Dear Ms. Imbert-Vier,
Some months ago, I asked you for permission to use the images of the ESA image
gallery in the popular multilingual free online encyclopedia Wikipedia ,
which you refused at that time.
Recently, I read in the news that the ESA is considering changing their
picture policy with respect to the release of the images of the Huygens probe
on Titan. So I contacted Mr. Bernhard von Weyhe of ESOC some days ago and he
suggested contacting you again to summarize in short the essential facts
about Wikipedia and why we think that a release of ESA pictures under GNU
Free Documentation License would be beneficial for you.
1. What is Wikipedia?
Wikipedia is a freely licensed encyclopedia. It depends on free content that
is edited by volunteers from all over the world. Behind Wikipedia is a
non-profit organisation called the "Wikimedia Foundation"  (placed in
Florida/USA), headed by the Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
Wikipedia is now in its fifth year and keeps growing exponentially.
Independent newspapers repeatedly have stated that Wikipedia is a serious and
generally reliable alternative to traditional encyclopedias like
Encyclopaedia Britannica or Microsoft Encarta.
2. What is the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL)?
Wikipedia is freely licensed under the GFDL  with very similar use
conditions as the the popular GPL licensed Linux operating system. Hence, we
are unable to embed content that is licensed for non-commercial use only as
it is with your very high quality images.
3. What if ESA pictures would be released under GFDL (or equally free)?
Although we are not able to use your images within Wikipedia, we are very
interested in doing so, as we have lots of articles about space science, the
ESA and its projects. At the moment we can use the images of NASA (and we
use them very extensively) as NASA is forced by US copyright laws to publish
their content within the public domain. Therefore, NASA images are far more
widespread than ESA images are and thus, there is no balance in the
representation of space science in Wikipedia. ESA certainly deserves an even
more increased popularity especially outside the EU and the key role play the
So I kindly ask you for a free release of the ESA images. You will not lose
anything with this step - in contrary, you will get in return a lot for free:
* A visual and educational more attractive representation within Wikipedia
(Wikipedia is also used a lot by journalists for quick information
* Increased use of ESA images in the mass media and lots of good PR and more
interest from the public.
* A big media echo, as you would be a precursor of the free knowledge movement
(of course we would also promote such a step in coordination with you, if you
This petition is officially supported by the Wikimedia representatives, namely
- Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia and chair of Wikimedia Foundation,
- Florence Nibart-Devouard, vice-chair of Wikimedia Foundation and board
member of Wikimédia France, anthere(a)wikimedia.org
- Arne Klempert, vice-chairman of Wikimedia Deutschland e.V., akl(a)wikimedia.de
- André Darmochwal, board member of Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.,
- Nicolas Ryo Weeger, president of Wikimédia France,
- Yann Forget, secretary of Wikimédia France, yann(a)forget-me.net
For further questions I'm willingly at your disposal:
Daniel Arnold <arnomane(a)gmx.de>
or personal +49 163 8900491 (mobile phone)
(and if you like you can also contact e.g. Jimmy Wales via email)
Daniel Arnold - a Wikipedia contributor