Submissions/The URAA, Copyright Terms, and the Wikimedia Projects

From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2014.

Submission no. 2524
Title of the submission
The URAA, Copyright Terms, and the Wikimedia Projects
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
Ryan Kaldari
E-mail address,
Country of origin
United States
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Wikimedia Foundation
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)
The Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA) is a confusing and controversial amendment to United States copyright law that was passed in 1994 to restore the copyright of certain works that had entered into the public domain in the United States. After it was introduced, the URAA was unsuccessfully challenged before the Supreme Court in Golan v. Holder (2012). Since then, this law has been the subject of numerous discussions and debates within the Wikimedia community and has inspired calls for distributing the hosting of Wikimedia Commons files to non-US jurisdictions.

This presentation will provide a brief overview of the URAA, its legal history (including efforts by the EFF, WMF, and other organizations to overturn this law), and it's implications for the Wikimedia projects. We will also discuss different strategies that have been raised to address the implications of the URAA and analyze the benefits and detriments of the different strategies.

Discussions around the URAA often center around the duration of copyright term in the US and other countries. We will therefore also talk about how the duration of the copyright term impacts the Wikimedia projects. In that context, we will discuss current and potential future efforts to reform US copyright law related to orphan and foreign works, such as adoption of the rule of the shorter term.
  • Legal & Free Culture
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests

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  1. Gnom (talk) 10:46, 21 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  2. AdamBMorgan (talk) 12:29, 24 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  3. NaBUru38 23:17, 25 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Mapep (talk) 02:15, 29 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Polimerek (talk) 10:12, 31 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  6. seav (talk) 14:02, 31 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  7. --Jan Engelmann (WMDE) (talk) 08:13, 1 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  8. MichaelMaggs (talk) 08:51, 4 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  9. OwenBlacker (talk) 21:53, 6 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  10. Nicole Ebber (WMDE) (talk) 21:10, 7 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  11. Ocaasi (talk) 01:38, 8 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  12. Daniel Case (talk) 01:43, 30 July 2014 (UTC)[reply]
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