Submissions/Wikipedia vs. the courts
This is an Open submission for Wikimania 2017 that has not yet been reviewed by a member of the Programme Committee.
- Submission no. 4004 Subject - LE2
- Title of the submission
- Wikipedia vs. the courts (sub-title: How Wikipedia influences and is targeted by the law. A comparative perspective)
- Type of submission
- Author of the submission
- Piotr Sitnik - user:Myopic pattern
- type of submission
- Language of presentation
- E-mail address
- email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
- user:Myopic pattern
- Country of origin
- Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
- Wikimedia Polska, University College London
- Personal homepage or blog
- Abstract (up to 300 words to describe your proposal)
As of 2017, Wikipedia has been quoted in more than 400 judicial opinions in the U.S. alone, and 200+ cases in England and Wales. Courts have taken judicial notice of Wikipedia content, based their reasoning on Wikipedia entries, and decided dispositive motions on the basis of Wikipedia content. Wikimedia Foundation has faced numerous libel actions across a string of jurisdictions, some of which it lost, whilst winning the others. Wikipedia pages have on occasion been censored by Internet providers and other third party actors in an attempt to sanitize its contents.
The lecture aims at providing a snapshot of the most important legal implications concerning Wikipedia and the WIkimedia Foundation in the modern world. Rampant proliferation of Wikimedia projects has posed challenges to legal systems with respect to such concepts as freedom of speech, censorship, defamation, privacy and intellectual property. The talk tracks a handful of pertinent judicial pronouncements and furnishes a comprehensive analysis of the literature with a view to distilling a number of corollaries which would help reconcile the ramifications of Wikipedia development with the strictures of legislation.
Particular attention will be paid to the discrepancies in their treatment of the above issues by courts in different jurisdictions. A few cases will be shed light upon - from Canada, Germany, USA and Italy.
- Crookes v. Wikimedia Foundation Inc. 2008 BCSC 1424 (Supreme Court of British Columbia), http://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcsc/doc/2008/2008bcsc1424/2008bcsc1424.html
- United States v. Lawson, 677 F.3d 629 (U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, 2012), https://casetext.com/case/united-states-v-lawson-34
- Previti v. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 12261/2013 (The Court of Rome, 17 June 2013)
- Barnett E., Baer R., “Embracing Wikipedia as a research tool for law: to Wikipedia or not to Wikipedia?”, 45(2) The Law Teacher 2011, 194-213.
- Davis M.E., Byers M., “The Remedies for Defamation on Wikipedia”, 33(20) The Lawyers Weekly 2013, http://www.cmblaw.ca/assets/files/pdf/The%20remedies%20for%20defamation%20on%20Wikipedia.pdf
- Gerken J.L., „How Courts Use Wikipedia”, 11(1) Journal of Appellate Practice and Process 2010, 191-227.
- McIntosh B.M., “Gamecocks Spur Trouble in Jury Deliberations: What the Fourth Circuit Really Thinks About Wikipedia as a Legal Resource in United States v. Lawson”, 64 South Carolina Law Review 2013, 1157-1165.
- Miller J.C., Murray H.B., “Wikipedia in Court: When and How Citing Wikipedia and Other Consensus Websites is Appropriate”, 84 St John’s Law Review 2010, 633-656.
- Myers K.S., “Wikimmunity: Fitting the Communications Decency Act to Wikipedia”, 20(1) Harvard Journal of Law & Technology 2006, 163-208.
- Peoples L.F., “The Citation of Blogs in Judicial Opinions”, 13 Tulane Journal of Technology & Intellectual Property 2010, 39-80.
- Peoples L.F., “The Citation of Wikipedia in Judicial Opinions”, 12(1) Yale Journal of Law and Technology 2009, 1-51.
- Wagner A.L., “Wikipedia Made Law? The Federal Judicial Citation of Wikipedia”, 29 John Marshall Journal of Computer and Information Law 2008, 229-257.
- Walsh K.M., Oh S., ”Self-Regulation: How Wikipedia Leverages User-Generated Quality Control Under Section 230”, https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1579054
News and online sources
- “Libel case against Wikimedia Foundation dismissed”, WIkinews, 1 July 2008, https://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Libel_case_against_Wikimedia_Foundation_dismissed
- “The Court of Rome rules on Wikimedia Foundation’s role as a hosting provider and its lack of liability for Wikipedia’s content”, Lexology, 28 July 2015, http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=9708578c-b664-4c12-8fbb-910b242cecf7
- “Wikipedia child image censored”, BBC, 8 December 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7770456.stm
- “Wikipedia not liable for libel, rules French court”, 6 November 2007, https://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2007/november/wikipedia-not-liable-for-libel-rules-french-court/
- Essers L., “Wikimedia is liable for contents of Wikipedia articles, German court rules”, 27 November 2013, http://www.pcworld.com/article/2067460/wikimedia-is-liable-for-contents-of-wikipedia-articles-german-court-rules.html
- Halliday J., “US billionaire wins high court order over Wikipedia 'defamation'”, The Guardian, 9 May 2011, https://www.theguardian.com/media/2011/may/09/us-billionaire-wikipedia-defamation
- Husovec M., “German Court: Wikipedia Must Act Upon Notice”, 4 December 2013, http://www.husovec.eu/2013/12/german-court-wikipedia-must-act-upon.html
- Jemielniak D., “Wikipedia, a Professor's Best Friend”, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 13 October 2014, http://www.chronicle.com/article/Wikipedia-a-Professors-Best/149337
- Khrennikov I., “Russia Drops Wikipedia Ban After Cannabis Content Is Edited”, 24 August 2015, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-24/russia-moves-to-block-wikipedia-over-cannabis-related-content
- Paulson M., “In a legal victory for Wikipedia, the Wikimedia Foundation wins lawsuit brought by former Berlusconi advisor”, 26 June 2013, https://blog.wikimedia.org/2013/06/26/wikimedia-foundation-legal-victory-italy/
- What will attendees take away from this session? Attendees will gain insight into the legal ramifications of editing in Wikipedia (and potentially other Wikimedia projects). Questions to be explored include
- Can a Wikipedian be held liable for libel?
- What must a Wikipedian do to be cited in a court case?
- Is the rule of law strengthened or debilitated by references to Wikipedia?
- Can Wikipedia react (and if so, how should it) to censorship coming from the outside?
- Theme of presentation
Legal & Free Culture
- For workshops and discussions, what level is the intended audience?
N/A (proper understanding of the lecture may be enhanced through acquaintance with legal terminology, particularly within private law)
- Length of session (if other than 25 minutes, specify how long)
- 25 minutes, however a longer slot may be worthwhile to accommodate a discussion.
- Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
- Subject to the outcome of a scholarship application.
- Slides or further information (optional)
- A PowerPoint presentation is to be prepared. It will serve as roadmap for the flow of the argument during the talk.
- 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.
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. (# ~~~~).
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