Thanks for sharing this, Mike. Sounds like something we should discuss at
the upcoming WikiSalon next Wednesday evening. I have some friends (outside
the wiki world) who know California lawmaking fairly well, I will ask
around a bit beforehand.
On Mon, May 16, 2016 at 9:41 PM, Mike Linksvayer <ml(a)gondwanaland.com>
On 05/15/2016 08:07 PM, John P. Sadowski wrote:
That is quite troubling, given that the committee
near-unanimous. Is it possible that the bill could be interpreted
to apply retroactively, meaning we'd have to remove those 1048 items?
I don't see anything retroactive in the text, but I also don't see
anything that would strictly prohibit state agencies and local
governments from treating previous publications as subject to copyright.
I see that User:Gazebo has posted at
to no discussion yet.
Any idea when the bill comes up with a vote?
Wikimedia DC could
possibly draft and send a letter giving Wikimedia-specific examples,
or we could work with the Foundation legal team to do so.
I don't know when it can be expected to come up for a vote. I should
know more about California lawmaking than I do, which is almost nothing.
I've copied wikimedia-sf; maybe some local California government maven
lurks there and could say.
> On May 15, 2016, at 9:47 PM, Mike Linksvayer
> Wants to Copyright All Government Works"
> More background at
> According to http://copyright.lib.harvard.edu/states/
California is one
> of the three most "open" regarding government works. Presumably it
> be anymore if AB 2880 becomes law.
> California is one of only two U.S. states with a category under
> -- https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:PD_California
> I haven't investigated whether and how many of those items would be
> subject to copyright had AB 2880 been California law at the times of
> their publication.
> Skimming the bill's changes to present law at
> it seems the one or two maybe dangerous
additions are these:
>> A public entity may own, license, and, if it deems it appropriate,
>> formally register intellectual property it creates or otherwise
> The assembly's analysis views this as a clarification, but it could open
> the door to widespread use (or copyright apologists would say, abuse) of
> copyright by local government, as the EFF says, "to chill speech, stifle
> open government, and harm the public domain."
>> (A) A state agency shall not enter into a contract under this
>> article that waives the state’s intellectual property rights unless
>> the state agency, prior to execution of the contract, obtains the
>> consent of the department to the waiver.
>> (B) An attempted waiver of the state’s intellectual property rights
>> by a state agency that violates subparagraph (A) shall be deemed
>> void as against public policy.
> It is not clear to me whether this addition might serve as a barrier to
> agencies deciding to publish material under open licenses. In the
> meantime, I assume it will foster such barriers in practice.
issue an action alert, but meantime, call your state assembly
member's office & ask them to oppose."
If this is indeed a threat, I wonder if there's anything Wikimedians can
do to oppose it, in addition to those of us in California calling our
state assembly members?
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