[Wikimedia-l] Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] Wikimedia Servers and Copyright Issues (David Cuenca)

Geoff Brigham gbrigham at wikimedia.org
Mon May 13 05:03:41 UTC 2013


Hi Theo,

Thank you for your email.  I'm truly sorry that you feel this way.  I have
been thinking for some time about the issue of finding alternative
solutions to Golan-type issues, and frankly I have not been too optimistic
in the past.  I think it is an important issue to our mission, however, and
I would like to take a closer look to make sure there is not a better
solution out there.  Achal did contact me about it.   Although I have
tremendous respect for Achal, his contact was not the reason for my desire
to look into this further with the community.  As General Counsel, I tend
to exercise my own independent judgment.  I have received a number of
inquiries and I am aware of the past discussions, and, to be honest, the
issue has been bugging me for some time: I’m not at all sure there is a
solution but I would like to look more closely, especially given the
ongoing community concern and available resources the coming month.  If you
- or any other community member - had contacted me directly, that, in
addition to the community discussions, would have been important to me as
well.  If the community feels this is a bad use of my resources, I am more
than willing to reconsider, but I don’t believe that is what people are

It is true that I do not post substantive statements on wikimedia-l
anymore.  I focus on my team leaving more detailed and comprehensive
responses on wikilegal [1], our legal blogs [2], or on the wikis [3].  From
my point of view, these venues allow for a more comprehensive development
of sometimes difficult legal issues, serve as a more permanent source for
future reference and cross-links, and allow for greater community
participation on the issue at hand.  I do try to announce and cross-link to
important legal postings via announce-l and wikimedia-l.

I was surprised to hear that individuals and committees are waiting weeks
for responses from Legal.   We try to be as responsive as possible.
 Sometimes people ask tough questions, and it takes time for us to figure
out the issue with the individual or committee at issue.  But we stay in
close contact with those people, often sharing our thinking or drafts and
incorporating their feedback.  With AffCom, for example, we have been quite
interactive as we try to figure out the naming issue and other legal
issues.  Sometimes the discussion takes longer than we all would like, but
our practice, I believe, is to stay responsive and interactive as we work
out the solutions with our community members.

If you want to discuss with me offline or on the telephone, I will be more
than happy to do so (as I would with anybody in our community).

Take care,


[1] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikilegal

[2] http://blog.wikimedia.org/c/legal/
[3] See, e.g.,

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Theo10011 <de10011 at gmail.com>
Date: Sun, May 12, 2013 at 6:42 PM
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: Fwd: Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] Wikimedia
Servers and Copyright Issues (David Cuenca)
To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l at lists.wikimedia.org>

On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 1:46 AM, Geoff Brigham <gbrigham at wikimedia.org

> As Achal pointed out, we will put resources into researching this issue in
> depth and hopefully finding a solution that may work.  It will probably
> take a month or two to ensure we are looking at all possibilities to see
> this is possible.  If you have any great ideas, please feel free to send
> them to me, and I will ensure our team will consider them fully.
> This will be an interesting project, and I greatly appreciate everyone's
> interest in finding a lawful solution that ensures the distribution of all
> materials in the public domain.

Well, this was interesting to note. In stark contrast to the other thread,
this email was disappointing for the wrong reasons, maybe it's for me
alone. It took about 70 emails and 3 threads, and 2 days of waiting to get
a reply from the concerned staff members, but I believe Achal forwarded
this to Wikimedia-l less than 12 hours before you responded on a Sunday and
agreed to devote a month's resources to it. I don't think more than 2-3
people responded to the issue either on this list or the Indian one. I
guess that's the sole difference of the position he occupies, speaking of
which, the advisory board appointments seem indefinite, and the list
doesn't seem to have been updated - for the past 2 years I have only seen
Achal identify himself as that. As far as I know Mr. Prabhala has not even
logged in to an existing wikisource project, or uploaded anything on
commons beyond anything relevant to the last grant.

I ask because this issue was brought up a couple of years ago on the same
list[1] and received a lot more attention locally than this time.
Completely regardless of the issue itself, I know of several individuals,
and committees waiting for answers from the legal department, and actually
expect to wait weeks. I barely see you respond directly on a list these
days, and you are agreeing to devote a month's resources at his behest
alone so quickly.

Glad to be reminded how somethings change and somethings stay the same. And
speaking for me alone, it's disappointing to note the difference in tone
above vs. the one being employed on the other thread.


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Geoff Brigham
General Counsel
Wikimedia Foundation
149 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
+1 (415) 839-6885 ext. 6750
gbrigham at wikimedia.org

*California Registered In-House Counsel*

*This message might have confidential or legally privileged information in
it. If you have received this message by accident, please delete it and let
us know about the mistake. For legal reasons, I may only serve as an
attorney for the Wikimedia Foundation. This means I may not give legal
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members in their personal capacity.*

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