The Legal Team
The Legal Team is represented by Eileen Hershenov, General Counsel, and her team.
Note: For legal ethical reasons we unfortunately can only represent the Wikimedia Foundation and cannot be the attorney for the community or movement organizations, though the legal team often provides strong support to the community in many ways consistent with Wikimedia Foundation goals.
There are many Wikimedia projects, including Wikipedia, that are all hosted and operated by the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. As the Legal Department for the fifth largest website in the world, we oversee all legal matters for the Foundation and focus on key initiatives to help support the community consistent with our Foundation goals and values. We deal with a wide range of issues and projects, including policy drafting, trademark and copyright law, international law, employment law, litigation, fundraising and grant law, domestic and international contracts, privacy law, ethics, internet law, and non-profit corporate governance.
Wikimedia Foundation Email Contacts
|email@example.com||For third-party legal issues and threats.|
|firstname.lastname@example.org||For trademark permissions and licensing questions.|
|email@example.com||For reporting trademark violations.|
|firstname.lastname@example.org||For threats of violence against persons and property (including suicide threats and terroristic threats).|
|email@example.com||For reports of illegal content concerning minors.|
|firstname.lastname@example.org||For reporting disclosures of nonpublic information to outside parties.|
|email@example.com||For general issues for the Wikimedia Foundation and its staff.|
|firstname.lastname@example.org||For general issues related to content on or using Wikipedia and other projects.|
Disclaimer: Emails to email@example.com are reviewed and responded to by volunteers from our user community. Please understand that the Wikimedia Foundation cannot guarantee confidential treatment of any sensitive information you include in your message.
WMF Board Resolutions
For a complete list of resolutions by the WMF Board of Trustees, see here.
|Legal Policies||These are the policies that guide the Office of the General Counsel at the Wikimedia Foundation, addressing a wide range of topics, including applicable law, responsibility for edits, DMCA takedowns, trade secrets, child pornography, fair use, harassment, subpoenas, and trademark licensing.|
|DMCA Policy||This document lays out the official WMF policy for dealing with reports of copyright infringement for content hosted on WMF servers as required under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).|
|Legal Fees Assistance Program||This policy outlines the scope of the Legal Fees Assistance Program, which is intended to assist qualifying Wikimedia community members who donate time and effort to any Wikimedia site or project in a support role.|
|Office Actions Policy||This policy governs official changes made to content done under the authority of the Wikimedia Foundation, by members of the Foundation's office. These are removals of questionable or illegal Wikimedia content following complaints.|
|Trademark Policy||This document outlines WMF's policy regarding the use of the WMF trademarks.|
|Visual Identity Guidelines||These guidelines contain specific requirements and restrictions regarding how WMF marks may be displayed.|
|Guidelines on Potential Conflicts of Interest||These guidelines are to be considered by anyone requesting resources belonging to the Wikimedia movement, and are intended to encourage the full disclosure of personal and financial interests that may be in conflict with such requests.|
|Policy and Political Association Guidelines||This is an internal guideline that clarifies when and how WMF associates itself publicly on policy and political issues.|
|Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Policy||This policy prohibits WMF and its employees, contractors and others acting on behalf of WMF from making unlawful corrupt payments or bribes to U.S. or foreign officials.|
|Conflict of interest guide for Wikimedia movement organizations||This guide provides movement organizations with a guide on how to identify and manage conflicts of interests within their organization.|
- For a more complete list of WMF policies, see the Policies page.
For local policies on the status of non-free content on Wikimedia projects, see the non-free content page.
Updates from Legal
Below are some spaces that Legal may update with announcements or preliminary discussions on legal issues.
- Wikimedia Blog posts categorized under "Legal" deliver important announcements to the community on new Legal initiatives, legal rulings involving Wikimedians around the world, and other legal or governance issues that may be of interest to the Wikimedia community.
- Wikilegal includes preliminary ideas and research notes on potential legal issues that may be relevant to the Wikimedia community’s mission to share free knowledge. Wikilegal is a stub to encourage community input and improvements.
- Quarterly review documentation: October 2016
Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") Compliance
- The Wikimedia Foundation wants to ensure that the content that we host can be re-used by other users without fear of liability and that it is not infringing the proprietary rights of others. In fairness to our users, as well as to other creators and copyright holders, our policy is to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the formalities of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Pursuant to the DMCA, we will terminate, in appropriate circumstances, users and account holders of our system and network who are repeat infringers.
- However, we also recognize that not every takedown notice is valid or in good faith. In such cases, we strongly encourage users to file counter-notifications when they appropriately believe a DMCA takedown demand is invalid or improper. For more information on what to do if you think a DMCA notice has been improperly filed, you may wish to consult the Chilling Effects website.
- If you are the owner of content that is being improperly used on one of the Projects without your permission, you may request that the content be removed under the DMCA. To make such a request, please email us at legalwikimedia.org or snail mail our designated agent at this address.
- Alternatively, you may make a request to our community, which often handles copyright issues faster and more effectively than prescribed under the DMCA. In that case, you can post a notice explaining your copyright concerns. For a non-exhaustive and non-authoritative list of the relevant processes for the different Project editions, look here. Before filing a DMCA claim, you also have the option of sending an email to the community at infowikimedia.org.
Registered Legal Agent
- Wikimedia Foundation
- c/o CT Corporation System
- 818 West Seventh Street
- Los Angeles, California 90017
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