[Foundation-l] Foundation policy on linking to website that violates copyright

Ilya Schurov ilya.schurov at noo.ru
Tue Apr 14 18:42:32 UTC 2009

Hi, list,

I'm not sure I'm in the right place to ask such questions, so please 
point me to more correct place if you know it.

There was an ArbCom case in ruwiki about removing links to some website. 
One of the arguments was the fact that this website contains 
copyright-protected materials in such a way that violates right of 
copyright holder. As an evidence we had clear license statement from the 
copyright holder that explicitly forbid usage of copyright-protected 
materials in such a way as they were used on the website. So ArbCom 
ruled that due to absence of editorial necessity links to this site are 
violation of copyright policy and therefore are forbidden. ArbCom cited 
the policy en:WP:C and the case Intellectual Reserve v. Utah Lighthouse 
Ministry which is cited by that policy.

However, some editors argue that en:WP:C is neither ruwiki nor 
Foundation policy, but just a policy of English Wikipedia, and therefore 
Russian Wikipedia and ArbCom don't have to follow it. (We don't have 
such copyright-based restrictions in our "External link" policy yet.) 
They say that we put excessive burden on the editors and it is simply 
not necessary to investigate facts of copyright violation on third-party 
websites (at least, since there are no requests from copyright holders), 
because we have no explicit statements of the Foundation that we have to 
do it.

So my question is: are there any Foundation policy or statement about 
it? Should Russian Wikipedia obey en:WP:C here, or we can make our own 
decisions on this matter?


With best regards,
Ilya V. Schurov
[[User:Ilya Voyager]]

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