Wikiquote talk:FAQ

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For older question before 2004 see the history:


"Quotes by your neighbour" is a good guideline I think. How do you think to add like the above "Please don't make a redirect under your neighbor's name on main namespace to your user page. We think it is almost same to have an article on main namespace. We hope someday your neighbor becomes so notable as to have his own article on Wikiquote. Same things apply to your own quote. Thank you." --Aphaia 00:52, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

Quotes in bold?[edit]

Are quotes in bold supposed to be quotes that were featured as the Quote of the Day? I like the idea since it highlights the best quotes, but I suspect that some people just look and say "Oh, they bold their favourite quotes, I'm going to bold the quotes that I like", as evidenced with pages with lots of bold quotes like Jerry Seinfeld (unless he earned QOTD that many times).

So is bold for QOTD quotes or just popular quotes? The former sounds good but it should be pointed out to newcomers... I'm sure a page somewhere mentions it but I haven't come across it :( -- 17:48, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

Bolding is an option that any user can use to emphasize famous quotes, famous portions of longer passages, or simply quotes or portions of quotes that they find notable. If disputes arise about what is or what should be in bold emphasisis, they can be settled on a case by case basis. Thus far only a few actual disputes have arisen. ~ Kalki 18:48, 8 May 2005 (UTC)


I would like to change the Vandalism response to the following one (roughly same content, but refactored). I will do so in a week if there are no objections. Thanks ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 06:55, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

Q: Is there a place within Wikiquote to call attention to vandalism - and what can be done against it?

A: When vandalism is obvious anyone can simply revert the edits that have been made by calling up the history of the article, clicking to edit the last version before the vandalism occurred, and saving that. If you believe that blocking, or other protective measures should be taken, you can post on the Vandalism in progress page and/or notify an admin on their talk pages. More information on possible responses exist in the Wikipedia article "Dealing with vandalism".
I concur with MosheZadka, except that perhaps we should de-emphasize personal contact with individual sysops for urgent matters, since one cannot assume that any particular sysop will "have their ears on" at any given time. This assumes, of course, that we consistently monitor VIP for new postings. I must admit that a "you have new messages" flag is more visible than any manual watchlist or recent changes checking. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 08:11, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
I have changed the order and added "and/or" between the two notifying options, to address Jeff's concerns. Thanks for the comment! ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 08:23, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
As promised, I have changed the answer to my proposed wording a week later. Enjoy! ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 12:43, 28 July 2005 (UTC)


Sorry to be nitpicky, but technically "quote" is a verb, as in "to quote", and the noun form is "quotation". I'm not suggesting an entire name-change, but perhaps the "Quote of the Day" could be the "Quotation of the Day" to appease the Gods of Grammar? -- 02:59, 15 August 2005

No need to worry about the Gods of Grammar (or Vocabulary); the word "quote" is perfectly acceptable as a short version of "quotation", according to Wiktionary, Merriam-Webster Online and Cambridge Dictionaries Online (my three favorite online dictionaries). Wikiquote addressed this question in its earliest days; see Talk:Main Page/old#"Wikiquote" for a bit of that conversation. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 04:31, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps it is good for us to keep this conversation in FAQ, because it is apparently a question multiple readers conceive. --Aphaia 08:13, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
I've added "Quote" vs. "quotation" to the FAQ. Thanks for the idea, Aphaia! ~ Jeff Q (talk) 04:00, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

Help:Starting a new page[edit]

I want to change the answer to the first question to be a pointer to the H:SANP page. It has more information, is more useful and has better ways of creating articles. Any objections? ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 07:01, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

That change would be logical, and would certainly help new editors, but I have two concerns:
  1. First, the new Inputbox procedure creates "orphan" articles — articles with no links to any other regular articles, like List of people. This may not be as significant a problem as it has been in the wiki past. As long as people articles are minimally categorized (which they are if people use the templates correctly), there is a link to them, however untraditional. (In fact, this might even be the future standard place to find people, as we're trying to move away from manually maintained lists.)
  2. Second is a problem with the question itself. Wikiquote originally started out as a collection of people, mainly authors, so this question ("How do I add quotations by people who do not already exist on Wikiquote?") was essentially the same as ("How do I start a new article?"). That's even more reason to point it to H:SANP, but it should be rephrased to accomodate the more general WQ collection.
In any case, there should be short paragraph providing a basic answer, not just a link to the full explanation. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 18:55, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

Q: How do I add new articles to wikiquote — for example, quotations by people who do not already exist here?

A: Full, comprehensive, documentation exists at Help:Starting a new page. The easiest way is to use one of the buttons at the inputbox section to be launched straight into the editing page with a ready boilerplate. If you choose one of the other ways listed there, see Wikiquote:Templates for common formatting standards here.

Does that sound good? ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 22:42, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

P.S. Yes, I feel that using List-of pages is inferior to having a good category scheme. Wikipedia relies much more on "random" linkage than wikiquote, since the purposes are different. ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 22:42, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

MosheZadka, your text above looks good to me, except I'd lose the word "full". Despite all the stuff we crammed into the current version, there are many more details that could be explored. But "comprehensive" (in the sense of "everything that is necessary") seems reasonable, IMHO. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 23:16, 21 August 2005 (UTC)
Done ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 04:12, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

Can one just extract a sentence from a book?[edit]

Is it considered "submitting copyrighted work without permission" if one opens a book and extracts a sentence or two without asking the authors, the translators, the press and/or the rest of the copyright holders? Are there examples of borderline cases regarding how to avoid copyright violations to be found on Wikiquote? Dilaudid 20:39, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Quoting a sentence or two from a book for critical or educational purposes, rather than commercial ones, is not considered a copyright violation; in the US it is considered fair use. Most uses of modern quotations occur under fair use, or similar provisions of law. ~ Kalki 21:24, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for a quick answer. The problem was that material published under the GNU Free Documentation License can — as far as I understand — freely be used for commercial purposes as well. My confusion resulted from not understanding straight away that the principle that everything published on the Wikimedia projects is released under GFDL doesn't concern quotes themselves. As the quotations are entered in Wikiquote, they themselves are not released under the GFDL. The Wikiquote:Copyrights page answers these questions clearly enough though. Dilaudid 00:03, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Copying Wikiquote material[edit]

You kind of have to clarify what this means, exactly, when 99% of the content on the site is not copyrighted by editors or released under the GFDL. Only the selection of quotes, their collection in a single document, arrangement on the page, and stuff like that can be copyrighted. So no, although we "allow any use of its material", people can't necessarily just take the quotes and use them however they want. They need to know about their local laws. Omegatron 04:28, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Wikiquote, as a work, is released under the GFDL. All of the material excerpted from copyrighted works is used under fair-use law. The real issue is that we have to work harder to ensure our excerpted material does indeed stay within fair-use law. This is an ongoing battle, your help in which would be greatly appreciated. All editors are welcome to identify potential problem articles by:
  • Raising the issue on the article talk page.
  • Tagging the article with {{checkcopyright}} to further encourage editors to trim excessive quoting.
  • Delete large amounts of quoted material (but be sure to explain that it's to reduce exposure to copyright violation, lest it look like vandalism).
  • If these other efforts fail, replace the content of the article with {{copyvio}} to force a rewriting of the article.
~ Jeff Q (talk) 04:46, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
That section's not about us, though, it's about downstream use. Downstream use isn't really our responsibility, and lawsuits would very rarely be pursued for quotes and stuff like this, but we shouldn't mislead people by implying that they can reuse this content however they want. Fair use for us is not necessarily fair use for downstream users. Omegatron 00:15, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
Your point worries me because Wikipedia at least is quite committed to ensuring it is "downstream safe". They have implemented a 10-point test that weeds out a lot of fair-use material that is not arguably essential to the articles. To the extent this is driven by the Wikimedia Foundation, I would expect it to be a concern for Wikiquote as well. I frankly don't know how they would view Wikiquote, which may be unique among all the Wikimedia projects in how much of its primary content retains external copyrights. (Commons, Wikibooks, and Wikisource are have zero fair-use rules; I expect Wikinews is like Wikipedia in rephrasing all its material; and Wiktionary's use of quotes, although they would make up a larger part of each page than WP, is nowhere near as quote-heavy as Wikiquote.) You've given me yet another potentially thorny issue to ponder. Meanwhile, we know (and senior Wikimedians have made clear) that we need to work much more effectively to reduce copyvio problems here. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 00:35, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
English Wikipedia's new restrictive non-free content rules don't apply to Wikiquote; the Wikimedia Foundation's licensing resolution does. Wikiquote can decide its own exemption policy rules, as long as they meet those guidelines. But Wikiquote really needs to create its own formal policy instead of just borrowing Wikipedia's, as mentioned in this FAQ. Wikipedia's new policies are too restrictive for a project like this.
As I understand the law, you can gather together copyrighted quotes (under fair use or with the permission of the authors, for instance) in a single document and you are automatically granted copyright on the completed aggregate document. You don't get a copyright on the individual quotes, though; only on the creative aspects of the new document. (See w:Feist Publications v. Rural Telephone Service ([1]) for a similar topic; an alphabetical list of telephone numbers is not copyrightable, but the telephone book as a whole is. So you can't copy original, creative parts of a telephone book or almanac, or copy its structure or formatting, but you can take the factual data out and reformat it as your own document without paying royalties or getting permission, since that factual data or public domain information is not copyrightable.)
You can then license that complete collection of quotes under the GFDL, and the original creative content (introductions, the selection of quotes, and formatting) can be reused under the GFDL, but downstream users can't just take the quotes out of context and use them however they want. Any downstream use has to also be fair, which varies by country and circumstances. (The fair use defense is quite shaky, and varies from case to case, and I think the English Wikipedia's prohibition of all other non-free licenses was quite a bad decision.)
My English Wikipedia user page is currently devoted to a rant on the Wikimedia Foundation's "one size fits all" licensing policy and certain users' increasing obsession with only free content. (Our primary mission has historically been the collection and dissemination of information; not the creation of free content. Free content is a very important means to that end; but it's not an end in itself.)
Wikinews and Chinese Wikipedia are especially unhappy with the licensing resolution, from what I've heard, and I can see it being a problem for Wikiquote, too. One Wikimedia Board nominee has even said he would like Wikiquote to be shut down because it's "outside our core mission". You might not want to vote for him...
I think this is absurd, and we should be focusing on the original mission of gathering the sum of all human knowledge and making it as accessible and useful as possible. But most editors are apathetic and ignore the elections, so we're only going to see more and more restrictive policies until Wikiquote, Wikinews, and all non-free content on Wikipedia is squeezed out of existence.
If you all haven't voted yet, you have one week left to read through the candidates' question pages and voice your opinion. Maybe when Wikiquote is deleted people will finally start paying attention to what the WMF is doing. Omegatron 23:15, 30 June 2007 (UTC)


Could anyone add some clarifications about languages. I mean, if a quote is in Arabic, can it be listed here with a translation? I thought that the arabic wikiquote was for that. But I'm seeing English quotes being translated into a lot of languages and listed in many different wikiquote projects. What is the policy of the English Wikiquote regarding this? That could be used as a guideline for other sister projects. --Steinninn 05:09, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

English Wikiquote tends to focus on quotes that are known in the English-speaking world, but many of those started out in other languages. We officially prefer to have the original quote cited (and sourced) first, then the English translation given underneath. (Whether the translation should reliably sourced or not is an ongoing debate, but if a source is known, by all means include it.) A brief example of this can be found at Wikiquote:Templates/People.
As far as updating this FAQ with this kind of info, we're admittedly quite behind in doing this. Feel free to add a succinct statement of this and other practices. Somewhere along the way we're probably going to need to rethink its structure and organization to accomodate expansion. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 09:22, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Quotes found on the internet[edit]

The answer in this section no longer reflects current practice. Anonymousities from random web pages are not encouraged: new ones are usually reverted and old ones are being removed. ~ Ningauble 15:06, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Adding a question to the FAQ[edit]

I've done a little searching on wikiquote and can't find the process I should go through to add a question to the FAQ. Is there a list of questions (and answers) somewhere that are less frequent, or are pending approval? Or is it just a case of suggesting the question on the FAQ talk page (which, being really meta I am doing right now)? St3f (talk) 11:04, 20 October 2018 (UTC)

The answer is "C. Just add it." If other editors believe it is inappropriate they'll remove it. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 17:00, 21 October 2018 (UTC)