Here's an interesting situation, and I don't know enough to nominate or not, so anyone who knows please advise. This work was apparently translated by a Wikisourcean from the Latin original at Latin Wikisource into English. There are tell-tale signs that this is an original translation, namely the English spelling mistakes (he/she must be a tri-linguist). This part is fine, as far as I know.
The interesting part follows: there are four footnotes at Latin Wikisource that were translated into Latin from an English original at Internet Classics Archive. This English original was written by Thomas Bushnell with the following notice:
- Copyright 1998, Thomas Bushnell, BSG. This translation may be freely distributed, provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are retained on all copies.
This seems to be a kind of GFDL written before they were invented (requiring notice of authorship, but the derivative-work permission seems a bit sticky).
You may be wanting to ask me, why are you posting this here if it was on Latin Wikisource?
Because our tri-lingual Wikisourcean translated the (unbeknownst to him) Latin translation back into English again and posted it at the bottom!
I don't know much about free licenses, so can someone please advise me, like the knowledgeable Prosfilaes or Carl Lindberg: is the notice above acceptable as a GFDL or does it say that derivitive works can't be done because Mr. Bushnell is retaining copyright and permission is only granted for its original form? ResScholar (talk) 08:43, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
- It doesn't seem sufficient, but given that w:Thomas Bushnell is a long-time GNU developer and an active Debian developer, it seems trivial to ask him. I've sent an email.--Prosfilaes (talk) 13:39, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
- It certainly isn't a GFDL because it seems to forbid derived versions.--Longfellow (talk) 16:29, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand exactly what the situation is. I'm the afore-mentioned Thomas Bushnell. I don't recall there being any "footnotes" in my translation of the Res Gestae, so I can't say what's going on there. Obviously, the Latin Wikisource should have Augustus's own words, not some translation of something... But I'm not sure I exactly understand the situation, and I can't find the exact page being referred to to help understand what's going on or clarify my own licensing intentions. Tb (talk) 16:52, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
At  we have the Latin original, composed about two thousand years ago, and certainly not under copyright in any country. The four "footnotes" are not footnotes, but part of the actual ancient monument. They are not back-translations from anything. Likewise for the preface, marked in italics on that page. The English translation at  is obviously not mine (none of it is mine), and I can't offer any advice on its provenance. If there is a desire to use my translation, and its licensing is unsuitable, I am willing to consider re-licensing it in a suitable fashion. However, it would be idiotic for anyone to translate my text into another language. Translators should work from the original, and not from other translations. Tb (talk) 16:59, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
- Hi Thomas. Pardon my mistake about the appendix. I found and inspected your translation acting in the role of copyright bureaucrat rather than admirer of Classical Latin works and their translation. Over the past months I have been paring down a backlog of what was 120 translations at Wikisource of unknown provenance.
- I think I speak for all of us when we say we'd be honored to have your translation. But now that you've brought it up, I feel I'm obliged to address something towards my fellow Wikisourceans about the Latin Wikisource original that was in the back of my mind, namely that the conflation and interpretation of absent letters in the work in the text seems liable to copyright. And to be clear, I am not saying this applies to Thomas, whom I imagine is qualified to do his own conflation and interpretation. This preciseness of the original is also what makes me doubt that the appendix is a retranslation of Thomas's work, a status which really only suggested itself to me when I thought they were footnotes to the work.
- At our sister site, the Commons, there is a summary of licenses used frequently here. We also have a thing called an Open Resource Ticket System, where we preserve permissions by e-mail. We don't make fair educational use of texts like at the Commons project, and the permissions required at Wikisource are rather broad; texts must be licensed for permission to be used commercially and in derivitive works. Our full copyright policy can be found at Wikisource:Copyright policy
- I have to add having you visit Wikisource:Possible copyright violations is sort of like having a double celebrity here, because we frequently use Internet Classics Archive material as well as direct contributors through the ins and outs of free licensing. So above all: Welcome! and thanks again for your past contribution. ResScholar (talk) 05:14, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm a Wikipedia regular, so I'm familiar with the general rules. The "absent letters" are not actually in doubt. We don't have the usual case here where an editor is filling in on the basis of partial manuscripts; rather, the "filling in" is on the basis of the ancient Greek translation, and the multiple copies of the same text. There is no doubt that the words there are original; the main body from Augustus, and the preface and appendix (including the letters in brackets) from whoever promulgated it in Turkey. As for my translation, if you'd like to reproduce it in Wikisource in place of the current one, you may do so. My suggestion about the best way to proceed is to upload it; then send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'll fill in permissions providing for use in derivative works providing: This translation may be freely distributed or exceprted, provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are retained on all copies. Modified versions as well may be freely distributed under the same terms provided all modifications are clearly identified and distinguished from the original. I believe that should be sufficient, no? Tb (talk) 18:57, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
- For me, that is as clearly expressed and similar enough to the license boilerplate I've seen for those types of permissions to be more than adequate for Wikisource purposes. I suppose I'm qualified to decide on my own, but I welcome a second opinion from our gurus or anyone who had involvement writing our policy, because I'm in a position where I feel like I'm the one who should be asking Thomas whether it's suitable.
- The only other thing is that we generally don't replace texts. We could originate a disambiguation page, where both works are listed: Yours would have a 75% text quality rating next to it (as M.I.T. has validated your scholastic credentials), while the other one would have a 50% or less text quality rating next to it. See Wikisource:Text quality. The same tags would go on the Author:Augustus Caesar page.
- And thanks for your advice on the provenance of the Latin text. ResScholar (talk) 04:11, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
- ResScholar, are you going to fix this work? — billinghurst sDrewth 05:28, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
- Billinghurst, I am a little worried about the "identification of modifications" part. Do you think that is covered by CC 3.0? ResScholar (talk) 06:26, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
- That condition is fine (and is normally required by moral rights laws in most countries anyways). You would have to do that anyways with CC/GFDL/etc. licenses to properly identify copyright owners; the copyright on (non-trivial) modifications would be owned by someone else. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:05, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
- Thanks for your input Carl. I felt confident to send Thomas the releases yesterday with the strength of your approval. ResScholar (talk) 11:13, 28 July 2010 (UTC)