On Fri, Dec 18, 2015 at 8:24 AM, Peter Southwood <
peter.southw...@telkomsa.net> wrote:

> Wikipedia is not about infoboxes, they are (and are intended to be) a
> small to very small part of the article in most cases. Similarly,
> Wikipedias are not databases, so also without being a lawyer, I think your
> interpretation is wrong.

If you look at the Meta document I linked, you'll find that the definition
of a database provided there is quite broad:


From a legal perspective, a database is any organized collection of
materials — hard copy or electronic — that permits a user to search for and
access individual pieces of information contained within the materials. No
database software, as a programmer would understand it, is necessary. In
the US, for example, Black’s Law Dictionary defines a database as a
"compilation of information arranged in a systematic way and offering a
means of finding specific elements it contains, often today by electronic
means."[1] Databases may be protected by US copyright law as
"compilations." In the EU, databases are protected by the Database
Directive, which defines a database as "a collection of independent works,
data or other materials arranged in a systematic or methodical way and
individually accessible by electronic or other means."


You could argue that the sum of Wikipedia's harvestable infoboxes,
templates etc. constitutes a database, according to those definitions.

There is also the argument about the benefit of attribution, as opposed to
having data appear out of nowhere in a way that is completely opaque to end

On Fri, Dec 18, 2015 at 10:21 AM, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijs...@gmail.com
> wrote:

> Hoi,
> The CC-0 license was set up with the express reason that everybody can use
> our data without any impediment.  Our objective is to share in the sum of
> all knowledge and we are more effective in that way.

> We do not care about market dominance, we care about doing our utmost to
> have the best data available.

Are these not just well-worn platitudes? If you cared so much about
quality, you or someone else would have fixed the Grasulf II of Friuli
entry by now.

> On 18 December 2015 at 09:05, Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Gerard,
> >
> > Of course you can't license or copyright facts, but as the WMF legal
> team's
> > page on this topic[1] outlines, there are database and compilation rights
> > that exist independently of copyright. IANAL, but as I read that page, if
> > you simply go ahead and copy all the infobox, template etc. content from
> a
> > Wikipedia, this "would likely be a violation" even under US law (not to
> > mention EU law).
> >
> > I don't know why Wikipedia was set up with a CC BY-SA licence rather
> than a
> > CC0 licence, and the attribution required under CC BY-SA is unduly
> > cumbersome, but attribution has always seemed to me like a useful
> concept.
> > The fact that people like VDM Publishing who sell Wikipedia articles as
> > books are required to say that their material comes from Wikipedia is
> > useful, for example.
> >
> > Naturally it fosters re-use if you make Wikidata CC0, but that's
> precisely
> > the point: you end up with a level of "market dominance" that just ain't
> > healthy.
> >
> > [1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikilegal/Database_Rights
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