Guild Wars Wiki talk:Copyrighted content/Archive

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From a personal viewpoint: Since this is the Official Guild Wars Wiki, I think it should include every bit of official documentation available. If it doesn't, how can it be said that it's an ArenaNet project other than the fact that it's being hosted by them? No offense intended. — Jyro X 21:33, 7 February 2007 (PST)

I agree with you, but this really isn't an appropriate policy page -- what one should really do is email Gaile via community@arena.net or perhaps leave a message on her talk page. They'll have to clear a move like this with their lawyers. In any case, it's not a decision we can make for them. —Tanaric 21:47, 7 February 2007 (PST)
I know. That's why it's only proposed. :P And I've already tried contacting community@arena.net but I haven't recieved any responses. I'd love to see ArenaNet clear the usage of their official documentation for use in this wiki. — Jyro X 21:54, 7 February 2007 (PST)
Err, also, you have fairly misunderstood the GFDL. If they release their content to us, anybody else is allowed to take it and post it themselves under the same license, with proper attribution. They could even sell it, if they wanted to. This is why such a release is unlikely -- they can't restrict the release to just us. —Tanaric 22:07, 7 February 2007 (PST)
Hmmm this does pose an interesting problem... Hopefully it can be hashed out. — Jyro X 22:09, 7 February 2007 (PST)
Keep in mind that what ArenaNet posts, and what is posted by others, would involve different legal ramifications. I'm not an attorney and am not able to give legal advice, but as an observation, it seems to me that Tanaric is stating that what we provide on this link: http://www.guildwars.com/gameplay/manuals.php is protected by different copyright laws than would be something that we post on the Wiki with the GNU FDL license. That is my perception, as well. I'll do my best to provide additional information on this matter as I learn it. Thanks for asking. --Gaile Gray 23:39, 7 February 2007 (PST)
Hehe. Gaile forgot to log in.  :pAratak 23:45, 7 February 2007 (PST)
Thanks, Gaile. Now they'll quit pestering me about it. :)
Jyro X, I'm going to rewrite this page illustrating why we cannot use official content. —Tanaric 11:49, 8 February 2007 (PST)
That's fine. If Mike O'Brien or another official ANet employee writes in copyrighted stuff, what's the stance on that? — Jyro X 12:25, 8 February 2007 (PST)
If ArenaNet chooses to release information under this license, that's their choice. —Tanaric 12:27, 8 February 2007 (PST)
But who from ArenaNet would be authorized to do that? — Jyro X 12:41, 8 February 2007 (PST)
Tough call. I think we can assume that anyone with an ArenaNet role likes their job enough to only release information that they're allowed to release. If something happens that shouldn't, we'll have to work that out when the time comes. —Tanaric 12:43, 8 February 2007 (PST)

Resetting indent. Alright. I'm with you on that one. — Jyro X 12:47, 8 February 2007 (PST)

"In general, the following resources cannot be copied verbatim to the Guild Wars Wiki: ... Content from in-game!" So as of now no screen shots and monster pics and what not? What about stuff from http://www.guildwars.com/community/fansites/kit/? --NieA7 16:14, 8 February 2007 (PST)
I was surprised at the note that we cannot copy content from in-game. I find this hard to believe. If this is the case could someone explain why shots from in-game are not fair use? LordBiro 16:31, 8 February 2007 (PST)
sure seems odd to me. Even wikipedia allows in game screen shots for illustrative purposes - it makes that statement entirely suspect. A wiki without screenshots can't be a really useful wiki. --Aspectacle 16:57, 8 February 2007 (PST)
In the Terms of Use section on Guildwars.com, it says:
Our art assets — be they concept art, in-game screenshots, verbal content, or renders — are all copyright materials. Their use is strictly prohibited unless approved in advance and in writing by ArenaNet.
All in-game images are the property of ArenaNet
Technically, the screenshots that we use almost constantly (and used on GuildWiki) don't meet the GFDL requirements. We'll need to get an actual release from ArenaNet, or we're kinda screwed here. While it's obviously never been an issue in the past for them (no one cared when GuildWiki used images, and pretty much every fansite out there has a bunch of in-game shots), if we're strictly following GFDL, we can't use them at all without a written release from ANet. --Pepe 17:05, 8 February 2007 (PST)
I've sent another e-mail to ArenaNet asking for clarification or a written release allowing us to use in-game images. I included a link to this talk page, so I'm hoping that they'll just say what they're thinking right here. Mainly, I hope they'll get back to us soon, because that screenshot thing is a pretty major problem. --Pepe 17:13, 8 February 2007 (PST)
I acknowledge that screenshots are copyright content. However there are fair use aspects to copyright law which that statement from A-Net *does not cover*. This covers screenshots which makes their inclusion on sites such as this (and wikipedia) without actually violating anything. Read this and consider that while it'd be nice to get explicit permission for these things it is unlikely the wiki violates anything wikipedia on copyright fairuse --Aspectacle 17:15, 8 February 2007 (PST)
Normally, yes, but we're rehosting these shots under the GNU FDL, which allows everything, including sale of the material, which is a part that is very much against the guildwars.com ToS. Because of this, it doesn't even matter; the very way this site is set up goes against Fair Use. --Pepe 17:19, 8 February 2007 (PST)
(Edit conflict..I'll post this anyways) IANAL, but I did research this quite a bit a few months ago for...a similar situation. It isn't true that game screenshots are automatically not fair use, nor is it true that they automatically are fair use. It depends on the shot and the use. Regarding what images are allowed on this wiki, I would imagine it's still up in the air for us/ArenaNet to decide -- it's not something that is automatically decided by allowing GFDL. A lot of wikis (including Wikipedia and many Wikia wikis) choose to allow some degree of fair use images alongside their GFDL text content. Note that doing this does not make the images GFDL, and doesn't mean that anyone can copy the image claiming "fair use". Here are some scenarios:
  • We really only allow images that can be released under GFDL -> We can't use screenshots, fansite kit images, etc, unless ArenaNet decides to start releasing some of them under GFDL.
  • We decide to allow screenshots, FSK images, etc, and get ArenaNet's permission to use them here -> We get to use them but anyone who wants to use the content through GFDL cannot necessarily use the images. We should also probably put notes everywhere that the GFDL only applies to the text content here.
  • We and ArenaNet decide to only allow images here that others can probably also use as fair use (and hammer out exactly what that means) -> We can use some screenshots, maybe FSK images, and anyone who wants to use the content through GFDL permissions still has to check that the use is fair, but will probably not have many troubles.
--Rezyk 17:24, 8 February 2007 (PST)
I'm more concerned about the claim that we can copy skill descriptions, update notes, and attribute descriptions verbatim, without labeling them as non-GFDL. How does that work? --Rezyk 17:30, 8 February 2007 (PST)
In GuildWiki, the copyright page stated "... All other information, art, skill images, are Copyright to their original creators, NCSoft, or ArenaNet.". I believe (note: I'm not a lawyer and it should be confirmed) that a simple statement of that sort, either in a copyright page, or better yet in the page-bottom banner, should address any concerns over this. If we said "All content is GFDL, except for content copied from in-game, including but not limited to images and in-game dialog, which are Copyright to their original creators, NCSoft, or ArenaNet". --Barek 18:02, 8 February 2007 (PST)
That'd be easiest certainly. Can we sort out the offical status of the fansite kits ASAP - we'll be needing skill icons and suchlike pretty soon after all. I can't imagine that ANet would have a problem with us using them, though of course we should get official word first. --NieA7 03:17, 9 February 2007 (PST)

Hmm...

Apparently no in-game content can be copied verbatim. So if I wanted to document the dialogue from a quest reward, list mission/bonus objectives, etc. I'd have change the wording enough to satisfy this policy yet try to give the users useful information? Instead of Giant's Boots I'd have to say Giant's Booties, as the word Giant's Boots is verbatim? I can't see how this is going to be helpful to a player. — Gares 17:47, 8 February 2007 (PST)

You don't have to worry about it down to that level (Giant's Boots versus Giant's Booties). Copyright doesn't extend down that far; we can use the given name of an object when talking about it. I'd question dialogue from a quest reward, though. And any wordy descriptions copied verbatim. --Rezyk 17:53, 8 February 2007 (PST)
Yeah, that was an intended pun. The main focus is how can you document a game when you can't actually document a game? The answer is you can't. Why would players come to this wiki looking for information when it is found on another site and is more detailed?
But I believe Barek above is working the problem. You can be my lawyer anytime, Barek. :p — Gares 18:06, 8 February 2007 (PST)
"direct quotes with proper attribution are allowed". So as long as you quote it instead of simply copying it, there is no problem. --Xeeron 03:11, 9 February 2007 (PST)
Perhaps a coverall statement in the generic page footer? --NieA7 03:17, 9 February 2007 (PST)
As you might be aware, Wikipedia use the GFDL, and they still have no problem posting images taken from Guild Wars because they are covered by fair use laws. Provided we do something similar I doubt very much that ArenaNet would prosecute ;) LordBiro 03:34, 9 February 2007 (PST)
Colour me hethen but I don't know much about wikipedia, I find it pretty grim as a reference ^.^; But yeah, I'd be very surprised if ANet stopped their official GW wiki using any images from the game, we just need it clarified a bit. --NieA7 03:42, 9 February 2007 (PST)


Using screenshots from the game can indeed be viewed as 'fair use'. What about in game descriptions, dialogues and such? --Gem (talk) 03:45, 9 February 2007 (PST)

Reset Indent:
Item stats, skills used, items dropped, location descriptions, skill descriptions, attribute descriptions, etc. are factual information, thus non-copyrightable. For example, it's not an opinion that Korr, Living Flame uses Searing Flames, drops Korr's Focus, or is an Elemental. These are facts.

With dialogues it seems as long as you give credit to the person that said it, it's ok. So...

John: "Well done my fine friend! Your reputation does not do you justice."

Seems to fit under allowable content. You give a direct quote credit and it's a fact that John does say that. — Gares 14:43, 9 February 2007 (PST)

I figured I'd write this page with the strictest possible interpretation of copyright and licensing, so that we could make sure to do this the correct way from the very beginning. If using images and verbatim skill descriptions as we do is actually fair use, no additional copyright notice at the bottom of each page is necessary. We can simply write our Project:Copyrights article noting these fair use descriptions.
I'm not proposing that we're strictly open-content, but I do intend to make sure that what we're doing is totally legal.
Tanaric 17:38, 9 February 2007 (PST)
We all want to do what's right. Until we get some guidance here we can continue to hash out and perfect policies and so-forth. — Gares 19:08, 9 February 2007 (PST)

PDF manuals

Could we add the PDF versions of the manual to the list of exceptions? The paper version of the manual is not listed among the off-limits sources, and I suspect that the PDF manual is a word for word copy of the paper manual. -- Gordon Ecker 23:57, 9 February 2007 (PST)

GFDL / public domain conent from non-GFDL wikis

I believe we should add an exception for content from non-GDFL wikis which is (excluding non-copyrightable content, such as typo correction or lists of facts) created solely by editors who have released their edits under the GFDL, into the public domain or a combination of the two. -- Gordon Ecker 23:57, 9 February 2007 (PST)

When an author(=copyright holder) releases it under GFDL, it's legal(unless it wasn't legal in the first place). This should not be an exception because there is no rule to which it is an exception. It is simply legal. --Ifer 13:03, 10 February 2007 (PST)
I agree with Ifer. LordBiro 13:34, 10 February 2007 (PST)
It would be an exception because non-GFDL wikis are specifically listed as off-limits sources, and because isolating GFDL content from a non-GFDL content is more complicated than copying content from a purely GFDL source. -- Gordon Ecker 16:47, 10 February 2007 (PST)

Content from in-game...

"In general, the following resources cannot be copied verbatim to the Guild Wars Wiki... 5. Content from in-game!" I hope the above quote is a joke or means that it is allowed with proper quoting, else there is few reasons for this wiki. --Life Infusion 13:45, 11 February 2007 (PST)

See discussions above, as well as a post on Gaile Gray's talk page (where ArenaNet guidance has been requested). --Barek 13:48, 11 February 2007 (PST)
TBH why don't we just scrap the whole idea of Free doc and just leave it as copyrighted content ...like on a forum? --Life Infusion 19:32, 11 February 2007 (PST)
Scrapping GFDL won't make a difference. Anything copied verbatim from in-game is copyright ANet and / or NCSoft. If anyone other than the copyright holder uploads it, they don't have the authority to release it under the GFDL, so it's considered fair use content rather than GFDL content. -- Gordon Ecker 19:48, 11 February 2007 (PST)
I think Life Infusion was saying, why don't we get rid of the GFDL and just say the copyrights to any edits to the wiki are given to ANet. --Rainith 00:04, 12 February 2007 (PST)
I dont think Anet wants us to feel like we are volunteering our work for them... It may also be that they don't want any responsibility for what we create? ie. If something goes wrong --Wormy 02:23, 12 February 2007 (PST)
Life Infusion is correct though. That simple line can be interpreted in so many ways. "Content" needs to be defined. Does content include armor screenshots? Weapon stats? Quest dialogue? Mission maps? NPC quotes? In-game events? --ab.er.rant (talk) 03:19, 12 February 2007 (PST)

(Reset indent)

Rainith got my point. I guess I didn't word my statement very well. In general, the content (the professions, skills,etc.) is theirs anyway, since they made it. For them to release the information to the public via free doc (whether it is profession likenesses, quest dialogs, flavor of quests/missions) is essentially making it part of the public domain. Anything part of the public domain is fair game anyone to copy. An example of this is Shakespeare. You pay for the publisher's notes and editing, no royalties go to Shakespeare. --Life Infusion 08:19, 12 February 2007 (PST)
If anything, Creative Commons is the way to go (http://creativecommons.org/about/licenses/meet-the-licenses) since it simplifies the legal language to an understandable level. Seriously, your average player won't plow through 30 pages of legal text just to see if what they copy is legal. The default wiki license at CC is http://creativecommons.org/license/results-one?license_code=by-sa&wiki=true&lang=en. --Life Infusion 09:11, 12 February 2007 (PST)
I don't think GFDL is good because ANet wants to use this wikis content ingame. They would have to publish the game as GFDL as well.. So I think CC would be better.. --The preceding unsigned comment was added by User:poke .
This statement is not true. Guild Wars would just serve as an access medium. Just because you're accessing this wiki with Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer doesn't mean those browsers have to be licensed under the GFDL. The game client works under the same principle. —Tanaric 00:13, 14 February 2007 (PST)

Templates

I'm not sure if this is the spot for this, but this is the only place that seems to talk about the license issue. What I'm wondering of is how to treat templates. For instance, the Template:Location box was deemed potentially in violation of the license. Is it possible to modify it slightly (such as added/changing the labels/info used count) and then use it as our own? Or must there a rather obvious difference, such as not using the "Label: Value" format, not having the colored backgrounds and such before being considered not-in-violation. Say, would something like this User:Ab.er.rant/Sandbox be in violation? --ab.er.rant (talk) 23:07, 11 February 2007 (PST)

Nobody has any ideas about templates? Can someone point me to the proper talk page to ask about this? --ab.er.rant (talk) 17:06, 12 February 2007 (PST)
We can copy the most recent GuldWiki version edited entirely by GFDL users, or we can copy a similar infobox from Wikipedia and then edit it until it suits our purposes. The last purely GFDL version of the location box is only missing the map, which we can't use yet because parser functions aren't installed, and commentary, which doesn't affect template functionality. -- Gordon Ecker 17:20, 12 February 2007 (PST)
Thanks for answering... but I'm not sure I get you... :P are you refering to the Wikipedia box or the GuildWiki box when talking about the license? So... does that mean I can use the region box that I adapted from GuildWiki location box or is it too similar? --ab.er.rant (talk) 17:30, 12 February 2007 (PST)
If you mean this location box, then please note that it is not available as it was created and the majority of the edits were done by PanSola (who last I checked, had not released his contributions under the GFDL). --Rainith 17:45, 12 February 2007 (PST)
I meant if my adaptation is considered different enough, or whether any resemblance to table format will violate the location. --ab.er.rant (talk) 17:50, 12 February 2007 (PST)
Honestly, I'm not sure. I don't know enough about it, and currently I'm too tired to even look at the code. --Rainith 18:10, 12 February 2007 (PST)
If you have taken PanSola's work and modified it then no, it is not allowed. LordBiro 08:52, 13 February 2007 (PST)
FYI: PanSola now has an account here, and has GFDL'd his contributions to GuildWiki, so they're all available now. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 21:31, 22 February 2007 (EST)

This is bad... very bad...

If we cannot copy NPC dialog and quest text from the game, then I suggest we scrap this project and call it a day. GWOnline's wiki has a bunch of lookup tables for skills, bosses and greens, we'd be little more than that. I don't know how we ended up being able to do LESS in a wiki that's sponsored by ANet than in a wiki that isn't, but I think we need to address this ASAP. I am leaving a note on Gaile's talk page as well. --Karlos 19:36, 22 February 2007 (EST)

She's aware and is talking w/ANet's lawyer's, we're waiting for a response. I essentially agree w/you and that is the main reason I haven't contributed much here. I have no desire to add stuff to a project that, if this is correct, is (IMO) doomed to failure. This would in effect mean we couldn't put skill descriptions, quest dialogues or even screen shots. --Rainith 21:30, 22 February 2007 (EST)
NPC dialog and quest text really isn't important. I don't know why you guys think it is! Please explain it to me. Whenever I use the GuildWiki, I skip past those stupid direct quotes from the game -- I already know that stuff from my quest log -- and scroll down to the guide in the next section of the page. —Tanaric 05:27, 23 February 2007 (EST)
Well... that's subjective. Depending on whether I'm playing with henchies or pugs, or depending on the build I'm running, or just real-life concernns, I sometimes skip long dialogues. I tend to look them up again later and read them on GWiki, so... yea, I find them useful. And I really like recording all the quotes that the henchies and heroes use. -- ab.er.rant 05:39, 23 February 2007 (EST)
I do the same thing (regarding text quotes from quests), I like to have all those details in the quest info besides just the start/end NPC and rewards. Maybe I just feel like reading up on game lore when I'm on my lunch break. I'm with the others about wanting this all ironed out and have stopped adding stuff - the licensing/copyright situtation is a total mess especially considering this is supposed to be an Official Site, which you would think would be OK with using in-game info! If contributions are considered to be GFDL and that is the hold up, then I suggest ANET scrap the concept of a community wiki and build their own reference material themselves. Dawn 06:23, 23 February 2007 (EST)

So someone please tell me: Am I the one not getting things here, or is it everyone else? "Additionally, direct quotes with proper attribution are allowed, in general." What stops us from quoting the NPC dialogs? --Xeeron 06:32, 23 February 2007 (EST)

Apparently it is all the rest of us since so many people above have questions/issues. What does the "in general" clause mean anyway? Is that an exception to the exception? Drop those two words and the fog lifts, for me at least. EDIT: to clarify my question, when is it not OK to copy verbatim "direct quotes with proper attribution"? There must be or could be times it isn't OK or they wouldn't need to qualify with "in general". Dawn 06:44, 23 February 2007 (EST)
You can't change the copyright of something by you copying it and putting it in this place (Imagine I take a song, transcribe the words to a GFDL lyrics and tabs fan site, those lyrics and music don't loose their all rights reserved copyright because of what I did with it, you can't reproduce that information for commercial gain). The only stuff that becomes GFDL are your contributions.
Where it becomes interesting is if ArenaNet says to us "yes we give you permission to use copyright content from in game and our manuals" (ie our use of the information is not fair use anymore, but permitted use) does that change the licensing on their in game content now so that anyone can use it? Another interesting part is the copyright of information added by ArenaNet employees if they don't give permission.
Possibly it is sufficient that they make a blanket statement, or page footer or something, (like what Barek has said here or elsewhere) that ingame content and other content such as that written for manuals are still copyright to ArenaNet/NCSoft and need express permission for commerical use. Of course IANAL. :) --Aspectacle 07:09, 23 February 2007 (EST)
My understanding is that in order to use the texts and images under fair use, one of the pre-requisites is that we need to credit the original sources and reference their copyright on the materials. But, in the text edit window it currently states "Please note that all contributions to Guild Wars Wiki are considered to be released under the GNU Free Documentation License 1.2" and the comment at the bottom of all article screens states "Content is available under GNU Free Documentation License 1.2." To me, this is insufficient credit of the original sources.
The question then is how prominently does that crediting need to be made? Would a reference in the article at Guild Wars Wiki:Copyrights be sufficient? Personally, I don't think so because the link to that page is not listed on every article, from what I can see that link is only under the text window when editing content. So, do we need to manually link th that article on every page where game content is used? I think it would be better to update the existing tag at the bottom that says "Content is available under GNU Free Documentation License 1.2." to instead say "Content is available per terms outlined in the site's copyright policy." and add to that article a phase that in-game content remains the property of ArenaNet, etc. We can also update the text under the edit window to reference that in-game content remains property of the original copyright holders. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 11:17, 23 February 2007 (EST)
The our uses of dialog text, screen print images etc clearly falls under the 'fair use' doctrine. However we do need clarify that some materials on the site are still under copyright and we have no authorisation to re-license copyrighted materials under the GNU FDL. Vlad 12:02, 23 February 2007 (EST)
I believe what they're trying to do is find a way of saying "you can use the following copyrighted non-GFDL content as fair use, but it's still non-GFDL" in legally unambiguous terms which are compatible with US federal law and Washington and / or Texas state law, as well as possibly Korean law. There may be some obscule legal loophole because they're hosting the (mostly GFDL) site, making it their official site rather than a fansite, which could require them to grant pemission with five pages of legal jargon rather than half a paragraph of plain English. -- Gordon Ecker 19:26, 23 February 2007 (EST)

Why it's important:

This has been resolved, but to answer Tanaric, it's about completeness. When I look up a quest on GuildWiki, I expect to find EVERYTHING there. All the information that will help me finish the quest. That includes the long diatribe that the quest giver went on which may include pointers to how to finish it. If, as a user, you have the choice between looking up an article on GWiki and the same article on GWWiki and you KNOW that the GWWiki article will ALWAYS have less information than the one on GWiki, why in the world would you ever use GWiki?

We're supposed to have an "edge" as the official wiki, not a disadvantage. Do you follow my point? --Karlos 18:02, 23 February 2007 (EST)

Answer

Emily just created the article License information which answers our questions for this wiki. We can use everything Guild Wars related. I suggest we remove this policy and add the License information article to the policy page. — Gares 15:52, 23 February 2007 (EST)

I left a message on Emily's talk page ... we now have two articles that need synced - I think the contents of the License information article needs to be migrated to the Guild_Wars_Wiki:Copyrights article. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 15:56, 23 February 2007 (EST)
*cheers* I was about to post something above to say "lets try to do something about this ourselves". But edit conflicted with this. Good news. I agree with deleting this page as it is confusing and now a bit redundant. --Aspectacle 16:14, 23 February 2007 (EST)
I'm all for keeping this article myself - it does touch on several items not outlined by the new Guild Wars Wiki:License information. I think that this policy should be updated to reflect the new license guidance from ArenaNet, but not eliminated. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 16:18, 23 February 2007 (EST)
I was getting off work at the time, so I quickly responded (good to get out of there on Fridays :p ). We still need #2 and #3 of off-limit sources. The exceptions section looks like it can be ommitted and I suggest we merge License information and Guild Wars Wiki:Copyrights. — Gares 16:48, 23 February 2007 (EST)
Ok I'm confused, are we allowed to copy images (for example) directly off [www.guildwars.com] and upload them to this wiki or not? I don't want to get into trouble for anything :( Scourge 08:43, 24 February 2007 (EST)
You can only copy images from GuidWiki if the uploader of the image has released their contributions to encompass both licenses. To know the majority of the users who have done this, look here. This is not all, as some users release only some of their contributions and thus choose not to use the GDFL template.
Basic rule of thumb: If you plan to copy anything, first make sure the author has released it to GFDL. — Gares 08:56, 24 February 2007 (EST)
I think his question was copying content from guildwars.com - not GuildWiki. From past instruction for fansites, GuildWiki was instructed that only images saved within the official site's gallery is available for use on fansites. I would expect that same limitation to apply to this wiki as well. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 11:26, 24 February 2007 (EST)
Yeah I wanted to copy some stuff off [1], looks like I'll just have to wait and see if I can :P Scourge 02:06, 25 February 2007 (EST)
This is an official site and part of the guildwars.com domain, so go ahead and use whatever you like from the Guild Wars web site. -- Mike O'Brien 04:08, 25 February 2007 (EST)
Woo Hoo!!! -- Scourge 04:53, 25 February 2007 (EST)

Separate GFDL content from non-GFDL content

We should be mindful of a need to keep our GFDL content and modifications separated from our non-GFDL content -- this is important in regard to legal issues. An example:
Some user fills out an article with some basic content. Later, another user improves on that article, making it rich and detailed by splicing in some content/phrases from the game manual (but this is not to be released under GFDL). Months down the line and many article revisions later, we get a complaint that we're infringing on the first user's copyrighted contribution by publicly distributing a modified version of it. Wait; doesn't the GFDL allow us to do just that? It does as long as we follow certain conditions, including releasing the modified version under the same license -- but we're not necessarily following that condition here.

We're better off keeping the non-GFDL content clearly distinct from the rest. Within an article, put non-GFDL texts in their own section labeled "in-game description", "in-game dialogue", "manual description", "press release", "text from www.guildwars.com", etc, and don't let them start intermingling with the GFDL texts. We should also be careful about modifying non-GFDL images. That way, we'll be on more solid ground in terms of claiming that we are working within the GFDL. --Rezyk 19:51, 26 February 2007 (EST)

Seems like a good idea but I imagine it'd be very difficult to police across a site the size of Guild Wiki. I'd prefer a more generic solution (page footer or something) if one can be thought up if only because it would be more secure. --NieA7 04:43, 27 February 2007 (EST)
I think it makes sense, and I think we could manage it. Images from ArenaNet can be easily tagged as non-GFDL (much like wikipedia) and quoted text can be wrapped in a blockquote tag or something, styled in such a way that makes it clear that this is taken from another source. LordBiro 08:41, 27 February 2007 (EST)
True, but I was thinking of lore articles and suchlike, where as evidence for something a quote is taken from an NPC. Wrapping that up in copyright chunks would badly hurt the formatting of the page. --NieA7 09:32, 27 February 2007 (EST)

Proposed update, hopefully noncontroversial

I propose a change to this policy as laid out in Guild Wars Wiki:Official content/version B, id 36017. This was drafted with the intention of being a noncontroversial proposal that could be easily be accepted as an upgrade/update of this policy, which is a bit out of date with respect to current licensing terms. I ask that we do not worry about adding/expanding this update with new issues still being worked out at this time, in favor of just getting something more "correct" (and ratified through consensus) installed as official policy. --Rezyk 01:23, 22 March 2007 (EDT)

Looks fine to me. It takes the legal-speak of the licensing and clarifies it for editors by giving specific information about stuff editors are likely to want to copy. It is a shame that many of the new editors will not read it before they edit - copying from Guild Wiki is going to continue to cause grief with new editors coming. --Aspectacle 01:41, 22 March 2007 (EDT)
Yeah, it looks okay. -- Gordon Ecker 01:42, 22 March 2007 (EDT)
I support this myself. On a related note, another hopefully-noncontroversial proposal (for a different policy) is at Guild Wars Wiki talk:Article retention#Can we accept this as it stands?. --Rezyk 01:49, 22 March 2007 (EDT)
I support this change. —Tanaric 01:23, 23 March 2007 (EDT)

Done. --Rezyk 03:06, 27 March 2007 (EDT)

Original author claims

What about people who claim they are the original author but can't really be confirmed like at Talk:World Map? 138.130.122.17 claims to be elron swiftarrow. Should World Map be tagged as a copyvio or is this fine? -Smurf User Smurf.png 23:41, 6 April 2007 (EDT)

He needs to add a GFDL tag to his GuildWiki page, or at least just some notice that we are allowed to copy over his contributions. See User talk:S2#License. Just claiming to be someone on GuildWiki isn't enough. --Dirigible 23:53, 6 April 2007 (EDT)
Agreed. It's a copyvio until http://gw.gamewikis.org/wiki/User:Mr._Original_Author says otherwise. LordBiro 04:31, 13 April 2007 (EDT)

What about articles that are partially an obvious copyright volation?

What do we do if someone adds copyright-violating content to an existing article? There's currently no policy for dealing with existing articles which have been sabotaged or unintentionally contaminated with copyright violations. I'd prefer a rollback, as was done for the Asura and Sylvari articles. -- Gordon Ecker 04:08, 13 April 2007 (EDT)

There are two options. Option 1 is for a sysop to delete the entire article, and restore only the "clean" revisions. Option 2 is to simply remove the copyvio part from the article, as it doesn't really matter whether the copyvio remains in the article's history or not, as long as it's not on the main one. (Wikipedia uses Option 2 unless someone specifically asks for the content to be removed even from the history with Option 1). This question has been brought up before here at Reverting vs deleting copyvio edits, and last I heard is that Rezyk has asked ANet whether they want us to actually delete the copyvio revisions from the history, or if we can simply edit them out of the article. For now, until ANet comes back to us with an answer, I think you can just go ahead and edit them out, even though the safest way is to delete the revisions. Which you choose, is up to you (would probably depend on how major the copyvio in question is). --Dirigible 06:23, 13 April 2007 (EDT)
Yeah, there hasn't been any response/discussion on that front after I initially posed the question. You could kindly remind them if you want. =) (I'm a bit reluctant to do so myself since I did some bugging for the other license issue.) I'm also all for us seeing if we can get a consensus between ourselves in the meantime, although I think most (including myself, and rather strongly) seemed to prefer just editing out violating content from previously-okay articles without delete/restore. --Rezyk 15:35, 13 April 2007 (EDT)
If our current software allows us to delete specific intermediate edits without removing prior or subsequent edits, I would prefer to follow Wikipedia's policy, generally reverting, and only deleting edits if we get a request. If our current software does not allow this, I think we should either install software to allow it, such as this, or do rollbacks as soon as a copyright violation is discovered and verified in order to prevent the potential damage a rollback would do months or years down the line. -- Gordon Ecker 20:49, 13 April 2007 (EDT)
We can delete a page and selectively restore the edits before and afterwards, but we should be sure to do full reverts (as opposed to partial reverts) of any edits that introduce violating content, so that contributions for any other content are still properly attributed after the selective restore. --Rezyk 04:02, 17 April 2007 (EDT)
Emily has answered Drigible's question wrt copyright content purge vs revert. The answer is revert is fine. --Aspectacle 18:54, 19 April 2007 (EDT)

Working on a policy update for this at draft B. Comments welcome. --Rezyk 20:32, 19 April 2007 (EDT)

Other sources

Which of these sources are okay?

  • Screenshots and concept art releaset through third party news sites, such as kotaku.
  • Scans of the CE art books.
  • Guild Wars concept art found elsewhere on the internet, such as conceptart.org.
  • Magazine scans:
    • Without text.
    • With text blurred out.
    • With text.
    • Cover scans.
  • Quotes from magazine articles.
  • Quotes from online articles.

Magazine scans with text are almost certainly not okay, but the rest appear to fall into a gray area. -- Gordon Ecker 02:02, 14 April 2007 (EDT)

It is my understanding that all content regarding Guild Wars on news sites and in magazines has been released to the publication in question and cannot be used, even if the text is blurred out or otherwise removed. LordBiro 05:11, 18 April 2007 (EDT)
I also suspect that's the case. If this was a fansite (without official fansite status), our only restriction would be the fair use laws of the country in which the servers are located. As an official site, our situation is more complicated. We can basically use whatever copyrighted content our host (ANet) is okay with, which includes a lot of non-fair use content, but also excludes some fair use cotent. -- Gordon Ecker 06:44, 18 April 2007 (EDT)
There's currently some controversy about whether the Kotaku images are okay. -- Gordon Ecker 06:59, 18 April 2007 (EDT)
Hmmm. I think using the concept art is safer until we are clear about this. LordBiro 07:26, 18 April 2007 (EDT)
I'm not sure that our right to fair use is undermined by being an official wiki, it is just more likely if we are way out of line we will "get caught" and asked to removed the content. For printed magazine stuff any form of copying story text/images is not allowed because you diminish the value of that article for the copyright holder (that is they will sell less copies) which makes it impossible to claim fair use. (Cover scans are different, they are freely available and are basically advertising, so can be used informatively without reducing the value to the copyright holder).
For un-watermarked images from online sources I'm not so sure that there is a strong argument for removal - particularly if the images are available from multiple locations (Sylvari concept art for instance) - even if it isn't on the Guild Wars site.
I think that scans from the art books are a no-no as they reduce value to the artbook holders: see Emily Diehl's talk page.
I support a lax scheme where anything Guild Wars goes (NDAs and well understood copyright issues aside). If there is a concern or a copyright problem this will be raised with the wiki community or to arenanet by the person who owns the copyright (or arenanet) and the appropriate action can be taken - that is the removal of the content. I don't think that copyright is something which we need to get overly uptight about. Label images you think are grey areas with clear text of where you got them from and leave the area grey. We aren't lawyers - we needn't make the decisions which only lawyers are qualified to. --Aspectacle 07:49, 18 April 2007 (EDT)
As I understand it, it would be perfectly legal to post non-copyrightable facts from alpha leaks. This isn't a legal question, this is a question of what ANet is willing to host on its servers within the guildwars.com domain. If they don't want magazine scans or alpha leaks, it is within their legal rights to delete magazine scans and alpha leaks hosted on their own servers. This is about clarifying what is not okay, and, more importantly, clarifying what is okay. -- Gordon Ecker 20:05, 19 April 2007 (EDT)
I added magazine quotes to the list. -- Gordon Ecker 06:14, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Copyvio Image:Update game lnk2.jpg

moved from User:Eloc Jcg

Why did you remove the candidate for deletion notice? Right now, you cannot upload any data (image, text, or otherwise) that you cannot legally license under the GFDL [2]. Microsoft owns the copyright - it can not be uploaded under the GFDL - it's illegal. -- User indochine sig icon.pngIndochine talk 13:04, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Does Microsoft own this copyright? With Guild Wars screenshots, it's easy -- such a provision is built into its EULA. Microsoft Windows may or may not have this same provision. I'm imagining it doesn't -- otherwise, one could take a screenshot of, say, your work in Photoshop and then Microsoft could claim ownership of that content. —Tanaric 17:17, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
As it's a screenshot of copyrighted computer software, the copyright holder owns the copyright for the image. Fair use is one idea to allow us to use this image; I'm Writing Guild Wars Wiki:Fair Use as I type this. (Well i'm not - but you know what I mean) -- User indochine sig icon.pngIndochine talk 09:49, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
You merely repeated yourself and did not address my question. If I take a picture of myself wearing Mickey Mouse ears, Disney does not own the rights to that picture. I believe some more digging is in order. —Tanaric 02:03, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
After looking here Microsoft does own the screenshot - but you must say "Microsoft product screen shot(s) reprinted with permission from Microsoft Corporation." - which the image doesn’t. You cannot upload it to GWW as although we have permission to use it, it's not licensed under GFDL. The website also says "You may not use screen shots that contain third-party content." Image:Update game lnk2.jpg contains the GW logo - third party content. Does that answer your question? -- User indochine sig icon.pngIndochine talk 13:01, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Not really. I'm aware Microsoft claims to own the screenshot. That does not mean that Microsoft actually owns the screenshot. :) —Tanaric 18:47, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
But whether or not they own it or if the screenshot author can use it, it cant be licensed under GFDL, and at the moment isn't that the only license we are allowed to use because of GWW:COPYRIGHT? - BeX iawtc 02:46, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Regardless whether they really own it or not, since we have a precedent of using {{screenshot}} to say that ArenaNet owns all the GW screenshots, I don't see why we should not also respect Microsoft's claim. I think an additional parameter to the screenshot template is in order. -- ab.er.rant sig 03:00, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
The thing is we had a conversation at GWW:COPYRIGHT about uploading content that neither belongs to Anet or is GFDL and the answer was no, don't upload it. - BeX iawtc 03:56, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree that content that is neither ANet nor GFDL should not be uploaded at the moment. However, if Microsoft has no legal claim to a screenshot of Microsoft Windows, there's nothing prohibiting a user from licensing such a screenshot under the GFDL and uploading. However, since I doubt any of us can meaningfully challenge such ownership, perhaps it would be easier, since Microsoft has given us permission to use such screenshots, to simply expand GWW:COPYRIGHT to allow Microsoft screenshots as well. —Tanaric 10:41, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
If changes are ever made to GWW:COPYRIGHT I will be thoroughly surprised. :P - BeX iawtc 10:44, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
It only requires a minor change - perhaps a new tag - that says "Microsoft product screen shot(s) reprinted with permission from Microsoft Corporation" to comply with Microsoft's content use policy.... -- User indochine sig icon.pngIndochine talk 18:59, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Move this talk to the policy's talk page then. -- ab.er.rant sig 08:49, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

RI Moved to suggest change to the policy - to allow Microsoft screenshots to be used on the wiki. -- User indochine sig icon.pngIndochine talk 11:08, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Sorry I meant to link to Guild Wars Wiki:Copyrights, not this page previously. There is some discussion on that talk page about allowing additional licences and it basically got shot down. - BeX iawtc 15:25, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Image:Directsong.jpg is another image we cannot use as it is copyrighted, therefore non-GFDL -- User indochine sig icon.pngIndochine talk 16:23, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
If Microsoft didn't want us to take screenshots, they wouldn't have the Print Screen button on their keyboards or keyboards who aren't made by microsoft which do have the Print Screen key, wouldn't do anything on Windows.--137.186.220.166 18:35, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Microsoft don't have anything wrong with us taking screenshots of their software - it's just that they won't let us release them under GFDL and we have to say "Microsoft product screen shot(s) reprinted with permission from Microsoft Corporation". -- User indochine sig icon.pngIndochine talk 18:37, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Ok, I am on vacation and found a comp I could use. So...why was this on my talk page??--§ Eloc § 23:52, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I think just because you removed the deletion tag once (or twice..) but who cares ^^ poke | talk 01:49, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
I believe it was once.--§ Eloc § 01:52, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, it was once. -- User indochine sig icon.pngIndochine talk 12:02, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Could we try to find a resolution soon? Santax uploaded two screenshots and I had to tag them.. Image:-password.png and Image:-image.png poke | talk 21:21, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
To speed things up (hopefully) i've made Guild Wars Wiki:Copyrighted content/Draft 070809. This should get it sorted. -- User indochine sig icon.pngIndochine talk 17:04, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
You'd better ask one of the Anet people to comment on this. I don't think any licensing changes can be made without their verification (Gaile had to ask their lawyers about a proposed change before). - BeX iawtc 01:01, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm going to ask Gaile once some other people have commented to see if it's worth it. -- User indochine sig icon.pngIndochine talk 10:51, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Sure, it's worth it.--§ Eloc § 15:41, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

(reset indention)Considering Fair Use, and seeing we have permission from microsoft to use the screenshots under conditions, i've created a template (copied from wikibooks (GFDL)) to adhere to those requirements. and solve this pretty important problem (until we've found a more permanent solution). {{Microsoft_screenshot}} Alexanderpas Talk|Contrib 15:33, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

It's not the problem of a notice box. We simply cannot have any non-GFDL images! Until this is changed, we have to delete the images. poke | talk 16:18, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, why are the images still here? -- User indochine sig icon.pngIndochine talk 16:21, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

On a side note, why did Poke change my signature from "§ Eloc §" too "§ the Eloc §"?--§ Eloc § 04:03, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

o.O oh. I think I was typing and touched the touchpad of my notebook again and didn't notice that the cursor was moved. Sorry ;) poke | talk 05:41, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
LoL, I hate those damn touchpads. Happened to me so much when I was visiting my Grandma. Maybe I should keep it as "The Eloc", as in the one and only lol.--§ Eloc §
Well, it would be a shame not to have Windows screenshots on the wiki. After all, we're trying to help and images do help. So, if someone could speed up the nitpicking so the rest of the world can resume revolving again...? ~ dragon legacy 18:33, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
It's up to Anet to make the decision about non-GFDL content; I asked Gaile to look at Guild Wars Wiki:Copyrighted content/Draft 070809 but I don't think she ever did — well, she never commented on it....-- User indochine sig icon.pngIndochine talk 18:53, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
They're all probably very busy because of the expansion. Plus Gaile was at PAX. If you ask again now, or after eotn release they may have more time to answer. - BeX iawtc 04:19, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
I personally don't even see the reason why we should allow for non-GFDL images to be uploaded. It's not like I've been lacking any images anywhere (except maps, but that Microsoft won't change) and then what happens if someone wishes to upload a screenshot of his new MacOS X desktop? Would we add a new tag to the screenshot tag to allow for images from Apple to be uploaded? Also, seeing as ANet is looking into game integration, would that work with non-GFDL images, seeing as from a legal perspective the content is profitable? Seeing as the servers aren't placed in sweden I can't say much about the legal issues involved, but it does raise a whole lot of questions. IMO it would be better to stick to GFDL-images and images in the public domain. — Galil User Galil sig.png 19:31, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Because certain images will help the articles if we can use screenshots from Microsoft. — Eloc 02:19, 10 January 2008 (UTC)


GWO wiki

The GWO wiki link is dead. Is the wiki removed or moved (should we change the link or remove it)? - anja talk 09:37, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Removed. Edit - I just went ahead and removed it, because I can't see this being a controversial edit and in truth it's rather minor (the example is still there with GuildWiki). Go to Aiiane's Talk page (Aiiane - talk - contribs) 09:48, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Copyright violations...

Should we start banning users for copyright violations? As seriously I think some people do not get the point of not being allowed to have non-gfdl images on this wiki. I find that a policy setup/change would help. Before we start a wiki-war over where we got the image and if its a copy vio or not. Plus this would help to deal with them better. Any comments?--Dominator Matrix 03:12, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Please do, the cabal is bored. Lord Belar 03:19, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
By which he means GWW's pretty boring at the moment and a few bans followed by flaming/drama should liven things up nicely. :P User Defiant Elements Sig Image.JPG *Defiant Elements* +talk 03:23, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Can we say bad idea? lol, sorry but that seems like a dumb reason to block people. Most users who do it are not even aware of teh copyright policies and such here on the wiki. Blocking users for that does not seem like a good reason, now if a user is doing it to just get on others nerves and make wiki drama then I can see a block being justified; but it would be for trolling not a vio. (oh and lets avoid the wiki drama DE :P) --Shadowphoenix Please, talk to me; I'm so lonley ;-; 03:37, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Not to new users, as that would piss them off. I ment more towards people who either ignore the warnings, or just do it again...and again...and again...Dominator Matrix 03:42, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Who would possibly do that? Lord Belar 03:47, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
A policy does not need to specifically state that sysops must ban repeated violations to allow sysops to ban them. If you noticed a copyright violation, inform that user. If you noticed repeated copyright violations despite a note or warning, inform a sysop. -- ab.er.rant User Ab.er.rant Sig.png 05:09, 29 May 2008 (UTC)