Wikimedia Foundation's help to the projects

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Wikimedia Foundation's help to the projects

Yann Forget-2
Hi,

I think that there are several areas where the projects would benefit
from a more proactive help from the Foundation. I will speak about two here:

1. Legal counselling.

Some projects (mainly Commons and Wikisource) need more input about
copyright issues from knowledgeable persons. I have asked twice to
juriwiki-l specific issues for Wikisource without receiving an answer,
even an acknowledgement that my request was received. Another concrete
example: Commons and Wikisource would benefit most from a cross table
about copyright rules, which countries use "most favourable rule apply",
etc.

2. Helping small projects. It seems that some projects have a difficult
start. Indian languages projects are my first examples. I will go to
India in January, and I would like to use this opportunity to recruit
new contributors. The Foundation could help coordinate this kind of
recruitement.

Best regards,

Yann
--
http://www.non-violence.org/ | Site collaboratif sur la non-violence
http://www.forget-me.net/ | Alternatives sur le Net
http://fr.wikipedia.org/ | Encyclopédie libre
http://fr.wikisource.org/ | Bibliothèque libre
http://wikilivres.info | Documents libres
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Re: Wikimedia Foundation's help to the projects

jmerkey-3
Yann Forget wrote:

>Hi,
>
>I think that there are several areas where the projects would benefit
>from a more proactive help from the Foundation. I will speak about two here:
>
>1. Legal counselling.
>
>Some projects (mainly Commons and Wikisource) need more input about
>copyright issues from knowledgeable persons. I have asked twice to
>juriwiki-l specific issues for Wikisource without receiving an answer,
>even an acknowledgement that my request was received. Another concrete
>example: Commons and Wikisource would benefit most from a cross table
>about copyright rules, which countries use "most favourable rule apply",
>etc.
>  
>
Attorneys are  barred from giving legal advice unless they represent you
by the rules of
professional conduct.  This one is kind of problematic.  They can,
however, publish
guidelines of sorts.

>2. Helping small projects. It seems that some projects have a difficult
>start. Indian languages projects are my first examples. I will go to
>India in January, and I would like to use this opportunity to recruit
>new contributors. The Foundation could help coordinate this kind of
>recruitement.
>  
>
I have someone working on Sanskrit already, but not hindi.   Someone
needs to get
a good hindi project going.

Jeff

>Best regards,
>
>Yann
>  
>

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Re: Wikimedia Foundation's help to the projects

Michael Bimmler
In reply to this post by Yann Forget-2
On 12/13/06, Yann Forget <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 1. Legal counselling.
>
> Some projects (mainly Commons and Wikisource) need more input about
> copyright issues from knowledgeable persons. I have asked twice to
> juriwiki-l specific issues for Wikisource without receiving an answer,
> even an acknowledgement that my request was received. Another concrete
> example: Commons and Wikisource would benefit most from a cross table
> about copyright rules, which countries use "most favourable rule apply",
> etc.
>
I really wonder about the status of the following bodies or positions:

http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Legal_department Is / was this ever
official? If yes, is it the appropriate point of contact?

http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Lead_Legal_Coordinator (Soufron) Is
this still an active position? If yes, how is it related to the
General Counsel? Who is the appropriate contact for project legal
issues? Jean-Baptiste Soufron or Brad?

http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Juriwiki_mailing_list Is this
mailinglist active (i.e. are there discussions going on at the
moment)? Should it still be contacted?



> 2. Helping small projects. It seems that some projects have a difficult
> start. Indian languages projects are my first examples. I will go to
> India in January, and I would like to use this opportunity to recruit
> new contributors. The Foundation could help coordinate this kind of
> recruitement.
>
Isn't this in the domain of Special Projects Committee resp. its
'language' subcommitee?
>From http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special_projects_subcommittees/New_languages

The Wikipedia Foundation Special projects language subcommittee is in
charge of (...) supporting and coordinating new projects to optimize
their success.

Michael

> Best regards,
>
> Yann
> --
> http://www.non-violence.org/ | Site collaboratif sur la non-violence
> http://www.forget-me.net/ | Alternatives sur le Net
> http://fr.wikipedia.org/ | Encyclopédie libre
> http://fr.wikisource.org/ | Bibliothèque libre
> http://wikilivres.info | Documents libres
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: Wikimedia Foundation's help to the projects

Brad Patrick
Soufron is no longer the Chief Legal Officer.  He has no role at this time.

Legal is my responsibility (General Counsel) and will be receiving more
attention in the future.  My other current job is, shall we say, demanding.

-Brad

Michael Bimmler wrote:

> On 12/13/06, Yann Forget <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>  
>> 1. Legal counselling.
>>
>> Some projects (mainly Commons and Wikisource) need more input about
>> copyright issues from knowledgeable persons. I have asked twice to
>> juriwiki-l specific issues for Wikisource without receiving an answer,
>> even an acknowledgement that my request was received. Another concrete
>> example: Commons and Wikisource would benefit most from a cross table
>> about copyright rules, which countries use "most favourable rule apply",
>> etc.
>>
>>    
> I really wonder about the status of the following bodies or positions:
>
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Legal_department Is / was this ever
> official? If yes, is it the appropriate point of contact?
>
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Lead_Legal_Coordinator (Soufron) Is
> this still an active position? If yes, how is it related to the
> General Counsel? Who is the appropriate contact for project legal
> issues? Jean-Baptiste Soufron or Brad?
>
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Juriwiki_mailing_list Is this
> mailinglist active (i.e. are there discussions going on at the
> moment)? Should it still be contacted?
>
>
>
>  
>> 2. Helping small projects. It seems that some projects have a difficult
>> start. Indian languages projects are my first examples. I will go to
>> India in January, and I would like to use this opportunity to recruit
>> new contributors. The Foundation could help coordinate this kind of
>> recruitement.
>>
>>    
> Isn't this in the domain of Special Projects Committee resp. its
> 'language' subcommitee?
> >From http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special_projects_subcommittees/New_languages
>
> The Wikipedia Foundation Special projects language subcommittee is in
> charge of (...) supporting and coordinating new projects to optimize
> their success.
>
> Michael
>  
>> Best regards,
>>
>> Yann
>> --
>> http://www.non-violence.org/ | Site collaboratif sur la non-violence
>> http://www.forget-me.net/ | Alternatives sur le Net
>> http://fr.wikipedia.org/ | Encyclopédie libre
>> http://fr.wikisource.org/ | Bibliothèque libre
>> http://wikilivres.info | Documents libres
>> _______________________________________________
>> foundation-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>>
>>    
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
>  
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Re: Wikimedia Foundation's help to the projects

Michael Bimmler
On 12/13/06, Brad Patrick <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Soufron is no longer the Chief Legal Officer.  He has no role at this time.
>
Okay. And what about the Legal department and the juriwiki-l? Are they
abandoned too?

> Legal is my responsibility (General Counsel) and will be receiving more
> attention in the future.  My other current job is, shall we say, demanding.
>
This is clear (and probably the cause why the positions "General
Counsel" and "Executive Director" are going to be assigned to two
different people somewhen in the future)
Michael

> -Brad
>
> Michael Bimmler wrote:
> > On 12/13/06, Yann Forget <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >
> >> 1. Legal counselling.
> >>
> >> Some projects (mainly Commons and Wikisource) need more input about
> >> copyright issues from knowledgeable persons. I have asked twice to
> >> juriwiki-l specific issues for Wikisource without receiving an answer,
> >> even an acknowledgement that my request was received. Another concrete
> >> example: Commons and Wikisource would benefit most from a cross table
> >> about copyright rules, which countries use "most favourable rule apply",
> >> etc.
> >>
> >>
> > I really wonder about the status of the following bodies or positions:
> >
> > http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Legal_department Is / was this ever
> > official? If yes, is it the appropriate point of contact?
> >
> > http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Lead_Legal_Coordinator (Soufron) Is
> > this still an active position? If yes, how is it related to the
> > General Counsel? Who is the appropriate contact for project legal
> > issues? Jean-Baptiste Soufron or Brad?
> >
> > http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Juriwiki_mailing_list Is this
> > mailinglist active (i.e. are there discussions going on at the
> > moment)? Should it still be contacted?
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >> 2. Helping small projects. It seems that some projects have a difficult
> >> start. Indian languages projects are my first examples. I will go to
> >> India in January, and I would like to use this opportunity to recruit
> >> new contributors. The Foundation could help coordinate this kind of
> >> recruitement.
> >>
> >>
> > Isn't this in the domain of Special Projects Committee resp. its
> > 'language' subcommitee?
> > >From http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special_projects_subcommittees/New_languages
> >
> > The Wikipedia Foundation Special projects language subcommittee is in
> > charge of (...) supporting and coordinating new projects to optimize
> > their success.
> >
> > Michael
> >
> >> Best regards,
> >>
> >> Yann
> >> --
> >> http://www.non-violence.org/ | Site collaboratif sur la non-violence
> >> http://www.forget-me.net/ | Alternatives sur le Net
> >> http://fr.wikipedia.org/ | Encyclopédie libre
> >> http://fr.wikisource.org/ | Bibliothèque libre
> >> http://wikilivres.info | Documents libres
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> foundation-l mailing list
> >> [hidden email]
> >> http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
> >>
> >>
> > _______________________________________________
> > foundation-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
> >
> >
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: Wikimedia Foundation's help to the projects

KIZU Naoko
On 12/14/06, Michael Bimmler <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 12/13/06, Brad Patrick <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Soufron is no longer the Chief Legal Officer.  He has no role at this time.
> >
> Okay. And what about the Legal department and the juriwiki-l? Are they
> abandoned too?

Similar questions come from me:
- Is Press department active? We can say it was replaced with Press
subcommittee?
- Is Press Officer vacant? (It may be a silly question, since recently
I wrote so with my hand on meta)
- And how about other "Officers"? Which is vacant and filled? Or
replaced with a certain committee's chair? Wait, we have heard
Officers had joined Frankfurtertagung?

Even among us who are stick on meta & this list, information is in a
mess. Refactoring will be nice, if transparency and recruiting new
staff from the community is our real concerns.

The reason I ask those is we find still such descriptions on meta; in
this week I found "Elian is the Press Officer" "Press Officers role is
to care for Jimbo's interview" ... Perhaps it would be practical to ta
{{historical}} to all department pages? Oh wait, "technical
department" and its Officers seem to be active (and only?)

--
KIZU Naoko
  Wikiquote: http://wikiquote.org
  * Nessuna poesia prima di noi *
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Re: Wikimedia Foundation's help to the projects

Florence Devouard-3
In reply to this post by Michael Bimmler
Michael Bimmler wrote:

> On 12/13/06, Yann Forget <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>
>>1. Legal counselling.
>>
>>Some projects (mainly Commons and Wikisource) need more input about
>>copyright issues from knowledgeable persons. I have asked twice to
>>juriwiki-l specific issues for Wikisource without receiving an answer,
>>even an acknowledgement that my request was received. Another concrete
>>example: Commons and Wikisource would benefit most from a cross table
>>about copyright rules, which countries use "most favourable rule apply",
>>etc.
>>
>
> I really wonder about the status of the following bodies or positions:
>
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Legal_department Is / was this ever
> official? If yes, is it the appropriate point of contact?
>
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Lead_Legal_Coordinator (Soufron) Is
> this still an active position? If yes, how is it related to the
> General Counsel? Who is the appropriate contact for project legal
> issues? Jean-Baptiste Soufron or Brad?
>
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Juriwiki_mailing_list Is this
> mailinglist active (i.e. are there discussions going on at the
> moment)? Should it still be contacted?

To answer very generally on whether all that information is still
relevant and updated.

I'd say that to a very large extent, most of the information about the
Foundation, located on meta, is outdated. Most of the information on the
Foundation site is correct.

There is no "official" legal department and no legal officer. The Lad
legal coordinator is no more an active position. The coordinator is
Brad, our General Counsel. However, there are several jurists or lawyers
helping us on various issues. The contact to use is Brad. If he does not
answer, complain to the board :-)

The juriwiki list still exist. Though not very active.

Aphaia comments on press issues may receive very similar feedback. Meta
pages are mostly outdated. The most valid pages are those about the
committees and those about the chapters.

Now, about the *good* question: why not updating them ?
Well, lack of time certainly. But mostly, lack of clarity on the matter.
This is part of a more general issue, the current organisation is not so
good, we need to change it, we brainstormed on it already, but did not
come to an agreeemnt (yet).

This is definitly something to work on. It is on the todo, once even
more urgent issues are fixed.

Ant

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Re: Wikimedia Foundation's help to the projects

Ray Saintonge
In reply to this post by jmerkey-3
Jeff V. Merkey wrote:

>Attorneys are  barred from giving legal advice unless they represent you
>by the rules of
>professional conduct.  This one is kind of problematic.  They can,
>however, publish guidelines of sorts.
>
If they started giving out straight answers to the public nobody would
need to go to court.  It wouldn't do to be overrun by starving lawyers.

>>2. Helping small projects. It seems that some projects have a difficult
>>start. Indian languages projects are my first examples. I will go to
>>India in January, and I would like to use this opportunity to recruit
>>new contributors. The Foundation could help coordinate this kind of
>>recruitement.
>>    
>>
>I have someone working on Sanskrit already, but not hindi.   Someone
>needs to get a good hindi project going.
>
Raven and the coyotes would be proud to see that real Indians are
working on the languages of India. ;-)

Ec

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Re: Wikimedia Foundation's help to the projects

Florence Devouard-3
In reply to this post by Yann Forget-2
email seems not to have gone through...

resend

Yann Forget wrote:
 > Hi,
 >
 > I think that there are several areas where the projects would benefit
 > from a more proactive help from the Foundation. I will speak about
two here:
 >
 > 1. Legal counselling.
 >
 > Some projects (mainly Commons and Wikisource) need more input about
 > copyright issues from knowledgeable persons. I have asked twice to
 > juriwiki-l specific issues for Wikisource without receiving an answer,
 > even an acknowledgement that my request was received. Another concrete
 > example: Commons and Wikisource would benefit most from a cross table
 > about copyright rules, which countries use "most favourable rule apply",
 > etc.

For various reasons, which are controversial, some consider the
Foundation should not give such advice. As such, your requests will
probably not meet answers.

 > 2. Helping small projects. It seems that some projects have a difficult
 > start. Indian languages projects are my first examples. I will go to
 > India in January, and I would like to use this opportunity to recruit
 > new contributors. The Foundation could help coordinate this kind of
 > recruitement.

Why not. Practically speaking, how do you think the Foundation could
help ? What do you mean by "coordination" here ? Example of things we
could do ?

Ant



 > Best regards,
 >
 > Yann

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Re: Wikimedia Foundation's help to the projects

nojhan-2
Le Thu, 14 Dec 2006 07:54:11 +0100, Anthere a écrit:

>  > 1. Legal counselling.
>  >
>  > Some projects (mainly Commons and Wikisource) need more input about
>  > copyright issues from knowledgeable persons. I have asked twice to
>  > juriwiki-l specific issues for Wikisource without receiving an answer,
>  > even an acknowledgement that my request was received. Another concrete
>  > example: Commons and Wikisource would benefit most from a cross table
>  > about copyright rules, which countries use "most favourable rule apply",
>  > etc.
>
> For various reasons, which are controversial, some consider the
> Foundation should not give such advice. As such, your requests will
> probably not meet answers.

This is annoying, explaining clearly the main legal issues would benefit to
the project.

For example, we have several peoples involved in negociations
for importing digitized documents into WikiSource or Commons. Those
peoples are often asking for advices on how to convince entitled to allow
such a distribution...

I can understand that the fundation does not wish to take an active part
in such negociations, but advices should be an acceptable way to help
contributors, imho.

--
Nojhan

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Wikimedia Foundation's help to the projects

Yann Forget-2
In reply to this post by Florence Devouard-3
Anthere a écrit :

> Yann Forget wrote:
>  > Hi,
>  >
>  > I think that there are several areas where the projects would benefit
>  > from a more proactive help from the Foundation. I will speak about
> two here:
>  >
>  > 1. Legal counselling.
>  >
>  > Some projects (mainly Commons and Wikisource) need more input about
>  > copyright issues from knowledgeable persons. I have asked twice to
>  > juriwiki-l specific issues for Wikisource without receiving an answer,
>  > even an acknowledgement that my request was received. Another concrete
>  > example: Commons and Wikisource would benefit most from a cross table
>  > about copyright rules, which countries use "most favourable rule apply",
>  > etc.
>
> For various reasons, which are controversial, some consider the
> Foundation should not give such advice. As such, your requests will
> probably not meet answers.

Is there any possibility between professional legal advice and no advice
at all? Here we don't need professional legal advice, but rather general
information about how copyright laws from different countries works
together.

For my practical use, is a photograph taken in India in 1908 by a Indian
photographer is public domain in USA (first published in India)? and if
it is taken in 1920? in 1945? and if the photographer is American (first
published in USA)? and if the photographer is from a third country,
England, for example? (Indian copyright law is "public domain 60 years
after publication" for photographs and sound recordings).

>  > 2. Helping small projects. It seems that some projects have a difficult
>  > start. Indian languages projects are my first examples. I will go to
>  > India in January, and I would like to use this opportunity to recruit
>  > new contributors. The Foundation could help coordinate this kind of
>  > recruitement.
>
> Why not. Practically speaking, how do you think the Foundation could
> help ? What do you mean by "coordination" here ? Example of things we
> could do ?

As Mickael Bimmer mentionned, the coordination might be the work of the
language subcommittee. I subscribed to the list and created an account
on the wiki. ;o)

More generally, I would like to know how far the Foundation as an
organisation is willing to get involved into active promotion for small
projects and new languages. Can the recruitement be made in the name of
the Foundation or not? Can I make leaflets saying "the Wikimedia
Foundation is looking for new contributors for Indian languages"?

> Ant

Regards,

Yann
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Re: [Commons-l] Wikimedia Foundation's help to the projects

David Monniaux-2
Yann Forget wrote:

>For my practical use, is a photograph taken in India in 1908 by a Indian
>photographer is public domain in USA (first published in India)? and if
>it is taken in 1920? in 1945? and if the photographer is American (first
>published in USA)? and if the photographer is from a third country,
>England, for example? (Indian copyright law is "public domain 60 years
>after publication" for photographs and sound recordings).
>
Two major problems here:
* In many cases, copyright questions may be resolved only on a
case-by-case basis. For instance, in many countries, copyright only
protects "works of the mind" with no exhaustive and clear definition of
what a work of the mind is, and it is possible that certain technical
photographs are not works of the mind that can be protected by
copyright. However, deciding whether this is the case for a particular
photograph will entail examining details related to the photographic
process, and thus no clear-cut global answer can be provided.

* In many cases, what we intend to do simply has not been tested in
court. People often mistakenly believe that there are things that are
"legal" vs things that are "prohibited" and thus that lawyers can tell
us which is which. In reality, there are things clearly legal, those
clearly illegal, and things in between for which a lawyer may only give
some kind of educated guess of whether that would fly in court (which in
turn depends on how well we argue our case in court).

Both of this clash with the expectations of many of our users and
admins, that is, to get black and white "yes / no" answers to legal queries.

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Re: [Commons-l] Wikimedia Foundation's help to the projects

geni
On 12/14/06, David Monniaux <[hidden email]> wrote:
> * In many cases, copyright questions may be resolved only on a
> case-by-case basis.

So we redefine the question to one that is somewhat more posible to
answer and in some ways more useful.

What are the common areas of free images?

Answers will include such things as works of the US federal goverment
and it's agencies. Crown copyright over a certian age (depends on the
type of material) and anything over 185 years old (old living person
is currently 115) other than a few oddities like peter pan and the KJV
within the UK.

--
geni
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Re: [Commons-l] Wikimedia Foundation's help to the projects

Birgitte_sb
In reply to this post by David Monniaux-2

--- David Monniaux <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Yann Forget wrote:
>
> >For my practical use, is a photograph taken in
> India in 1908 by a Indian
> >photographer is public domain in USA (first
> published in India)? and if
> >it is taken in 1920? in 1945? and if the
> photographer is American (first
> >published in USA)? and if the photographer is from
> a third country,
> >England, for example? (Indian copyright law is
> "public domain 60 years
> >after publication" for photographs and sound
> recordings).
> >
> Two major problems here:
> * In many cases, copyright questions may be resolved
> only on a
> case-by-case basis. For instance, in many countries,
> copyright only
> protects "works of the mind" with no exhaustive and
> clear definition of
> what a work of the mind is, and it is possible that
> certain technical
> photographs are not works of the mind that can be
> protected by
> copyright. However, deciding whether this is the
> case for a particular
> photograph will entail examining details related to
> the photographic
> process, and thus no clear-cut global answer can be
> provided.
>
> * In many cases, what we intend to do simply has not
> been tested in
> court. People often mistakenly believe that there
> are things that are
> "legal" vs things that are "prohibited" and thus
> that lawyers can tell
> us which is which. In reality, there are things
> clearly legal, those
> clearly illegal, and things in between for which a
> lawyer may only give
> some kind of educated guess of whether that would
> fly in court (which in
> turn depends on how well we argue our case in
> court).
>
> Both of this clash with the expectations of many of
> our users and
> admins, that is, to get black and white "yes / no"
> answers to legal queries.
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
>
http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>

I don't believe you understand how useful it would be
to just have some one say "That particular case is
unknown.  The most similar case to this is Foobar."  
Even if there were a table of questions that people
have asked in the past with yes/no/unknown and no
futher advice would be extremely helpful.  I think it
a false expectation of yours that we are expecting
clearcut answers.  Really we have been mucking through
copyright questions as best we can for some time; we
are all well aware there are often not answers only
arguments.  Just being able to eliminate some
arguments as invalid would be very helpful.

Birgitte SB


 
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Re: [Commons-l] Wikimedia Foundation's help to the projects

Erik Moeller-4
On 12/14/06, Birgitte SB <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I don't believe you understand how useful it would be
> to just have some one say "That particular case is
> unknown.  The most similar case to this is Foobar."
> Even if there were a table of questions that people
> have asked in the past with yes/no/unknown and no
> futher advice would be extremely helpful.  I think it
> a false expectation of yours that we are expecting
> clearcut answers.  Really we have been mucking through
> copyright questions as best we can for some time; we
> are all well aware there are often not answers only
> arguments.  Just being able to eliminate some
> arguments as invalid would be very helpful.

Aside from the potential issues with the WMF "officially" giving such
advice to the communities, Brad (our GC and ED) simply doesn't have
the time to do this. Let's brainstorm about how we can get juriwiki-l
going, i.e. a functioning, community-driven group of advisors with
demonstrable legal expertise.

At the moment juriwiki-l is configured so that postings from the
outside are moderated and replied to by a group of insiders. Is there
any real issue, from a legal point of view, with making it a public
mailing list? This is perhaps something Brad can answer.
--
Peace & Love,
Erik

DISCLAIMER: This message does not represent an official position of
the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.
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Re: [Commons-l] Wikimedia Foundation's help to the projects

Brad Patrick
In reply to this post by David Monniaux-2
"You took the words right out of my mouth."  Exactly.  For those who
want answers,
(a) it's complicated
(b) the answer is "it depends"
(c) there is no "right" answer
(d) if there is a "right" answer, it can be challenged
(e) no, we aren't going to represent you to fight about it.

This is a somewhat flip response, but it is the truth.

David Monniaux wrote:

> Yann Forget wrote:
>
>  
>> For my practical use, is a photograph taken in India in 1908 by a Indian
>> photographer is public domain in USA (first published in India)? and if
>> it is taken in 1920? in 1945? and if the photographer is American (first
>> published in USA)? and if the photographer is from a third country,
>> England, for example? (Indian copyright law is "public domain 60 years
>> after publication" for photographs and sound recordings).
>>
>>    
> Two major problems here:
> * In many cases, copyright questions may be resolved only on a
> case-by-case basis. For instance, in many countries, copyright only
> protects "works of the mind" with no exhaustive and clear definition of
> what a work of the mind is, and it is possible that certain technical
> photographs are not works of the mind that can be protected by
> copyright. However, deciding whether this is the case for a particular
> photograph will entail examining details related to the photographic
> process, and thus no clear-cut global answer can be provided.
>
> * In many cases, what we intend to do simply has not been tested in
> court. People often mistakenly believe that there are things that are
> "legal" vs things that are "prohibited" and thus that lawyers can tell
> us which is which. In reality, there are things clearly legal, those
> clearly illegal, and things in between for which a lawyer may only give
> some kind of educated guess of whether that would fly in court (which in
> turn depends on how well we argue our case in court).
>
> Both of this clash with the expectations of many of our users and
> admins, that is, to get black and white "yes / no" answers to legal queries.
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
>  
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Re: [Commons-l] Wikimedia Foundation's help to the projects

Gregory Maxwell
On 12/14/06, Brad Patrick <[hidden email]> wrote:
> "You took the words right out of my mouth."  Exactly.  For those who
> want answers,
> (a) it's complicated
> (b) the answer is "it depends"
> (c) there is no "right" answer
> (d) if there is a "right" answer, it can be challenged
> (e) no, we aren't going to represent you to fight about it.
>
> This is a somewhat flip response, but it is the truth.

My first thought on the subject was:

It's also worthwhile to contemplate what happens to the foundation's
position with respect to the [[Online Copyright Infringement Liability
Limitation Act]] if it starts providing specific legal direction on
difficult areas of copyright to contributors.
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Re: Wikimedia Foundation's help to the projects

Michael Snow
In reply to this post by Yann Forget-2
Erik Moeller wrote:

> On 12/14/06, Birgitte SB <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> I don't believe you understand how useful it would be
>> to just have some one say "That particular case is
>> unknown.  The most similar case to this is Foobar."
>> Even if there were a table of questions that people
>> have asked in the past with yes/no/unknown and no
>> futher advice would be extremely helpful.  I think it
>> a false expectation of yours that we are expecting
>> clearcut answers.  Really we have been mucking through
>> copyright questions as best we can for some time; we
>> are all well aware there are often not answers only
>> arguments.  Just being able to eliminate some
>> arguments as invalid would be very helpful.
>
> Aside from the potential issues with the WMF "officially" giving such
> advice to the communities, Brad (our GC and ED) simply doesn't have
> the time to do this. Let's brainstorm about how we can get juriwiki-l
> going, i.e. a functioning, community-driven group of advisors with
> demonstrable legal expertise.
>
> At the moment juriwiki-l is configured so that postings from the
> outside are moderated and replied to by a group of insiders. Is there
> any real issue, from a legal point of view, with making it a public
> mailing list? This is perhaps something Brad can answer.

In the context of rethinking the various internal, private mailing
lists, I'm not sure whether it will be considered appropriate to
continue juriwiki-l in its present form. As Anthere noted, the list is
not all that active at present. However, it has had sporadic use and a
variety of sensitive subjects were discussed there with an expectation
of confidentiality. So I would strongly oppose simply converting it to a
public list and making the accompanying archives public.

If a public list dedicated to legal issues is thought desirable, it
should be launched separately. We had wikilegal-l before, but that too
dwindled into oblivion.

--Michael Snow
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Re: Wikimedia Foundation's help to the projects

Florence Devouard-3
Michael Snow wrote:

> Erik Moeller wrote:
>
>
>>On 12/14/06, Birgitte SB <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>
>>>I don't believe you understand how useful it would be
>>>to just have some one say "That particular case is
>>>unknown.  The most similar case to this is Foobar."
>>>Even if there were a table of questions that people
>>>have asked in the past with yes/no/unknown and no
>>>futher advice would be extremely helpful.  I think it
>>>a false expectation of yours that we are expecting
>>>clearcut answers.  Really we have been mucking through
>>>copyright questions as best we can for some time; we
>>>are all well aware there are often not answers only
>>>arguments.  Just being able to eliminate some
>>>arguments as invalid would be very helpful.
>>
>>Aside from the potential issues with the WMF "officially" giving such
>>advice to the communities, Brad (our GC and ED) simply doesn't have
>>the time to do this. Let's brainstorm about how we can get juriwiki-l
>>going, i.e. a functioning, community-driven group of advisors with
>>demonstrable legal expertise.
>>
>>At the moment juriwiki-l is configured so that postings from the
>>outside are moderated and replied to by a group of insiders. Is there
>>any real issue, from a legal point of view, with making it a public
>>mailing list? This is perhaps something Brad can answer.
>
>
> In the context of rethinking the various internal, private mailing
> lists, I'm not sure whether it will be considered appropriate to
> continue juriwiki-l in its present form. As Anthere noted, the list is
> not all that active at present. However, it has had sporadic use and a
> variety of sensitive subjects were discussed there with an expectation
> of confidentiality. So I would strongly oppose simply converting it to a
> public list and making the accompanying archives public.
>

Obviously, it would be a huge change of caracteristics. Just a
correction though Michael, imho the juriwiki has no archives. It is was
done on purpose to avoid any information being released afterwards by
new members.

ant

> If a public list dedicated to legal issues is thought desirable, it
> should be launched separately. We had wikilegal-l before, but that too
> dwindled into oblivion.
>
> --Michael Snow

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Re: Wikimedia Foundation's help to the projects

Gerard Meijssen-3
In reply to this post by Michael Bimmler
On 12/13/06, Michael Bimmler <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On 12/13/06, Yann Forget <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > 2. Helping small projects. It seems that some projects have a difficult
> > start. Indian languages projects are my first examples. I will go to
> > India in January, and I would like to use this opportunity to recruit
> > new contributors. The Foundation could help coordinate this kind of
> > recruitement.
> >
> Isn't this in the domain of Special Projects Committee resp. its
> 'language' subcommitee?
> >From
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special_projects_subcommittees/New_languages
>
> The Wikipedia Foundation Special projects language subcommittee is in
> charge of (...) supporting and coordinating new projects to optimize
> their success.


Hoi,
The language sub committee involves itself in particularly technical things
that are related to languages. In the past there have been projects adopted
that are fundamentally wrong because the scope of that project is not in
line with what it advertises. Also we have had projects started where the
name of the language is squatted by something that may be close but is not
that language.

When new projects have technical issues, we will try to find a technical
solution. It is for instance only recently that I learned that one of our
existing language projects is missing glyphs in UNICODE so it cannot even be
properly shown ...

Thanks,
   GerardM
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