[Wikipedia-l] How about the legal stuff when use of audio on wikipedia

lcrocker at nupedia.com lcrocker at nupedia.com
Tue Aug 6 19:19:17 UTC 2002

> How is the legal point of this? Are there things that the
> English Wikipedia can do and things that other wikiepdia's
> may not do?

> To know if the use of a very small part of a song is allowed
> I have looked at the site of SABAM, the watchdog of copyrights
> in Belgium.  In their FAQ it is stated very clearly that it is
> absoluly not allowed to use ANY music whitout permission.
> Also for 5 or 10 seconds.

I don't know Belgian law, but U.S. law very clearly allows
"fair use" of excerpts under certain conditions, and Wikipedia
meets those conditions about as well as anything could.  I'ts
possible that a copyright holder might complain anyway, in which
case I hope we would not cower in fear but rather publicly
ridicule the company and shame them into backing off (Jimbo, if
you ever get such a letter, I'd love to write the reply!)

It's also quite likely that the Belgian site you refer to is
lying to you, because holders of copyrights routinely lie about
what rights consumers have and don't have.

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