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Tuesday, October 3, 2006

AFP Copies Wikipedia Without Attribution

Gee. AFP (Agence France Presse) – the same news agency that once tried to sue Google News ’cause Google used their headlines – has now been caught publishing a German text on the Amish that in many parts matches a Wikipedia article... without citing Wikipedia. Wikipedia, while allowing content to be freely republished, asks for an attribution.

Mathias Schindler of Wikimedia Germany, who wraps up the story in a blog post, says that after calling in to German Spiegel (who used the AFP material), Spiegel amended their article. However, Mathias also tried to get AFP to issue a correction with a named source, and they rejected him... saying that for AFP, Wikipedia is not a “quotation worthy” source, so they will simply talk to original author Clemens Wortmann to clarify that policy to him.

Mathias argues, “Of course, AFP may stick to their policy to not use Wikipedia material for this or that reason. However, if they do use it, this policy is no reason to refuse naming the source ... It would be nice if AFP would stick to German copyright and help answer the open questions.”

[Thanks Mathias!]


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