Wrongfully Accused in Belarusian Wikipedia


To avoid any misunderstanding, Belarusian Wikipedia (bewiki) in this post refers to be.wikipedia.org, and Belarusian (Taraškievica) Wikipedia (be-x-oldwiki) for be-x-old.wikipedia.org.

On February 1, Kazimier Lachnovič, a user contributing mostly to Belarusian (Taraškievica) Wikipedia, was blocked in Belarusian Wikipedia. It’s seems to be the most terrible thing that happened for all my Wikipedia experience. It’s not block which is terrible, but its so-called “reason”.

You can read the whole story with diff links, source citations, people, etc. in Belarusian (Google Translate speaks Belarusian, if you do not) at http://mrul.livejournal.com/1358.html. That’s only Kazimier Lachnovič’s point of view and it’s a bit rude. Anyway, sad but true.

I can definitely state this incident would not happen if Belarusian Wikipedia had at least that copyrights respect culture which Belarusian (Taraškievica) Wikipedia had. The story broke out with an argue on Zelva article copyright status. Author of that article, Maksim L. (and administrator btw), stated article being his own compilation of several sources, so copyrights should be OK. Indeed, Kazimier investigated that the article is a machine-translated piece of copyrighted text and, according to rules and 5 pillars, it has to be deleted.

A veiled insult to be-x-oldwiki (“Let’s not point out which wiki make ‘chronologies’ out of source texts to fit copyright rules”, orig. Не будзем паказваць пальцам дзе, з тэкстаў робяць «храналогіі», каб выкруціцца з-пад аўтарскага права.) preceded this talk. So, it seems that administrators (at least two of them) think it’s better to place a copyrighted text in Wikipedia instead of compiling and retelling it. It’s a non-sense, but it’s true.

Then a comment (with veiled offending) by Kazimier followed, which pushed a strange administrator Yuri Tarasievič (who lobbied division of Belarusian Wikipedia in two wikis in 2007) to block Kazimier permanently, has been published:

To be honest, I’d be indifferent to such behaviour in a false-“academic” Belarusian Wikipedia, if users’ work harassment didn’t take place, as those users at least tried to transform source texts, not just machine-translating them. [some gentle hints go here]

I hope this post to show up in Wikimedia Planet, so I ask: what should Wikipedia community do if there are some users and administrators in a project who totally ignore copyright rules set by Wikimedia through 5 pillars? Is there some procedure to stop this?

About wizardist

An overrated person.
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2 Responses to Wrongfully Accused in Belarusian Wikipedia

  1. Nemo says:

    There’s obviously too much anger here for a copyright issue, but an indefinite block could be a bit excessive. First, you have to talk with the blocking admin; then, it would be interesting to clarify local copyright policies if needed; then, you can open a http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_comment . Blocks are a complex matter, but if the article has clear copyright issues a steward could delete it (although this never happened before, AFAIK).

    • wizardist says:

      Anger rose up, ’cause copyright ignoring led to this unreasoned block.

      Blocked user’s comments were a bit rude, so a 1-day block would fit, if needed. For example, in Russian Wikipedia, no indefinite blocks were performed without community discussion. I see admin rights abuse here.

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