IRC office hours/Office hours 2009-10-09

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cary-office: Hey everyone and welcome

[5:31pm] cary-office: Philippe and I will be your moderators
[5:31pm] cary-office: What's the name of the chat channel?
[5:32pm] Philippe|Wiki: #wikimedia-office-talk
[5:32pm] cary-office: thank you
[5:32pm] cary-office: Please preface any questions with "QUESTION:"
[5:33pm] Philippe|Wiki: ***** LOGGING ***** (oops - that shoulda happened earlier)
[5:33pm] mnemonic1: i know the first question will be how do i look so young.
[5:33pm] mnemonic1: the answer is, i moisturize
[5:33pm] Philippe|Wiki: QUESTION: How do you..... n/m
[5:34pm] cary-office: mnemonic1, would you like to open us up?
[5:35pm] mnemonic1: sure
[5:35pm] mnemonic1: hi, i'm mike godwin, and i'm the general counsel -- the lawyer, that is -- for the Wikimedia Foundation
[5:35pm] DarkoNeko: hi~
[5:35pm] Kyro: pouet
[5:36pm] mnemonic1: i have worked for WMF for over two years, and i do a full range of legal work, everything from copyright to working on the lease on our new office space
[5:36pm] mnemonic1: to the extent possible, i also try to be a resource to the larger community of wikimedians
[5:36pm] mnemonic1: is that a good intro, cary?
[5:36pm] werdna: you forgot godwin's law
[5:37pm] Jamesofur: it's ok no one else will
[5:37pm] mnemonic1: i don't worry about forgetting it, because no one else will
[5:37pm] DarkoNeko: heh
[5:37pm] effeietsanders: QUESTION: could you give an indication how you handle issues from outside the U.S. ? (from copyright to legal cases to employee law)
[5:38pm] • effeietsanders just throws it in and hopes he's not before his turm
[5:38pm] Philippe|Wiki: effeietsanders, someone had to be first
[5:38pm] mnemonic1: sure. with copyright, i essentially treat both U.S. and foreign cases the same. a takedown notice from Europe gets the same response as a takedown notice from the US ... unless ...

some reason to believe that the material in question is no longer in copyright, or is freely licensed, or there's some similar glaring problem with the takedown notice.

[5:39pm] mnemonic1: takedown notices require that you don't exercise too much judgment, but i'm not entirely willing to check my brains at the door.
[5:39pm] mnemonic1: other kinds of legal problems i take different approaches to
[5:40pm] WereSpielChequer: Question: Do you see the foundation getting involved in lobbying, such as for less restrictive copyright law?
[5:40pm] mnemonic1: for example, in the US, libel law is fairly limited by free-speech law. in the UK, it's not, and the system there is much more threatening to organizations like ours
[5:40pm] harej: WereSpielChequer: I don't think 501(c)(3)s can engage in lobbying, but Godwin will know more
[5:41pm] Philippe|Wiki: harej: the question is in the queue
[5:41pm] mnemonic1: so normally i would respond to a UK libel threat by simply not showing up
[5:41pm] mnemonic1: let them get a default judgment in England and then try to enforce it against WMF here in the USA
[5:41pm] geniice: no Mr Justice Eady is threatening the system is hard to say
[5:41pm] mnemonic1: where we have lots of very strong protections, including jurisdictional ones
[5:42pm] mnemonic1: so that's a general overview. most legal threats against us from both USA and foreign jurisdictions are copyright, libel, or privacy-related
[5:42pm] Philippe|Wiki: OK, next question is from WereSpielChequer: Question: Do you see the foundation getting involved in lobbying, such as for less restrictive copyright law?
[5:43pm] mnemonic1: i doubt the foundation will get directly involved in trying to shape public policy
[5:43pm] mnemonic1: 501c3 orgs like us certainly have the right to educate policymakers, although we can't, strictly speaking, lobby
[5:43pm] mnemonic1: but there are plenty of other organizations working on things like copyright reform. our job is to build the best encyclopedia (and other reference materials) in the world
[5:44pm] mnemonic1: not everyone knows this, but i did plenty of public interest policy work during my 9 years in DC
[5:44pm] WereSpielChequer: Lobby/educate - sounds like a difference only a lawyer could explain
[5:44pm] DarkoNeko: sorry, xwhat's DC ?
[5:44pm] Jamesofur: QUESTION: would you be able to tell us how many takedown notices you get (in a month or year or something) and how many tend to be well silly like you mention.
[5:44pm] geniice: QUESTION:What do you think should be done about the fundimental incompatibilites between the GPL and free content licenses . This creates issues with screenshots
[5:44pm] harej: DarkoNeko: District of Columbia, the United States capital
[5:44pm] ekimmargni: DarkoNeko: Washington DC
[5:44pm] DarkoNeko: oh, ok
[5:44pm] mnemonic1: there are some technical legal distinctions, Chequer, but i won't bore you with them
[5:45pm] Philippe|Wiki: Next one is from Jamesofur: QUESTION: would you be able to tell us how many takedown notices you get (in a month or year or something) and how many tend to be well silly like you mention.
[5:45pm] effeietsanders is now known as eiaway.
[5:45pm] cary-office: Hi FT2
[5:45pm] FT2: hi there
[5:45pm] mnemonic1: i typically get only one or two true takedown notices a year. i always thought i would get more, but our community is very good at removing infringing material before a copyright owner complais to us
[5:45pm] FT2: you pinged me a bit ago
[5:45pm] FT2: I was \way
[5:46pm] cary-office: I'll get you in private
[5:46pm] FT2: np
[5:46pm] Philippe|Wiki: Next question is from geniice: QUESTION:What do you think should be done about the fundimental incompatibilites between the GPL and free content licenses . This creates issues with screenshots
[5:46pm] FT2: I have a question for this session, at some point when convenient
[5:46pm] DarkoNeko: FT2 please do add to the queue in #wikimedia-office-talk
[5:46pm] cary-office: FT2 any time, we're queueing questions
[5:47pm] Philippe|Wiki: I got FT's by msg
[5:47pm] mnemonic1: i think we've already done the best thing we can do, which is move WP over to dual-licensing with GFDL and CC-BY-SA. CC-BY-SA doesn't really create compatibility problems.
[5:48pm] geniice: GPL not GFDL
[5:48pm] mnemonic1: sorry, misread. (i wish i could increase the type size in this IRC client)
[5:48pm] Ziko: Question: There has once been the intention to make the WMF a member's organisation. Would that cause legal difficulties?
[5:48pm] mnemonic1: geniice, i don't work with the GPL all that much
[5:48pm] geniice: fair enough
[5:49pm] Philippe|Wiki: OK given that one is out of Mike's day to day operations, let's move on to Ziko's: Question: There has once been the intention to make the WMF a member's organisation. Would that cause legal difficulties
[5:50pm] mnemonic1: ziko, i've been part of membership organizations in the past, but i think the setup we have now works better, because it keeps us all organizationally distinct, which provides us with a lot of legal protections.
[5:50pm] mnemonic1: what we don't want to see is a world in which WMF is liable for the actions of members, or in which members are liable for actions of WMF
[5:50pm] Ziko: oh, I see
[5:51pm] mnemonic1: there are some corporation-law reasons that Brad Patrick, my predecessor, relied on to keep WMF from being a membership organization as well.
[5:51pm] mnemonic1: i wasn't here then, but i think those discussions have been preserved on Meta or elsewhere
[5:51pm] cimon: QUESTION: What do you see as the issues in choosing CC-BY-SA unported over the full range of localized versions?
[5:51pm] Ziko: i will look for them, thanks
[5:51pm] Philippe|Wiki: Mike, Cimon is next, and then FT2
[5:51pm] Philippe|Wiki: QUESTION: What do you see as the issues in choosing CC-BY-SA unported over the full range of localized versions?
[5:52pm] mnemonic1: cimon, i don't have a strong opinion over using CC-BY-SA unported over localized versions. i was just at CC yesterday, and I know the CC folks get nervous about whether legal meaning is properly preserved in localization, but that's primarily their concern, not ours
[5:53pm] Philippe|Wiki: Here's the next one from FT2 (and he's long-winded, so flood alert! <grin>):
[5:53pm] cimon: good point
[5:53pm] Philippe|Wiki: QUESTION: We try to balance 2 principles: everything should be transparent and attribution is not just "nice" but mandatory under our licensing... and yet we remove certain harmful material - gross disruption, personal information, etc. The removal harms attribution. so whenever removal/deletion issues come up there is a tremendous problem with the equally important legal requirement to keep history intact and public. the two conflict as legal issues not just "communal preferences" - it's mandatory to have intact public attribution; it's mandatory to remove certain material from history. and its a major dispute every time it comes uop. how can they be reconciled legally and to our licence, can the licensing be improved in the next version to allow for harmful material, and what the heck can we do to reduce the problems every time this comes up
[5:53pm] mnemonic1: i'm familiar with FT2's habits.
[5:54pm] mnemonic1: how many questions does FT2 get to ask at once?
[5:54pm] ekimmargni: Philippe|Wiki: looks like a bit in the middle was missed?
[5:54pm] kibble: Philippe|Wiki, next time, can we have a character limit for questions?
[5:55pm] Philippe|Wiki: I don't think I missed anything... but i'll double check
[5:55pm] DarkoNeko: kibble: let's do it on twitter then
[5:55pm] mnemonic1: FT2, the problem of preserving attribution when versions are deleted is a significant one. i just worked with cary on a problem like that, and my ad-hoc fix was to put the editor's attribution somewhere in the talk page
[5:55pm] FT2: one letter missing... "the two conflict as legal issues not just..."
[5:55pm] werdna: the texas instruments one
[5:56pm] mnemonic1: i don't know what you mean by "harmful material," FT2.
[5:56pm] ekimmargni: k, that makes sense then
[5:56pm] FT2: There's bno legal guidance or WMF guidance, it's a big deal every time a discussion on how deletion should work and is it misused, comes up.
[5:56pm] ekimmargni: FT2: And now compounded by how out-of-date the oversight policy is
[5:57pm] FT2: indifferent to oversuight
[5:57pm] mnemonic1: well, remember that WMF doesn't really dictate how the community complies with licensing requirements. CC allows some flexibility in this, and we expect the community to try to reach a consensus about solving this sort of problem -- a consensus that WMF can endorse
[5:57pm] FT2: affects all deletion
[5:57pm] Philippe|Wiki: Next question is from kmccoy when you're done: Do you have anything to say about the sort of strange do-it-yourself copyright system we have on Wikipedia, where users (and especially admins) tend to make judgement calls about copyright claims and threshold of originality issues and such. Obviously we can't get a lawyer's opinion on every file uploaded, but sometimes it makes me nervous that placing a PD-ineligible tag would expose me to a lawsuit.
[5:57pm] FT2: no, WMF doesnt dictate, but absent guidance on the legal view how we could or should do it, it's endless dispute
[5:58pm] kmccoy: "would expose me to a lawsuit."
[5:58pm] FT2: Is there any chance of 1/ formal guidance on what options communities have to deal with deletion/attribution, and 2/ influencing the next version of the license to have some kind of "if there is defamatory or harmful material this is an acceptable treatment for attribution purposes" clause.
[5:58pm] FT2: so it's no longer a grey area
[5:58pm] mnemonic1: there's no question, for example, that legal constraints trump license requirements. so i will obey a properly framed takedown notice provided that it's not on its face ridiculous
[5:59pm] Philippe|Wiki: <grin> you're right, Mike, FT2 had questions stacked up....
[5:59pm] mnemonic1: even if doing so means i have to yank someone's attribution
[5:59pm] DarkoNeko: leave some for the others, FT2
[5:59pm] FT2: many don't know that.. because it's not said anywhere
[5:59pm] FT2: ok
[5:59pm] FT2: thats my "legal concern area of the day"
[5:59pm] FT2:
[5:59pm] mnemonic1: i can't believe that's your only one. i know you too well.
[6:00pm] FT2: nope, thats it
[6:00pm] Ziko: Question: Mike, did you follow the green book discussions in the European Union? how significant will that be?
[6:00pm] Philippe|Wiki: From kmccoy: Do you have anything to say about the sort of strange do-it-yourself copyright system we have on Wikipedia, where users (and especially admins) tend to make judgement calls about copyright claims and threshold of originality issues and such.
[6:00pm] Philippe|Wiki: Obviously we can't get a lawyer's opinion on every file uploaded, but sometimes it makes me nervous that placing a PD-ineligible tag would expose me to a lawsuit.
[6:01pm] Philippe|Wiki: KmcCoy, then geniice, then Ziko
[6:01pm] DarkoNeko: Ziko: > "european's green book" ? Oo
[6:02pm] mnemonic1: FT2, the fact is that we have enough work on our plate without trying to be a copyright education organization on top of everything else. so i don't think i'm in a position to put in place "formal guidance" about this stuff. it's just that we don't have the resources to do everything the community would like us to do.
[6:02pm] mindspillage is now known as mind|distracted.
[6:02pm] mnemonic1: i think the next iteration of the license will come from CC, not from WMF
[6:03pm] mnemonic1: kmccoy, i think it's actually okay that individual non-lawyer users acquire enough of a sense of copyright law to make quick-and-dirty judgments about what to keep and what to pull down
[6:04pm] mnemonic1: mostly, our editors get the answers right. there are edge cases, and in those cases i do try to be helpful.
[6:04pm] Philippe|Wiki: Mike, next is geniice: QUESTION: We’ve been hit by some legal threats or complaints from some fairly big organisations of late (NPG, national trust). Can you think of a way to head off these issues before they arise?
[6:04pm] mnemonic1: i think understanding that a photograph of a 300-year-old painting is not "original" within the meaning of the copyright act is easy for non-lawyers to understand
[6:05pm] mnemonic1: geniice, mostly we do head off such complaints before they arise. NPG in many ways is an unusual case
[6:05pm] mnemonic1: it turns out NPG has been threatening us on and off for years
[6:05pm] mnemonic1: but they never sent us a properly framed takedown notice
[6:05pm] cary-office: I think kmccoy had more to his question
[6:05pm] cary-office: I mean that didn't get answered
[6:05pm] geniice: however they are not the only one to turn up at OTRS
[6:05pm] mnemonic1: and if they had, i might have opted not to comply
[6:06pm] cary-office: ", but sometimes it makes me nervous that placing a PD-ineligible tag would expose me to a lawsuit"
[6:06pm] mnemonic1: sorry. i wish this print were not so tiny -- i'm missing stuff sometimes.
[6:06pm] mnemonic1: geniice, i would like to say that there's a way for individual editors to avoid being threatened with a lawsuit, but as a practical matter, anyone can be threatened.
[6:07pm] cary-office: Although I'm fairly certain that lawsuits don't occur with copyright violations unless the defendant had an ample opportunity to respond to a DMCA takedown.
[6:07pm] mnemonic1: nor are all the threats reasonable ones.
[6:07pm] kmccoy: I'm satisfied. It wasn't a specific question, just asking for general thoughts, and I appreciated what you had to say. And I think geniice's question covered that topic as well. Don't mind me.
[6:07pm] Philippe|Wiki: Next question is from Ziko: Question: Mike, did you follow the green book discussions in the European Union? how significant will that be?
[6:07pm] cary-office: kadokey
[6:08pm] mnemonic1: remember, copyright holders don't think they're going to get much money from suing individual editors, and keep in mind that WMF doesn't normally have a lot of identifying information about editors, so they can be hard to sue.
[6:08pm] mnemonic1: as for suing WMF, my job is in part to pre-empt that, and in part to be so much meaner than the nasty lawyers that they're scared away
[6:08pm] brianmc: :DD
[6:08pm] Philippe|Wiki: (Mike's good at being mean)
[6:09pm] cary-office: I can attest to that
[6:09pm] mnemonic1: i try to keep it harnessed
[6:09pm] mnemonic1: i try to use my power only for good
[6:09pm] Philippe|Wiki: OK, ready for Ziko's question, or still talking copyright?
[6:09pm] mnemonic1: okay, the green book discussions in the EU. following distantly, but maybe you have a specific question to ask about them, ziko?
[6:10pm] Ziko: i wonder how much it will have influence on wmf work
[6:10pm] Ziko: for example do you expect things to be more simple
[6:10pm] Ziko: as there will be a unifiying effect (as i hope)?
[6:11pm] Ziko: -i
[6:11pm] mnemonic1: i don't have the sense that there will be that much of a unifying effect in the near term
[6:11pm] mnemonic1: EU policy is very very hard to steer, and when the EU does achieve a consensus, member nations still typically put their own spins on implementation
[6:11pm] Philippe|Wiki: Could someone tell us out-of-touch Americans what the green book thingy is?
[6:11pm] Ziko: when regulation will be more strict i thought and deviating rules more difficult
[6:11pm] • cimon is probably one of the few people who thought hiring Mike was a huge plus other than for Godwin's law fame, being of Mikes Usenet generation
[6:12pm] mnemonic1: somebody here probably has a link to green book resources
[6:12pm] Philippe|Wiki: I could probably look it up on some sort of online reference... maybe a wiki of some type?
[6:12pm] Ziko: sorry philippe the european chapters have sent their opinions about the copyright regulations in the eu, whether there should be more common rules
[6:12pm] Philippe|Wiki: Next question: From Jamesofur: Question: Mostly out of curosity, How much is the WMF able to do legal wise in house and how much does it have to reach out to outside lawyers (either domestic or international, I assume more international) for expertise
[6:12pm] DarkoNeko: Philippe|Wiki: even some europeans have no idea what it is <- french
[6:13pm] mnemonic1: ziko, i think that in the very long run, there's more unity among EU member nations in handling copyright issues, but i don't see any near-term changes in how we operate
[6:13pm] Ziko: ok, i see, mike
[6:14pm] cimon: unity in being brain damaged, but...
[6:14pm] mnemonic1: jamesofur, basically i do routine stuff and make fundamental policy decisions in-house.
[6:14pm] mnemonic1: but we farm out litigation to outside law firms
[6:14pm] mnemonic1: i don't have the time to do litigation from my (teensy) office space
[6:14pm] WereSpielChequer: http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/copyright/copyright-infso/copyright-infso_en.htm#greenpaper green book
[6:14pm] mnemonic1: we also farm out trademark registration around the world
[6:15pm] mnemonic1: we farm out UDRP complaints over domain names.
[6:15pm] Philippe|Wiki: gribeco would like to know: when WMF staff refers matters to OTRS volunteers, do they enjoy any kind of legal protection?
[6:15pm] mnemonic1: and we consult with legal specialists when necessary (e.g., i had a real-estate lawyer review the new WMF office lease with me)
[6:15pm] mnemonic1: we work frequently with foreign counsel
[6:15pm] mnemonic1: such as HugotAvocats in France, and JBB in Deutschland
[6:16pm] • werdna wonders what avocados have to do with litigation.
[6:16pm] DarkoNeko: <mnemonic1> we work frequently with foreign counsel <mnemonic1> such as HugotAvocats in France, and JBB in Deutschland
[6:16pm] DarkoNeko: <-- cary-mtg (n=rapture@wikimedia/Bastique) has quit (Read error: 110 (Connection timed out))
[6:16pm] werdna: (yes, I know)
[6:16pm] Jamesofur: awesome thank you
[6:16pm] DarkoNeko: aaarrghh *ù$^sorry
[6:16pm] Until_It_Sleeps is now known as UIS|Away.
[6:16pm] Philippe|Wiki: gribeco would like to know: when WMF staff refers matters to OTRS volunteers, do they enjoy any kind of legal protection?
[6:16pm] cary-office: O-O
[6:17pm] mnemonic1: gribeco, i think as a technical matter, OTRS volunteers could theoretically be liable for intervention in WP content (or another project's), but as a practical matter, this never really comes up.
[6:17pm] mnemonic1: plaintiffs want to sue big, bad WMF, not OTRS volunteers (who presumably have no money)
[6:18pm] cary-office: Unemployed louts
[6:18pm] mnemonic1: one of the things we did last year (2008) was put a new privacy policy in place that made it even plainer how little personally identifying information we keep on editors
[6:18pm] Ziko: mike, because the otrs volunteers are usually doing only recommendations?
[6:18pm] mnemonic1: so mostly, even if we receive a subpoena, we don't have much to turn over that would put an OTRS volunteer at legal risk.
[6:18pm] Philippe|Wiki: Mike, when you're done: From Brianmc: Question: Are different data retention policies used for readers and contributors? I.e are non-contributory web log details only retained as long as required for the work of the Foundation?
[6:19pm] mnemonic1: Ziko, we do take pains not to *order* volunteers to do anything, but to make suggestions.
[6:19pm] mnemonic1: we don't keep non-contributory weblogs of anything, brian
[6:19pm] ekimmargni: mnemonic1: However, that's not the case for many OTRS volunteers who use their real names, or other folks like CheckUsers.
[6:19pm] ekimmargni: I guess in those cases, it would be far easier to reach the user in question with a lawsuit then?
[6:20pm] mnemonic1: all i can tell you is that the problem seems vanishingly rare, even when OTRS members use their real names.
[6:20pm] ekimmargni: Yes, I'm sure it is.
[6:20pm] Philippe|Wiki: At this point, the queue is empty, friends.
[6:20pm] DarkoNeko: whaat
[6:20pm] mnemonic1: we've done a lot to put institutional norms in place that, as a practical matter, reduce risks for everyone
[6:21pm] mnemonic1: we do this on privacy policy, on chapter agreements, and on trademark policy
[6:21pm] mnemonic1: and elsewhere
[6:21pm] DarkoNeko: uh, then, QUESTION : a photographer recently received a cease and desist from the olympic comitee from putting some pictures in creative commons
[6:21pm] DarkoNeko: what would happen if they do the same wit hthe WMf and commons ?
[6:22pm] Philippe|Wiki: DarkoNeko's question, and then an empty queue.......
[6:22pm] mnemonic1: i've also done a lot to reduce direct staff involvement in editing or in resolving non-copyright complaints -- i want people to expect the community to help them, not look to WMF as the fix for their individual complaints.
[6:22pm] Ziko: Question: Mike, when poeple ask me I usually answer when you are an editor you should have in mind US law and the law of your home land, and usually you will fare well with that. is that right?
[6:22pm] DarkoNeko: (source : http://www.thestar.com/olympics/article/707868--olympics-warns-man-about-sharing-photos-on-website )
[6:22pm] Philippe|Wiki: thanks, ziko, you're the queue
[6:22pm] mnemonic1: DarkoNeko, the Olympic Committee is pretty litigious. if i were the photographer, i'd remove the pictures in (wikimedia commons? or creative commons?)
[6:23pm] Philippe|Wiki: nah, it was Flikr
[6:23pm] DarkoNeko: the picture was uploaded in CC, but not at commons nor a WMF project for what I know
[6:23pm] DarkoNeko: it's just a "what if they require a removal of all picture of the beijing olympics we have ?"
[6:23pm] mnemonic1: okay, well, presumably if it was CC-BY-SA we could import it from Flickr to Wikimedia Commons
[6:23pm] DarkoNeko: since they did that for at least one person ; apparently because the images were reused in media
[6:24pm] WereSpielChequer: Question: Any chance we can get some cease and desist stuff out against are very worst vandals?
[6:24pm] mnemonic1: DarkoNeko, if i got such a letter from the Olympic Committee, i would tell them it's not specific enough to comply with the DMCA *or* I'd point out that the photographer holds the copyright to the pics, not them
[6:24pm] Philippe|Wiki: Ziko, then WereSpielChequer
[6:24pm] cimon: Question: how many jurisdictions are there approximately to cover the globe trademark wise?
[6:24pm] DarkoNeko: hmm ok
[6:24pm] Philippe|Wiki: Ziko's question: Mike, when poeple ask me I usually answer when you are an editor you should have in mind US law and the law of your home land, and usually you will fare well with that. is that right?
[6:25pm] ekimmargni: DarkoNeko: keep in mind that for Commons, we don't care whether the photographer broke their contract (ie the terms of the ticket) - that's their problem not ours - we only care about copyright (well, some other stuff to, but mostly that )
[6:25pm] mnemonic1: ziko, you're right that U.S. law is the primary controlling law over what we do (and we treat it that way), but editors also need to obey the laws in the jurisdiction they're working from
[6:26pm] Philippe|Wiki: From WereSpielChequer: Any chance we can get some cease and desist stuff out against are very worst vandals?
[6:26pm] ekimmargni: DarkoNeko: so, images taken while trespassing, breaking the law in other ways are all OK on the copyright issue
[6:26pm] mnemonic1: so, for example, if you are in france or germany and engage in certain kinds of so-called hate speech, the governments there might try to punish you even though you posted that speech on servers based in the USA
[6:26pm] DarkoNeko: oh ?
[6:26pm] Ziko: i think there can be also lots of other laws be relevant?
[6:27pm] cary-office: You can't deny the Armenian Genocide in France
[6:27pm] Ziko: when a german edits something that is illegal in france?
[6:27pm] DarkoNeko: well you can, but you will have problems.
[6:27pm] werdna: or the Holocaust in Germany
[6:27pm] mnemonic1: ekim, so long as we didn't ask the photographer to trespass or violate the ticket contract, WMF is itself in the clear
[6:27pm] Philippe|Wiki: We have ziko, then Cimon....
[6:27pm] Philippe|Wiki: From WereSpielChequer: Any chance we can get some cease and desist stuff out against are very worst vandals?
[6:27pm] Philippe|Wiki: (after WereSpielChequer)
[6:27pm] mnemonic1: i was just about to point out that it might be illegal to post the text of MEIN KAMPF. then i decided not to go there.
[6:28pm] DarkoNeko: I think it's still copyrighted ?
[6:28pm] • DarkoNeko counts years on his fingers
[6:28pm] Ziko: "mein kampf" can be quoted such as any copyrighted book
[6:28pm] mnemonic1: i can't discuss it further, or the discussion will have to end
[6:28pm] DarkoNeko: oh, right
[6:28pm] peteforsyth: Question: under U.S. copyright law, can you describe the concerns around photographing something that has its own copyright? (e.g., a statue in a town square, or photographing a building that has a sign with a company's logo)
[6:28pm] Philippe|Wiki: pete, you're in after cimon, thank you
[6:29pm] Ziko: I just thought, how dangerous is editing as not only US law and the home land law might be relevant
[6:29pm] geniice: peteforsyth> COM:FOP
[6:29pm] mnemonic1: Were, i don't think cease-and-desist letters are an optimum strategy against vandals.
[6:29pm] mnemonic1: vandals by their nature don't pay attention to anything but being shut down
[6:29pm] Philippe|Wiki: We have cimon, and then peteforsyth
[6:29pm] mnemonic1: cimon, what's your question?
[6:30pm] Philippe|Wiki: From cimon: Question: how many jurisdictions are there approximately to cover the globe trademark wise?
[6:30pm] geniice: peteforsyth http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/COM:FOP
[6:30pm] mnemonic1: probably more than 200. we don't try to register everywhere, just the major places
[6:30pm] Philippe|Wiki: From peteforsyth: Question: under U.S. copyright law, can you describe the concerns around photographing something that has its own copyright? (e.g., a statue in a town square, or photographing a building that has a sign with a company's logo)
[6:30pm] mnemonic1: (by which i mean, the major places where TM law makes a difference)
[6:30pm] mnemonic1: peteforsyth, are you in portland?
[6:31pm] peteforsyth: yes mnemonic1
[6:31pm] mnemonic1: anyway, there are some basic rules in the USA about photographing stuff that's publicly viewable
[6:31pm] mnemonic1: you can photograph the outside of buildings all right.
[6:32pm] mnemonic1: if you photograph statues, you may need to invoke fair use to defend against a claim from the copyright holder
[6:32pm] peteforsyth: the link geniice provided is interesting..but it's just written by a bunch of volunteers interested in your expert perspective on this.
[6:32pm] cary-office: peteforsyth, "Just written by a bunch of volunteers" over an extended period of time, with expert research
[6:32pm] peteforsyth: ok
[6:32pm] peteforsyth: cary-office: {{cn}}
[6:32pm] cary-office: Like, say, a Wikipedia article
[6:32pm] peteforsyth:
[6:32pm] geniice: or just find ones that are old enough and stick to ones that lack a copyright notice (which is most of them)
[6:33pm] Philippe|Wiki: Ladies, gentlemen, and Mike, the queue is empty....
[6:33pm] mnemonic1: i've discussed freedom-of-panorama with fred von lohmann of EFF and other copyright lawyers
[6:33pm] mnemonic1: what i just gave you summarized fred's take on the state of the law in the USA right now
[6:33pm] peteforsyth: thanks mnemonic1 .
[6:33pm] mnemonic1: my own view is that any copyright law that prevents you from photographing stuff in a public space is bad public policy
[6:34pm] mnemonic1: and so i am willing to "push the envelope" a little bit in defense of things like photographs of public statuary
[6:34pm] cary-office: me too
[6:34pm] mnemonic1: the fact is, tourists take such photos all the time, and nobody sues them
[6:34pm] peteforsyth: mnemonic1: agreed. personally I see a distinction from a broad photo that includes a statue among other things, and a detailed shot OF the statue...
[6:34pm] mnemonic1: a world in which tourists can't post their photos to flickr or WM Commons is a poorer world
[6:35pm] geniice: I've always prefered the "follow the law in a resigned and defeated manner" aproach on the basis that it's more likely to highlight the problems
[6:35pm] cary-office: The problem comes up with known suits, like modern French and Belgian architecture
[6:35pm] • DarkoNeko shivers
[6:35pm] mnemonic1: this set of issues is particularly subject to conscience
[6:35pm] ekimmargni: Question: Going back to the idea of shutting down vandals: Are formal complaints to ISPs about our vandals likely to have more success? If so, what would the process for that be?
[6:35pm] geniice: there's a /reason/ we don't have a pic of the atomium
[6:35pm] Philippe|Wiki: ekimmargni's question is next, Mike
[6:35pm] cary-office: ekimmargni, oooh
[6:35pm] • cary-office raises hand
[6:35pm] DarkoNeko: ekimmargni: we had at least one working occurence @ frwiki
[6:36pm] DarkoNeko: but most other complaints were just ignored by the ISP
[6:36pm] mnemonic1: okay, well, we'd go to ISPs if someone was doing DOS attacks
[6:36pm] DarkoNeko: (they were direct query, not involing the WMF)
[6:36pm] cary-office: We have an active group of volunteers who is about to engage in ISP complaints...
[6:36pm] mnemonic1: but the fact is, if they're not doing DOS attacks or something similar, an ISP won't normally do much.
[6:36pm] cimon: wasn't there an issue with the Liberty Bell in PA?
[6:37pm] peteforsyth: as the queue is empty, another QUESTION: as far as I've been able to determine, there is no U.S. state that puts works of state or local gov't in the public domain as the federal gov't does; however, lawyers have told me there is excellent precedent for this in common law. Here in Oregon, we were successful at getting a legislative committee to cease pursuing copyright on the written statutes, on these grounds. Any thoughts on this?
[6:37pm] peteforsyth: there much hope of amending state constitutions, and/or getting favorable rulings on such issues?
[6:37pm] mnemonic1: some white-supremacist group actually tried to go to the ISPs and threaten them when we put back up a disputed image they said they had rights in.
[6:37pm] ekimmargni: mnemonic1: I find that surprising. The sorts of stuff we see would get you landed in jail if you did them IRL
[6:37pm] Philippe|Wiki: peteforsyth has the next question......
[6:37pm] mnemonic1: they didn't persuade our ISPs to do much
[6:37pm] ekimmargni: ( or maybe the psych ward )
[6:37pm] geniice: peteforsyth there is no such thing as common law copyright. This is rather important since the last time someone tried it lasted indefinetly
[6:38pm] DarkoNeko: adding queue QUESTION : ISP won't do much even if they know the user is doing diffamation ?
[6:38pm] Philippe|Wiki: geniice, let's let Mike have a go at it, shall we?
[6:38pm] Philippe|Wiki: gottit, DarkoNeko
[6:38pm] mnemonic1: pete, i think all state gov. documents and other works in the US should be public-domain, period. eventually, i think that's where we'll end up. the federal government has this right.
[6:38pm] peteforsyth: geniice: I'm interested in what you say..can we come back to that when the office hours are over?
[6:39pm] Philippe|Wiki: DarkoNeko asks: QUESTION : ISP won't do much even if they know the user is doing diffamation ?
[6:39pm] peteforsyth: mnemonic1: any comments on the practical path that is most likely to take us there?
[6:39pm] mnemonic1: okay, i am not sure who i am supposed to be answering
[6:39pm] Philippe|Wiki: Mike, you've got DarkoNeko first, unless you want peteforsyth's followup
[6:39pm] Philippe|Wiki: could go either way
[6:39pm] mnemonic1: darkoneko, ISPs are immune under section 230, so defamation is a nonissue
[6:39pm] DarkoNeko: hm
[6:39pm] DarkoNeko: US law, I assume
[6:39pm] mnemonic1: pete's followup was what?
[6:39pm] mnemonic1: right
[6:40pm] Philippe|Wiki: and peteforsyth asked: any comments on the practical path that is most likely to take us there?
[6:40pm] Philippe|Wiki: (which i presume was about his previous copyright question)
[6:40pm] mnemonic1: peteforsyth, i think grassroots support for opening up government records is the way to go. maybe it's time for an Oregon Wikimedia chapter?
[6:41pm] peteforsyth: mnemonic1: music to my ears
[6:41pm] ekimmargni: cary-office: So, we have some group that is going to be (in the future) pursuing such things with ISPs? How does that (or does it) get reconciled with mnemonic1's view that it is basically pointless?
[6:41pm] Philippe|Wiki: \o/
[6:41pm] cimon: QUESTION: How many requests for permission to use trademark are recieved annually atm, and what fraction are granted approx. ?
[6:41pm] Ziko: question: Mike, from a legal point of view, if there where an US chapter, would that make things easier for the WMF?
[6:41pm] mnemonic1: ekim, i don't understand your question
[6:41pm] Philippe|Wiki: ekimmargni: can we take that one to #wikimedia-office-talk
[6:41pm] cary-office: ekimmargni, people feel empowered, I think.
[6:41pm] eiaway: peteforsyth: think about the wikipods
[6:41pm] Philippe|Wiki: or here :0
[6:41pm] cary-office: ekimmargni, basically pointless. But I don't think entirely.
[6:41pm] Philippe|Wiki: The next question is from Ziko: Mike, from a legal point of view, if there where an US chapter, would that make things easier for the WMF?
[6:41pm] {} is now known as Quagmire|GONE.
[6:42pm] peteforsyth: eiaway: always!
[6:42pm] mnemonic1: cimon, we get trademark requests probably in the low three figures every year
[6:42pm] Philippe|Wiki: Doh, cimon, i missed your question
[6:42pm] Philippe|Wiki: apologies
[6:42pm] mnemonic1: mostly, i handle the noncommercial ones, and kul handles the commercial ones
[6:42pm] mnemonic1: we turn down most commercial requests
[6:42pm] Philippe|Wiki: From Ziko: Mike, from a legal point of view, if there where an US chapter, would that make things easier for the WMF?
[6:43pm] mnemonic1: we provide clearance for Wikipedia to appear in movies and on TV, though. i typically charge a nominal fee
[6:43pm] cimon: Philippe|Wiki, np
[6:43pm] mnemonic1: Ziko, i don't feel that we are hurting much by lacking a US national chapter. but if the community wants one, they could probably organize it.
[6:44pm] Ziko: i meant because then some trouble would go the chapter and not to the foundation
[6:44pm] Philippe|Wiki: We have no further questions..... no one wants to take a swing at Mike? oh, c'mon now....
[6:44pm] mnemonic1: ziko, we don't need a chapter to take the heat for us. we have me!
[6:45pm] Ziko: ok
[6:45pm] mnemonic1: think of me as the goalie in hockey
[6:45pm] mnemonic1: only with teeth
[6:45pm] WereSpielChequer: What's godwins's second law?
[6:45pm] Jamesofur: no mask?
[6:45pm] Ziko: we in europe can simply say: don't blame us, take the editor or the foundation if you want to sue someone
[6:45pm] ekimmargni: WereSpielChequer: Best question of the night.
[6:45pm] • ekimmargni demands an answer
[6:46pm] mnemonic1: we tried to create that protection for foreign editors -- just blame the Americans!
[6:46pm] mnemonic1: okay, godwin's second law
[6:46pm] mnemonic1: there have been some candidates over the years
[6:46pm] cary-office: I'm gone, but we can chat until 5:00
[6:46pm] gribeco: question: for the French language wikipedia, is there any reason to give French law special consideration, for actions that don't involve French residents?
[6:46pm] mnemonic1: let me see what i can find on my hard drive
[6:46pm] cary-office: Just a reminder, Mike is back with us on Thursday morning (PDT)
[6:47pm] Philippe|Wiki: from gribeco: question: for the French language wikipedia, is there any reason to give French law special consideration, for actions that don't involve French residents?
[6:47pm] gribeco: (probably applies to other countries/language combinations too)
[6:48pm] mnemonic1: i can't find a candidate for godwin's second law just now -- let me check briefly in my email storage
[6:48pm] Philippe|Wiki: hey mike, you wanna take Gribeco's question? :0
[6:48pm] Philippe|Wiki: question: for the French language wikipedia, is there any reason to give French law special consideration, for actions that don't involve French residents?
[6:48pm] DarkoNeko: "if it exists, there's a godwin's law of it"
[6:48pm] cimon: mnemonic1, btw, my favorite Usenet adage isn't yours, btw, it is the one about dancing elephants...
[6:48pm] DarkoNeko: -law+point
[6:49pm] DarkoNeko: cimon: wait, what ?
[6:49pm] mnemonic1: aha, i have found godwin's second law!
[6:49pm] Philippe|Wiki: utoh
[6:49pm] cimon: Amazing to watch, but able to generate huge quantities of excrement when you least expect it, or some such...
[6:49pm] mnemonic1: Godwin's Second Law is this: "All emails discussing grammar and usage are doomed to include at least one grammar or usage error, or at minimum a tyop."
[6:49pm] Philippe|Wiki: lol
[6:50pm] Philippe|Wiki: Last question is from gribeco: question: for the French language wikipedia, is there any reason to give French law special consideration, for actions that don't involve French residents?
[6:50pm] peteforsyth: haha!
[6:50pm] mnemonic1: the short answer, gribeco, is no
[6:50pm] Philippe|Wiki: well that settles that then
[6:50pm] Philippe|Wiki:
[6:50pm] gribeco: woohoo!
[6:51pm] Philippe|Wiki: Ladies and Gentlemen, the one and only Mike Godwin. Transcript from tonight will be posted when I get back from dinner, presuming I don't drink too much.
[6:51pm] mnemonic1: i spent some time last week emailing about Godwin's Second Law, but i forgot what i'd written
[6:51pm] mnemonic1: so i dug through email until i found it.
[6:51pm] mnemonic1: the word "tyop" is, by the way, correctly spelled *in the law*
[6:51pm] Philippe|Wiki: The channel will remain open for discussion, and Mike will remain your designated target for as long as he can bear it
[6:51pm] DarkoNeko: heh
[6:51pm] WereSpielChequer: Thanks Mike,
[6:51pm] You demoted yourself from operator.
[6:51pm] mnemonic1: you're welcome
[6:51pm] peteforsyth: mnemonic1: Thanks very much, this was a great discussion.
[6:52pm] cimon: seconded
[6:52pm] peteforsyth: and thanks Philippe|Wiki for facilitating!
[6:52pm] Philippe|Wiki: ********** END LOGGING ***********