[Foundation-l] precisions about the recent WMF "fair use" decision

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at gmail.com
Thu Feb 8 23:29:19 UTC 2007

On 2/8/07, David Monniaux <David.Monniaux at free.fr> wrote:
> You've therefore made the point that our current policies favor the broadcasting of the
> activities of the US government. So much for NPOV. :-)

Lets pretend for a moment that the Republic of Iceland had a fantastic
space program, but they kept it utterly secret because they are afraid
that that Norway would take credit for it anyways.

  Would we be violating NPOV because our lack of knowledge of the
program prevented us from giving it coverage equal to the coverage we
give NASA?

I don't think that it does... and to whatever extent that it does, I
think we would do well to look at Iceland as the cause rather than

I do not see how the real situation with the ESA could be any worse.
At least we can still write articles about their activities since they
are not secret. We are only limited in the media  which they do not
release freely.

The ESA has chosen a copyright policy which limits the freedom the
world can take with work, presumably they have good reasons for this,
but their decisions have negative consequences as well.  One of those
negative consequences is a reduction in how widespread information of
their work can travel, and Wikipedia is just a single symptom of that.

I also don't see this as any different to the fact that most of our
astronomical photographs are from NASA, while there are many
University and private telescope's whos works we do not use because
they are not released freely. Are we promoting NASA because we use
their pictures more often than pictures which are not freely release?
... Perhaps,  but since free content is our mission, I think that if
there is any promotion of sources of free content, it is both
unavoidable and not a bad thing.

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