Sorry for the long mail but we wanted to explain the situation for
The conversation is going on and it's better to clear some important
In the second week of August Wikimedia Italia has been contacted by
Kalliope Tsouroupidou and later by Jessica Robell, who explained that the
Wikimedia Foundation was planning to have a fundraising campaign in Italy
We have been surprised by that, since Wiki Loves Monuments is well-known to
run in September, and it has been like that for years.
Moreover, there has been a similar clash in 2014: we discussed for several
days, and in the end we reached a compromise, and the FR banners went live
just for the last days.
It was not perfect, but we had WLM banners for almost all September.
This year the clash is on the whole month of September. Given the history,
and the very fact that Wikimedia Italia has planned WLM and written so in
the FDC application, we feel that WMIT has not been negligible in matters of
We are not *happy* with the situation,
the very existence of the clash, the fact that all this appeared in the
middle of August, while we were all on holiday and just few weeks before
the beginning of WLM.
We just decided not to pick up a fight, as we believe in constructive
conversation and negotiation.
The agreement we reached is very painful for WMIT and WLM: it's just better
than not having the banners at all, or to have them for just a few days in
the middle of September.
Conversations with the FR team has been firm, but polite: this does not
mean that we are happy about what is happening.
Moreover, we will have to discuss with FDC to renegotiate expected results
for WLM in 2015.
Having the fundraising campaign in September in Italy has a clear negative
impact on Wiki Loves Monuments, the largest project of Wikimedia Italia.
This will not only likely reduce the number of participants and uploaded
pictures, but will also put us in a difficult position in front of our
sponsors and partners, including 200+ municipalities, 100+ cultural
institutions, and some major partners, like FIAF (the Federation of Italian
photographers' associations), ICOM (the International Council of Museums),
the Toscana Foto Festival (a major photo festival), Touring Club Italiano
(the largest Italian touristic association), and others. WMIT spends
thousands of euros in WLM each year - not because we waste money, but
because we have higher stakes.
This year, we will have in the Italian Jury international renowned
photographers like (prabably: yet to be confirmed) Steve McCurry (
) and Franco Fontana (
This year, in June, we were received by several politicians from the
Italian Parliament for an official meeting regarding the law we are fighting
Because of the specific challenges we face, WLM in Italy goes beyond being
a photographic competition and is also an opportunity to create
relationships and advocate for the freedom of taking pictures of monuments.
Italy does not have "freedom of panorama".
Worst, Italy does not have freedom of panorama for any kind of monuments,
even if copyright has expired.
We need to ask for permission to make pictures of monuments. For. Every.
We have to create lists of monuments to be photographed. There is no
official list of monuments in Italy.
There is *extensive* documentation here:
This is very important to know to put in perspective WLM Italy stats:
. As an example, it is the reason
why we have so many participants who contribute for few pics each. In 2014
alone, we had 1038 uploaders, but we were only 6th in terms of number of
The global fundraising is essential to our movement.
It funds Wikipedia operations, software development, the Wikimedia
Foundation, many chapters and affiliates, and, of course, also Wiki Loves
Monuments (even tough in Italy it is primarily funded from other sources).
The global fundraising is meant to support the Wikimedia movement: but, for
this very reason, it is a pity to have it clashing to one of the very
activities it is meant to support.
Especially since we are not talking about a 2 hours editathon in a small
library in the middle of nowhere, but about an international competition
who ended up in the Guinnes World Records, bringing thousands of pictures
to the Wikimedia projects.
We understand that fundraising is not an easy job, especially when it is
done on a global level. Yet we feel obliged to use donors money to build
and deliver the best projects we can: firstly out of respect for all the
people who decided to donate their time, their money or their career to the
movement; secondly because a badly executed projects could also have a
negative impact on the next fundraising campaigns.
We are all part of the same movement: the work of the WMF fundraising team
is strictly linked to that of the community. We would like to be confident
that what is happening now won't happen for a third time, and that in the
future we will be able to communicate more effectively and work more
We really are looking forward a more effective cooperation with WMF and all
other Wikimedia Affiliates: collaboration is the very pillar of all the
We would like to thank all the people who supported us and gave us opinions
and advices on this mailing list and elsewhere.
We are very proud to be part of such a great community, and we would like
to see it become wider and bigger.
for the board of Wikimedia Italia