Hey John et. al
Apologies for the delaying in responding to the last few emails. I want to
try and cover a couple of the points that been raised.
I'll first start with the history. I am very much aware of the background
surrounding merchandise, in particular the chapters and the changes in the
chapter agreements back in 2009 that essentially stopped all that. At the
time I was on the board of Wikimedia UK and I very much remember the
frustrations that surrounded the changes. In terms of who has and who
hasn't run commercial stores I am not going to even attempt to summarise
that here and I honestly don't think people rehashing the particular
individual histories of trademark agreements of the last half a decade for
how ever many affiliates have had them. We all have far more interesting
and worthwhile things to talk about in the movement.
So here's to looking forward and where we can do things better:
Where no exchange of money is involved, the Trademark policy already does a
good job of allowing affiliates or members of the community to print or
make one-off merchandise to give away at the events they run, or to members
of their organisations.
Where we could do probably do better is where the exchange of money is only
for the specific purpose of cost recovery. The sort of thing that Pine was
talking about in relation to Wikiconference USA. Merchandise isn't cheap
and where possible it makes sense to be able to offset the cost. It's
probably an area we should strive to make easier, more consistent and less
of a struggle for affiliates and where we could probably make the biggest
impact in improving the ability of affiliates to produce small runs of cool
The operating of stores by affiliates is one that I think there is a lot of
potential in. The WMF store, in its very focused scope, works well. But
there are a lot of areas where we could do better. Multilingual store and
checkpoint support is lacking, international shipping is expensive, support
for local currency should be better and an ability to print on demand is an
area that needs work. I think that this could be improved through other
stores. It just needs to be done right and a good framework set out for
chapters to do this work. I and others will need to time work out what that
This whole topic was something that was one of the first that was discussed
about areas that at as department we could do better in terms of working
with the community in. There is a lot of good will from those above meand I
think over time we will see some good changes here. It's not the only area
I am working on and we are only 6-7 weeks into me being on board but I will
get to it.
I am going to be in Berlin for the Wikimedia Conference and I think it
would be a good place to start conversations about how we can move forward
in an area that realistically should not be controversial in any way but
that should be done well.
On Tue, Mar 22, 2016 at 11:07 PM, John Mark Vandenberg <jayvdb(a)gmail.com>
On Wed, Mar 23, 2016 at 12:51 AM, Sam Klein
On Tue, Mar 22, 2016 at 12:07 PM, John Mark Vandenberg <jayvdb(a)gmail.com
IIRC, there were several affiliates that were previously running a
store, and naturally supporting the most relevant languages of their
community. They were effectively shutdown, and localisation lost due
to centralisation to the WMF.
Is this true? Please record any actual examples on:
I dont have any actual examples, only possibly faulty memories of
events that mostly affected other affiliates.
As I recall, and apologies in advance for my memories fading or being
faulty, the French, Italian and German chapters were running what
could be considered a store before the WMF's "Chapters Agreement"
and/or "Fundraising Agreements" of 2009/2010 were required to be
signed by chapters , and the language of those agreements removed the
possibility of merchandise.
Again as I recall, many chapters tried to negotiate amendments to that
prohibition, and I vaguely recall the French chapter being successful,
and I vaguely recall the Italian chapter being unsuccessful.
I see the French chapter's shop is still open.
I do not see a shop for Italia or Deutschland, but locals may be able
to find what I can not.
Any details regarding the old chapters stores, especially German and
Italian, would be most welcomed to augment and possibly correct my
Sj, 99% of this happened during your time on the board, so it would be
great if you can help provide some clarity with whatever memories you
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