[Foundation-l] Texts deleted on French Wikisource

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Sun Jun 6 07:38:32 UTC 2010

Nathan wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 5:43 AM, Ray Saintonge 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.
> How does this involve Wikimedia chapters? I'm not seeing that. 

Chapters become a factor because the unschooled mind does not 
distinguish between chapters and the Foundation. For the Foundation to 
rely solely on US law helps to dispel any ambiguities around 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. 

Not at all since it is the US courts that would be given jurisdiction
> 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. 

The peculiarity at hand is the extension of copyright terms beyond the 
usual life + 70 to make up for revenues lost by the publishers during 
the two world wars.  The recognition of foreign copyright laws is the 
subject of treaties, and if the treaty does not extend this special 
protection to the United States it's not legally enforceable there.
> 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).
I have never allowed myself the luxury of showing awe and reverence to 
lawyers, or, for that matter experts of any kind. They are not above 

Mike has said himself that he cannot represent both the Foundation and 
its individual volunteers. That's fair enough


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