Just a couple of years ago, when the number of employees in the UK was
measured between zero or two, unpaid volunteers like me used to go
along and sit in on and give views in parliamentary discussions, meet
and share ideas with other unpaid volunteer representatives from
advocacy groups such as the Open Knowledge Foundation, Creative
Commons etc. This no longer seems to happen, nor does it seem
expected. It is still the norm for open knowledge groups apart from
WMUK to have unpaid volunteers as their leading advocates and main
points of contact.
Considering that the FDC has already stated that:
A. "The FDC is concerned about very low targets for WMUK’s program work."
B. "The FDC believes that WMUK's advocacy work and work on influencing
policy towards Open Knowledge in the UK and EU has potential."
Would you consider keeping the staff focus firmly on delivering more
ambitious outcomes in programme work, and stepping back from
controlling advocacy work yourself? You could try approaching or
encouraging volunteers, such as the couple of trustees that are seen
at wikimeets, to take responsibility to push our advocacy for open
knowledge forward and enthuse some of their fellow UK Wikimedians.
With volunteers taking an active role, this brings relevance and
urgency to our volunteer groups and restores the organization to one
where the volunteers are central and leading change, rather than
joining projects where employees are the default top of the hierarchy.
In terms of meaningful metrics, if hardly any volunteers are
interested in finding out more or getting directly involved with
suggested political or legislative advocacy even with supporting WMUK
employee time, then it seems a poor strategic choice to just proceed
with that work regardless.
Fae (past trustee and chair for WMUK, no longer a member of WMUK)
On 30 November 2015 at 13:00, Lucy Crompton-Reid
> on hold while we were awaiting the FDC's recommendations for our annual
> grant from the Wikimedia Foundation; however I'm now hoping to advertise for
> a new Communications Co-ordinator in the new year. This post will be at a
> lower level than Stevie - mainly for financial reasons - and will have a
> slightly different emphasis. The advocacy work that Stevie was managing
> brilliantly will now be led by me, but will also involve staff from our
> programmes team as well as an advocacy working group that is being set up.
The 100th London Wikimeet took place at Penderel's Oak, and was a very
pleasant event. Lucy Compton-Reid was there, and I saw at least one
Trustee (and some staff).
The first was on 5th June 2004.
The next will be meeting number 101 with caek, since Wikipedia is 15
I think we managed to confuse the staff with the continuous food orders.
Somebody had "Old Growler" (from Nethergate)... each to their own!
There are at long last indications that UK copyright law is moving in
the direction of the WMF and Commons policy  that "faithful copies of
public domain works are themselves in the public domain" - in other
words that faithful photographic reproductions of old, out of copyright
artworks such as paintings do not create an enforceable new copyright
for the photographer. The UK Intellectual Property Office has recently
updated its copyright advice notice  to include the following:
Are digitised copies of older images protected by copyright?
''Simply creating a copy of an image won't result in a new copyright in
the new item. However, there is a degree of uncertainty regarding
whether copyright can exist in digitised copies of older images for
which copyright has expired. Some people argue that a new copyright may
arise in such copies if specialist skills have been used to optimise
detail, and/or the original image has been touched up to remove
blemishes, stains or creases.''
''However, according to the Court of Justice of the European Union which
has effect in UK law, copyright can only subsist in subject matter that
is original in the sense that it is the author's own 'intellectual
creation'. Given this criteria, it seems unlikely that what is merely a
retouched, digitised image of an older work can be considered as
'original'. This is because there will generally be minimal scope for a
creator to exercise free and creative choices if their aim is simply to
make a faithful reproduction of an existing work.''
This official advice from a UK Government agency is useful as it
recommends a strikingly different approach from the one that has been
taken over many years by the UK courts, namely that a new copyright can
very easily be created merely by the 'skill and labour' involved in
taking any sort of photograph (the copyright practitioner's text,
Copinger & Skone James, says that "in terms of what is original for the
purpose of determining whether copyright subsists in a photograph, the
requirement of originality is low and may be satisfied by little more
than the opportunistic pointing of the camera and the pressing of the
Although the IPO advice is not binding on the UK courts, it will be of
useful persuasive value. It's interesting that the official view being
taken is that the European Court of Justice has effectively replaced the
very low bar of "Was sufficient skill and labour applied?" with the
higher one of "Is it the author's own intellectual creation?''. The
2009 CJEU decision in Infopaq  is gaining traction.
Communia have published a blog post  that is worth reading.
Chair, Wikimedia UK