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

Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Sun Jan 14 23:47:49 UTC 2007

So the next step is to understand that it is not the projects that are 
autonomous in this. To be realistic our legal issues are most visible in 
our Commons repository. It has a restrictive policy as it needs to 
function for ALL our projects and in all their languages.

There are in essence on our side four parties to consider:

    * The WMF
    * The chapters
    * The editors
    * The users

In the end all that we do is for the users. When we get it wrong, our 
projects will not be available to them. This is from my pov worse than 
that an editor is not allowed to edit. The ultimate reason why you as an 
editor want to be careful is because you do not want to get personally 
into legal issues.. Chapters and the foundation itself  are 
organisations, they are getting the clout/visibility to improve the 
situation. In order to do this, these organisations have to lobby for 
the good cause. At the same time they have to take care that our 
projects are sustainable.


David Strauss schreef:
> I agree that we need much further analysis of the legal issues editors
> encounter. Despite my lack of legal expertise, it's clear to me that
> languages aren't the right variable for composing legalistic policy.
> I also agree that this is not solely a Wikipedia issue. I use Wikipedia
> as my example because it's where the language-level policies have seen
> the most proliferation.
> I still think the best solution would be divorcing legalistic policy
> from language-based Wikipedia policy. We could set up pages on Meta to
> establish the obligations and limitations for editing as a citizen of or
> within certain countries.
> What we're doing now overly limits some editors and leaves others
> vulnerable.
> Gerard Meijssen wrote:
>> Hoi,
>> 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.
>> Thanks,
>>     GerardM
>> PS this is not a Wikipedia issue .. :(

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