[Foundation-l] Texts deleted on French Wikisource

Yann Forget yannfo at gmail.com
Wed Jun 2 12:43:12 UTC 2010


In the beginning of March 2010, a few hundreds files have been deleted
on the French Wikisource following a request from Gallimard, a leading
French publisher. [1] The Wikimedia Foundation received a request from
Editions Gallimard to takedown content from the French Wikisource.
This request is based on Editions Gallimard's claim that "Wikisource
content in the French language targets the French public, and
therefore, under French conflict of laws principles, the copyright law
of France applies to this content." They were deleted, according to
Mike Godwin, following the Online Copyright Infringement Liability
Limitation Act [2]. These texts are from a dozen authors, and some are
even in the public domain in France.

In addition, I receive a personal letter, as "the main editor" of
these texts, according to Gallimard. We didn't receive any information
from the Wikimedia Foundation, and I know the details only because I
have been personally involved.

I understand that there is a 15 business days delay after which the
material "must be put back up" (cf. Wikipedia) if Gallimard does not
file a lawsuit. Now three months later, we didn't receive any
information from the Foundation about this, and the texts are still
deleted. Many contributors are obviously not very happy, and feel that
the Foundation submitted to the pressure of a commercial publisher.
Comparing with the National Portrait Gallery affair on Commons, it
looks like a double standard was applied.

Just a few days before these texts were deleted, I asked Cary what was
the official opinion of Wikimedia Foundation about texts which are in
the public domain in USA, but not in France. I was told that "the
community is entitled to decide by itself".




[1] http://fr.wikisource.org/wiki/Wikisource:Demande_des_%C3%A9ditions_Gallimard_du_15_f%C3%A9vrier_2010
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_Copyright_Infringement_Liability_Limitation_Act

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