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Latest comment: 2 years ago by FPutz (WMF) in topic Licensing of Medium

Little attribution mistake[edit]

@slaporte, in the section Intermediary Liability the lead image credit points at File:Wikimedia Foundation Servers-8055 23.jpg but it should really point at File:Wikimedia Foundation Servers-8055 04.jpg. Matanya (talk) 18:29, 2 September 2015 (UTC)Reply

Good catch. I've updated the section on Intermediary Liability with the correct image link. Thank you! Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 18:40, 2 September 2015 (UTC)Reply
At your service. Matanya (talk) 22:42, 2 September 2015 (UTC)Reply

Remix knowledge[edit]

What does it mean to "remix knowledge"? I ask sincerely, because I do understand remixing content, but considering how knowledge is already a mixture of facts, understandings, and content, how do you effectively remix a mixture? I worry that in a rush to sound "cool", the WMF and the Wikimedia community are losing touch with what knowledge actually is. - Thekohser (talk) 19:35, 2 September 2015 (UTC)Reply

Hi Thekohser, Thanks for this feedback. I don't think we need to go to much into the philosophical details of what knowledge actually is on the public policy portal. But for the purpose of answering your question I would like to point out that content is a part of knowledge. Knowledge is the understanding of facts and the ability to put different data points into context. So when we say "remix knowledge" we describe the ability to re-create knowledge out of existing knowledge, which -- as you point out -- already contains content. We don't use the verb "to remix" because it is cool but because it describes the activity of re-assembling, editing, and adding new components to something that already exists. The term is well established, even mainstream. So we propose to keep this language on our portal, which also seems to be a consensus in the community. Best,--JGerlach (WMF) (talk) 03:16, 28 November 2016 (UTC)Reply

Two things[edit]

First, the about page says get in touch at policy@wikimedia.org, but when I tried, I was got an automatic response saying I couldn't post to that group.

Second, the banner photo on the home page is somewhat lacking in women. Perhaps a different photo would be a better choice.--Brett (talk) 22:22, 2 September 2015 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for testing out the email address. We've fixed the issue and it should work now. And very good point about the banner photo. We did look for gender balanced images for the site generally. But we can look for a better image for the front page when we next update the site. Yana (WMF) (talk) 03:42, 3 September 2015 (UTC)Reply

Using Scratch screenshots[edit]

Scratch is an open source platform for childeren (also for adults) who want to learn programming. I had a discussion with somebody from Wikimedia Commons who told me Scratch screenshots are not allowed on Wikimedia projects. Can somebody help me with this? I already tried to contact MIT, but I didn't got a reaction. Timboliu (talk) 10:42, 3 September 2015 (UTC)Reply

Community action[edit]

What exactly is the volunteer community being asked to do here? I understand that we "can discuss and translate" but what is the result of that discussion? Will the discussion lead to any changes in the policies if the community decides they do not approve? Are we being asked to develop ways in which these policies could be implemented in real-world political terms? Are we being asked to tell each other admiringly of the beauty of the thinking and exposition? Or what? What action might emerge from all that discussion? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 20:59, 4 September 2015 (UTC)Reply

Policy and politics[edit]

There is no doubt that this policy document is political. It is about changing real-world legal and political structures in a way deemed adsvantageous to the aims of the Foundation. Some questions, then, are in order.

Who devised this policy, and by what authority is it promulgated? Was it the result of a community-wide consensus process that I missed out on? Can it be seen in resolutions of the Board of Trustees, linked to the electoral mandates of the members? Is it written by WMF staff? Who created it, and if we dislike it, how do we change it?

How much money is the WMF spending on promoting these policies, and how much does it expect to spend in future? Are donors aware that a proportion of thir money is being spent in this way, and will future fundraising make it clear that some of the donations being solicited will be spent on political activism rather than on keeping the servers running? Who authorised this expenditure?

Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:06, 4 September 2015 (UTC)Reply


There's a lack of sequence in the sentences "Works funded by the public should belong to the public. Works created by governments should therefore always enter the public domain." The first is too vague and as a general principle, oppressive and unworkable: a lot of work is funded from various sources, ublic and private. There is a transition from "funded by the public" to "created by government": these are not the same thing. The plans for building nuclear weapons are created by governments, but do we really want them in the public domain? This sort of over reaching and imprecise argument tends to obscure the real debate about the balance between public and open works. For example, in the UK medical research has been funded to a significant extent by the royalties from patentng earlier medical research. Is that obviously wrong? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 06:30, 5 September 2015 (UTC)Reply

Hi Rogol Domedonfors. Thanks for your feedback. I think it is clear that we are not talking about plans for nuclear weapons here. And a discussion of transparency for confidential materials is probably not expedient for our mission. We believe that publicly funded works, created by government with the purpose of guiding and documenting regulatory activities should be available to the public that has funded the work through taxes. For scientific publications, we support Open Access policies that make research available to everyone. Best,JGerlach (WMF) (talk) 03:25, 28 November 2016 (UTC)Reply

Copyright -- Wikipedia's users[edit]

The sentence "Wikipedia's users are authors, creators and artists who choose to freely share their works with others". This is not correct. The users include the readers who could be anyone in the world, and indeed the aspiration is that they should be. There is no reason to believe that everyone in the world chooses to freely share their works, and indeed it is almost certainly untrue. What we can say is that contributors freely share, and we know this because anyone contribution explicitly does so under an open licence. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 06:35, 5 September 2015 (UTC)Reply

Hi Rogol Domedonfors. We appreciate your input here. Our wording may not have been precise enough. We suggest to add the word "among" to the beginning of that sentence. Best,JGerlach (WMF) (talk) 03:29, 28 November 2016 (UTC)Reply

Copyright law needs to protect those rights[edit]

There is a lack of connection between the two sentences "The internet empowers people to share, remix, and reinterpret works in ways previously not thought possible. Copyright law needs to protect these rights." The first sentence refers to the ability to do certain things but the second refers to "those rights" as if they had previously been mention. This can only make sense if there is an implicit assumption that there is a right to do anything that the internet makes it possible to do, and I doubt that is the WMF position. What this paragraph is trying to express is roughly The internet makes it much easier to produce secondary content and secondary creators should have a right to do that without the primary creator being able to prevent them. We believe that the rights of the primary creators should be abridged correspondingly. It then suggests that the only way to prevent primary creators from inhibiting secondary creation is to terminate all those rights earlier. This is overkill, when what it is being argued for sounds more like some form of compulsory licensing for secondary creation.

Shortening the term of copyright affects the interests of primary creators, who have a reasonable expectation to continue to benefit from the results of their creative work. Writers, artists and musicians have to live, and to do so they need a system of rights and rewards that makes it possible for them to do so. Disrupting that creates the danger that there will be less primary and hence less secondary content in the future. Is that what we want? Is some form of anti-copyright agenda being inserted here under the guise of secondary licensing? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 08:22, 5 September 2015 (UTC)Reply


The WMF argues for two principles, User Notifcation and Transparency, which it is not willing to mandate for checkusers dealings with content contributors. Why is that? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 08:26, 5 September 2015 (UTC)Reply

Free/Libre Open Source Software[edit]

First of all: Congrats again for bringing this site into being! I have been spreading the word about this site a bit and people seem to be quite happy that Wikimedia finally a) is standing upright and openly for these political causes (this is more the outside view) and b) we – as Wikimedians – now have a framework that we can use as an orientation to shape our own positions. We look forward to using this site as an orientation for strengthening WMDE's political and legal work aimed at promoting free knowledge. Thanks for your great work!

From our perspective, though, one essential issue is missing: We find Free/Libre Open Source Software is an important pillar of Free Knowledge and a cornerstone of the open web. MediaWiki, the software that powers Wikipedia is Free Software, as are all other vital parts of the Wikiverse technical infrastructure. DRM (Digital Rights Management) and closed proprietary software standards are posing a threat to Free Knowledge that comes in the form of software – interoperability and exchange are severely limited, access to data and cultural heritage are in danger. We would like to encourage you to include this into a future version of the statements, for example under the area of Access. Copyright might be a good fit, too, but it is already kind of packed with so many different issues. Any thoughts? --Nicole Ebber (WMDE) (talk) 10:45, 10 September 2015 (UTC)Reply

Hi Nicole Ebber (WMDE), thanks for the feedback! We've posted a few draft updates to the text of the site here, including a statement on FLOSS based on your suggestion. My thought is that DRM is an important issue for digital civil liberties generally, it's not currently one of Wikimedia's biggest challenges for access to knowledge. I'm interested to hear about any significant examples you can think of where Wikimedians take a stance opposing DRM. Best, Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 17:26, 22 November 2016 (UTC)Reply

Another thing about blog photos[edit]

Why are there hardly any Black people (male or female) in the banner photo or other photos on the home page? Jointed.owl (talk) 17:53, 30 September 2015 (UTC)Reply


  1. https://policy.wikimedia.org/policy-landing/access/ Par 2 should read: Today, more than 60% of the world - Thanks; LeoRomero (talk) 08:37, 28 November 2015 (UTC)Reply
  2. (in case we find more)

Position and emphasis of Screening Requirements (Censorship vs Intermediary Liability)[edit]

It strikes me as slightly odd that the topic of the EU Commission's push towards mandatory screening mechanisms for all UGC is dealt with under the Intermediary Liability heading instead of under Censorship. While it is of course something that might eventually lead to liability situations, which is of course the closest way the WMF itself might be affected in select cases, the abuse potential of those mandatory mechanisms arguably lies mainly in wide-spread censorship. I suggest to choose the latter point as the main argument, as it will most probably resonate better than the "selfish" liability one, especially with other advocacy groups who usually do not run large-scale UGC platforms and thus relate less to that argument. John Weitzmann (WMDE) (talk) 21:53, 12 November 2016 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for your input. This is a fair point and we have added a sentence reflecting this part of the argument to the section on censorship. Curious to hear what others think. --JGerlach (WMF) (talk) 23:15, 22 November 2016 (UTC)Reply


Please leave your feedback on the suggested update below.

No objections :) --Theredmonkey (talk) 16:40, 14 November 2016 (UTC)Reply

Twitter icon for bullet points[edit]

Hi. Pages such as <https://policy.wikimedia.org/policy-landing/access/> are using the Twitter bird icon for bullet points. Why? This seems weird and wrong. --MZMcBride (talk) 16:06, 19 January 2017 (UTC)Reply

Who's speaking in these pages?[edit]

I've always viewed <https://policy.wikimedia.org> as basically the blog of a few members of some version of the Wikimedia Foundation's legal team. However, I never really felt the veneer of authority and legitimacy was ever really appropriate. It may be time to finally address this head-on. There's a Wikimedia community, there are many iterations of Wikimedia Foundation Inc. staff, there's the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees and its iterations, and so on. There's also "Wikimedia Public Policy" as a group, maybe, but this also remains unclear. If this is a blog of some group of Wikimedia Foundation lawyers, why not label it as such? Why is there no about page that explains who the authors are and provide contact information? Why is there no link to history or attribution for any of the posts? I did appreciate that there are some links to Meta-Wiki and this talk page.

I'm not really comfortable with the idea of people legitimizing and even showcasing acts of stupidity like the SOPA blackout. It's neither the role nor duty of Wikimedia to be engaging in stunt actions of censorship to make a point regarding regionalized political disputes. (I'm reminded of this as I see similar discussions of shutting down galleries and museums in protest of an incoming U.S. president.) --MZMcBride (talk) 16:22, 19 January 2017 (UTC)Reply

Good point, I think a section of blog.wikimedia.org (or subdomain if needed by the graphics) would be more appropriate. Bonus points for using a real CMS rather than a random collage of HTML. Nemo 16:41, 19 January 2017 (UTC)Reply

Licensing of Medium[edit]

Hi, can I get a CC-BY-SA 3.0 licensing confirmation for this article on Medium? I'd love to republish it in The Signpost. Pinging @FPutz (WMF) and @JGerlach (WMF). EpicPupper (talk) 05:50, 29 May 2022 (UTC)Reply

Glad to hear you liked the article. Yes you can re-share it, thanks for asking and flagging. Please know we’re now looking for the best way to include a license on Medium. Cheers! FPutz (WMF) (talk) 12:46, 31 May 2022 (UTC)Reply