[Wikimedia-l] WMF Policy and Political Affiliations Guideline
jayen466 at gmail.com
Fri Aug 3 19:52:27 UTC 2012
On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 6:00 PM, Todd Allen <toddmallen at gmail.com> wrote:
> We do everything in our power to prevent
> the problem, but it would be absolutely cost prohibitive to do it 100%
> with the difference being that fine grained, and this law gives you
> the right to shut us down if we can't hit 100%. We think on balance
> what we do is good even if something bad occasionally slips through,
> so we can't support that law. And indeed, since this strikes at the
> core of what we do and could shut us down entirely, we must do
> everything in our power to fight the law, including energizing those
> who use our services to speak up against it."
That wasn't the situation though, was it? Just quoting Tim here:
>* Geoff Brigham opined otherwise, IIRC.*
Yes, on the basis that "Wikipedia arguably falls under the definition
of an 'Internet search engine'".
The definition was:
"The term ‘Internet search engine’ means a service made available via
the Internet that searches, crawls, categorizes, or indexes
information or Web sites available elsewhere on the Internet and on
the basis of a user query or selection that consists of terms,
concepts, categories, questions, or other data returns to the user a
means, such as a hyperlinked list of Uniform Resource Locators, of
locating, viewing, or downloading such information or data available
on the Internet relating to such query or selection."
It's hard to see how Wikipedia could fall under this definition, but
even if it did, what would be the consequences?
"A provider of an Internet search engine shall take technically
feasible and reasonable measures, as expeditiously as possible, but in
any case within 5 days after being served with a copy of the order, or
within such time as the court may order, designed to prevent the
foreign infringing site that is subject to the order, or a portion of
such site specified in the order, from being served as a direct
Geoff argued that we would have to manually review millions of links
in order to comply with such a court order. But the definition of an
"internet site" that would be specified under such a court order is:
"[T]he collection of digital assets, including links, indexes, or
pointers to digital assets, accessible through the Internet that are
addressed relative to a common domain name or, if there is no domain
name, a common Internet Protocol address."
We already index external links by domain name or IP address for easy
searching, and we have the ability to prevent further such links from
being submitted, for the purposes of spam control. The compliance cost
would be no worse than a typical [[WP:RSPAM]] report.
Maybe SOPA was a "serious threat to freedom of expression on the
Internet", and worth fighting against, but it wasn't a threat to
So we were talking about Wikipedia – if indeed Wikipedia could legally
be considered a "search engine", which seems a stretch – being given
five (5) days to convert any direct hyperlinks they were specifically
advised of by court order into just alphanumeric, non-clickable links.
So all the talk about "If Wikipedia had had just one infringing link
on it, they could have shut us down entirely" looks like a bunch of
scaremongering nonsense you bought.
Now, who *does* operate a search engine, and would have incurred some
extra costs here?
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