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This is a discussion archive first created in June 2007, although the comments contained were likely posted before and after this date.
See current discussion or the archives index.


Petition to claim the rule of the shorter term[edit]

In response to the American non-acceptance of the rule of the shorter term, the Reclaim the Rule of the Shorter Term Petition has been made from Meta. Please go to the signature form to sign.--Jusjih 23:56, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Author template changes[edit]

The {{author}} template has been adjusted per discussion in February. Author pages using the deprecated parameters are listed in Category:Authors missing parameters. The changes:

  • Usage
    • name and defaultsort have been replaced by firstname and lastname.
    • dates has been split into birthyear and deathyear.
  • New features
    • The category sort key is now automatically generated from the name. This can optionally be overridden with defaultsort for exceptions.
    • Author pages are now automatically categorized by year of birth, year of death, and era.
    • The visible date formatting is now standardized to "birth–death", "birth—", and "?–death" depending on the information provided.

I'll write a JavaScript tool to automatically convert pages to the new format later today, if anyone wants to help update pages. —{admin} Pathoschild 19:45:07, 22 May 2007 (UTC)


Bot flag for EagleBot[edit]

Hello I'm User:Eagle 101, my main account is at w:User:Eagle 101. I'm also fairly active on meta, under m:User:Eagle 101, where I maintain the m:Spam Blacklist. I'm proposing that User:EagleBot be allowed to archive Wikisource:Proposed_deletions. The bot is able to detect whether to archive into the kept or the deleted sections in the monthly archives. There is a version (not the same code) of this bot operating on the m:Talk:Spam blacklist. In fact this instance of it is much simpler then the code that is on meta. If anyone has any questions please let me know, here, vie e-mail, on my english wikipedia page, or on meta. Cheers! Eagle 101 07:51, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

That would be great; the bot already performs very well on m:Talk:Spam blacklist. It'd be nice if it would also archive Wikisource:Possible copyright violations, Wikisource:Requests for assistance, and this page. If you plan on sticking around beyond archiving, Wikisource:Bot requests could use a third bot operator. :) —{admin} Pathoschild 08:31:33, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
I thought we already have bots which do archiving? Or was that Xenophon which did most of that work?—Zhaladshar (Talk) 18:06, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
Xenophon archived the Scriptorium using {{archive}} for a while, but is now inactive along with its operator Bookofjude. As far as I know, there are no other archival bots on en-Wikisource. —{admin} Pathoschild 21:09:12, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
I'd be all for having another archival bot. How does the bot know when to archive a given section, though? Do you have to add a certain template to the section?—Zhaladshar (Talk) 23:58, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
Either that or the bot will parse timestamps. After X days it will archive. EagleBot 22:09, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Oops :) That last comment was me in the wrong account, after registering I did not log back out. Sorry for the confusion... the bot is not sentient. Eagle 101 22:11, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Adding a template would be more appropriate. When I archive the Scriptorium, I notice that some questions often go unanswered. These I answer and leave for the next archive run. —{admin} Pathoschild 22:23:51, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Throwing in my strong support for anything that archives, while conceding my opinion of whether it will work properly to Pathoschild's opinion.--BirgitteSB 21:52, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Support. Oh, wait. Shouldn't this have been archived by now؟ --Benn Newman (AMDG) 01:28, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Archived. Feel free to open a new discussion after you've run some test runs. —{admin} Pathoschild 05:48:58, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Living people category[edit]

Even though living people's works are generally copyrighted, perhaps we should add Category:Living people to relevant author pages if they have acceptable works posted here, such as with PD-release or PD-1923. My proposal is based on w:Category:Living people that I have added to Wikiquote as q:Category:Living people so relevant articles can be more closely watched.--Jusjih 08:15, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

This could be added automatically by the new author template if a birth date is specified and no death date is. The template just skips categorizing by death date in those cases. —{admin} Pathoschild 09:52:05, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
The category is on now. Author:Bobby Seale is living. Perhaps we should use the category for acceptable living people's works or add Category:Living people's works?--Jusjih 01:36, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
I've added Category:Living authors to {{author}}. Any author pages using the new author format (I'm slowly converting) will be added to the category as I described above. —{admin} Pathoschild 07:39:04, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Three JavaScript Tools[edit]

I propose to add the following three JavaScript tools to the site-wide JavaScript MediaWiki:Common.js. To test them, you need to copy the contents of User:GrafZahl/monobook.js to your own JavaScript page and perform a hard reload. --GrafZahl (talk) 13:18, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Automatic footer link insertion[edit]

This tools copies the previous and next links from the header into the footer. This way, users having finished reading a chapter of a larger work don't have to scroll up to advance to the next chapter, and editors don't need to specify the same link twice. See User:GrafZahl/Sandboxes/HeaderFooter for a demonstration and User:GrafZahl/Templates/header, User:GrafZahl/Templates/footer for the relevant templates. Only small changes would have to be made to the existing {{header2}} and {{footer}} templates, in particular, no interface changes are necessary. There are still many pages without a footer. These could be indexed and have the footer added automatically by a bot. --GrafZahl (talk) 13:18, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Since we're using JavaScript to do it, couldn't we build the footer dynamically and dispense with the need for having a template in the first place? —{admin} Pathoschild 19:45:48, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Should be possible, in principle. But then every page with a header would also have a footer which might not be desired in all cases (e.g. in very short pages). However, we could enable an automatic footer by default and add an optional parameter no_footer to {{header}}, to hide the footer.--GrafZahl (talk) 21:37, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Other versions[edit]

By request of User:Metal.lunchbox, this tool lists alternate versions of a text in a toolbox on the left. There is a similar template fr:Modèle:AutreVersion by ThomasV on the French Wikisource. See User:GrafZahl/Sandboxes/OtherVersion for a demonstration and User:GrafZahl/Templates/otherversion for the accompanying template. --GrafZahl (talk) 13:18, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

I think this would be better done at the top of the page, as with languages on meta (see example). This doesn't require the use of JavaScript, so it is accessible for all readers regardless of their browser or platform. However, maybe a link to a disambiguation page would be better; we can provide more information about each edition to help users choose on a disambiguation page than in a header or list. —{admin} Pathoschild 19:45:48, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Personally, I don't like too much stuff before the header. Maybe we can integrate the links into the header, possibly with a show/hide link, like in the TOC.--GrafZahl (talk) 21:37, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Display toggle[edit]

This is a fairly generic tool which exchanges style information in span elements when the user clicks on the relevant link in a toolbox on the left. It is meant to build more specific templates. User:GrafZahl/Sandboxes/ToggleText demonstrates two usage cases, switchable errata and sic notes (the accompanying templates are User:GrafZahl/Templates/erratum and User:GrafZahl/Templates/sic) and a direct example, so you can get an idea how it works. Again, this tool is based on ideas by ThomasV. --GrafZahl (talk) 13:18, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Could this be changed to allow <div>s as well? This would be useful for show/hiding {{textinfo}} boxes, for example. —{admin} Pathoschild 19:45:48, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, should be no problem. I'll do that once I have some time left.--GrafZahl (talk) 21:37, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
I can't get this to work for me. I copied the monobook completely to here but upon clicking the "errata" link in the sidebar, nothing happens.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 19:49, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, WFM. I can offer you the following shots in the dark:
  • Are you using the monobook style?
  • Does it work with a different browser?
  • Is your JavaScript fully activated? Browsers allow users to disable some JavaScript functionalities.
  • Does this specific JavaScript generate errors on the JavaScript error console?
  • Do the ProofreadPage progress indicators work for you? For example, if you click link to scanned pages on A Reduction in the number of the Primitive Propositions of Logic, do page links with textquality images appear? I'm asking because ProofreadPage uses similar JavaScript techniques.
--GrafZahl (talk) 21:37, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

CotW on Scriptorium[edit]

I'm putting out the feelers on whether or not there's consensus/complaints about the idea of putting the Wikisource:Collaboration of the Week template at the top of the Scriptorium, both as a means of standardising it a bit as a "WS-wide project", and also introducing it to new members who often don't read much beyond the Scriptorium when asking how/why/whether to contribute. Anything short of "omg, that's a horrible idea, we'll all get flesh-eating diseases from it!" will be shrugged off as "not a good enough complaint", so if you disagree, be firm :) Sherurcij COTW:Harriet Beecher Stowe 01:41, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

I oppose this. The Scriptorium is not the appropriate place for advertising projects, and besides, we'll all get flesh-eating diseases from it. I suggest adding it to Wikisource:Community portal instead. —{admin} Pathoschild 22:35:45, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Of course, ironically, the Community Portal says Collaboration: Use this section to organise any large-scale projects - Wikisource:Scriptorium" indicating this is the place for it. Sherurcij COTW:Harriet Beecher Stowe 00:40, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
Not so ironic; it lists it under 'General discussion pages'. If you want to discuss the collaboration of the week, you're definitely welcome to post a new comment. —{admin} Pathoschild 00:53:06, 01 June 2007 (UTC)

Other discussions[edit]

More copyright complexities[edit]

As much fun as I expect this will be for everyone, I think we must clarify some outstanding copyright problems on Wikisource. Although this will affect a significant portion of the works on Wikisource, the majority are in the public domain for other reasons and were only tagged as the below because this was the path of least effort.

Thus, if the reasoning below is correct, there will not be so much a mass-deletion as a mass-retagging with a few deletions. —{admin} Pathoschild 22:23:11, 17 April 2007 (UTC)


Manifestos are currently accepted on Wikisource on the assumption that, by their nature, their authors intended them to be widely read or viewed, which implicitly allows reproduction on Wikisource. While this may or may not be correct, the same reasoning does not allow manifestos to be used, modified, and exploited by anyone, in any form, and for any purpose (including commercial exploitation) without exception and without limitation (except as explicitly allowed by the Copyright policy). These rights are only granted for works in the public domain or under a GFDL-compatible license. —{admin} Pathoschild 22:23:11, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

If there's no response in another week, I will begin nominating manifestos for deletion. —{admin} Pathoschild 00:22:33, 04 May 2007 (UTC)
Belatedly disagree/oppose. The creative commons licenses are all 'Free', but some prohibit derivatives, fore example, others prohibit commercial use. -- 22:35, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Which does not have anything to do with this. For one thing, we do not accept licences that do not allow derivatives or commercial use (those restrictions keep it unfree in our use of the word free). Furthermore, the works in question are not explicitly licensed — Creative Commons or otherwise — the license is assumed. —Benn Newman (AMDG) 00:01, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
While I agree that the anonymous user's reasoning is flawed, I do believe that we shouldn't carte blanche delete every "assumed" license - each one should be looked at individually, if the authors are still living, we can try to contact them - if they are not, we can debate whether or not it is reasonable to assume that they voluntarily giving up their claims of control over the work. There's no reason not to judge each work individually as a community, whether it's reasonable to assume that the author "assumed it was still protected" or "seemed to be thrusting it on the public for maximum consumption", etc. (and that's an important etc, so don't bother going 'omg there's more to it than that!') Sherurcij COTW:Harriet Beecher Stowe 01:23, 29 May 2007 (UTC)


While works created and published after the Copyright Act of 1976 by authors who died more than 70 years ago are automatically in the public domain, this does not seem to apply to works created before 1978 (when the act was implemented). The actual status of works created before 1978 is complex (see Help:Public domain). It would be a good idea to have a web form where the user answers a few questions, and the form tells them what the copyright status is. If none already exists, I'll create one.

  • Not published before 2002:
    • if registered for copyright, protected for 95 years from the date of registration (PD pre-1925);
    • if created anonymously or or pseudonymously, protected 120 years from the date of creation (PD pre-1900).

  • Published before 2002 in the United States:
    • if published 1923–1963 with registration or notice and renewal, protected for 95 years from date of creation (PD pre-1925);
    • if published 1923–1963 without copyright registration, or without notice and renewal, in the public domain;
    • if published 1964–1977 with notice, protected for 95 years from date of creation (PD pre-1925);
    • if published 1964–1977 without notice, in the public domain;

  • Published before 2002 outside but not in the United States:
    • before 01 July 1909, in the public domain;
    • 01 July 1909–1922 in compliance with US formalities (registration, et cetera), in the public domain.
    • 1923–1977 and in the public domain in its home country as of 1996, in the public domain ({{PD-1996}}).

{admin} Pathoschild 22:23:11, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

In response to your concern, PD-old-70 does not always apply to the USA subject to American non-acceptance of the rule of the shorter term. Meanwhile, shall we reword PD-old-50, PD-old-60, PD-old-70, and PD-old for expired corporate copyright as to published many years ago?--Jusjih 23:03, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
I would suggest a disclaimer should be put on {{PD-old-70}} to warn our US audience similar to what we did for {{PD-nonUK}} to warn our UK audience about the copyright of the King James Bible. It is without saying that {{PD-old-70}} will not apply to any works by US authors until 2048 at the least.--BirgitteSB 23:19, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
The wording of the bullet points beginning “if published 1923–1963” seems a little awkward. For works published in the U.S. during this period, what was necessary to receive federal copyright protection was full compliance with a number of statutory formalities, principally (1) notice (i.e., an express statement like “Copyright © 1935, Adam A. Author”), (2) registration (completing a simple form, like those still in use today), and (3) deposit of 2 copies of the work with the Library of Congress. Publishing a work without doing all of those things meant that there was no copyright. The wording in the bullet points above seems to suggest that “registration” and “notice” were alternatives; in fact, they were independent requirements and the author had to satisfy both. Perhaps these could be rephrased along the lines of:
  • Published 1923–1963 with observance of all formalities (registration, notice, and deposit), and renewal of copyright at end of first copyright term: protected for 95 years from date of creation
  • Published 1923–1963 without observance of all formalities (registration, notice, and deposit), or no renewal of copyright at the end of first copyright term: public domain
It’s also possible for a work published 1978–1989 to lose its copyright due to the author’s failure to comply with all the statutory formalities upon publication; the U.S. didn’t completely give up its formalities until the Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988 was adopted effective 1989. Publication without formalities (e.g., a valid copyright notice) during this period potentially voided the copyright, but under Section 405 the defect could be cured by the copyright holder within 5 years after publication. There is probably no easy way to describe this effect in terms of a template, however, and the number of affected works is surely very small. (Note that the requirement of compliance with formalities from 1978–1989 has nothing to do with the duration of the copyright; the duration is life-plus-70 for all works created on or after 1/1/1978.) Tarmstro99 00:22, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
I was not thinking of explaining such detail in a template, but more like "This work may still be under copyright in the United States and other juristictions which do not recognize the rule of the shorter term." Of course we can have a link directing them to a more complete explanation of the US copyright quagmire, but I don't think that all needs to be in the template.--BirgitteSB 18:33, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
Please take a look at Wikisource:Licensing form, and correct or expand it as required. —{admin} Pathoschild 01:20:05, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
It is a great idea, but improvements are still needed.--Jusjih 18:02, 25 April 2007 (UTC)


It appears that {{PD-US-no-renewal}} is being used in preference to {{PD-old-70}} where it applies, but I think the result is less informative to non-US citizens. Is it acceptable to put both tags on a work where they both apply, or could we introduce an additional tag {{PD-US-no-renewal-and-old-70}}? e.g. Conflict and Dream by w:W. H. R. Rivers. John Vandenberg 15:42, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

I would just use both tags instead of combination tag. I would support a combination tag only when applicable to many works.--Jusjih 17:52, 25 April 2007 (UTC)


All speeches are currently permitted on Wikisource on the assumption that they cannot be copyrighted. Unfortunately, research by Physchim62 shows that the reasoning used therefor is flawed; most speeches can be and are copyrighted. Fortunately, many speeches have fallen into the public domain for the same reasons as other works.

Can speeches be copyrighted?

Any speech made after 01 January 1909 may be copyrighted if they are fixed in a tangible form (17USC101, 17USC102)[1]. Although the Copyright Act of 1909 only mentions "writing", the 1976 act extends the above retroactively to any work that has not entered the public domain.[2]

Note the vague wording of the copyright act, which definitely includes television or radio broadcast. Unfortunately, virtually all television and radio broadcasts are recorded, edited, broadcast, and archived, which fixes them in a tangible medium of expression.[3] Furthermore, the speech is already copyrighted if it was written before being spoken, since the prepared speech is fixed.

Excepting impromptu speeches not broadcast or recorded, virtually all speeches are therefore copyrighted by the time they are heard by the audience. The copyrightability of speeches is famously proven by Estate of Martin Luther King, Jr., Inc. v. CBS, Inc.: "The district court granted summary judgment to CBS on the ground that Dr. King had engaged in a general publication of the speech, placing it into the public domain. Estate of Martin Luther King, Jr., Inc. v. CBS, Inc., 13 F.Supp.2d 1347 (N.D.Ga.1998). We now reverse."

Wouldn't most speeches before 1978 be in the public domain, since there was no copyright notice?

Yes, but only if they were published with the author's permission; simply reading the speech in publicly did not constitute publication, which means that the author has a perpetual right to prevent reproduction[4].


  1. ^  The relevant text: "fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device" (17USC102). Fixation is defined as "a tangible medium of expression when its embodiment in a copy or phonorecord, by or under the authority of the author, is sufficiently permanent or stable to permit it to be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated for a period of more than transitory duration. A work consisting of sounds, images, or both, that are being transmitted, is "fixed" for purposes of this title if a fixation of the work is being made simultaneously with its transmission" (17USC101).
  2. ^  The relevant text: "Copyright in a work created before January 1, 1978, but not theretofore in the public domain or copyrighted, subsists from January 1, 1978, and endures for the term provided by section 302. In no case, however, shall the term of copyright in such a work expire before December 31, 2002; and, if the work is published on or before December 31, 2002, the term of copyright shall not expire before December 31, 2047."
  3. ^  The copyright nonetheless belongs to the creator, not the broadcaster who has not created anything original (Burrow-Giles Lithographic Co. v. Sarony).
  4. ^  See Donaldson v. Beckett in the United Kingdom, confirmed in the United States by Wheaton v. Peters, codified as 17USC405.


User:Physchim62/Copyright in speeches and references therein

{admin} Pathoschild 22:23:11, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

If there's no response in another week, I'll begin nominating speeches for deletion. —{admin} Pathoschild 00:24:11, 04 May 2007 (UTC)

Call to French-to-English translators[edit]

I have started uploading a good number of French language texts pertaining to the history of Quebec/Canada at .To my knowledge, none of those texts was ever translated to the English language. I have already started the work of translating some of those texts to English. Although my English is acceptable, I am not a professional translator and I am translating from my native language (French) to my second language (English), which is not what is supposed to be done ideally. I do not believe these translations should go live before they have been carefully reviewed and cleaned up of potential Gallicisms and other awful things. ;-)

I am therefore calling on all people able to translate/review texts originally written in 18th and 19th century French to contribute to this project here: User:Mathieugp/Drafts

Feel free to edit my drafts directly and do not hesitate to comment your changes or ask me questions if in doubt over anything. If this page is not the best place for this kind of a request for collaboration, could someone please indicate me where I should go instead? Thank you. -- Mathieugp 21:40, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Please specify the copyright statuses of the translations to avoid their deletions, as translations are derivative works.--Jusjih 18:04, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Translations are mine. I release them under GFDL. -- Mathieugp 22:13, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
You may and should say this in relevant pages or their talk pages. As I see you having edited Letter to the Inhabitants of the Province of Quebec, you have two options. You may say that you have translated released it under GFDL in Template:Header as a note, or you may go to its talk page and use Template:textinfo to declare your licensing. Then please tag the article with Template:GFDL.--Jusjih 23:28, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
I will tag the translations as recommended when they go live. The Letter to the Inhabitants of the Province of Quebec is in the public domain (and is not a translation). -- Mathieugp 03:13, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

RDF + Wikisource + Zotero[edit]

Has anyone given any thought to making pages for books and authors compatible with knowledge discovery tools like Zotero? We should be able to add some RDF or something to the Header template to make Zotero automatically interpret pages which include it as books. Zotero can apparently read inline RDF or Dublin Core metadata. Here is a site which suggests how to describe a book with RDF. At the least, we could mark up the author, title, and abstract using dublin core. --Christian 14:56, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

I also think that we should be using more standard metadata. I'm not a database or library expert so I coldn't say which standards we should be using and how but its worth opening the discussion. Wikisource is a library and we should ensure that it functions like one. With a functioning system of markups we could search through it much more easily. Think of the catalog at your local library. You can search by author, title, keyword, and anything else. --Metal.lunchbox 05:09, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

I do not know much about metadata, but I definately think we should look into this. Once a long time ago, I found a page with an evaluation for digital libaries. It included many areas we have never given much thought, including such standards. I really think we should attempt to see where we might stand. Zhalshadar I remember you told me you had that site bookmarked after I lost it, do you still have it? --BirgitteSB 12:56, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
BirgitteSB: I think this is the checklist you showed me a while ago.
Metal.lunchbox: I agree that we should be utilizing more metadata than we currently are. The problem is, is that the software (as it currently stands) is not set up to be able to handle the kind of search/cataloging information that we would like it to. I mean, heck, our plain old search feature is one of the worst aspects of MediaWiki. In order to capitalize on the use of metadata and make us even more like a library, I think we would need some major changes made to the software for WS. We could always try to formulate a proposal for what we would like added and petition a dev or get some generous soul to write the necessary features for us.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 18:31, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes that was the link. Appendices 2 and 6 are what I particulary had in mind. Some of the questions are too technical for me but I am sure spending a few hours on IRC would find someone who knows the answers. I really want to put this back on my priority list. Perhaps completing an evaluation along these lines could give an idea of what should be included in such a proposal for future development.--BirgitteSB 20:14, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
Zhaldashar: Yeah, I know this isn't a matter of policy but rather a complex technical development issue. I think if we start discussing it a little we can find the next step. If the consensus supports petitioning a development then we can do that, with a clear idea of what we are asking for. I watched them collectively develop a database for a library of audio files at and it went very well. Here there is of course more bureaucracy but that's no reason not to explore the idea. I think its a neccessary and inevitable development. I'm not a software engineer, nor do I know much about databases, so perhaps I am underestimating the complexity of the tasks at hand. It sounds to me like with an agreed upon standard system of mark-up for wikisource documents then someone builds a database system to interface with it and voila. We don't have to reinvent the world. The metadata issue is relatively simple as thousands of libraries just like ours have a catalog, more or less all using the same standards. Clearly the more technical issue is designing a database system, but I don't think that is a real change in MediaWiki software, rather an add on. Then again, what do I know? --Metal.lunchbox 23:27, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree that sooner or later we will have to have some development in this area to really take advantage. However we can certainly start exploring standards in detail now and implement some of this through templates (header is already a good start). I wasn't thinking about this in terms of a datatbase before, but that is exactly how it should be I imagine. I was thinking of having another tab at the top for "Data" which could hold information in a easily machine readable way. That tab would only be editable for the parent page and simply display info on all the subpages. The real advantage would be if we could somehow develop the "Printable Version" to work off this data so that you could print all subpages in the correct order with the copyright info etc. (So we could implement the "french soultion" in regards to copyright tags). And if we could have a search engine option which would work off this data only; we would really be getting somewhere.--BirgitteSB 18:07, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
My 02¢:
Though the "Search" feature of Media Wiki is... lackluster at best, it is excellent at indexing articles by category. It occurs to me that implementing a search tool that finds where various categories intersect might be simpler. For example: if "AUTHOR" and "PUBLICATION YEAR" where subcategories of "ENGLISH TEXTS" (or similar) containing the relevant information, one could (theoretically) construct a category intersection search like so:
Author: Sara Teasdale
Title: [blank]
Publication Year: 1917
MediaWiki could then display works where the Author category is "Sara Teasdale" and 1917 was the publication year. This would list "Lights" and anything else she happened to publish that year. This would be really powerful, especially if "full text search of results" was added. How hard do you suppose implementing (including category reorganization) a feature like this would be? —Wikijeff 22:57, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
The most straight forward way to implement something like that would be to apply metadata tags to each work and then have a database and a search function to interact with that. because at present documents are not actually categoried by author or the rest, even if the header links to author and indicates title thats just display, the search function has no way of funcionally distinguishing what is the author of a given work or its publication date or anything else except its length and other such info. This is why we should discuss cataloging standards like dublin core. Are there any library science people or other experts among us?--Metal.lunchbox 02:15, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

PD-old non-us... I'm confused[edit]

I and my poor English are back :) Hi, I've read the above discussions, some discussions on WS:COPYVIO, the Help:Public domain and the m:American non-acceptance of the rule of the shorter term and I'm getting confused. 90% of works in the Portuguese Wikisource are works from brazilian and portuguese (from Portugal) writers. Both countries have a very simple rule for PD-old on texts:

  1. All works published during the life of the author goes to the public domain after 70 years of death;
  2. All posthumous works goes to the public domain after 70 years of death of the writer;
  3. All anonymous works or works by a unknow writer (pseudonymous works from a unknown writer) goes to public domain 70 years after the first publication.

Some examples:

O Livro Derradeiro First published in 1961 Public domain because the writer is Brazilian and died on 1898.
O Vaqueano First published in 1872 Public domain because the writer is Brazilian and died on 1904.
Quadras ao Gosto Popular First published in 1965 Public domain because the writer is Portuguese (from Portugal) and died on 1935.

All/none of these examples are in public domain at the USA?

(If not I may need to start a crossposted flamewar on the wikisource-l, foundation-l and wikitech-l requesting or to move the Wikisource database to the YASEO cluster or to the Wikimedia Deutschland servers or to create a (like the non-us from the Debian Linux) on one of the above. I know the, but 1)pt.wikisource have more than 1,000 text-units in the same situation of the mentioned examples and Brazil and Portugal have a really large amount of works worldwide-except-USA-PD-old not yet added to the 2)Hosting on a external server don't offer some facilities like putting a simple [[:s:link]] (or [[:s:non-us:link]]) page on a featured article on Wikipedia to do some nice spamming about the project. Ignore my threaten of a new flamewar and answer my questions when possible ;) ) Lugusto 16:50, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

I think we should accept works if they PD in their country of origin. And for texts in Portuguese language, IMO, the decision belongs to the Portuguese Wikisource. FYI, the French Wikisource accepts texts if they are PD in their country of origin (France for most of them) or PD in USA. And the English Wikisource has accepted works from Irish authors which are PD in USA but not in Ireland. Regards, Yann 08:29, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
It is strange issue. I think it is common-sense for pt.WS to focus on the home juristictions. If I were working in a non-english Wikisource, I would ignore US copyright law for non-US works until someone from WMF told me otherwise. However the works you list above are possibly under copyright in the US. I find it really silly we even have to consider this. I completely support the idea judging a work by its native juristiction. I would convince the pt.WS community to adopt such a policy, if I were you, and ignore what en.WS is doing.--BirgitteSB 17:57, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
O Vaqueano is PD in the USA, but other two are copyrighted in the USA for 95 years since publication even if PD in source countries. :-( I started m:American non-acceptance of the rule of the shorter term in Meta. I am still planning a petition to the US Congress there. I will try to convince the staff members of the WMF to sign it when ready. I will want to fax the signatures eventually. Meanwhile, I want to suggest boycotting the Walt Disney Company for its lobbying to extend copyright in 1998 without regard to orphan works, unless it supports my proposed petition, in which case I will drop the boycott.--Jusjih 18:19, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
My ignorance of copyright law is definitely coming into play here. I thought the US had laws that if the work was PD in its country of origin then it would be PD in the US? Shouldn't those works (with the exception of translations) be PD in America as well? Or am I missing some weird point in the US copyright laws?—Zhaladshar (Talk) 19:10, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
You are missing the point that the US does not recognize the "rule of the shorter term". That is the mechanism that frees works which are PD in their home country. Until recently this hasn't mattered a great deal since other countries had generally have had long enough copyright terms that the older US copyright laws where still in effect for most of their PD authors. However we are now entering the time period where authors who published post-1923 have been dead long enough to enter the public domain in their home countries. The longer this situation continues without reform the more unreasonable the effects of US copyright law will become.--BirgitteSB 15:25, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Huh. Wasn't even aware that the U.S. didn't recognize this. I always thought it had. (For some reason, I thought it was in one of the mega copyright conventions that the U.S. signed which dictated such a rule is to be obeyed.)—Zhaladshar (Talk) 18:05, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
That is the common mistake of thinking copyright law should actually make sense instead of being a arbitrary and often contradictory set of rules ;) Honestly there no good reason for the US to not recognize the rule of the shorter term. I doubt even 1% of these heirs realize they still hold a US copyright and it in most non-English cases they won't have registered with the US Copyright office so they cannot even get damages on any infringments. I am not sure who benefits from the situation at all.--BirgitteSB 12:50, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the answers. But I think dangerous simple ignoring it (the French Wikiquote has closed and erased in the last year due to a copyright doubt and hundreds of images have been deleted from the Wikimedia Commons due to the previosly bogus tags {{PD-Italy}} and {{PD-Soviet}}). I've send a private e-mail to Anthere related to it and suggesting the same ideas that I've exposed previosly here on small letters. Lugusto 01:11, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
The closing of the French Wikiquote was done for another reason: there was some violation of database rights. The situation of Commons is also slightly different. There were hundreds or even thousands of backlog copyright violations due to a change or a clearification of policies. Yann 13:16, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Exactly. If adopts as a informal policy to ignore compatibility problems betwen copyright laws from Portugal and Brazil against the United States copyright laws and if in one or two years the policy needs to be changed due to external or internal reason, the same drama on the {{PD-Italy}} and {{PD-Soviet}} deletion debates may have a revival. Personally I prefer to delete from 1,000 to 2,000 text-units now, pushing to the trash volunter work and research done in one year by 6 users (and researching for a new home for these works) instead of a more larger work needing to be speedy deleted without time to try to save it in another place. Lugusto 15:58, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Whatever happens, under no circumstances should work be deleted without putting it on Wikilivres or some other non-US server. It isn't that urgent--BirgitteSB 17:41, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
I know PG has taken the "paranoid" step of running a simultaneous server in Australia that hosts the WikiLivres-type works, but I've seen other sites (.edu sites, typically) that have a pornography-esque "By clicking the following link you are asserting that you reside in an area where the rule of the shorter term applies, such as X or Y, and not the United States" - personally I think WMF has the "public image" necessary to begin doing something similar with licensing tags (perhaps non-US licensing tags should go at the top of the work, below the header, rather than at the bottom like most tags?), being very specific about "This is public domain in the country it was first published, however...". If you wanted a warning on the actual Author/WS-page, then perhaps a small 40pixel svg indicating it is not "Free" in the United States or something. Sherurcij (talk) (λεμα σαβαχθανει) 18:08, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
I deleted a few Chinese works from Chinese Wikisource as an admin there after noticing the American non-acceptance of the rule of the shorter term. However, I have made very specific notes that they are excluded because the American law but not Chinese law is in the way. As other users have rarely edited the Meta page that I started, I would assume there being no significant comments. I plan to start gathering signatures in early May while I make final preparation to my proposed petition. I will let you know.--Jusjih 23:53, 29 April 2007 (UTC)


Just checking, testimony before congress, PD?[edit]

I wikified some congressional testimony. This is in the public domain, isn't it?

Cheers! Geo Swan 23:48, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

I am thinking this is a derivative a recording made by the Federal Gov't. The recording would be PD and a transcription made by a federal employee would PD in most cases. The exception is for any portions where a person giving testimony is reading prepared remarks. Those written remarks would be copyrighted before the recording was ever made. Unless of course the person giving testimony is an employee of the federal gov't, which means the remarks are PD as long as the testimony can be said to be part of their duties.--BirgitteSB 16:47, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Scanned TIFs of an old work[edit]

I have a question as to whether or not WS would take this text due to its format.

The text itself was first published in 1884 in New York so it's long out of copyright and my work on it amounts to faithful (or slavish, take your pick ;)) reproduction so and I'm willing to release it as PD, so there's no copyright on any of it.

The problem is that all of it that I hold are TIFF scans of all the pages in the book.

Can WS make anything of these, or are they basically worthless from an inclusion perspective? 18:10, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Well, WS does not display pictures of works as the work itself. Meaning, the pictures are to supplement the text of the work. We would love to have the pictures (uploaded on Commons) to let people read the actual text as it existed 100+ years ago. But WS wants to do more than just present pictures. I, and a few other users, have OCR software which would allow us to take the pictures, extract its text, place the text here on WS, and then link to the pictures on Commons. (Not to mention, we could also proofread the text and get it featured on our main page, as well :) ).
So, if you're willing to give us the scans, we will love to have them. :D
However, there is on slight snag that might be faced: I believe Commons does not allow upload of TIFF files, since many times they are quite large and bulky to download. So, the pictures will have to be converted to another format (PNG might be best, since its a lossless compression). I'm able to do the conversion myself, and I might be able to get some extra help, as well. Or, if you want, you can do it. If you would rather not do it, let me know, and I'll throw you some ideas for how we might want to proceed.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 18:28, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
The entire scans may be obatained here: . As the name suggests it's an old treatise on electrical engineering. The two "Oops" files were errors in the scanning process. They may be safely disregarded. 23:18, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Great! I'm in the process of downloading the files now.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 17:49, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
What now? 20:27, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Once I download everything (there are roughly 900 MBs of files I've got to download), I'm going to convert them to PNG (which will make the files much smaller) and upload them to Commons. Then, work on OCRing them can begin.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 20:57, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
PNG conversions are in a subdirectory. 01:26, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm not quite sure I follow why these would need to be converted to PNG and reuploaded? Why not just OCR directly from the original .tif files? I, for instance, have the MS document imaging product, which can OCR tif files directly. I'd be willing to do some OCR on some of these if desired, do you have a project/directory structure in mind? Apologies if I'm all confused a bout how this is done, but in the past when I was accessing HAER .tif files, that's what I did. ++Lar: t/c 02:27, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

They need to be converted from TIF because Commons does not allow those files to be uploaded (or, at least, last I checked that was the case). Most OCR programs can OCR from TIF files, but I also want them to be available over at Commons as well. If you could help out with the OCRing, that would be really great.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 03:59, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
How's it coming? I tried compressing the files, but the ratio was so bad that I didn't bother announcing it. 18:35, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
I've converted them all to PNG (I didn't notice you already had done that until I was halfway through the conversion process). Almost all of the pictures are uploaded to commons:Category:Electricity in Theory and Practice. The rest are being uploaded as we speak, and will be done by the end of the day.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 00:25, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
OK, since they're all on Commons now, I've removed the directory of the websvr. Have fun with the OCRy. 04:25, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
Since WS does not display pictures of works as the work itself, may I request anyone with OCR to post more older United Nations works eligible for Template:PD-UN, please? Newer UN resolutions are posted in text formats, but as of now I edit in Chinese Wikisource much more often.--Jusjih 23:37, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

USACMH Documents...[edit]

Is presuambly sourced from

Terms of use at say "# Information presented on CMH Online is considered public information and may be distributed or copied for non-commerical purposes. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credits is requested." This is incompatible with GFDL. The uploader of the work even aregues this point on his talk page, in whichthe term 'public domain copyright' gets used :-(

Either the document is

* PD-US-Gov  - In which case the Non-Commercial use term could be ovridden.
* USACMH Copyright - In wich case the Non-Commercial use term applies and thus the work is (C)
 and incompatible with GFDL.
* Copyright some other entitly, and still incompatible with GFDL.

Much as the enthusiasm of the uploader is to be welcomed, if a work is not PD or under a 'free' licence it can't be put on WikiSource.

Any copyright lawyers in? ShakespeareFan00 13:32, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

The CMH, as I understand it, is an official sub-branch of the US Fed'l government - and thus it falls under the first criteria. Sherurcij (talk) (λεμα σαβαχθανει) 05:02, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Please vote on Commons for #3[edit] -- 22:35, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Author:John Keats[edit]

After perusing "John Keats" I noticed that some of his poetry is not available, such as "A Song About Myself." Having a private collection of Keats which does contain that poem I wonder if someone can help me to include this poem so others can view it on line. Having joined Wikipedia recently I need help to accomplish this task correctly. Please contact me if that can be done.


Jerry Ferguson ,gferguson6 @ nyc . rr . com

Yes, just click on A Song About Myself and start typing ;o) Regards, Yann 19:13, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Plagiarized Wikipedia article for inclusion in Wikisource?[edit]

Moved from Wikisource talk:Scriptorium

I'm about to nominate a 4,900 word article in Wikipedia ("Duquesne spy ring") for deletion because I believe the article plagiarized an identical article on the FBI's website (see at  I firmly believe that Wikipedia should not be a repository for plagiarized articles.  Wikipedia deletion policy suggests that in non-copyright violation AfD cases, Wikisource should be considered as an alternative location [for this challenged article] rather than deletion from Wikipedia.  The author made some small additons to the original text, which could be viewed as enhancements per Wikisource policy.  The chief failing of the article as it appears in Wikipedia, as I see it, is that the {USGovernment} template the author initially used to justify his plagiarism was IMHO not the true source of his article, and that secondly, the {USGovernment} template is inadequate for articles that have been extensively plagiarized.  Would the author's plagiarized article be suitable for inclusion in Wikisource with only an inadequate {USGovernment} tag citation? Would Wikisource require a more explicit citation than the {USGovernment} cite?  K. Kellogg-Smith 02:16, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

I don't think that the article as it is now is appropriate for wikisource. Its quite alright there on Wikipedia. If you are concerned that it is relying too heavily on the FBI article then the article should be improved. Try to integrate more sources, use more original language, considering changing the organization of the article a bit. This is not a copyright violation although I agree with you that wikipedia should be home to original work and not plagarism. This should be adressed in the article itself on the discussion page. The contents of an FBI webpage are not suitable for Wikisource. A previously published FBI report might be appropriate, but not just some webpage. For some guidance on this issue see Wikisource inclusion policy. --Metal.lunchbox 02:51, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

I thank you for your answer to my query.  The Wikipedia documentation on deletion suggests that an article not suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia might be suitable for inclusion in Wikisource, and you have answered my question.  I'm sure the administration will make the same suggestion as you have done, and perhaps the page can be blanked until such time as the author does "de-plagiarize" his article.

I did in fact first express my concerns about the article being plagiarized on its discussion page.  There the author continued to insist that the article had been taken from the text of a 1985 FBI document whose cover page stated it was an FOIA release, not the current article on the FBI's website.  After several exchanges, I went to the Village Pump/Policy section and asked for opinion about the plagiarized article, providing links to both the author's article and the FBI website article. I also posed a similar question on the Cryptography portal, since I have eleven (authored) monographs released by NSA's cryptography history section that conceivably I could Wikify and copy verbatim into Wikipedia.

As you well know, plagiarism has nothing to do with copyright or copyright violations.  Plagiarism is the taking of another author's work — in whole or in part — and calling it one's own.  It's all about ethics and integrity.

Although there is a very definitive article on the Plagiarism in Wikipedia, the administration has no policy on contributing plagiarized articles to the encyclopedia.  My belief is that if articles in Wikipedia are truly to be encyclopedic, then editors should be subject to the same editorial standard of ethics as acadamicians and journalists.  

K. Kellogg-Smith 22:56, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Wikiproject Policy[edit]

Is it just me or did an anon just change policies here and here? Kari Hazzard (T | C) 13:03, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Actually, those are not policy pages. Since WikiProjects are relatively few here, we never really hammered out a policy page for them.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 13:39, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Fiction Link[edit]

Hello. I went on the main page, and tried to get to the fiction page but it is red. I went on there a few days ago and it worked, but a lot of the sub links were red. --moongurl101 12:30, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for telling us. That page was deleted [1] mostly because it was never kept up-to-date and it is redundant with Category:Fiction. I updated the main page. —Benn Newman (AMDG) 13:27, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

poetry translation question[edit]

Hello, I'm new around here, but I've been on English Wikipedia for over a year now. I anticipate translating French poems for Wikisource, but I wanted to know if there is a preferred style of translation. Put it this way: poems can be translated to get the meaning across, or they can be translated in order to keep some sort of rhyme scheme and rhythm. The latter method would take much more effort on my part, and it would also risk being farther away from the original author's words. Poetry in French and English also differ in respect to how the composition of a line is seen; meter is important in English language poetry, while it's not really a factor in French. Thanks for your help. Kyoko 17:13, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

This answer, of course, is that you must do both (at the same time); as we are not completely evil, however, we will permit, with risk of making teachers of language wince, you to make more ‘literal’ translations. Though that is just my two cents. —Benn Newman (AMDG) 01:35, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
There are no set guidelines to answer that question; we try to emphasize editors' judgment instead of policy. Historically, some users have done both at once (in two different sections, or side-by-side). Do whichever you prefer, or even both. :) —{admin} Pathoschild 01:58:44, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Questions about categorizing submissions[edit]

I am new here. After posting some English transliterations of Kannada and Sanskrit bhajans for editing and corrections, I found them deleted saying they needed to to be posted to that language section. I cannot read those languages and what I submitted was in fact English. I don't know how to directly contact the administrator concerning such. I just posted in the talk section on that page. Am I incorrect in my thinking? Thanks!

These texts are NOT in English. Using the Latin alphabet doesn't not make them to be in English. So these texts belong to their respective language subdomains. Regards, Yann 18:30, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Those geniuses at Wikipedia[edit]

Hi. I wonder if someone can assist with something.
Over at the "exclusionist" English Wikipedia, there was an article about titin whose chemical name is over 160,000 characters long! Wow!
You can see the Wikipedia article here:
What you can't do, however, is see its full chemical name of 160,000 letters. :(
This is basically understandable. Even though I'm pro-inclussionist on the whole, I do understand that a wikipedia article can't feasibly hold 160,000 characters without being a liability on surfers and possibly the database.
Therefore it was proposed to create an external source of the full chemical name, at Wikisource.
Naturally, it was deleted. See: Chemical name of Titin.
In the deletion log it simply says "((Proposed deletion: ref material))"
Looking at the proposed deletions archive shows nothing useful (Way to go Wikisource!)
Can somebody please explain why it was deleted? And if justified, where else would be a good place to store the full chemical name of Titin?

Yours in seeking transparency on Wikipedia, 16:05, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

It was deleted because the full chemical name is not a source text. It is (at best) material people look up for referential purposes, but it is not a text (e.g., poem, novel, journal article, newspaper article). We no longer keep non-source texts--that decision was made long ago.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 17:12, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
For more information, see:
{admin} Pathoschild 22:49:35, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Wikisource CD[edit]

I know Wikipedia is working on a CD version of stable and high-quality articles from the encyclopedia as seen here: Wikipedia CD 0.7. Is it likely that Wikisource will produce a CD of its texts in a similar manner? —Wikijeff 22:37, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Just today I was thinking about this. Instead of merely locking texts I think we should be producing publishable documents (PDFs?) considering the usefulness of a printable/downloadable format and the much greater stability of Wikisource documents. How about a selection of books fully edited proofread and laid out, ready for publication available in PDF format with a standard format title page, info page, TOC, then body (divided into pages). Reading a novel online is fairly impracticle for a lot of folks but downloading or printing sounds practicle. Its another level of service we should offer. Obviously these could be published on CD-rom as well. Obviously this would be tons of work but so is building a free library.--Metal.lunchbox 02:25, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
I've been thinking about such a project for a while. Featured texts lays the groundwork by preparing the fully proofready and laid out texts. There's nothing stopping anyone from preparing PDF editions; I'd fully support such an initiative for featured texts, and I'd help develop the templates needed to neatly link to the different versions available (multiple editions, audio, PDF, et cetera).
A CD edition would be nice, but that's still in the distant future; we'd need far more featured texts for such a collection. —{admin} Pathoschild 03:10:41, 09 May 2007 (UTC)
Wow. It looks like a lot of us have had the same idea. I'd love to produce hi-quality PDFs of our featured texts and provide them for download from WS. (Actually, a little while ago, someone e-mailed me about such a proposal, but it never got off the ground.)
However, I think one hurdle to overcome would be that we have no large works that have been featured--i.e., no novels. We usually stick to just poetry, as it's easier (and shorter) to proof than a novel. I think if we are to get this project going, it would be nice to see more full-length works promoted than just poetry. In terms of creating the actual PDFs, what sort of work has to be done (in terms of layout, presentation, etc.)?—Zhaladshar (Talk) 17:46, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
From what I've been able to gather (I've never actually touched code directly that performed this function) from various articles around the net. Many libraries exist to do this on the back-end from an xml/xhtml source; often written in Perl, PHP, or Java. Basically, as long as the text is marked up consistently, the process should be automatic. If it fails, the markup needs to be fixed. Apparently Apache has a means to do this itself —Wikijeff 21:30, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
Apache FOP is a good option, as it depends entirely on the standardised w:XSL Formatting Objects XML format, so we would only need to write the WikiSyntax to FormattedObjects translator. However as FOP is written in Java, running it at real time could be expensive. I was impressed when I saw that the b:Chess Wikibook was available in PDF format, and found many more available at b:Wikibooks:PDF Versions (and on the German WikiBooks). My guess is that the WikiBook projects are manually building the PDFs.
Also, there is a mw:Extension:Pdf Export that could be a good starting point for sources that fit on a single WikiPage, such as poems. John Vandenberg 05:17, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
Zhaladshar, we do have one large featured text: "The Time Machine" by H. G. Wells, a 38,000-word novella. —{admin} Pathoschild 03:05:25, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

FYI, on the French Wikisource, we started working on a CD with works from Wikisource. We will get out the first version when we have 50 proofread books from 30 authors. We have now about 15 validated books from 3 authors. See fr:Wikisource:CD. Regards, Yann 22:00, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Yann, do you know how the French PDFs were created from the WikiSyntax? John Vandenberg 05:17, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Why does it seem like the French are way ahead of us on Wikisource. They've got oodles of useful tools and they know how to use them in addition to a great collection of texts, all pretty well organized, much easier to browse than over here. --Metal.lunchbox 22:15, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

It makes the most sense for us to start with one larger work or whole collection instead of trying to make a PDF collection of 100 featured books we don't have. Why not The Time Machine --Metal.lunchbox 05:54, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Hi, I'm one one the persons behind the WP0.5 CD, compiling 2000 good articles of the Wikipedia in english. You can test is by downloading it here. We are preparing the next release with the english speaking communauty, also a french selection of articles from the Wikipedia in french. It is also true, that the Wikisousrce in french is preparing a selection of good texts to put on a CD. I would be very enthousiatic by publishing a CD with the english speacking Wikisource communauty, but that has nothing to do with PDF. The articles are offline available as HTML files, searchable with a good search engine, and printable. So, there is yet no export PDF feature, although I think about it and have plans to provide it in the future. Best regards Kelson 19:51, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

To be more precise, the texts can be added to the CD with this tool: Yann 20:27, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

It might be an idea worth considering to just bundle some Wikisource texts with the next Wikipedia CD. As long as they're in text form, rather than PDFs, I'm sure there'll be plenty of room for them.--Pharos 03:41, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

Opera arias in Wikisource[edit]

I transferred “Arias” from Wikipedia to here because it was agreed in our forum (Wikipedia Project Opera) that arias are considered as source of texts even though as we all know that arias are only the excerpt or some part of libretto. I received message from User:Metal.lunchbox raises his concern about it and would like to know your point of view.

Please refer to 5 arias (Category:Arias) that I have transferred in which I also include with commentaries to explain what the arias are all about. I like to know whether the format is acceptable or do I have to remove the commentary and leave the aria (original text) without the English translation? Does Wikisource only accept the complete libretti while "piece" of them best suit Wikipedia as encyclopedia? The aria alone without the commentary doesn’t look right because it makes the article looks like some fracture of “something” without any meaning. It is so unfriendly to readers if the commentary is in Wikipedia while the aria is in here. What do you think? Hopefully if the admin could reply this. Thanks. -Jay

Here are my initial comments about the arias:
  1. The arias themselves can stay, although {{incomplete}} should be added to them in order to spur the addition of the entire libretto.
  2. Wikipedia, if they want to use Wikisource as the host of the arias, should not get married to the current link of the pages, as they will be changed to subpage notation when the entire libretto is added.
  3. The commentary material can be shortened in some cases but incorporated into the {{header}} template when the pages are standardized
  4. The Italian should be moved to it:ws.
Regarding your question "Does Wikisource accept the complete libretti only while 'piece' of it best suits Wikipedia as encyclopedia" I'm unsure of what you mean. Definitely Wikisource accepts (and in fact, we want) the entire libretto. If only a portion of the libretto suits Wikipedia, well, WP only has to use a small selection of the opera for their purposes.
However, I must ask why Wikipedia is doing a musical/literary analysis of such a small work but is not willing to host it on the actual WP page. It would make more sense for them to keep the works (which are relatively short) over on their project instead of linking to WS. That way, they can maximize the amount of information they present to the reader without forcing him to click numerous links.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 16:18, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
This is what I would expect to see on Wikisource. But maybe even more than the one aria on the subpage and less specific commentary. I would have to see how the liberetto is presented to really say.--BirgitteSB 16:54, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
We've got complete Gilbert and Sullivan libretti (look at The Mikado). It appears that each song is given its own subpage. I think we could do similar things with these arias; fill out the entire work, and add the aria where it belongs, slap on an incomplete template, and let it get filled out as time goes on.
Another question that must be asked, is who is the translator of these arias and are they free or not?—Zhaladshar (Talk) 17:03, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
Well taking a look the Tosca Libretto, it looks to me just like a play that would be have subpages of Acts if anything. I don't know what the G&S was based on. I would think that is just how someone uploaded it and not based on any traditional presentation. I suppose with LST we could offer both presentations but I dislike the idea of only showing a 54 page libretto in two paragraph increments.--BirgitteSB 17:14, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
Looking at The Mikado, it does actually have headings of "Song" at those certain points even though the TOC does not use the song titles. Is that because this is an operetto rather than an opera, or am I missing the heading on the other because they are in Italian? I am not sure.--BirgitteSB 17:22, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Hi guys, thanks for the reply but I’m afraid I cannot answer on behalf of others or WP. I do not know whether they are free source or not, but usually we attached with the reference at the bottom note to indicate where the texts were taken. I transferred the aria in here because some arias in WP (including all those 5 that have been transferred) have been tagged with this template, refer below.

Edit - Copy icon This page is a candidate to be copied to Wikisource.

If the page can be edited into an encyclopedic article, rather than merely a copy of the source text, please do so and remove this message. Otherwise, you can help by formatting it per the Wikisource guidelines in preparation for being imported to Wikisource by a Wikisource admin. Note that if this source text is not in English, it will have to be copied using the transwiki process.

As one of the contributors to Opera project EN and MS, I was just trying to put them in the correct location as per said and agreed even though I do not quite clear on how the format in here should be. I have informed my fellow friends in WP Opera about this discussion and also added Wikisource:Scriptorium URL in there. Hopefully they could come here and answer the queries. If there is no answers or conclusion pertaining this in 3 days (until Sunday), I will transfer them all back to WP.

As for how the link/format etc will be decided in future, I leave it up to you guys or majorities opinions. It is good to have this discussion now; hopefully someday we could come up with some standard formats about aria articles in here. Thanks and cheers - -Jay

This is probably the stickiest point: the licensing. Whereas WP allows for fair use, WS expressly forbids it. If the translator(s) of these arias cannot be determined within a reasonable amount of time, it will be deleted. I don't know how easy it would be to find this information, either, but I would guess that many of these translations would have come from the little booklets that came with the CD the opera was on, so they very well could be under copyright.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 14:02, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
To be frank. It is not difficult at all to find the complete libretto of any operas. You can get it from various Verdi’s /puccini’s/handel’s etc unofficial sites, aria sites, classical music sites, universities libraries and many more. One example (free site) - I have almost all puccini’s/verdi’s libretti printed from the internet and an old book belongs to my dad. I also plan to buy a book of libretto I saw in the book store about 2 weeks ago (complete libretto of Verdi/Puccini with pictures including the original posters of the premiere shows etc. Other than that, we can also subscribe with "The Grove" .. well basically as I said, it is not difficult at all. From what I heard and read, the copyright lasts up to 100 years after the creators' death therefore, some of the libretti are currently free – I don’t really have the official statement (except from the internet) for this so I don’t dare to say it is confirmed. -Jay
Copyright is unfortunately a little more complicated than that. Any of the orignal compositions where creator has been dead more than 100 years are definately free. However we also have to consider later derivative works. These would be works which are based on the original opera. If someone for example re-wrote the music in guitar cords or translated the liberetto from italian to english. The new derivative works are copyright by the composer or translator while the original opera remains free of copyright. In this case we are concerned about a translator. I imagine there are several different trranslations of these operas available. Each will have a seperate copyright and hopefully at least one will have an fallen out of copyright and be free content. In case we need to know who the translor is and when the translation was first published to be certain of the copyright.--BirgitteSB 17:18, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
I have removed all the arias and restore them back in WP. Thanks -Jay

acts 10;48[edit]

why in this scribture it says be baptised in Lord Jesus?as in acts 2;38 and acts 10;48 in matthew scripture says be baptised in the name of the Father,Son,HolyGhost. help me to understand.

Welcome to Wikisource. Your question might get a better response at w:Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Humanities in the future, since that is a group of people devoting to studying such questions. :) As it stands however....big breath, the passage in Acts 10 is speaking about w:Saint Peter's attempts to convert the world to Christianity, after Jesus' death and resurrection. The stories in Matthew cover the period up to the death and resurrection, so take place several years before Peter's preaching. Originally, Baptism was done in the name of God only, as Jesus was not yet "revealed to the world" - though w:John the Baptist promised that when Jesus came, he would baptise in the name of God and the Holy Spirit. Jesus' command to his disciples at the end includes the exhortation to baptise in the name of the "Father, Son and Holy Spirit". Most likely, the theological points were worked out amongst the disciples themselves at the time, but the gospel-writers neglected to share, or didn't know, the details with us. Speaking on a secular level, I would chalk it up to a "typo" of the gospels, and that Peter was most likely doing what Jesus had commanded. Sherurcij COTW:Harriet Beecher Stowe 09:50, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Copyright and what we can include[edit]

Good day, I would like to help Wikisource by contributing a lot of content to it. I have gone through the information regarding copyright and know that the content I will add belongs to that of the free domain and not copyrighted. See Wikisource:Copyright_policy. Normally content from authors who died 100 years or more ago is fine to include, but I do notice there seems to be a lot of living authors included. See Category:Living authors.

So I am wondering if content to be included is simply that in the free domain and not-copyrighted, or if it needs to be from a particular time period?

For example, speeches of Author:George W. Bush are included, which are very recent. Canadiandude 007

Speeches are a touchy issue with two warring factions on Wikisource inches from each other's throat - but in the case of George Bush (and many others), there's an easy way out... any work by a Federal employee of the United States (Which includes presidents, generals, Secretaries, etc) is automatically public domain. It's one of a half-dozen countries in the world that do this (Canada does not, they are automatically Crown Copyright for 50 years), which is a relief for us. Sherurcij COTW:Harriet Beecher Stowe 14:45, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Warring factions and from each other's throat are terms a bit too strong to describe the situation. More accurately, it can be said that there are different opinions on the matter. Yann 22:09, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
No, there is no time requirement. As long as the work is in the public domain or released under a license compatible with the Copyright policy, feel free to add it to Wikisource. —{admin} Pathoschild 00:25:30, 02 June 2007 (UTC)

The {{Author-PD-1923}} tag and "some" vs. "all"[edit]

I've expanded Author:Edgar Saltus (just imported my first work from Project Gutenberg; his Imperial Purple); he died in 1921, so he entered the Life+70 set back in 1991, but won't be Life+100 until 2021. Thing is, all of his works were first published in the US before 1923. (There was a posthumous reprint volume in 1925, Uplands of Dream, but it only collected works first published 1900--1916.) The Author-PD-1923 tag states that some, but not all, works by this author were published in the U.S. before 1923. It seems misleading to say that when all works were indeed published in the U.S. before 1923... but I don't want to leave it out, either, since Life+70 isn't enough to put the author's works into the public domain in the U.S. by itself. grendel|khan 16:41, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

I changed the template so that this case is covered. Yann 22:07, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Two new books[edit]

I've gotten two new books and want to know if I should go to the trouble of scanning them to allow their upload:

  • The Virgin Islands Our new Possessions and the British Isles; Theodoor De Booy and John T. Faris. (1918, US)
  • Scenes from Every Land / Third Series; Gilbert H. Grosvenor/NGS (1912, US)

Are they appropriate and legal? Especially the last one, since it's mostly pictures.

Thanx 21:15, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Published before 1923 in USA, it looks good. Yann 22:01, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

It would be possible here?[edit]

I want to organize a transcription from a radio interview appeared in a local station ( Since the wiki features allows several people collaboration, I think WikiSource would be a good site to hold it. Is it allowed to create articles of such kind in WikiSource? --Annm 15:03, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Probably not, I am afraid that radio stations hold copyright over their broadcasts. Yann 16:23, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Publisher Pages[edit]

Has anyone previously suggested that pages dedicated to publishing houses be created in a manner similar to author pages. This way people can see not only who wrote what, but whom it is that published a given work's print-edition in the first place? —Wikijeff 00:07, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

It was suggested about a year and half ago and not a popular idea. I will try and find the link.--BirgitteSB 23:53, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Court cases[edit]

Someone please clue me in to the appropriate tempates for adding in US Supreme Court decisions? Thanks. Swatjester 20:57, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

See Help:Adding texts. The {{header}} template should be placed at the top of the page; fill in any parameters, and do not remove empty parameters. The 'author' parameter should only link to a specific author, for whom we can create an author page. (Unspecific authors, like "United States Supreme Court", should be described in the "notes" parameter.) {{PD-USGov}} should be placed at the bottom of the page.
The rest depends on the original document's formatting and your own judgement. I've tweaked State of South Carolina v. State of Georgia (which you added) as an example. —{admin} Pathoschild 21:20:12, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Links in source texts?[edit]

What is the policy or guideline related to wikilinks in source texts? In Wikipedia, wikilinking words in source text such as quoted text is strongly discouraged. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 03:52, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

see w:Wikipedia:Quotations_should_not_contain_wikilinks ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 03:54, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

I have seen this done in documents before on WikiSource, before I started contributing to this project. I would also like clarification on this. If an author or a topic or organization or individual has an index page on this project of other Public Domain documents, is is appropriate to link to it within the text? How about at the bottom of the document in a separate subsection? Somewhere in the header? Smee 04:22, 15 June 2007 (UTC).
Context links are encouraged on Wikisource; see Wikisource:Style guide#Wikilinks. —{admin} Pathoschild 23:49:58, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
That applies to subpages only. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 01:45, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
Context links are specific to Wikipedia and Wikiquote. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 01:49, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
By looking through the style guide and many articles seems to confirm my understanding: I see that wikilinks are used in headers, sometimes in subsections, or intro text (such as in Author:Sri_Aurobindo), as well as in list pages such as Wikisource:Religious texts. I have not seen the user of wikilinks directly into source text. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 02:02, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
I checked about one hundred articles and I have yet to find one in which I could find wikilinks in the source text. All wikilinks I found were appropriately placed in headers, and categories links, or in specific areas of articles that were not source text, such as intro text, tables, etc. I also did not find any "See also" sections that are so predominant in WP, which I understand are not used in source text pages either. Context links to Wikipedia articles I found in a few articles such as Presidential Radio Address - 29 July 2006. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 02:14, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
This months Featured article Arithmetic on the Frontier. Honestly I am one the people to most heavily insert wikilinks. See "Fuzzy-Wuzzy", Elegie I, Dulce et Decorum Est off the top of my head. I don't know what you mean by "wikilink" vs "context link". I would discourage the use of See also sections outside of the Author namespace where they could be used for texts about rather by an author.--BirgitteSB 02:33, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
Do you mean links to mentioned texts within Wikisource like The Cambridge History of American Literature/Book II/Chapter VIII. There are not a lot of those because there are not a lot of opportunities for them, but they are definitely appropriate. These are one of the main things that makes Wikisource better than the average text repository--BirgitteSB 02:40, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
The wikilinks in the last example are good because they link to other texts that are related and it is easy to appreciate and understand their value. I would argue that if you wikilink to another text that is great, but if you wikilink to a concept, person, or subject, an interwiki link to WP or WDict would be more appropriate. Now, on the text Arithmetic_on_the_Frontier, I found the wikilinks to be not that useful, as these interrupted the flow of the poem, and that is a pity. This may sound like a crazy idea, but could a template be created to place at the bottom of texts such as poems, featuring wikilinks to uncommon words such Yusufzaies and Jezail, rather than wikilink the source text itself? I would prefer a clean source text as much as possible, without additions. What do you think? ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 05:22, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
I have figured out what your problem is with all this going through your contributions but I was waiting to see if Yann could explain his remarks to me in case I am missing something. It should be impossible to link the person, concept, or subject with in Wikisource, because we host texts. So only texts should be available for linking to. Divine Light Mission is not a text. I am nominating it for deletion.--BirgitteSB 11:47, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
I strongly disagree with this policy, and I think it will have to be revised. Inserting context links is unfaithful to the original text. The presence of a link interrupts the natural flow of reading, because the reader has to make a decision about following a link or not. Links should be used only to make references easily accessible, when these references were cited in the original text. The current policy is not sustainable in the long term, because it will create an inflation of wikilinks. ThomasV 10:21, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
There was supposed to be a technical option to allow links to be hidden. But the administrator left the project before finishing it. I still have the test version in my monobook. Also printable version gives a copy to read with distraction of the links. I do not believe context links are unfaithful to the text. However I believe their appearance (blue text) is unfortunate and can disrupt the meter of the poem. I still think the the long-ago proposed technical solution is the answer. Many texts do not need context links but some, especially older poems, are completely unavailable to modern readers without us suppling the context. "Fuzzy-Wuzzy" is the strongest example. --BirgitteSB 11:26, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
That is definitively a long time ago in wiki terms... I would argue that a simpler solution would be a simple footer template in which unusual vocabulary could be placed and wikilinked to Wikidictionary or Wikipedia. Developers could add a feature, similar to WP ref tag that will automatically create the vocaubulary footer containing all words tagged in the source as needed to be featured there. Something along the lines of {{vocab|interwiki link}} that can be used to tag words or terms in the source,. Then a tag {{vocab_footer}} will automatically lay out these words and terms in a list separated by bullets or commas, with the necessary interwiki links, in the footer of the article. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 16:45, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
The cite.php code of mediawiki could be adapted for this purpose. See m:Cite/Cite.php ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 16:48, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
Please try my mononbook. The hiding of the color is simple and it works. I am sure someone can make it default hidden for pages in the Main namespace to present a clean text first, if that is what everyone wants (it would be my preference). Vocabulary lists lose all context. Readers can probably cope with remembering the context with less than five words but that will not scale. Wikisource is a hypertext medium there is no reason to go back to using footnotes and appendices.--BirgitteSB 19:28, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
I will check your monobook and give some feedback. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 19:31, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
Installed your monobook, purged the cache, but the show/hide does not seem to work... ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 19:38, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
I am of the lowest technical competence, so I can be much help in troubleshooting it but it worked for me just now.--BirgitteSB 19:59, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
I will look into the code. I am fluent in Javascript... :) ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 20:18, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

What about "See also" sections in source text pages? Is that something that WS encourages? ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 14:40, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

I oppose the use of 'see also' sections on work pages. All sections on the page belong to the original document; editorial notes and navigation are carefully set aside in a formatted box specifically to distinguish between Wikisource data and the original document. —{admin} Pathoschild 19:24:23, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Pathos, if there is a related text (such as an alternate translation) it belongs either in the header, or in the body of the text as a wikilink - no "see also" sections. Sherurcij COTW:Voltaire 23:59, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. That is very clear. What about "external links" sections? ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 01:28, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Couple things:
I agree with Birgitte on the use of linking within a source document. I do not believe it is unfaithful to the source text solely by the fact that we pipe the link so that while it points to some page on WP, the actual text of the link is the exact wording/phrasing given by the actual source text. I think a nice technical solution would be a good compromise where there is some tab that shows/hides links to other sister projects and to other pages on WS (thus, hiding the light and dark blue links). That way, people who want the links can have WS show them, while those who will be distracted by them can keep them off. Maybe this is a feature which should be turned to the "hide links" option by default?
And on external links, I oppose them for the same reason as Pathoschild gave against "See also." I think that all sections on a page for a text should be part of that text. I think the addition of external links is a bad idea as it is a sort of Pandora's box (at least I see it that way). What kind of links will we allow? How many? What's the quality of those links? Some of the pages on WP have an exorbitant number of external links, which is fairly ridiculous. I think we would be asking for a similar thing if we begin allowing external links. Also, I see external links as saying "We endorse this link" and if the link goes to a page with bad information, we've just told the reader "Go read this page related to work X because it will give you more information" but the information he is reading is bad/inaccurate and hinders more than helps.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 14:18, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Maks a lot sense, thanks for the clarification. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 16:37, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
  • And what if the external link is to another copy of the exact same document, for comparision/copyediting? Smee 02:13, 19 June 2007 (UTC).
    • The talk page would seem a better place for that, imho Sherurcij COTW:Voltaire 02:28, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
      • Sounds good. Smee 02:29, 19 June 2007 (UTC).

Links to related documents?[edit]

How does the community feel about having a section or page per source with links to summaries, notes, and questions? For example, Plato's Phaedo could contain a link to this summary. unsigned by on 03:03, 18 June 2007.

If the summary is in the public domain, it may be considered. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 03:37, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
If the goal is to develop a text with annotations, summaries, and study questions, it will probably be acceptable at Wikibooks. I don't think a link to such sites from Wikisource to be a good idea. Why do we want to direct someone to an off-site summary when they can read the text for themselves here? If the summary is public domain and published, add it to Wikisource rather than linking to it.--BirgitteSB 13:50, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree with BirgitteSB. A very brief summary or explanation can be included on the work page itself in the {{header}}, as on "Darkness" or The Time Machine. However, Wikisource is not a study guide, and allowing links to offsite auxiliary content (study questions, summaries, notes, interpretations, et cetera) adds little to Wikisource itself, while opening the project to spam, apparent endorsement, edit warring, and bias. Such auxiliary content is not part of our mission (unless it is itself a published work). —{admin} Pathoschild 14:55:02, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Problem in Wikisource talk:Sandbox[edit]