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EU policy/Big Fat Brussels Meeting Vol. 2/minutes

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Minutes of the second regular Brussels meeting of the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU held on 24 and 25 April 2014

24th of April - Politics, policy issues & goals




Jan Engelmann (WMDE), Romaine (WMNL/WMBE*), Laurentius (WMIT), Stevie Benton (WMUK), John Andersson (WMSE), Lilli Iliev (WMDE), Hubertl (WMAT), Luuletaja (WMEE), Hauke (Reporters without Borders/Open Knowledge Foundation, Germany), Grijz (WMNL), Jean-Fred (WMFR), Percy (Wikimedia Cuteness Association), [[:|Wendy the Weasel]] (Wikimedia Cuteness Association/Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU), Dimi (FKAGEU, WMAT, WMBE*)

8:30 Walk-in, coffee

  • Free Breakfast for Free Knowledge incl. Chococroissant = Pain au chocolat = chocoladecroissant (Belgium is multilingual)

9:00 Welcome words, organisational details

  • [[:|Wendy the Weasel]] is presented as mascot of the group
  • Ad-hoc discussion about NN position by WMF (to be re-visited later)
  • A wider spread of participants than last time
  • Today's expert seminar is also good to show volunteers what political events in Brussels look and feel like
  • Introduction round

9:30 Update on what happened in Brussels and what is to be expected in the coming year?

Wikimedians hard at work
  • Update by Dimi
    • Collective Rights Management Directive: Other civil society organisations compromised on an NC clause which was included in the enacted version. Reason Wikimedia advocacy is so important -> we're perhaps the only group that takes NC restrictions that seriously
    • Licenses for Europe: Just failed. One example is the user-generated content working group, which had no UGC organisation in it. This lead to:
    • Copyright Consultation:Huge number of answers, raw data being released. Wikimedia approach of "crowsourcing" answers has been widely noticed.
      • The commission will summarize the answers; but we should mine the raw data as well.
        • A white paperl will be based on this consultation, and this will set the tone for the possible copyright reform.
          • More or less everybody is pushing for a copyright reform, even if all of them for a different reason.
    • Objective: Being the first expert to ask whenever the Commission talks about copyright
        • =>First step: Make contact with people who work on e.g. the green paper
          • =>Goal: get our points in the paper
            • =>we´ll be facing longterm efforts (as always)
  • Jan presents and distributes a comparative analysis on freedom of panorama in Europe; how can we use/deal with it?
    • will be put on meta soon

  • Jan: There was a feeling at Wikimedia Conference that of the three objectives from FKAGEU the easiest to make real progress on would be the harmonisation of freedom of panorama.
  • Efforts are made to have a study commissioned showing the benefits of open licensing and public domain to the EU. It is in the IPR Observatory's 2014 workplan.
  • Data Protection
    • addressing data protection-issue in Germany difficult, many diverse views, nobodys favourite topic within Wikimedia
      • still, Wikipedians surely are concerned about tracked data, also from wp-servers
        • Should we take a position here? Difficult and might be counter-productive.
  • Net neutrality & Wikipedia Zero

additional comments

    • Basic principle of the free Internet from the beginning, "end-to-end-principle", i.e. no positive/negative discrimination of datastreams
    • Laws in Netherlands (2012) and Slovenia
    • In the US already dropped (Netflix)
    • Main longterm problem: free services generate pressure on competitors to sign deals with providers making it harder for future start-ups to compete
    • Less about Wikipedia Zero really, more about Facebook Zero but similar concepts meaning one could have a "dam breaking" effect
      • WMF and FKAGEU plead for net neutrality in general: dilemma is great current project vs. possible future disatvantages
        • Crucial: the non-commercial-argument is pointless, non-commercial a fulid concept and anyone could use an NC version of website and ask for access
          • Proposed WMF op-ed doesn´t define "non-commercial"
            • Stevie: We have to find some kind of trade-off between our goals and holding to a principle of equal access
              • How to avoid monopolising knowledge and services -> fear of "Microsoft effect"
                • Free as in speech vs. free as in beer
                  • European Parliament position is fixed for now, i.e. no efforts in this direction
    • Answer to Yana Welinder should consist of bullet points, to be published on advocacy-l within 2 days
      • Whats strategically best, who should answer and how? Avoiding the derailing of this important discussion necessary.
        • Group works on comments for unified position towards WMF op-ed since it´s urgent

10:00 Our current priorities Statement of Intent & Do we need to include Open Access?

  • Jan: Open Access in Germany has little to do with open knowledge, doesn´t really match our goals and a very large a field
    • We try to focus on managable work packages, reachable goals, threat of working on topics that are too unfocused
      • Already strong coalition of scientific open access-movement, should we join in as just another partner?
        • Maybe there´ll never be cc-by-sa in all scientific publications, but we need to push for it in publicly funded scientific works
          • Final agreement: leaving Statement of Intent as it is but to specifically include Open Access the next time the statement is revised

11:00 Feedback from chapters for Wikimedian in Brussels/FKAGEU? What do you need?

  • Stevie: Updates from Dimi on advocacy-l are *really* useful
    • Would like to learn more about how things advocacy group works on are specifically related to WMF
  • Dimi made experience that people want him to push things in the hope that the WMF also picks them up
    • A lot about attitude of WMF towards advocacy will depends on new ED
  • Hubertl on FoP in Austria: pleads for campaign to inform people and raise awareness
    • Idea: producing posters to illustrate where there´s a lack of freedom of panorama by showing certain countries as black
  • Jan: Dimi has too much work for one person, fears that shortly work might get too much for single person
    • To have a bigger impact, work packages could be devised that can be done by other chapters/individuals
      • Idea: Have people who are not in Brussels focus on content production
        • idea: "black picture day": black picture e.g. of Atomium on Wikipedia article on Brussels or EP building on European Parliament article, so more people would really see the problem => this would raise awareness of mass media
          • Problem: Wikipedians aren't likely to ever agree on that
  • Chapters can adapt texts, brochures, documents (WMUK very happy to help where it can − "many chapters would be happy to pool some resources on this :))"
  • Provide Dimi the contact information (with business cards!) of chapter contact people − so he can give them out when he meets with someone from that country
  • Provide Dimi with AgitProt, i.e. advocacy material − about Wikimedia projects, free licences, anything, in any language («MPs like freebies»)

12:00 Lunch break and relocating to afternoon event

  • yummy, yummy, yummy I've got Free Knowledge in my tummy

Wikimedia/UNESCO Expert Seminar

Let's go!

14:00 - "Mass digitisation and open access to cultural heritage"

  • Introduction Wikimedia & Unesco by facilitator Gwen Frank
  • Call for copyright reform, uniformizing of copyright is aim of all experts present today

Mass digitsation at the British Library – by Rossitza Atanassova

The event is about to begin.
  • presents several mass digitization projects of the library
  • Concentrated out of copyright material, public domain etc.
  • 68000 volumes published in 19th century, mostly in english
  • Excluded authors active in literature, journalism etc and who died after 1936
  • Digitised content is public domain
  • Google Books digitization project
  • Europeana Collections; British library contributed 10000 items, 300000 digital images
  • Mechanical Curator Collection on Flickr
  • 10.199 images released in public domain, 86000 crowd-sourced tags, 20 albums created by crowd sourced tagging, Use citizens to foster and tag items
  • many projects use released items, generated for new crowdsourcing projects, party published on Flickr, massive amount of views

Jean Frédéric – Wikimedia and Cultural Heritage

Full panel and moderator.
  • Wikimedia projects gather material that should be used by anyone for any purpose
  • Care a lot about metadata,
  • Why should institutions work with Wikimedia?
  • People turn to Wikipedia when searching for information, Institutions fight for attention
  • Using Wikimedia projects, institutions reach massive amount of users and potential visitors
  • Example: information about astronomy, you mostly get pictures from Nasa, because public domain, nothing e.g. by European, same with many more examples, cancer treatment
  • Conclusion: the freer, the more accessible, the more people get reached
  • Aim: democratization of cultural heritage, avoiding bias, lack of certain parts of cultural data
  • everything produced by public servants should be freely accessible for anyone for any purpose
  • new models that help institutions release data without locking themselves off smth.

Rony Vissers – Packed - Centre of expertise in digital heritage

  • Non-profit organization, independent, get financial support from government
  • Formerly platform for archiving and conserving audio-visual arts
  • Activities not focused on content but on it-process, creation, registration
  • More involved in reuse of digital collections, development of digitization policies
  • See digitization as broad range of processes, not only from analogue to digital
  • Digital born content needs special attention
  • Gather knowledge and expertise, build informative websites, organize workshops, member of advocacy groups, act as service provider, advise and support
  • Develop models for digital sustainability
  • Project: Open Cultuur Data http://opencultuurdata.be/
  • Lessons learned: unique, no equivalent; minimum capacity required to have impact
  • Digitisation needs to be part of institutional policies, digital expertise within collection institutions required, authority that provides financial support should have digital expertise and also framework for quality control needed
  • Need for synchronization and collaboration related to digital infrastructure among different authorities, Current copyright situation is obstacle

1st Round Q&A


Q to Rony Vissers: Only human- or also machinereadable? A: If possible, also effort to make data machinereadable; well structured data required

Q to Rossitza: Thinkable to release all material on cc by sa 3.0? A: If we hold the rights, yes. More difficult otherwise, but more and more demand for free content; staff always balances different aspects here. Rony: Most institutions can accept opening of collections, but struggling with budgets; so wish for new ways of getting visible. But he has not seen many institutions that really profited from making collections available. Even Rijksmuseum doesn´t have unified position here, not everyones happy with decision of releasing all data. Also creates difficult situations, if this gets the standart, other museums will get underprivileged, maybe not a good role model for all institutions Jean Frédéric: Visibility is an incentive, but on the short run it doesn´t get you any cash. Moreover, experts for digitization process n institutions cost extra money

Q: What could make life easier for each speaker/organisation? A: Rossitza: financial support, resources Rony: Published proposal to limit time of copyright, after 20 years holder has to register himself.

Marco Giorello – Deputy Head of Unit Copyright, DG Markt, European Commission

  • Digitization of cultural heritage is priority in commission, so as in next years
  • Try to facilitate processes of digitization
  • Various problems:
  • Orphan works, introduced EU-wide exception to make data publicly available
  • Identifying and retracing ownerships
  • Sheer volume of works to digitize, mass of rights to clear which might cause problems for cultural institutions
  • Efforts to use and extend collective licences to reuse works
  • Crossboarder dimension of reusability of works, what can be done to create a national scheme for licences and to achieve a crossboarder-scheme?
  • Different opinions on how to go move on, achieve improvements à difficult

Krzysztof Nichczynski, Project and Policy Officer, DG Connect, European Commission

Presentation by DG Connect representative
  • Points out positive effects of digitizing cultural heritage
  • Legislative actions: document “Commission recommendation on digitisation and online accessibility of cultural material and digital preservation” (2011)
  • To step up efforts, pool resources, involve private actors, make use of EU´s structural funds
  • Revised directive on the reuse of public sector information 2003 http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/european-legislation-reuse-public-sector-information
  • Member States expert group on digitisation and digital preservation, founded in 2007, main issue: monitoring, exchange information
  • Various funding actions: main achievement is enhancement of Europeana platform, will be funded in future, too
  • Program to research innovative ways to work with institutions and make cultural heritage accessible
  • Survey: Where are we in digitisation? (1400 participating institutions) answer: Still on the beginning
  • 87% have digital collection, 36 % have written digitization strategy, 17% of collections is on average digitized, 52% still has to get digitized

Enrico Turin, Deputy Director of the European Federation of Publishers

  • Points out advantages of conventional copyright
  • E.g. Copyright offers publishers resources to invest in new creations
  • Understands aim to make orphan works accessible, agrees on finding ways to make it easier to identify right status of a work, atre open to dialogue and cooperate to make things easier
  • Determination of status of work is essential, when selling a book, having it made available for free is a problem
  • Developed tool http://www.arrow-net.eu/ to define right status of a work for right digitization by putting together all information from databases, tested by several countries
  • Remark by person from audience, staff member of royal library in brussels; commercial product, not freely available for any person or organization
  • Large digitisation program in France now, also to make sure status of work
  • Points out that they are happy to help and cooperate, but not if that means accepting a shorter copyright term

2nd Round of Q&A

Marco Giorello from DG MARKT and Jean-Fred from WMFR during discussion round

Q: Wouldn´t cascading copyright be a solution? A: Representative of European Federation of Publishers: Problems: for example, they´d have to make sure that every author knows how to register; too much effort A: Giorello: Interesting model, thinkable in the future; but from legal, practical and political point of view switch to completely different system would be extremely difficult (Bern convention)

  • Reaction from audience: How come that this change is possible in other areas e.g. trademark holders then? That’s discriminating.

Q: To Giorello: There hasn´t been done enough in the past. Complete lack of incentives for any cultural institutions, including broadcasting institutions e.g. Why did you restrict the scope, limit ? For institutions? A: Asks to give Orphan Works directive a chance, everything is result of compromises. First directive that is valid across whole EU, many important aspects here. We are breaking new grounds here. Have to understand situation “out there” better, how Wikipedia, Wikimedia works, Tried to respond to specific aspect of digitizing specific works in cultural institutions.

Q: Wouldn´t it be time and logical to have new Bern Convention? A: Krzysztof Nichczynski: We´re not in charge of a copyright reform. Better to look on present framework, what to change here. A: Giorello: there is room for changing things in existing framework, question of balance, modernizing copyright doesn´t need new Bern Convention. In the end, copyright still is a means to empower creators and authors

  • Freedom of Panorama explanation by Dimi
    • Architectural works are also protected by copyright, major problem: vacation pictures from France on Facebook or Twitter are illegal
    • Remark by Hubertl: Competition Wiki loves Monuments is possible in Austria because of Freedom of panorama
      • Giorello: white paper will be published in second half of June, will be rather broad political document, no big surprises but political signs

Wrapping up

  • EU not the only level where decisions are made
  • Identification of exact status of a work can be extremely difficult
  • There is a consistent push to harmonise copyright
  • There is a need to modernise copyright
  • New distribution models need to be better understood


  • Informal gathering and dinner with net politics activists from Brussels - [Seminar_on_Mass_Digitization_and_Open_Access_to_Cultural_Heritage_(26).JPG Net Politics Beer]
  • Title "Le Parlement est mort, vive le Parlement!"

25th of April - Action, action, action




Jan Engelmann (WMDE), Romaine (WMNL/WMBE*), Laurentius (WMIT), Stevie Benton (WMUK), John Andersson (WMSE), Lilli Iliev (WMDE), Hubertl (WMAT), Luuletaja (WMEE), Hauke (Reporters without Borders/Open Knowledge Foundation, Germany), Jean-Fred (WMFR), Percy (Wikimedia Cuteness Association), [[:|Wendy the Weasel]] (Wikimedia Cuteness Association/Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU), Dimi (FKAGEU, WMAT, WMBE*), Jan W. (Brussels local), Robin (WMF Language Committee)

10:00 Walk-in, coffee

  • croissants and bananas for everyone!
  • Watching the censored building of the European Parliament
    The European Parliament as result of no Freedom of Panorama
  • Voting on a new board member of WCA

Open Policy Network


Should we join the Open Policy Network?

  • good platform to exchange information, build coalitions
    • FKAGEU as a whole should join, but everyone needs to have access to relevant information etc. --> agreed
      • Individual chapters can still join themselves, double structures no problem
        • We´ll need a logo --> weasel in front of parliament!!!
          • To do Jan (WMDE): buy wikimedia.eu

Net neutrality / Wikipedia Zero

  • Remark Jan: net neutrality shouldn´t be put against Wikipedia Zero, discussion shouldn´t be public before having a strong tendency for our position
    • Wait a second, we always share things in public
      • The message "Wikimedia against net neutrality" must be avoided, far reaching consequences
        • Possible way of reaction: asking board candidates questions about net neutrality/Wikipedia Zero; high chance to stir up conversation in a reasonable way
          • Stevie is to begin drafting a question to the WMF board candidates about this, for posting on Meta

10:30 How to best answer consultations and write-up position papers?

  • Collaborative response to European Commission copyright consultation
  • Whats a good future strategy/approach for collaborative statements?
    • Copy and paste remarks on meta is not enough, will be perceived as "one answer"; smarter way is to put some keywords that people can freely elaborate on the issues, formulate few condensed arguments
      • Alternative model proposed by Hauke: offering a single contact person to COM to explain the possible effects on Free Knowledge
        • Remark Hauke, Reporters Without Borders don´t do classical lobbying work, try to raise awareness via relevant multiplicators in journalism, e.g. spreading trustful information, sometimes small effectful demonstrations
  • Important to give Wikimedia a face, having a name and a real contact person
  • How to draft model answers for future? first putting up crucial issues, key elements to discuss, putting it on meta afterwards
    • Keeping discussion off meta for first concerns? using doc to share ideas etc. first? there might be critical concerns when "holding back" discussions. many obervers want to know everything and immediately get sceptical if we don't share our ideas from the start
      • If theres another consultation round after white paper e.g., how can be react quickly; we´d need to have unified position paper ready
        • Quick reactions mostly possible within the scope of Statement of Intent
  • Group agrees on drafting things directly on Meta

11:20 DELFI Case in Estonia

  • News site and web portal with user generated stories, sued even after deleting "critical statements" (Luuletaja knows all the story)
    • Problems for intermediary liablitiy of online portals, danger for Wikimedia platforms, especially discussion papers?
      • Luis Villa might be asked to look into that

11:40 Toolbox 1: WMUK experience of advocacy

WMUK has written a letter to all UK MEPs
  • Goal: "To test the water"
  • Goal: Raising Consciousness for often overlooked areas in Copyright
    • Concrete Examples: FoP (Strassbourg), Government Works (Space Shuttle) ---> pointing to differences in US copyright
  • Set up special email copyright@wikimedia.org.uk
    • Answers from 6 MEPs (five of the largest parties Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Scottish National Party, Green Party), very good response rate and at least two more expected
  • Lessons learned: Worked pretty well, but lack of transparancy - consulted advocacy list, which was good. Didn't share with UK community initially - this was a mistake in terms of transparency but even when shared, gained little useful input (and plenty that was unhelpful)
  • Great initiative, not only for locals, but also for advocacy work in Brussels, shows that "we are many", broad urge to inform politicians
    • Call for other participants to do similar things in their home countries
      • FKAGEU should write a letter like that, too
        • September may be the best moment to do this (printed letter + html mail) TO-DO!
          • Stevie and WMUK happy to support other chapters (and FKAGEU in general) in their efforts to contact MEPs in their home country

12:10 Toolbox 2: Other ideas for events in the next 12 months?

Together with CreativeCommons we might stage an event on OER at the European Parliament in December

Ideas: OER event in the Parliament, Copyright4MEPs brochure, FoP Studies, networking meetings, visiting resident position

  • Suggestion by Creative Commons (Alek Tarkovski, CC PL): organising event on open educational policy together
    • Good option to get visible, two events a year reasonable frequency
      • Awareness for topic open educational resources recently growing in several chapters
        • WMDE&OKF&CreativeCommons just started platform for coalition on Free Education/OER (German)
  • Idea of helping out with copyyright infringement on the MEP web pages
    • Shows MEPs without really offending them, how hard it is to follow copyright rules since due to complexity and absurdity nobody can really follow them
      • Important not to make people feel embarassed
  • Idea: sending leaflet/factsheet about Wikimedia Commons
  • Idea: small flyer/cheatsheet with 10 golden rules about handling problems with MEP´s own WP-articles
    • WMSE suggests lighter version of that; been thinking about asking MEP´s for photo for WP-article, explaining that thats a disadvantage vote-wise with statistic of number of readers etc.
      • This way "softly" raising attention to WP-issues; important to explain certain rules, they mostly don´t own the rights of their pr-pictures
  • How to foster better relations with COM? Any Ideas?
    • Creating a list on Meta with examples of copyfrauds in different EU countries to highlight the problem, as the Commission was unaware of this even being a problem. This can be sent to our contacts in the Commission that's working on this so that we have helped and give them needed facts.
      • Setting up personal meetings with Marco Giorello and other people from DG MARKT
        • Trying to get in touch with relevant staff
          • Setting up discussion rounds/events with recently important issues, important to create controversial rounds. At the natioanl European Information Offices in different EU countries. They are likely to be happy to help organize EU releated events.
            • "Playing the local card", asking locals experts to get in touch with EU-level decisionmakers
  • Learning about succesfull campaigning/lobbying concepts from other NGOs that we could adapt
    • Positive campaigning, creating an agenda, learn how to put it in public attention, e.g. Greenpeace has great experience in this
      • Too little exchange of experiences, using resources; we could offer experience in crowd-related initiatives, net-issues, they could give insights in their experiences on how to create an agenda
  • Idea: more cooperations with partly like minded "offline-institutions" like museums, universities, libraries

Advocacy-traineeship and Wikimania

  • EDRi put extra desk in their office to invite activists from other cities to work with them for certain amount of time, to give opportunity to learn and share experiences and spread it back.
    • Would that work for our advocacy group in Brussels, too? as kind of special traineeship
      • Idea behind that: capacity buliding; but: extra work in the beginning, person has to sleep somewhere, might have an office job somewhere, only suitable for few people
        • Perhaps ask for interested applicants on social media. There are existing and active Facebook and LinedIn groups for EP and EC trainees where the question could be posted. Many of them stay after their original internship for a few weeks/months.
          • Might be reasonable for planning/organising phasis before campaign e.g.
  • Wikimania 2014: Three-Tier-Approach
  1. Update from Brussels
  2. Panel Discussion
  3. The Weasel Whiteboard on Wheels for gathering Ideas)

How to succeed with the FoP studies?


13:30 lunch break



EU Policy on Meta


Call for Ideas: How could we possibly redesign https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/EU_Policy

  • gaining attention no priority, now more important to have well structured, easy to understand platform
  • reducing three key issues (freedom of panorama, pd gov, orphan works) and group to one point: crucial policy aims e.g.

structure of landing page:

  • "general information", "upcoming events", "Contact/Team", renaming "monitor" with "report"

How to motivate more people to engage in advocacy work?

14:30 Future of the FKAGEU - organisation and funding

  • Last year we made a start, gathering was about building unified understanding of aims, structure of working group, responsibilities etc.
    • Apparently, advocacy work is not a one man show, capacities should be build around the group
  • As freelancer, theres a tendence that amount of work that can be done is growing, no real limit (receptions, meetings, discussion rounds related to our topics can be visited every evening)
    • There should be certain work packages defined that are limited and that can be delegated to more people
      • Office based in Brussels would be next step, more attention, place to meet people etc., now place is found, shared office, also able to be used by staff of like minded organisations
        • Costs of coworking space be covered by WMDE at first
  • Even more important then financial support will be commitment of advocacy group members
    • More engaged people will be needed who advertise the work, spread information, support, invest time and thought
      • Growing amount of activities, events, discussion etc. will have to be shouldered by more people, probably also another employee based in Brussels
  • Crucial question: what do we really need to keep work going, improve and have a growing impact?
    • More money could be invested in research and communication means (outreach) in the future

EU Council and Information material

  • We lack an alert system
    • Need "observers" for national affairs in order to report back to BXL

16:00 Conclusion

  • *squeak, squeak* (Wendy)

17:07 "Dimi on Europe" Tour

  • Dimi should make a European Tour to bring in new chapters and spread the message about lobbyng.
    • John would participate and they talked about a WikiBus.
      • Idea to apply for European Union funding to create a Wikimedia Chapters exchange programme (WikiErasmus).