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

Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Sun Jan 14 20:46:18 UTC 2007

The German chapter has been taken to court in the past on matters of law 
in Germany. It is not as simple as you suggest. The Italian chapter is 
another entity that plays its part in the whole mess that is the law. 
The British say it nicely: "the law is an arse". Do you know what your 
personal legal status is when you edit an existing article with a 
legally problematic picture or whatever in it.. Are you responsible, 
maybe. Can you be taken to court, certainly.

The biggest error that I see is that people with not enough knowledge 
about the law make the policy. What I believe in is that we know as an 
organisation what our message is about all this. That we take our 
position judiciously as the many organisations that are the WMF and its 
chapters. This way we protect the most vulnerable, our editors. This way 
we may be able to resist the continuing land grab of the proprietary 
stake holders.


PS this is not a Wikipedia issue .. :(

David Strauss schreef:
> 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
> borders.
> 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:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_dealing
> 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.

More information about the foundation-l mailing list