Dear Public Policy wikifolk,
As some of you may be aware, I've been working with Jessica Coates (cc'd) -
of the Australian Digital Alliance(ADA) - formerly from Creative Commons
international - on a Wikimedia advocacy campaign in Australia with regards
to the possibility that Fair Use legislation could be introduced into the
Australian Copyright Act. This has been recommended many times before by
various government enquiries, and the Library and Education sectors of
Australia have long hoped for its introduction. Our current system - known
as Fair Dealing - is extremely limiting and prescriptive, which is why it
was illegal, for example, to use a personal VCR recorder in Australia until
2006, just to take one example...
Having sought and received confirmation from WMF-Legal that the proposal is
technically and legally allowable, and also received confirmation from the
ADA that their staff/communications/documentation resources would be
available to do the 'heavy lifting' in terms of public communications, I
have been running this straw poll/consultation with the Australian,
You can see there the details of the proposed advocacy campaign on-wiki,
and also the background details of why this legal issue is relevant right
now in the Australian political landscape.
In short - I'm proposing to run banners on en.wp to logged out users in the
Australian-IP range who are viewing WP articles which include a Fair Use
image (e.g. corporate logo, album cover, film title card...), which will
point them to a landing page [probably on meta] explaining what Fair Use in
Australia would mean in practice, and why it's not nearly as scary as the
Copyright Lobby would have them believe. It can then point people to
further resources on the ADA website, ask them to contact their local
politician on the matter etc. [I do NOT intend for wikimedians to be
collecting a petition]. In this regard it is rather similar to the FoP
advocacy campaign run in Europe.
here's some local political context:
and here's a video that ADA produced a couple of years ago for their
previous lobbying campaign in this topic (which was pitched to an audience
of online-creative industry in general)
And here's the actual government enquiry report which is currently sitting
in front of the politicans waiting for a formal reply:
As you can see at the Straw Poll/Consultation page the comments so far are
heavily (though not unanimously) in favour of running this advocacy
campaign on-wiki. It has been advertised through watchlist notifications in
the Australian IP range, emails to the Australian-chapter mailing list, as
well as talkpage notices to the 1700 people in the category:Australian
So, as people involved in wikimedia/open-access advocacy in general, you're
welcome to comment on that page yourselves (though - do please indicate if
you're actually going to be affected by this proposal, since it's only
going to be visible in Australia). Equally - I'd love your feedback and
help in designing the banner and landing page (on meta?) IF the
consultation is eventually closed as demonstrating confirmed
relevant-community consensus to support. Obviously there's a Communications
side of this as well.
Liam / Wittylama
Peace, love & metadata
As we have stated in our annual plan , “currently, community members
must search many pages and places to stay informed about Foundation
activities and resources.” We have worked in the past two quarters to
create a single point of entry. We call it the Wikimedia Resource Center,
and its alpha version is now live on Meta Wikimedia:
As the movement expands to include more affiliates and more programmatic
activities every year, newer Wikimedians are faced with lack of experience
in the movement and its various channels for requesting support. In order
to expand Wikimedia communities’ efforts, we want to provide easy access to
resources that support their very important work. The [[m:Wikimedia
Resource Center]] is a hub designed in response to this issue: it is
intended to evolve into a single point of entry for Wikimedians all over
the world to the variety of resources and types of staff support they may
need to develop new initiatives or also expand existing ones.
This version of the Resource Center is only the beginning. For phase two of
the project, we will enable volunteer Wikimedians to add resources
developed by other individuals or organizations to the Wikimedia Resource
Center, and in phase three, the Wikimedia Resource Center will include
features to better connect Wikimedians to other Wikimedians that can
We want to hear what you think about this prototype and our plans for it!
If you have comments about the Wikimedia Resource Center, you can submit
your feedback publicly, on the Talk Page, or privately, via a survey hosted
by a third party, that shouldn’t take you more than 4 minutes to complete.
A feedback button is on the top right corner on every page of the hub.
Looking forward to more collaborations!
Communications and Outreach Project Manager, Community Engagement
The Big Fat Brussels Meeting took place last weekend in Brussels (what a
One of the requests was to include more national/local/regional information
in the monthly reports. This way good campaign ideas, efficient practice
and important news will be exchanged more easily.
I am therefore asking anyone who thinks (s)he has relevant and/or
interesting information to send it to me, so that I can include it in the
upcoming report. A paragraph or a even just a few links would be enough.
Background: The main focus of the meeting was on how to better align our
national and Brussels campaigns to support common goals. Currently there is
a EU copyright reform that requires both the European Parliament and the
Council (i.e. Member States' governments) to agree to changes. So we have
an important opportunity to test how well we are already working together.
Thanks and cheers,
For your reading pleasure, here is our fifth issue of our newsletter. It’s
a short one.
Firstly, in our next update, we would love to include things that you see
happening in your country or elsewhere. If you have any feedback or want to
let us know about an issue, please fill out this form
or follow up with Jan by email at jgerlach(a)wikimedia.org.
Thanks for reading!
Policy issue highlights
Initiative against upload filters
As we have written in a previous update, Art. 13 of the EU proposal for a
new copyright directive, which could require content detection systems, is
getting a lot of pushback because of its negative implications for
collaboration and freedom of expression. One initiative that we wanted to
bring to your attention is an open letter titled “Stop the censorship
machine!” that was signed by several organizations from Europe and the
United States who advocate for digital rights, including Wikimedia
Read the open letter:
Proposed law against hate speech in Germany
We are also closely watching developments around a law that was recently
proposed by the German government to tackle online hate speech and “fake
news”. The law aims to force large for-profit social networking sites to
swiftly remove illicit content from their platforms, but does not include
adequate safeguards for free expression. Wikimedia Deutschland has signed a
declaration that calls to protect freedom of expression through principles
of judicial review, democracy, and constitutionality.
Read the declaration:
Amicus brief in Hassell v. Bird
As announced recently on this list, we have signed an amicus brief
advocating for freedom of expression online and intermediary immunity.
v. Bird, which is now before the California Supreme Court, Yelp was forced
to take down reviews without having been given the chance of participating
in the underlying case about the content in question. We believe that the
lower court’s decision runs contrary to the protections of the
Communications Decency Act and that internet platforms should be protected
from liability for user-generated content so freedom of expression online
can continue to thrive.
Read the amicus brief:
Read more background on the case:
>From March 28 through 31, we participated in RightsCon, a conference about
digital rights and the future of the internet. The conference, that was
held in Brussels this year, was structured in 20 thematic tracks ranging
from algorithms, to business and human rights, to digital security. The
Wikimedia Foundation’s policy team contributed a lightning talk about the
importance of protecting the hyperlink, encouraging people to think outside
of the policy silos of copyright, privacy, defamation, etc. In
collaboration with Creative Commons and Mozilla, we also organized a panel
on European copyright reform with an introduction by MEP Julia Reda and
participants from civil society, industry (a Czech search engine and a
Spanish news portal), libraries, and Dimi.
We wanted to use this opportunity to point out that Dimi also gave a fun
(and on point) lightning talk about the need to safeguard the public domain
that he illustrated by bringing a framed copy of a painting of Richard
Wagner, over which a legal dispute is still ongoing.
Watch Jan’s Lightning Talk:
More information around RightsCon:
More information about the legal dispute around photographs of works in the
All the best,
Stephen and Jan
Public Policy Manager
149 New Montgomery Street, 6th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
Today, the Wikimedia Foundation joined other companies and organizations,
including Change.org, Engine, Medium, and GitHub in filing an amicus
brief to the California Supreme Court supporting Yelp’s appeal of a
removal order issued in the case of Hassell v. Bird. This case could set
important precedent that will affect free speech online.
Procedurally, the case is quite complicated. There’s a vivid summary
available on Eric Goldman’s Technology and Marketing Law Blog if you would
like more detailed background. Briefly, Hassell didn’t like some of its
Yelp reviews, and sued Bird, but didn’t give Yelp notice of the lawsuit.
When Bird failed to show up, Hassell got a default judgment , then
promptly turned around and asked the court to force Yelp to take the
reviews down. The court issued the order, and Yelp appealed to the
California Supreme Court.
As we argued in our letter to the court encouraging them to hear the case
in August 2016 , this result is contrary to the immunity granted to
websites that host user-contributed content under the Communications
Decency Act. Platforms must receive notice of such proceedings, so they
have an opportunity to defend users’ online speech. Additionally, websites
should not face contempt-of-court charges or other liability, particularly
when they were deprived of the chance to participate in the underlying
case. The immunity that allows websites like the Wikimedia projects to host
user-contributed content must be preserved.
We will keep you updated on this case, and announce the court’s ruling when
it is handed down. As always, we'll continue to keep an eye out for cases
in which to file amicus briefs, and other opportunities to protect the
Public Policy Manager
149 New Montgomery Street, 6th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
Part of our EU policy plan for this year is to create very simple issue
flyers that can help us as a group and individual volunteer underline
After several years of structured public policy work, I am more and more
convince that one of the major challenges we're facing in the copyright and
IP debates is the narrative that you have (internet) users on one side and
authors on the other side. We must overcome this confrontational setting.
In Brussels we have drafted two flyers
that try to explain how Freedom of Panorama and the public domain actually
help users and authors at the same time. I will move the content to Meta
and we will get proper design, but for now it would be great if I get some
more comments or edits on this.
this attempt to monopolize history is not really new. In 2011 the state of Sachsen-Anhalt in Germany lost its trademark of the Nebra sky disk after they tried to prevent the publication of book with the sky disk on the title page.
-------- Ursprüngliche Nachricht --------Von: Dimitar Parvanov Dimitrov <dimitar.parvanov.dimitrov(a)gmail.com> Datum: 08.04.17 11:42 (GMT+01:00) An: Publicpolicy Group for Wikimedia <publicpolicy(a)lists.wikimedia.org> Betreff: [Publicpolicy] Attempt to extend protection beyond copyright in Norway
Just wanted to share an interesting case from Norway where the Oslo Municipality is trying to protect artworks even after their copyright expires by registering them as... trademarks.
Have fun reading and enjoy your weekend!