On Mon, Jul 27, 2015 at 3:59 PM, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:

> <snip>

This still leaves me
> wondering if WMF Legal could be involved in the legal defense of the
> reusers if they acted in good faith in attempting to comply with the
> license terms as they understood them on Commons.


Acting in good faith will, at best, mitigate against damages.  It isn't
actually a defense against liability.  If people are getting sued after
doing absolutely everything right, then I could maybe imagine getting
involved.  However, in many licensing disputes there is a legitimate case
that the reuser violated the terms of the license (e.g. by neglecting
details regarding authorship / attribution / etc.), often due to ignorance
of what the license requires.  In many such cases, the reuser may well face
a likelihood of losing if the case ever made it to court.  In a world of
"good faith" we might expect that reusers who made mistakes out of
ignorance to be treated kindly, but the legal system isn't exactly geared
towards kindness.

I think that we (the community + the WMF) should do more to help ensure
license compliance and educate reusers about appropriate attribution, etc.
However, I don't think that WMF Legal should get involved in cases where
someone wanted to do the right thing but failed.  There is no need to waste
our resources on third-party cases where there is a significant risk of

-Robert Rohde
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