Hi policy folks,
tl;dr: Please check out and participate in the new copyright strategy on
Meta <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Copyright_strategy>, and attend the
accompanying IRC office hour
As you may have already seen on other mailing lists or through messages
on-wiki, we on the WMF legal team have been putting together a new strategy
for identifying, prioritizing, and addressing copyright issues that affect
Wikimedia <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Copyright_strategy>. The goal of
the strategy is to improve how Wikimedia does its copyright-related work by
providing a centralized place for everyone—staff and non-staff alike—to
organize and collaborate on that work. There’s more information on Meta:
The strategy is designed to work with all sorts of issues, including things
like MediaWiki feature design, Creative Commons license compliance and
project copyright policies. I’m hoping the copyright strategy pages will
also become a place to track and discuss copyright-related public policy
opportunities and developments. If a copyright lawsuit is filed, copyright
legislation is proposed, or an opportunity arises to share Wikimedia’s
perspective on copyright with policymakers, it can be added to the
strategy’s list of issues
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Copyright_strategy/Issues>. We can then
all talk about it and propose responses or activism.
The goal of the strategy is not to replace this mailing list, the public
policy portal <http://policy.wikimedia.org>, or anywhere else where policy
discussions are already thriving, but to supplement existing forums. By
documenting discussions and keeping them active on-wiki, we can help make
sure we don’t lose track of anything.
If you have questions about all of this, I encourage you to leave a comment
on the copyright strategy talk page
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Copyright_strategy>. The legal team
will also be holding an office hour on IRC
discuss the strategy on September 15 at 14:00 UTC.
I hope you’ll participate!
Charles M. Roslof
NOTICE: This message might have confidential or legally privileged
information in it. If you have received this message by accident, please
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Wikimedia Foundation, for legal/ethical reasons I cannot give legal advice
to, or serve as a lawyer for, community members, volunteers, or staff
members in their personal capacity. For more on what this means, please see
our legal disclaimer
Our Public Policy site <https://policy.wikimedia.org/> is now a little more
than one year old, so we are getting ready to update the text. Over on Meta
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Public_policy/Update> you can find these
We invite you to give us your input and feedback about these changes on
the corresponding discussion page
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Public_policy>. We will post the new
changes on the site on November 28. We will of course continue to
periodically update this text on a regular basis, so you are welcome to
continue to provide suggestions.
If you have additional related resources, such as your chapter's comments
to policymakers, please let us know! We may be able to add more of this
information to each of the policy areas on the site.
We look forward to hearing your feedback!
Public Policy Manager
149 New Montgomery Street, 6th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
Following Dimi’s great example of sending out an update about public policy
developments in the EU each month, from now on we also want to give you an
overview of policy issues that we have been thinking about lately. In this
first issue, we will outline some items that we have been working on over
the past couple weeks:
Public Policy Highlights
Freedom of expression should include the freedom to link.
The European Court of Human Rights is currently reviewing Magyar Jeti Zrt
vs. Hungary, a case in which the Hungarian Supreme Court found
website liable for posting a hyperlink that allegedly defamed a political
party. At issue is whether it violates Article 10 of the European
Convention of Human Rights—which protects Europeans’ rights to free
expression—to hold someone legally responsible for the content of a
hyperlink that they post. We believe that the Court was right to take the
case, and that it should reverse the Hungarian courts’ rulings. Hyperlinks
are prerequisite to a free and open internet, enabling collaboration and
access to knowledge for all. They are similarly essential to the continued
thriving of the Wikimedia projects.
Our own post about this case is up on the Wikimedia Blog here:
Delisting search results should not threaten access to knowledge.
Last month, we filed an intervention with the French Supreme Court about an
order by the CNIL, the French privacy watchdog, to extend the effect of the
so-called Right to be Forgotten or Right to Delist beyond French
jurisdiction. The decision requires Google to remove information globally
from its search results when requested appropriately by French citizens.
Google has appealed this decision.
We support this appeal because the Right to Delist creates obstacles to
finding knowledge online and threatens the public’s interest in remembering
historic subjects that are important to society, such as human rights
abuses or dissenting political opinions. Roughly half of Wikipedia visits
originate from search engines. Delisting articles from search results,
therefore, will make it more difficult for people to find and access
Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. Moreover, the very concept
underlying delisting is contrary to the Wikimedia movement’s goal of
promoting access to free knowledge.The CNIL’s implementation of the Right
to Delist also lacks transparency and due process protections and threatens
the Wikimedia community’s ability to effectively make editorial decisions
The CNIL’s order would limit access to knowledge to people around the
world, not just in France. Google should not be required under one
country’s laws to remove lawful content from search results around the
world. We fear that the CNIL’s decision sets a bad precedent for other
nations looking to expand their jurisdiction beyond their geographical
borders, ultimately limiting access to knowledge to the lowest common
Our own post about the issue is up on the Wikimedia Blog:
Status of EU Copyright Package
Promoting copyright laws that support free knowledge and online
collaboration is one of five pillars of policy for Wikimedia. The proposed
directive on Copyright for the Digital Single Market is going to
significantly shape this policy environment in the European Union. There
are at least five issues that need to be amended to make sure the Wikimedia
Projects can optimally grow and continue to flourish.
The Rapporteur for the European Parliament is currently hearing
stakeholders. Wikimedians and supporters of Wikipedia are working on
positive amendments that would introduce Freedom of Panorama and a new
article on Safeguarding the Public Domain to the directive. These
amendments aim to allow European citizens to upload images of buildings and
art in public spaces and prevent new rights from being created in the
process of digitization of works that are in the public domain.
Other issues that European allies are aiming to bring positive changes to
include the proposed requirement to implement content recognition systems
to prevent copyright infringement on platforms (Art. 13), which could hurt
our community’s monitoring for infringing content, and a new right for
publishers over the “digital use of their press publications” (Art. 11),
which threatens the productive use of hyperlinks to refer to original
sources of information. Finally, we see like-minded organizations working
expand the limited exception for text and data mining (Art. 3) to benefit a
broader range of users.
Censorship and Freedom of Expression
As recent reports document, access to information and freedom of expression
continue to be under pressure worldwide. We are especially worried when
Wikipedia is the target of restrictions to access to content and
censorship. The most recent Freedom on the Net report shows that these
government restrictions exist in various forms, such as monitored and
censored copycat versions of Wikipedia or complete blocks of the website
(after implementation of HTTPS made it more difficult for governments to
selectively block articles).
Apart from these government tactics of censorship, we also see other ways
that freedom of expression is sometimes restricted by private parties. For
instance, free speech can be chilled by copyright takedown notices or
defamation lawsuits (see above).
Free Open Shared
On October 27, we held the first event of our new series of talks, panels,
and conversations about policy, collaboration, and knowledge at our office
in San Francisco. Mike Masnick from Techdirt joined us to give a talk about
the intentions of copyright law and how today’s policy is misaligned with
To quote Mike: "We should judge copyright law by its contribution to
learning and education."
See the talk on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsHp8hckkVc
Policy Portal Update: Discussion on Meta
Our Public Policy site is now a little more than one year old, so we are
getting ready to update the text. The suggested edits have been added to
Meta and we invite you to give us your input and feedback about these
changes on the corresponding discussion page. We will post the new changes
on the site on November 28.
We will continue to periodically update this text on a regular basis, so
you are welcome to provide suggestions beyond this first refresher of the
See the suggested updates at:
If you have made it this far down, we want to thank you for reading. :) We
aim to send out this newsletter at a monthly interval. If you have any
feedback or would like us to include things that you see happening in your
country or elsewhere, please follow up directly with Jan Gerlach at
If you have additional resources for the policy portal, such as your
chapter's comments to policymakers, please also let us know! We may be able
to add more information to each of the policy areas on the site.
Stephen and Jan
I speak only as a resident of Northern California, and a student of
Regardless of the concern, I suggest urgency. Trump will be quite
favorable to corporate interests broadly, and unless a given issue can wait
2-4 years, the window for modest liberal consideration closes upon his
inauguration. We tend to respond quickly to charismatic leaders in this
However, if you want to reach Mr. Trump, I suppose talking to libertarian
or paleoconservative influencers might be useful.
On Friday, November 11, 2016, <publicpolicy-request(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
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> Today's Topics:
> 1. Re: Trump (Dimitar Parvanov Dimitrov)
> 2. Updating the Public Policy Portal: request for feedback.
> (Jan Gerlach)
> Message: 1
> Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2016 15:16:51 +0100
> From: Dimitar Parvanov Dimitrov <dimitar.parvanov.dimitrov(a)gmail.com
> To: Publicpolicy Group for Wikimedia
> Subject: Re: [Publicpolicy] Trump
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
> Hi John,
> I have been trying to wrap my head around this as well. From a European
> perspective I expect the US trade policy to drastically change, so that's
> one thing. TTIP seems highly unlikely now.
> Weren't the republicans somewhat moreopen to copyright changes in general?
> Anyhow, I am in DC for OpenCon and would be greet to perhaps meet-up and
> discuss. John & Julia from WMDE are also in town and I know other
> Wikimedians will also be coming.
> 2016-11-10 0:19 GMT+01:00 John Sadowski <johnpsadowski(a)gmail.com
> > Hi all,
> > I'd like to start a discussion—what implications does Trump's election
> > combined with Republican dominance in Congress have for the movement's
> > public policy efforts?
> > It would seem that, at the very least, net neutrality, intermediary
> > safe-harbor, and perhaps the 2018 copyright expiration are at risk. I
> > figure a proactive approach would be best—we should move fast to reach
> > to Congresspeople to make the effects of such legislation known to them
> > before it gets introduced.
> > At Wikimedia DC we've visited Congressional staff in the past, and we
> > could certainly do it again. What else can we do? What current WMF
> > activities or connections can we extend? What are EFF and the policy
> > of Google, Facebook, etc. thinking about right now?
> > Thanks.
> > John
> > _______________________________________________
> > Publicpolicy mailing list
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/publicpolicy
I'd like to start a discussion—what implications does Trump's election
combined with Republican dominance in Congress have for the movement's
public policy efforts?
It would seem that, at the very least, net neutrality, intermediary
safe-harbor, and perhaps the 2018 copyright expiration are at risk. I
figure a proactive approach would be best—we should move fast to reach out
to Congresspeople to make the effects of such legislation known to them
before it gets introduced.
At Wikimedia DC we've visited Congressional staff in the past, and we
could certainly do it again. What else can we do? What current WMF policy
activities or connections can we extend? What are EFF and the policy arms
of Google, Facebook, etc. thinking about right now?