When you steal your next copy of the New York Times, just make sure that you share it with a couple of your friends, or even a stranger, because that makes your theft of it okay. Do I have that right, Jenna? Because that seems to be the basis of your defense.
(I wonder if Jenna Wortham has ever taken two minutes to consider how copyright basically ensures her paycheck?)
Readers who care even two whits about what is happening in Kazakhstan might be interested to learn about all of the back-deals that are going on to whitewash the actual history of how the Kazakh government regime has taken over the Kazakh-language Wikipedia. And all with the moral and financial support of Jimmy Wales and his Wikimedia Foundation: http://wikipediocracy.com/wiki/index.php?title=Timeline_of_Kazakhstan_Wikipedia_events
@Danny: You say, "[if] no reader or editor stumbles on the correction in Talk, [t]hen it is unlikely much of anyone is reading the main page". Over on Phil Gomes' "CREWE" group on Facebook, I easily found about 5 or 6 examples of Talk pages that received only a dozen or so page views per month, while the Article page received thousands of views. In these situations, requests left on the Talk page went unanswered for months, even years at a time. After I had pointed out these statistical facts, Gomes' booted me from the CREWE group. Apparently Jimmy Wales complained to Gomes because Wales thought I might shoot him with an AK-47, because I was photographed once firing an AK-47. You can't make up this stuff.
Oh, jeez, Mike. Have I really "painted" people with my broad brush? If you're deliberately ignoring the fact that many legal analysts have been discussing whether or not Section 230 pushed too far in favor of anonymous libelers, then that's reprehensible. If, however, you're simply uninformed, then let me give you some extra reading:
Maybe you'll find some material in those papers that will round out your views about Section 230, responsibility, and defamation. Or, maybe you'll just toss them aside and go with your standard view, because that's easier.
If I may apply an analogy, you sound like an anti-abortion advocate, circa 1965, saying that "right to privacy has nothing to do with abortion", unaware that in just a few more years, not only would it have to do with abortion, it would have *everything* to do with abortion. I realize that CURRENTLY, the law states that my view is an outside view, but I (and others) are convinced it will not always be this way. Free culture excesses will see to that. I'm not unreasonable. Clearly, the open discourse of human beings on websites that do not themselves contribute to the discourse is a valuable and precious resource. However, I believe there is also room to adjust the culture in a way that respects the dignity and rights of REAL people at least marginally more than those of PSEUDONYMOUS people. You may disagree with that, but if you were to poll 100 human beings at random (I don't care if they're American, or Dutch, or Korean, or Ethiopian), I contend that if they are intelligent enough to understand the question, at least 90 of them would more agree with me than with you. That's why I describe your views as "disagreeable". I contend that your views run counter to the vast majority of regular people's opinions. Your views are right at home on Techdirt, but that is not reflective of humanity, I hope you know.
One last example... there's a website out there that pokes fun at me. I can manage the parody just fine, but I'd rather not point here to it with a link. However, in that site's text, it claims that my little 7-year-old daughter is "not of my seed" (or something like that). That was initially written three years ago, when my kid was 4 years old. The page was initially on a U.S.-based site which has shut down, it seems, but within days a free culture proponent, Sven Slootweg, was hosting a copy of the page in Europe, because he feels that "information wants to be free", I suppose. I asked if he would kindly take down the page, or at least withdraw the part that would be so offensive to a little girl. Guess what? He refused. That wouldn't be fair to the original author's right to free speech, he informed me. Could you describe for me, what is my course of action to find out who wrote this hateful comment about my relationship with my daughter? Or, should I just let it go (as I have), because the precious right of anonymous harassment should never be modified?
I'm a happy customer of Faconnable. I bought one of their shirts in 1993, and it still looks great. High-quality material. I wonder if the Hezbollah alliance, though, now ruins that craftsmanship, since the seamstresses are clearly working half of their shifts sewing explosives into vests?
Oops, I didn't mention why I brought up Section 230. It's because I no longer consider Wikipedia an "interactive computer service" like AOL or Charter. I consider it a publisher like World Book or the New York Times. After all, it bills itself as an "encyclopedia" not a "forum" or "chat board", which are the types of venues that Section 230 was meant to preserve. I'm surprised you'd think that this has "absolutely nothing" to do with Section 230, when (for the Wikimedia Foundation's viability as an ongoing defamation platform provider) it has *everything* to do with Section 230.
Mike, because you say "there is a good process for identifying anonymous posters" does not mean that there is a good process for identifying anonymous posters. In fact, for those who have been libeled -- and I've seen cases much more savage and personal than what Faconnable has experienced, by far -- the current process of trying to find out who is wrongfully fucking with one's reputation is clumsy, overly protective of the masked aggressor, and (frankly) sickening. The pendulum is finally swinging back to at least a mote of accountability for one's outlandish claims in speech, and all I hear is "free culture" whiners, most of whom are too ashamed of their own outlandish views to stand behind them with a real name. I give you credit, at least, for putting your signature to your disagreeable views.
So, even though you didn't see the actual Wikipedia edits (they've been expunged), and even though the court document suggests that they said M1 Group "supports" or "is a supporter of" Hezbollah, you are willing to say that these statements on Wikipedia were "true"? No wonder you're an Anonymous Coward.
Do I have this correct... A company that makes good clothes and wishes to keep their brand reputation in a good light should be berated by Techdirt readers because the company wants to know the name of the coward who used Wikipedia as a defamation platform to libel the company?
While this particular case may be a lost cause, I think it's pretty clear that the pendulum is swinging back the other way from Section 230 provisions, as people begin to see how irresponsible websites can become about user-generated content, when you take away punishment for not behaving responsibly.
Anyway, the Wikimedia Foundation really ought to be sued, but not for this. Rather, they should be sued for the sweetheart contracts they hand out, no-bid style, to corporations that favor their own staff and trustees. (It's called "self-dealing", and thus far the WMF does a fairly good job of deflecting attention away from it, but it is an ingrained practice there.)
Yet more inability to distinguish between "Wikipedia" and "Wikimedia Commons". I think the argument I made above was referencing the amount of traffic on the top 100 pages of WIKIMEDIA COMMONS. You do understand that that's not "Wikipedia", don't you? I'm not sure how clearly I have to spell it out, since you seem particularly obtuse about this.
Mike, you showed your true colors regarding Sanger when you said, "He's often credited as being a co-founder of the site, though some dispute this."
SOME dispute this?
The only person in the world who disputes this is JIMMY WALES.
So, tell us... how recently was it that you and Jimmy had an expensive dinner together? You're obviously shilling for him. What's the catch? It's okay, you can level with us Techdirt readers.
So, am I to understand that it is a coincidence that Jimmy Wales' immediate prior source of income before Wikipedia was hosting a site that 'The New Yorker' once described as hosting "lesbian strip-poker threesomes"?
And, is it a coincidence that the Deputy Director of the Wikimedia Foundation is a self-appointed expert in "zoophilia", so much so that he could add paragraphs of material to Wikipedia, without so much as a citation (other than a "wiki-link" pointing to Peter Singer) directing the reader to a more reliable source than his own mind?
You Wikipediots will bend, twist, and contort yourselves and your positions so that nothing could POSSIBLY be wrong with how the Wikimedia Foundation governs what it publishes. I choose to be more skeptical of their mission.
Elsie, you seem smart. Could you explain why the Wikimedia Foundation qualifies as a 501-c-3 charitable organization?
If I endeavor to launch an "educational" website featuring pornographic images, may I also charter a business as a non-profit 501-c-3 around it, and drawing my salary from the tax-deductible donations I receive?
Okay, I've adjusted the outbound link from my real name. I see that you're hiding behind the name "Any Mouse". Typical scenario that a pro-child porn proponent would hide from accountability, while someone brave enough to point out simple facts (that Wikimedia Commons is used MOSTLY to publish and distribute sexually-themed images) uses his real name. Oh, and Wikimedia Commons is not an "online encyclopedia" -- you're confusing it with Wikipedia. I am also not prudish and narrow-minded, as I've enjoyed quite a few prurient activities in my day. I just don't recall ever going to a tax-exempt strip club or rented a tax-exempt X-rated video. Per usual, you Wikipediots entirely miss the point.
Thank you for underscoring the legitimacy of my complaint, "Any Mouse".
The Wikimedia Foundation is a tax-exempt 501-c-3 organization. It draws in over $10 million in annual revenues, though by putting much of that in the bank, its "program expenses" account for only 41 cents of every revenue dollar. (Look at their latest Form 990 filing, if you doubt this.) Most bona fide charities try to maintain program expenses ratios north of 80%, to demonstrate that they are actually serving their charitable mission. So, the Wikimedia Foundation is doing about half the job they should be.
If you look at the top 100 images accessed by users on the Wikimedia Commons site, you'll find that sex and porn dominate the list:
So, somebody explain to me how we've gotten to this point, where a sex and porn image server is granted tax exemption. Is it merely a coincidence that Jimmy Wales's business just prior to co-founding Wikipedia was operating the "Bomis Babes" adult photography site?
Masnick, I'm sorry, but you're without a clue on how deep this goes. Let me know if you're interested in talking sometime about how Jimmy Wales reacted when I pointed out to him the potentially illegal child photography on his Wikia, Inc. servers that were hosting a "Spanking Art" wiki.
Don't copyright holders lose some of their grounds to sue, if the unauthorized user is using the material for the purposes of criticism? I think that's one of the tenets of "fair use". But, that's just my gut feeling. You know, a twinge in my belie.
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