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German Wikipedia To Be Published As a Book 184

Posted by kdawson
from the unclear-on-the-concept dept.
David Gerard writes "Bertelsmann is to publish a single-volume book of the German Wikipedia in cooperation with Wikimedia Deutschland. It will cost 20 Euros, and 1 Euro from each copy will go to Wikimedia. They're editing down the most popular 50,000 articles for the 1,000-page book, to be released in September. Because of the open-source origin of the material, the publisher cannot claim copyright in the book." The German-language Wikipedia is second in size only to the English version, which has 2.3 million articles.
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German Wikipedia To Be Published As a Book

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  • by gbulmash (688770) * <semi_famous AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @10:44PM (#23167130) Homepage Journal
    When I was working at IMDb.com [imdb.com] (the Internet Movie Database), I asked Col Needham (the founder and managing director) why they never released it as a book. His answer was that the database was constantly changing. With the lead time you had to give for the actual printing, by the time any book hit the shelves, it would be months out of date.

    I think Wikipedia falls victim to the same problem. It might be a very good book and they might select the most stable entries, but like IMDb, Wikipedia is a living, breathing thing that grows and changes on a regular basis. In fact, that's part of its appeal. A book is basically just freezing a snapshot of selected articles in time, but how much does something where part of its value is in its dynamic nature lose from being frozen like that?

    - Greg
    • by harmonica (29841) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @10:51PM (#23167182)
      Obviously, this book isn't for those with net access everywhere from their work place to their living room couch. There are still a lot of people without any net access, for that matter. This book with its emphasis on popular topics which may not be covered in your other tree-based encyclopedias could be useful for all those without access to that living thing. After two or three years, at the price of 20 Euros, people can get the new edition of the book to catch up.
    • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @10:52PM (#23167188) Journal

      Wikipedia is a living, breathing thing that grows and changes on a regular basis.
      Uh, it also requires an internet connection. I'm lucky enough to live in an area where we have electricity always and internet 99% of the time.

      Apparently they think that people in Germany would like to have a hard copy. I'm certain my grandparents (who read tons but do not have a computer) would be interested in a $40-50 edition of this book.

      Or even, you know, the local library.

      There's a reason we put things into hard copy. It's so that we always have them. Might be a waste of trees, also might be a great idea if the world has an unfortunate energy crisis looming ...
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @12:08AM (#23167668)

        Apparently they think that people in Germany would like to have a hard copy. I'm certain my grandparents (who read tons but do not have a computer) would be interested in a $40-50 edition of this book.

        Or even, you know, the local library.
        Dude, you just mentioned two things that are obsolete: your grandparents and the local library.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by turing_m (1030530)
        "Might be a waste of trees, also might be a great idea if the world has an unfortunate energy crisis looming ..."

        Is it that expensive (in energy terms) to manufacture most of the means of storage such as HDD and flash? Even so, the energy involved with producing a library of congress versus storing one on HDD would be in favor of the HDD.

        The methods of reading are getting smaller (read: use less energy in the manufacturing) and less power intensive to run. At the moment, the only problem with the miserly po
      • There's a reason we put things into hard copy. It's so that we always have them. Might be a waste of trees, also might be a great idea if the world has an unfortunate energy crisis looming ...

        In such a scenario, I'm betting that lack of access to Wikipedia won't be among my chief concerns.

    • by Chris Burke (6130) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @10:58PM (#23167234) Homepage
      I see your point, but on the other hand, new movies are always being created and thus the filmographies of all the people involved are constantly changing. Unless you restricted the print-form to solely those entries of actors etc. who had passed on and made it essentially a film history book, you're necessarily putting a short window on its relevance.

      Whereas with Wikipedia, while further edits are certainly possible, there's nothing actually new happening wrt say the Expressionist Movement, or Dwight D. Eisenhower, or Juniper Bushes. If the article as it stands is good and essentially complete, then it isn't inherently a bad idea to capture it and put it in a fixed format. There may be further edits that improve the article, but that's not so different than a future edition of a print encyclopedia, and in fact if the print version takes off then there would almost certainly be such.

      So while it is true that making a print version of Wikipedia loses some of the inherent appeal of the WP, it also makes a lot more sense than a print version of IMDB, and could actually be a useful and cheaper alternative to other print encyclopedias which never had that dynamism to begin with.
    • by siriuskase (679431) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @10:58PM (#23167236) Homepage Journal
      No reason to worry. Wikipedia will continue to live and breath, just as your cat, child, or spouse continue to live and breath when you take a snapshot of them. A snapshot might not be completely up to date, but it can be much more convenient than having your cat, child, or spouse on your desk or in your pocket everyday.
    • I may disagree (Score:5, Interesting)

      by adam (1231) * on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @11:00PM (#23167252)
      Apprehensions about Jimmy Wales' character aside, my main gripe with Wikipedia is that I am suspicious of everything I read there. Mostly this stems from the fact that in any topic on which I am an expert, I can generally stumble across several very glaring errors. Of course, reading topics on which I am not an expert, I find myself to be generally entertained and educated-- provided that I don't think about the likelihood of errors in those articles. I will grant that the errors usually don't take away from the overall education that a novice would receive.

      With a staff editing the articles for content, fixing some of the more glaring errors, and selecting the more stable articles, I think a Wikipedia tome will nicely bridge the gap between meatspace and cyberspace. Keep in mind, not everyone has Internet connection at all times, nor is Wikipedia guaranteed to be functioning 100% of the time.. DNS errors, routing problems, etc.. they all occur. The last couple of years, have begun an interesting transition of merging between various forms of entertainment and education. It's no longer divided into books (paper), tv/radio (static electronic entertainment), and Internet (chatting, web forums, other forms of dynamic entertainment). You have tv shows producing extra content for web playing, you have individual content publishers using youtube and other outlets to publish stuff that would never otherwise have an audience, you have radio shows (NPR, etc) offering podcast downloads, you have paper books also being published electronically (Kindle, Googlebooks, etc), and now you have an electronic encyclopedia almost ironically making the jump to paper edition.

      Call me an old fashioned geek, but I like paper, and given the chance, I'd buy a Wikipedia print edition.
      • Re:I may disagree (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Chris Burke (6130) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @11:06PM (#23167298) Homepage
        Apprehensions about Jimmy Wales' character aside, my main gripe with Wikipedia is that I am suspicious of everything I read there.

        That's a good thing. The fact that WP's nature makes you inherently suspicious means that you have the correct mentality when reading it, as opposed to say Britannica which naturally tends to have an air of authority about it when in reality you should be equally suspicious of what you read there.

        Mostly this stems from the fact that in any topic on which I am an expert, I can generally stumble across several very glaring errors.

        How many of them would seriously damage the understanding of a layman browsing the subject? As in, they're not trying to actually put what they read into practice, but are trying to gain a general and basic knowledge set?

        I remember reading through aforementioned Britannica when I had a copy in my parents' home years ago, and finding quite a few errors in the computer-related articles. But like a lot of the errors I find on WP, they're mostly factual errors of some minutia which while clearly false wouldn't actually matter much unless you were for some reason depending on them to re-create what the article is talking about.

        Which you should never do, whether it's WP or EB.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Zibblsnrt (125875)
          How many of them would seriously damage the understanding of a layman browsing the subject? As in, they're not trying to actually put what they read into practice, but are trying to gain a general and basic knowledge set?

          Spending some time trawling the Hellenistic parts of Wikipedia a few years ago, this [wikipedia.org] was the current incarnation of the article on Philip II Philomaerus. Not only would I say that qualifies as pretty fucking seriously damaging a layman's understanding of the subject - compare it to the curr
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Lapsarian (1073104)
        I sincerely hope that when you read topics upon which you are an expert and find they contain flaws you edit them accordingly.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by owlnation (858981)

          I sincerely hope that when you read topics upon which you are an expert and find they contain flaws you edit them accordingly.

          Oh, nice Utopian theory. In practice it's not so simple. What if you are an expert on something a cabal is protecting? Or something an admin wrote? Until Wikipedia removes the admins and distances itself from Jimmy Wales, there's always going to be problems with the Truth.

          For example: Wikipedia just got a sizable grant from a Foundation. On the board of that foundation sits peop

          • In practice, whenever anyone contributes cash to the Foundation, the community of contrary geeks goes over all articles on them with a querulous-toothed comb. The articles generally go very negative for a while, in fact, then back to neutrality. e.g. Virgin Unite after their sponsorship during the 2006 fundraiser.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by David Gerard (12369)

        Check out the SOS Children [soschildre...ges.org.uk] DVD distro. They checked it over for use in their own schools.

        If you keep in mind how Wikipedia is written and that the website is a live working draft - like running CVS HEAD - you'll be fine. But of course many readers want to be able not to think when reading. (I bet they have fun on teh intarweb.)

    • The point here is really that it'll be checked by professional editors ... just like people keep asking for Wikipedia to do, but which of course is difficult to scale with wiki-style and -scale production.

      Another example, for English Wikipedia, is the SOS Children Wikipedia Selection For Schools [soschildre...ges.org.uk], where they took Wikipedia content to use in their own schools in third-world countries, and make sure their distro of it was good quality.

  • 5% too low... (Score:5, Informative)

    by adam (1231) * on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @10:45PM (#23167144)
    I didn't see a reference [in linked article] to percentage of sale paid to Wikimedia, but found one here [yahoo.com]. My kneejerk reaction is that if only 5% of the sale price ends up in the pockets of Wikimedia: that sounds a little thin to me. The article does note that a staff of ten was required to edit the articles for content and length, but it still sounds like the publisher is profiting perhaps a bit more than normal off of the work of others. And knowing that many people will likely purchase the reference to support Wikipedia, it would be nice to see around 10-15% gross sale returned to the author (or, in this case, to Wikipedia).

    My ballpark of "10-15% of gross" comes from the fact that although I am not in the literary world, I do work in entertainment (aka: cinema), and it's common for DVD producers to receive between $1.50 and $4 on each sold copy. On two of my films I receive around $3.50 after each wholesale transaction (when a chain retailer buys copies at $12/each wholesale to sell for $19.99 on their shelves). The second film in question was offered distribution to WalMart, and because of the bulk they buy in, the deal with them was closer to $1.50. (In the end, for artistic reasons that had to do with creating a specially "WalMart-friendly" edited version, we passed on the WalMart deal). I wonder if someone in book publishing can speak to whether the numbers I'm used to from video publishing are generally commensurate? I don't know what the cost-of-goods-sold for books is, so perhaps it's substantially high enough that it pushes authors' margins to a fraction of what they are in video publishing, but my kneejerk reaction is that 5% is too low.
    • by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @11:06PM (#23167300) Homepage Journal
      My kneejerk reaction is that if only 5% of the sale price ends up in the pockets of Wikimedia: that sounds a little thin to me

      My kneejerk reaction is that if nothing is required to be contributed back to Wikimedia, then 5% is awesome!

      Remember wikipedia's content is licensed under the GNU FDL [wikipedia.org], which states:

      The purpose of this License is to make a manual, textbook, or other functional and useful document "free" in the sense of freedom: to assure everyone the effective freedom to copy and redistribute it, with or without modifying it, either commercially or noncommercially.
      • The money is (I think) for the use of the trademark in marketing it. (The Wikipedia name and puzzle globe are highly respected and valuable trademarks.)
      • It'll be even lower than 5% once they publish this and I reprint a knockoff version for sale at half the price!
    • by rm999 (775449)
      That's not fair - they are cramming 50,000 articles into 1000 pages. What this means is that most of the "articles" in the book are heavily cut down- i.e. *edited* by someone. Wikipedia in a book form hasn't been done before for that obvious reason - there is simply too much information in too much space. Putting it into a concise form truly is a skill worth paying for.

      Besides, isn't the whole point of open and free (something I thought Slashdot stood for) that anyone can freely distribute the collective wo
      • The book articles will be the intro of each article. Per WP:LEAD [wikipedia.org] (and a similar style guideline on German Wikipedia), the intro is supposed to be a standalone short article on its own. The idea is that, in the ideal case, you can skim whatever amount of an article you have time to - a sentence, a para, the intro, the whole thing - and be as reasonably informed by that as you need to be.
    • Anyone can copy the whole thing, minus of course the Wikipedia trademarks, and release a copy too. Indian printers producing copies on tissue-thin paper? Go for it, just make it GFDL. Compare Red Hat Enterprise Linux ($$$) versus CentOS ($0).
    • I didn't see a reference [in linked article] to percentage of sale paid to Wikimedia
      Well I know summaries are usually wrong (and nobody reads them anyway) but given "It will cost 20 Euros, and 1 Euro from each copy will go to Wikimedia" I could probably work it out...
  • Citing (Score:5, Funny)

    by jeffy210 (214759) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @10:51PM (#23167176)
    So does this mean you can cite wikipedia as a valid source since it's in print! (yes, i'm joking)
    • Re:Citing (Score:5, Informative)

      by Chairboy (88841) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @11:18PM (#23167378) Homepage
      Who cites an encyclopedia? It's not a primary source. It doesn't matter if it's electronic or print, but this is one of those long standing annoyances with the "zomg you can't cite Wikipedia!" folks. Of COURSE you can't cite it, it's an ENCYCLOPEDIA! Citing encyclopedias becomes unacceptable once you pass the 5th grade.

      I know you were joking, but someone modded you INSIGHTFUL for crap's sake. +3 Funny, sure! But modding it up as insightful suggests pretty strongly that my mean ol' response here is appropriate.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by iNaya (1049686)
        You realise that modding as funny doesn't give the poster any karma. Modding as insightful does... that's the most likely reason someone modded it as such.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by wvmarle (1070040)

          OK getting off-topic here.

          A moderator should not care about the karma of the author. If a post is funny, mod it funny. That's what it is. And whether the poster gets karma or not that's not up to the moderator to decide.

      • by imsabbel (611519)
        Not perfectly true anymore.

        Wikipedia is different than standart excylocpaedieas: It goes way mroe in depth.

        Physics articles, for example (as one i can gauge), are often way deeper than even college-level textbooks, touching same lighter review papers.

        Its no longer true that just because its in an ecyclopaedia, its "general knowledge" and thus free from reference requirements.
        • Particularly in Wikipedia - because we don't have named authors, references are of fantastic importance because the reader has to be able to check out the article's credentials just from the text itself.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If they go by popularity in terms of the number of visits, I'm guessing that the entries like 'breast' and 'lesbianism in erotica' are very likely to make the final cut. But will it include all the pictures?
    • If they go by popularity in terms of the number of visits, I'm guessing that the entries like 'breast' and 'lesbianism in erotica' are very likely to make the final cut. But will it include all the pictures?

      If you're going to talk about breasts, at least include clickies: Breast [wikipedia.org] & lesbianism in erotica [wikipedia.org].

      Both of those articles are NSFW & fascinating examples of the more subtle form of wiki trolling that seems to be becoming more prevalent.
      • by Tony Hoyle (11698)
        I can't see either of those being NSFW. Maybe the second one if you were a bit prudish I suppose.
  • by Mr2001 (90979) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @11:03PM (#23167280) Homepage Journal
    How on earth is that going to work, cramming 50,000 articles into 1000 pages? They could edit each article down to a single paragraph and you'd still need a magnifying glass to read it.
  • It's going to be self referential! By the time the 50k articles get picked out, there will be an article on the book and hopefully the book will contain the article on itself! Sweet!
  • by BlueStile (1257910) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @11:09PM (#23167316)
    Rather than publish the X "most popular articles," I think a more fun compilation would be a collection of the most unique, un-Encyclopaedia Brittanica articles on Wikipedia. Things that would never have made it into a real encyclopedia before the web, but that have flourished on Wikipedia. Or, along the same line, anything that showcases it as not just another encyclopedia would be cool. I'm sure there's some other cool ideas out there. (P.S. - My first ever Slashdot post!)
  • Oh, great. (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @11:19PM (#23167386)
    A book that contains 50,000 poorly cited articles about David Hasselhoff.
  • by Ihmhi (1206036) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @11:30PM (#23167450)

    ...for some troll edit to end up getting into the book. I hope they edit it really well and carefully read through it all.

    "Rammstein is a German band that was formed in kyle is a big fag, Germany. They..."

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Chris Burke (6130)
      "Rammstein is a German band that was formed in kyle is a big fag, Germany. They..."

      I have to admit, reading your post was the first time I've ever felt the temptation to vandalize a Wikipedia article...

      And for some reason, I can't help but feel that among those who would want to buy a Wikipedia book, this factor will only increase the appeal.
      • Id buy an enlish edition version, just to add paged they deamed not-notable,
        that and add a criticism section to mac_os_x i mean, windows has a whole page!
    • by arotenbe (1203922)
      As expected... [wikipedia.org]
    • by owlnation (858981)

      ...for some troll edit to end up getting into the book. I hope they edit it really well and carefully read through it all.

      Troll edits are no big deal, they are obvious and no-one is fooled by them. The problem is the "editing" done by admins and the cabals. The subtle changes to reality, the minor manipulations. There's more truthiness on Wikipedia than there is on Fox News.

      Wikipedia: the encyclopedia anyone can edit -- as long as Jimbo and his admins let you.

    • by atrocious cowpat (850512) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @05:26AM (#23169060)
      Actually Rammstein was formed in Kyleisabigfag, Germany. The members of the band would rather have the general public not know this, so whenever this bit of information pops up on wikipedia they mobilize their mindless metal-minions towards another edit-war (DER GRÖSSE EDIT KRIEG)... or so someone would like to have you believe.

      Technically it's just Hans-Peter Gümpel, a 14-year old student from the suburbs of Frankfurt an der Oder, Germany, who simply can't stand the idea that his favorite DEUTSCHE-TÖT-METALL-ROTZ-KREÜZÜBER-BAND stems from the idyllic town of Kyleisabigfag (Thuringia). Kyleisabigfag, incidentally, is worldwide renown for its floral clock and the biannual Käse-Fest, where the locals let milk go stale for weeks on end, and then have a party about it by rolling the resulting cheese to the nearest train station.

      P.S.: The rest of Germany is actually rather embarrassed by the antics of RAMMSTEIN, and would like to apologize in all due form. We know how, and why this happened, but what with censorship on one hand and pseudo-fascist prancers on the other... it was kinda impossible to prevent. Basically you had us coming and going, so we felt we'd just let them do their thing and be ridiculed by the world. Didn't quite work out that way, so sorry, again.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by David Gerard (12369)

      But friends of gays are not allowed to edit articles [wikimedia.org]!

      "While being proud of one's gay acquaintances isn't necessarily a negative characteristic, Wikipedia is not the place to publicly announce a friend's sexual orientation or proclivities. Note that there are almost no vandalism instances that say, "I AM VERY GAY" or "I, Anita Flugelhorn, appreciate a good roll in the hay every once in a while with another woman." It can be inferred that gays and lesbians are exceptionally good Wikipedia contributors, and

  • I can't vouch for the validity of these article stats [stats.grok.se], but they do appear to be legitimate.

    Based on these top viewed pages, any book published using "popular" articles as a reference would be banal, amusing, and surreal. All at once.

    You've got the all-time favourite internet searches "sex" and "naruto" along with recent political events, blockbuster movies and games, internet sensations and memes (2g1c, for example).
    • Those stats are in fact absolutely accurate down to the page view. They're worked out from the Squid logs, once we worked out a way to log literally every page request without crippling the system. (The old wikistats system sampled 1:1000.)
      • by enoz (1181117)
        Nice to hear. I found that site by accident when trying to find where wikistats system had disappeared to.
    • by PlatyPaul (690601)
      You left out the rather amusing fact that Tupac Shakur, despite being very much dead, elicits more interest than Eminem.

      Maybe it's the name [bash.org]....
  • you want money for (Score:2, Insightful)

    by textstring (924171)
    wikipedia w/o hyperlinks? no thanks. or does it come with a box of bookmarks?
  • Anyone can edit their volumes with the included white-out and ball point pen.
  • Most of the 95% of the cover price is going into research into a new printing technology.

    To keep the spirit of wiki alive in this tome, it'll be printed in pencil and be sold with an eraser and a pencil for readers to edit the articles as they wish.

  • ... why a hardcopy? One of the greatest appeals of Wikipedia is its searchability and linking. You can take a snapshot of Wikipedia and put it on a CD or DVD - save a tree or two and have a more useful version of the information. And still accessible to those without Internet connections or when Wikipedia is down.
  • I won't bore you with a detailed explanation [bghelsinki.org] of German defamation laws, but they are far more restrictive than the laws in the USA.

    While online websites sometimes avoid defamation by quickly changing defamatory comments before they cause much damage, a published book does not have the same ability to be wiped clean in an instant.

    What is to stop someone maliciously creating a defamatory article about themselves, waiting for Wikipedia to be published, then suing the company that produced the book?

    I think it w
    • by imsabbel (611519)
      Because _somebody_ will read every word they will print at least once?
      Thats the "editing" part.

      Not to mention that a "maliciously created defamatory arcticle about themselves" would be hard pressed to get into the popular article range...
  • Because of the open-source origin of the material, the publisher cannot claim copyright in the book."

    Actually, that is completely wrong. The publish can't claim copyright on the book because they don't own the original copyrights and are making no effort to acquire them, because there is no need to. The original copyright holders still have their copyrights, and if someone could track them all down and get them to agree to it, they could, in theory, sell the copyright to the publisher, and dual license wikipedia. Of course, the publisher does own the copyright on any edits and corrections they make to

    • What's written there is not the article text I submitted.
    • by jbeaupre (752124)
      Someone please correct me if I'm misunderstanding things, but: There is also some copyright law concerning compilations. The individual articles may be copyable, but the collection may fall under copyright. Sort of what LexisNexis does, or song publishers.
  • Editors will distil 50,000 of the most popular entries in the German version of Wikipedia into the 1,000-page volume to go on sale in September.
    How in the world do they intend to fit 50'000 articles into a 1'000 page book? 50 articles per page -- what is that -- like one line per article?
  • ...as long as they don't include any articles about Harry Potter [cnn.com] ;)
  • So, will this give the deletionists an excuse to go on a rampage, deleting articles they deem unworthy of being included in a dead-tree book ?

    "This article is unnotable because it doesn't happen to interest me. Wikipedia is a real encyclopedia, not a collection of random facts, and we can't endanger our chances of getting published by including anything that Encyclopedia Britannica wouldn't. Besides, I'm in a bad mood and a little power trip might cheer me up."

    Mod me troll if you will, but it's still tr

    • Urgh. If they do this I swear I will start tracking them down and killing them personally. Except that would probably only cause two to grow from each one I cut in half. Dammit.
  • A good thing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by schoschie (1006039)
    It's a good thing for Wikipedia. A lot of people are media-conservative in the sense that they don't take Web content seriously, particulary an encyclopaedia that is written by volunteers. Example: I wanted to prove a point to my dad a while ago using a Wikipedia article, and his reply was essentially "that article has no value and cannot be trusted as it was written by people hanging around on the Web". A printed book made by a real, large and well-known publisher might change this attitude, especially of
    • It spreads knowledge, and that is after all what WMF and WM.de are all about. That someone else does the commercial heavy lifting of printing and distribution is just fine by us too. "Free content" means "please, use our stuff!"
  • This is:

    "Bertelsmann is to publish a single-volume book of the German Wikipedia [monstersandcritics.com], in cooperation with Wikimedia Deutschland [wikimedia.de]. 20 euros a copy, 1 euro from each copy to go to Wikimedia. They're taking the intro section from 25-50,000 articles for the 1000-page book, to be released in September. Who says open source writing can't work?"

    • by trongey (21550)
      Stop lying. What you claim would require that a /. editor had actually read and edited a submission. We all know that can never happen.
  • Now I only know about the UK, but I'd be interested to hear a judgement on the compatibility between the GFDL (or similar) and the UK classification of "typographical arrangements".

    Basically, a typographical arrangement (TA) is a collection of multiple works into a single volume. A TA has copyright protection for 25 years from the end of the year of first publication.

    The idea is that I can research, for example, 18th century hymns and gather them into a single book. The hymns themselves aren't under copyr

    • That would be under GFDL too, as a derived work.
      • You're missing the point: clause 7 says that an "aggragate" work (a compilation of various documents) does not constitute a derivative work. The GFDL applies to each individual document separately.

        The question is what constitutes a single document. Would the law uphold that a Wikipedia article is an independent document, or would it classify the whole of Wikipedia as a single document? While the use of hyperlinks may suggest the latter, if we were to extend this argument to its logical conclusion, the whol

        • In theory, they possibly could. In practice, Wikipedia would probably express great sorrow over this move (and not let them use the trademark ever again) and the publisher would be buried in poop. I don't think there's much of a threat in any practical sense.

          I think the real problem is the GFDL is a horrible license for what Wikipedia does and should be taken out and shot as absolutely soon as possible. (How about audio versions of GFDL text? Does every five-minute snippet need a ten-minute reading of the

  • Do we get a book of pixelated cell phone camera pics of the back of the subject's head just like the real, post-Photo Nazi Wikipedia?
    • German Wikipedia is much more stringent about photos than English Wikipedia. No "fair use" pictures allowed at all.
  • ...it is written in pencil, and comes with an eraser and a pencil so that I can treat it like the real Wikipedia.
  • No they can't copyright the articles, but does the copyright still belong to the original author and can they revoke the right to have their article printed? Also they say 1 euro from each will go to Wikimedia, but where does the rest of the money go? IOW, is someone making a profit off of this and is that ok?

    Arne Klempert, a spokesman for Wikipedia Germany, said the definitions would only be short summaries of the Wikipedia articles and there was no breach of the rights of Wikipedia contributors.

    Commercial

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