[Foundation-l] Wikipedia trade mark misuse

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen cimonavaro at gmail.com
Sun Jun 13 22:33:02 UTC 2010

Thomas Dalton wrote:
> "Dog" isn't strongly associated in the public psyche with a particular
> brand. "Wiki" is. Like I say, these are complicated issues of legal
> interpretation and really should be left to the lawyers.
If there is any party with dibs on "Wiki", that would
be Ward Cunningham, not the WMF.

Also it is worth mentioning that the MediaWiki software
is not a trademark or anything remotely like that of WMF.

MediaWiki serves a huge community of which WMF is just
the literal butt-end. Sure, as a single site WMF is  t e h 
biggest. But it still in toto is dwarfed by the userbase in

In terms of dilution of trademark of WMF properties,
you would pretty much have to take a WMF projects
name and use it as a part or whole of what you were
offering. Just using "wiki" doesn't come close to meeting
that standard. Ward Cunningham I think famously
said that an encyclopaedia built over his software
might be something novel, but it wouldn't be a "wiki";
so we should really not be too tight-ass about things, if
Ward was laid-back to deliver a keynote at a Wikimania
anyway. Getting Ward to deliver a full brimstone and
hail Jeremiad against misappropriation of the term "wiki"
is the best that you could ask for in the particular instance
discussed here. I wouldn't hold my breath though.


Jussi-Ville Heiskanen

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