[Foundation-l] Office action

George Herbert george.herbert at gmail.com
Wed Jun 2 23:43:14 UTC 2010

On Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 4:13 PM, Klaus Graf <klausgraf at googlemail.com> wrote:
> For me there is no reason to believe that Mr. Godwin is a good lawyer.
> If he receives a formal (blah-blah) correct take-down-notice he will
> It was clearly un-lawful to take down the TU Munich logo which isn't
> protectable according German copyright law but WMF has done so.
> It is a shame that WMF hasn't a policy of TRANSPARENCY regarding
> office actions. The right of the community to get all information
> cannot be overruled by Mr. Godwin's personal opinions about secret
> things.
> If WMF or it's god-like counsel (who wasn't able to accept critics
> since I am reading this list) has taken office action - there is no
> way to appeal. Roma locuta causa finita ...
> Klaus Graf

Could you restate this in a way which was not personally insulting to
Mike, and by implication to the Foundation as an organization?

Mike has been at the forefront of liberalizing open access to
information and the open content movement for at least 23 years that
I've known him.

Despite that, it's his job to see that the Foundation finds an
acceptable balance point between freeing all information we can, and
not being sued into oblivion by someone whose legitimate copyright we
infringe.  The Wikipedia project can't practically survive without a
Foundation to take some legal responsibility and help keep the lights
on / servers running.  We are not Wikileaks - and even they have found
some limits on what they can get away with, though those are
fortunately loosening over time.

I can believe Mike might under some circumstances make a mistake, but
assuming he's acting unreasonably or without regard for open content
is assuming bad faith in the worst way.  It's not called for and not
helpful.  Asking what happened, or trying to promote discussion on
something that happened, are fine and reasonable.  Just outright
assaulting the Foundation and Mike is not.

Please don't do that here.  Criticism can be done constructively and
in good faith.

Thank you.

-george william herbert
george.herbert at gmail.com

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