Submissions/Fair Use in Australia campaign

From Wikimania

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2017.

Submission no. 4001 Subject - LE1
Title of the submission

Fair Use in Australia campaign

Type of submission (lecture, panel, tutorial/workshop, roundtable discussion, lightning talk, poster, birds of a feather discussion)


Author of the submission

Wittylama (talk)

Language of presentation

I am able to speak in both languages. Therefore:

  • Presentation in English
  • Question/Answer session in both English and French, as required.
E-mail address


Wittylama (talk)

Country of origin

Australia (citizenship); Italy (residence)

Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
  • Member of: Wikimedia Australia, Wikimedia Italia.
  • Elected to: Funds Dissemination Committee.
  • Employer: Europeana.
Personal homepage or blog

Abstract (up to 300 words to describe your proposal)

It is very rare for our community to support a political-advocacy project, and even rarer-still one which is 'proactive' rather than 'defensive' of rights. This is the story of how just such a project was undertaken in Australia this year.

Did you know that in Australia, forwarding an email attachment, creating a meme image, and browser-caching are currently not allowed, and using a VCR or DVD recorder was illegal until 1996?
Did you know that the Australian school system has to pay for the right to use publicly available websites in classrooms, and even used to pay for the right to use Wikipedia?
And, did you know that for a month this year, over 500,000 English Wikipedia articles when viewed in Australia had banners promoting Fair Use?

Wikimedians - especially those who work mainly not on EN.WP - usually have a bad opinion of Fair Use because for us it makes our websites less than perfectly 'free knowledge'. However, 'Fair Use' means a lot more than the ability to have samples from copyrighted songs or company logos used within Wikipedia articles! Australia has a Copyright system which requires every action is banned, unless it is specifically allowed in the Copyright Act.

For most Australians, the 'non-free' content in English Wikipedia articles is the most commonly viewed, easily understood, practical application of Fair Use - they just don't know it! Following a community consultation and consensus-building process in early 2017 the Australian Wikipedia community agreed to support a "banner campaign" to promote awareness of the value of Fair Use for Australia.The closest precedent being the 2015 Freedom of Panorama in Europe campaign.

This presentation will discuss:

  • How this consensus was achieved on-wiki, and arguments made
  • How the campaign was run
  • Partnering we partnered with local advocacy organisations
  • What effect it had in copyright law, in public opinion, and in Wikimedia
What will attendees take away from this session?
  • Understanding of a major advocacy 'banner campaign' in Wikipedia
  • Implications of Fair Use beyond the WIkimedia ecosystem
  • How community consultation, communication, and consensus-making was undertaken.
Theme of presentation
  • Legal & Free Culture
Length of session (if other than 25 minutes, specify how long)

25 minutes

Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?

Probably not. Attendance is based on scholarship application, which itself is highly dependent on presentation submission acceptance. I have one other proposed presentation.

Slides or further information (optional)
Post conference addition:

NOTE: The banner/advocacy campaign for Fair Use in Australia has NOT YET OCCURED. The community consensus has been approved and, as of the Submission deadline, we are drafting the documents and preparing the timeline for the banner campaign. By the time that Wikimania actually happens this campaign will have concluded. Current best guess is that it will happen in May.

Related document: Wikipedia article on History of Fair Use proposals in Australia

Special requests


Is this Submission a Draft or Final?

This is a Completed submission for Wikimania 2017 ready to be reviewed by a member of the Programme Committee.

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 a hash and four tildes. (# ~~~~).

  1. Smallbones (talk) 19:43, 31 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Slowking4 (talk)
  3. --Ліонкінг (talk) 16:27, 13 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]