Ballotpedia:Copyright violations

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ballotpedia copyright
Copyright policy
Copyright violation policy
Reusing Ballotpedia content
Text of the GFDL
Public domain content
Non-free content
Image copyright (Tags)
Report violations
Possible copyright violations

What should I do if I see a possible copyright problem on Ballotpedia?

If you see text, images or other material on Ballotpedia and you believe that the use of the material on Ballotpedia might violate a copyright, here are some steps you can take:

  • If you suspect a copyright problem, but you are not positive, type {{copyright}} or {{wp-copy-vio}} at the top (beginning) of the article. This will add the article to a list of articles that have been identified as possibly violating copyright.
  • If you are reasonably confident that the article violates a copyright, you can type {{now-copyvio}} on it. This will alert an administrator to review the article quickly and delete the article, or the copyrighted material on the article.
  • If you are an administrator and you are reasonably sure that the article constitutes a copyright infringement, you should go ahead and delete it

You can also contact Ballotpedia's Editor in Chief, Geoff Pallay, directly at

Copyright violation templates

These templates are currently in use as ways for you to mark an article as possibly including a copyright violation. You can type these templates at the beginning of any such article. (Note: If you are sure that an article violates copyright in some way, you should remove the material you believe is in violation, along with a note on the article's talk page explaining your decision.)

  • {{copyright}}
  • {{wp-copy-vio}}. Use this template if you believe that the article violates copyright, and you also believe that the article was copied from another wiki. (The major indication that an article was copied from another wiki include a plethora of red-links in the article, including red-linked categories.)
  • {{now-copyvio}}. Use this template if you strongly believe that the article infringes on copyright, and you believe it should be removed quickly.

What should I do if someone has used my Ballotpedia content without following the terms of the GFDL license?

See also: Ballotpedia:Reusing Ballotpedia content

In this case, you can try to contact the owner/publisher of the website that is using your content without following the terms of the GFDL license.

You can consult this GFDL copyright violation letter for ideas on what to say if you contact someone who is violating your copyright.

Can I add Wikipedia articles to Ballotpedia?

See also: {{wp-copy-vio}}

No. Articles, paragraphs, sections, subsections, link descriptions, and any other text that appears on a page on Wikipedia cannot be copied onto Ballotpedia.

Up until mid-June 2009, Ballotpedia and Wikipedia both used the GFDL license. In practice, this meant that an article from Wikipedia could be copied onto Ballotpedia, and vice versa, as long as the article obeyed reuser rights and obligations including appropriate attribution as defined in the GFDL license.

However, in June 2009, Wikipedia's copyright license changed to the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (CC-BY-SA). Ballotpedia does not use the CC-BY-SA license. Ballotpedia users are not allowed to copy text that is licensed by CC-BY-SA. Text on Wikipedia that is licensed only under CC-BY-SA cannot be copied onto Ballotpedia. Some text on Wikipedia is licensed both under CC-BY-SA and GFDL. This text can be copied onto Ballotpedia, if it is properly attributed. However, it is strongly preferred that you do your own writing and research, instead of copying text from elsewhere, even if that text is licensed for re-use under the GFDL license.

According to Wikipedia:Copyrights:

"For compatibility reasons, any page which does not incorporate text that is exclusively available under CC-BY-SA or a CC-BY-SA-compatible license is also available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. In order to determine whether a page is available under the GFDL, review the page footer, page history, and discussion page for attribution of single-licensed content that is not GFDL-compatible. All text published before June 15th, 2009 on Wikipedia was released under the GFDL, and you may also use the page history to retrieve content published before that date to ensure GFDL compatibility."

Please read the entire text of Wikipedia's information on reuser rights and obligations. Among other things, it says:

"To re-distribute text on Wikipedia in any form, provide credit to the authors either by including a) a hyperlink (where possible) or URL to the page or pages you are re-using, b) a hyperlink (where possible) or URL to an alternative, stable online copy which is freely accessible, which conforms with the license, and which provides credit to the authors in a manner equivalent to the credit given on this website, or c) a list of all authors. (Any list of authors may be filtered to exclude very small or irrelevant contributions.) This applies to text developed by the Wikipedia community. Text from external sources may attach additional attribution requirements to the work, which should be indicated on an article's face or on its talk page. For example, a page may have a banner or other notation indicating that some or all of its content was originally published somewhere else. Where such notations are visible in the page itself, they should generally be preserved by re-users."

When you are reading through Ballotpedia, at times you may come across a page that says, at the end of the article, that the article, or parts of the article, was taken from Wikipedia.

  • These articles were installed on Ballotpedia prior to the time in June 2009 that Wikipedia changed its copyright license.
  • When you see a notice like that, do not interpret that in any way as permission for you to do the same thing with a different article, now that the two wikis no longer have compatible copyright licenses.
  • If you see one of these links, and it does not link directly to the page on Wikipedia from which it was taken, that means that the notice on the article violates Wikipedia's attribution requirement from the time that it used the GFDL license. To correct this error, the link in the notice should go to the page on Wikipedia from whence the text came. If you notice such a problem, and you do not have time to fix it when you notice it, it would be helpful if you would type {{wp-copy-vio}} at the beginning of the article. This will sort the article into a list of articles with similar problems, where they can be dealt with.

See also