Talk:Wikimedia Venezuela/Open letter from WMVE regarding URAA

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Congress[edit]

“The U.S. Congress basically decided to give the rights of works already in the public domain - and all the vast expression of rights that go along with it - with the hope that this could put more economic income in the pockets of the U.S. copyright holders” − well, I am not sure this is an accurate depiction of the URAA copyright restoration − at least this is not what is explained in commons:COM:URAA#Background nor en:URAA#Copyright_restorations. Jean-Fred (talk) 23:49, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

  • Could you explain in which way this gives more economic income in the pockets of the U.S. copyright holders? URAA only affects works which were first published outside the United States and where the author was either living outside the United States or held non-US citizenship. As the copyright holder normally is the original author (or his heir), this means that most copyright holders are outside the United States.
Also, the choice not to implement the rule of the shorter term is in no way unique to the United States. Exactly the same problem also exists in Venezuela. For example, if you wish to use a work tagged with Commons:Template:PD-US-no notice, Commons:Template:PD-China or Commons:Template:PD-AR-Photo in Venezuela, you must first verify that the author has been dead for at least 60 years. Otherwise, the work is still copyrighted in Venezuela. --Stefan2 (talk) 00:12, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
And regardless that it is not exclusive to the US means we have to applaude that it was passed? --Maor X (talk) 09:18, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
I'd say, start by cleaning up your own problems before complaining about the same problem in other countries. --Stefan2 (talk) 16:27, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
First, it seems you have absolutely _no clue_ of the current situation in Venezuela. Second, the servers hosting the Wikimedia projects are located in the USA (in case you didn't know) so whatever changes in the US copyright laws affects our projects a lot..--Maor X (talk) 21:39, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Jean-Fred is right. I hope that the authors will update this letter so that it accurately reflects the history of US and international copyright law. (There are lots of problems with the URAA! But the problem of enclosing the public domain was not immediate, was not intended, and does not help US copyright holders.) It is also true that US laws affect our projects, and affect free knowledge through our projects, much more than the laws of any other country. So it is appropriate to focus on changing broken US laws, and I am glad to see so many groups taking these matters seriously. To run an effective campaign for global adoption of RoST will require effort and enthusiasm in many languages.

That said, Maor X: could you explain the current situation in Venezuela? I don't know it well and would like to understand it better. SJ talk  22:18, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Well, originally only university students, started gathering and organizing concentrations in Caracas and many cities in the country on the Venezuelan Day of Youth, February 12th, which were brutally repressed by the Bolivarian National Guard. The students gathered again the following day and they were repressed again. So more people started joining them, including young politicians from the opposition. They requested authorization to hold a mass rally in Caracas that would pass through each one of the municipalities that compose the city, but the only one where the major is from the ruling party rejected it. Anyway the rally went on, and one young opposition leader was captured by the military police under charges of incitement (he was seen as the only candidate capable of defeating Chavez in an election, but the government, against the ruling of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, banned him to run for the presidential seat) ...and the repression has continued on and on, while people is blocking avenues with junk, unused truck containers or whatever they find, in an attempt to block the access for the National Guard's vehicles. The government ordered the Colombian news channel NCN24 to leave the country and ordered cable providers to take it down, asked CNN to leave the country and blocked Twitter in some areas, as well as blackouts so people in smaller cities cannot see what happens. The repression has been tough and all the TV networks have been bought by businessmen later affiliated with the government, so the media blackout in Venezuela is nearly absolute. 15 people have died during the protests and still, the government added two more days to the Carnaval holidays. --Maor X (talk) 23:14, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
--> MaorX, no creo que Samuel se refiera a nuestra situación socio-política actual sino a las situación con respecto a derechos de autor. ¿O me equivoco, Samuel? Yo sé que tú entiendes bien el español. Por eso con confianza escribo en nuestro idioma. Y no sé si me equivoque (corrígeme Samuel) yo noté un tono irónico, porque visto está que él ha leído bastante. Creo que la intención en el comentario es buscar un punto de quiebre. Yo pienso que eso es irrelevante. El tema no es Venezuela. :) --Fhaidel (talk) 00:41, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
MaorX, thank you for explaining. This is a better summary than I Was able to get from GlobalVoices. This sounds intense - are you still able to use Twitter to communicate in the large cities? I have not seen any news from VZ in over a week.
Fhaidel, I saw there was ambiguity in MaorX's comment - I did not know which one he meant. I am interested in both Venezuelan law and the situation on the streets; right now the latter is more pressing. I wanted to understand what he was referring to in his earlier comment above. Situaciónes legales no son todavía separable de las situaciónes socio-políticas... I did not intend my comment to be ironic. (However: Thank you for also explaining the legal situation, below.) SJ talk  05:34, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Come on, guys. I think you felt offended. As I wrote to Samuel (Sj) via email, we are not attacking you, so please lay down your shields. That act is dangerous for our projects. You might disagree and that is your position. It's ok. We disagree. We believe seriously what we said. We are not changing a single letter in this text UNLESS our community decides to do so and that hasn't happened yet. We are not going to motivate a change of ideas or position. Our members have read your words and as today at this time there is no trend to change our mind. If it happens, I will let you know again. Later, I'll paste my answer sent to Samuel in chapters-l. If you feel unconfortable with this position, please take a deep breath and relax yourself. I'm sure you might not be more stressed than what we are currently here. Stressing yourselves and adopting defensive positions is bad for your health. I mean it frankly. We are in the same movement for the same objectives with the same mission and the same vision. Do not take these words as stones against you guys. Please, take them and let's build on it. If you think, in a personal position, that this letter do not help you, we do not feel bad about it. We do not feel bad if somebody, in a personal position, takes to his/her own. These words are to help our community even if you do not agree. ;) --Fhaidel (talk) 00:32, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

And this was my answer to Sj.
Hi Sj,
How are you doing? I hope you're doing fine :)
Thank you for your comments. I'm now communicating your words to our team. Many of the information you're recommending has been revised for many of us before. Our original message is the word of we all after discussing the issue for a time. We know you have read a lot, and we appreciate your recomendations.
I know it can be hard to accept. This is not an attack to the US people, not to any US citizen, nor to any other country. When you reflect the problem on us, when mention Venezuela's copy legislation, you seem to be reactive, defensive. Surely I can be very wrong. Just remember: we are not attacking you guys. We totally disagree with URAA and that is our position, that's all. We keep each of our words.
About Venezuela: as Carlos said, the situation about copyrights here is not very clear. Instead it doesn't seem to be a priority for our goverment to set much regulations on copyrights (For now. One never knows) neither to encourage mercantilist ideas about human creation. (I'm not defending any govt. Personally, I can't) When you see our laws on this topic, you will note that in many cases is vague. It's like a non-intended KISS principle. For instance, talking of RoST, here as you said, RoST is not acceptable. Here there is a reciprocity effect. We protect your works here in the same way you protect ours there. We recognize there's a LOT of work to do about copy legislation here. In the near future we might need the support of our global movement if our government have the bright idea of something like URAA and other spices.
But the fact is that Commons is not hosted here. The risk for Commons lies on any US act affecting it. Eventhough, an act on this concern in any country is equally important. We believe our community is responsible for our projects independently the jurisdiction applied. We believe URAA is dangerous for our projects. We believe this acts is against our most essential principles.
Whereas, these are just my own words. As I said. I sent your comments to our community. If we have a general opinion, I'll surely let you know.
Kind regards,
--Fhaidel (talk) 00:49, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Dear Fhaidel, I am well, thank you. I hope the same is true for you.
Thank you for this explanation (and for passing on my email). I don't feel very defensive; I feel only love for the people who took time to write this letter. Which is why I don't want its message to be obscured by mistakes. The people who started this thread (Jean-Fred and Stefan) are not from the US, to the best of my knowledge. So I doubt that was their reason for commenting. :)
Criticism of the URAA is welcome. We all agree that its effect is harmful to free knowledge. But please criticize it (and the Congress that passed it!) for actual reasons. SJ talk  05:34, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Fhaidel: I am not offended at all, really. Generally speaking I do understand the reasons why various people have taken position on URAA these past weeks, and I certainly respect their opinions − and your disagreement about the implications of URAA too of course. But the fact remains that your letter contains very serious factual and historical errors, which as Sj says do obscure your message, and I would have liked to see these mistakes corrected. Jean-Fred (talk) 00:50, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
It's nice to know you are not offended, Jean-Frédéric. That is not our intention as you certainly comment. Nevertheless it is not up to me to change my chapter's words on my own. As I said, if the members of WMVE decide to change something on this letter, I personally will let you know. I have sent your previous comments to our team but our general position keeps intact. Best regards. --Fhaidel (talk) 01:25, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
This paternalistic attitude (even though you polish it and make it look nice...still a paternalistic attitude, almost colonial) is really annoying. If you think we made a mistake, fine, let us know -it is up to the chapter to decide what to do, and BTW, after discussing it internally, the chapter has decided not to change the contents of the letter. --Maor X (talk) 06:48, 25 March 2014 (UTC)