Saturday, August 27, 2011

When USA #copyright rules are too restrictive

The moment when when sources lose their copyright restrictions is not universal. Three countries with rules that are not as restrictive as required by the WMF are Australia, Canada and India. Their Wikimedia chapters and communities have to abide by the American rules when they are to use Wikimedia's Wikisource, Wikibooks or Commons.

Wikilivres is a personal project by Yann where sources can be found that are suffering under the more restrictive USAmerican rules. When you visit Wikilivres, you find more than 3,000 books and documents, and 1,000 images in 16,028 pages from more than 750 authors. There are "main pages"  in fifteen languages; it is big for a site run by one person.

Yann is a long time Wikimedian and, when a credible organisation wants to take over this project, it is more then likely that he can be persuaded to hand over the reigns. As a request has been made for an Indian project for publications out of Indian copyright, this is a great opportunity for chapters to collaborate on.

It will serve as a full project in our Wikimedia movement and it will give us the opportunity to celebrate when books, sources or images can be moved to the WMF projects.

Copyright is restrictive, it harms the dissemination of culture and knowledge. Adopting Wikilivres is a great signal to countries with overly restrictive copyright rules.
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