[Foundation-l] Wikimedia/Wikipedia trademarks?

Brian McNeil brian.mcneil at wikinewsie.org
Tue Dec 18 14:14:47 UTC 2007

Michael Bimmler wrote:
> On Dec 18, 2007 2:36 PM, Platonides <Platonides at gmail.com> wrote:

>> I found weeks ago a paper advertisement on which the character was
>> browsing wikipedia (identifiable by the logo).
>> IMHO they'd need WMF permission to do so but maybe they have! How could
>> i know? There must be a better way than snail mail to the US (suggested
>> by cary).
>Try contacting Mike Godwin by email: mgodwin at wikimedia dot org
>It is usually the fastest way.

Many, if not all, of the cases where an organisation asks permission to use
TM'd logos like the puzzle globe pass through the OTRS system, I have
forwarded several on to Mike Godwin and in all the cases I've dealt with
they've been reasonable - and thus authorised - uses.

For an example, I had one where someone was publishing an algebra textbook
and wanted a question based on a formula to predict when the English
Wikipedia will reach six million articles. Permission was sought, and
granted, to illustrate that question with the puzzle globe logo.

Most cases are like this, newspapers are often a case where they can use the
logo under fair use provisions (as we do on Wikinews for Google &c). Yes, we
need to encourage people to ask, yes we need to be generous in granting
rights to use, and NO, we don't want to persecute people who in ignorance
use the logo unless it is to defame the Foundation.

I would suggest not emailing Mike on this one, and instead hammering things
out on this list. Mike reads stuff here and will likely respond when he
thinks it is appropriate. Something from several weeks ago in a periodical
or newspaper is likely too late to deal with beyond sending a polite letter
or email as "for future reference ask" so I think it would be inappropriate
to directly bother Mike when the issue can be discussed on this list and
Mike can give a single response that explains the issue to everyone here who
may be concerned about it.

Brian McNeil

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