[Foundation-l] Wikipedia disclaimers

Sebastián González daleboca782 at gmail.com
Sun Oct 12 22:08:37 UTC 2008

As I have been informed at Meta, the legal disclaimers of the wikipedia in
english were formulated by a lawyer of the foundation, and it's content is
beyond discussion or consensus of the community of users. If one day there's
the need to modify something of it, it would be decided by the foundation.

By logic, the same thing would apply to the disclaimers of all wikipedias,
wich are traductions of the one in english. But are those disclaimers
binding documents in the legal sense, or just of informative purposes? The
GNU free documentation license states "In case of a disagreement between the
translation and the original version of this License or a notice or
disclaimer, the original version will prevail", does something similar
applies between disclaimers of wikipedia?

Let's provide a working example of this. The disclaimer of the wikipedia in
spanish, located at
does not include any mention to the paragraph "Jurisdiction and
of content" of the version in english, wich states that the database is
maintained in reference to the protections afforded under local and federal
law of the state of Florida, in the United States. Far from being just a
part that was missing due to an incomplete translation, I have seen that
some users, including some admins, deliberately refuse to acknowledge the
authority of US law over the content of wikipedia, either as a plot to
prevent consensus about non-free content from ever happening or as a
mistaken display of patriotism. As far as I understand (but correct me if
I'm wrong) being written in spanish and having a huge majority of admins and
users from spanish speaking countries rather than from the US do not erase
the ties with the US and turn the laws of Spain, Argentina, Venezuela or
other spanish speaking countries into the only ones the project would answer

What's the situation, then? Can those things be done, or does the law of the
US apply to all projects regardless of users liking it or not? Can wikis in
non-english languajes be allowed to interpret and write the legal disclaimer
as they see fit, or should a version written or supervised by the foundation
be enforced?

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