It is my real pleasure to announce that Guillaume Paumier has joined the
usability team as Product Manager of the Ford multi-media usability
project. Guillaume has been the author of Wikipedia articles, Wikipedia
handbook and active Commons contributor since 2005, and served as a
board member of French chapter from 2007 to 2009. He also coordinated
the chapter meeting in Berlin for German chapter earlier this year.
Outside of the "Wikimedia universe", Guillaume is actively advocating
potential of Wikimedia Commons and has taken steps to create ties
between Wikimedia and desktop imaging applications.
Guillaume has a master's degree in nanotechnology from Institut national
des Sciences appliquées and a PhD in microsystems for life sciences from
Université Paul Sabatier, both in Toulouse, France.
Guillaume will be working remotely as a consultant until the visa to
work in the United States is approved. He can be reached at
Please join me welcoming Guillaume.
Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
> David Gerard said:
> 2009/8/13 David Goodman <dgoodmanny at gmail.com>:
>> I would be exceedingly uncomfortable with us organizing a negative
>> campaign against any publisher not actually violating our copyright.
>> . A factual campaign, providing information is another matter. It
>> would be entirely appropriate for individuals, even in a somewhat
>> coordinated way, to add a review, just pointing out that it is
>> entirely a copy of a Wikipedia article, and available free in an
>> updated version from our website--and in updated form.
> "The contents of this book are reprinted from Wikipedia. Thanks to Dr
> --- for making Wikipedia content available commercially in printed
> form, in full observance of copyright requirements. We do this to
> spread knowledge, after all!"
> - d.
> And David Gerard also says:
> 2009/8/14 Renata St <renatawiki at gmail.com>:
>>> As long as the books give sufficient indication that they are from
>>> Wikipedia, ...
>> Inside the book -- yes, plenty of indication about copying. But nothing to
>> warn you before you buy. People are buying these books tricked into thinking
>> it's an original content.
> Yuh. Point it out in reviews etc.
> - d.
> To me, this smacks of an utter disregard for the intent and spirit of
> the free license. It's the same sort of flippant administrative
> attitude that (nearly) allowed Guy "JzG" Chapman to grossly plagiarize
> my original, freely-licensed work, delete mine from the edit history,
> then prance about claiming that the work was his own, written "ab
> initio". That made me want to vomit, and now I feel like vomiting
> Sorry to resurrect a thread like this, but I only became aware of the
> phenomenon recently.
> To give an example of how such a book is marketed on Amazon:
> History of Buddhism (Paperback)
> by Frederic P. Miller (Editor), Agnes F. Vandome (Editor), John
> McBrewster (Editor)
> These people are not Wikipedia editors. Is it appropriate and/or
> legal under the terms of the GFDL or the CC-by-SA for a
> freely-licensed work to be "claimed" with a preposition such as "by",
> which by any interpretation of the English language in this usage,
> would connote authorship? Personally, I don't think it is appropriate
> (thus that nauseous feeling I mentioned earlier). But, I'm not a
> highly-paid lawyer, so maybe I just don't know better. I've been in
> situations before where I know I am ethically correct, but helpless in
> the light of the law.
> It strikes me that this is something that Creative Commons or other
> organizations with Godwin-like attorneys should be aggressively
> pursuing, but we didn't hear from any of them in the original thread,
> did we? Mike, could you illuminate this conversation with your
> professional opinion?
Sorry, I didn't edit the subject.
Report to the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees
Covering: August 2009
Prepared by: Sue Gardner, Executive Director, Wikimedia Foundation
Prepared for: Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees
MILESTONES FROM AUGUST
* Engagement of recruiters to fill new positions and vacancies: Chief
Development Officer, vacant Board “expertise” seat, and Chief
* Wikimania 2009: scholarships finalization, staff attendance and
presentation preparations, preparations for board meeting
* Soft-launch of the Strategic Planning Project
KEY PRIORITIES FOR SEPTEMBER
* Strategic Development Process
* Communications Campaign Kick-off
* Finalization of Office Move details
* Meetings with donor prospects
THIS PAST MONTH
In August 2009, the Wikimedia Foundation sites held steady as the
fifth most-popular web property in the world with 307 million global
unique visitors, according to comScore Media Metrix.
WIKIMANIA BUENOS AIRES
The fifth annual Wikimedia conference, Wikimania 2009, took place in
Buenos Aires, Argentina from August 26 to 28. The conference hosted
more than 500 Wikimedians and supporters from around the world. Talks
and workshops gave attendees new insights into the Wikimedia projects,
other free knowledge efforts, and the challenges and opportunities
facing the movement.
Wikimania 2009 was attended by 57 Wikimedians on scholarships funded
by the Richard Lounsbery Foundation, Wikimedia Germany, the Open
Society Institute and the Wikimedia Foundation. The dollar value of
those scholarships totalled approximately USD 100,000. This
represented huge growth from Wikimania 2008 in Alexandria, which a
total of nine people attended via scholarships, funded by OSI and
totalling USD 10,000. More on the scholarships process later in this
Twenty Wikimedia Foundation staff traveled to Buenos Aires to
participate at Wikimania. Staff who attended were: Brion Vibber, Cary
Bass, Erik Moeller, Erik Zachte, Eugene Eric Kim, Frank Schulenburg,
James Owen, Jay Walsh, Jennifer Riggs, Kul Takanao Wadhwa, Mark
Bersgma, Naoko Komura, Nimish Gautam, Philippe Beaudette, Rand
Montoya, Rob Halsell, Sara Crouse, Sue Gardner, Tim Starling and
Tomasz Finc. Staff participated in the conference as workers (e.g.,
supporting the Board meeting and press conference), as panelists,
workshop leaders and speakers, and as participants. At the close of
the conference, Sue gave a keynote talk on the Wikimedia Foundation:
The Year in Review and The Year Ahead. In it, she focused on some of
the challenges facing Wikimedia, including flagging participation
trends and a need for more openness and friendliness to new people,
and pointed to the strategy project as a way for all Wikimedians to
participate in charting our course for the next five years.
The following presentations were given by Foundation staff members
(see links for videos and, in most cases, slides):
The Year in Review and the Year Ahead - Sue Gardner
NIH Wikipedia Academy 2009 - Frank Schulenburg and Jay Walsh:
Wikimedia Technical Infrastructure - Rob Halsell
Scaling Up the Wikimedia Movement - Erik Moeller
What can Wikimedia learn from the Red Cross? - Jennifer Riggs
Wikimedia in Numbers - Erik Zachte
Collaborative Video on Wikipedia - Michael Dale
Wikipedia Usability Initiative - Naoko Komura
Documenting best practices in public outreach - Frank Schulenburg
The Wikimedia tech community organized a separate "codeathon" running
in parallel to the main event. See the summary provided by Brion
Related blog post by Domas:
Note the generally excellent video coverage of Wikimania 2009, thanks
to the local team, who received some help from the Wikimedia tech
community to get the videos to Commons. Additional videos can be found
The Wikimedia Foundation expresses its heartfelt appreciation to the
local planning team, and everyone else who helped make Wikimania 2009
such a successful and enjoyable event.
STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS
In August, the Strategic Planning Project soft-launched with a Call
For Proposals asking Wikimedians to develop and share proposals aimed
at helping the movement better achieve its goals. Since then, over 350
proposals were submitted on the strategy wiki, all of which have been
categorized and many of which have been actively discussed and
revised. Eugene, Philippe and three members of the Bridgespan Group
attended Wikimania, where they participated in the conference, made
several presentations to the Board of Trustees, supported Jimmy in
development of his keynote talk, staged a strategy lunch with
Wikimedians, and interviewed Advisory Board members and other key
stakeholders such as donors and researchers. Following Wikimania, the
number of registered users and edits on the strategy wiki skyrocketed,
and the wiki has seen significantly increased activity.
See the list of proposals here:
The Bridgespan Group released an early summary of its fact base
research, here: http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fact_base
It includes data and analysis in the following areas:
* Data and analysis of Wikimedia project participants: by segment,
past growth trends, future growth trends, drivers of participation,
attracting new participants and retaining existing ones.
* Data and analysis of Wikimedia project readers: who is currently
using Wikimedia and why; barriers that exist in accessing Wikimedia
projects and understanding why people who have access to Wikimedia
projects choose not to use them
* Regional and language version data and analysis covering East Asia,
South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa,
Southeast Asia and Europe.
* Data and analysis about Wikimedia project content: what is the
content landscape in which it operates, sources of content by type and
category, relevant trends in content and content sourcing (e.g.,
digital textbooks), current penetration by category, sources of
existing content, initiatives currently underway or planned, options
for expanding content scope, potential partnerships and alliances
(content institutions, educational institutions, libraries, online
encyclopedias), resource requirements and funding availability,
benefits and/or risks
* Data and analysis about Wikimedia project quality: what is the
quality landscape in which Wikimedia operates, quality criteria (e.g.
accurate, credible, complete, neutral), audience/stakeholder
expectations (including online context), changes/trends over time,
Wikimedia's perceived versus actual quality, key challenges (e.g.,
translations), comparisons to relevant benchmarks. What quality
control/assurance initiatives are already in place, or are being
tested by Wikimedia and the community, what approaches to quality
control/assurance could Wikimedia consider to improve actual and
perceived quality, what is the potential impact of these quality
control/assurance approaches, and where are the most salient
intersections between content and quality.
In September, the strategy project team will launch a formal Call for
Participation to engage a broader audience.
In August, Brion Vibber, Chief Technical Officer since 2005 and first
employee of the Wikimedia Foundation, announced his decision to shift
his focus towards software architecture, creating a vacancy in the
Chief Technical Officer role, which will be re-defined into a senior
management role. A new CTO is hoped to be placed before the end of the
year, and the Wikimedia Foundation will be supported by the Walker
Talent Group on a pro-bono basis in the search process.
A mobile wrapper application for the iPhone was launched and made
available for free through the iTunes store. We're focusing most of
our attention on the browser-based mobile gateway, but this is an
additional method to provide quick access to Wikipedia.
Initial test sites were set up for the proposed FlaggedRevs English
Wikipedia configuration, and for the ReaderFeedback extension which
allows rating scores to be assigned to pages by readers. The
ReaderFeedback tool was also deployed on the newly created Strategic
Planning wiki to support the systematic assessment of community
The Wikimedia Foundation continues to support the CiviCRM development
community, not only through funding and project-managing open source
development work critical to Wikimedia's own fundraising needs, but
also by helping to put together local meetups and by sharing
experiences with other non-profits. In August, another CiviCRM meetup
took place, with space provided by Wikia: http://civicrm.org/node/611
MOZILLA THEORA DEVELOPMENT WORK CONCLUDED
In January, the Wikimedia Foundation received a grant of $100,000 from
Mozilla, the organization behind the Firefox web browser, to improve
the technological foundations of open video standards for the web. The
grant was passed through to contractors doing this development work,
with minimal administrative overhead. In the course of the grant,
contractor Timothy Terriberry developed a much improved Theora
encoder. These improvements made Theora more competitive with
Contractor Viktor Gal maintained the liboggplay library making
performance, stability and security enhancements necessary for using
the library in the Firefox browser. Contractor Conrad Parker worked on
security, and seeking performance enhancements to the base Ogg
libraries. These developments contributed to the successful launch of
Firefox 3.5 that included Og Theora video support via the HTML5
The first usability release, Acai, was made available through user
preferences on July 1st. A set of enhancements was deployed to Acai
and it was enabled as the beta release from “Try Beta” link on the top
of every Wikimedia page on August 6th. Enhancements were; 1) proper
right-to-left language support, 2) integration of special characters
in the toolbar, and 3) warning message for unsaved edits. As of August
31st, over 100,000 people tried out the beta and 75% people continued
using the beta. Lifehacker and Mashable bloggers picked up the beta
and wrote positive reviews. The Mashable blog post was tweeted 191
Design refinement and development work for the next release, Babaco,
made good progress, and the prototypes of new features, navigable
table of contents and dialogues for links and tables are staged on the
usability prototype environment.
Calls for proposals for the second round usability study started.
Twelve usability study firms were contacted for proposals. Five
usability study firms responded and submitted their proposals. Among
all the proposals submitted, Bolt Peters, the usability study firm
which conducted the first usability study, was the most compelling in
terms of quality and price.
The quarterly report for the period from April to June was compiled
and submitted to the Stanton Foundation. The report included the
achieved milestones, perceived project issues, changes from initial
proposal, project spending, and reallocation of budget. The total
expenditure for the second quarter of the project, from April 1st to
June 30th, was $131,719 out of the allocated budget of $176,266, or
74% of the budgeted figure. The under-spending is primarily a result
of the open software development position.
Also in August, the Ford multimedia usability project began recruiting
a Product Manager and Software Developer. Job openings were posted on
the Wikimedia Foundation's job board and various major job boards such
as LinkedIn, Craigslist, etc. We reached out to active community
members at Wikimania to recruit volunteers.
Wikimédia France offered to fund a multimedia workshop to brainstorm
ideas for improving Wikimedia Commons from a technical and program
perspective. Coordination of the programs and the invitation list was
coordinated with the French Chapter. The workshop is scheduled early
November in Paris, France.
Initial discussion of the usability study for the multimedia usability
project has started and a few usability firms were reached out for
ideas and quotes.
OTHER PROGRAM ACTIVITIES
>From August 3 – 10, Jennifer Riggs was in Australia attending
Wikimedia meet-ups and supporting the GLAM-Wiki event in Canberra
(http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/GLAM-WIKI ). At the event, she
presented a keynote speech introducing the Wikimedia Foundation and
drawing out the shared educational missions of cultural institutions
and Wikimedia projects. The support of this event and its resulting
recommendations for the Wikimedia community was a part of overarching
efforts to expand Wikimedia groups', chapters' and individuals'
capacity to conduct public outreach and build local institutional
Frank Schulenburg recruited a best practices documentation team to
invigorate the Best Practices series on Meta-wiki. The Volunteer
Project Lead, Kathrin Jansen has led the team in conducting IRC
meetings, creating a work plan and in producing high quality
documentation of best practices ranging from developing content
partnerships to using WikiBooks in the classroom.
In August, Frank, Jennifer and Jay conducted interviews for the
Bookshelf Project Manager position. The Bookshelf is a one-year
project to develop an essential set of educational Wikimedia
Foundation public outreach materials. Most materials will be aimed at
a general audience, with the goal of persuading people to participate
in the projects, and teaching them how to do it. The purpose is to
develop a core set of English-language “Bookshelf” resources, which
will then be made available to the international Wikimedia community
and to partner groups, to be adapted, customized, translated and
disseminated as part of Wikimedia outreach and other activities.
In preparation for the 2009-10 annual giving campaign and a
comprehensive communications strategy, Jay Walsh led the search for a
communications consulting firm. The successful firm is Fenton
Communications, working in a custom-built collaboration with Sea
Change Strategies and Creative Director Jelly Helm. Fenton
Communications has two decades of experience offering a full range of
communications services supporting initiatives in the public interest,
including clients such as MoveOn.org, The National Geographic Society,
Human Rights Watch, the Save Darfur Coalition, the Open Society
Institute, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Jelly Helm
attended Wikimania in Buenos Aires, to soak up the Wikimedia culture
and support Jay in documenting the event via video and still
Cary Bass worked to enhance Wikimedia's customer service through
initiatives to support volunteers working with the OTRS email response
system and biographies of living persons (BLPs). Cary led volunteer
statisticians in evaluating the current OTRS system and identifying
technical issues that may present barriers to increasing participation
in the system. He is currently working with the WMF Tech Team to begin
addressing these technical challenges.
COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA
Major coverage during August revolved around the following stories:
1. Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) report on 'slowing' of Wikipedia
editing garners attention (August 5)- New Scientist magazine reported
on research by Ed Chi, a scientist at PARC, saying it “shows that the
website's explosive growth is tailing off and also suggests the
community-created encyclopaedia has become less welcoming to new
contributors.” Ed Chi took data showing that new article creation and
casual editor participation on the English Wikipedia has been slowing
since 2006, and interpreted it to suggest that the Wikipedia community
is becoming resistant to new content and new editors, which could lead
over time to a degradation in quality. The story was picked up by
Slashdot, as well as newspapers around the world including the Taipei
Times, the Guardian, and Australian newspaper The Age, bloggers, and
other media. Also
2. Wikipedia launches iPhone mobile browser (August 20) - twitter and
blogs quickly converged on the news that the Wikimedia Foundation had
released the first official Wikipedia application on the Apple iTunes
store in August. The app received mixed reviews, but many noted that
it's open-source and will likely see considerable improvements as more
developers became involved.
3. Flagged Revisions tops the media charts (August 25)- In August, the
New York Times published a story about the upcoming implementation of
Flagged Revisions on the English Wikipedia, saying it “would mark a
significant change in the anything-goes, anyone-can-edit-at-any-time
ethos of Wikipedia.” This story was picked up by multiple media,
including the Wall Street Journal, PC Magazine, CNET, Salon magazine,
CNN and BBC News, as well as micro blogging and blogging traffic that
implied significant changes might be afoot or already active. Many
media blended the Flagged Revs and PARC stories, and interpreted both
negatively, predicting increased control in the hands of a dwindling
number of editors, and declaring “the Wikipedia philosophy” dead. Many
media also lauded Wikipedia for acknowledging its increased influence,
and acting responsibly to tighten up its editorial processes.
4. Wikimania 2009 in Argentina / Omidyar Grant (August 28-30)- This
year's Wikimania in Buenos Aires garnered considerable coverage in
Spanish, South American (predominantly Argentine) press. Richard
Stallman and Jimmy Wales made headlines, and stories tended to
highlight the importance of open-source culture in the region. English
press primarily focussed on the news of the Foundation's receipt of
the $2 million Omidyar grant as the primary thrust for coverage of
Wikimania, with several linked mentions of flagged revisions or
http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=8412179http://digital.venturebeat.com/2009/08/25/wikipedia-gets-2m-from-omidyar-ne…http://www.wikimedia.org.ar/wiki/Prensa (right hand side of the page)
During August, the Wikimedia Foundation participated in interviews
with BBC Newsnight (London, UK); Philadelphia Business Journal
(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA); Byline Magazine (New York, New
York, USA); Herald Democrat (Sherman, Texas, USA); Wall Street Journal
(New York, New York, USA); Agence France Presse (San Francisco,
California, USA); La Voz de Galicia (A Coruña, Spain); GLZ Radio
(Jaffa, Israel); Time Magazine (Los Angeles, California, USA); Pagina
12 (Buenos Aires, Argentina); Print Magazine (Buenos Aires,
Argentina); La Nacion (Buenos Aires, Argentina); Sky News (London,
UK); Wall Street Journal (New York, New York, USA); New York Times
(New York, New York, USA); Terra TV (Buenos Aires, Argentina);
National Public Radio (Los Angeles, California & Washington DC, USA);
BBC News (London, UK); Associated Press (New York, New York, USA);
Financial Times (San Francisco, California, USA); CBC TV (Toronto,
Canada); Agence France Presse (San Francisco, California, USA);
CNN.com (Atlanta, Georgia, USA); Wired Magazine Italy; CNN TV
(Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
During August, the Wikimedia Foundation released 4 press releases.
“Wikimedia Foundation receives $500,000 in operational support form
“Wikimania 2009 kicks off in Buenos Aires”
“Omidyar Network Commits $2 Million Grant to Wikimedia Foundation”
“Wikimedia Foundation Announces New Appointments to Board of Trustees”
FUNDRAISING, GRANTS, & PARTNERSHIPS
The Wikimedia Foundation received 972 donations in August totaling
approximately USD 313,165. This included 2 major gifts which total USD
268,817. Year-to-date, the Foundation has raised USD 413,179 in
fundraising related revenuer, 6% of the annual goal of USD 7,500,00.
Rand Montoya and Anya Shyrokova have continued with preparations for
the annual fundraiser, and are working on a new mobile giving platform
and a variety of upgrades to CiviCRM (the open source customer
relationship management database used by the Foundation's fundraising
team to manage donor information).
In August, Wikimedia finalized two large grant commitments. The first,
a grant in the amount of USD 500,000 from the William and Flora
Hewlett Foundation's Open Educational Resources program, supports
Wikimedia's general operations for the fiscal year 2009-2010. The
Hewlett Foundation's support acknowledges the important role Wikipedia
and the other Wikimedia Foundation projects play in making educational
information freely accessible to the world. The second grant, from
Omidyar Network, is a commitment of up to USD 2,000,000 over two years
in unrestricted funding to support the general operations and mission
of Wikimedia. A philanthropic investment firm, Omidyar Network
supports both for- and non-profits that achieve a positive social
impact. In addition to direct financial support, Omidyar Network will
dedicate internal resources and engage its network to support
Wikimedia's strategic planning process, communications work, and
recruiting. Thanks to Sara Crouse for developing these two grants.
In August the Foundation hired Mark Oppenheim of m/Oppenheim &
Associates to assist in the recruitment process for a Chief
Development Officer. m/Oppenheim & Associates is an executive
recruiting firm which specializes in the nonprofit and government
sectors. It has conducted searches for, for example, the Hewlett
Foundation, the X Prize Foundation, the University of Alberta, the
Science Fiction Museum, and the Daniel Pearl Foundation. Mark has been
asked to focus on finding the Wikimedia Foundation an innovative
development professional with a strong understanding of both internet
and traditional fundraising methods, with the goal of growing and
diversifying the Foundation's fundraising capacity. Mark's team will
conduct interviews with Wikimedia Foundation staff, Board members,
Advisory Board members and funders, in order to flesh out the
requirements for the job. It will then reach out to potential
candidates, and develop a shortlist of screened, interested people.
The search is expected to conclude by the end of December.
In August, Sara and Cary Bass, working with a team of volunteers,
finalized scholarship arrangements for Wikimania 2009. A total of USD
100,000 in scholarship funding was given out to 57 Wikimedians for
Wikimania 2009, with scholarship recipients attending Wikimania from
Asia and the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, Africa, Australia,
South America, Europe, and North America. This year's scholarships
program was funded by The Richard Lounsbery Foundation, Wikimedia
Germany, Open Society Institute and the Wikimedia Foundation. By
comparison, in 2008, one funder supported the attendance of nine
individuals from Arab and Latin American regions at Wikimania
Alexandria, with a grant of about USD 10,000.
The increase in scope and scale of this year's program is, in part,
enabled by Wikimedia's new capacity to raise and manage funds, and to
coordinate the program with staff and administrative support.
Moreover, this year's program was facilitated by the dedicated work of
a volunteer committee and combined, organized volunteer effort that
has not existed in prior years. We believe it was the most rigorous,
transparent and equitable scholarships process in Wikimedia history.
Scholarship recipients were chosen through an application and
selection process run by an international committee of nine (seven
longtime volunteers, Cary Bass, and Sara Crouse), who met regularly on
IRC and worked together over the course of six months. The committee
determined the selection criteria for applicants, provided technical
support for development and execution of the applications and review
processes, and communications support on-wiki and via OTRS. The
committee reviewed 1200 applications against volunteer-defined
This year's scholarships program was both a learning process and a
pilot for future years and programs to come. The Foundation is very
grateful to the committee for working productively together as the
process evolved. Now that Wikimania is over, Sara will survey
scholarship recipients, and then assess and document what we have
learned from the process to apply to future years. Questions to be
considered will likely include:
In 2009, several funders restricted their contribution (e.g.,
supporting only applications from a specified geographic region). This
was administratively burdensome, and also presents the risk that
funders' goals will conflict with Wikimedia's goals. In future years,
perhaps solely unrestricted scholarships funding should be sought and
The current selection criteria privileges experienced Wikimedians. In
future years, perhaps a number of scholarships should be reserved for
promising new Wikimedians.
Questions about roles and responsibilities. We learned a lot this year
about who was suited to what type of work. In future years, do we want
to refine and finetune who does what, to better support the process.
When the assessment document is completed, Sara will post it publicly
for review and discussion.
FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION
In August, Veronique and Bill prepared for the annual audit which will
be conducted by the auditing firm KPMG.
Also in August, Veronique prepared for a meeting of the Audit
Committee, which took place on August 12. The audit committee members
for 2009-10 are: Ad Huikeshoven, Alan Bauer, Anders Wennersten, Matt
Bisanz, Renata Stasaityte, Sandy Gallanter, Stu West (Chair of the
Audit Committee and Treasurer of the Board of Trustees), and, as
observers, Michael Snow and Sue Gardner. This was the first meeting of
the 2009-10 audit committee: the agenda included a walkthough of the
2007-08 audited financial statements, presentation of the audit plan
for 2008-09, a general discussion around risk, and a discussion of
During August, Mike and Erik worked on the Wikimedia Foundation's
response to legal issues raised by the National Portrait Gallery in
the United Kingdom. This involved seeking and obtaining independent
legal representation for a volunteer editor involved in the case, and
also working directly with the NPG to find an amicable resolution to
Also, pursuant to the Board's April resolution regarding trademark
policy, Mike completed a draft of a revised Wikimedia trademark
policy, and circulated it among other staff members for review and
feedback. The draft policy aims, among other things, to make clearer
how chapters may use Wikimedia trademarks non-commercially, and that
to some degree they may do so without seeking prior approval.
TRAVEL AND CONFERENCES
In August, Sue Gardner participated in the Aspen Institute forum “Of
the Press: Models for Preserving American Journalism,” which convened
leaders and experts to respond to the crumbling of traditional media
business models, by exploring potential new models for sustaining the
journalistic functions of the press that are essential to democratic
governance. Other participants included former U.S. Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright, Google's Marissa Mayer, Craig Newmark from
Craigslist, and Vivian Schiller, President and CEO of National Public
Radio. The proceedings were live-streamed, and occasioned media
coverage and micro-blogging.
Also in August, Veronique attended a professional development
conference offered by the Center for Creative Leadership in
Greensboro, North Carolina.
415 839 6885 office
415 816 9967 cell
Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
the sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
This Thursday's office hours will feature Mike Godwin, the Wikimedia
Foundation's Legal Counsel. If you don't know Mike Godwin, you can
read about him at <http://enwp.org/Mike_Godwin>.
Office hours this Thursday are from 1600 to 1700 UTC (9:00AM to 10:00PM
The IRC channel that will be hosting Mike's conversation will be
#wikimedia-office on the Freenode network.
If you do not have an IRC client, there are two ways you can come chat
using a web browser: First is using the Wikizine chat gateway at
<http://chatwikizine.memebot.com/cgi-bin/cgiirc/irc.cgi>. Type a
nickname, select irc.freenode.net from the top menu and
#wikimedia-office from the following menu, then login to join.
Also, you can access Freenode by going to http://webchat.freenode.net/,
typing in the nickname of your choice and choosing wikimedia-office as
the channel. You may be prompted to click through a security warning.
It should be all right.
Please feel free to forward (and translate!) this email to any other
relevant email lists you happen to be on.
Volunteer Coordinator, Wikimedia Foundation
Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
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David Gerard said:
2009/8/13 David Goodman <dgoodmanny at gmail.com>:
> I would be exceedingly uncomfortable with us organizing a negative
> campaign against any publisher not actually violating our copyright.
> . A factual campaign, providing information is another matter. It
> would be entirely appropriate for individuals, even in a somewhat
> coordinated way, to add a review, just pointing out that it is
> entirely a copy of a Wikipedia article, and available free in an
> updated version from our website--and in updated form.
"The contents of this book are reprinted from Wikipedia. Thanks to Dr
--- for making Wikipedia content available commercially in printed
form, in full observance of copyright requirements. We do this to
spread knowledge, after all!"
And David Gerard also says:
2009/8/14 Renata St <renatawiki at gmail.com>:
>> As long as the books give sufficient indication that they are from
>> Wikipedia, ...
> Inside the book -- yes, plenty of indication about copying. But nothing to
> warn you before you buy. People are buying these books tricked into thinking
> it's an original content.
Yuh. Point it out in reviews etc.
To me, this smacks of an utter disregard for the intent and spirit of
the free license. It's the same sort of flippant administrative
attitude that (nearly) allowed Guy "JzG" Chapman to grossly plagiarize
my original, freely-licensed work, delete mine from the edit history,
then prance about claiming that the work was his own, written "ab
initio". That made me want to vomit, and now I feel like vomiting
Sorry to resurrect a thread like this, but I only became aware of the
To give an example of how such a book is marketed on Amazon:
History of Buddhism (Paperback)
by Frederic P. Miller (Editor), Agnes F. Vandome (Editor), John
These people are not Wikipedia editors. Is it appropriate and/or
legal under the terms of the GFDL or the CC-by-SA for a
freely-licensed work to be "claimed" with a preposition such as "by",
which by any interpretation of the English language in this usage,
would connote authorship? Personally, I don't think it is appropriate
(thus that nauseous feeling I mentioned earlier). But, I'm not a
highly-paid lawyer, so maybe I just don't know better. I've been in
situations before where I know I am ethically correct, but helpless in
the light of the law.
It strikes me that this is something that Creative Commons or other
organizations with Godwin-like attorneys should be aggressively
pursuing, but we didn't hear from any of them in the original thread,
did we? Mike, could you illuminate this conversation with your
factual.com is a new "open data" site. Here's a line from the TOS:
"You may not sell, resell, redistribute, sublicense, or transfer all
or any portion of the services or data provided to you through Factual
Yeah, that's open content all right. (fail.)
Is there anything we can or should do to encourage such organisations
to do it properly?
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sean Moss-Pultz <sean(a)openmoko.com>
Date: Tue, Oct 13, 2009 at 1:51 AM
Subject: [openmoko-announce] WikiReader
To: announce(a)lists.openmoko.org, List for Openmoko community
Today, with the greatest of pleasure, I am ready to share with you the
birth of our third product -- WikiReader. Three simple buttons put
three million Wikipedia articles in the palm of your hand. Accessible
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Sales start today at http://thewikireader.com. Enjoy. Tell your
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In case you haven't already, now might be a good time to consider
submitting an application for task forces. The selection committee is
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helping with one of those, please submit your application to http://volunteer.wikimedia.org
Lists of task forces can be found on the strategic planning wiki at http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Task_forces
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Facilitator, Strategic Planning
mobile: 918 200-WIKI (9454)
Imagine a world in which every human being can freely share in
the sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!
Just a reminder that it's time for strategic planning office hours
Today's office hours are 20:00-21:00 UTC, which is: Tuesday, 1-2pm
PDT, Tuesday, 4-5pm EDT.
You can access the chat by going to https://webchat.freenode.net/ and
filling in a username and the channel name (#wikimedia-strategy). You
may be prompted to click through a security warning. It's fine.
Another option is http://chat.wikizine.org.