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Welcome to Meta!


Hello GeoffBrigham (WMF), and welcome to the Wikimedia Meta-Wiki! This website is for coordinating and discussing all Wikimedia projects. You may find it useful to read our policy page. If you are interested in doing translations, visit Meta:Babylon. You can also leave a note on Meta:Babel or Wikimedia Forum (please read the instructions at the top of the page before posting there). Happy editing!

-- 18:03, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

A Community health barnstar for you!

  Community health
I appreciate the work you are putting into re-writing the TOS. The end product will be much better because of your patience in answering questions and explaining your thinking here on meta. You have shown yourself to be a true wikimedian at heart, and someone who has the best interest of the community in mind. --FloNight 22:25, 9 October 2011 (UTC)Reply

Please read. I would like an official opinion of our legal counsel over such matters. I find it a little unsettling that people are trying to use "de minimis" as a way to rationalize keeping of an image when the copyrighted part of the object, i.e. the picture, is the focus of the image and plays a large role. I am especially bothered by this when this important paper that is linked in our de minimis policy at Commons says that de minimis is not being recognized as it once was by our courts and only applies on matters when the average person cannot identify the material.

I would also like the opinion regarding matters when there is a "useful object" that has a sticker on it or other identifying markers that contain potentially copyrighted information, especially when the stickers have company logos and trademarks that are beyond simple text. Ottava Rima (talk) 22:57, 14 October 2011 (UTC)Reply




Please send us a reminder when you are done updating the TOU so that we can further comment. Cheers. Anthere 09:29, 24 October 2011 (UTC)Reply



Thank you for the compliments. If I ever thought you were too far off base, you would have already heard from me.

I'm happy to be able to make suggestions, and even happier when I know that I can rely on you using your best judgment in freely accepting or rejecting them. If I thought you were simply a scribe who was taking orders from amateurs, rather than a well-informed, thoughtful professional who isn't afraid to reject suggestions, then I'd feel much more constrained and much more worried. Under the present circumstances, I can make a suggestion in full confidence that good ideas will be considered and bad ideas will be ignored. It's very pleasant, very functional, and very freeing.

I think you're doing a great job with this discussion. Thanks. WhatamIdoing 19:07, 27 October 2011 (UTC)Reply



Thanks for your work @Term of use. :) Seb az86556 09:39, 30 October 2011 (UTC)Reply



[1] I think this is unfair. The WMF needs the right to ban per OFFICE violations and other serious matters that cannot be dealt with by the community because of both privacy and legal concerns. Ottava Rima (talk) 03:31, 11 November 2011 (UTC)Reply

Quoted from English Wikipedia


Dear Mr. Bingham:

I wrote this on English Wikipedia, which seems not to have been actively monitored. I remain interested in your opinion.

Sincerely, Kiefer.Wolfowitz 13:50, 11 December 2011 (UTC)Reply

Children as administrators


Dear Mr. Brigham:

At a recent RfC on allowing non-administrators to view deleted pages, you stated that the proposal would probably create legal problems in the short run (and Congressional acts as a possible longer-run consequence).

Your response provokes me to ask two questions:

  1. Is there any legal concern with allowing children (minors) to become administrators, which allows them to view deleted content?
  2. Should not Wikipedia require that all administrators affirm being 18 years old?

Thank you for your attention. (I would understand if you would prefer not to state anything at the present time or here.)

Sincerely,  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 11:16, 19 October 2011 (UTC)Reply

Yepp, lemme chime in and say I'd like to have this answered as well. thanks. Seb az86556 00:19, 12 December 2011 (UTC)Reply
I should have cross-posted my answer here: Cheers. Geoffbrigham (talk) 12:14, 29 February 2012 (UTC)Reply

Public campaign finance


Hi Geoff, thanks for asking Mike about ways to avoid constitutional amendments last night. If you feel like fighting corruption in Washington, please see w:Wikipedia:SOPA initiative/Ideas#Suggestions and w:Wikipedia:Reference desk/Humanities#Best way to get lobbying money out of Congress?. I sent Mike email as he requested. Tashir 19:31, 19 January 2012 (UTC)Reply



It would be much appreciated if the issue of 'safeguarding' (in relation to children and other vulnerable groups) was raised by yourself for community debate during an appropriate 'office hours' session.

This is being raised with you, as you appear to be the most appropriate WMF representative to initiate a debate on how compatible various projects policy (and unwritten custom) are with various jurisdictions approach to 'safeguarding'.

It is appreciated your primary experience would be with the US situation, but a debate would need need to take into account the differing approaches of other jurisdictions, such as the UK.

Sfan00 IMG 20:23, 3 February 2012 (UTC)Reply

Maybe Google and every other search engine should safeguard kids before nonprofits are expected to? But why do you even care? [2] James Salsman 05:35, 11 February 2012 (UTC)Reply

Your recent edits...


See Special:Contributions/Geoffbrigham...aren't you supposed to be on holiday? :-) Mike Peel (talk) 18:57, 25 February 2012 (UTC)Reply

I hate to say it but I'm addicted to you guys. 12-step program is clearly needed.  :) Geoffbrigham (talk) 20:05, 25 February 2012 (UTC)Reply
Step 1, go somewhere without internet access (I recommend somewhere very remote and hilly like Scotland). Step 2, wait for internet withdrawal symptoms to fade away (this may be the tricky part, and may take a while). Step 3, relax and enjoy yourself. For Steps 4-12, see step 3. Mike Peel (talk) 20:09, 25 February 2012 (UTC)Reply

Italian website blocked for one defamatory phrase by all 226 Italian ISP’s


Hello Geoff, I think this might interest you: Wikimedia_Forum/Italian_Wikipedia#February 2012: Italian website blocked for one defamatory phrase by all 226 Italian ISP’s. I saw german press coverage alluding to the Italian Wikipedia strike. Best wishes --Atlasowa (talk) 11:09, 29 February 2012 (UTC)Reply

Hi Atlasowa. Yes ... this is concerning. I have asked one of our legal interns to post on our censorship wiki page. I appreciate these updates. Geoffbrigham (talk) 12:19, 29 February 2012 (UTC)Reply
Updated the court decision of March on Legal and Community Advocacy/Censorship#Italy. Best wishes --Atlasowa (talk) 15:37, 15 April 2012 (UTC)Reply

Commons, Meta, and child protection


commons:Commons:Child_protection, commons:Commons_talk:Child_protection, Talk:Pedophilia#Update – Can you please provide some advice on Commons and here on Meta? --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 00:13, 10 March 2012 (UTC)Reply

I will take a look at this and post on the page. Thanks, Michaeldsuarez. Geoffbrigham (talk) 13:19, 10 March 2012 (UTC)Reply
Hi Michaeldsuarez - In light of the extensive discussion underway, it is a bit unclear to me what questions you would like me to provide thoughts on. (I of course can only represent legally the Wikimedia Foundation, not the community, on these matters, but will be happy to provide some ideas for purposes of the discussion.) The Wikimedia Foundation does take child protection seriously. We believe that the community should make responsible decisions for the good of the projects and their users. The updated terms of use (Sec. 4) set out specific prohibitions on certain behavior, but the community is free to provide for more protective measures, as English Wikipedia did on the matter. Geoffbrigham (talk) 08:28, 26 March 2012 (UTC)Reply
To make that link work, you have to first tell it to look for the page on the English Wikipedia, thusly: en:Wikipedia:Child protection. WhatamIdoing (talk) 12:18, 26 March 2012 (UTC)Reply
Thanks, WhatamIdoing. Made the change. Geoffbrigham (talk) 18:19, 26 March 2012 (UTC)Reply
While we're on the subject, sometimes you have to add a colon at the start, like this: [[:Category:Whatever]] (or [[:commons:File:Whatever]]) to make the link show up. If you type a link in your comment and it's invisible when you preview the page, try adding a colon at the start. The colon seems to signal "make this be a clickable link". The different wikis seem to be configured slightly differently, and some of them require this more often than others. WhatamIdoing (talk) 11:43, 27 March 2012 (UTC)Reply

terms of use -- copyrights


Hi Geoffbrigham, with respect to the new terms of use, I'm seeking your advice on a translation issue in section 7, It says there, for instance, "Text to which you hold the copyright" -- however, there won't be a good literal translation of that in at least many European jurisdictions. For instance, in the French translation, it is translated "Texte dont vous détenez les droits d’auteur" -- which is the literal translation but doesn't capture the full meaning of "copyright," since the French "droits d’auteur" conception is bound to the author, and cannot be transfered to, say, a company, giving a somewhat inaccurate impression of the underlying statement in the Terms of Use. The same problem occurs in German with the local term "Urheberrecht". Hence, I've kept the English term "Copyright" in the German translation for now, but I don't think that is particularly helpful. How should we deal with this? I see several options: 1) use the local term for "Copyright" (literal translation); 2) use the local term for "Copyright", but add the original term in brackets, i.e. Text, an dem Sie Urheberrechte ("Copyrights") halten; 3) do not translate "Copyright" at all to reflect the different underlying conception, 4) translate "copyright owner" as something like "owner of respective/required rights", "owner of copyrights or sufficent rights of use".
Any thoughts? Thanks in advance, —Pill (talk) 11:46, 12 March 2012 (UTC)Reply

Pill, thank you for your invaluable work on this. We so much appreciate it. With respect to your question, I would choose Option 2 (especially since the English version is controlling). Thanks much for your thoughful question and setting out these options to make it easy for me. :) Cheers. Geoffbrigham (talk) 03:54, 13 March 2012 (UTC)Reply
Thank you very much for your quick reply. Cheers, —Pill (talk) 15:29, 13 March 2012 (UTC)Reply



to point u there: 5 (talk) 21:05, 20 March 2012 (UTC)Reply

DMCA notice to dropbox for a Wikipedia document


Hello Geoff! FYI, yesterday a german journalist (Mario Sixtus of the Elektrischer Reporter show on german state TV ZDF) twittered that this document on was blocked by a DMCA takedown notice from the german PR crisis manager Wolfgang Stock. The document in question is a copy of this: and I don't see any legitimate copyright claim, but a lot of embarassing facts. It is a documentation of the paid-editing and astroturfing activities of Wolfgang Stock and wiki-watch regarding Wikipedia. This scandal (short english summary) got quite some news media coverage in 2011 by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Der Spiegel and others (see also a video by Spiegel online). Der Spiegel even included the dropbox-link in its article on wiki-watch. Mario Sixtus has filed a Counter Notification. We 'll see what happens next. Best wishes --Atlasowa (talk) 17:48, 27 April 2012 (UTC)Reply

Thanks Atlasowa. I will ask someone to look at this.
Michelle just gave me a briefing. This is between third parties so there is little that we can do, but I agree that it is worth watching. Thanks for the heads up. Geoffbrigham (talk) 16:02, 30 April 2012 (UTC)Reply
The dropbox-link is back and working. For some background info see this german blogpost (no details). Best wishes --Atlasowa (talk) 09:15, 21 May 2012 (UTC)Reply
The link is dead since a couple of days (404).--Atlasowa (talk) 16:54, 11 June 2012 (UTC)Reply

Resurrection of Italian "Blog Killer Law"


Italian Wikipedia is discussing Open Letter/ Banner. See links on Legal_and_Community_Advocacy/Censorship#Italy. --Atlasowa (talk) 11:10, 28 April 2012 (UTC)Reply

Thanks again for letting me know. This is quite interesting. Geoffbrigham (talk) 16:04, 30 April 2012 (UTC)Reply
For the record, there is now a sitenotice on Italian Wikipedia. See this post in french (La wikipédia italienne de nouveau menacée?, lundi 11 juin 2012) and article in german (de:Wikipedia:Kurier#Sitenotice in der italienischen Wikipedia). --Atlasowa (talk) 16:44, 11 June 2012 (UTC)Reply



Hello. There's a legal question for the Foundation at the Wikimedia Forum here. I thought letting you know was appropiate. Regards. —Marco Aurelio (audiencia) 13:44, 11 May 2012 (UTC)Reply

Thank you Marco. I believe Philippe and Kelly addressed it. I appreciate your letting me know. Geoffbrigham (talk) 13:42, 21 May 2012 (UTC)Reply



You probably don't follow Jimmy Wales' talk page on en.wp, so I thought I'd pass along his compliment: he thinks the Foundation's handling of the Terms of Use discussion was "superlative". Congratulations to you and your team for earning such high praise. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:45, 23 May 2012 (UTC)Reply

Thank you WhatamIdoing. Our team deserves some credit, but most really goes to the community, especially thoughtful contributors like yourself. You folks really made it a better - less legalistic - document. Geoffbrigham (talk) 16:57, 23 May 2012 (UTC)Reply
Note he's basically slapping down Esetzer in that comment, so there's a certain nuance which should be kept in mind. Anyway, I'll put in my compliments as to your politeness and professionalism in the process. I'm not sure about certain aspects of the evolution of various provisions, but either way, it was all well-played on many levels. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 07:40, 24 May 2012 (UTC)Reply

You're welcome!


No problem at all, I mean who doesn't want to say that Philippe's wrong once in a while? ;-) The Helpful One 15:11, 27 May 2012 (UTC)Reply

GAC and political activities


Hi Geoff. You recently added: "Note from Gbrigham (GC): We need an exception for grants for political activities, which must be obtained from the GAC (per previous discussion)." to Funds Dissemination Committee/Draft FDC Proposal for the Board. Could you turn "per previous discussion" into a hyperlink to the appropriate discussion, please? (I can't easily spot it, and I'm sure others would also find a link useful). Thanks. Mike Peel (talk)

Hi Mike, I will ask Bridgespan to link the previous discussion. Thanks. Geoffbrigham (talk) 22:29, 17 June 2012 (UTC)Reply



Hello Geoff. I wish to update b:es:Wikilibros:Limitación general de responsabilidad which is the general disclaimer page for Can you offer us some advice on what really needs to be there, which matters needs special enphasis, etc? We want a good disclaimer and I thought about asking you so that you could offer us your views and the Foundation ones if possible. Regards. -- MarcoAurelio (talk) 13:12, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply

Hi MarcoAurelio - We can't offer legal advice, but I would be happy to put together some suggestions. I will assign to an intern to look at first. Hopefully I can get back to you in about 10 days? Geoffbrigham (talk) 13:38, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply
Hello Geoff. I'm aware WMF can not offer legal advice as it'll fall probably into the unethical clause, however we only ask for some suggestions. I'm happy with your proposed solution. Ten days looks OK. Thanks for responding. Best regards, -- MarcoAurelio (talk) 13:43, 25 September 2012 (UTC)Reply
Hi MarcoAurelio - We haven't forgotten about this at WMF. Please give us a couple more days to look into it. Thanks! Rkwon (WMF) (talk) 18:39, 1 October 2012 (UTC)Reply
Sure and thank you very much for the time you're spending in this issue. I really appreciate it. Regards. -- MarcoAurelio (talk) 19:34, 1 October 2012 (UTC)Reply
Hi MarcoAurelio,
Thank you for your note. I apologize it took a few more days than I anticipated to get back to you. As you requested, I took a look at your current disclaimer (at to see if we had any suggestions for improvement. As you know, we cannot provide you with legal advice (see, but we can provide a few suggestions that might make sense for you to think about. Please note that we are viewing your disclaimer through the lens of an online translation tool, which may be inaccurate or fail to convey nuances in wording.
I’ve run these suggestions by Geoff, but please note that they are preliminary thoughts. Here are a couple of things you might want to consider:
1. You mention the GNU license but not the Creative Commons licenses, which is our common open licensing scheme ( at §7). You may want to incorporate Creative Commons into your “Limited License” section. You may also want to expand the "Limited License" section by including a reminder that works may have different licensing requirements, and that users should reuse/copy/etc. accordingly.
2. We suggest that you link to the Wikimedia Foundation Terms of Use (at in the disclaimer. The Foundation’s Terms of Use will most efficiently help fill any gaps in your current disclaimer.
For instance:
  • The Terms of Use emphasize that the content on WMF projects does not constitute professional advice (such as legal, medical, or financial advice), and encourage users to seek the help of a licensed or qualified professional if they require specific advice. (§3. “Content We Host”).
  • The Terms of Use also cover all proprietary rights (including copyrights, trademarks, patents, and personality rights) and help expand the scope of your existing Rights section. (§4. “Refraining From Certain Activities).
  • The Terms of Use remind the user to refrain from activities such as intentionally or knowingly posting content that constitutes libel or defamation. (§4. “Refraining From Certain Activities).
  • In most cases, users must agree to submit any text to which they hold the copyright under a Creative Commons or GNU License. (§7. “Licensing of Content”).
Again, thank you for your efforts! Rkwon (WMF) (talk) 23:44, 5 October 2012 (UTC)Reply

2 things you may already know (or may not)


Hello Geoff,

  • There is a german court decision about illegal marketing ("Schleichwerbung") on german Wikipedia. The decision is of May 2012, full text is now published (here). It is discussed on de-wiki (i.e. how to include this in WP:COI) [3], [4] and may also have implications beyond Germany: The decision is based on a law which is based on the EU en:Unfair Commercial Practices Directive. Actually I think it's good news: welcome to the "bright line" on paid editing!
  • On the tagalog Wikipedia (Philippines) is a sitenotice with the words "blackout" and en:Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (since 5 Oktubre 2012‎).

Just so you know. Best --Atlasowa (talk) 15:49, 7 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Many thanks for these updates. Quite valuable. Geoffbrigham (talk) 23:17, 9 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

I wanted to give you a Barnstar!

FDC special barnstar

This is to recognize your great support in making the first round of the FDC a success!


Jan-Bart (talk) 21:26, 15 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Wow! This is great. Thank you so much. Credit goes to entire LCA team. Geoffbrigham (talk) 22:20, 15 November 2012 (UTC)Reply



Quick heads-up: This discussion has identified a potential problem with the WMF's bylaws. The bylaws specify that an action requires a majority of those present (not a majority of those present and voting) at a meeting to vote in favor of it. If a majority of trustees present at a meeting recuse themselves (e.g., due to conflict of interest), then it is impossible to pass a resolution, even if 100% of the votes are in favor. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:23, 6 December 2012 (UTC)Reply

Cross-posting Stephen's response:
Hello WhatamIdoing, thank you for the detailed reading of the bylaws! The language referenced in the bylaws Section 4(c) is written in accordance with the law of Florida. Under Florida section 617.0824, "an affirmative vote of a majority of directors present" is required. This means that under Florida law, an abstention or recusal counts as a negative vote when determining the majority required for the passage of an action. This is confirmed in commentary on section 607.0824 in the annotated Florida Business Corporation Act.
Technically, the situation that you describe could arise. However, in the event that there is a conflict of interest with a board member or multiple board members, the provisions and processes of section 617.0832 will govern the voting and majority requirements. This section of Florida law specifically addresses this circumstance, and so it does not need to be referenced in the by-laws. Regardless, there may be a remote possibility that a majority could never be obtained in the event of a large number of conflicted directors. In which case, a resolution could not be passed, and probably should not be passed. Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 15:43, 17 December 2012 (UTC)Reply

Global ban policy


Geoff, I notice that the Terms of Use document links to the Global ban policy. However, to the best of my knowledge, a global ban policy has not been ratified by the community or the Board. A disclaimer at the top of the Global Ban page says in part, "The following is a proposed Wikimedia project, policy, guideline, or process.... References or links to this page should not describe it as "policy"." Therefore I believe that the link on the ToU page is misleading; I believe that the Global Ban policy was not approved as a part of the ToU approval process.

I believe that the proposed Global Requests Committee would be a better way for imposing global bans and I hope that the Board can consider this alternative to the current Global ban proposal. --Pine 02:56, 26 December 2012 (UTC)Reply

Please also see the variations on the proposal that have been discussed at Talk:Global requests committee. --Pine 02:57, 26 December 2012 (UTC)Reply
Hi Pine. Thanks for pointing this out. You are right that the current community-based proposal has not yet been ratified, but it is built upon the established RFC process. As soon as consensus is reached regarding the guidelines for handling global bans, we can update the Terms of Use accordingly. IPoirier (WMF) (talk)
Hi, my point is that until an RFC or some similar ratification process is concluded, I think it would be best if, instead of linking to an un-ratified policy, the ToU either had no link or explicitly stated that the policy currently doesn't exist in any finalized form. --Pine 22:28, 9 January 2013 (UTC)Reply
Your point is well taken, and the legal department has considered these options carefully. Ultimately, we decided that it would be more transparent and informative to link to the unratified policy. The risk of confusion is mitigated by the disclaimer at the top of Global Ban page, which clarifies that the policy has not yet been made official. IPoirier (WMF) (talk)
OK I suppose, although this definitely isn't my preferred state of affairs. I will try to find someone who's willing to close the RFC for the current policy proposal. In the meantime I suggest that you carefully consider what you will recommend if the closer determines that the RFC has not achieved consensus and therefore fails. --Pine 20:30, 10 January 2013 (UTC)Reply

Data Retention Policy


Is the Data Retention Policy found at [5] compatible with the extensive data retained and analyzed for the CheckUser process? I get the impression that the amount of IP and timestamp data retained is maximized, not minimized. --Pine 03:01, 26 December 2012 (UTC)Reply

Pine, thank you for your question. The current data retention policy is meant to provide the flexibility needed to keep the Wikimedia Projects running smoothly while protecting user privacy as much as possible. The data retained and analyzed by CheckUsers is used to protect the Projects from vandalism, abuse, or other types of disruption, which in turn aids in the maintenance of the Wikimedia Foundation's services as allowed by the data retention policy. Michelle Paulson (WMF) (talk)
Hmm. Could you provide examples of data that you intentionally discard? It seems to me that almost anything could be claimed to be relevant to sockpuppet investigations. On a separate subject, may I request and suggest that you sign in to your account instead of using an IP to edit? I am aware of at least one case where an IP seems to have impersonated another user. --Pine 19:28, 2 January 2013 (UTC)Reply
Yes, my apologies...I didn't realize that I wasn't logged in last time. Unfortunately, I am not in charge of implementing data retention and destruction so I cannot give you too many specifics, but it is my understanding that, for example, IP addresses associated with sign-in edits are generally discarded after 90 days absent a reason to retain that particular info (like a sockpuppet investigation or litigation hold).Michelle Paulson (WMF) (talk)
I've heard that the actual number of days isn't supposed to be broadcast precisely so that disruptive socks won't show up every n+1 days. Perhaps your comment should be refactored and your conversation carried on in private. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:17, 3 January 2013 (UTC)Reply
My understanding, including from Michelle's answer, is that the data are retained indefinitely. --Pine 18:56, 3 January 2013 (UTC) I didn't catch Michelle's second edit. --Pine 18:55, 4 January 2013 (UTC)Reply
The background for my question is this fishing expedition: EN:Wikipedia:VPM#SmackBot.27s_details_subpoenaed. If the Foundation deletes the data after a certain period of time then this will reduce the number of accounts that may become privacy casualties in situations like this. Additionally, deleting the data after a certain period of time will have some limiting effect in case of a data breach. --Pine 19:09, 3 January 2013 (UTC)Reply
I have sent e-mail to Pine. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:44, 4 January 2013 (UTC)Reply

Wikimedia–WebCite collaboration options


WebCite – Some users for proposing for Wikimedia to take ownership of WebCite (, and some are proposing some sort of collaboration with WebCite (Silver seren's proposal, FT2's proposal). WebCite's initiator Mr. Eysenbach says,

Personally, I would think that leaving it a stand-alone entity with funding and strong ties to the WMF would be the better solution for all parties involved (not least, legal exposure), but this is for WMF to decide, and as WebCite initiator my primary goal is to see WebCite flourish and survive, which it may be best achieved the umbrella of the WMF.

I'm not a lawyer, so I'm wondering about what sort of options for collaboration are possible. What options for collaboration are available? Is "a stand-alone entity with funding and strong ties to the WMF" possible? --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 13:06, 13 February 2013 (UTC)Reply

Michaeldsuarez - My sincere apologies for the delay here. I don't remember receiving notification of your comment, and just noticed it on my Meta page. Is the community making a formal proposal to WMF on this? In the end, I believe it is probably a Board decision but there would need to be a strong showing of support by the community as a first step. We would need more information before discussing the type of collaboration. In theory, if I'm not mistaken, there may be ways of showing support, such as restricted grants - but all that would need to be approved by our grants team, if such grants are possible. What other ideas of collaboration did you have in mind? Geoffbrigham (talk) 06:23, 13 May 2013 (UTC)Reply

chapter agreement archives


Dear Geoff,

A number of links to the versions of agreements signed b/t the WMF and chapters at the Chapter Agreements point to pages on the Internal wiki. Can those be shared publicly here on Meta? I'm happy to do the migration if so.

Regards, SJ talk  00:22, 8 March 2013 (UTC)Reply

:) As soon as I posted on wikimedia-l, I thought I should double-check here, and, sure enough, I missed this one. There are a couple of considerations here. For example, chapters would need to give their consent before posting. With respect to the chapter agreements that are publicly posted on the chapter sites, there is not an issue. Geoffbrigham (talk) 06:04, 13 May 2013 (UTC)Reply

Hi Geoff, Talk:Legal_and_Community_Advocacy#Minors_on_Wikimedia_projects has been waiting for a response from Legal for over a month now, and I've sent a couple of emails to legal but gotten no response. This is an important issue that goes to the very core of our projects -- that being the stable licencing of our content, and it deserves attention at the earliest possibility. I see from the Privacy Policy talk page that you are going to comment on something that is semi-related to the above thread, but the above thread is of utmost importance. Can we expect to hear from legal on this in the future? Russavia (talk) 17:28, 20 September 2013 (UTC)Reply

Hi Russavia, Thanks for following up on this. We have actually provided a response to this on the Privacy Policy talk page. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 18:35, 20 September 2013 (UTC)Reply



Could you jump here for an answer? Thanks, --Andyrom75 (talk) 09:34, 5 October 2013 (UTC)Reply


Hello Geoff, the other day I met Baruneju and I found him rather sad about the lack of an answer to his five points of a month ago, you may want to check if you can answer. Regards, Nemo 09:04, 22 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Could you please respond to the latest posts here? I'm getting a bit frustrated because I don't see the WMF as willing to address this issue, meaning that I would reluctantly have to resign all of my private access to protect myself legally. --Rschen7754 03:23, 6 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

We have responded Rschen. For example, we are proposing that we don't require identification of those who have access to private user information. That would address most of your concerns. I would appreciate to hear your views on that approach. Take care, Geoffbrigham (talk) 04:55, 6 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
I'm referring to the specific concerns that I posted at [6] and that Fae later posted at [7]. Personally, I think that the overall proposal has some merit, but if the WMF is not willing to fix the issues that the community has brought up, then I would prefer having no identification at all rather than passing this proposal which would force those functionaries who care about their privacy to resign. --Rschen7754 05:01, 6 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
Rschen, the posting you are referring to was done last Friday. The consultation will not end until mid-January, so I will need to ask for a bit more time. Because of limited resources and competing priorities, it may take us more than two business days to respond to postings. Take care. . Geoffbrigham (talk) 05:08, 6 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thanks, and sorry for the additional post - a lot of people who already hold advanced rights are starting to get a bit antsy over the uncertainty. --Rschen7754 09:02, 6 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
Fully understand and appreciate your comments and ideas on this. It is a tough issue. I do not really have a magic and correct answer on this - frankly, my thinking is still evolving as I read the discussion. Right now, I think I am beginning to favor a system that eliminates identification because of the concerns raised in the discussion - but the community would need to be ready to accept that approach. In any case, I left an answer to your post in the discussion and will be interested in your views. Take care. Geoffbrigham (talk) 09:24, 6 November 2013 (UTC)Reply



Has the WMF considered Jumio's "Netverify" as a solution? DanielTom (talk) 21:56, 22 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

I would like to hear more about this. My suggestion is that you raise it on the talk pages. Thanks. Geoffbrigham (talk) 23:41, 22 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thanks, I did so, and suggested that you contact Jumio directly to see what they have to say about this "problem". ~ DanielTom (talk) 16:29, 28 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
Can you explain more what Netverify is. Thanks. Geoffbrigham (talk) 18:02, 28 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
It's a software that verifies IDs in real time. The process is exceedingly secure (encrypted), supports IDs/Passports/Driver licenses from over 90 contries, and is PCI Level 1 compliant. Its idea is, you hold your ID in front of a webcam, and Netverify will read and extract the data from the document in a few seconds, to confirm your identity and send it to the WMF. I could go on about its virtues, accreditations, and which large companies use it (though I will mention Pokerstars), but I'm not a salesperson—and, in any case, you can find this information easily yourself. The WMF can contact Jumio, and see if they can be of assistance, as I believe they can. ~ DanielTom (talk) 19:37, 28 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
@DanielTom:, and what happens to the image of your ID? Isn't that stored? — Pajz (talk) 20:47, 28 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
Part of being PCI compliant means that data is stored, securely, meeting regulatory requirements. (Regarding "image", as far as I know, no print screen is taken, it just tells you whether the ID is valid or not.) As I said, they use strong encryption, and it's a safe system with perfect track record, but the WMF can ask them (Jumio) for details, discuss with them, and then decide if this is a system worth implementing—I'm the wrong person to ask. DanielTom (talk) 21:54, 28 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

Please give an opinion in this matter. JKadavoor Jee 10:45, 30 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

I have consulted with Creative Commons on this issue; further followup will be on the relevant Commons pages. -LVilla (WMF) (talk) 19:20, 16 December 2013 (UTC)Reply


A discussion has arisen at Commons regarding the compatibility of CC-BY-AT 3.0 licensing and the cropping out of copyright bylines/watermarks that are embedded in the image. It is being contended that the byline/watermark is copyright management information (CMI) and therefore protected from removal by DMCA. On the other hand, there are people (including myself) saying that to crop out anything is a derivative adaptation, fully permitted by a CC-BY-AT 3.0 license, and it is therefore not a problem.

Proper legal input, from someone who is actually trained in the profession, would be appreciated. The discussion is at:

Thank your for your time, Liamdavies (talk) 15:30, 1 December 2013 (UTC)Reply

I think the discussion has mainly focussed on CC-BY-SA 2.0 (since that's the license of the photos that prompted the discussion), but the general question also applies to CC-BY-SA 1.0, 2.5, and 3.0, and to CC-BY 1.0, 2.0, 2.5 and 3.0. There is another issue not mentioned by Liam above, i.e. that these licenses specify that you must "keep intact" a copyright notice, as opposed to "retain" in the 4.0 licenses, and that the earlier licenses do not enable you to do this is any reasonable manner (unlike 4.0). A further wrinkle is that CC-BY-SA 2.0, 2.5 and 3.0 allow licensing derivatives under any later version of the license, but CC-BY-SA 1.0 and the CC-BY licenses do not. --Avenue (talk) 20:24, 1 December 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thank you Liamdavies for your question, and Avenue for your input. We are studying this issue closely, and will offer comments as soon as possible. --JVargas (WMF) (talk) 21:05, 3 December 2013 (UTC)Reply
Still studying this Liamdavies, but will be posting a response here and in the Commons discussion soon! --JVargas (WMF) (talk) 10:06, 4 January 2014 (UTC)Reply
Apparently I stepped into this issue: I will wait for the opinion before using any of the images off wiki. 15:25, 8 January 2014 (UTC)Reply
Sorry to nag, but are there any developments here? Liamdavies (talk) 14:42, 2 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
You are definitely not nagging! I just finished reading a near final draft, but still have some questions which I need to discuss with the team this week. Assuming my questions can be resolved, we hope to post next week if not sooner. Thanks for your patience; I appreciate it. Geoffbrigham (talk) 01:16, 4 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
Have I missed the post somewhere? or is it still on the way? --Avenue (talk) 23:30, 1 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
Still on its way. I made some revisions and asked for research on some sub issues after the last draft. TOU discussion has taken up some unexpected resources as well. But our work on it is active. Geoffbrigham (talk) 13:52, 2 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
Okay, thanks for the update. --Avenue (talk) 14:55, 2 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
From CC license version 4.0 onward, "licensees are required to indicate if they made modifications to the licensed material. This obligation applies whether or not the modifications produced adapted material." Further, "For 4.0 licensed materials, a URI is required for proper attribution, if it is reasonably practicable to include." So I think any overwrite over the original file, burying it under version history, against the will of the Original Author (as practicing now) must be stopped. Even if removal of watermark is legally acceptable, it should be uploaded as a separate file linking to the original source and mentioning all the modifications so far done to the original. Jee 04:59, 26 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
Given the way people abuse content creators on Commons I can tell you exactly what would happen if we adopted that practice: they'd crop the watermark; upoload it separately; link to the file as you suggest; and then nominate that file for deletion as being redundant. Saffron Blaze (talk) 06:33, 27 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
No; deleting the source is cutting the branch of a tree while sitting on it. But I agree with you; many people here lack any sense. :) Jee 15:40, 27 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
And here we find another assault on content creators. I won't even link to the DR that first led to hundreds of professional quality images being deleted and the photographer blocked because he had the temerity to include his website URL in the description. Saffron Blaze (talk) 22:20, 28 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
The file fall off the table? Saffron Blaze (talk) 15:33, 17 June 2014 (UTC)Reply
You can find a Wikilegal entry addressing this issue in Removal of watermarks from Commons images. Thanks! --JVargas (WMF) (talk) 18:07, 5 September 2014 (UTC)Reply
While not definitive at least it gives us the rationale to make a reasoned discussion on the matter. I hope to have started the discussion here. If it is raging elsewhere I'd be happy to hear of it. Thanks Saffron Blaze (talk) 00:24, 8 September 2014 (UTC)Reply
Thanks. Jee 14:53, 10 September 2014 (UTC)Reply

Fundraising might be against the Finnish law



I'd like to give you a heads-up on this. The administrators of Finnish Wikipedia have today (7 February) received an e-mail from the National Police Authority of Finland where they hold the view that the fundraising banner that appears in Finnish on every Wikipedia page may be against the Finnish law. The police have asked the "administration of the website" to provide them with a statement no later than 21 February. I think that other administrators are planning to forward the e-mail (written only Finnish) to the legal department of the WMF during the weekend. As it states in the letter that soliciting funds from the public in Finland without an explicit permission from the authorities is a crime, and that the administrators of the Finnish Wikipedia are requested to provide their view on the matter, I thought you might be interested on hearing this as soon as possible. --Pxos (talk) (sysop at fi-wiki) 18:55, 7 February 2014 (UTC). Adding the link to a pdf-file that contains the letter: [8]. --Pxos (talk) 18:59, 7 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

Has this come up other years? PiRSquared17 (talk) 18:58, 7 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
No, what I know. --Stryn (talk) 19:24, 7 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
Hi. We are aware of this issue, and we are contacting the Finnish authorities to resolve their questions. Please have Finnish authorities direct their inquiries to the Wikimedia Foundation. Stephen LaPorte and Andrei Voinigescu are leading this for the Foundation. Their contact emails are the following respectively: slaporte and avoinigescu Much appreciated, Geoff Geoffbrigham (talk) 00:53, 8 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
Thank you very much for your swift reply. It is nice to know that the legal team is on top of things and wonderful that Geoff takes the time to answer here. --Pxos (talk) 13:31, 8 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

Appreciate the expertise you bring...


…to the Amendment question, and would appreciate your perspective in response to the Opposed as is, vote no. 70, which emphasizes that without a true working system to auto-resolve all issues relating to biased and inaccurate information (via reformed verifiability policies, and uniform timely removal of unsourced material), and a general Nature Publishing Group-type affiliation/financial disclosure (equalizing pecuniary and nonpecuniary COIs, etc), that this effort will not markedly improve the accuracy and utility of Wikipedia information. LeProf

Thanks. I think it is a little too soon in the consultation process to draw any conclusions yet. I will however keep your point in mind. Take care. Geoffbrigham (talk) 19:18, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

Hi Geoff, I've enjoyed reading your comments on the voting page regarding the paid editing disclosure. I have a situation that I'd like to get your opinion on.

I have a Cabelas credit card that awards me points every time I use it, more so if I make a purchase with that particular store. I know I will receive benefit from this company simply for using this card. Furthermore, I have edited this company's article on WP. Clearly I have an affiliation with the company and receive compensation from them, but I am not a paid editor. Would I be required under the new rule to disclose my connection? I think I know what your answer will be, but its a scenario in my opinion that clouds this matter. --Scalhotrod (talk) 17:01, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

Hi Scalhotrod, it would not require disclosure because the points are not being given directly in exchange for the edits. We are working on an FAQ that would make that clearer. Thank you for the example, which was helpful. Cheers, Geoffbrigham (talk) 02:13, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply



Geoff, when I was reading through the discussions about paid editing and the TOS, it struck me as funny to see you in the same discussion thread as User:Leucosticte. That user is blocked on en.WP with instructions not to unblock without contacting ARBCOM. I think you know what that usually means. They were previously banned there as User:Tisane. And yet they are still able to edit here on Meta and other projects. They seem to be continuing to push a particular point of view that is, let us say, not generally accepted by the public (even though it does seem to find some sympathy within the WMF).

It is quite possible that you were unaware of this editor's history, so I can't fault you for not recognizing their name or taking any action. I invite you to look over their edits here and on other projects. I'm not sure why the account has not already been globally locked. Probably just an oversight. We don't need any more bad press on this issue and the media would try to turn this into a scandal. And it does pretty much write itself: "Man who was jailed for threatening the life of the President continues to advocate for pedophiles on Wikipedia despite being banned". Thanks for your attention. 00:16, 1 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for your note. I do not know User:Leucosticte and was unaware of his alleged background. As a general rule, without talking about any particular case, I generally would defer to the Meta community when it comes to bans or other actions. Geoffbrigham (talk) 13:31, 1 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
I understand that as a lawyer adding the word "alleged" is probably a force of habit, but it should be very easy for you to confirm everything I have told you. Email anyone on ARBCOM, for example, or just ask User:Leucosticte. He makes no secret of his identity, his history, or his intentions, and I'm sure he would be quite happy to discuss this with you at length. I brought this to you because it looks like there might have been an oversight in not globally locking the account and I thought that it would be easy enough for you to get that remedied. If you think that the community here needs to be involved in that decision, please start that discussion. I hope the situation gets addressed soon, since Leucosticte is active on more than one WMF project and it's probably only a matter of time before someone from the gutter press stumbles across the situation. Thanks again for your attention. 22:37, 2 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
Yes, exactly, the gutter press. Fortunately, some people are recognizing that it "is like a blackmailer – if you give in to it, it just wants more" and refusing to accede to its "nasty, ominous, calculating, anti-intellectual" demands, lest a situation arise in which "What replaces openness is the dead silence of a taboo, the only audible voice, hypocritical to the point of being inane." Leucosticte (talk) 01:48, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
That's quite a decent article, but you seem to have missed the point of it entirely. The much more fitting article would be this companion piece from the same source (The Guardian) entitled How paedophiles infiltrated the left and hijacked the fight for civil rights. And really, that's the crux of the issue - people like yourself using WMF projects like Wikipedia to push their extreme and generally not supported views. In this particular case it is the normalization of pedophilia, but it could be any issue. You like to portray yourself as persecuted for your intellectual support of people with fringe viewpoints, but the problem is really your insistence on advocating those viewpoints. 22:03, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
Wikipedia is supposed to be a project that gives due weight to all notable viewpoints. I criticized a policy that seemed to create a special exception to that. Meta-Wiki is a place for discussion of policy and other meta issues; and mainspace is a place for essays that contribute to that discussion. Therefore, it seemed appropriate to post a mainspace essay on the matter.
Inevitably, though, in discussing policy, applications of policy will occasionally be touched on. I don't think I did anything wrong, but the powers that be have all been either silent or have gone against me, so there's not much I can do. Not only has censorship won, but censorship of the discussion about censorship won.
It's a private organization and therefore has the right to censor what it wants, but it's hypocritical to do that and claim to be uncensored; and it's also hypocritical to claim to aspire to a neutral point of view and then deliberately violate that principle. It's not even a question of a person disagreeing with majority opinion about whether a viewpoint has been given its due weight; it's the majority and/or Wikimedia explicitly saying they are choosing to get rid of people from the project who try to give the viewpoint its due weight. I think we can all agree that normalization of pedophilia is supported only by a fringe; however, I think we can also agree that it's a notable fringe. We don't automatically kick outspoken members of other kinds of notable fringes off the projects; we just regulate them to make sure that they don't try to bias the articles or give their viewpoints more than their due weight. That seemingly unjustified disparate treatment was what I was getting at, but the debate about the debate was squelched. Leucosticte (talk) 05:23, 5 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

Shocked and amazed


I’m shocked and amazed. Here is the person who writes "Even though rape might make sex possible in a situation in which it would not be possible if the sex's taking place depended on the child's consent, rape could be an adverse childhood event that would cause the child to be averse to sex in the future. He might, in that case, successfully take measures to prevent sex from occurring later". Right – the problem with raping children is that it might put them off sex with you later. Really? And why is this person writing articles on child protection for Wikipedia?? Peter Damian (talk) 20:45, 3 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

Hi Peter, Thank you for the pointers. Geoff is traveling today and asked me to reply briefly here. As you know we don't generally do a lot of digging for information on the internet habits of individual contributors, especially when it is off our sites. That said the LCA team has received your pointers and is discussing what we can and should do. Jalexander--WMF 22:47, 3 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
It is good to know that Geoff and the legal team are aware of the situation and formulating an appropriate response. Thanks for the update. 22:08, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
Remember Poe's Law. When reading certain works that seem to take a radically unorthodox position concerning children, there's always a possibility that you're dealing with a satirist. On the other hand, satire often contains a grain of truth. Leucosticte (talk) 01:48, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
True enough, but you are not a satirist, are you? 22:08, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
Sometimes. Leucosticte (talk) 05:23, 5 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

Leucosticte blocked for 3 months on Meta


MZMcBride has unilaterally blocked Leucosticte for 3 months. If this is an attempt at damage control it is misguided and has only worsened the situation. Leucosticte appears to have been blocked for publicly questioning MZMcBride's deletion of an essay. MZMcBride deleted the essay with an edit summary claiming "author request", which appears to be patently false. Although Leucosticte is temporarily unable to edit here (at least using that account), they are active on several other WMF projects. Hence my request for globally locking the account, something which should be common practice in cases such as this. 17:01, 5 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

And you yourself have been blocked, presumably for raising concerns about this kind of thing Peter Damian (talk) 21:10, 5 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
Actually, I'd totally support a global lock on that account, too - Alison 20:33, 6 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

My child protection concerns from last year also ignored


Geoff, I commented in September with a few questions about child protection. I was asking how you proposed to implement child protection. Leucosticte actually has a valid point: he says that if self-identifying pedophiles are blocked, they will simply not identify, and 'go underground'. I suggested (back in September) that the child protection policies were strengthened to prevent such behaviour.

My questions (and a personal email to you) were ignored. Sue Gardner did reply once, saying that this was all very important, indeed so important that she did not want to make a hasty reply. And now it's six months later. What has been done? The only change to the policy has been that a self-identifying pedophile attempted to rewrite it. Great stuff Geoff. Peter Damian (talk) 21:16, 5 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

Far from being ignored, that conversation was taken very seriously. it resulted in the legal team creating an initial draft of a document, which was shared with a few stakeholders for early feedback in October. After quite a delay, the last of the feedback is coming in (i understand that we should expect it very shortly in fact), and we'll look at that feedback, incorporate any necessary changes, and then share out something more broadly. I'm sorry that it's not moving as quickly as you would have hoped - holidays and other factors got in the way, as well as the ongoing day-to-day business of protecting the sites, the legal issue in Greece, et al - but there is forward movement on that topic. I'm sorry that we haven't reported that out, Peter. I can understand why you'd think it was ignored, and I apologize for that. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 02:51, 6 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
Well the main reason I think I was ignored was the fact you didn't reply to at least one email I sent six months ago, copied to Sue, and Geoff, probably Jimbo, perhaps other emails. I will check. Forgive me for thinking that the only reason for your action now is because this guy turned up. Peter Damian (talk) 06:06, 7 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

Quotations on Commons


Hey there Geoff, sorry to bother you, since I know you got your hands full what with the copyright watermarks Commons policy up above and of course the Terms of Use change community consultation, but I wanted to ask you a question, which of course you can choose to answer or not at your leisure. :-) Anyway so, my question also relates to Wikimedia Commons, and it grew out of some discussion at Commons:Village pump/Copyright as well as Commons talk:Fair use. Particularly, Wikimedia Commons users need to refer to quotations of some legal matter in order to teach newbie uploaders about copyright issues and policies on Commons and whatnot, so we frequently take verbatim quotations from other websites such as Cornell University. Typically this would be considered a copyright violation since Cornell licenses its content under CC-BY-NC-SA, and whilst we do provide attribution, we also re-release them under CC-BY-SA under a "freer" license than Creative Commons' NC clause, so it would also not be "under the same, or similar, license". The full quote which I refer to is at Commons:Derivative works but it is necessary to teach and introduce new uploaders to Commons the myriad copyright rules governing our content there, so I would be averse to deleting it, but at the same time we must recognize that by itself it also breaches a few copyright rules.

The suggestion made at Commons talk:Fair use was then, would it be OK to have some small exemption doctrine policy so that we can reference discussions on internal Commons processes, for the purpose of establishing the legality of our content? This obviously does not extend to our media files, but merely to basic wikitext such as what I am posting to you now, perhaps encased in <blockquote> tags and attributing to some offsite legal opinions or email-license permissions. Right now, the Resolution:Licensing policy is unclear whether it refers to specifically Wikimedia Commons media files or the whole website/database in general. Most of the commentary and discussion we provide is a sort of background to our true content and the object of our mission, a repository of freely licensed usable media content, so it would be only small fair use claims needed to achieve such a goal. Kind regards, TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 08:47, 14 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

Hi TeleCoNasSprVenj. Sure, I will ask someone to look into this. Yes, we are a bit busy now. It is annual planning season as well, which is taking up lots of time.  :) BTW thanks for your participation on the TOU discussion. Your views are helping us think this thing through completely. I hope you saw the alternative language that we posted to hopefully help address some issues (though probably not to your satisfaction 100%). Anyhow, many thanks for your time and insights. Geoffbrigham (talk) 11:58, 14 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
Hi TeleCoNasSprVen, we had someone look into your question and we answered at Commons talk:Fair use#Discussions_on_Commons_processes. Hope that clears some things up! JTam (WMF) (talk) 17:13, 21 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

Non Free Content and the 300px myth


There seems to be a fervent belief among some that non-free content is restricted to uploading images at 300px and that this should restrict projects from adapting to technological advances in display technology. I cannot find any policy statement that directs or provides that this 300px or any particular variable is the standard that should be used. I get that non- free content use on WP is laced with risk, but surely we aren't going to be held to the 1990 because of a fear of liability? Saffron Blaze (talk) 22:51, 22 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

To be clear, I never said the max image upload for non-free was 300px, but that size is small enough to keep fair use in mind and still make non-free image relevant for the most common uses of non-free (cover art, artwork, and photos); the 300px size is encouraged by noting the thumbnail size is limited presently to 300px so anything larger is typically "wasting pixels" and can be reduced further through's NFC policy. --Masem (talk) 23:02, 22 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
What you have also said is that 300px/.1 mb is Foundation policy that will be enforced regardless of changes to viewing preferences because it is "right". It is clear that this so called policy is not WMF policy but rather some back room guideline imposed by a few involved editors. The point you keep missing is the same reason people want larger thumbs on article pages (due to high resolution monitors and devices) is also calling in question this so called Foundation policy on NFC. If you are mandating that NFC is to be uploaded at 300px (out of an abundance of caution for "fair use" doctrine) then those with these high-resolution viewing platforms will be significantly disadvantage in using any of the Wikipedia projects where NFC is allowed. On the monitors I use I can barely see images at 300px and below. Within a year or two you will have people using 4K monitors and this will only become a bigger (or is that smaller) issue. What we need is actual legal guidance on the NFC image size guidelines with a look to increasing this arbitrary and community based 300px limit to something that will be useful as we move to Media Viewer and the proposed increase to thumb sizes for those that select it in user preferences. The projects need to be able to adapt to advances in technology and old guidelines founded almost a decade ago are obviously becoming a hindrance given how vehemently you have been arguing for maintaining this 300px limit on NFC. Saffron Blaze (talk) 17:34, 23 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

Hi Geoffbrigham, Here you added this «Indeed, government authorities may require disclosures of paid editing that are impossible to execute on Wikipedia - such as disclosures by businesses in the article itself to ensure notice to the reader; in such cases, paid editing is not allowed on the Wikimedia sites.» My question is, if a user uses a template similar to this or this, the disclosure is in the article, so, paid editing is allowed. Am I right? Thanks.--Temulco3 (talk) 11:27, 25 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

Hi Temulco3. As you know, because I represented only WMF, I cannot give formal legal advice on this. Personally, however, I think the answer might be something like this: It depends on the laws of the jurisdiction in question. I could imagine laws that would require specific disclosure as to which edits the corporation has made - which would be almost impossible with our present protocols. Other laws may allow a more general disclosure similar to those in the templates. Geoffbrigham (talk) 23:40, 25 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

I tried


to discuss some things there, but got the impression, that they arent taken in a serious manner. Thats why I write here to get ur view. Thx.--Angel54 5 (talk) 05:01, 5 April 2014 (UTC)Reply

Please see my follow-up response in your original thread. Thanks! RPatel (WMF) (talk) 08:43, 10 April 2014 (UTC)Reply
Please do accept that I dont want to talk with u, Mrs. Patel, seens to me u cant understand what Im writing, why u r trying to interpret something u cant even evaluate, is a kind of mistery to me...--Angel54 5 (talk) 23:20, 30 April 2014 (UTC)Reply

Clarification on new terms of use clause needed on Commons


Hello Geoffbrigham, could you and perhaps other members of the legal team perhaps comment at c:Commons:Requests for comment/Alternative paid contribution disclosure policy, specifically to clarify your interpretation of the new clause wrt my concern in c:Special:Diff/126802777? I'm sure many Commons users would appreciate your input, thanks. darkweasel94 (talk) 19:03, 16 June 2014 (UTC)Reply

Hello Darkweasel94, thank you for the question. We posted a response in the commons discussion -- this sort of alternative disclosure policy is allowed as long as it is approved by the community through a legitimate consultation and appropriately listed on Meta. I hope that helps. Best, Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 23:27, 16 June 2014 (UTC)Reply

Hi Geoff. Can you please tell me if Wikilegal/Authorship and Copyright Ownership represents Foundation-endorsed doctrine? In other words, is the Foundation saying that if a bystander takes a photo of me at my request that Wikipedia/Commons should accept that photo on the basis of me licensing it, even with no permission from the bystander? (This does not represent our current practices at all and I'm curious whether this document has Foundation backing or whether it is simply the writings of a one-time legal intern with no more validity than anything I wrote in college.) --B (talk) 12:01, 9 June 2015 (UTC)Reply

Hi B. Thanks much for your question. Just as a preliminary matter, it is important to note that the content on Wikilegal is not legal advice and does not necessarily represent the viewpoints of the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikilegal posts are intended as a way of highlighting legal issues that may be of interest to the community and providing a place for inquiry and discussion. The full disclaimer can be accessed at the top of the Wikilegal page and here. And, BTW, this posting is also subject to these disclaimers.  :)
All that said, under “The Example of the Third Party Photographer,” the Wikilegal/Authorship and Copyright Ownership page explains that, under US law, where an individual asks a third party to take her photo, ownership could vary case by case. The page notes that if the photographer and the subject make some creative choices in the rendition of the photograph, both the photographer and the subject could be considered joint authors of the work. It also notes that often the copyright could go to the author. In short, this is a fact specific inquiry. A case where the photographer moves on her own to get the best angle and lighting may be different than one where the subject tells the photographer exactly where to stand and point the camera. Stanford Law School has a good article on the issue if you want to investigate further.

Take care, GeoffBrigham (WMF) (talk) 19:08, 10 June 2015 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for the reply. --B (talk) 18:27, 18 June 2015 (UTC)Reply