[Foundation-l] BitTorrent Downloads of enwiki Images

Jeffrey V. Merkey jmerkey at wolfmountaingroup.com
Sat Mar 10 18:24:31 UTC 2007

Gary Kirk wrote:

>I'm not a lawyer nor am I that familiar with it regards to fair use
>etc (here in Britain) but what you seem to be saying is that what you
>want to do is not strictly within the law but you'll do it anyway and
>it's alright because the Wikimedia Foundation can deal with it.
Partially correct, but no. In the US, we have something called the 
Digital Millenium Copyright Act,
or DMCA. It allows copyrighted materials to be used in certain 
Wikipedia relies on it to use materials which otherwise would be illegal 
to use on the internet. That's why Brad
suggested folks get rid of fair use images and replace them with free 
ones, to avoid the pitfalls.

Using them on the public Wikipedia site is one thing, however, rolling 
them up into archives
and distributing them with database dumps is another matter, though also 
protected under the DMCA
just as Wikipedia is. That being said, copyright holders who may have a 
little discomfort with
Wikipedia using their images may get a little more upset if they are 
being distributed over the internet
along with dumps and hosted on hundreds of sites. The DMCA provides a 
procedure for
legal actions against sites that distribute copyrighted materials, but 
it also protects sites on
the internet.

What you say is partially correct, except it is the Wikipedia community 
who have uploaded
fair use images and not me. The same legal exposure exists either way, 
except if I am distributing
the images as archives, I become the legal target, and not the 
foundation directly. There also a very
short time period someone can bring legal action under the DMCA (10 days 
I think), after which, use
of the images becomes legal for anyone.


>You also didn't answer Anthere's question - or is the original message
>of this thread you 'asking' for permission/approval?
I did answer the question, just not in this post but in a previous one.



More information about the foundation-l mailing list