[Foundation-l] Czech Wikipedia's EDP and WMF's licensing policy

wiki_tomos wiki_tomos at inter7.jp
Wed Dec 19 16:38:09 UTC 2007

Hi, please be warned first that I am no legal expert. And since you are asking 
the intent of the Wikimedia Foundation, I believe the best answer comes from 
someone from the Foundation speaking in their official capacity. 

That said, I have two-part answers. First, the board resolution is not 
limited to the issue of fair use/fair dealing issues alone. In copyright 
laws of many countries, there are other provisions limiting or restricting 
the scope of copyrights. For example, I see an English translation of 
the Copyright Law of Czech Republic. It has some such provisions (3 and 29-39, 
are the ones I noticed.) Does Czech Wikipedia allow images of street arts 
and architectural works? Under the U.S. law, it seems that images of 
architectural works could be posted to a Wikipedia when the photo is 
taken from a public space based on sec. 120. The U.S. law just does not 
grant such right to the architect. But works of public art is a different 
story, it seems. (sec. 113 covers it, and there is a case Leicester v Warner 
Bros. on the distinction). Czech Wikipedia might want to allow images of 
works of public art based on 1) U.S. law's fair use provision and 2) sec. 33 of 
the Czech Copyright Act. In that case, EDP should specify what kind of 
conditions must be met for a Wikipedian to post such an image. 

An EDP of a wikimedia project is a policy on just how much non-free 
(but legally okay) images and other non-text media should be 
accepted on the wiki. We want only free-licensed contents, but EDP 
defines an exception to that principle, as Klaus Graf pointed out in his post.

Second, if you ask copyright holder/author's permissions for use, and if 
the images are free-licensed, I see little need for EDP. It is an explicitly 
licensed use of the work, as opposed to use based on provisions on 
limitations and restrictions of copyright defined by the law.  

Hope it helps.



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