Wikipedia talk:Copyrights

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RfC on copyright status of[edit]

The discussion thread over there is closed. Archive is located here : Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 264#Rfc: Matthew hk on public computer (talk) 04:25, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

There is an RfC on the copyright status of, which appears to republish text from Gale's International Directory of Company Histories. If you're interested, please participate at WP:RSN § Rfc: — Newslinger talk 14:22, 1 April 2019 (UTC)

Actually i had started a thread #Rip-off of International Directory of Company Histories but no one replied. Matthew hk on public computer (talk) 11:58, 11 April 2019 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

"Linking to copyrighted works"[edit]

In the third paragraph of this section, the term "Internet archives" appears in both the first and second sentences. In the former, "Internet" is capitalized, in the latter, it is not. These sentences should be reconciled, preferably by capitalizing it in both, although lowercase in both would be far more preferable than the seemingly random "one-and-one" appearing now. Joefromrandb (talk) 07:17, 17 May 2019 (UTC)

Protected edit request on 2 August 2019[edit]

The embeded external link to c:COM:Copyright rules in WP:COPY#See also should be converted to an interwiki link. -- Marchjuly (talk) 04:26, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

Done. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 09:07, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
Thank you Jo-Jo Eumerus. -- Marchjuly (talk) 13:01, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

Linking to copyrighted works[edit]

Stated in that section is: "Knowingly and intentionally directing others to a site that violates copyright has been considered a form of contributory infringement in the United States (Intellectual Reserve v. Utah Lighthouse Ministry [1]);". That case, not only being old (1999), and is only at the level of a District Court, is only binding in one Federal judicial district, the State of Utah. Has this case, or a similar one, been upheld at an appeals court level, or even the US Supreme Court? How about a contrary ruling in one of the 12 (Circuits 1-11 and DC) Appeals Circuits? It was also issued relatively shortly after the Internet became available to a majority of the American public. It is also impractical to determine where a given website physically is, or if it is actually bound by the laws of a particular nation: Websites can be "anywhere", and people who cite them do not necessarily know the laws of whichever country the material is hosted in. Another factor is the passage of the DMCA, or Digital Millenium Copyright Act. See: . It would be utterly impractical for WP to dig through all of these factors on its own; The only realistic path is to allow copyright holders to make claims, where they believe them to be valid. Aardvark231 (talk) 04:48, 19 August 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia doesn't expect you to do exhaustive research into a site before linking to it. However if you know that a link contains a copyright violation, or is likely to, then don't link to it. That's all the policy says. As this is a policy with legal considerations amateurs should not be attempting to rewrite the legal parts anyway. Hut 8.5 06:45, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
Yes. But by "legal parts" do you mean the parts which are drawn from the m:Terms of use? If not, can you point out what lawyer wrote the section in question or what legal opinion it is based on? I don't see anything relevant at m:Wikilegal, for instance. Nemo 16:13, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
When it comes to adding external links, the burden tends to fall upon the editor wanting to add the links to establish a consensus that the link should be added per WP:ELBURDEN; this is similar to to WP:BURDEN when it comes to article content in general. I think the same reasoning can be applied here based upon WP:ELNEVER; the burden seems to fall upon those wanting to add a link to establish that it is clearly not a copyright violation, not the other way around; moreover, whenever there's any reasonable doubt, the link probably shouldn't be added. -- Marchjuly (talk) 06:50, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
Marchjuly, your interpretation is practically the opposite of Hut 8.5's. I suggest to re-read the guidelines and see if perhaps there was a misunderstanding. For instance, where do you draw your "any reasonable doubt" criterion, which is quite different from "Knowingly and intentionally"? Once we identify what parts of the guidelines are unclear, we might want to clarify them.
I'll also point out that for sources the guideline is at WP:LINKVIO and WP:ELNO doesn't apply. Nemo 16:13, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
I didn't mention ELNO, but ELNEVER does seem to specifically apply to such a thing. Regardless, ELNO, ELBURDEN and ELNEVER are all subsections of WP:EL, which does seems applicable. As for "reasonable doubt", I was basing that on my reading of If there is reason to believe that a website has a copy of a work in violation of its copyright, do not link to it. in item 1 of ELNEVER and However, if you know or reasonably suspect that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work. from WP:COPYLINK; so, I don't see what I wrote as being practically the opposite from Hut 8.5's comment as you're claiming. The burden still, at least in my opinion, falls on those wanting to include a link to demonstrate that it's clearly not a copyright violation, not the other way around. Nobody has the right to add links or any other type of content to Wikipedia and Wikipedia is not obligated to host links or content just because someone wants to add it. Editors can be bold, but they are expected, in principle, to discuss when their edits are challenged by another editor. So, that should also apply to an external link whose source is questionable per COPYLINK. It seems in such cases that removing the link as a potential copyright violation is what COPYLINK is asking use to do as a precaution until any concerns about the link can be resolved. -- Marchjuly (talk) 02:22, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
WP:ELPOINTS: "This guideline does not apply to inline citations or general references". It's practically the opposite because you reverse the burden of proof compared to what Hut 8.5 said. It's also impossible to prove a negative (absence of any reasonable doubt), especially on something we have no direct information about: how do you suggest that happens in practice? If I raise a doubt about 10k links/articles at once, are now all the editors of those articles forced to remove all those links all of the sudden from their references until they manage to file 10k lawsuits to prove that every usage is cleared by some court? Nemo 09:50, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
We weren't discussing (at least I didn't think we were) adding a link as an inline citation, but rather adding a link as an external link to the "External links" section. However, even if we were discussing a link added as part of a citation, WP:ELNEVER clearly states Policy: material that violates the copyrights of others per contributors' rights and obligations should not be linked, whether in an external-links section or in a citation. and this is further clarified by WP:EL#cite_note-copyvio_exception-1. Once again, I don't think I've posted anything that is practically the opposite of However if you know that a link contains a copyright violation, or is likely to, then don't link to it. You seem to be interpreting "know" as meaning with "100% certainty", whereas I think However, if you know or reasonably suspect that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work. as stated in WP:COPYLINK doesn't necessarily mean 100% certainty. I'm not suggesting links be removed on whim and perhaps "reasonably expect" is too open to interpretation. However, if an editor removes a link and another editor disagrees with its removal, then I think the burden of discussing the link and establishing a consensus in favor of re-adding it (perhaps even on WP:ELN) falls on the person wanting to re-add the link; moreover, this discussion probably should take place prior to the link being re-added. If a consensus is established in favor of re-adding the link, then it will be re-added; if not, it won't. A local consensus, however, cannot supersede a community-wide policy so eventually a community discussion might be needed to sort things out. Your example about one editor questioning/removing 10k links/articles at once sounds a bit WP:POINTy and would likely be considered WP:TE and WP:DE more than anything else; however, if there was a formal RFC about the suitability of a certain source/link and the consensus reached through that RFC was the link shouldn't be added to any Wikipedia pages at all, then all those instances where the link is being used should be removed per that consensus. -- Marchjuly (talk) 13:26, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
  • ELPOINTS's reference to citations means that if you use a copyrighted source as a reference, you can link to the copyrighted source in the citation. If that source is infringing someone's copyright (e.g., someone reposted a article), then it is better to link to the original source rather than the copy. In general with copyrights, since you can't prove a negative as you say, we want the source to be explicitly published under a free license; lack of a copyright notice is not usually sufficient to show a free-license, as copyright exists the moment content is "fixed in a tangible form". All that said, as Hut originally mentioned, we don't require exhaustive research into the copyright status, but it also comes with the risk of being summarily removed by another editor who thinks it may be. At that point it will require resolving the question. CrowCaw 16:20, 20 August 2019 (UTC)