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I have tried to edit a couple of tag wikis with verbage from the appropriate Linux man page, aka the Linux Programmer's Manual. The edits were rejected due to quoting works without citing the source except that every edit says quite clearly on the first line that they are just that.

WTF? These rejections completely took the wind out of my sails to do any beneficial editing from now on. Is this wikipedia?

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Example suggestion: stackoverflow.com/review-beta/suggested-edits/705254 –  Martijn Pieters Sep 26 '12 at 10:51
Do you call this is Wiki-Edit, 2 3, You haven't wrote a single explanation word ? –  Lucifer Sep 26 '12 at 10:53
You seriously downvoted my question because of that? You didn't answer the question with anything valid, but downvoted it? –  L0j1k Sep 26 '12 at 11:04
@L0j1k, It't not me, who downvoted. –  Lucifer Sep 26 '12 at 11:05
@L0j1k Downvotes on Meta often indicate simple disagreement as stated in the FAQ. The downvotes you received might simply indicate "I would have rejected those edits as well" or something similar. –  Bart Sep 26 '12 at 11:08
This is completely mind-blowing. I had no idea stackoverflow was just like wikipedia with the edits/editors rejecting wholesome edits. And then to kick someone when he's down, I can't make tag-wiki edits for seven days? Maybe I should torch my t-shirt. Shame! –  L0j1k Sep 26 '12 at 11:09
You expected card blanche editing rights? –  Martijn Pieters Sep 26 '12 at 11:10
If you have a number of rejected edits, the system essentially simply says "hold on a minute. Please takes some time to figure out why they get rejected before you make new edits". That's all. And you did. So the system works. –  Bart Sep 26 '12 at 11:11
I expected a culture of acceptance instead of one of outright rejection and banning of future activities, yes. –  L0j1k Sep 26 '12 at 11:11
If copy and pasting manpages was useful (duplicating content verbatim rarely is and manpages are a different style to good tag wiki content anyway) wouldn't automating the process be far more sensible than doing it manually? (I don't see how blindly clicking accept is a good culture to have and if you're blocked from editing it's only temporary). –  Flexo Sep 26 '12 at 13:03
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2 Answers

All content on the Stack Exchange is licensed under the CC Wiki license. By copying the Linux man pages verbatim you are in effect trying to re-license that content, without stating any proof that you have the right to do so. Note that the rejection reason states:

This edit plagiarizes content from an external source without proper attribution.

Emphasis mine. You plagiarized the Linux Man pages, without the proper attribution. When simply purloining another author's work the proper attribution is to show you have the right to re-license the work under the CC license used over here. You have not provided such proof.

I would have rejected them as well, for the exact same reason. Please don't copy man pages verbatim into a tag wiki.

Besides, a tag wiki is not meant as a manual on how to use a system call, that is not the purpose of a tag wiki. Tag wikis are meant to indicate what the tag is for, and a general summary of the subject, not a complete manual of the concept.

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Every one of those edits includes the last paragraph, entitled "colophon" which, if you read it, indicates where more information (including licensing) can be found. –  L0j1k Sep 26 '12 at 11:05
Updated my answer. There are two reasons to reject your edits: No proper proof that the content can be re-licensed, and missing the purpose of the tag wiki. –  Martijn Pieters Sep 26 '12 at 11:08
Just because you link to the official licensing information for the original content does not imply that you can post it on a site where another license will be automatically slapped onto it. That is, if the original license does not explicitly provide for that, the burden of proof of which is on you. –  Bart Sep 26 '12 at 11:09
I absolutely DID NOT plagiarize content. It is cited. Did you forget to read the entire post? Are you trolling? –  L0j1k Sep 26 '12 at 11:10
How is stackoverflow.com/review-beta/suggested-edits/705254 not a verbatim copy of a man page? That is not a citing, that's plagiarism. –  Martijn Pieters Sep 26 '12 at 11:12
It is CITED RIGHT THERE, dude! "func(2) -- Linux Programmer's Manual"!!! FIRST LINE! Then if that doesn't rustle your jimmies, there is an entire paragraph called "colophon" at the bottom of the post with information! –  L0j1k Sep 26 '12 at 11:12
Citing means: to quote, to refer to. Not to copy wholesale including the title that happens to mention where it came from. A citation is in support of a larger whole, not the whole content itself. –  Martijn Pieters Sep 26 '12 at 11:14
You are incorrect. Citing is the practice of attributing work to another party, which I have done. –  L0j1k Sep 26 '12 at 11:15
You have taken a full entry and copied it into the tag Wiki. That is far more than a citation. That is copying. If I ad verbatim copy the latest work of Haruki Murakami and provide it on my site, I can no longer claim I'm citing. No matter what disclaimer I copy onto it. –  Bart Sep 26 '12 at 11:15
You are citing it if you attribute the work to the originating party. Why is that definition not being accepted here at stackoverflow? –  L0j1k Sep 26 '12 at 11:16
No, that is attribution. I cite the dictionary definition: "to quote (a passage, book, author, etc.), especially as an authority" and "to mention in support, proof, or confirmation; refer to as an example". –  Martijn Pieters Sep 26 '12 at 11:17
Were you to have offered an explanation of your own, linking within the content to some legally available online version of that man page, that would have been citation. This simply isn't. –  Bart Sep 26 '12 at 11:18
We are but two users and not necessarily a reflection of the site as a whole. Feel free to leave the question open to gather further support for your point of view. Proving us to be idiots in the process. I will offer my sincere apologies if this does happen. (What is the size of that shirt though? I'd love to have it) –  Bart Sep 26 '12 at 11:24
@L0j1k Please do not try to edit Martijn's contribution with points only you have made within the comments. They are in the comments, visible for all of us. If Martijn wants to change his answer to reflect any information you've given in the comments, he will do so. –  Bart Sep 26 '12 at 11:49
@L0j1k "This page is part of release 3.35 of the Linux man-pages project." That's not attribution. That's just a part of the man page that describes its context. If anything, it introduces potential confusion that our tag wiki page is a part of the Linux man-pages project. –  Anna Lear Sep 26 '12 at 15:03
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Yeah, yeah, technically the rejection notice states “this edit plagiarizes content from an external source without proper attribution”, whereas your edits did provide attribution. However, your edits were not appropriate because they did not respect the license of the content you copied, hence the heading “copied content” did apply. All content on Stack Exchange is licensed under a Creative Commons license. When you contribute content, you agree to the terms of service which state that you warrant that your contributed content can be distributed under the CC license. The content of the man pages that you contributed is under a copyleft license, which allows copying, but not under CC terms, only under other terms which you did not respect.

The legal situation with your suggested edits was not their only problem. You were also pointed to the tag wiki guidelines. Please read those guidelines before suggesting tag wikis. Also, please apply common sense.

As you can see when you browse tag wiki excerpts, there is no formatting in excerpts. This excerpt (which unfortunately was accepted — I went and replaced it by something sensible) is unreadable:

bind(2) - bind a name to a socket. #include <sys/types.h> #include <sys/socket.h> int bind(int sockfd, const struct sockaddr *addr, socklen_t addrlen);”.

In addition, this excerpt has useless content — which headers to include does not belong in an excerpt. And on the other hand it lacks important information: there's no context. This excerpt would need to state that this bind thing is a function in the Unix networking API.

The corresponding tag wiki has a lot of problems as well. You just copied the manual page, without bothering to adapt the formatting. There are external references, which you didn't convert to links. There are parts that should have been formatted as code or as titles, you didn't do that.

Furthermore, most of the content of the man page is irrelevant here. The detailed description, the list of error values, the code examples are too much detail. You should have linked to the man page, not copied. In fact the only things that could be retained are the one-line description (which however needs more context) and the prototype.

In addition to a description that's actually comprehensible, you should have included links to the official documentation — here, the Linux man page but also documentation of other systems such as the FreeBSD man page and the POSIX specification would have been appropriate. You should also have provided guidance on when to use the tag (only if the question is about the bind function — or rather, that's what you should have said if that had been the meaning of the tag).

On top of this, your proposed tag wiki only addressed part of the meaning of the tag. It's important when you write a tag wiki to provide at least an overview that discusses the meaning of the tag in general. None of the tags you proposed wikis for (, , , , ) are specific to Linux network programming. For one thing, the networking functions are available in other languages and on other platforms. Worse, some of these tags have multiple meanings, and you only addressed one of these. It was particularly bad for (which gets more use as a jQuery method) and (which is used for all kinds of message sending interfaces, not just in Linux network programming).

To summarize, your suggested content was illegal, badly formatted, unhelpful and incomplete. That's on top of your contribution being a zero-effort copy-paste job. These were not beneficial in any way. Please make contributions that are legal, readable, with useful content. You'll see that if you do that, your contributions will be well-received.

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