User talk:Cryptic C62

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Your German entries[edit]

A few things to note: 1) Please wikify your definitions. 2) Please include grammatical information about each German verb you create (i.e. headline template and conjugation template). If you are unsure how to do this, take a look at WT:ADE to get a start on how to create a German word entry, especially a verb. (Templates are listed at the bottom of the page.) JamesjiaoTC 21:46, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

I'll bear the wikifying in mind, but I'm not going to attempt to navigate the tangled web of doom and dismay that is German grammar and its templates. My goal is not to make every page perfect, nor is it to become a proficient Wiktionarian(?). My goal is to blitz through this book and add its definitions as efficiently as possible, then go back to Wikipedia. Cheers! --Cryptic C62 (talk) 13:33, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Genders please, g=m or f or n (for masculine, feminine and neuter). Mglovesfun (talk) 16:24, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't know the genders; the book doesn't mention them. --Cryptic C62 (talk) 16:25, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
You can normally figure out the gender of German compound nouns by looking at the last part. Thus Arbeitskamerad would have the same gender as Kamerad. SemperBlotto (talk) 16:30, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Nazi German.[edit]

Hi,

Two things:

  • I've edited your user-page, I hope you don't mind, to give the correct format for that reference. ({{reference-book}}, despite its name, is designed to be used as metadata for a quotation, not for a reference. That's why the year comes first, and in bold, and that's why it ends with a colon rather than a period.)
  • I hate to ask this, but — could you give me some reassurance that you're not copying translations/definitions out of that dictionary?

Thanks,
RuakhTALK
03:35, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Regarding the reference template: thanks! As a Wikipedian, it did seem a bit confusing, but I figured it would be more efficient to just run and gun than to question the colons (you don't see that phrase being used everyday...).
Regarding the definitions: Where it is possible to paraphrase, I have made an effort to do so. Take, for example, the word Abschußring.
  • Michael 2002 reads "Hit ring. White markings on the barrel of an antiaircraft gun indicating each enemy plane shot down."
  • My definition reads "literally, "hit ring". Refers to markings made on the sides of antiaircraft guns indicating how many enemy planes had been shot down."
Other terms only give a single word for the definition, in which case I just copy the word to preserve meaning rather than make something up. For example, Michael 2002 defines abladen as "To unload." Not a whole lot one can do there!
I hope this satisfies your concerns. --Cryptic C62 (talk) 13:33, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
It doesn't, really, no. It sounds like you're creating a derivative work. —RuakhTALK 13:39, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Are you suggesting that the paraphrasing is too close? Or that the words shouldn't be in Wiktionary at all? --Cryptic C62 (talk) 13:53, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps the words should be in Wiktionary, but not by taking them in large numbers from a copyrighted dictionary without permission — no matter how much paraphrasing you do along the way. —RuakhTALK 14:12, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Eventually, theoretically, there will be a Wiktionary which includes definitions for every single word in every language, and that Wiktionary will include all of the words in this book, as well as every other historical dictionary. This is not debatable; it is the vision statement of the WMF. Left to their own devices, Wiktionarians would eventually define every word in this book (well, almost all of them. see below), some without giving any references at all. I'm simply speeding up the process and making sure the authors get the credit they deserve. You call it a derivative work, I call it being efficient.
Frankly, I'm a bit mystified by the notion that I would need permission to paraphrase from a reference work. Isn't that what Wikipedians have been doing for 10 years? What I'm doing here is no different than what Rambot did, nor is it any different from the work that I did with Who's Who in the Theater?. Both endeavors yielded results which persist to this day. --Cryptic C62 (talk) 14:33, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Paraphrasing from a reference work is fine — and creating a reference work is fine — the problem is when you do the latter by doing the former. Wikipedia includes content from out-of-copyright encyclopedias, and it includes quotations and paraphrases from other works, but it does not include articles that are mere paraphrases of articles from copyrighted encyclopedias. —RuakhTALK 15:26, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Furthermore, it is not as though I am blindly copying every single entry in this book. There are several hundred which have no place on Wiktionary, such as "Ahnenerbe-Forschungs- und Lehrgemeinschaft", "Neuaufbaugesetz vom 30.1.1934", and "Reichsbund für Leibesübungen". I only use the words which Wiktionary should include. --Cryptic C62 (talk) 14:58, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
That's good; but I'm not sure that it's enough. —RuakhTALK 15:26, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
I will gladly cease and desist when there is certainty in the matter. You could start a centralized discussion to determine community consensus, which I would abide by. Or you could find some relevant precedent, if any exist. Or you could ask an administrator to block me. The opinion of one contributor (or a small number thereof) is not enough to dissuade me from doing valuable work. It's nothing personal—even if Chuck Norris, Jesus Christ, and John Petrucci all appeared on this talk page and shared your concern, I would still continue. Cheers, mate. --Cryptic C62 (talk) 15:39, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

I have been asked to weigh in as an intellectual property attorney. The copyright on definitions is generally thin, but it exists, and will be more strongly applied to a reference work that has specialized definitions not found in other works. Are there no public domain works that define these terms, or some appreciable subset of them? If you can either find public domain sources, or at least a selection of other such dictionaries to use as a source of words to be defined, you would greatly reduce the chance of running afoul of copyright law. By the way, to be clear, the work from which you are 'paraphrasing' is relatively recent. Its authors are probably still making money from it, and would be more inclined to sue infringers than the authors of, say, a forty-year-old book would be. Also bear in mind that if it comes to the attention of the authors of a work that their copyright is being infringed, they can force Wiktionary to remove all of the definitions you have added, and can sue you personally. Wikimedia would be compelled by a court order to provide any identifying information underlying your edits, such as IP addresses, and your internet service provider will provide your personal information (name, address, etc.) which will be made public in court documents. The statutory penalties for copyright infringemnt, as many music downloaders have discovered in recent years, can run into the tens of thousands of dollars (and that is not even considering actual damages, such as loss of sales, which can be pursued in the alternative). In short, it's not worth the risk. If you really want to have these words included, I suggest you look for other sources to define them. Cheers! bd2412 T 16:27, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for taking the time to explain this. I will refrain from adding more definitions for the time being. I may also contact the authors and see what their thoughts on the matter would be.
In the meantime, let me pose a hypothetical situation: Suppose a person happens to know that the definition of "abladen" is "to unload". Suppose such a person, who has no knowledge of Michael 2002, adds that definition to Wiktionary without citing a source. Suppose that the authors of the book happened to see this definition page and thought to themselves "Well, hey! These assholes used the same definition that we used in our book! Let's sue the fuckers!". Would their claim of copyright infringement be valid even though "to unload" is the only possible definition of "abladen" that could concisely and accurately convey its meaning? Forget about the other words, forget about my actions for just a moment; I'm just wondering about this one (rather plausible) situation. --Cryptic C62 (talk) 16:40, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Presuming that there are multiple sources in which such a definition could have been found, it would be impossible to prove copyright infringement in that case. Note, however, that if an author laid out a list of, say, fifty such translations selected by some subjective criteria, you would be liable if you copied the exact list, even if you paraphrased the definitions. bd2412 T 17:06, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Fair enough. Suppose that those fifty translations were copied/paraphrased by fifty different editors from around the world over the course of several years? If the authors did somehow notice that all fifty translations had been used, and if those fifty translations did not appear in any other sources (which might very well be the case, I haven't checked), could they sue Wiktionary/WMF for copyright infringement? How about the individual editors? --Cryptic C62 (talk) 17:14, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
To add to what bd2412 says — there's no law, sensu stricto, against coincidentally creating a work that is identical to someone else's copyrighted work; that is, there's no obligation on a writer to check for the existence of previously-existing work. So the question is whether the similarity is sufficiently "striking" or "substantial" — see w:Substantial similarity#Striking similarity — that it seems to be evidence of copying rather than coincidence. If the situation with abladen is as you describe, then it would not, taken alone, be such evidence. —RuakhTALK 17:11, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
In response to what Ruakh has said: Let me make sure I've got this straight. If a contributor doesn't check any sources and happens to come up with a definition that matches a source, that's fine, but if a contributor does check a source and then references it properly, that isn't fine? --Cryptic C62 (talk) 17:17, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Well, what do you mean by "check a source"? If a German-speaking contributor decides to add a certain word, writes an entry for it, consults a source to confirm that the information is the same so that it can be listed as a reference, and then so lists it — which is what "check a source" sounds like to me — then that's absolutely fine. But if a non–German-speaking contributor is going through a copyrighted German-English dictionary and adding words to Wiktionary about which (s)he knows nothing other than what the dictionary says — which is what you seem to mean by "check a source" — then yeah, I think that's a problem. —RuakhTALK 17:31, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
By the way, I think that — while not directly related to the issue of copyright violation — it's worth pointing out here that whereas Wikipedia is a tertiary source, taking information from secondary sources, Wiktionary is a secondary source, based directly on our analysis of primary sources. For example, when a definition gets challenged at Wiktionary:Requests for verification, we go directly to source documents to see how the term is actually used, rather than putting faith in books and news articles that talk about the term and try to tell us what it means. So we're not dependent on references in the same way that Wikipedia is; references are great, but even better are quotations where a term is actually used. —RuakhTALK 17:35, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Your interpretation of "check a source" is correct. Let me make sure that I'm reading this correctly: Consider a Wiktionary entry which gives the definition of a German word and gives Michael 2002 as the reference. What you seem to be saying is that if such a page had been created by a non-German-speaking contributor with no prior knowledge of the word, it could be construed as copyright infringement; if it had been created by a German-speaking contributor with prior knowledge of the word, it wouldn't be copyright infringement... even though the resulting entries would be identical. Is this really what you're telling me? --Cryptic C62 (talk) 17:39, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
I wouldn't state it quite so categorically — if I went through a Hebrew-English dictionary and copied hither all the entries for words I knew, that would be a blatant copyright violation, even though I already knew the words — but that's roughly true, yes. Suppose that I determined with 100% absolute certainty that an entry of yours was a copyright violation, and deleted it accordingly, and then someone else came through and created a byte-for-byte identical entry. In theory, I would not necessarily have enough information to know with 100% absolute certainty whether the new entry was also a copyright violation. (In practice, of course, I would feel confident enough in 99% of cases to delete the new entry as well; but that's a practical matter, and you seem to be asking about the theoretical question?) —RuakhTALK 17:52, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Let me put it this way. Whether a copyright infringement has occurred, and whether it looks like a copyright infringement has occurred, are two different inquiries. If we were to unintentionally recreate a copyrighted work through multiple contributors randomly adding copied words to the dictionary until a substantial portion of the original work had been copied, if it looked to the copyright owner as if we had merely copied directly, they would be within their rights to sue, because a reasonable person would think that the copying had been intentional. We (and the people who had added the definitions in particular) would then have to defend that suit by proving that the copying was incidental. bd2412 T 17:58, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

This is the manner in which I construct articles on Wikimedia projects: I find sources on a subject, summarize what they say with paraphrasing whenever possible, and give references so that readers may verify the claims presented. I don't add any information to the article that isn't covered by a source. This practice is not only acceptable on Wikipedia, it is encouraged, rewarded, and even required in some contexts. However, according to the both of you, employing the exact same practice on Wiktionary is an act of copyright infringement. How can a discrepancy of this magnitude possibly exist? And, perhaps more importantly, how could Wikipedians-turned-Wiktionarians (such as myself) possibly come to know of this danger ahead of time? To put it metaphorically, how would the blind fire jugglers ever realize that they had been moved from a circus tent to the inside of a kerosene tank? --Cryptic C62 (talk) 18:26, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Suppose that you opened the Encyclopedia Britannica article about dogs (which I assume is a rather long one), and created a Wikipedia article by taking each sentence of the Britannica article and paraphrasing it. So you preserved the exact structure of the article; your sole criterion for deciding whether a fact was worth including was "does the Britannica article include it?"; your sole criterion for deciding whether facts A and B should appear in the same section or in separate ones was "does Britannica group them?"; your sole criterion for placing fact A before fact B was "what order does Britannica put them in?"; the breeds that you mention are the same breeds that Britannica mentioned; and so on. (Britannica, of course, does not own the facts that its presents, but it does own its selection of those facts, as well as various aspects of its expression of those facts, more than just mere wording.) In that case, your Wikipedia article would be a derivative work, and a definite copyright violation. To best avoid such infringement, you would use a variety of sources, especially non-encyclopedias; you would decide on your own what facts merit inclusion, and you would present them in your own way; and so on. At Wiktionary some of the details work out a bit differently, because a copyright violation here is more likely to consist of many short entries than of one long article (though the latter is not unheard-of), but the general concepts are the same. —RuakhTALK 18:39, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
So, in order to make my two-word definitions not copyright infringement, I need to either find multiple sources which will inevitably give the exact same two-word definitions, or travel back in time to the point just before I opened the book, learn German, write the two-word definitions on my own, then open the book to add the references to confirm the knowledge I already had. I believe it would be both easier and more satisfying to stop altogether and just go back to Wikipedia.
I wonder what Thomas Jefferson would say if he knew that copyright law—which he had originally intended to incentivize hard work and the spreading of ideas—had been transformed into a convoluted web of pure bullshit which now serves the exact opposite purposes.
Thank you, Ruakh and BD2412, for being so patient with all of this. Feel free to delete all of the entries I've added. --Cryptic C62 (talk) 19:59, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
To be clear, any individual two word definition will not be a copyright violation. Making dozens of them would be, if they were in fact copied from the same source. If these are common words and common definitions, why would any one source need to be relied on? bd2412 T 20:15, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Because it's the one sitting on my lap. --Cryptic C62 (talk) 20:33, 30 May 2012 (UTC)