Jussi-Ville Heiskanen wrote:
Ray Saintonge wrote:
I have no complaints about commercial use, but I
am concerned when a
commercial user massively takes freely licensed or public domain
material and parks them under the umbrella of his copyrights so that the
users of "his" material unwittingly respect a copyright that has no
basis in fact. If the only ones with rights of action against the
fraudster are the separate owners of the fragments, we will have loosed
the tactic of divide and conquer upon our own selves. I would really
like to see a situation where we nominate someone as an non-exclusive
agent with the right to prosecute serious copyright violations on a
class action basis.
Is it possible to make this work for copy-left licenses?
That is can one transfer even partially the right to seek
redress to another party? If so, that would be wonderful.
I am sure many contributors would take the advantage of
It should be. In the same way one appoints a lawyer to pursue one's
case in court instead of doing so personally. The lawyer who launches a
case does not do so because his own personal rights have been violated.
The case here would not really be about seeking redress. We who write
for the Wiki projects do not do so for direct financial gain, so we
should not expect to receive such gain through a lawsuit. Any
distribution of the proceeds of a successful lawsuit would be mostly
For me it all comes down to regarding what is in the public domain as
belonging to everyone instead of no-one. Protecting the public domain
then becomes a question of collective rights.
To be most careful, I would suggest that such party
be legally differentiated from the Foundation, and would
accept on an equal basis such nominations from contributors
to non-WMF projects as well. Specifically since - at least in
theory - the agent might be requested to act against the
Foundations stated interests.
I agree. If I suggested that the Foundation should be the one to do
this that may have been a little too casual. In theory, my first
impression would be that protecting the public domain should be a
government duty, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for that to
happen. Perhaps a separate "Custodian of the Public Domain" may be the