Thomas Dalton writes:
>> I understand what the *rhetoric* of moral rights is. But in the
>> absence of law establishing and protecting moral rights, you don't
>> have any.
> There is a world outside the legal profession, Mike. Either learn
> that, or restrict the recipients of your emails to other lawyers. I,
> for one, don't care about your extremely narrow minded views.
I'm sorry, Thomas, but until people learn to use jurisprudential
concepts such as "moral rights" properly, I have a moral obligation to
point out where they are used mistakenly. This is not a question of
"the world outside the legal profession" (and, indeed, if you were a
member of the legal profession -- or a philosopher -- you wouldn't
make the mistake of supposing this). Philosophy of law is accessible
to people who aren't lawyers -- even you. But it's clear that the word
"moral rights" is being thrown around here by people who are only
casually familiar with the concept. When you have actually given some
study to jurisprudential philosophers (see, e.g., H.L.A. Hart and Lon
Fuller) and can offer some more sophisticated philosophical analysis
than you offer here, I will be able to take your pronunciamentos more
Do you understand what the term "term of art" means?
By the way, most members of the legal profession are not students of
the philosophy of law. It is your misfortune that, in me, you have
come across someone who is. I'm not disqualified from pointing out
philosophical mistakes merely because I can hang out a shingle.
> A legal right is recognized by law. A moral right may not be.
This must be your own idiosyncratic application of the term "moral
right." In copyright, "moral rights" refers to inalienable legal
rights that are recognized in law. If you are in a jurisdiction that
does not recognize "moral rights," then you don't have them, by
> Sure, but I'm not in a jurisdiction that indisputably recognizes the
> to attribution.
Okay, so why are you invoking rights that you don't have?
> Barring a license to use my content in that way, sure. Just like a
> director has a basis to demand "the last solo credit card before the
> scene of the picture".
Excuse me? Film directors don't have any legal right to such a
"credit card" (I assume you mean "credit"). They may negotiate for
such a credit through contract, but they don't have it in the absence
of a contract.
>> So you're saying your legal rights are defined by "common sense"?
> To some extent, sure. Not entirely by common sense, of course, but
> rights can't be understood without employing common sense.
They can't be understood without knowledge of the law, either.
> Should we take no steps to protect people who have no wish to have their
photos published worldwide on a site owned by a charity devoted to
Or to put it another way, is an identifiable image of a person really free
if that person has not given a model release (irrespective of whether the
image is sexual)?
Virgin found out down under that this is not necessarily the case after
being sued for using a 'free' (CC) picture on Flickr (also discussed
here and here).
Creative Commons simply excludes publicity rights from its scope, but
perhaps this is a good way for Commons (at least) to differentiate itself
from Flickr and other 'dumping grounds'. A good analogy would be having the
rights to a specific recording without the rights to the song itself.
I'm sure it's not the first time this subject has been raised, but now the
French chapter has dragged us into the world of commercial publishing it's
probably worth [re]considering. Perhaps it is enough initially to tag images
lacking releases accordingly, with a view to having them released or
replaced? I note that this would also dispense with many concerns about
minors by requiring a minor release by parents or guardians.
Begin forwarded message:
> From: Michael Bimmler <michael.bimmler(a)wikimedia.ch>
> Date: 30 January 2009 16:38:29 GMT+01:00
> To: members(a)wikimedia.ch, wikimediach-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org
> Subject: [Wikimedia CH Members] General Assembly and guided tour /
> Mitgliederversammlung und Führung (Swiss National Library)
> Dear members, dear friends of Wikimedia CH
> liebe Mitglieder, liebe Freunde von Wikimedia CH
> It is with great pleasure that I invite you to the General Assembly
> 2009 of Wikimedia CH, to be held on the 28th of March, in Berne.
> Please find the details attached as a PDF.
> Ich lade Sie herzlich zur Generalversammlung 2009 von Wikimedia CH
> ein, welche am 28. März in Bern stattfinden wird. Die detaillierte M
> itteilung finden Sie als angehängte PDF-Datei.
> Une version française de cette invitation sera fournie dès que possi
> Best regards,
> freundliche Grüsse,
> Michael Bimmler
> Michael Bimmler
> Wikimedia CH
> Association for the Advancement of Free Knowledge
> Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
> 8008 Zürich
> +41 44 912 20 18 (home)
> +41 79 864 88 18 (mobile)
> Members mailing list
"Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or
any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with the
Invariant Section being the "Author and Publisher Information" and no
Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is
included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License"."
This is clearly not compatible with the "official" policy at
"If you contribute material to Wikipedia, you thereby license it to
the public under the GFDL (with no invariant sections, front-cover
texts, or back-cover texts)."
On the same page there is a self-contradiction to these clear words:
"Under Wikipedia's current copyright conditions, and with the current
facilities of the MediaWiki software, it is only possible to include
in Wikipedia external GFDL materials that contain invariant sections
or cover texts, if all of the following apply,
You are the copyright holder of these external GFDL materials (or: you
have the explicit, i.e. written, permission of the copyright holder to
do what follows);
The length and nature of these invariant sections and cover texts does
not exceed what can be placed in an edit summary;
You are satisfied that these invariant sections and cover texts are
not listed elsewhere than in the "page history" of the page where
these external materials are placed;
You are satisfied that further copies of Wikipedia content are
distributed under the standard GFDL application of "with no Invariant
Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts" (in
other words, for the copies derived from wikipedia, you agree that
these parts of the text contributed by you will no longer be
considered as "invariant sections" or "cover texts" in the GFDL
The original invariant sections and/or cover texts are contained in
the edit summary of the edit with which you introduce the thus GFDLed
materials in wikipedia (so, that if "permanent deletion" would be
applied to that edit, both the thus GFDLed material and its invariant
sections and cover texts are jointly deleted).
Seen the stringent conditions above, it is very desirable to replace
GFDL texts with invariant sections (or with cover texts) by original
content without invariant sections (or cover texts) whenever
I cannot see that the quoted copyright notice fits these conditions.
I find your response (which fails to address the issues I have raised)
abrasive bordering on offensive. I also note that this will not be the first
time *today* that someone has requested that you tone it down. What is clear
though is that we have a snowflake's chance in hell of convincing you there
is a problem, so I'm going to add you to a large (and growing) list of
trolls and ignore your 'contributions' from now on.
Presumably WMF has lawyer(s) somewhere. What would be the process of getting
them to take a look at this with a view to having the French chapter put
into place the requisite disclaimers?
Lennart: Illegal content results in individuals being pursued, arrested and
charged and snarky articles being written by old media, not outrageous
(albeit largely unjustified) claims for damages (and leverage via commercial
On Wed, Jan 28, 2009 at 1:46 PM, Gerard Meijssen
> What WMF server allows anonymous uploads of images ? Do you know if this
> makes any difference any way ? Who do you think you get an invoice from? Not
> the WMF not its chapters. So please THINK
> Why bother us with such tripe that is irrelevant to the thread anyway ?
> 2009/1/28 Sam Johnston <samj(a)samj.net>
>> On Wed, Jan 28, 2009 at 1:21 PM, Andrew Gray <andrew.gray(a)dunelm.org.uk
>> > 2009/1/28 Sam Johnston <samj(a)samj.net>:
>> > >> Material in the public domain or under a fully free licence does not
>> > >> require any kind of fair use consideration.
>> > >
>> > > I'm not talking about genuinely free material, I'm talking about
>> > protected
>> > > (copyrighted/trademarked) material being uploaded by others - for
>> > a
>> > > periodic table of elements or medical charts which would normally be
>> > subject
>> > > to deletion (except that they are currently immediately available for
>> > > sale!).
>> > I'm a little confused - surely we would delete this stuff whether or
>> > not there's a "buy a print now" clickthrough button? I can't see
>> > anyone arguing to keep it because they want to run off a poster...
>> > (and to a degree this is rendered moot by that helpful "lowest useful
>> > resolution" requirement of the unfree material rules)
>> 1. Upload high-resolution copyrighted image littered with trademarks as
>> anonymous user.
>> 2. Immediately order poster of said image.
>> 3. File against WMF, its chapter(s) and the printer for good measure
>> claiming [RI|MP]AA sized damages for copyright and trademark infringement,
>> submitting said poster(s) and invoice(s) as evidence.
>> 4. ???
>> 5. Profit!
>> Note that these steps need not necessarily be completed by the same
>> I'm not sure that the courts would have much leeway here (as they might
>> the image not used commercially as was the case before this function was
>> foundation-l mailing list
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
If you haven't seen it yet, Ubuntu is running an interesting
brainstorming software called IdeaTorrent to think collectively about
common problems and solutions:
I wonder - would people consider it useful to set up something like
brainstorm.wikimedia.org using this software, or would it be too
duplicative of BugZilla and listservs? The benefit of IdeaTorrent is
that it's very straightforward for non-technical users to contribute
ideas and solutions. And, of course, it could be used for
non-technical problems as well.
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation
Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "jamesmikedupont(a)googlemail.com" <jamesmikedupont(a)googlemail.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 08:55:12 +0100
Subject: Fwd: [Foundation-l] Wikimedia IdeaTorrent?
I posted my idea here:
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Wikimedia IdeaTorrent?
On Wed, Jan 28, 2009 at 11:30 PM, Platonides > Seems like bugzilla,
but with a separated "solutions" section, where
> proposed solutions can get votes.
> I don't think it should be added, but moving bugzilla to brainstorm
> could be considered.
it is a great honor for me to be on this mailing list,
and I am learning alot just by listening and watching.
Now, I would like to make a simple suggestion :
Lets take this nice technology, extract the essence and
make the wikimedia better :
Look at change.org, the facebook "causes" and other things like
hubdub.com. They allow people to vote with their feet.
How about a simple voting technology for the mediawiki?
Of course with limitations to make those votes more valuable:
With the ability to make comments on those votes,
even put "credits" or "money" on them like bets (see hubdub.com) so
that they are valuable.
The ability to suspend them after a certain time so that they money
would be freed up.
The ability to give your vote to representative (mandates).
The ability to get votes by earning credits (good editiing)
If you had that, then you would
be able to collect reasoned and weighted judgements and then use that
to poll people for all types of issue. It would also bring more
quality and a new form of interaction.
People love to see their name with a number on it!
People could also vote on changes, vote on other people and it would
give the wikimedia a whole new layer of interaction.
thanks for listening,
James Michael DuPont
Organiser: Software Freedom Conference 2009
Aug 28, Sept 6, Sept 23 Prishtina Kosovo.
This isn't directly related to the board meeting, but I want to pause
for a moment to share some ideas. Not all of them are mine, quite a bit
of this is directly from the chapters.
The Swedish chapter had the idea to declare 2009 The Year of the
Picture, to put a concerted effort into adding images to the Wikimedia
Commons, along with using more illustrations in Wikipedia and elsewhere.
I think this is absolutely a great idea. Making better use of visual
material in our projects also fits in with the ongoing effort to improve
I applaud the efforts of all the chapters in this area, and I encourage
anyone who can to join in. You may recall that the German chapter
recently secured the release of a large number of images from their
federal archive, and several other chapters are also working on free
image collection projects. Hopefully our April meetings of chapter
representatives, in conjunction with the board, will be an opportunity
to develop more ideas and strategies. And of course, you don't even need
to have a recognized chapter to get a group together and organize photo
expeditions, as for example some of the people in the now-approved New
York chapter have done.
Commons is obviously an important part of any such efforts, as our
repository for freely licensed media. Now because Commons is a project
in itself, there has always been some tension around how separate and
independent it should be from the other projects. Should it be
considered to have its own community? (Yes, says Brianna, otherwise it
would be no different from Photobucket.) How much should it take
direction from the other projects in order to serve their needs? For
that matter, should the other projects occasionally take direction from
Commons as its participants do things like screen for copyright issues?
Just how broad of a scope does Commons have?
Our mission, fundamentally, is educational. That may sometimes be a
limitation, where media that doesn't have serious educational potential
should be avoided as a distraction, or things that detract from
education can be edited out. However, the needs of education may be
broad indeed, so I'd say that the scope of Commons could be broader -
actually, maybe I should say deeper instead. Along those lines, I'll
share some comments I made in an internal discussion on the subject.
Speaking primarily from my experience working with images, I find it
really restrictive to think of Commons as limited to those images
actually needed for Wikipedia. I think perhaps we should approach it
from the perspective of what a project like Wikibooks could use -
Wikibooks not as it is, but as it could be.
The actual art of matching illustrations to text requires having not
just one passably suitable picture, but choosing the best for your
particular purpose out of a range of similar options. It also is not a
matter of taking the one platonically perfect picture and dropping it in
every conceivable place, though given what's currently available that's
often what we end up doing. To find a good illustration when you want
one ultimately demands a vast library of images, many of which might
never be used otherwise because nobody has called for the particular
combination of features they provide.
I deal with this regularly in a professional capacity, this is what
stock photography firms are built on, and I can assure you that there is
no adequate freely licensed stock photography resource in the world.
Commons is the best there is, and it is barely usable, and then only
sporadically. Maybe some people imagine we have too many pictures of
people's cats and dogs, since those are popular subjects, but I'll say
we don't have nearly enough even of that - and in particular we don't
have enough variety. Suppose I wanted a picture of a dog and a cat
together, a fairly mundane subject, for which I did at least find a
category with 27 files at
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Cats_and_dogs. I suppose
that's a start, but at a glance there's no way that provides enough
options for what I might want, especially if I was particular about how
they're posed or what breed they are.
There are no doubt bigger gaps in our library, and arguably more
important ones. But mostly we need to get more pictures and figure out
ways to use them.