[Advocacy Advisors] WMSE being sued over FoP

Luis Villa lvilla at wikimedia.org
Mon Jun 16 17:53:06 UTC 2014

With pending litigation, speculation about the meaning of the law on public
mailing lists is not likely to be helpful to the WM.se folks, especially
given the nuance that will be lost in translation. So I'd recommend
avoiding discussing the text of the law unless/until the .se team
specifically requests help.


On Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 10:45 AM, Ryan Kaldari <rkaldari at wikimedia.org>

> Here is the Swedish FoP law translated into English:
> ----
> Works of fine art may be reproduced in pictorial form
> 1. if they are permanently located outdoors on, or at, a public place
> 2. if the purpose is to advertise an exhibition or a sale of the works of
> fine art but only to the extent necessary for the promotion of the
> exhibition of the sale or
> 3. if they form part of a collection, in catalogues, *however not in
> digital form*.
> Buildings may be freely reproduced in pictorial form.
> ----
> Is BUS arguing that Commons is a form of "digital art catalgue" or are
> they arguing that "not in digital form" applies to any reproduction (as the
> wording is rather ambiguous)?
> Ryan Kaldari
> On Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 1:15 AM, John Andersson <
> john.andersson at wikimedia.se> wrote:
>>  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!
>> Regards,
>> John
>> - - - -
>> *John Andersson*
>> Wikimedia Sverige
>> Project Manager
>> Phone: +46(0)73-3965189
>> Email: john.andersson at wikimedia.se <JohnAndersson86 at hotmail.com>
>> Skype: johnandersson86
>> Be sure to follow us on Twitter at @WikiEuropeana
>> <http://twitter.com/#%21/wikieuropeana> and @WikimediaSE
>> <https://twitter.com/WikimediaSE>
>> Would you like to support free knowledge and Wikipedia? Please consider becoming
>> a member <https://donera.wikimedia.se/node/6> of Wikimedia Sverige! We
>> need your support.
>> ------------------------------
>> 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!
>> Cheers,
>> Dimi
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Luis Villa
Deputy General Counsel
Wikimedia Foundation
415.839.6885 ext. 6810

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