Wikipedia content in SMS

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Wikipedia content in SMS

Ivan Lanin
Dear all,

An Indonesian telco company contacted some of us, Indonesian Wikipedia
sysops, a couple of weeks ago. They are interested in providing their
users with Indonesian Wikipedia contents by SMS. I would like to ask
some question:

# Since Wikipedia content is GFDL, how can they comply to the license?
# The name "Wikipedia" itself is a trademark. Can they put the name on
their advertising? How?

Have anything similiar to this situation happened? Please share or
give us direction on how we should handle this, since we think the
idea is good to make Wikipedia more known to Indonesian.

Thanks.
--
Ivan Lanin [[meta:User:IvanLanin]]
''I hope someday you'll write with us, and the world will edit as one.''

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Re: Wikipedia content in SMS

C F-2
Google has this here in the US, you just send a text to GOOGL (46645)
with the keyword define and it will retrun the definition in lots of
cases it will be en.wp.
For example sending: "Define:asterisk pbx" returns from google:
"Glossary: Asterisk PBX: Asterisk is an open source software
implementation of a telephone private branch exchange (PBX). Like any
PBX it allows a number of attached telephones to m... Source:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asterisk_PBX"
The above is broken up in 2 messages.
Hope this helps you.


On 7/1/07, Ivan Lanin <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Dear all,
>
> An Indonesian telco company contacted some of us, Indonesian Wikipedia
> sysops, a couple of weeks ago. They are interested in providing their
> users with Indonesian Wikipedia contents by SMS. I would like to ask
> some question:
>
> # Since Wikipedia content is GFDL, how can they comply to the license?
> # The name "Wikipedia" itself is a trademark. Can they put the name on
> their advertising? How?
>
> Have anything similiar to this situation happened? Please share or
> give us direction on how we should handle this, since we think the
> idea is good to make Wikipedia more known to Indonesian.
>
> Thanks.
> --
> Ivan Lanin [[meta:User:IvanLanin]]
> ''I hope someday you'll write with us, and the world will edit as one.''
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>

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Re: Wikipedia content in SMS

Ivan Lanin
Thanks. So, basically, the content provider only have to provide the
URL of the source. Ok, I'll tell them then.

--
Ivan Lanin

On 7/2/07, C F <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Google has this here in the US, you just send a text to GOOGL (46645)
> with the keyword define and it will retrun the definition in lots of
> cases it will be en.wp.
> For example sending: "Define:asterisk pbx" returns from google:
> "Glossary: Asterisk PBX: Asterisk is an open source software
> implementation of a telephone private branch exchange (PBX). Like any
> PBX it allows a number of attached telephones to m... Source:
> en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asterisk_PBX"
> The above is broken up in 2 messages.
> Hope this helps you.

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Re: Wikipedia content in SMS

Effe iets anders
Ehm, well, I'm not sure of that :) When Google does something (and
they only send the first line of their search, which *might* be
wikipedia) it doesn't mean that it is per se OK. You very well noticed
already the license problem the GFDL offers. When they do something
like this, they might indeed risk that someone sues them, but with my
limited knowledge of law I cannot say whether they make a good chance.
I'd advise them to at least seek legal advice of their own from a
lawyer familiar with Open Licenses and especially GNU-licenses (read:
GFDL). Please do not assume that it will be ok, and be always very
very carefull when giving advice on legal area's to companies.

I don't know how the trademark issue is exactly, you might want to
suggest them to contact the Wikimedia Foundation Office for that.

Best Regards,

Lodewijk

2007/7/2, Ivan Lanin <[hidden email]>:

> Thanks. So, basically, the content provider only have to provide the
> URL of the source. Ok, I'll tell them then.
>
> --
> Ivan Lanin
>
> On 7/2/07, C F <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Google has this here in the US, you just send a text to GOOGL (46645)
> > with the keyword define and it will retrun the definition in lots of
> > cases it will be en.wp.
> > For example sending: "Define:asterisk pbx" returns from google:
> > "Glossary: Asterisk PBX: Asterisk is an open source software
> > implementation of a telephone private branch exchange (PBX). Like any
> > PBX it allows a number of attached telephones to m... Source:
> > en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asterisk_PBX"
> > The above is broken up in 2 messages.
> > Hope this helps you.
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>

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Re: Wikipedia content in SMS

Ray Saintonge
effe iets anders wrote:

>Ehm, well, I'm not sure of that :) When Google does something (and
>they only send the first line of their search, which *might* be
>wikipedia) it doesn't mean that it is per se OK. You very well noticed
>already the license problem the GFDL offers. When they do something
>like this, they might indeed risk that someone sues them, but with my
>limited knowledge of law I cannot say whether they make a good chance.
>I'd advise them to at least seek legal advice of their own from a
>lawyer familiar with Open Licenses and especially GNU-licenses (read:
>GFDL). Please do not assume that it will be ok, and be always very
>very carefull when giving advice on legal area's to companies.
>
It's not just a question of law; it's a question of risk management.  
Remember that legally interpreting GFDL or other free licences, does not
have the backing of a lot of court precedents.  A lawyer's guess about
what will happen is as good as yours.

Presuming that the penalties for being wrong are the same with or
without legal advice and that no lawyer will agree to pay the penalty if
he's wrong, the question to ask becomes whether the cost of the legal
advice is worth the decreased risk.

Any legal advice beyond using one hour of his time to discuss general
principles can get very pricey.  Evaluating the implications of a single
GFDL clause in an international context could take many hours of legal
research at whatever the IP specialist's rates, and there is still no
guarantee that he will be right.

On the other hand one would still avoid blatant illegality, but the
problem is that most such acts are not blatant.  If there is a
reasonable possiblity that your action may be legal the illegality is
not blatant, and that consideration alone will keep the potential
penalty to a minimum.  Having established that you have reasonable
grounds for proceding you then need to look at the risk factors.
    1. Is there anybody there to complain?  If the copyright is an
orphan no-one has the standing to object.
    2. Will the infraction be noticed?  The safe assumption here is that
it will be, but there's an awful lot of "inherited" material material
where no-one in the family even knows that Grandpa wrote anything while
he was still in school.
    3. Is there anything in it for the copyright owner?  Is it worth
pursuing?  What is the biggest net win that the person could likely
secure?  That will weed them out.  Many will be happy to just receive
credit, because that alone is already more than they have ever gotten
from grandpa's estate.  When we put the material up originally we
probably have no idea who or where these people are.  Once they let
themselves be known it may be very easy to negotiate the licence; in
other words, material which we might have been rejected as unfree will
have been made free.
    4. Will the owner settle for a simple takedown once the infringement
has been discovered.  Here we would at least review the circumstances,
and be prepared to give the owner the benefit of the doubt with whatever
apologies may be appropriate.  Up to this point the costs to both
parties will be minimal.
    5. Who has the stomach for a court fight?  If or when things ever
get this far we will already have an arguable case, and here we are also
talking about a very tiny part of the cases that were on the table for
point one.  AFAIK things have never gotten anywhere near to this in the
entire 6 1/2 years of Wikipedia's existence on any kind of copyright
matter.  Remember too that the person complaining has costs too; in
addition to that he also has the burden of proof.  Judges can also be
convinced that a person is being frivolous if the complainant has
consistently failed to respond to reasonable settlement offers.  A $1.00
fine may be a reasonable cost of establishing a precedent.

We must never act recklessly.  However, where the law is subject to
interpretation, there is never any obligation to assume the most
disadvantageous interpretation of the law, and that practice is only too
frequent here.

Ec


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