Comunicado:Open letter from WMVE regarding URAA/es

De Wikimedia Venezuela
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<languages /> Los Teques, 23 de febrero de 2014

Nosotros, los integrantes de Wikimedia Venezuela, habiendo conocido la carta abierta a la Junta Directiva de la Fundación Wikimedia emitida por nuestros compañeros de Wikimedia Israel el 28 de enero de 2014 y la subsecuente posición publicada por Wikimedia España en carta abierta del 19 de febrero de 2014, acerca de la Ley de Acuerdos de la Ronda Uruguay (URAA, Uruguay Round Agreements Act) – Ley de los Estados Unidos de América - y sus efectos negativos sobre la libertad de conocimiento, haciéndonos eco de las preocupaciones manifestadas por Wikimedia Israel y concordando además con las posiciones fijadas por Wikimedia España, y estando de acuerdo con todas las razones expuestas, manifestamos de forma abierta nuestra completa adhesión a tal exposición.

While Venezuela Wikimedia believes in the right of all authors to earn profit out of their own work, we also believe that the excessive extension of copyright beyond the current limits is a disproportionate measure which violates the right to free knowledge without ensuring any real benefit to the authors. It seems unethical and lacking all moral that people unrelated to the authorship of a work, becomes able to obtain an economic benefit from the work of those who have died 100 years ago. This implies the disappearance from the public domain of works that are invaluable for the culture and universal knowledge.

The U.S. Congress basically decided to give the rights of works already in the public domain - and all the vast expression of rights that go along with it - with the hope that this could put more economic income in the pockets of the U.S. copyright holders, not to mention further innumerable works by authors who have no heirs, works by anonymous authors and even works of authors who never had interest in claiming their copyright and which are currently abandoned and possibly damaged to the point of being irreparable, they cannot be recovered to increase universal knowledge. We are concerned in Wikimedia Venezuela about this decision based primarily on the economic benefit of a few, but it affects all humanity.

The fact that the servers hosting Wikimedia Commons, the largest repository of freely usable media files ever created, are located in the United States of America, aggravates this situation because many files would have to be removed and some users have already suggested the removal of valuable historical and artistic content in terms of this repository that belongs to us all. The Wikimedia Foundation, in its response to Wikimedia Israel, has recommended not to proceed with the mass removal of existing content based on the URAA until there is actual knowledge of the violation of this law. However, we believe that the Wikimedia Foundation should find a legal way to keep content that may not necessarily be in the Public Domain in the U.S. in the Commons servers, as it is a local law that is affecting our projects globally and ranging in against the most basic principles of our movement. From Wikimedia Venezuela, we express our support for searching a solution that allows to maintain the highest possible amount of free content without risk of legal backlash.

We are committed to make known our position on this issue, and express our most sincere support to our brothers at Wikimedia Israel.

Wikimedia Venezuela