Dear movement fellows,

Wikimedia Argentina would like to express its support for the letter by
Wikimedia Israel regarding URAA-motivated massive content deletions in
Wikimedia Commons. Yet, we would like to express our view not only to the
Foundation BoT but also to all Wikimedia editors, and especially to those
working in Wikimedia Commons.

Volunteers from Argentina have been among the most affected by the policy
adopted by Wikimedia Commons administrators regarding images that could
fall under URAA copyright provisions. Argentine copyright law provides that
images enter the public domain "only" 25 years after their production and
20 after their first documented publication. This relatively generous
criterion has enabled unaffiliated volunteers and we as Wikimedia Argentina
to enrich Commons with hundreds of thousands of historical images that are
absolutely free under Argentine law: images of the political and every day
life of the country, of its culture, of its popular idols, of its joyful
and dark days, of its customs and architecture.

However, over the last months certain Wikimedia Commons administrators have
conducted massive deletions of these contents, in many cases involving
entire categories. The burden of proof has been inverted: instead of having
to justify the deletion of a certain file, things go that volunteers have
to devout their time trying to justify the validity of their efforts. This
has caused great damage, not only by way of our readers loosing access to
free educational contents, but also de-motivating many editors and
volunteers by making them feel that their efforts are ultimately vain and
that our goal of free knowledge for everyone is being replaced by a certain
legal fetishism whose reason gets lost in processes and misses the outcome.

We acknowledge that the Wikimedia Foundation BoT and its Legal team have
repeatedly stated, as has been reinforced in recent communications, that
images shouldn't be deleted unless we receive a takedown notice, and that
it has not received a single URAA-motivated notice to date. Certain
Wikimedia Commons administrators have dismissed the Foundation's statement
as a mere opinion vis-à-vis the SCOTUS ruling. Yet, it is an opinion by the
organization that is legally responsible for the contents being hosted in
Wikimedia Commons.

We respectfully call the Wikimedia Commons community to reflect on the
practical consequences of its current policy on URAA's implementation.
Those files generating potential conflict could be even identified as such
without the need for a pre-emptive deletion. And we would like the Commons
community to reflect not only on the preventive loss of free contents we
are generating, but also on the harmful disconnection between Wikimedia
Commons and all of the other Wikimedia projects it serves as media
repository, mostly Wikipedia.

Many years ago, the editors of the Spanish Wikipedia decided to close the
possibility to directly host images, choosing instead to use Wikimedia
Commons. If we miss the opportunity to find a workaround that saves
hundreds of thousands of images from an unrequested deletion that hurts our
very mission, Wikipedia editors could ultimately evaluate reversing that
decision, reopening "project-hosted" uploads just to avoid the restrictive
and exclusionary URAA interpretation that Wikimedia Commons has been
sustaining against the Foundation's political and legal advice. That would
be far from being an optimal outcome.

We are sure that we as the broader community of Wikimedia volunteers can
find a common ground that permits to adapt to all legal conditions and
challenges while putting in the first place the fulfillment of our goal
towards free knowledge.

Approved by the Board of Wikimedia Argentina on February 22, 2014
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