[Foundation-l] Mission/Vision Statement

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at gmail.com
Fri Jan 5 23:23:55 UTC 2007

On 1/5/07, Aphaia <aphaia at gmail.com> wrote:
> One problem I found on working with translators is that some of them
> tend to prefer to translate "free knowledge" into "knowledge free of
> charge"

Perhaps we should write an authoritative version in a language which
has reduced potential for this confusion and translate from that one?
There are quite a few languages where this confusion is reduced.  Or
more simply, perhaps someone needs to start a guide for translators
which helps people understand frequent issues like this one.

> If Wikimedia itself pursue both form of free knowledge - knowledge as
> free as both beer and speech, I think it makes a sense its mission
> statement mentions *both* notions. Then no one shall misunderstand
> what the word "free" means here.

If it's really our mission that everything we distribute be at no
charge, we are already failing it. :)

I don't know that the no-charge part is really important. "Free as in
speech" pretty much promises that someone will make it available at no
charge. "Disseminate it effectively and globally" means that the
someone will usually be the foundation. I don't think it's a conflict
with our mission to use value added propagation as a fundraising
technique (like the realtime data feeds), but a mission statement
which over-emphasizes free-as-in-beer would create a conflict there.

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