I think this page needs serious revision. I am a native English speaker, but I believe it to be much harder to understand than the standard page. Consider, for instance, "The rule of all the Wikipedias, including this one, is that everything that is put onto the Wikipedias cannot be under copyright." Logically that would mean that *some* of the items put into a Wikipedia can be copyrighted. Also consider "This is a difference license to GFDL," which is not valid in any English dialect with which I am familiar.
What is also unclear is whether this page is intended for children or for non-native speakers. The tone is pedantic and somewhat patranizing, so I'm assuming it's mostly intended for children, but I think children understand more Latinate words than this page gives them credit for (not to mention adults with Romance language backgrounds.)
Here's a first pass attempt at revision of the page, with markers where I was completely befuddled. I am not an educator nor a professional writer, however, so someone else more qualified should take a look at this. Joshuamcgee
Wikipedia:Copyrights From Wikipedia, a free encyclopedia in simple English.
Only add pages that you are sure are allowed under the terms of the GFDL.
See the GFDL (GNU Free Documentation License) or the Simple English version of the GFDL.
Copyright law says that we cannot pretend that we made something that was really made by another person. Copyright is used for books, movies, songs, and Web pages, including pages on Wikipedias such as this Simple English Wikipedia.
Laws about copyright were created so that people who write books or songs or make Web pages or movies could get money for their work in a fair way. If I write a good book, I want people to buy my book and give me money for it. I don't want someone else to sell my book and take the money from selling it.
The rule of all the Wikipedias, including this one, is that nothing in the Wikipedia can be copyrighted by someone else. This means that we are only allowed to copy things from books or from other Web pages into the Wikipedia if the writer has said that anyone can copy these things and make changes to them.
There is an exception to the rules of copyright called Fair Use. This says that we can copy a very short amount of something -- maybe one or two sentences. But because people could get very angry at the Wikipedias if we copy the wrong things, it's better not to copy anything into the Wikipedias unless we are sure it's allowed.
Can you move things from other Wikipedias to here?
Yes, you can. But do you have to say that the things are from another source? There is no easy answer. Under GFDL, you really should, but when a person writes for Wikipedia, they know that their work can be changed. *** This is a difference license to GFDL. *** [I have no idea what this means]
This means that copying between pages or different projects is ok. *** The changes you make are more than just making the words correct, so copyright is not kept. *** [I don't know what this means, either.] This makes you a co-author.
[I think this whole paragraph needs re-writing.] You can show respect to other people by saying they did this work. When Simple English Wikipedia is *** put on the new software *** [again, what is this trying to say?], you can add links to other *** languages *** [is this right?]. This means you can link to the page that you got the information from. You could write on the page where it was from, or write it in your edit summary.
- Thanks a lot for your help with this Joshua. I've merged in your changes. I'll attempt to answer some of your questions:
- This is a difference license to GFDL.
- I think this is saying that the text we have at the bottom of the edit page (If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly and redistributed at will..) constitutes an agreement that goes beyond the terms of the GFDL itself.
- I think the issue is that it should say "different" not "difference", rather than any legal issue. -- Tango 11:32, 12 May 2004 (UTC)
- The changes you make are more than just making the words correct, so copyright is not kept.
- Because you make significant changes, you hold the copyright on those changes. I'm not entirely sure how that is relevant here though.
- put on the new software
- This was written before we were able to use interlanguage links. I've removed it now.
- Yes, I think that is right. It's saying that if you used another language Wikipedia as the source, you can use interlanguage links to link to that source.
I've also unprotected the page as it doesn't really say anything that needs to be protected. The fact that Wikipedia is under the GFDL is in all the footers anyway, so I don't think it's vital to protect this page just to say that. Angela 04:44, 29 Feb 2004 (UTC)
However, I think the original point was right that the page is badly written and needs revision (I agree I should have a go but I have a bit of a list at present). Also strange is that the link back from this talk page is called "view Meta page" which I do not think is simple English :o)--(talk to)--BozMo 13:09, 17 May 2004 (UTC)
Discussion of meta page v. project page moved to MediaWiki talk:Articlepage.
Can you move things from other Wikipedias to here?
Yes you can do this. But do you have to say you did this? There is no easy answer. Under GFDL, you really should, but when a person writes for Wikipedia, they know that their work can be changed because the edit screen tells them their writing will be edited at will.
I think this is clearly wrong. Under the GFDL you are required to point to the source even if it is some article in the same wikipedia. The fact that editors know that their work will be copied and edited is irrelevant: attribution is required. --22.214.171.124 22:24, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
- No. Pointing to the source is a convention, not part of the text of the GFDL. --BozMoBozMo at En 08:29, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
- See section four of the GFDL. Letter B states, "List on the Title Page, as authors, one or more persons or entities responsible for authorship of the modifications in the Modified Version, together with at least five of the principal authors of the Document (all of its principal authors, if it has fewer than five), unless they release you from this requirement." English Wikipedia, and likely all others, does not make users release reusers from the requirement of listing the primary authors. Not listing the authors of a revision with a link to the original history or any other statement that it came from somewhere else breaks the terms of the GFDL. 17Drew 19:21, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
Assuming that the basic content of this page is stable (no talk in over a year), a few places to make minor edits...
- Main section, paragraphs 2 and 3: Differing capitalization of "web pages"
- Main section, paragraph 3, sentence 2: "For example, when an author writes a good book and wants people to buy it pay money for it"
- Fair use section, paragraph 1, sentence 2: "This says that we can copy a very short amount of something for example, one or two sentences, or a small picture)" [opening parenthesis missing]
- Moving things section, paragraph 2, sentence 1: Run-on sentence.
I'm going to make some large changes to this page, as I believe there are a number of things that should be changed for the purpose of clarification and readability. Rather than discuss first, I'll let people bring up any issues here after I've made the changes. Hope no one minds if I'm bold. EhJJTALK 01:01, 9 April 2009 (UTC)