Wikimedia Commons drama
A clarification: This drama happened on the Wikimedia Commons, not Wikipedia. I also think it's an unfair characterisation to say that the contributor was "hung up to dry". The reasoning for de-admining him was simple:
"As a result it looks like the legal threat is demanding that he violate our rules and trust or face stiffer consequences. I think this is an unconscionable conflict which is unfair to all parties." (Gmaxwell, 00:21, 12 July 2009)
In fact, Dcoetzee completely agreed with this: "no insult is taken and I understand the need for the project to take this action under the circumstances".
A little context for those unfamiliar with the drama that led up to this. These images are, unquestionably, out of copyright in the United States (cf. Bridgeman v. Corel). However, it *was* a long-standing policy on the Wikimedia Commons to respect both copyright law in the United States (non-negotiable, and we *do* deeply care about that) and copyright law in the country of origin (in this case, the UK).
This policy was, basically, overturned by a unilateral declaration from the Wikimedia board, who unilaterally declared that "faithful reproductions of two-dimensional public domain works of art are public domain, and that claims to the contrary represent an assault on the very concept of a public domain" (translated: "they're PD because we fucking say so now shut up and eat your dinner son"), and Commons policy was changed in the wake of this. I always opposed this change, because it 1) exposed Commons contributors to unnecessary legal risk 2) showed disrespect towards the law and especially towards the authors, and consequently 3) was a monstrous clusterfuck of a dramafest waiting to happen and 4) damned if a long-standing Wikimedia Commons tradition was going to be overturned by Erik Moeller declaring "they're PD because they're PD you fuck".
Were it not for the fact that a person with whom I'm somewhat familiar is getting fucked, I could see myself patting myself on the back hard enough to break my spine on counts 1), 2) and 3). As it is, this whole affair never needed to happen, and wouldn't have done if it were not for the WMF board.