Grants:TPS/Oop/Big Fat Brussels Meeting Episode 3/Report

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Event name[edit]

Big Fat Brussels Meeting Episode 3.

Participant connections[edit]

The complete list of participants can be found here. Altogether there were people from at least 10 European countries. Most of them I also contacted personally.


1. We shared our experiences and made plans to run coordinated action on the European level as well as in individual countries, to further our cause in protecting and developing the legal environment necessary for free culture in general and Wikipedia in particular. A lot of information we managed to gather will be (and has already been) useful for our campaign for Freedom of Panorama in Estonia (and Latvia, if our cooperation proceeds as planned).

2. Concerning my own proposal for mapping the copyright information concerning FoP across Europe, according to general consensus it was deemed to be interesting and perhaps even original. That's what I wanted to know: what people would think about it.

On general results:

WMEE report on the FoP campaign in Estonia for 2015 also provides a little context from the Estonian perspective: Wikimedia chapters/Reports/Wikimedia Eesti/FoP campaign report 2015.


  • Accommodation: 102 €
  • Transport: 427.82 €, incl.
    • bus from Tartu to Riga: 17 €
    • bus inside Riga: 4 €
    • flight from Riga to Brussels: 375.97/2=187.98 €
    • bus inside Brussels: 12/2=6 €
    • flight from Brussels to Copehagen to Tallinn: 388.24/2=194.12 €
    • metro in Copenhagen: 36 DKK=4.83 €
    • taxi in Tallinn: 3.89 €
    • bus from Tallinn to Tartu: 10 €
  • Meals: 237.63 €

Rate of DKK vs EUR given according to Google, it may or may not reflect any non-virtual form of reality.

Amount left over[edit]

  • Surprisingly, the cost of accommodation was even smaller than expected, 102 € vs prognostic 150 €.
  • Unsurprisingly, transport prices rose even more quickly than I suspected, so 427.82 € vs prognostic 281 € ate up all that was left from the previous item.
  • Thus, the total was 527.82 vs prognostic 431 €, leaving me in the red by 96.82 €.
  • On the account of meals, the costs were higher than I expected (surprisingly again) but lower than the limit: 237.63 € (unofficial, has to be rechecked) against 393 €. This amount, however, I did not receive beforehand, so the difference of 155.37 € is basically virtual.
  • Nevertheless, if one were to do a little magic, one might say that as I have been so frugal (ahem - there are too many chocolate cakes in Belgium) and there is much more left to the food limit than has been overspent in transport (really, I had virtually no control over the prices of plane tickets), one might, if thus inclined, decide to add both sums up and consider the actual costs altogether, not by item. Then again, one might not. Who knows the secret ways of gods and grant committees? I certainly do not.

Anything else[edit]

My little rant to promote my proposal was repeated several times, yet mostly in oral form, so I wouldn't be able to link to it. Doesn't matter much now anyway. But we shall continue with our local FoP project and the information and contacts we gained have been really, really useful. So, meh.

Please also feel free to share any other feedback, information, or thoughts with us in this optional section. Okay, since you asked for any other thoughts...

I have been wondering for quite some time: if one has to get an approval of the community for something, the who should actually be the one whose approval should be sought? Would it be those who never say anything because they don't care, those who are always against anything new, or those who think everyone else does a lousier job than they do? In the case of an amorphous entity as a community, which is pretty much like a cloud or a fog, how could one know if it approves anything or not? What omens should we study to know the will of a vehemently silent majority? Or does it even matter? And if one takes part in the pessimistic view of human nature, admitting that in any large body of people the only ones guaranteed to have an influential majority are fools, doesn't it mean that while fooling the fools to approve anything, one also fools oneself in the dumb belief there is a method in one's madness?
On unrelated matters: just a couple of months ago, I held a presentation about ethics and social responsibility in Wikipedia in Russia. I had no idea then that some time before that, some people started a project called "Social responsibility" on Russian Wikipedia. Yet while I was talking about the need to write about the themes that are most needed in a certain language/culture/information area, including themes and viewpoints that are not popular in the mainstream, like historical events that certain cultures try hard to forget about, the Russian project is based on the premise of interpreting social responsibility as the need to comply with the official viewpoint and to limit the freedom of speech on behalf of protecting children to such extent that the opponents of the projects would replace the words "on behalf" with "under the pretense". These are two quite opposite interpretations of the same term: one of them is based on autonomy and empowering the readers by giving them as much information as possible to support their freedom of making informed decisions, whilst the other is based on a paternalistic stance, believing in the need to protect readers from unnecessary and possibly harmful information, keeping the control of the flow of information - and hence, in an information-based society, the power - firmly in the hands of the editors who should also side with the paternalistic governance of the state. That's all very swell and fun but what I really wonder is, whether there are any other strange examples of (re)interpreting the concept of social responsibility across Wikimedia projects in different languages and communities? Unfortunately, I'm not able to browse or search the projects in, say, Chinese, Hindi, or Swahili. But if someone would give some hints to interesting material, perhaps I could write an analytical paper about it into some philosophical magazine. --Oop (talk) 19:11, 3 December 2015 (UTC)