Dear everyone,

According to the Wikimedia Foundation's values (, "An essential part of the Wikimedia Foundation's mission is encouraging the development of free-content educational resources that may be created, used, and reused by the entire human community. We believe that this mission requires thriving open formats and open standards on the web to allow the creation of content not subject to restrictions on creation, use, and reuse."

Indeed, one of the milestones achieved by Wikimedia was the approval of the resolution about licensing policy across projects (, setting up restrictions about how EDPs are to be implemented, and which legislations should be respected when writing up such EDPs. This is appliable to all projects except Commons, which is expressively forbidden to have such a thing as an EDP - because EDPs are for non-free content, and Wikimedia Commons is supposed to host only free content (free defined as in

In practice, things are a little bit different. Projects here and there have been setting up EDPs, and although there is no visible record of this (as far as I know), hopefully all these EDPs have been set up in accordance to this licensing resolution. I do not if such is supervised, but that is not really what I'd like to talk about today.

What I hopefully can point out today is that Commons is also not complying to the Four Freedoms, in light of its own licensing policy, which is the centerpiece of the project ( We have several inconsistencies in our "subpolicies", but the biggest one has just been introduced: the modification to {{PD-Art}} that has been the topic for this thread. The new wording on this template reflects a position of the community in light of opinions/positions of WMF staff members, and goes to the point of considering this an official position of the WMF.

So if you don't mind, I'd like to pose some questions:
*Is the official position of the WMF to consider only US copyright in what concerns content to be hosted in any Wikimedia project?
**If the answer is yes, is Commons included?
**If the answer is no, which copyrights should we consider to host content? Please specify the situation for Wikimedia Commons too.
*Is any WMF staff member entitled to give a "position" in behalf of the Board in a way that condones (even incites?) breaking the law outside of the US, in the sake of lobbying for Free Content/Licensing?
*Are the positions/opinions given by Erik and Mike to be considered for the National Portrait Gallery/UK copyright law only, or for any legislation that has similar/equivalent problems, such as the Swedish one?
*Finally: if we are to consider US copyright only in this specific (PD-Art) matter, but non-US admins are required by some authority in their own country to take down any media that is copyrighted in that country, should admins defy the local authorities or the new Commons licensing?

I believe that if we start allowing exceptions of this kind, Commons does not fulfill its role as a media repository that is indeed free to reuse, and its existence is not making much sense. So I would like to know what is the future of this project, and whether it is more feasible to have local uploads everywhere else, tightly regulated with a legislation, whichever that may be, instead of a central repository of "more or less free stuff, it sort of depends, you know".

Thank you for your time.
PatrĂ­cia Rodrigues

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