On Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 5:43 AM, Ray Saintonge wrote:
It seems then that there is a question of
jurisdiction involved. It has
been my long held understanding that the Wikimedia projects have
operated under the laws of the United States, and that WMF has been
consistent in its view that chapters are not responsible for the
contents of the projects. Why then do we now compromise this by relying
on what the French courts might say if the takedown notices are issued
under US law?
Counter-notices would also be produced under US law. There is no
requirement that the person who files a counter-notice be the same
person who posted the original material. The original takedown notice
needs to be a public document in order to enable any person considering
to form the required good faith belief that the material was taken down
because of a mistake or misidentification, or to challenge whether the
takedown notice was compliant with all the requirements of such a
notice. Thus I would suggest that the notices are not privileged in the
way that other correspondence or discussions would be.
How does this involve Wikimedia chapters? I'm not seeing that.
Chapters become a factor because the unschooled mind does not
distinguish between chapters and the Foundation. For the Foundation to
rely solely on US law helps to dispel any ambiguities around that
seems plausible that the assertion of valid copyright in France, at
least where the content was originally published in France, should be
sufficient to have a takedown demand enforced.
Not at all since it is the US courts that would be given jurisdiction
The uniqueness of
French law doesn't seem to be terribly relevant - we can't ignore the
copyrights on French content because the law in France is unusual.
The peculiarity at hand is the extension of copyright terms beyond the
usual life + 70 to make up for revenues lost by the publishers during
the two world wars. The recognition of foreign copyright laws is the
subject of treaties, and if the treaty does not extend this special
protection to the United States it's not legally enforceable there.
any rate, with treaties and foreign laws and whatnot, this is
legitimately an area where non-lawyers (like me) should hesitate to
criticize actual experts (like Mike).
I have never allowed myself the luxury of
showing awe and reverence to
lawyers, or, for that matter experts of any kind. They are not above
Mike has said himself that he cannot represent both the Foundation and
its individual volunteers. That's fair enough