[Wikimedia-l] Fwd: [Toolserver-l] [TS logo] Fwd: Free as in Wikimedia Foundation

Nathan nawrich at gmail.com
Tue Mar 19 21:00:05 UTC 2013

I won't argue the fact that there is value in protecting the
iconography of the Wikimedia movement from abuse. What I argue with is
the approach of the legal department - to unilaterally, and without
notice, contradict the purpose of a set of logos by declaring
ownership over them, and then to at the same time suggest the
community hold a contest to create a whole new set of logos over which
the WMF will supposedly not take the same action.

To then frame the discussion with repeated notes about the distinction
between copyright and trademark makes it sound like they see this as a
problem of a lack of knowledge and understanding on the part of their
critics', which simply isn't the case.

The reality is if they had suggested last year that "hey, the
Foundation wants to make sure these marks are protected from abuse,
would anyone mind if we registered them just to make sure they aren't
abused? We'll allow them to be used with a standard permission set
that doesn't require a request process." then the response would've
been absolutely minimal and positive. But they didn't.

If you're familiar with my posts to this list, I'm not normally on the
anti-WMF side of debates (for instance, wrt WCA). But when they make a
boob move, I don't think its bad faith to point it out. And, not for
nothing, accusing others of bad faith is generally ill advised.
Anyway, this is a small bore issue, and the consequences of any
outcome are mild to say the least. But, a few posts on a wiki and on
wikimedia-l don't cost much ;)

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