We have a problem getting people to accept free licenses. One of the
issues is that, at least in some countries, conditions stating that the
authors allows any usage of his image for any duration are ruled illegal
by courts (should the author complain), as abusive clauses. The idea is
to protect authors from abuse by greedy publishers. I've even heard some
lawyer from a photographers' society explaining to me that free licenses
(including Creative Commons etc.) where thus illegal.
Lately, in a private email, Greg Maxwell made a remark that I had made
in other circumstances, that is
For example, surely the 'share alike' nature of copyleft contracts
prevents the contracts from being considered unconscionable. Such
licenses would be acceptable for our purposes.
Indeed, that's one point that we may argue: with "sharealike" licenses,
the authors do not cede all rights with no compensation or insurance;
they rather have strong guarantees that uses of their work will not
stray from their intent of distribution of free content.
That's one argument one may want to pursue when contacting sources.
Organizations often have a "mission statement" and a "vision
statement". For a typical distinction, see e.g.:
At the Board Retreat in October, we revisited our existing "Vision",
which is: "Imagine a world in which every single person is given free
access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing."
We also developed a mission statement from scratch. What's the point?
Aside from uniting behind a set of key goals, it helps us to decide
which activities fall within our scope and which ones don't --
something that is not always easy, given the diversity of our existing
projects and communities. Should we launch a WikiFoo project, or is
Foo not part of our mission? Both the vision and mission statement
will be frequently cited in future discussions of this kind, so they
are relevant, and not just organizational fluff.
After some further discussion, the Board has come up with the
following Mission and Vision statements. I would like to invite
comments on these statements, and perhaps we can identify changes that
we can all agree on. I would also like to encourage you to propose
alternative statements on Meta (see URLs below).
The idea is that, after a discussion and editing period of at least
two weeks, the Board will choose a version of the M&V statements.
These versions will then be put forward to the community, for a simple
"up" or "down" vote. If a statement reaches at least a two thirds
majority of support, it will be implemented as such. If it only
reaches a simple majority, further discussion and potential revision
may follow, at the Board's discretion. A statement that does not reach
a majority will not become an official statement of the WMF. The usual
voting restrictions will apply (minimum participation period etc.) and
will be announced together with the vote.
A general note: Our mission statement is perhaps longer than it needs
to be, and our vision statement shorter. But in these matters, we can
be flexible -- the most important question is whether both statements
meet the specific needs of _our_ organization and community.
== Vision Statement ==
'''Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share
in the sum of all knowledge.'''
One version from the Retreat contained the phrase "in their own
language" at the end, but we removed that later--I made the argument
that there are different ways to address language barriers, e.g. by
teaching another language like English and then giving access to
learning resources in that language. IMHO we should not explicitly
endorse or reject any particular _strategy_ of knowledge dissemination
in our vision statement. Rather, I suggested we could add a phrase
such as "unimpeded by language barriers, socioeconomic status, or
government censorship". This was seen as too negative. In any case, I
feel that the simple adjective "freely" may be sufficient in order to
convey the idea that we seek to make knowledge as widely available as
== Mission Statement ==
'''The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage
people around the world to collect and develop knowledge under a free
license, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.'''
'''In collaboration with a network of chapters, the Foundation
provides the essential infrastructure and an organizational framework
for the support and development of multilingual wiki projects and
other endeavors which serve this mission. The Foundation is committed
to making and keeping all information from its projects available on
the Internet free of charge, in perpetuity.'''
This is a slightly edited version from the Retreat, see the URL below
for the original. It was important to us to emphasize that the
relationship between WMF and its chapters, in general practice, is
more one of organizations with different scope working towards the
same goals, rather than a top down chain of command. The last sentence
seemed important to emphasize the distinction between "free licensing"
and "free access", both of which we are equally committed to.
== Comments & edits welcome ==
In the spirit of "stable versions", the M&V statements above can be
found, as protected pages, on
You can suggest changes in this thread, or edit the unstable versions:
You are also encouraged to "fork" new versions if that becomes
necessary due to lack of consensus on the wiki. Again, after at least
two weeks, the Board will nominate the versions to be voted upon by
the community. Let me know if you have any questions about this
You are encouraged to translate the proposed Mission & Vision
statements, and to carry this discussion into other languages -- see
the language links at the top of the above-referenced pages to get
Peace & Love,
Member, Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees
DISCLAIMER: Unless otherwise stated, all views or opinions expressed
in this message are solely my own and do not represent an official
position of the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.
The Foundation has received a complaint about the page on homosexuality
on the Wikipedia in Arabic. According to the person who complained, as
well as to people who ran the article through translators, the article
contains heavily jugmental assertions.
This is not the first time that we received complaints about such kind
of judgmental content based on cultural or religious norms ; I think we
also got similar complaints about the Yiddish Wikipedia.
In these cases, there are common traits :
* The bias expressed arises from the dominant culture of the people who
speak the language and thus get on the wiki. (Arabic tends to be spoken
in Muslim countries ; Yiddish tends to be spoken in Orthodox Askhenazi
Jew communities ; both of these religions condemn homosexuality.)
* The wiki communities are small.
* Very few people, or even none, at the Foundation or on OTRS (the email
processing system) read the said languages.
We also seem to have similar issues with e.g. regional languages or
languages from small countries with strong nationalism issue.
Your suggestions? It's hard to fix an article whose language we don't speak.
The URL is:
The article, or parts of the article clearly mentions that homosexuality
causes AIDS, and causes many more medical problems.
It also mentions that psychologists in the "Western World" found a cure
homosexuality, which I take as hint to homosexuality being a disease.
The article goes even further as to mention what Islam's view on
homosexuality is and mentions that Homosexuals should be killed
the Islam Prophet.
The rest of the article is full of wrong definitions and incorrect
information but on a more acceptable level.
Stan Shebs a écrit :
> But those external contractors aren't on the satellite either - I
> suppose there is an interesting legal question as to ownership of the
> raw bits coming from an onboard camera, vs the final processed image. My
There's also a question of the ownership of the raw bits from some
particularly complex instruments. The researcher or institute who made
the instrument may have rights.
> kind of a special license at some point. But the ESA really does risk
> their legacy vanishing in the same way that much copyrighted material
> from the 20th century is vanishing - would European taxpayers be OK with
> that if they knew it was going on?
European taxpayers have more urgent issues, like crime, unemployment and
Expect nothing grassroot.
> one or another agenda, so with an ESA limitation on political
> propaganda, satellite-produced maps of ocean temperature and such would
> have to come from NASA - and in these partisan days, would you want to
> trust them as a sole source?
It's not so much political propaganda that they don't want, but
political *advertisements*. Things like using images of Ariane rockets
during the campaign for the proposed European constitution.
This is very different from using photos in a biased article. The
difference is that in the article, at least they try to base themselves
on the fact, and that with the advertisement they want to use the *image*.
ESA and CNES simply don't want their image associated with partisan
politics, or with any brand name, because taxpayer-funded institutions
cannot appear to advertise in favor of brand names nor, worse, in a
partisan way in politics.
(We may have got an interesting case of false cognate here - in French,
"propagande électorale" is the legal term for the leaflets and other
documents that are officially sent by all parties before elections.)
> I'm a little skeptical of the interim agreement idea, because that's
> exactly how we got so infested with bogus fair use images.
The problem, I think, is that fair use is very vaguely defined and that
use of fair use images doesn't require the agreement of the publishers
of the image, but only the legally creative mind of an uploader.
What I suggest is drafting a license, CC-like, with very specific
conditions. We would accept such kinds of licenses only in cases where
there's a rationale for it (by mail to OTRS). This should prevent
I am pleased to present you all with a report on the activities of the
Wikimedia Foundation's Chapters committee.
This document gives an overview of what ChapCom has been doing for the
past two months or so.
If you have any additional questions, feel free to ask here, on the
reports talk page or by posting to ChapCom's mailing list.
You can find the address of the list as well as some basic info on
ChapCom on Meta under:
Łukasz 'TOR' Garczewski
Yesterday, one guy registered an offensive username, "Rape XXX" (XXX is a
female wikipedian's name in real life, but I want to kept the victim
anonymous here) in Chinese Wikipedia, and this guy left a message on the
female's user talk page: "You are in my sexual fantasy. Are you a virgin?" I
was furious about this guy's action and sexual harassment speech. I have
blocked this id forever, and I also suggested the female user to report to
police office. I want to know is there any policy on this issue? In this
kind of situation, will the Foundation cooperate with different countries'
police authority, and reveal the user log record to the authority?
|> > I don't think the foundation owns the mediawiki logo. Copyright wise
|> > it is in the public domain.
|> Given the age of the thing it cannot be PD yet. They are part of a
|> trademark and as such they are owned by the Foundation. They can if they
|> so choose license the logos. This is problematic because the rights that
|> are usual for other WMF content contrasts with the requirement of
|> maintaining the trademark.
|No, the MediaWiki one really is public domain.
|Whether or not it is also a trademark of the Foundation doesn't affect
|its copyright status.
Someone cannot declare a work PD just by copying it. It seems the
actual logo was created by Eric Moller, and it has always been the
understanding with all logos that they were "works made for hire" for
the foundation. This has been discussed previously and Jimbo can
back this up. Just because someone put a PD tag on the page at
Commons does not invalidate the Foundation's claim to this logo.
As far as the "trademark" status of the logo, the word MEDIAWIKI is
a registered mark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.. I know this because
I am the attorney of record on the USPTO file that granted this mark to
the foundation. Also the actual logo is also a mark of the Wikimedia
Foundation Inc., and is used to identify the MediaWiki software which
is released by the Foundation and is a foundation project.
Of course all trademarks can also be used based upon principles of
fair use that apply to trademarks in a similiar way as copyrights. The
important issue is that the mark is not used in a way to confuse the
public or dilute the brand which the mark represents as this is the kind
of protection that the law affords mark holders.
Alex T Roshuk
Attorney at law