Wikibooks:No legal threats

Don't make legal threats against other users of Wikibooks. Apart from being incivil, doing so causes a number of serious problems:

  • It severely inhibits free editing of pages, a concept that is absolutely necessary to ensure that Wikibooks remains neutral. Without this freedom, we risk one side of a dispute intimidating the other, thus causing a systematic bias in our modules.
  • It causes bad feelings and a lack of trust amongst the Wikibooks community, damaging our ability to proceed quickly and efficiently and with an assumption of mutual good faith.
  • The Wikimedia Foundation has had bad experiences with users who have made legal threats in the past, and by making legal threats, you may damage your reputation on Wikibooks.
  • A legal threat may lead to you being blocked from editing (on a case by case basis), so as not to exacerbate the problem through other than legal channels.

Instead, first attempt to resolve disputes using the dispute resolution procedures. This will oftentimes lead to a solution without resorting to the blunt tool of the law. If the dispute resolution procedures do not resolve your problem then you can use the law in the knowledge that you have taken all reasonable steps to resolve the situation amicably.

But, if you really feel the need to take legal action, we cannot prevent you from doing so. However, we ask that if you do so then you do not edit Wikibooks until the matter of law is settled, one way or the other, to ensure that all legal processes happen via proper legal channels.

If you do decide to proceed with legal action, you should deal with it privately with the user by e-mail. Do not thrash out the issue in a Wikibooks forum or talk page; you may find that other users take the side of the other party. (Would you really want to sue a group of users if that happened?) If your issue involves Wikibooks itself, you should contact Wikibook's parent organization, the Wikimedia Foundation.

NOTE: "No legal threats" does not mean, of course, that claims of copyright infringement are not to be made. If you are the owner of copyrighted material which is on Wikibooks, a clear statement about whether it is licensed for such use is welcome and appropriate. Copyrighted material not licensed for Wikibooks (with very limited fair-use exception) is not welcome on Wikibooks.

Similarly, slander, libel, or defamation of character is not to be tolerated on Wikibooks; true instances of such writing, that might legitimately expose Wikibooks, or its parent organization, the Wikimedia Foundation, to legal sanction, should immediately be called to the attention of an administrator and/or the community at large. Disagreements as to the identity of a person, their motivations for a given action, opinions of third parties about them, etc. do not fall under slander, however, and legal threats cannot be used to have points of view enshrined in an module.