[Foundation-l] Office action

Mike Godwin mnemonic at gmail.com
Wed Jun 2 23:54:14 UTC 2010

Klaus Graf writes:

For me there is no reason to believe that Mr. Godwin is a good lawyer.

I certainly don't require that you believe I'm a good lawyer. I'd be a very
poor lawyer indeed, however, if I invited publishers to embroil us in
expensive copyright lawsuits that we might not win when both U.S. and
international law provide a mechanism for sidestepping such lawsuits.

I realize that some people think it would be very thrilling if the Wikimedia
Foundation were to take on such lawsuits to vindicate the views of
contributing editors who themselves are not willing to engage directly in
litigation with overreaching publishers. And it would be thrilling, I
suppose, but not in a very responsible way.

> If he receives a formal (blah-blah) correct take-down-notice he will

Yes, it is correct that I will comply with a DMCA (or equivalent) takedown
notice.  In this respect, I'm like just about every lawyer everywhere who
represents a service provider.  Perhaps they are all bad lawyers, but at
least I'm in good company if they are.

> 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.

I'm unaware of any takedown notice regarding "the TU Munich logo." Perhaps
you are referring to some action taken by my predecessor.

> 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.

In the world outside this mailing list, the fact that I'm responding to this
extent to these criticisms would itself be taken as proof of transparency,
not disproof.

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.

I invite informed criticism.  In fact, I love it -- it's exceedingly helpful
to receive thoughtful, informed criticism.  I'm sure you share my belief in
this, Klaus, and I look to you as a model of how to respond to thoughtful


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