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Latest comment: 2 years ago by Xaosflux in topic Protected edit request on 12 November 2021

Campaign Report[edit]

Banners appeared to English Wikipedia readers in Australia from 22 May - 19 June. Day 1 was visible at 50% (with 5 banner-view maximum cookie on a 1 week timeout), this was dropped to 20% then 10% for the remainder of the campaign period, and increased to 100% for the final day.


  • Banner Impressions: 12.0m (first 10 days);
  • Meta Landing Page Views: 67,416 (first week)
  • faircopyright.org.au Campaign Website: 20,000~ pageviews; 16,500~ sessions; 15,000~ unique visitors (first 10 days);
  • People emailing 3500~ (first week); 9800 (at end of banner campaign).
  • Emails sent (each person has 1 local MP & 12 State Senators): 45,000~ (first week);


Press mentions[edit]


  • "Fair Use" is trending on twitter in Australia, 22 May. [2]




The Australian copyright industry responded with

Fair Use in Australia campaign[edit]

The four banners which will direct readers in Australia to this page are:

  1. "Wikipedia uses FAIR USE to share knowledge across the world. Soon Australia could too, with your help. #FairCopyrightOz"(preview)
  2. "Australia might allow FAIR USE in copyright soon.Wikipedia already does. #FairCopyrightOz" (preview)
  3. "Wikipedia articles have FAIR USE. Soon Australia could too, with your help. #FairCopyrightOz" (preview)
  4. "Wikipedia editors and readers benefit from FAIR USE. But Australia does not. Yet. #FairCopyrightOz" (preview)
  • Visibility to main (article) space on English Wikipedia for logged-out readers. 50% visibility on Monday 22 May 2017, dropping back to a lower % for the following few weeks. CentralNotice administration by Seddon (WMF)
  • Australian Wikipedians community-consensus discussion on running this banner-advocacy campaign is archived here.

Wittylama (talk) 20:35, 21 May 2017 (UTC)Reply

Change to link to Wikipedia Page[edit]

You may notice that when you click the following link:

Six government reports since 1998 have recommended Australia adopt Fair Use.

That you see a banner that takes you directly to the faircopyright website. This is deliberate and is intended to ensure individuals who leave the meta page to read this Wikipedia still have the opportunity to continue to take part in the campaign. There is currently no realistic means for someone to view this banner without having come via the meta page. Seddon (WMF) (talk) 00:33, 22 May 2017 (UTC)Reply

Fair use[edit]

This might be the first time that Wikimedia takes a stance for such a controversial thing as "more fair use": traditionally it's seen as potentially competing with the goal of pursuing more freely licensed content, unlike the increase of public domain (and copyright exceptions which allow creators to produce more freely licensed content, like FOP). However, I guess it's less controversial than it seems because its main message is "copyright in Australia makes so little sense that [English] Wikipedia would be illegal to host here".

Also, the productivity commission report that this campaign backs makes a lot of sense and is considered a best practice worldwide (envied in EU too). --Nemo 15:39, 25 May 2017 (UTC)Reply

Thanks Nemo_bis. As I (and Slaporte (WMF)) wrote in our post for the WIkimedia Blog:

It is rare for Wikipedia editors to place banners across articles. It is even rarer to draw attention to a legislative issue. Wikipedia prides itself on its neutral point of view, after all. However, in a discussion among Australian editors on whether to take action in support of the recent Productivity Commission report, two things became abundantly clear.

  1. Australian Wikipedians strongly felt that it was important to our mission of public education—that the general public should know that we, as volunteers, are already benefitting every day from fair use in Wikipedia articles. Consequently, Wikipedia’s readers do too.
  2. There are misconceptions about what fair use means in practice which we are in a position to dispel. Some Australian Wikipedians commented that they thought Fair Use already is Australian law, which goes to show just how far common practice differs from the law.
What is different about this instance of political advocacy in Wikimedia's history is that this particular piece of legislative change will not (unlike past campaigns like anti-SOPA, or pro-FoP) change Wikipedia/Commons content at all. I will be discussing this issue at my presentation this year at Wikimania.
On English wikipedia we already use it - so from my perspective (and the perspective of the Australian community vote) this is as much about public education - the sharing of facts, as anything. The other part, is that Fair Use is used by Wikipedians in a very particular way - for illustrating articles with content that is crucial but has no free alternative. For Australia in general, the law has much wider application. The current law is exclusive - only things which are specifically written into the law as "allowed" activities are allowed without permission of the owner (see the blogpost for the list). This means, any new technology or behaviour is not allowed, until a new specific exception is added. As a result, it took until 2006 for a "time and format shifting" provision to be added - which legalised home video recording of TV shows! To this day, schools pay royalty fees for the use of publicly visible websites (including, for example, Google Maps) and the copyright lobby industry - which collects that fee and keeps it in a lobbying fund - has the amoral temerity to argue that Fair Use is a "big tech" attempt to steal Australian culture/money/content!
So, Fair Use in Australia may not affect Wikipedia content, but it certainly DOES affect free-access to knowledge - and THAT's why Australian Wikipedians care! Wittylama (talk) 14:36, 26 May 2017 (UTC)Reply

Opposing Arguments: the Australian Perspective[edit]

Alternately, "fair use" of copyrighted material does not really equate to the notion of "free access to knowledge." This is because copyright material is legally attributed to its creator as creative work, a legally protected expression of artistic freedom, rather than for example, scientific revelation or discovery reported for the public interest. Copyright material is therefore not regarded as necessarily claimable by the public as the Australian Commonwealth does not allow a creative work to be assumed as owned by the state and then afforded to its citizens. Furthermore, the notion of public opinion is fundamentally different in Australian law, contrasting to British and American standards, due to the more recently evolved and more sophisticated legal principle of interdependent rights and responsibilities.

Under Australian law, the user of a creative work has the responsibility to defend its use in the public interest, before making claim to a right of use. The more separated nature of the Australian judicial system is therefore burdened with the task of judgement on a case-by-case basis, balancing the basic right of the creator of a work against the right of the claimant, in light of both parties' responsibilities under the law.

Although difficult for other english-speaking nations to grasp, Australian law preserves the fundamental rights of its citizens via superior democracy, whereby its underlying constitution does not define a "Bill of Rights" for its citizens. Instead, Australian law depends on the integrity of its compulsory voting system to eliminate the danger of inflicting lawmakers over its citizens appointed by a "less than absolute" majority. This principle, supported by a greater separation of state and judiciary, affords protective rights to all individuals and, in this case, their creative works.

In summary, the more recently evolved and superior Australian legal system would likely judge - before its courts - that American and British lawmakers are appointed by plebiscite, rather than by "popular vote". In other words, older democracies appoint their lawmakers by voluntary voting systems, rather than requiring all of their citizens to take responsibility for the appointment of their lawmakers. Australian law assumes that the term "popular vote" refers to a majority of those compelled to cast a vote, rather than merely a basic analysis of those who choose to participate in a vote.

These fundamental differences permeate all levels of Australian law such that, from an outside perspective, terms such as "popular vote", "fair use" and "Bill of Rights" have a distinctly different meaning and definition, and only those with a firm grasp of Australian law can differentiate those differences. Australian creators therefore currently retain the right to plausibly claim royalties from large internet firms (such as Google), because in any given search for the title of their creative work, Google displays - and derives revenue from - advertisements appearing alongside or above the search result.

Whilst it would seem unreasonable to rule that Wikipedia ought to pay royalties to an Australian creator, or otherwise be ordered to cease and desist its publishing of an Australian creative work, it is manifestly obvious that Wikipedia's not-for-profit activities considerably contribute to the appearance of works on Google, who demonstrably do profit from Wikipedia's widespread publishing. Therefore in defence of its citizen rights, Australian law would likely attribute some responsibility for renumeration, or otherwise retain a right to order a cessation of use, as it is reasonable to assume that Wikipedia is, in turn, reliant on a highly profitable Google search engine to maintain its relevance and existence.

For example if Google modified its algorithm so as to exclude Wikipedia references, who would even know about Wikipedia? Though not-for-profit, Wikipedia is effectively dependent on a revenue-generating business for the value of its brand and its capacity to generate crowd-funding. This inter-dependence between the profitable and not-for-profit sectors on the internet is the key issue impacting unfairly on the Australian copyrights of creative works. In the event that a pursuit of claims appeared before an Australian court under the Copyright Act, it would be difficult to imagine that royalty payments would be ordered against a non-for-profit organisation such as Wikipedia. However it would also seem likely that, if named in the claim, Google would not escape its royalty responsibility. It may even seem fair and just that Google finance the Wikipedia royalty responsibility, given that it profits from Wikipedia listings which it presents alongside its paid advertising. Furthermore if the response of Wikipedia's counsel was deemed unsatisfactory, one would assume that the court would issue an order requiring Wikipedia to cease publishing material in defence of the rights of the individual or organisation whose chose to bring their grievance before the court.

Who in the United States is in a true position to judge, when their President - wielding enough nuclear power to end life of Earth - was appointed with less than 35% of the American voting population? Perhaps Copyright law in Australia is not so important after all? The central issue is the right of a sovereign state (such as Australia) to protect its citizens from a notional global state (primarily governed by shareholders) who uses its new found power and influence to override the right of a citizen in Australia to maintain ownership and governance of their own work?

Protected edit request on 6 June 2017 / NPOV dispute[edit]

{{edit fully-protected}}

I believe this page violates the Wikipedia NPOV and should be tagged with

or Template:POV-check

Childspaul (talk) 09:17, 6 June 2017 (UTC)Reply

The content of the article shows a strong one sided view with no consideration of alternate points of view (such as given above). Primary sources are lacking on a number of the statements, particularly in the mythbusting section where unsubstantiated facts are presented (the faircopyright.org.au sight providing also not backing up its statements). The quality of the article could be greatly improved by solid grounding of its claims in keeping with the standard that one expects of Wikipedia. The absolute claim "...could not be included in their articles on Wikipedia" is frankly untrue. "...it took until 2006 for the government to legalise taping TV shows on a home VCR" should have a citation Each bullet point in the "currently technically not allowed in Australia without permission" list should be cited — The preceding unsigned comment was added by Childspaul (talk) 09:52, 6 June 2017 (UTC)Reply

Hello Childspaul, and welcome to Meta (not Wikipedia). You have probably reached this page by clicking on a banner visible in the English Wikipedia to readers of the website in Australia (at the time of writing, these banners are visible to approximate ~15% of viewers, with a 5 view maximum before they're hidden to that user). Those banners, and this landing page (on Meta, not Wikipedia) are created and published after extensive Australian-wikipedia-community consultation, and strong community consensus to, run an advocacy campaign raising awareness of Wikipedia's use of Fair Use and advocate for its introduction in Australia (commensurate with the Productivity Commission's recent report). Other advocacy campaigns run on Meta in the past (as well as some proposed for the future) are visible at the Category:Advocacy.
One of the other outcomes of that Australian wikipedia community consultation was that there should also be created a normal Wikipedia article, following all the usual conventions of footnoting, neutral point of view etc. on the topic of the w:History of Fair Use proposals in Australia. And so, such an article was indeed created. THAT is the page you should probably read, because THIS page is not a Wikipedia article. That Wikipedia article IS linked twice in this Meta page - once in the opening section where the words say "Six government reports since 1998 have recommended Australia adopt Fair Use", and once again in the footer where it says "For more information, Wikipedia has an article about the History of Fair Use proposals in Australia". That Wikipedia article was approved for mainspace from the "draft" namespace by a non-Australian administrator, and it subsequently was successfully reviewed for a Did You Know appearance on the mainpage. Wittylama (talk) 13:15, 6 June 2017 (UTC)Reply


While being interesting, isn't the fact that wikipedia doesn't host it's files australia a bit of a clincher? And there must be other countries we can get our copyright laws from..

How fair is copyright really?[edit]

The Wikimedia banner claims "Copyright that makes sense. That's fair." Opinions differ on the subject, especially for modern copyright that often lasts for a lifetime and 70 years. I'm surprised that Wikimedia is taking such a strong position in favour of it. Horatio (talk) 00:45, 16 June 2017 (UTC)Reply

Protected edit request on 19 June 2017[edit]

{{edit fully-protected}}


--Myth: Fair Use is just ‘too uncertain’
Fact: Applying Fair Use is no more difficult that making other everyday decisions about law--


--Myth: Fair Use is just ‘too uncertain’
Fact: Applying Fair Use is no more difficult than making other everyday decisions about law-- HysteriaV (talk) 01:07, 19 June 2017 (UTC)Reply

Done by Seddon (WMF). Please mark done edit request as done. :D — regards, Revi 12:07, 14 July 2017 (UTC)Reply

Protected edit request on 12 November 2021[edit]

Please add to the top of the page:

{{historical|comment=This is a 2017 Australian [[advocacy]] campaign that has now concluded.}}

Sincerely, the campaign's coordinator: Wittylama (talk) 13:41, 12 November 2021 (UTC)Reply

Done ok. — xaosflux Talk 15:55, 12 November 2021 (UTC)Reply