[Foundation-l] Let me ask this a third time WAS: EDP: US servers loophole?

Pedro Sanchez pdsanchez at gmail.com
Wed Apr 11 14:01:57 UTC 2007

On 4/11/07, Jussi-Ville Heiskanen <cimonavaro at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 4/11/07, Erik Moeller <erik at wikimedia.org> wrote:
> > On 4/11/07, Nyenyec N <nyenyec at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > As I tried to describe before, there are classes of images that we
> > > cannot use if we hold ourselves to Hungarian copyright law (e.g. movie
> > > posters fall into this category I believe). Currently HuWiki uses them
> > > based on the fact that the server is located in the US and the US
> > > "fair use" doctrine does not prohibit the distribution of such images
> > > when used properly.
> >
> > You should follow Hungarian law as well, and that is indeed the intent
> > of the policy.
> >
> > The very obvious and unavoidable consequence of not doing so is that
> > contributors who are based in Hungary (presumably the vast majority of
> > your editors) are liable for actions that would be copyright
> > infringements under Hungarian law. Where the servers are based is very
> > clearly irrelevant if you want to take action against individuals.  Do
> > not underestimate this risk; it has happened before, though typically
> > for allegations of libel or personality rights violations.
> >
> > Secondly, by only following US law, Hungarian courts could reach a
> > judgment against the Wikimedia Foundation. This could result in legal
> > demands to limit access to Wikipedia, or practical actions to do so.
> > It could also result in judgments against persons outside Hungarian
> > territory. Consider also that 4 members are EU citizens. These risks
> > may seem less serious, but they need to be taken into account.
> >
> > There are cases where we may want to deliberately ignore national laws
> > if they are very clearly immoral, and accept the consequences. We are
> > ignoring China's censorship laws (or, more accurately, regulations),
> > for example. Policy exceptions for a few non-free images are not worth
> > picking a fight over, though.
> > --
> > Peace & Love,
> > Erik
> >
> > DISCLAIMER: This message does not represent an official position of
> > the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.
> >
> > "An old, rigid civilization is reluctantly dying. Something new, open,
> > free and exciting is waking up." -- Ming the Mechanic
> >
> Hi Erik!
> I am sure that doing as you say is the best course, at the very least
> the safest. But the way you phrase it, your message appears
> contradictory to some degree.
> To paraphrase:
> "You should obey your countrys laws."
> "We may deliberately decide to not obey the laws of every country."
> I think some people may miss where the essential difference between
> taking a stand against oppresive laws and obeying culturally distinct
> legal practises arises, and you might perhaps clarify it slightly.
> Another thing I would caution you against, Erik, is the use of the
> imperative voice and the "royal we", particularly in postings where
> you have a disclaimer at the bottom that essentially establishes that
> you are speaking as a private person (admittedly a private person with
> quite good laymans understanding of the legal issues) rather than for
> the foundation. Do not take this the wrong way, in this particular
> case I think the imperative voice may infact be warranted, since legal
> matters are significant, but in general it is good to keep private and
> foundation opinions clearly distinct, no?
> --
> Jussi-Ville Heiskanen, ~ [[User:Cimon Avaro]]
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l

If I understand correctly...

"You should obey your countrys laws."  (you = user, should)
"We may deliberately decide to not obey the laws of every country."
(We = wikimedia foundation, may)

More information about the foundation-l mailing list