[Advocacy Advisors] WMSE being sued over FoP

John Andersson john.andersson at wikimedia.se
Mon Jun 16 08:15:18 UTC 2014

Hi Dimitar,
Yes, we received the message around midday on Friday. I didn't have time to email it out to Advocacy Advisors at that time as I had to prepare our press release responding to BUS's statements and then I had to rush to meet a friend that was visiting from Finland for the weekend. 
On Friday WMSE simultaneously published a press release and blog post (now also available in English): http://wikimediasverige.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/angaende-stamningsansokan-fran-bus-mot-offentligkonst-se/#English
The board has also been preparing a debate article during the weekend.
In short, the situation is the following: It is legal to take photos, it is also for sure legal to publish them in for example books and sell the books. The unclarity is if it is also okay to publish them online. BUS states that it isn't and they want us (and others) to pay for the online publication, while our (and the legal expertise that we have contracted to look into this) believe that it is perfectly fine to also publish online.
Hence, our conclusion is that BUS is charging municipalities and other actors to pay for something they shouldn't have to pay for and, what is worse, preventing them to share the photos that they have for free online. Their legal interpretation hasn't been questioned in court before. We believe that this is because the municipalities and other actors are to unsure and don't want to risk pissing of BUS, a rather powerful organization in Sweden, and the artists. This is something that has been mentioned in private conversations. Now we have the chance to get this clarified.
I don't want to speculate about our chances of winning, but we are certainly hopeful! Worst case scenario, we will have our main lobbying priority clarified within the year!

- - - -

John Andersson

Wikimedia Sverige

Project Manager

Phone: +46(0)73-3965189

Email: john.andersson at wikimedia.se

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Date: Sun, 15 Jun 2014 10:56:32 +0200
Subject: WMSE being sued over FoP
From: dimitar.parvanov.dimitrov at gmail.com
To: john.andersson at wikimedia.se
CC: jan.engelmann at wikimedia.de; barbara.fischer at wikimedia.de

Hi John,

I came across this today:
Wikimedia Sverige is being sued by Bildkonst Upphovsrätt i Sverige 
(BUS), an organization working with copyright issues and representing 
artists. WM SE has presented a portal (http://offentligkonst.se/) that displays cc-licenced pictures from Wikimedia Commons. As we're working with FoP (studies and advocacy) within the FKAGEU, is there anything else we should know about this case? How are the chances of them succeeding? Is there something about Swedish FoP legislation that is unclear? 

Also, do you mind if I share this on Advocacy Advisors?

Let us know if we can be of any help!


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