Brad Patrick wrote:
On 7/11/06, Ray Saintonge <saintonge(a)telus.net>
>On 7/4/06, Jeffrey V. Merkey <jmerkey(a)wolfmountaingroup.com> wrote:
>>Erik Moeller wrote:
>>>On 7/4/06, Anthony <wikilegal(a)inbox.org> wrote:
employee make ad-hoc, arbitrary and speculative pronouncements on the
law without a clear policy from the Board to back it up probably puts
the entire project into greater peril than the obvious silliness of the
more ignorant copyright violators."
For the record, Ray, Jeff, Eric and Anthony are not employees of the
I am, and I hope you do not have a problem with the idea of a paid general
counsel having as one of his primary responsibilities the generation of
'speculative pronouncements on the law.' That is rather the point. My
client, my ethical obligation, and the recipient of my professional legal
advice is the Board. It's my bar card on the line. It is not my job to wax
eloquent on the law for the sake of making people on a listserv have more to
Thanks for including the word "probably" in the statement above, btw. I'd
hate to think you were taking a position without leaving yourself rhetorical
wiggle room. That would probably' be silly as well.
For the record I am NOT an employee of the Foundation, just a schmuck
working on Native
American translations and helping bring Wikipedia to Native Peoples.
My background is well known and I've been on the receiving end of
litigations directed at me
by some very wealthy and powerful groups for years. My father was an
attorney and I grew
up surrounded by lawyers. Here's the bottom line.
You win when you are NOT involved in litigating AT ALL and when people
can work things out. Going
in front of Judge is the worst of all possible scenarios in a conflict -
its like going to Las Vegas and playing
high rollers at the craps tables. You have no idea what will be the
outcome since judge is a fallible human being
trying to listen to both sides and making sense of all of it and
balancing the rights of both parties, and I've been there
-- many times, and not as an advocate but as a party where my interests
were on line and depenent on the outcome.
There's no magic formula or elightened policy the Board or anyone can
come up with in a vacuum that will be a
magical panacea and protect them.
Wikipedia's current policies concerning WP:RS are outstanding and
address almost 100% of any issues people can raise.
When these polcies are followed, people have little to no recourse. The
problem is one of enforcement of their policies,
not the system they have created. Brad has done a job that is beyond
exemplary in keeping the Foundation level and working
out conflicts with Folks and Wales has a heart of gold that shows
through like a beacon in the fog
when you can communicate effectively with him.
I for one am immensely impressed with Wales, Brad, Danny and what they
have built and I will support them to the hilt (which does
not come easily for me). I understand the community issues and the
incredible balacing act these guys have to do to make
this whole thing work, and to be honest I am nothing but totally
impressed with the progress they've made given the types of folks
who visit their site and post troll bait and the antics of a lot of the
folks that they work with and try to steer into a good direction.
My article was one example and Wales totally blew me away with his
mature and thoughful handling of these people who were trolling.
I can say for certainty the Foundation has things well in hand and as
someone who has been involved in exactly the issues you raise
in a plethura of Federal an State Court cases, they are good men, a
judge would view them as good men, and their current policies, when
adhered to, would protect them almost 100% in these cases.
And if they want to protect their rights, as far as I can tell, they are
protecting the rights of the community and all of you to be successful.
seems to operate on a higher set of laws (or perhaps a more precise
understanding of the one universal law), and his direction is sound (though
eccentric) and incredibly productive. When the issue of the website came
up, he stated he applauded this persons courage for promoting
the pervasiveness of Wikipedia's content and said "I hope it goes back
up", indicating he had already done his own internal balancing of
the pros and cons -- they are his Foundations trademarks and his call on
how he wants to use them.
All my love to all of you,
Don't worry, be happy.