gbrigham at wikimedia.org
Thu Sep 8 21:13:59 UTC 2011
In the legal department at the Wikimedia Foundation, we have been examining
for some time whether, as the 5th largest website in the world, we need a
communication with our users, I think we do, so we’ve put ourselves to
drafting a new version with the hopes that we could get your review,
comments, and ideas.
- You can view the new draft here:
licensing agreement. It does not address a number of other subjects that
that are often relevant for both legal and community reasons. See, as
http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/Terms%20of%20Service) and Creative
What we would like to do is to invite you to read the draft, reflect on it,
and leave your comments and feedback on the discussion page. We plan to
leave this version up for at least 30 days; indeed, a 30-day comment period
for changes is built into the new draft.
Our plan is to review the comments and feedback, make appropriate changes
and edits, return with a revised version, and, if appropriate, propose that
draft to the Board of Trustees for adoption and translation.
Generally, we sought to craft a document that is more even-handed, shorter,
and easier-to-read than most user agreements. Although we encourage you to
read the entire draft, here are some key provisions to give you some flavor:
- Security: The proposed agreement prohibits a number of actions - like
malware - that could compromise our systems. We thought we should be clear
as to what is unacceptable in this area, though most of these restrictions
will not be surprising.
- Roles and responsibilities: We feel we need to be honest with the
community on a number of issues, including user liability. We have heard a
number of community members asking for guidance on this topic. The proposed
agreement also seeks to provide guidelines to help users avoid trouble.
- Community feedback: With this version, and with each major revision
afterwards, we want the community to be involved … obviously. So the
proposed agreement gives users a 30-day comment period before a major
revision goes into effect (with Board approval). There is a 3-day exception
for urgent legal and administrative changes.
- Free Licensing: We felt our present agreement is somewhat confusing on
the free licensing requirements. The proposed agreement attempts to explain
more clearly those requirements for editors.
- Harassment, threats, stalking, vandalism, and other long-term
issues: The proposed agreement would make clear that such acts are
Novel for us, the agreement also raises the possibility of a global ban for
extreme cross-wiki violations, a need that we have heard expressed from a
number of community members. We will share that policy with the community in
draft form shortly. Dealing with such matters is a process that we hope
volunteers will continue to lead on a day-to-day basis.
- Other Legal Provisions: We do have other legal provisions...we are
lawyers after all. Most notably, the proposed agreement incorporates legal
sections that are commonly used to help safeguard a site like ours, such as
disclaimers and limitations on liability.
Thank you in advance for your review and comments. Your input will be
149 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
+1 (415) 839-6885 ext. 6750
gbrigham at wikimedia.org
*California Registered In-House Counsel*
Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the
sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment. www.wikimediafoundation.org
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