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

Nathan Carter cartmanau at gmail.com
Thu Aug 17 02:58:07 UTC 2006

On 8/17/06, Tisza Gergő <tgergo at inf.elte.hu> wrote:
> 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).

There is a fiar amount of debate in various communities with regards to
In my opinion there are two possible options:
- Follow copyright laws of the US because that is where the foundation (who
in essence maintains control over the projects) is located.
- Follow copyright laws of the country in which the content we are claiming
fair use for was created. The content is protected under that country's
copyright laws.

The second is messy and probably unsustainable.

2) What are the rules, if any, for non-free images? Should we follow
> [[Wikipedia:Fair_use#Policy]], or is every community free to create its
> own policies about non-copyleft media content?

I think each community has it's own media rules. I am a believer that free
content should be sought first, with fair use only if absolutely necessary.

3) Is it acceptable to use, in a way similar to fair use, images which
> are illegal in the strict sense, but safe to use? (Eg. under the
> Hungarian law, logos or book covers probably cannot be used without
> proper permission, which is often impossible to obtain - the copyright
> holder cannot be contacted, or doesn't understand a problem, or just
> doesn't care. On the other hand, it's obvious that no one will sue
> Wikipedia for advertising him or his product, especially when that
> advertising would be legal in most countries.)

I wouldn't be too sure there. Some are quite happy to excercise their
copyright rights and jump to litigation.


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