There are opinions on Commons that Moeller's statement in this list
("[W]e've consistently held that faithful reproductions of
two-dimensional public domain works which are nothing more than
reproductions should be considered public domain for licensing
purposes") has been "overruled" by Mike Godwin's statement (which was
adressed on a Wikisource case)
We should not accept such nonsense.
Every Wikimania bid has strengths and weaknesses. Once a bid is chosen,
the ritual of criticizing the selection by focusing on some weakness
seems to have become inevitable. I would be more impressed to reconsider
the jury's selection if somebody presented a serious evaluation that
reached a different result after weighing all the issues, instead of
harping on only the one most favorable to the argument.
Since that is not yet forthcoming, I'd like to refocus the discussion on
the concept of Wikimania in general, since it seems to produce so much
debate. As an idea, Wikimania is being pulled in too many directions,
and it cannot be all things to all people. Supposing we have a consensus
that in the most basic sense it's a good idea (do we have that?), what
can we make of this idea? What kind of event should it be? What values
do we prioritize - intimacy, mass appeal, accessibility, outreach,
infrastructure, culture? Others that I haven't listed? If we care about
diversity, what is that? When we consider costs, whose costs do we mean?
How do we balance the competing considerations?
Currently the conference is planned for roughly 400 people. So far I'm
not aware of any location having difficulty attracting attendees. The
argument for catering to the highest concentrations of contributors
would be more appealing if coupled with the idea that it makes sense to
accommodate more people. But expanding Wikimania would change other
dynamics of accessibility - the type of facility used, individual costs
and overall conference expenses, the character of the event. At least so
far, nobody has been presenting this as a vision for Wikimania's future.
Another consideration is that admission fees have consciously been kept
low. Otherwise Wikimania doesn't make Wikimedia contributors a priority
- at least, not the kind of contributors I gather everyone is referring
to here. For any location most people already face costs related to
attendance, it's simply impossible to physically bring Wikimania to
everyone. Realistically, for any one person, Wikimania may be close
enough for you to come at minimal cost once or twice in your lifetime.
Some people may have to use a broad interpretation of "minimal" for even
Geographic proximity only goes so far in any case. Talking about Europe
and North America may sound as if that still leaves a vast range of
options. In the first place, this would be more persuasive if we saw a
larger number of cities bidding. When it's just one from each, the
chances of producing a bid superior to a highly-motivated team from,
say, South America are not exactly overwhelming. Furthermore, even if
this was the very highest consideration, it's not exactly neutral
between those. The varying population distributions and distances,
especially for North America, would have obvious logical consequences.
Basically, we should prefer any bid from the European core (defined by
London on the west, Rome on the south, Berlin or Rome on the east,
Berlin or Amsterdam on the north); the east coast of North America would
be a secondary option (maybe we could disqualify Europe every third
year); by comparison, the odds for the rest of North America would be
decidedly inferior (after ten or so years, we might make it to Chicago
or Los Angeles).
Wikimania could be bigger or smaller, reach the developing world or only
the already-developed, more expensive or less so, rotated widely or
narrowly. Leaving aside the security concerns specific to Alexandria,
the choice of options would have the following undesirable consequences,
depending on which course is taken:
*Complaints that the event is impersonal, lacks a sense of community, or
is merely a stage-managed public relations show
*After a cycle or two, it seems to be pretty much just the same group of
people getting together every few years
*Objections that the amount being spent is a poor use of foundation
funds (depending on how it works out, this would be about either the
size of the event or the travel costs incurred by the foundation itself,
making distance from San Francisco a factor)
*Inability to accommodate anyone beyond the local audience, thus being
hardly different from a random meetup and failing to reflect the diverse
character of Wikimedia participants
*Rumors and misperceptions of unfairness in timing of when registration
is opened or how tickets are allocated
*Outrage over high admission charges, resembling more closely a
I would like to understand what vision people have for Wikimania, and
see how their vision would deal with all of these issues. So far I have
heard only complaints and rebuttals, nobody offering their own vision
(on this list, at least). I fear an end result of the fights over this
would be to either abandon the idea of Wikimania, or simply to hold it
in the Moscone Center every year like Macworld. Before we get there,
let's hear some better alternatives.
On Jan 8, 2008 6:19 AM, Brian McNeil <brian.mcneil(a)wikinewsie.org> wrote:
Forgive me if some of this is retreading old ground, but I've over 50
> messages for this list since yesterday. Can we have a rerun (or a January
> run) of the top poster stats? I was 2nd last time and felt embarrassed
> despite having thought most of what I wrote was close to the topic in
Posts in December to Foundation-l
1 Thomas Dalton - 123
2 Anthony - 70
3 Andrew Whitworth - 64
4 David Gerard - 48
5 Florence Devouard - 47
6 Brian McNeil - 43
7 Nathan Awrich - 36
8 Ray Saintonge - 33
T9 GerardM - 32
T9 Mike Godwin - 32
T9 Erik Moeller - 32
The language subcommittee only allows languages that have a living
native community (except Wikisource, due to its archivist nature).
This is based on an interpretation of the Wikimedia Foundation mission
to "provide the sum of human knowledge to every human being". Thus,
the overriding purpose of allowing a wiki in a new language is to make
it accessible to more human beings. If a language has no native users,
allowing a wiki in that language does not fit our mission because it
does not make that project accessible to more human beings. Instead, a
wiki in their native languages should be requested if it doesn't
Typically, the users requesting a wiki in an extinct language don't
want to provide educational material to more people at all, but only
want to promote or revive the language. While these are noble goals,
they are not those of the Wikimedia Foundation, so that a wiki should
not be created simply to fulfill them.
But that is my opinion. What do you think; should wikis be allowed in
every extinct language?
Jesse Plamondon-Willard (Pathoschild)
Next week (5-7 of april 2008), the board of Wikimedia Foundation will
hold its first board meeting in San Francisco.
This meeting will be first an opportunity for board members to meet with
all the new staff members (Véronique, Erica, Cheryl, Mary-Lou, Kul,
Jay), and to discover our new office.
We have planned formal meetings with the entire board, time for smaller
group discussions, informal lunches in the office, and dinners at
restaurant, to provide many opportunities for good conversation and
bonding between board and staff. The excellent news regarding the two
recent big donations should cheer us all :-)
The board meeting itself will take place during three days.
We plan to dedicate saturday to board development and governance. This
will include relationships and contractual agreement between board and
executive director, possible future council, next elections,
professionalization of board, etc...
The day will be facilitated by Pat Hughes.
Sunday will be dedicated to our treasurer search. We have planned to
meet at least three of our best candidates in the morning. The rest of
the day will be for us discussing and deciding further action.
Monday is likely to be more eclectic.
We will start by reviewing our personal conflict of interest
questionnaires, approve the previous board meeting minutes. There are
documents to review and possibly approve (eg, board member pledges, D&O
proof of purchase, 990 form etc...).
Morning will feature a report from the Executive Director to the board,
which will include a general update, future goals, and revenue plan.
The rest of the day will include several other topics, such as a data
retention policy, approval of an (old) resolution related to "board
membership and employement", Wikimania security assessment, and review
of the recent media mishaps.
All board members will leave SF on tuesday, which means most of us are
likely to be poorly available from friday 4th till wenesday 9th. I will
be travelling from the 2nd till the 9th, so please forgive delays in
answering requests :-)
If you have any questions on the program (or what is not on the program)
please do not hesitate to ask here :-)
On Sat, Mar 22, 2008 at 7:28 PM, Durova <nadezhda.durova(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> The United States Holocoaust Memorial Museum has a symbiotic relationship
> with Wikipedia also, but in a way that raises no objections. The image
> below is featured in different versions (restored and unrestored) on both
> Commons and en:Wikipedia:
Durova, I'm very pleased to see this kind of image being featured, but
I'm wondering what kind of licence you used. Several of us have had
lots of problems with Holocaust images, forced to claim fair use
because of the age and lack of a release, but with fair use sometimes
contested too, because we often don't know who the copyright holder
There was a long discussion at Commons about Stroop report images. They
were taken in Poland by an anonymous photographer and first published in
Poland, so the conclusion was that German law is inapplicable, and under
Polish law these are public domain.
I am very glad that the proposal for establishing a provisional
volunteer council received such a lot support both on this list as in
Since the request for candidates for the Provisional Volunteer
Council, I received quite some nominations. However, unfortunately I
have to admit that there were no (willing) candidates from some
important regions amongst these. As I have to work with the candidates
that were nominated, I was therefore unable to candidate someone from
I did try however, to get at least a few projects represented, and
also a more technical person (from the developers side of the
volunteer spectrum). Please find my final suggestion list below in the
proposal (attached again for reference - only one minor spelling and
Please note that this is a *proposed* resolution, and not yet accepted.
I know this list is not very long. And some area's are still missing
in representation. However, I trust this group wholehearely, and
suppose that they will make sure as a first thing to get at least one
or more projects better represented (such as Wikinews or Wikiversity
which have a very different character).
If you have major concerns with respect to this list of candidates,
please send them to this list or communicate them to the Board (I am
not sure which route is the best for that though). I will make no
changes any more myself, but the Board is of course able to determine
the list as it likes.
With kind regards,
Whereas the Board,
* recognizes the value of volunteers in Wikimedia projects and that
their work is the very reason of their success,
* values the volunteers' opinions and takes them into serious
consideration when discussing issues involving the volunteers,
* is of the opinion that these volunteers should have a strong say in
changes in the articles of incorporation and the bylaws of the
* considers a Volunteer Council a valuable intermediary between
volunteers and the Foundation, and as a good instrument to hear the
voice of the volunteers:
it is hereby resolved that:
1. The Board of Trustees hereby creates a Volunteer Council, to serve
as a valuable complement to the Staff, Advisory Board and Board of
2. Without restricting the generality of this provision the purposes
of the Volunteer Council shall include:
1) Offering advice and support on issues relevant to the Wikimedia Volunteers,
2) Recommanding the opening or closure of Wikimedia projects,
3) Approving changes to the articles of incorporation or bylaws of
the Wikimedia Foundation and
4) Assist in establishing a clear separation between the legal
responsibilities of the Wikimedia Foundation as an Internet Service
Provider and the community decisions for the Wikimedia Projects.
3. The members from the Volunteer Council must be volunteers within Wikimedia.
4. The Provisional Volunteer Council shall report to the Board no
later than September 1, 2008, which report shall include
recommendations regarding the number and composition of the Volunteer
Council, and how the members of the Council shall be chosen. Said
report shall also include recommendations regarding the distribution
of rights and responsibilities between the Board and Council, and any
changes in the by-laws that may be necessary to implement this.
5. Except where it pertains to its own procedures, no decision of the
Provisional Volunteer Council shall bind any person.
6. On receipt of the said report the Board shall take such steps as it
deems necessary to confirm and empower the Volunteer Council, and
provide for a transition of operations from the Provisional Volunteer
7. Members of the Volunteer Council will not be financially
compensated for their activity. On approval by the Board of Trustees
expenses of the Provisional Volunteer Council and Volunteer Council in
the fulfillment of their duties may be reimbursed.
8. The following people are hereby appointed as member of the
Provisional Volunteer Council:
Michael Bimmler, Mbimmler (Main project: de.wikipedia)
Yaroslav Blanter, Yaroslav Blanter (Main project: ru.wikipedia)
Lise Broer, Durova (Main projects: en.wikipedia and commons.wikimedia )
Jesse Plamondon-Willard, Pathoschild (Main projects: en.wikisource
and meta.wikimedia )
Sydney Poore, FloNight (Main project: en.wikipedia)
Milos Rancic, Millosh (Main project: sr.wikipedia)
Ray Saintonge, Eclecticology (Main project: en.wikisource, en.wikipedia)
Andrew Whitworth, Whiteknight (Main project: en.wikibooks)
Michal Zlatkovsky, Timichal (Main project: cs.wikipedia)
9. The members of the Provisional Volunteer Council may on a 2/3 vote
of all its members add such additional members as they may deem
necessary and useful to their deliberations.
On the Commons list, there is a thread about creating IDs for photographers to help with admission to museums for photos. How would I get Foundation permission to use the WMF logo on the cards?
Looking for last minute shopping deals? Find them fast with Yahoo! Search.