[Foundation-l] Foundation's position on non-free images

Tomek "Polimerek" Ganicz polimerek at gmail.com
Wed Aug 16 21:15:59 UTC 2006

Tisza Gergo wrote:
> There is an ongoing debate in the Hungarian Wikipedia community about 
> image license policies. I didn't find anything about the Foundation's 
> position on the issue (except for the rather vague [[m:Foundation 
> issues]]), so I'll try to ask here:

The same is on Polish :-) I think there should be an official Foundation 
policy about it. When we were asking people from Foundation around 1 
year ago, the answers where different from one person to another, and 
then two groups of users (pro fair-use and anti fair-use) were using 
these diffrent answers as a key argument. Finally, someone asked simple 
  question: do we really want to make Polish Wikipedia to constantly 
break Polish Law?

> 1) Which copyright law should be followed? The Hungarian law, the law of 
> the United States or both? (And what about France and the Netherlands, 
> where IIRC some of the Wikimedia servers are hosted?) This is an 
> important question, as Hungarian copyright law is a lot more restrictive 
> (there is no fair use, and works made by the government remain 
> copyyrighted).

On Polish Wikipedia it was decided that due to:
a) vast majority of contributors live in Poland
b) we don't want to give an impression that Polish Wikipedia ignores 
Polish law

we have to strictly follow Polish law.

In fact, no matter where the servers are placed, when you contribute to 
any webpage from Polish territory, you have to follow Polish law. You 
are making copyright violation by sending from Polish territory pictures 
or text - no matter where is it going to be published. So, the question 
is where you are - not where is the server.

In Poland something similar to fair use is allowed, but using it in any 
encyclopedia requires:
a) only educational purposes (Wikipedia can be used for non-educational, 
even strictly commercial purposes)
b) documented attempt to obtain the copyright's owner permission

Therefore, technically, fair use in Wikipedia circumstances is rather 
useless if you want to follow Polish law, and therefore we have decided 
not to allow any fair use materials.

Tomasz "Polimerek" Ganicz

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