Dear Wikimedians,

The chapter agreement recognizing Wikimedia India ended on September 14, 2019 -- officially ending the chapter's status as a recognized Wikimedia movement affiliate. In this email, we are providing background information and suggestions about how to participate in active organizations supporting Wikimedia in India. Furthermore, the purpose of this communication is to notify the Indian communities about the status of the former Wikimedia India Chapter and to share brief background information to clarify the timeline of communications with the former affiliate.

It has come to the Affiliation Committee’s (AffCom) attention that the formerly-recognized chapter in India has continued to operate using the Wikimedia name and trademarks. Recognition as a Wikimedia movement affiliate -a chapter, thematic organization, or user group- is a privilege that allows an independent group to officially use the Wikimedia trademarks to further the Wikimedia mission. 

While most affiliates adhere to the basic compliance standards set forth in their agreements with the Wikimedia Foundation, a protocol exists to address the exceptional cases when a Wikimedia affiliate fails to maintain the specified compliance standards and its continued recognition as a Wikimedia affiliate presents a risk to the Wikimedia movement [1].  

On November 10, 2018, Wikimedia India was notified of its suspension as a Wikimedia affiliate due to long-standing non-compliance with reporting requirements. Along with the notice, the chapter was provided with an explicit list of tasks and deadlines as action items to return to compliance with its chapter agreement. The chapter could not manage, or failed, to take the corrective actions by the deadline of May 30, 2019, and was consequently notified in June that it would no longer be recognized as a Wikimedia chapter after the termination of their Chapter Agreement on September 14, 2019. Even though Wikimedia India is presently not a Wikimedia affiliated group, they are still obligated to abide by the guidelines and permitted trademark usage policy. For that reason, we once again ask that the group immediately ceases to use the Wikipedia trademarks while not an officially recognized Wikimedia affiliate organization.

October 7, 2019, following some back and forth on the chapter’s meta talk page about specific criteria [2], the committee communicated via email to the Executive Committee to reaffirm that the September revocation was final and to remind the former chapter of required next steps for ending all use of “Wikimedia” wordmark, the Wikimedia logo, or any other Wikimedia trademarks as an organization.  

If you have questions about what this means for community members in the affected affiliates’ regions or languages, we have put together a very basic FAQ [3]. Feel free to ask additional questions on the Wikimedia India meta talk page [2]. For a list of affiliates and their compliance status, please consult the affiliate status page on  Meta [4]; there is also a page linked from there that lists formerly-active affiliates. 

The Wikimedia Foundation remains committed to supporting volunteer editors, contributors, readers, and donors across India. We recognize that Wikimedia has a very engaged and growing community in India who together have created a significant and lasting impact within our global movement. We continue to support Indian community user groups who lead meet-ups, contests, and other local events.

Wikimedia India was not the sole representative of the movement in India, and there are many other new and existing affiliates in the region. AffCom stands ready to support the remaining affiliate members and Indic communities in their continuing efforts to collaboratively grow the affiliate infrastructure of the movement in India. We are deeply grateful for the efforts of Indic communities to support Wikimedia’s free knowledge mission and we look forward to continuing this work together.