[Wikipedia-l] i hate copyright laws

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Wed Aug 20 20:44:26 UTC 2003

Alex R. wrote:

>A minor problem I have with fair use here is there is no
>way for sure to know when someone invokes fair use.
>Unless they state where the quote comes from or
>acknowledge it is copied under fair use it is hard
>to know. This makes it difficult to redistribute anything
>under Wikipedia IMHO. 
It is all ''caveat emptor'' pure and simple.

>If there were a clear fair
>use log linked to each page that would be a way
>to make contributors more compliant. I know we are
>asked to mention fair use, but something like a check
>box (like on the upload page) for that or public
>domain stuff (with a link to the origin if it is posted
>elsewherre on the net) or some other attribution info
>which is what the due dilligence people need.
It is next to impossible for Wikipedia to police whether any given 
passage is fair use or outright plagiarism.  This is not like 
obscenities or death threats which are very much in-your-face kinds of 
offenses.  If I were so inclined, I have many publications in my 
personal library that could provide an endless source of free material, 
much of whose usage would be a violation of copyright.  It is not 
material from the internet, and would be difficult if not impossible to 

>Anyone who republishes Wikipedia stuff has a heavy
>burden to do their due dilligence to be certain they
>are not violating any third party copyright. While
>Wikipedia volunteers try to make sure their are no
>copyright violations, I am not sure that such a system
>is foolproof.
This is an understatement.  Few Wikipedians would have the resources 
available to check for any but the most obvious copyright violations. 
 My guess is that many small contributors have no concept whatsoever of 
copyright law.

>Also, in most foreign countries it is called fair dealing
>and it is not exactly like fair use, this makes it even
>more complex if someone wants to use the material
>outside the good ol'USA.
Yes, in Canada burning music CDs for your personal use can fall within 
fair dealing.  A levy is charged on every blank tape or CD to compensate 
people whose copyrights might be infringed.

In view of the lawsuit that Fox has started over the use of "Fair and 
Balanced", maybe we should record a trademark over "NPOV". :-)



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