User talk:Jeffq/Wikiquote:Exemption Doctrine Policy

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First thoughts[edit]

Jeff, this looks like a great start. In my first quick read through, my only quibble might be with the limit recommended for single audio visual sources (e.g. films). Using what you have recommended, a two hour film would only be entitled to have 10 quotes, but almost without fail most of our film pages have many more than that. I'm not saying that is necessarily a good thing, but while I agree with the 5 per episode limit for tv shows, I think that films often have many more pithy and memorable quotes to offer. This is not always the case, but I can scarcely imagine trying to trim such pages as Casablanca or The Godfather to a handful of quotes. I realize you have to start somewhere, but I would recommend a little more leniency for film pages. Otherwise, I think it' s great start. ~ UDScott 19:00, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, I know this one's going to be a thorny issue. Some elements to consider:
  • Have any film copyright holders generated any case law to give us guidance on what might be considered too much quoting from a film?
  • How does IMDb get away with quoting so much (even if it does a terrible job at being accurate or organized)?
  • How closely do we want to follow print compendiums, which gain their feel of excellence in selectivity partly due to the physical limitations we don't have?
  • Can we set variable guidelines based on how well-received the film is? (Casablanca would probably be considered by many to be far more quotable than Weekend at Bernies II, but every work probably has its active fans to argue otherwise.)
I'm sure that many of these questions will impact and inform changes to (or creations of) other Wikiquote policies and practices. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 20:00, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
I've corrected a few typos and slips. Two thoughts:
With poems, they range in length from very short (which may need to be quoted in their entirety or not at all) to book-length works (e.g. The Song of Hiawatha) to which we can presumably apply the same rules as novels.
Are we working to American copyright law? If so, just about anything written before 1923 is public domain, and anything written in or after 1923 may be copyright, regardless of when the author died. This is very different from European law, when copyright runs for 70 years from death of author (or first publication for posthumous works). Thus for example John Masefield's early poetry is public domain in the US but not the UK whereas the reverse is true for Rudyard Kipling's later work.--Poetlister 19:40, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
I started with U.S. law, but I think there's more to what a proper EDP must incorporate. I think we'll have to review the Board resolution and example EDPs on other projects to get a better feel of how broad our considerations must be. I "threw this against the wall" mainly because I felt that if I tried to re-read and study all this beforehand, I might never get this thing started.
One issue that must be addressed is if Wikiquote should not have limitations for freely-licensed materials. This isn't really an EDP issue, and there's no legal reason we can't incorporate large amounts of (or even entire) free works. But my take is that we should focus on the goal of excellence in selectivity, so that our articles have the very best of anything, free or not. Otherwise the quality of the articles will degrade significantly just because their sources are free, causing Wikiquote to be very lopsided solely on the question of protected or unprotected works. That's why I like to quote Antoine de Saint Exupéry: "Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." ~ Jeff Q (talk) 19:52, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
I certainly don't want vast quantities of junk added just because it's PD, bu tthat's a matter for WQ:Q.--Poetlister 21:19, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Limits for published written works[edit]

I think it's fairly clear that any numerical limits for published written works will need to relate closely to the nature of the work. I can see several distinct categories:

  • Journalism (as interviewee)
  • Journalism (as author, newspaper length)
  • Journalism (as author, magazine length)
  • Fiction (of which there are several recognized length classifications: short-short, short, novella, novelette, novel, etc.)
  • Collection/anthology (previously published work)
  • Collection/anthology (previously unpublished work)
  • Book-length non-fiction (excluding collected works)
  • Reference works

Under "Journalism" I include all news, opinion, expository, or explanatory writing which is normally published serially and short. This category includes nearly everything (advertising excluded) one might read in The New York Times or National Geographic. In the newspaper-length category, we have to be particularly careful as the "quotable" bits of a newspaper story may in fact be the only copyrightable parts of it. (Mere recitations of facts are not copyrightable: it is only the creative expression that earns copyright protection. If there's only one reasonable way to say it, it's not copyrightable, but it's not likely to be quotable, either.) On the other hand, I don't believe there should be any limit for quotations taken from journalistic quotations -- indeed, that should be a major part of WQ's stock in trade for modern public figures.

I don't think one can rightly make an absolute limit for quotations cited to collections or anthologies of previously-published work. After all, if the original publication (in whatever medium) would be quotable without such a limit, editors would quickly learn not to cite the collection and instead just reference the original publication. By the same token, many works are extensively collected or anthologized; many of Asimov's robot stories have appeared in four different collections just counting his own. On the gripping hand, when dealing with an anthology for which all the contents were specially commissioned, it doesn't seem right to treat it any differently from a single-author book of the same length.

So here is my taxonomy again with some suggested limits:

  • Journalism (as interviewee): no limit
  • Journalism (as author, newspaper length): three quotations of not more than two sentences each
  • Journalism (as author, magazine length): four quotations of not more than one paragraph each
  • Fiction (of which there are several recognized length classifications: short-short, short, novella, novelette, novel, etc.): shorts, not more than three quotations; medium-length, not more than five quotations; full-length, not more than one quotation per twenty-five printed pages, averaged over the total length
  • Collection/anthology (previously published work): limits as per the nature of the original works
  • Collection/anthology (previously unpublished work): three quotations per creative unit, or one quotation per twenty-five pages, whichever is less
  • Book-length non-fiction (excluding collected works): 1q/25p
  • Reference works: should not be quoted more than once per article

Feel free to bat this around a bit. 121a0012 21:47, 31 May 2008 (UTC)