Juriwiki mailing list

Killed as of September 17, 2008.

Juriwiki-l was a private and confidential mailing list for the Foundation's legal issues. The list was created in April 2005 for communication with the Foundation's legal department Anyone can post to the list (juriwiki-l (AT) wikimedia.org) though mails from non-subscribers will be held for moderation by the system and released by the list moderator.

Description of the list


Primary goals of the list
In the past few months, we observed an increasing need of legal counseling. Needs may be related to the following issues

  • requests from editors or readers with regards to our content from a legal perspective (in particular copyright violations, defaming content etc...)
  • setting up of new chapters (e.g. bylaws to write and discuss)
  • contracts with other organisations (e.g. hosting contracts, CD Rom publishing contracts...)
  • trademark issues (official request of trademarks, contracts allowing logo uses, recovery of lost domain names...)
  • non-profit status, income revenue service...
  • ...

What is the secondary goal of this list?
Though we managed quite well till now, the growing number of legal threats on the biggest Wikipedias suggest that one day or another, a threat will transform itself in a reality. Even if we are entirely in our right, we will need help to defend our case. It is best that we are organised and ready for it when it happens.
Secondly, it was reported more than once, that in front of "professionals", we needed to appear more business-like. Having good legal support in deals we are trying to negociate, should be very beneficial.
We are growing very fast. While we should not fall into bureaucracy, nor give positions which might reveal impossible to give to another one later on... or might cause diplomatic issues, I think it is important we organise team work around some issues. The legal team seemed one of the most required team right now.

Who can post to the list?
Anyone may post to this list (juriwiki-l at wikimedia) until the levels of spam get too high, at which point posts may be moderated. Membership is moderated. To ensure maximum confidentiality, there are no archives to the list.

Membership on the list


Who is member of the list ?
Current members of the list include:

  • the members of the WMF board
  • some members of local associations, dealing with legal questions
  • Legal advisors of the Foundation, internal or external to the community.

Will the number of members remain limited or can it be increased?
If you are a regular editor of one of Wikimedia project and are a professional in the legal field, you are most welcome to join the legal team. If you are an editor and know another editor which could help, please tell us and contact him. We need help in this field, and the bigger we grow, the more help we will need. Obviously, help from several countries will be very helpful, in particular in countries where 1) there is or will be soon a local chapter or 2) we are setting up collaborations with local firms or organisations.

How do I join the list?

  • Contact a board member or the list moderator (notafish).
  • Present yourself on the list (provide your real name to members)
  • Add your name above and fill up a little bio about yourself (do so in the legal department page if professional, in the talk page otherwise)

Could someone be removed from the list?
Yes, in case of serious disruption or obvious legal inability.



Why will the list be kept private?
All of these issues may require input from professionals essentially, and many of them will require discretion. Hence the choice for a separate private mailing list.
Naturally, when some issues would be beneficial to be discussed in public, the discussions will occur on Foundation mailing list, or Meta, or on the IRC channel as usual. Similarly, when editors are directly involved in an issue, they will be put in copy of the mails exchanged on the juriwiki list. The limited number of automatic recipients is set up both to guarantee discretion on certain topics, and to foster the creation of a team of legal advisors.

Other issues


Will discussions be held only in English?
Preferably, but when enough people share the same language to fix an issue essentially related to a specific country, another language than English should be used if that makes things easier. In this case, very short summaries could be added in English.

Does the list have archives
Since September 2005, the list is not being archived for privacy and legal reasons.

How can you, as an editor or a developer, make use of this resource and help ?
Though this list is not kept secret, I'd like to ask you not to display it prominently on projects. I think it would be best it is kept open for sending mails, but as soon as too much spam is received, we will have to restrict access. Similarly, this list is not meant to deal with all the daily complaints most projects receive. Most issues can be and should be dealt by editors (example, a person complaining of copyvio or the fact a site is not respecting fully our license... is everyone business and everyone should feel empowered to take care of it as much as possible). So, please, do not liberally hand out this address. However, when you think an issue is getting out of hand, require the board attention or input from a professional, please contact us.

There is a last point. Legal issues are amongst those activities which are essentially done behind the doors and I think most of you do not realise they are done at all ;-) Still, people like Aurevilly or Soufron (and others I do not mention here, Aurevilly and Soufron are those I know best) give a lot of this invisible time to the project. Others might have the ability to help... but just do not realise how they could do it. I hope that the existence of the team and of the list will help them realise where they could get involved.

Thank you for all those who give invisible work in any cases :-)

Anthere 18:09, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

See also