insignis (talk) 18:48, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks Cygnis. Are you referring to image size in bytes or the measurement size? I left the caption so that it will easily identified in Wikimedia for other projects. — Ineuw (talk) 21:59, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Measurement. I add the caption to the file info and link a second, unchanged file at "other_versions=" Cygnis insignis (talk) 02:53, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Deutsche Pomologie

I have beedn uploading the images from Wilhelm Leute's Deutsche Pomologie (1882) to Commons. My source is which also has the textual content. However, as there are 100 varieties of pears there (and also another 100 on apples which I haven't uploaded yet), I would appreciate any help in bringing the text over. I haven't found a source of scans of the text of this book.

I have started the book at Deutsche Pomologie, and copied in and formatted the first entry in "Birnen" (pears).

This book has beautiful illustrations and would be a lovely thing to have full formatted and organized (however, I haven't seen the final four volumes on the Internet, only the first two).

Inductiveload (talk) 18:28, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

This isn't an appropriate volume for the English Wikisource. It should be taken to the German Wikisource.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:37, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
Oh, I see. OK, is there an easy way to do it? Or just copy by hand? Inductiveload (talk) 18:06, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
It seems you only have the main Deutsche Pomologie page (which I first misread as "Deutsche Pornologie"!) and three subpages, so it's probably fastest and easiest to just cut-and-paste the content to pages there (assuming de:Deutsche Pomologie doesn't already exist). Angr 18:29, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Reporting error corrections

I created a new template Template:Corr, in order to let users report corrections they make to the text. It is linked to javascript, so that a pop-up div that shows the list of corrections can be displayed. Example : Page:The Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal 1(2).djvu/3. There are two links that trigger the pop-up, one in the left margin and one inside the pagequality message. Once the popup is open, clicking on a correction scrolls the window to its position in the text.

There was already a template to report corrections, Template:SIC. I did not modify it because I was not sure if it is used in the same conditions; it does not display the corrected text. However it is possible to merge both templates if it makes sense.

Do not forget to reload your javascript if things do not work as expected.

ThomasV (talk) 18:37, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

{{SIC}} does have a hover pop up that displays {{{2}}} as the alternate word. billinghurst sDrewth 21:28, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
ThomasV explained that this works in the reverse direction of {{SIC}} in that it puts the corrected word into main ns, and hovers the original form. Somewhat akin to how {{ls}} shows the modern form in main ns. billinghurst sDrewth 22:03, 20 January 2010 (UTC)


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