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Copying from Wikipedia

Is it allowed?

     
5:26 am on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi everyone,
Is Wikipedia free to copy from?
I read their copyright rules and i understood that i can copy as long as i don't change anything and provide a link back to Wikipedia.Did i understand right?

Thanks

5:37 am on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Wikipedia content can be copied, modified, and redistributed so long as the new version grants the same freedoms to others and acknowledges the authors of the Wikipedia article used (a direct link back to the article satisfies our author credit requirement)
6:40 am on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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...copied, modified, and redistributed...

hmmmm. I wasn't aware of this this "modified" part. Very interesting...
7:02 am on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Welcome to the world of "open source" : ) . Try some .gov sites as well since they are public domain. Our government can't balance the budget but they put out lots of useful information to quote for websites!
7:26 am on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Don't forget the effects of Duplicate Content.
Many a page has "gone supplemental" i.e. to the boondocks for duplication. -Larry
8:37 am on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Don't forget the effects of Duplicate Content.

Exactly why I found the "modified" provision interesting. I have avoided using Wikipedia content for that reason. If I can rewrite and paraphrase without infringing this is a wonderful shortcut to new content.

Actually many of the Wikipedia articles need a rewrite.

9:22 am on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Don't forget the effects of Duplicate Content.
Many a page has "gone supplemental" i.e. to the boondocks for duplication. -Larry

larryhatch,can you explain ,please,what this means.

9:40 am on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Rani:

Several sites copied text off of my pages. Fortunately I didn't suffer from this.
When I search for snippets of my text, I might find 20 or 30 pages in Google.
Google might show 10 of those immediately, with the bottom ones marked "Supplemental Result"
(read: Copycats, scrapers etc.)

At bottom, Google says "these are the first 10 pages found ..
To see the rest click here .."

I click and the other 20 pages are listed in SERPs, virtually all of them "Supplemental Results".

It amounts to a penalty, one usually well deserved.
- Larry

9:42 am on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If I can rewrite and paraphrase without infringing this is a wonderful shortcut to new content.

Don't forget the GPL requires that you make your modifications available under the same terms as the original, so anyone would be free to use your content too.

9:48 am on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Regarding the supplemental issue: the Googlebot probably just yawns every time it encounters a Wikipedia copy and consigns the pages to supplemental oblivion, along with all the DMOZ clones. In other words, having Wikipedia copies on your site will probably not bring any particular SEO advantage, and could even be a slight disadvantage.
9:54 am on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Larry,

Google might show 10 of those immediately

Does your original page from your url show up in that search?

I imagine it should rank at #1 if Google is so smart.

10:26 am on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Rani: It came in first or second for that odd phrase, this is no surprise.
The page is PR=6 and has been up for years now. -Larry
10:49 am on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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And the other 9 websites on that list?
They copied a snippet of your page and got away with it.
11:06 am on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The other 9 sites, most of them anyway, provided nice
links to my site. They just copied enough to recommend my site.
That doesn't bother me at all. -Larry
4:38 pm on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If I can rewrite and paraphrase without infringing this is a wonderful shortcut to new content.

Don't forget the GPL requires that you make your modifications available under the same terms as the original, so anyone would be free to use your content too.

Yes, I think it would require the entire GPL boilerplate notice. Actually an infringer of my modified content who didn't then also include the notice and my link would have a beef with not just me but Wikipedia AND GPL, so I'd then be better off than if my original content had just been copied. If it were an egregious enough infringement it might get /., O'Reilly or digg involved...

I have no problem with giving Wikipedia and GPL free ads and links in exchange for content, this seems like a good deal and entirely within the spirit of the GPL.

4:49 pm on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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According to Wikipedia the preferred citation with links back is

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "foo"
5:00 pm on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Is copying from Wikipedia a good idea, especially in light of jokesters and Congressional staffers messing around with entries?

Unless you're knowledgeable about the content, you would have to research other sources to make sure what you find in Wikipedia is correct.

If you're knowledgeable about the content, why not write your own original article?

If you have to research the content, why not write your article based on facts found in more reliable sources?

With Wikipedia, I'd worry that the information I pass on to my readers might be incorrect or "tainted." If you're trying to build a reputable site, why take that chance?

5:40 pm on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I think this is a great way to get some quick info for filler pages.

Building an entire site around it might not be the best idea. While much of the content is quite good, people might recognise it as Wikipedia content and instantly lower their opinion of you and your website.

I imagine it would be a good idea to modify a few wiki articles to better suit your website and add them to your site as "extras" or content that can be shared, with a link back to you ofcourse. :)

5:53 pm on Feb 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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ccDan, your point is well taken. But there is a vast gulf between scholarly work and pop websites. Some subject matter is less serious and does not need the depth that more serious things require. Some things are far less prone to tampering and fraud than others. My particular interest in WP material is for teen pop music and other gossipy subjects where having WP listed as a source is an advantage in that this actually protects me (somewhat) against full liability for inaccuracies. Indeed if I were to do additional research I may include my work in the actual WP.

zivkovicp also makes a good point. Wikipedia clone sites will become what ODP clones are, Supplemental.

The bottom line: Add value and you won't be an infringer/spammer.

10:32 pm on Mar 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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no, not all .gov information is in public domain. be careful.

Average