[Foundation-l] Board meeting in Rotterdam later this week

David Strauss david at fourkitchens.com
Sun Jan 14 20:24:42 UTC 2007

The biggest error I see here is that people are trying to limit language
versions of Wikipedia so that they comply with the laws of the country
where the language is primarily spoken. But that's fruitless. The
Italian Wikipedia (hosted in Florida) isn't under Italian law just
because it's in Italian. Nor are Italian citizens liable for something
on the Italian Wikipedia just because the page is in Italian.

There seems to be a plausible argument that Italian citizens cannot
upload normally copyrighted material under the fair use exception. But
there's a huge difference between what the Italian Wikipedia can host
and what Italian citizens may post to it.

And if you think that you can fix the problem by making the Italian
Wikipedia have policies that fit within Italian law, what about Italians
who edit the English or other Wikipedias? They're not suddenly exempt
from Italian law because they're working in another language.

Perhaps we should put together guides for legal interaction with
Wikipedia. For example, Wikipedia editors in Italy must obtain
permission for Wikipedia to use the content from the copyright holder
*and* post a fair-use justification for use in jurisdictions with fair
use or similar exceptions.

We must distinguish between language editions of Wikipedia and national

rfrangi at libero.it wrote:
>> David Strauss wrote:
>> You're arguing from the ridiculous premise that Wikipedia must be legal
>> in every country. Even the topics of some articles aren't legal in some
>> countries.
> No, I'm not. I'm aware that this is impossible. But when you say that anyone should be able to reuse a whole Wikipedia article as is, you are making a ridiculous premise, because the very fact that Wikipedia can't be legal in every countru makes this impossible. Unless you intended "a US commercial organization can at least take whole Wikipedia pages and re-use them"

Many countries have analogues of fair use:

The English Wikipedia allows only a relatively safe subset of fair use,
so another country's system need not allow everything the U.S. does to
make use English Wikipedia materials.

> Now please, consider the following two as being the same image (they are not, but for the sake of exemplification they are). 
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Microsoft_Office_Word_2007.png
> http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immagine:MS_Office_Word.JPG
> The image on en.wiki …qualifies as fair use
> The image on it.wiki is tagged as copyrighted and used with permission (based on what's written here http://www.microsoft.com/about/legal/permissions/default.mspx#ELC)
> The image on it.wiki should be removed right?

Assuming the person posting the material lives in Italy, the image
should probably carry the Microsoft "used with permission" template
*and* the fair-use justification. The former is to protect the person
posting the material; the latter is to protect re-use of the content
where fair use or fair dealing are allowed.

If the person posting the material lives in the U.S., they would only
need to post the fair-use justification because that covers their use,
Wikipedia's, and future organizations'.

Notice that I don't care to what language edition the person is posting.

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 191 bytes
Desc: OpenPGP digital signature
Url : http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/attachments/20070114/6f9110ab/attachment.pgp 

More information about the foundation-l mailing list