the new bulletin from Wikimedia Italia (#46) is available.
Members of the association talked a lot in these weeks, and our official
Members' Meeting is due in ten days! We also remember a Wikipedian friend
who passed away.
As usual a link has been added to meta, at
Wikimedia_chapters/Reports/Wikimedia_Italia ; raw text of the bulletin
== Twice25 ==
We open this newsletter with a sad news. Some days ago Tullio Arecco, known
on Wikipedia with the nickname '''Twice25''', passed away. He joined the
encyclopedia back in 2003.
Twice has never been a member of Wikimedia Italia or sysop of it.wikipedia
(except for a temporary assignment a few years ago to help in the clean-up
of contributions in violation of copyright) because it was not the type who
loved this kind of commitment, but he has always been an expert contributor
and a pillar for the community.
Twice always had in mind that Wikipedia is made up of people before
articles: it was not a chance that the first meeting of Italian Wikipedians
was held in Genoa, where he lived; Twice helped organizing and was the
perfect guest. Our condolences go out to the family and Rina, his partner.
== Recent events ==
In the last few days, Wikimedia Italia took part to several events.
* The International Tourism Exchange (BIT, Borsa Internazionale del
Turismo), held at Fiera Milano from 14 to 17 February 2013, saw two
speeches in which Wikimedia Italia partecipated. Friday 15, at the stand of
Friuli-Venezia Giulia, there was the Show X Conference, with a format
similar to TED that addressed the issues related to new technologies,
especially digital communication and open access, and their application to
tourism. Maurizio Codogno ([[Utente:.mau.|.mau.]]), ''spokesperson for
Wikimedia Italia'', talked about sharing, Wiki world and Open Content, with
particular focus on the newborn project Wikivoyage and on Wiki Loves
Monuments. He also indicated that the work of Wikipedian volunteers would
be facilitated if the local authorities gave permission to take photographs
of the monuments they manage as per Italian law, so that they may be used
in a commercial environment.
* Also at the International Tourism Exchange, on Saturday 16
[[Utente:Frieda|Frieda]] (''chair of Wikimedia Italy'') took part in a
debate on "Reputation Online, Direct and Indirect Network Presence"],
describing the project "Adopt a word" dedicated to Wikipedia and developed
by Emilia Romagna Tourism Office, describing the new opportunities that
start with Wikivoyage and finally signaling Wiki Loves Monuments and their
photos freely reusable also for tourism ventures.
* On February 19, [[Utente:Cotton|Cotton]], board member of Wikimedia
Italy, attended the presentation of [
Veneto in Wikipedia"], which was held in Padua, at the
Einaudi-Gramsci Institute. Also members [[Utente:Conrad|Conrad]] and
[[Utente:LCM|LCM]] took part in the meeting, together with Wikipedia sysop
Aplasia as well as representatives of the regional branch of the Ministry
for Heritage and Culture.
== Wikipedia and women ==
On February 21, initiative [
http://caffeculturale.ch/wikimedia/79-wikipedia-e-le-donne Wikipedia and
women] will be held in Lugano, organized by Wikimedia Switzerland and
Associazione Caffè Culturale Lugano. Frieda (''chair of Wikimedia Italy'')
and Emma Tracanella (''project manager for Wiki Loves Monuments'') are
among the guests for the initiative.
== Members' meeting ==
Saturday, March 2, 2013, in the press room of Telecom Italy (Piazza Affari
2, 20123 Milano) the Ordinary Members' Meeting of Wikimedia Italy will be
held. The meeting is open to everyone, but to participate you must register
for free [http://assembleawmi2013.eventbrite.it on Eventbrite], where you
will also find the program of the day. It takes just a minute!
*Hi everyone, *
*I’m simply thrilled to welcome Luis Villa to the Foundation as our new
Deputy General Counsel.*
Thanks to Kat Walsh, I met Luis during my first months at the Foundation.
Kat loves Luis, and it is no wonder why. In addition to being a superb
lawyer, Luis is an open source developer, has worked with leaders in our
Internet legal circles, and has a great personality that embraces our
His most recent adventure took place at the Palo Alto office of Greenberg
Traurig, one of the top global law firms. There he worked with well-known
Internet lawyers like Ian Ballon and Heather Meeker. Luis focused on
technology transactions, helping clients create solutions to licensing
problems, with a particular emphasis on open source and software standards.
His clients included Mozilla, the Open Compute Project, and a variety of
clients large and small. Luis successfully defended Google in the
Oracle-Google/Android lawsuit, primarily working on the question of API
copyrightability. I hired Luis as outside counsel to work on a tough legal
matter for us, and his answers were on point, clear, and practical. *
Luis’ first contact with free software came was when he was in college at
Duke University. There he studied political science and computer science,
began using Linux, and helped triage Mozilla's bugzilla. A professor paid
him to play with Lego, resulting in brief maintainership of the GPL’d LegOS
operating system and co-authorship of the book "Extreme Mindstorms". *
After graduation, Luis worked at Ximian, a Linux desktop startup, doing
quality assurance and eventually managing the desktop team. As part of
that, he got heavily involved in the GNOME desktop project, becoming
bugmaster and then getting elected to the board of directors. After Ximian
was acquired, Luis became "geek in residence" at Harvard Law School's
Berkman Center. At Berkman, he translated from lawyer to geek, and managed,
maintained, and developed several software projects.*
After Berkman, Luis started his legal ventures in life at Columbia Law
School, where he was Editor in Chief of the Science and Technology Law
Review, was awarded honors each year, and was co-recipient of the class
prize for excellence in intellectual property scholarship. His thesis dealt
with the use of software standards as part of antitrust enforcement.
Outside of class, he participated in the GPL revision process, worked in
the General Counsel's office at Red Hat, and developed a surprisingly
strong attachment to New York City.*
After law school, Luis worked in the legal department at Mozilla, where his
major project was revising the Mozilla Public License. The license got over
a thousand words shorter, and gained stronger patent protections and
compatibility with the Apache and GPL licenses. Luis also worked on
privacy, contracts, standards bodies, and other issues.*
Outside of work, Luis is an invited expert to the World Wide Web
Consortium's Patents and Standards Interest Group, and a board member and
chair of the Licensing Committee at the Open Source Initiative. He also
enjoys biking, photography, history, Duke basketball (men's and women's),
Luis's first Wikipedia edit under his current user name dates to Feb. 2007.
Like any good pedant, he has also been making minor spelling and grammar
corrections anonymously for many years.*
So, as you can tell, we are extremely excited about having Luis on our team
and wish him a warm welcome. *
We've just published a post by Geoff Brigham outlining the settlement
of litigation between Wikimedia Foundation and Internet Brands, which
is great news indeed.
Congratulations to everyone who's been working hard on this effort.
A victory for Wikivoyage and free knowledge
Posted by Geoff Brigham on February 15th, 2013
Settlement of litigation between Internet Brands and the Wikimedia Foundation
Today we are pleased to announce a settlement in the legal proceedings
between the Wikimedia Foundation and Internet Brands relating to
issues stemming from the creation of Wikivoyage, our community’s
newest free knowledge project. We regard this settlement as a victory
for the Wikimedia movement, and a vindication of our values and
Our community expressed a strong desire to create a new, freely
shareable, non-commercial travel guide. In response, Internet Brands
(owners of a for-profit wiki-based travel project) sued two
Wikimedians visibly involved in supporting the travel guide. Internet
Brands branded the proposed new site an “Infringing Website” and
claimed that the volunteers were acting “for the benefit of the
Wikimedia Foundation” to “usurp” the community of users of Internet
Brands’ site and taking actions that included “deliberately misleading
statements, and Trademark infringement and violation of Internet
Brands’ intellectual property rights.” Internet Brands identified the
“Wikimedia Foundation, members of its Board, and other members of the
Foundation” as potential “co-conspirators” who were “corrupt in this
Unintimidated, the Foundation moved in to defend our volunteers and to
protect our community’s right to an open and meaningful discussion
about the project.
We contacted one of the most respected law firms working in this
field, Cooley LLP, and asked that they represent and defend the two
volunteers facing legal action from Internet Brands. Cooley was
engaged, and with our financial support, the volunteers moved the case
to federal court and also filed an anti-SLAPP motion against Internet
Brands, alleging that their freedom to openly discuss the project was
under threat. Internet Brands responded by abandoning its federal
claim, essentially admitting it had no factual basis. The federal
court then dismissed all of Internet Brands’ remaining claims.
Meanwhile, in September 2012 the Wikimedia Foundation filed its own
lawsuit against Internet Brands seeking a declaration from the court
that Internet Brands had no proper basis to block the wiki travel
The settlement was signed on February 14, 2013, and Internet Brands
has now released the Foundation and Wikivoyage e.V. (the German not
for profit who worked so hard to make the project a success) from any
and all claims related in any manner to the creation and operation of
the wiki travel project. In return, the Foundation will dismiss the
Wikivoyage is now officially launched and growing, with about 9000 new
entries added in the first month, and new language versions in Polish,
Romanian, Finnish, Hungarian, Chinese and Japanese being opened.
The Wikimedia Foundation believes there is enough room for multiple
travel sites to co-exist, and for community members to contribute to
multiple sites in this area. Our Executive Director, Sue Gardner,
outlined this perspective in a post to the original travel project
discussion. We have stood by this belief from the beginning, and we
believe that a successful, freely-shareable, non-commercial travel
project will help support the overall quantity and quality of travel
information on the web.
We thank and recognize our global community of volunteers,
particularly the pioneers of the Wikivoyage project for their
dedication and focus in making the project possible. I want to thank
my colleagues at the Foundation in many different departments for
their hard work on this case. We are also grateful to our friends at
Cooley LLP for their continuous support, tireless dedication, and
outstanding legal counsel through these challenges.
It’s now possible for the Wikivoyage community to continue their
efforts to build a global free-knowledge travel site unhindered. We
wish them the best of luck and look forward to working closely with
the Wikivoyage community as the project grows and thrives.
Geoff Brigham, General Counsel
Senior Director, Communications
+1 (415) 839 6885 x 6609, @jansonw