Wikinews:Water cooler/proposals/archives/2012/September

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Wikinews to be withdrawn


I do not see any future for Wikinews. It is hard for volunteers to (almost) daily add news to Wikinews and also to ensure that accompanying material (e.g. pictures) is OK from copyright point of view. I believe that Ïn the News" section of main page of Wikipedia (in any language) is enough to capture the last news. Otherwise it is too ambitious and finally Wikinews will have to allow advertising in order to be regularly maintained. For short, with Wikinews you loose time and will be finally frustrated. Just check the dates of last contributions in any languages but English... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Atirihc (talkcontribs) 22:10, 3 September 2012‎

This project is English Wikinews. It is a separate project from any other language's Wikinews. Btw, for perspective — although it isn't clear what specific proposal, if any, you intend to make — a Wikinews project was closed a while back, after, iirc, they hadn't published a single article in over six months. --Pi zero (talk) 22:46, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
  • I believe that the In The News section of Wikipedia is an 800lb gorilla pissing in our Cheerios; but, that's just me.
If you've not even the decency to sign comments here, particularly what I take as a "trolling" threat to try and get the project shut down, then you'll find yourself far-from-welcome.
Suggesting advertising clearly indicates you've not-one-iota of 'clue' regarding how much it costs the Foundation to keep Wikinews, in any language, active.
Back under the bridge Atirihc. Please. --Brian McNeil / talk 05:16, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
I have zero frustration with Wikinews. :D I love it. I can write news that would never be allowed to make the front page of English Wikipedia. The whole w:WP:ITN thing is probably one of the more toxic elements of trying to get an article to the front page of Wikipedia of all the elements. I cannot do original reporting on Wikinews. I love the writing style on English Wikinews. Projects outside of English are not my problem. Wikinews is supported by the same foundation dollars that support Wikipedia, so advertising is not an issue that will be here any time soon. :) In short, I heartily disagree with the basic facts underlying your opinion. :) If you are for closing Wikinews, go get Wikinews interviews Katie Hill, Australian Paralympic wheelchair basketball medallist‎ on Wikipedia's In The News section and then get back to me. ;) --LauraHale (talk) 05:30, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Nice. There's a delicious irony in that challenge, Laura. An interview with a Paralympian, during the games, qualifies perfectly as legitimate content for ITN. The problem is, Wikipedia could never-ever, not in a million years, go out and get the interview.
I think Atirihc is a troll; smells like a troll, anyway. Definitely deserves the nntp://alt.hacker troll treatment: "A troll of our vewy own! We'll hug him, and squeeze him, and call him 'George'!"
After I've had breakfast, and a bucketload more anti-flu/cold meds, and reviewed some more, I'll go look for any attempts to propose Wikinews' closure. --Brian McNeil / talk 06:57, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

I'm surprised Atirihc didn't suggest the project be "put down" :P After all, xe is a Romanian vet. No evidence of proposing a closure, though. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:44, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Legal Fees Assistance Program

The Wikimedia Foundation is conducting a request for comment on a proposed program that could provide legal assistance to users in specific support roles who are named in a legal complaint as a defendant because of those roles. We wanted to be sure that your community was aware of this discussion and would have a chance to participate in that discussion. If this page is not the best place to publicize this request for comment, please help spread the word to those who may be interested in participating. (If you'd like to help translating the "request for comment", program policy or other pages and don't know how the translation system works, please come by my user talk page at m:User talk:Mdennis (WMF). I'll be happy to assist or to connect you with a volunteer who can assist.) Thank you! --Mdennis (WMF) (talk) 15:35, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

  • Best place for it, and Wikinews should have input. I really hope we don't run into legal problems, but more-than-a-few of us are in the UK and might have to square-up to Carter-Fuck if someone gets really annoyed at us. In such (hopefully unlikely) circumstances, the Foundation's money would be better-spent promoting a legal fighting fund collection campaign. --Brian McNeil / talk 15:56, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Very interesting, and valuable proposition. --Bddpaux (talk) 20:51, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Transcluding old file versions

Please see Bugzilla:40095 and comment at meta:Wikimedia_Forum#Transcluding_old_file_versions. Transcluding old file versions would address Wikinews' need to prevent later changes to files. On a related subject, please note the new Commons template commons:Template:Please-do-not-overwrite-permanent-version, its use documented at commons:Commons:OVERWRITE#Exceptions. Thanks. Rd232 (talk) 10:29, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

  • That sounds good, will go take a look (at the bug, sod meta :P). --Brian McNeil / talk 10:33, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
For those without an account on BugZilla, here's what I've posted as a counter-proposal on the bug. It, I believe, addresses far more of the issues than kludging mediawiki installs:
From the point of view of Wikinews' requirements, this is a "kludge" that would address a problem we have:
Say Commons has File:Spread of Zombie Apocalypse.png and, country by country, people are developing a taste for brains.
If we publish an article n:Zombies reported in Paris, including this file, then someone looking at that article should always see the version where France has just been coloured-in as infected.
If, later on, we publish n:New Zealand last Zombie-free nation, then the file included there should be the more-current version leaving that as the only country not coloured in.
Unless there are far more-complex requirements that justify use of the External images parameter, I would suggest the appropriate solution is to have another parameter within [[:File: ]] which accesses the version in-place on a specific date.
Thus: [[File:Spread of Zombie Apocalypse.png|date=2012-11-01|...]] could be used in one Wikinews article, and [[File:Spread of Zombie Apocalypse.png|date=2012-12-21|...]] in a later article.
That isn't really a bug, but a feature request - and seems far more logical than mucking about with the external images parameter.
I always like giving use-cases for software changes, and if you make them amusing the idea gets across more-quickly :P. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:54, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Acceptance of CC-BY-NC images

I'd like to propose Wikinews change the image licensing to specifically allow the use of CC-BY-NC images without the use of a fair use rationale. This allows for the maximum freedom of sharing news by making it easier to use images by non-commercial/non-profit organisations. Beyond that, the images used on Wikinews should qualify for fair use and fair dealings based on what we are doing.

Beyond that, any one seeking to copy Wikinews content is individually responsible for what they copy. It is not up to us as a project to externally police it by allowing maximum use by commercial organisations. At the same time, WMF is in violation of their own license by not having a publicly available data dump on commons per the license they agreed to. Externally, most large scraper sites cannot use these images on commercial sites anyway.

Long story short: To best share news, I'd like to propose an image policy change to allow CC-BY-NC images without the use of a fair use rationale. This can be implemented by changing the local upload templates. --LauraHale (talk) 10:43, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

  • You're proposing going back to what we had before the "imposition" of the Foundation's licensing resolution.
Let's not square up for a fight with the WMF just yet.
Instead, we should set up a {{CC-BY-NC}} template which incorporates a fair use rationale. Taking the Paralympics as a baseline for the FUR, how about the following text?
Whilst not licensed for commercial use, there are no circumstances under which a more-free version of this image could have been obtained.
Media, including photographs taken at sporting events, in galleries, exhibitions, and other generally non-public spaces, may be subject to a restrictive covenant. Such covenants (which may be a condition of press or public access) forbid commercial licensing of such media. Thus, this non-commercially licensed media is provided as an irreplaceable item for use in news reporting.
That should have Commons amateur copyright experts fighting amongst themselves for a while. ;-) --Brian McNeil / talk 11:47, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
I see, btw, there's a  troll-l  wikimedia-l thread about suggestions to tighten the criteria for Commons media, disallowing more kinds of licenses. I liked the bit about how NC licensing isn't needed because organizations will make their materials available under a freer license once they realize the advantages of doing so. (Reminds me of the theory that the only reason some people are atheists is because they haven't thought carefully about whether God exists.) --Pi zero (talk) 15:18, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Love that analogy. Sic Laura on them with the Olympics and Paralympics as perfect examples. I'm sure she can quote the price of getting unrestricted photographic access, then we can see the magic examples Freegans can concoct of photo-philanthropists who'll go along to events and donate internal organs to liberate content. --Brian McNeil / talk 16:21, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
* For some events, the money is still made on licensing and they aren't seeking to address that. Why should Wikimedia get CC-BY access to images, sound and audio of the Olympics, which can then be used by every newspaper and television station in the world when NBC has to pay millions and millions for the rights? When the Olympics, Paralympics, World Cup soccer, the Rugby World Cup, the Cricket World Cup are largely funded by this? I can make a compelling case for the release of SOME images inside some sport organisations, but not for big events like that. If the value of making images free is that awesome, I need a study that I can take to stakeholders and show them how it does so. "I think it will" is not the same as "Here is a study which demonstrates this in your sector." The businesses and NGOs and NSOs and SSOs that have problems are often the ones that play that game. No, the freegan people are absolutely wrong on this. Beyond that, until the WMF complies with their own license, they are hypocrits. WMF does not make content freely available. --LauraHale (talk) 19:37, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

Also, I'm fine with the text. It just needs to be available in the dropdown selection. --LauraHale (talk) 19:38, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

  • Added to the dropdown. I now await the wrath of the Freegans.
Not sure what to do about the NASA/US Gov one. In case you're interested in the technical details, I've made {{CC-BY-NC}} a redirect to the CC-SA-NC-2.5 license (roughly the more-restrictive version of what we use for text).
I've no idea how to address the zealotry some in the WMF 'church' hold to; I'm more-inclined to broaden our range of templates which assert fair use without demanding the uploader fill in a detailed justification.
Based-upon the discussion on troll-l which Pi zero refers to, I suspect we'll see more of the media we rely upon vanishing. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:53, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

WN:PROD upgrades

Just noting, I've made two small upgrades to our proposed-deletion infrastructure.

  • {{aband}} and {{abandoned}} now have an optional named parameter userspace, whose value if provided is the user name of a user into whose userspace the article should be moved instead of deleting it. There's still no automated help for the actual move, but it's a start.
  • {{unprep}} and {{unsourced prepared}} are now available (and with luck they even work right) for tagging prepared articles that are largely or entirely unsourced. There's a fourth column on WN:DR for those articles, with are to be deleted (or moved to userspace) ten days after tagging. Per our policy discussion a while back.

--Pi zero (talk) 06:24, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

Merging Portal:Prepared stories into Wikinews:Story preparation

Both these pages seem to serve the same purpose; creating an outline for a story that is likely happen in the future. While it seems Portal:Prepared stories was intended to concentrate on obituaries, the more detailed obituaries section of WN:Story Preperation pretty much makes the former obsolete now. It is also worth noting that the Prepared stories portal hasn't been edited in over three years, whilst WN:SP has seen edits this year.

Therefore, I propose that Portal:Prepared stories should be merged into Wikinews:Story preparation, with the few articles in the former namespace being moved to the latter namespace.--SUFC Boy 12:39, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

  • There's a need for some action on this, but it is not a high priority for any regular contributors.
If you want to 'mock up' a page to replace both in your userspace, and have a think about how we can avoid the main pitfalls (listed hereafter) go ahead.
The main pitfalls are:
  1. Prepared articles which violate Wikipedia copyright.
  2. Prepared articles which are inadequately sourced.
  3. Prepared obits (or articles) which are missed when someone creates a new article.
I'd love to see the latter addressed; especially for obits. It's a job Wikipedians would be well-suited to, were they to-say-adopt a famous person who they admire. If you follow what goes on in the life and career of John Doe, and adhere to NPoV, you could easily maintain a substantial amount of text to flesh out an obit upon their death. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:45, 28 September 2012 (UTC)