[Foundation-l] Texts deleted on French Wikisource

Nathan nawrich at gmail.com
Thu Jun 3 14:08:26 UTC 2010

On Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 5:43 AM, Ray Saintonge <saintonge at telus.net> wrote:

> It seems then that there is a question of jurisdiction involved.  It has
> been my long held understanding that the Wikimedia projects have
> operated under the laws of the United States, and that WMF has been
> consistent in its view that chapters are not responsible for the
> contents of the projects. Why then do we now compromise this by relying
> on what the French courts might say if the takedown notices are issued
> under US law?
> Counter-notices would also be produced under US law.  There is no
> requirement that the person who files a counter-notice be the same
> person who posted the original material.  The original takedown notice
> needs to be a public document in order to enable any person considering
> a counter-notice
>  to form the required good faith belief that the material was taken down
> because of a mistake or misidentification, or to challenge whether the
> takedown notice was compliant with all the requirements of such a
> notice.  Thus I would suggest that the notices are not privileged in the
> way that other correspondence or discussions would be.
> I also needs to be pointed out that several of the authors in question
> died before 1923, and, unless we are dealing with posthumous works, only
> France's unique adjustment for the time of the wars would keep them
> protected there.
> In the absence of a reconsideration by the WMF of some of these
> takedowns I agree that counter-notices.would be a useful approach.  To
> spread the work this could be spread among several people, each electing
> jurisdiction in a different judicial district. O:-)
> Wikilivres is an option that has already been mentioned, and is probably
> the quickest to implement.
> Wikisource.ca could also be used.  Eventually it would be transferred to
> Wikimedia Canada. For now, with that domain being in my possession, it
> would take only choosing a suitable webhost and some technical
> assistance before it is up and running.
> Ray

How does this involve Wikimedia chapters? I'm not seeing that. It
seems plausible that the assertion of valid copyright in France, at
least where the content was originally published in France, should be
sufficient to have a takedown demand enforced. The uniqueness of
French law doesn't seem to be terribly relevant - we can't ignore the
copyrights on French content because the law in France is unusual. At
any rate, with treaties and foreign laws and whatnot, this is
legitimately an area where non-lawyers (like me) should hesitate to
criticize actual experts (like Mike).


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