The actual legal issues regarding copyright in Wikipedia should be discussed in depth, before starting any major project like a copyright bot.
This file is for the basic questions of copyright itself, under global laws and other national laws likely to apply to wikipedia, e.g. those of the USA.
The Wikimedia Foundation outlines several principles which every project must follow:
- Only free content, all text is licensed under a dual-license between the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license and the GNU Free Documentation License (with few exceptions such as Wikinews which uses a Creative Commons Attribution license and Wikidata which use CC0 for data).
- All images must be either free (public domain, GFDL, CC and so on) or, if local policy allows it, uploaded under a fair use claim, see below.
- All media files must be accompanied with a license information and a source, to allow verification.
- All unfree content must have a detailed rationale for its use.
- Providing external links to material in violation of its copyright is discouraged per Intellectual Reserve v. Utah Lighthouse Ministry
The concept of copyright paranoia, users overreacting to sometimes "non-issues" involving copyright and copyright infringement, is an issue in some cases.
Moral rights are a part of CC 3.0 licenses, allowed on Commons.
Non-acceptance of the Rule of the shorter term
Because United States law does not recognize the "Rule of the shorter term", meaning content that should be in the public domain in the United States (but is the case in its source country), has to be judged alongside the United States' complicated rules for the public domain, and can potentially not be usable on Wikimedia projects.
- Copyright problems, noticeboard on the English Wikipedia for dealing with potential copyright problems