Submissions/The Debate: That all Wikimedia projects should have Fair Use, or none of them

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This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2012.

Submission no.


Title of the submission
"The Great Debate"
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
Wittylama (talk)
E-mail address
Wittylama (talk)
Country of origin
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

This is a formal debate (e.g. Oxford Style) with invited experts representing the "affirmative" and "negative" sides. In effect, this is more of a performance rather than a pre-prepared presentation. At the end of the debate the audience will vote their winner. The subject or "motion" of the debate is:

"That all Wikimedia Projects should have Fair Use, or none of them."

This topic is deliberately chosen to force people to take a side - there is no alternative for the current situation of "some yes, some no". Note: this debate is NOT intended to actually change the Wikimedia project policies, it is just a theoretical discussion. Currently, the various language editions of Wikipedia have the right to Fair Use since our servers are based in the USA. Each community choses for itself. Most languages follow the laws of the country that is most significant to that language. Summary on Meta. The "ALL" team will try to convince the audience to allow Fair Use because Wikimedia should be trying to use all legal means to disseminate knowledge, even though many people live in countries that don't have Fair Use laws. The "NONE" team will to convince everyone to abandon Fair Use so that we focus on truly "free" content - to make sure no one is breaking their local laws.

For the "All" Team:
Visiting expert - Brandon Butler, Director of Public Policy Initiatives, Association of Research Libraries.
Wikimedian - Stephen LaPorte (user:Slaporte) - WMF

For the "None" Team:
Visiting expert - Jessica Coates, Affiliate Network Coordinator, Creative Commons International.
Wikimedian - Lennart Guldbrandsson (user:Hannibal), Wikimedia Sweden.

Moderated by Liam Wyatt.
The teams will take turns to make their arguments, each presenter will have 15 minutes. Afterwards there will be a brief period for questions from the audience followed by a vote.

Length of presentation/talk
1 hour
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
This is a "panel-like" submission, but with the specific difference that it is in a debate/Moot court format. This means that there will not be the scope for "questions from the audience" and that speakers will be sequential according to the specific rules of that presentation format.
Special request as to time of presentations

Interested attendees

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  1. JoBaWik (talk) 12:22, 17 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. --Serein (talk) 10:19, 25 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. --Chuq (talk) 02:34, 13 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]