Public Knowledge has an interesting article about ambiguous usage
restrictions appearing on some US government photographs and video:
"The White House is not explicitly claiming copyright on these photos (the
license makes that clear), but this type of scary quasi-legal language gets
awful close to flirting with a bit of light copyfraud."
I know a number of Wikimedians are interested / activist in this area --
Jean-Frédéric had a great session on this general subject at Wikimania
2012. Do you know any other Wikimedians working on this? Does Commons have
any documentation or guidelines on the topic?
*For legal reasons, I may only serve as an attorney for the Wikimedia
Foundation. This means I may not give legal advice to or serve as a lawyer
for community members, volunteers, or staff members in their personal
I just wanted to drop a line about the current network neutrality brouhaha.
 It reveals that the topic is controversial within the Commission and
even within the different Directorate-Generals. This is not necessarily bad
news, as it means that new arguments can very well make their way into the
Yesterday and today the new draft regulation  was presented  and the
news for us is that we need to change the questions we were asking
ourselves. So far, we have been regarding this issue under the potential
risks for Wikipedia Zero , which will of course remain a major point.
The new draft allows content providers to sign contracts with internet
service providers to guarantee better access to services (e.g. higher
speeds, no traffic charges). Apart from this being everything BUT the
definition of network neutrality , this is important to us from the
Let's say Yahoo pays an ISP to have its services - including Yahoo Answers
- treated as „special services“, meaning they open faster or traffic to
them is not deducted from your 3GB/month plan. Would such a scenario have
negative consequences for our projects? Would these consequences be big
enough to argue in favour of actual network neutrality? Would this still be
the case even if it meant giving up Wikipedia Zero?
Just to remind you, we do not currently have any official position or
statements on this topic nor am I aware of plans to have such. These are
very hypothetical questions, but it is still important to know what is
going on, how it will affect us and what we would need to do if case be.
Wikimedia Deutschland has just released the answers we received to our
Complete answers are at
Our analysis can be found at
Previous questionnaires ("Wahlprüfsteine") are published at
We are aware that this kind of questionnaire is not equally common in
every country, so here are a few introductory infos. Wahlprüfsteine
are a set of questions (usually very specific questions) that are sent
to parties which participate in elections. The answers are usually
released in a compiled form before the election date. Among the
Wahlprüfsteine's advantages are the compatibility with
non-partisanship. The organisation asking the question can refrain
from commenting them or refrain from making any kind of endorsement
for a particular candidate or party while at the same time offering
the public a service to inform them about differences in specific
The German national parliament elections will be held on September 22,
2013. Our questionnaire had 11 questions (3 on copyright, 2 on access,
3 on net neutrality and 3 on education). 10 replies were received,
representing 11 parties, including all parties that are currently in
the parliament and most likely will remain there.
Topic selection was based on the responses we received from a survey
that was sent to the German language Wikimedia community:
We carefully picked questions that actually belong to the national
level (some are overlapping with EU legislation, a few border to
topics left to the German states (Länder).
If you haven't done so, please consider answering a few questions in
this survey here that can help contribute to a questionnaire for the
upcoming EU parliament election in 2014:
This survey will last until September 30.
Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.
Ceterum censeo opera officiales esse liberandam -
Wikimedia Deutschland - Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e.
V. Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts
Berlin-Charlottenburg unter der Nummer 23855 B. Als gemeinnützig
anerkannt durch das Finanzamt für Körperschaften I Berlin,
Onpassing FYI for anyone interested - below is a link to a new
mockumentary about net neutrality from New York filmmaker Gena
Konstantinakos. It features Tim Wu, Larry Lessig, Eli Pariser, Susan
Crawford, Gigi Sohn, Craig Aaron and others. The full thing is online.
Probably people on this list will not learn anything new from it, but
it's worth sharing with anyone who doesn't yet understand the basics
of the issue. It's accessible and has some surprisingly compelling
Help us decide which policy issues are important to Wikimedia by filling
out a questionnaire 
Wikimania and most people's summer holidays are over, in Brussels
bureaucrats are slowly retunring to work and it is time for us to step up
our activity. This being said, there is not monitoring report of August,
instead, please help us get as many Wikimedians as possible to fill out our
We as a community are an active and prominent part of "the internet".
Still, we can't deal with each and every issue it comes across.
We are trying to build up a structure  that lets us monitor policy
procedures with future impact on our work and are hoping to articulate our
needs and wishes. It is therefore crucial to us to know what as many people
people within our movmement think and which topics they deem important. In
Which policy issues should be on our priority list?
The survey  takes less than 10 minutes (I personally nailed a 6:34) and
will help us immensely with our strategy planning. It is intended to also
define the questions in a survey we are planning to send out to political
parties ahead of the European Parliament elections 2014.
Thanks for the help and have a great autumn!