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European copyright law moves forward

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By Bri
Screenshot of the top-half of the English Wikipedia main page with the banner "To all our readers in Germany" at the top
Protest banner on the English Wikipedia seen from a German IP address in July

EU Copyright Directive Article 13

On September 12, the European Parliament approved Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (Article 13), which had received much press back in June – including coverage in The Signpost. Even protest banners on the English Wikipedia displayed for European users, and full shutdowns occurred for some European language Wikipedias. Many comments on the proposed legislation concerned its effect on media largely dependent on many contributors, described as potentially chilling public discussion and putting up barriers to collaborative works by placing the burden for prevention of copyright infringement on the hosting party. The impact of the legislation has yet to be fully reckoned, but it did include carve-outs for non-profit uses intended for platforms such as Wikipedia. Still, we don't know what the downstream effect on commercial users and remixers of the CC-BY-SA content will be.

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Chris, just to clarify – you mean you don't approve of site blackouts and the banners displayed in June (maybe July too, I'm not sure)? ☆ Bri (talk) 01:45, 1 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]
@Bri: Of course. I appreciate The Signpost's write up; I was unaware that the community had approved this EU-targeted measure. I seem to recall !voting against a proposal like this for us as an organization to complain about legislation. Chris Troutman (talk) 01:58, 1 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Agreed. Wikipedia is not a soapbox, and using site banners for political purposes seems quite unsavoury IMHO. It shouldn't be assumed that all Wikipedians will agree with the WMF's stance on this. And if you're worried about downstream commercial reusers not being able to use our files, perhaps getting rid of the fair-use policy would be the first place to start. Currently we intentionally host files that we know they can't use, so worrying about the unintentional ones isn't going to make that much difference to them.  — Amakuru (talk) 08:54, 1 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I have also !voted against this sort of thing in the past. While I support some lobbying, I think we need to be extremely careful not to involve the projects in activism. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 11:38, 1 October 2018 (UTC).[reply]
  • So that's what Kudpung is mad about? It happened, right? Was it an unfair characterization? Do some Wikipedians think that their kerfuffles aren't meant to be fodder for the hoi polloi? Chris Troutman (talk) 21:43, 2 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • I added that bullet as the first item in the report right after we published in August. It was intended to be a starting point for the actual News and notes feature writer to expand on or to discard. As it turned out, it ran in the issue, and I take full "credit" for it; that said, I don't think it's actually inappropriate, though I wish it had had better framing. Two things make it appropriate in my opinion: first, it directly concerns the operations of The Signpost as a dispute over what's appropriate in reader comments; and second, it concerns perception about the actions of one or more administrators/oversighters/arbcom members (even if former), which I see as in the broader public interest here. As Chris states above, anyone should expect our highly visible public actions to be fair game for comment, but certainly so if they hold advanced permissions granted to people in a position of trust gained through especially good judgment. ☆ Bri (talk) 17:26, 3 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]


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