[Foundation-l] Communication

Mike Godwin mnemonic at gmail.com
Fri Jun 4 19:04:56 UTC 2010

Nathan writes:

When the WMF makes a
> decision to intervene in the projects, full and informative
> communication isn't just a nice-if-you-can-get-it side benefit of
> dealing with a small company - it's essential to maintaining the
> fabric of a massively participatory and cooperative endeavor.

I think if you look at what we did with regard to the Gallimard takedowns --

1) Consulting with French legal experts before taking any action
2) Compelling Gallimard to narrow and specify their takedown demands
3) Enlisting community members to implement the takedowns
4) Including (though not required to do so) contact and identifying
information for Gallimard
5) Providing a complete list of what Gallimard demanded to be taken down

-- you see both a high degree of deliberation on our part (we didn't simply
jump to comply) and an effort to make clear to the community what we were
doing and why, and to involve the community, even at the same point in time
at which we followed through on the takedown demands.

You may remember than Yann originally asserted some kind of double standard
(maybe that we're more afraid of French publishers than of British
museums?), and Andre suggested that we simply (and fearfully) comply with
facially invalid takedown requests. Neither notion is true. Somehow those
notions didn't exactly feel cooperative.

I think it's essential to maintaining the fabric of a massively
participatory and cooperative endeavor that one first give some attention to
the full facts of how we responded, rather than jumping to (negative)
conclusions about our motivations and interests.  My view is that, to the
extent possible, I want to minimize the exposure of community members to
legal risk even as I'm doing the same for the Foundation.  Partly this means
adhering to the framework of the applicable laws, including copyright laws
-- so, yes, we will normally comply with a formally correct takedown notice,
just as we will comply with a formally correct "put up" demand.  We'll also
help targeted community members find independent legal counsel when we can,
and we'll support chapters that seek to provide professional legal advice to
the community as well. We do generally have to obey the rules, however, and
we didn't create them.


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