Dear all,

I am forwarding some information about a topic that has been discussed
in several places.

This is about the URAA, the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, which renders
some uploads on Wikimedia Commons to be copyright infringements. As the
Commons community is quite strict about these they have decided to
preventive delete all files affected.

This lead to strong reactions, among other things an alternative
Wikimedia Commons, hosted in a country with less strict copyright laws,
was demanded.
Wikimedia Israel was also quite frustrated by the fact that files were
being deleted which have been explicitly opened by the government and
the military. So they wrote an open letter to the Wikimedia Foundation
board and was supported by Wikimedia Spain.

The board of the Wikimedia Foundation has responded:

In a short summary:
1) The WMF rejects the URAA and has already protested against the URAA
in court together with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and many
other organizations but failed.

2) The WMF will not do any mass deletions based on the URAA as long as
it doesn't receive DMCA takedown notices. Should this be the case only
the infringed file will be deleted. So far no takedown notices have been
received. Therefore the WMF recommends the communities to remain calm
and refrain from preventive deletions. The WMF has published an analysis
last year about the impact of the URAA which contains recommendations to
the editors:

3) The WMF thought about other server locations but has not found a
solution. The US have many benefits but also disadvantages, such as the
URAA. This is the case with any other potential locations.

So far the current status. I am especially happy about item 2, hopefully
the Commons community notices and accepts that. This is where I am
doubtful. You can help with that by using the WMF statements in
discussions and provide links.

About the server location my (personal) opinion is that we could benefit
from different jurisdictions and their different advantages. It is not
so expensive to build a second Wikimedia Commons and the integration to
the wikis is almost trivial.


Wikimedia CH - Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
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