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Submissions/A common answer to Commons problem

From Wikimania 2012 • Washington, D.C., USA

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2012.

Submission no.


Title of the submission
A common answer to Commons problem
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
Deror Avi
E-mail address
Deror Avi
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Wikimedia Israel
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (please use no less than 300 words to describe your proposal)

Wikimedia Commons is a repository of images. It is used as an images and files database for all other wikimedia projects, but also it is a project in itself, aimed at creating available useful files free of copyrights restrictions (or, more accurately "copyleft" files) to be used by the public. The images are taken all over the world by Wikimedians and the general public, and local Wikimedia chapters try to advance this aim by conducting wiki photo gatherings, photo hunts, by provided the photographers with knowhow (courses) and equipment (cameras and hard disks) etc. Many chapters invest time and money in creating projects to advance this aim - collaborations with local cultural and governmental institutions aimed at enhancing the repository with images of these institution.

However, the international nature of the project, and the fact that one project is used worldwide, while the servers are based in the US causes problems and conflicts.

Such conflicts of Law may include problems such as different attitude to copyright terms, to the Bern convention, and to Freedom of Panorama. A work of art by one artist may be free in one country but unfree in another (for example - a statue in a country where freedom of panorama exists, while the artist lives in a country where it does not, and vice versa). A picture may have no limitations in one country but may have privacy and even criminal issues in another (for example - pictures of children). This problem may become even more complicated when works of art move from one country to another, and become "free" or "limited" again and again.

The lecture will present examples to some of these problems, and will attempt to provide an answer based on the concept of privity in public international law, and the expectation of the parties to a contract (in this case - the creator and the state who sets the copyright laws) to apply a certain set of rules when hearing a claim (in other words, should the Wikimedia Foundation demand that a foreign law be applied in a US court when hearing a claim brought by a foreign copyright holder, as such law could state that there is no copyright).


GLAM: Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums (legal)

Length of presentation/talk (if other then 25 minutes, specify how long)
25 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?


Slides or further information (optional)
Special request as to time of presentations (for example - can not present on Saturday)

Not on the Sabbath

Interested attendees

If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest. Sign with four tildes. (~~~~).

  1. Blue Rasberry (talk) 22:41, 9 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Krinkle 18:31, 12 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  3. This seems to be a good continuation of the "Freedom of panorama and Wikimedia Commons" presentation I presented last year, and I'm fascinated to see where this goes. CT Cooper 20:29, 14 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Resident Mario 00:07, 16 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Risker 04:20, 17 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Haxpett (talk) 23:13, 10 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Brest (talk) 00:46, 19 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Iopensa (talk) 10:20, 19 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Léna (talk) 15:17, 19 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  10. -- DQ (ʞlɐʇ) 06:25, 21 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  11. SarahStierch (talk) 00:45, 22 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  12. Kippelboy (talk) 07:14, 22 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  13. David Shankbone (talk) 17:05, 18 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  14. Versageek (talk) 16:01, 1 June 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  15. HazelAB (talk) 14:33, 11 June 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  16. Shujenchang (talk) 04:22, 22 June 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  17. Jonathunder (talk)
  18. Your name here!