From what I understand WikiSource’s servers are located in the US and must therefore follow US Copyright.
I would like a much deeper understanding of how copyright is upheld online since it’s so easy to access “foreign” websites, of course.
I would like to upload a book - Finnegans Wake by James Joyce - to WikiSource. It’s out of copyright in Europe but on the US, because they have different copyright lengths.
If we assume US copyright law applying to servers physically located in the US, that much makes sense. But is there a law that people in the US cannot access those same materials on foreign servers where they are not copyrighted? If that’s actually a law, how do they enforce that? They would need to stick up some kind of internet barrier, internet censorship. Is that legal? How could they achieve it? Wouldn’t they basically have to get internet service providers to block a certain domain or something? So… the government would say, “We heard foreign site X is serving copyrighted material to American citizens; block that site for all Americans”? And then the foreign site would respond (to get unblocked) by checking the location of whoever’s requesting their webpage and probably specifically limit content depending on region, to comply with the government? (In which case the user could use a VPN.)
What about where a company is registered?
Can Wikisource.de - if it’s actually hosted in Germany - host Finnegans Wake even if Wikisource is perhaps trademarked in the US or something?
Does the law work that way, that a company registered in one country is responsible for complying with copyright law internationally? (I assume so, it sounds likely).
Anyway: if we cannot host Finnegans Wake on Wikisource.de, is there any good workaround? Wikipedia is a very international phenomenon, it would be too bad if it only were ruled by American law. Can’t we create a German subsidiary legal entity for it or something?
Thanks very much,