It’s becoming more and more apparent where Wikipedia’s sympathies lie. Recently the German Wikipedia was close to seceding because users were to be given the opportunity to choose which images they wanted to see. The Italian and English Wikipedias each staged a blackout in order to take part in politics.
And Wikipedia is betraying its most sacrosanct values: its own licence, which today is cc-by-sa (The previously used GFDL had been specifically re-written for Wikipedia).
Not only were the terms of the Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 licence not met but German § 13 Urheberrechtsgesetz (German Copyright law) was violated as well. The Federal Archive is contractually obliged to cite copyright holders’ names. Due to the piracy cases the Bundesarchiv no longer provides photos to Wikipedia.
You have to ask yourself now: Can you blame Wikipedia for single users who misappropriate pictures? Yes you can! Wikipedia is based precisely on the principle that individuals are acting as a crowd. It would have been only fair if Wikipedia had taken responsibility for any abuse. Wikipedians should have helped the Bundesarchiv actively in pursuing copyright violators. But Wikipedians failed to do so.
This also explains why many Wikipedians are against ACTA: The Wikimedia Foundation and Wikipedians don’t want copyright law to expand into emerging countries (this is the true and only aim of ACTA, it changes nothing in US and European Union law). The foundation does not want to be sued successfully and justifiably more often as e.g. by the heirs of Loriot in Germany).
- “Caught in the Net – Dr. Oliver Sander: the Cooperation of the Federal Archive with Wikipedia” – Ins Netz gegangen – Dr. Oliver Sander: Die Kooperation des Bundesarchivs mit Wikimedia
- “Interview with Mathias Schindler about the Cooperation of the Federal Archive with Wikimedia” Interview mit Mathias Schindler zur Zusammenarbeit des Bundesarchivs mit Wikimedia vom 17. November 2010
Your David Richter
This article is a translation of my earlier German post “Plagiat: Wikipedia verstößt gegen die eigene Lizenz – Geistigen Eigentum wird missachtet”. – Thanks for copy editing by Andreas Kolbe!