Talk:Trademark policy

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

What's new?[edit]

For easy overview of the changes proposed in the new draft, we have prepared a table comparing the new draft to the current trademark policy (2009 policy). Please note that this table doesn't necessarily reflect our current practice, which is sometimes more liberal that the language of the 2009 policy to facilitate community uses of the trademarks. But we need to update the language of the 2009 policy to match our practice and better reflect community values. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 19:30, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Discussion about section 1 (What does this policy apply to?)[edit]

  • 1.4.2 refers to Affiliate organizations as 'movement organizations'. Could I suggest to stick with existing terminology: 'movement affiliates'? Effeietsanders (talk) 16:47, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
    • We greatly appreciate your suggestion and desire to keep terminology consistent. The term “movement organizations” is used because it describes all community member initiated entities within the Wikimedia movement. The Wikimedia movement also recognizes user groups and thematic organizations, in addition to geographically-linked chapters to allow community members to contribute to the movement in different ways. The term "affiliates” within Wikimedia, however, is overbroad in that it also includes organizations that actively support the Wikimedia movement’s work, but are not wholly dedicated to the Wikimedia movement. MBrar (WMF) (talk) 19:59, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
      So you're basically saying that this doesn't apply to Movement Partners, the only group of affiliates that isn't literally mentioned in this sum. I'm unclear though which part of 1.4.2 would be incorrect for movement partners. They are also independent, they are also entering into an agreement, they also get certain trademark usage (but at a lower level I expect - but I assume they will be allowed to mention they are a movement partner with a logo next to it :) ), and they could (I assume) also request further permissions? I see nothing here that collides with the movement partners and would stop us from using the term affiliates already in use. The only reason not to include them I can think of, is that we still haven't recognized any. Effeietsanders (talk) 21:51, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
The fact that we don’t yet have any real movement partners complicates matters, but basically their trademark permission will depend on what they want to do. If they want to hold community-focused events, do outreach work for the Wikimedia projects, or otherwise write about the projects, they can do it under Section 3 of the Trademark Policy. They can also get a Wikilicense for GLAM initiatives and photo contests. If they want to do other things, they will have to request a license under Section 4. In that sense, they are more akin to other organizations and individuals in Section 1.4.3. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 20:28, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
  • 1.4.2 specifies a movement affiliate doesn't have to use the WMF trademarks. I'm not 100% sure this is true for all chapters currently (they have to call themselves Wikimedia XYZ iirc). Just checking. Effeietsanders (talk) 16:47, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
    • Movement organizations are actually not required to use the “Wikimedia” wordmark within their title. Chapters are free to use their own chapter-specific logos in lieu of Wikimedia marks if they wish. However, a majority of chapters do use “Wikimedia” in their title so I understand why you may have thought it was a requirement :) MBrar (WMF) (talk) 21:07, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
      • Hello. I'm happy to confirm that Effeietsanders is right, offering WMIT as example. Check your papers and contracts better. ;-) --Nemo 21:15, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
        Yup, it used to be in the Chapters Agreement - I'm just unsure if they offered new agreements to all affiliates or not, and what the current version says. Anyway, it's not a huge issue of course, it is just an inaccuracy in this policy :) Effeietsanders (talk) 21:51, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
We don’t include this provision in our latest agreements with movement organizations and the new trademark policy will accurately reflect that practice. But we don’t plan to update current agreements that already include that provision, unless a chapter wants to update its agreement. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 22:53, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Discussion about section 2 (How to use the Wikimedia marks)[edit]

  • I find the language of 2.1 a bit confusing. The second paragraph starts with an absolute rule "You may only use Wikimedia wordmarks in their full form and properly capitalized..". But in the next sentence already, an exception is made, and the rest of the text jumps from permissible uses on the W sites to non permissible uses outside the W sites. imho, the section would be easier to read if it were rephrased, such as:

"Outside the Wikimedia sites, you may only use Wikimedia wordmarks in their full form and properly capitalized (eg "Wikibooks"). you may not abbreviate them or combine them with other words (eg not "Wiki" or "MyWikibooks"). Likewise, the logos should not be modified without separate permission from the Wikimedia Foundation. We need to make sure that our wordmarks and logos remain unique and distinctive from other marks.

That said, on the Wikimedia sites themselves, you can use the marks in any form. You may create remixes of the wordmarks and logos, abbreviate them or add to them." User:Anthoniag

Hi Anthoniag, That’s a great point. I’ve rephrased Section 2.1. based on your suggestion. Thanks for your input! YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 23:36, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
  • I think 2.4 "What do you mean by “outside the Wikimedia sites”?" should specifically mention Wikimedia Labs projects as being inside or outside "the sites". Mutante (talk) 16:07, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
    • Thank you for your suggestion! Wikimedia Labs is in fact within the Wikimedia sites and individuals may use the trademarks on these sites according to the policy, as long as they also follow the Wikimedia Labs’s rules. We will add this to the FAQ to make sure it is clear. MBrar (WMF) (talk) 20:33, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
  • It is unclear to me from this section whether someone *must* follow the guidelines. Right now, it reads as a strong advice, but not a rule. Effeietsanders (talk) 16:49, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
    • Users must follow the guidelines, but not by virtue of the trademark policy. The Visual Identity Guidelines are a separate set of rules from the trademark policy that ensure the Wikimedia marks maintain their beautiful form when they are reused :) MBrar (WMF) (talk) 20:35, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
      I know lots of examples where the guidelines were ignored (i.e. with backgrounds), and which resulted in nice designs overall. My point is that guidelines suggests that they are no firm rules, and the please follow enforces that feeling. So if you want to make it obligatory in this context, you may want to choose a bit stronger wordings. Personally I'm all fine with no obligations but rather strong recommendations here (as is suggested with the current wording) - there are plenty of exceptions imaginable. Effeietsanders (talk) 21:42, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
      @Effeietsanders: Yes, the wording under the Trademark Policy is intentional. Please note, if you use the marks pursuant to a license (such as a Wikilicense or Chapter Agreement), the visual identity guidelines are required. Following the visual identity guidelines is always encouraged, to ensure that our identity is consistent and recognizable. Thanks, Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 22:17, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Discussion about section 3 (When you may use the Wikimedia marks without asking us)[edit]

  • Hi all, as I anticipated, the requirements for using the Community Logo in this section are just a preliminary suggestion. They are based on the voting rights requirements and are adjusted to include members of chapters, user groups, and thematic organizations. But please feel free to suggest revisions or completely different requirements. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 19:45, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
  • For Section 3.4, is it really necessary to add most of the "or"s? People working for Wikimedia and developers probably have over 300 edit total, with at least 20 in the last year, so is it really necessary to add exceptions for them? Buffbills7701 (talk) 00:24, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
  • In 3.4, shouldn't "been blocked" be changed to "are currently blocked"? I've been blocked on En.WP over a misunderstanding, and on Wikidata by myself to enforce a wikibreak... Can't say I'm particularly proud of either moment, but I'd think that shouldn't be grounds to prohibit me from using the community mark. I assume this wording is inadvertant? — PinkAmpers&(Je vous invite à me parler) 00:39, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
    • Hi PinkAmpersand, you're right. It should say "be." I'll change that. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 00:48, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
      • Thanks, Ms. Welinder. Wonderful proposal from what I've read so far, by the way. — PinkAmpers&(Je vous invite à me parler) 00:54, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
        • Thank you! I really appreciate you taking the time to review and comment on the draft. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 15:15, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
  • I think these rules are ridiculously arbitrary. There are plenty of users who are blocked on one wiki who are constructive on another, and using editcount only helps if you care about quantity instead of quality. PiRSquared17 (talk) 01:11, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
    • @PiRSquared17:: It is important to have objective, predictable requirements, because they allow potential trademark licensees (and the people running the system as well) to know easily which category they fall into. If there are subjective criteria ("a lot of edits" or "really productive in some places despite being banned others") then the system quickly breaks down - they have to ask for a determination every time (was it enough edits? what is productive enough to overcome being banned elsewhere?). That just doesn't scale.
This requirement does make it pretty hard to avoid a certain amount of arbitrariness. That's unfortunate but definitely the best option for rules like these. If you have suggestions for better objective rules, that can be easily and consistently applied, we're all ears. -LVilla (WMF) (talk) 01:24, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Also, worth noting that (as it says at the bottom of the section) these are based on the Foundation voting criteria. Maybe we should make that stronger/more clear? -LVilla (WMF) (talk) 01:31, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Playing devil's advocate - and speaking as an advisor to the election committee - I would say that the goals there are different. :) Those criteria are objectively pretty good (not great, not terrible) for deciding who should vote in an election. The suffrage requirements don't necessarily make good trademark rules. Or maybe they do. I don't have a strong opinion. But I want to point out that they're made for a different purpose. Philippe (WMF) (talk) 04:33, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Definitely not identical, by any stretch, so we're open to discussion. But it might be useful to explain that there are some parallels between the two: we're trying to identify people who are committed to the movement and therefore can be trusted to make solid judgments about an important matter. The parallel is certainly not perfect (maybe voting should be broader? narrower?), so we're happy to discuss any adjustments. But that's the intuition we were starting from, I think. -LVilla (WMF) (talk) 20:55, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
I guess these rules make sense, but I'm wondering whether "editors" includes anonymous users. Some of them are very constructive community members (although it does seem unlikely that they would need to use the logos). Of course, there's no way to know whether edits by an IP were made by the same person, so it might make sense to exclude them. I'm not sure. PiRSquared17 (talk) 19:50, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
"Editors" probably can't include anonymous users - we're trying to establish (as I said above) a certain level of experience and familiarity with community values and norms. That said, if an anonymous user wants to use the mark, and has a good reason, they can always (under the draft policy) contact us and try to get a standard license. We just can't/shouldn't give them a license intended for trusted, known people. -LVilla (WMF) (talk) 20:55, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
If you wish to exclude anons, you cannot use 'editor' as the legalese-terminology. That is abuse of English, and besides, bad for wikipedia. Editor means one thing only: somebody who, at some point in their lives, clicked edit, changed something, and clicked save. Nothing more -- nothing less. If you want to restrict trademark-policy to "registered username-holders with more than 20 mainspace edits which were not yet reverted and who have never been blocked even by mistake on any wiki" then you have to make up your own terminology. I suggest "brahmin-caste" is close to what you're after. p.s. You in fact cannot *give* somebody a license, you are correct, for what is their self-evident inherent natural right. Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)#Call_for_comments_on_draft_trademark_policy. Hope this helps. I want the mark; I have good reason; I am, and will remain, an anon. I should require no 'license' from WMF. Please check your premises. 14:29, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
I apologize for being imprecise in the discussion by using only "editors". In the license itself, we say specifically "registered editors", for the reasons I discussed above. Hopefully that avoids confusion.
For things which people have by right, we don't ask for or require a license: that is why we have a lot of explanation of fair use, so that people can understand (and use!) their rights. However, there are other things which are not a right, and for those things, we must require a license in order to avoid losing our right to police the mark. This is explained in more detail in the "Purpose" section of the document. Please let us know if you have more questions after reading that.-LVilla (WMF) (talk) 18:34, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
[1] PiRSquared17 (talk) 15:55, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, but I still don't get this. And member of our community should be able to use File:Wikimedia_Community_Logo.svg, whether they are registered or not. I understand why you wouldn't want them to advertise events with it, but this is taking it too far. The community logo used to be free... PiRSquared17 (talk) 21:54, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Hi PiRSquared17! We really appreciate your input on this. I just wanted to emphasize again that the standards in this provision are meant to be based on community input and don’t need to be limited to the voting requirements. We are completely open to alternative standards that the community considers more appropriate for this use. Let’s continue brainstorming about how we can make this work. :) YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 23:08, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
How about just letting anyone use it (non-commercially)? I don't see the problem. PiRSquared17 (talk) 16:35, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Our intent with the new trademark policy is to be as inclusive and permissive as possible without jeopardizing our ability to enforce the Wikimedia trademarks against bad actors who want to damage the Wikimedia movement. If we allowed anyone to use the marks non-commercially, we wouldn’t be able to do anything against outsiders who misrepresent themselves as community members and tarnish the reputation of the projects. It could be as simple as someone using the marks in a way inconsistent with community values, or it could be someone using them for phishing or other kinds of fraud. AVoinigescu (WMF) (talk) 21:43, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
This argument has been rebutted several times. Using an argument which has been refuted elsewhere is a bit disingenuous. - Amgine/meta wikt wnews blog wmf-blog goog news 21:52, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Keep your faith, sir (@PiRSquared17); the logo is not registered as a trademark in the European Union, so all is not lost yet. odder (talk) 22:27, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Definition of a community member[edit]

I have a problem with the definition of a community member, especially when it comes to Wikimedia editors. The definition is, and I quote:

Wikimedia community members may use the Wikimedia Community logo to show that they are a member of the Wikimedia movement if:

They are Wikimedia editors and:

  • Made at least 20 edits on the Wikimedia sites during the year prior to using the logo;
  • Made a total of 300 edits across the Wikimedia sites; and
  • Not be blocked on more than one project.

While I understand the necessity of a number of edits, the "not blocked on more than one project" part is problematic to me.

Imagine X. X is an admin on de.wp, en.wp and commons. He is appreciated by all the others contributors, who all think highly of his work chasing copyvios. He has 200 000+ contribs across the Wikimedia sites, and is an old member of the community. One day, X deletes an image uploaded by Y, because it is a copyvio. Y takes it personnally, insults X on commons and is blocked for personnal attacks.

But Y is admin on two small wikis, say fur.wp and lme.wp and blocks X on those two projects.

Now what ? X is no longer a member of the community according to the rules. He cannot use the logos or the names (oh, and he cannot vote).

Is this a good thing ? I don't think so. Please work on those definitions (and on the voting part). Pleclown (talk) 20:25, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Hi Pleclown, I agree that we don't want to stop X from using the logo in a situation like this. I would just want to flag that he wouldn't be completely precluded from using it. He would just need to send in a request under Section 4 of the Trademark Policy instead.
Having said that, we could change that portion of the standard in Section 3.4. We could, for example, say that the editor must not be blocked by more than one (or two) other users. I think that may address your concern.
As Philippe noted above, the voting requirement is really intended for a very different purpose, so we may not want to discuss those two standards together. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 22:54, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Probably not an important point, but "editor" is Wikipedia-centric terminology. The TOU says "editor, author, or contributor" to include projects (like Commons) where relatively little editing is done. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 01:01, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Hi Whatamidoing. We changed the usage of "editor" to "contributor" where appropriate because we think "contributor" encompasses what we think of as "editors", "authors", and "contributors". Thanks for the suggestion! Mpaulson (WMF) (talk) 22:37, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
The "not be blocked on more than one project" part is totally ridiculous. It should be removed entirely in my opinion, because I don't see how it serves any useful purpose. Permission to use trademarks should not depend on the possibly arbitrary decisions of random community members who happen to have been elected as administrators somewhere on the several hundred Wikimedia projects. What I could reasonably support is to count, in the other requirements, only edits on projects where the person isn't currently blocked. darkweasel94 (talk) 09:29, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
In light of your feedback and others', we have substituted a version of the above definition into the draft policy while deleting the no-blocking requirement. Thanks. Geoffbrigham (talk) 23:14, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
  • The definition of a community member should be under perpetual regulation and management of the Wikimedia community. I am not sure how the community should define itself but there is a community, its members recognize each other, and while its membership is inclusive, there are excluded entities. I am a stakeholder in this discussion but at this time I have nothing significant to contribute to it. Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:14, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

I think this discussion is now somewhat moot given that we are recommending to the board that we withdraw protection and registration of the community logo. I will ask Anna to archive this thread. Take care, Geoffbrigham (talk) 19:23, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

The text under discussion was removed with the recent changes to Section 3.4. If you have feedback on the new language in the policy, please comment under Revised Section 3.4. --Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 19:48, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. --Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 19:48, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Definition of Wikipedia community member - WMF staff not included[edit]

I do not like that this policy equates anyone who is employed by the Wikimedia Foundation as a member of the Wikimedia community. I assert that staff may be community advocates, but may not be community members, and that other institutions have a history of delineating a distinction between these groups. I foresee problems for the Wikimedia community if these two groups are equated and do not want these groups equated either here or in other policies. If the purpose of the policy is to grant the right to use marks to all these groups, then I support that, but I oppose that this granting of rights be done on the basis of all of these groups being members of the "Wikimedia community" and getting these privileges so that they can represent the community. I do not want anyone who is not a member of the Wikimedia community to represent themselves as a member of the community.

This policy makes a definition of who is a Wikimedia community member. It currently says,

Wikimedia community members may use the Wikimedia Community logo to show that they are a member of the Wikimedia movement if:

They are Wikimedia editors and:

  • Made at least 20 edits on the Wikimedia sites during the year prior to using the logo;
  • Made a total of 300 edits across the Wikimedia sites; and
  • Not be blocked on more than one project.


  • They are Wikimedia developers and:
    • Are Wikimedia server administrators with shell access; or
    • Have commit access and have made at least one merged commit in git during the year prior to using the logo.


  • They are Wikimedia Foundation staff and contractors that have been employed by the Foundation during the year prior to using the logo.


  • They are current and former members of the Board of Trustees or the Advisory Board.


  • They are members of a Wikimedia chapter, user group, or thematic organization that have been members during the year prior to using the logo.

These requirements are based on the Wikimedia voting rights.

The inclusion criteria for being a community member based on editorship has some precedent elsewhere and it seems reasonable. I support that definition.

All other inclusion criteria in this list are dubious. I would like to see some exclusion criteria here, perhaps which state that "Any person employed by the Wikimedia Foundation is a community advocate and not a community member, and gets privileges for that position but not community member privileges." WMF staff should be able to use some of the marks, but this right should be granted in some other channel and not tagged on to community privileges.

By the precedent of other organizations, staff of the organization are not members of the community. I advocate against employees of the Wikimedia Foundation being named as members of the Wikimedia community. Persons paid by the Wikimedia Foundation have a conflict of interest in acting on behalf of the Wikimedia Community. It is not to be presumed that the best interests of the WMF are the same as the best interest interests of the Wikimedia community. The Wikimedia community need only advance the Wikimedia movement, but all people at the WMF can only advance the Wikimedia movement so long as it preserves and strengthens the position of the WMF. The WMF would be disinclined to do anything to empower the community if it compromises the WMF's own position, and likewise, employees of the WMF will always have a conflict of interest in granting the Wikimedia community anything which does not empower their own employment. This has nothing to do with anyone's character or moral virtues; this is just the nature of conflict of interest. I am not targeting the WMF specifically on this; I am following the precedent of - for example - the pharmaceutical research industry which employs people called "patient advocates" or "research participant advocates". These advocates are employed to act on behalf of people who consume medical products but they are not the same as the community they serve. There are organizations which could offer consulting on the implications of this and many books on medical ethics in relationships between doctors and patients, and if anyone has any doubts about the distinction between the staff of an advocacy organization and the community it serves then those precedents could be checked. I think the medical analogy is suitable, but if not, public relations, law, lobbying, and other fields could be used as models for defining the role that WMF employees have as compared to the Wikimedia community.

Persons who are employed by the WMF are community advocates doing paid advocacy for the WMF and they are not community members. The Wikimedia movement should not be treated as something new and strange which allows uncommon community integration between people paid by the organization and those who are not. Advocates at the Wikimedia Foundation are in a similar position to advocates at any other organization and there is a line between them and the community. I am saying this because I want to keep the public space in Wikimedia projects truly public and for everyone and because mixing paid advocates with community affairs tends to encroach upon the community's space. Blue Rasberry (talk) 12:39, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

I hear the good intent you are bringing to this idea, Blueraspberry, and I recognize that the "staff vs community" distinction can be a bigger and more contentious discussion than we should probably go into here, but I can't help but toss in my 2 cents in on this thought (note: this is not official WMF perspective here, this is just me personally thinking out loud): I'm not sure that in Wikimedia's case the lines can be as clearly drawn between the 2 groups as you are suggesting, and I worry that making a blanket distinction to say that staff are definitely not community could ultimately cause more friction or confusion rather than less. What, for example, should we do in this model with long-time community members when WMF hires them? Are they considered ousted from the community at large, the moment they get hired to work in any given area? We have a number of staffers who continue to be involved in various volunteer efforts that are outside of their job description, after joining WMF. Should a WMF engineer no longer be able to use a community mark if they volunteer to organize a local GLAM event? Or, from the reverse use-case, I didn't come to WMF from the community originally, but I occasionally edit or volunteer my time on issues of interest to me; when I host a WikiWomen's party on my volunteer time (which is outside of my job, it's a personal interest to get more women editing Wikipedia), will I be automatically excluded from using the mark because I am also paid to make grants at WMF? Siko (WMF) (talk) 19:00, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
WMF metrics meeting 2013-09-05 - editor survey WMF satisfaction.pdf
I'd like to point out that in contrast to the above assertion that "Any person employed by the Wikimedia Foundation is ... not a community member", the overwhelming majority of active editors (who hold an opinion about this question) think that WMF staff are part of the community, at least per the responses given in the last editor survey.
Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 23:17, 19 November 2013 (UTC) (personally not affected by this discussion - currently satisfying the criteria both as WMF employee and as volunteer editor)
I don't know that you (and I) would be unaffected. It sounds like Blueraspberry wants us to be considered non-community regardless of whether we satisfy the edit requirements. Anomie (talk) 14:06, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
I do not have strong feelings on this point, but one thing to consider is there is an inherent conflict of interest between being a staff member (and thus, in effect, working for the community) and being solely a member of the community. This section of the policy effectively gives the WMF the power to determine who is a community member, and who is not; which raises the possibile accusation that a staff member's use of marks is approved when another person's is not based on their adjudicated community membership. - Amgine/meta wikt wnews blog wmf-blog goog news 17:34, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
I'll also note that "they're community members" is a statement with varying intents and meanings depending on the person and context. There are historical reasons for the election requirements, which may be still correct or (as several said in the last election) not. There are some who say "community member" as opposed to "evil aliens invading us" (which they definitely are not IMHO). There are some who say "community member" as opposed to "a separate legislative body with veto power" (I'm quoting a recent village pump discussion on some Wikipedia from my memory).
So, not only pretty graphs from generic surveys are of little help in this discussion, but it's surely not useful to have a discussion about the general definition of "community member" as part of a trademark policy discussion. If we want to give some "privileges" to some persons as they are part of the Wikimedia movement, let's focus on that rather than on philosophical discussions about overly broad definitions. For instance, one might just say "editors" and polish this requirement a bit, done. Or invent some other requirement. But don't engage in "defining the community". --Nemo 23:11, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
I like what User:Nemo says about not defining the community and I like what Siko says about this being "a bigger and more contentious discussion than we should probably go into here". Yes, Siko, I am saying that long-term community members when hired by the WMF lose community status immediately, following precedents in the fields of medicine, law, lobbying, advertising, and other fields. Being hired by the WMF immediately creates a conflict of interest such that persons receiving money from the WMF will be paid advocacy contributors who will be mindful of their income in all situations in which there is a conflict between the WMF and the community. The restriction of the use of the community logo was not a grassroots initiative; that came entirely from the WMF and is an example of how organizations tend to protect themselves without considering how their self-preservation might harm the community they intend to serve. I feel like User:Tbayer (WMF) has supporting evidence for a point of view contrary to the one I presented (I emailed you to schedule a phone or Skype call a few days ago - reply at your leisure) and I have supporting evidence for another. User:Anomie is right in interpreting that I want the community definition to have exclusion criteria for WMF staff. User:Amgine is correct in recognizing that I feel that the community and not the WMF staff should have power over saying what is done in the name of the community. I propose either of the following resolutions to this instance of this discussion.
  • Take out the text which equates WMF staff with community and otherwise drop this issue, leaving the community status of WMF ambiguous for now. There is no reason for this trademark policy to force this.
  • If the text is not to be removed, then the validation of this trademark policy seems like a cause expanding the discussion about why community policy needs to be defined.
Thanks. If anyone wants to discuss this with me then voice and video are best - email me for an appointment. I live in New York and am often free EST office hours. Blue Rasberry (talk) 13:54, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

I think this discussion is now somewhat moot given that we are recommending to the board that we withdraw protection and registration of the community logo. I will ask Anna to archive this thread. Take care, Geoffbrigham (talk) 19:12, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

The text under discussion was removed with the recent changes to Section 3.4. If you have feedback on the new language in the policy, please comment under Revised Section 3.4. --Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 19:45, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. --Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 19:45, 18 December 2013 (UTC)


  • Hackathon vs Editathon: why are they being treated differently? Isn't MediaWiki considered a Wikimedia project as well? So if a MediaWiki hackathon is attended predominantly by MediaWiki developers, why couldn't it be treated equally compared to an editathon about the French Revolution? Effeietsanders (talk) 16:58, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
    • You are absolutely right, MediaWiki is a Wikimedia project. We treat hackathons differently from an edit-a-thon because participants are not constrained to stay within Wikimedia projects and may decide to work on projects outside of Wikimedia sites. MBrar (WMF) (talk) 20:36, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
      And how exactly is that different? :) After all, every attendee is a volunteer in their own free time - so they can work on whatever they want. Quite often I catch people checking their email or updating Facebook ;-). In all seriousness, shouldn't it be more relevant what exactly the intended scope of the event is, rather than what shape the organizers choose to accomplish that? In that context a discussion meeting without any editing output, but with the intended scope of Wikipedia policies seems to me in scope, while an editathon where dbpedia is edited implementing data from wikipedia is more of a borderscenario. Focusing on the shape of the event risks that the policy more quickly gets outdated as new shapes are being developed. Effeietsanders (talk) 21:39, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Point taken. I’ll revise the trademark policy and the FAQ to reflect that Hackathons should be treated as community-focused events for trademark purposes. Thanks for your input! :) YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 21:56, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. --Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 19:55, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Proposed alternative for Section 3.4[edit]

Having followed the discussion about the standard for the use of the Community logo, we would like to suggest the following revision to Section 3.4:

3.4 Community logo use

Active Wikimedians may use the Wikimedia Community logo if:

  • They have made a total of 300 edits across the Wikimedia sites;
  • They are not currently blocked on more than one Wikimedia site; and
  • Their use is consistent with the Wikimedia mission.

This would specifically not be intended as a definition of “active Wikimedian” or “community member.” It would only be a standard to use the Community logo without a license (and others would still be able to get permission to use this logo under Section 4). This standard should avoid the issues outlined by Blue Rasberry, Amgine, PiRSquared17, PinkAmpers&, Buffbills7701, Pleclown,, and others. What do you think about this language?

Again, this is just a suggestion. So feel free to suggest revisions or a different standard altogether. We need to come up with a standard to be able to use this logo as a collective membership mark, but we have a lot of flexibility in developing that standard. Stephen LaPorte (WMF) & YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 23:06, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

  • Support. This would satisfy my concern. What happens if WMF staff use the community logo but do not meet these requirements (300 edits, for example)? Would they be subject to community sanctions equivalent to those upon anyone else using the logo improperly? Blue Rasberry (talk) 12:36, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
    • @Bluerasberry: Yes, these rules would apply equally to everyone, including staff. We edited the proposal based on Pleclown's suggestion below -- are you still comfortable with these criteria, excluding the restriction on blocked users? Thanks, Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 18:39, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, continued support. Blue Rasberry (talk) 20:06, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Bluerasberry! I've replaced Section 3.4 in the draft with this version. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 02:52, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
  • sorry, but no. Your proposal doesn't answer my concerns. At all. This block thing is a real problem. Pleclown (talk) 17:46, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
    • @Pleclown: What if we strike the restriction on blocked users, does this address your concern? Thanks for your feedback. Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 18:39, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Definitely not. As per Pleclown, the block language especially. As you may know, AWB and many other automated processes make edit counts less than useful as a measure of 'activity'. "Use consistent with..." is an entirely subjective measure, and of course can be used against any use/person you personally don't happen to support/agree with/like. - Amgine/meta wikt wnews blog wmf-blog goog news 14:44, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
    • Hello @Amgine: Do you think it is improved without the restriction on blocked users (per Pleclown, above)? I understand your concern about using edit counts, but the goal here is not necessarily to define "active Wikimedians", but just to set a measurable standard that we can present to the Trademark Office. If you can think of a better standard, we are open to suggestions and revising this further. The final criteria ("consistent with the Wikimedia mission") should be interpreted broadly, and could not be used to stop someone because we disagree with them. Free expression is one of our core values, and so this criteria would need to be interpreted in that light. It's difficult to avoid some degree of subjectivity, but we will defer to a community determination of when the community logo is inconsistent with the Wikimedia mission. What do you think about adding "as determined by the Wikimedia community" to the final criteria? Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 18:39, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
      • I'm not sure I can say it is improved; let's say it's one-third less bad. Unless the wording of the policy says "consistent with the Wikimedia mission, interpreted broadly", then it certainly can be interpreted narrowly, and will be subjective in any case as you admit. The entire thing is circular (as others have noted) and I believe it still makes the WMF the arbiter of who is or is not a community member using non-objective criteria - a severe conflict of interest and precisely the crux of the opposition to the Foundation's power grab. - Amgine/meta wikt wnews blog wmf-blog goog news 01:04, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
        • Well, one-third is a start! Do you have any ideas how we can improve the other criteria, to leave the determination in the hands of the community? Just to clarify, we also changed the wording from defining a "Wikimedia community member" to "Active Wikimedians." Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 01:43, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
          • @Slaporte (WMF): Yes.
            "* The community determines membership [link to community criteria] and activity [link to community criteria]"
            "* The use is consistent with the community's missions."
            TBH, the Foundation should want absolutely nothing to do with deciding who can use the community logo. Dump that hot potato on the chapters or something. - Amgine/meta wikt wnews blog wmf-blog goog news
            • Thanks for the suggestion. Is there a page that you have in mind for the [link to community criteria]? If so, we should add these criteria in the trademark policy directly, to make it easy to understand. Best, Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 22:09, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
If "the community" is going to make any determinations, then you will have to define who is included in the community. Given that the purpose here is to define who is in the community (i.e., who is sufficiently part of the community that he or she can use the community logo), this feels unfortunately circular.
On a related point, your definition grants people a lifetime membership in the community, even if they haven't edited for decades. Is that intentional? WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:52, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Hi, WhatamIdoing. I can see how this may appear circular, but it would not be a problem in practice. The purpose of Section 3.4 is not necessarily to define who is in the Wikimedia Community, and it certainly would not affect who may participate in the community’s usual decision making processes (such as an RFC or less formal processes). This section in the trademark policy solely covers a community member's use of the community logo outside of the Wikimedia projects. Per Amgine’s concern above, we are striving for language to enable use of the community logo to the greatest extent possible, unless the community indicates that a use is inconsistent with our mission. We intentionally did not add an end date here, but feel free to suggest alternative criteria. Thanks! DRenaud (WMF) (talk) 01:31, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

This shorter version is naturally easier to understand. It is good that you kept the word "active" there, even though it's not defined. I'm assuming that "mission" means wmf:Mission statement - should that be clarified with a link? I think this version is good. //Shell 14:25, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

That's a good point. I added a link to the Mission statement and replaced Section 3.4 in the draft policy with the shorter version. Thanks for your input! YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 02:52, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Again, do they have to be registered? Better to clarify. PiRSquared17 (talk) 17:51, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

We can clarify this in the provision, but we would need to get some input here on how people would like to address this. Thanks, YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 18:54, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
  • I gave my support to the text above and I continue to give it, however, I wanted to clarify the spirit of my support. I want that this text to support all use which is "consistent with the Wikimedia mission", and I do not care at all for any other qualifications. If it were possible to remove all qualifiers other than that statement, then I wish that this restriction would reflect that. There are lots of circumstances in which a person could be advancing the Wikimedia community mission and have need to use the logo but not have edited 300 times. I want such people (or entities) to be able to use the logo in those circumstances. The 300 edits is a proxy qualification which purports to include all who are advancing the Wikimedia mission and exclude the majority of entities who are not advancing it, but this kind of check should not be permanent, should be updated by the community regularly, and is not perfect for granting and disallowing the kinds of uses it is designed to manage. This text is fine as a start but it should be under community control to change and regulate. Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:10, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

I think this discussion is now somewhat moot given that we are recommending to the board that we withdraw protection and registration of the community logo. I will ask Anna to archive this thread. Take care, Geoffbrigham (talk) 19:15, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

The text under discussion was removed with the recent changes to Section 3.4. If you have feedback on the new language in the policy, please comment under Revised Section 3.4. --Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 19:47, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. --Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 19:47, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Revised Section 3.4[edit]

Hi all, I have revised Section 3.4 based on a consultation regarding the Community logo that was closed on December 7. Please let me know if you have any thoughts about the new language. Thanks, YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 21:55, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

Oh my. I would dearly love to keep this text, but assuming the board of trustees agrees with your recommendation, would the Foundation have the authority to say you may not? - Amgine/meta wikt wnews blog wmf-blog goog news 03:52, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your question, Amgine. A member of the legal team will be getting back to you shortly. Kind regards, Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 21:35, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
If the WMF is foregoing trademark protection for the community logo then I too am confused about its standing to proscribe anyone from filing trademark applications incorporating it. It might be good to add a note (without getting technical) in the FAQ about why such applications would be impermissible or unsustainable. ~ Ningauble (talk) 15:35, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for that suggestion, Ningauble. I'll make sure that Yana sees it. --Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 22:36, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
If the Board supports our recommendation, we will withdraw registration and protection of the logo. But the trademark policy can still state that people should not be registering the logo. The last sentence in that provision clarifies why it shouldn't be registered (i.e. "The Wikimedia community wants to ensure that the logo remains available for all to use."). This is simply a request and it may be difficult to enforce. Thanks, YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 01:27, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
I was afraid that might be the case. It seems that those who championed "reclaiming the logo" might actually achieve the opposite: throwing it away so anyone else can make a claim on it. I appreciate the desire to keep it free, but without some form of protection that freedom may be insecure. ~ Ningauble (talk) 14:46, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 22:07, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

Is the cake a lie?[edit]

About point 3.7, which says it's ok if we bake cakes or print t-shirts. Does this also apply to anybody else creating lots of cakes or t-shirts on our behalf (bake shop/t-shirt seller), for example for a party/meetup? This part apparently puzzles several people. Also, how do you make sure that the VIG are strictly followed? For a cake, it looks pretty difficult to get exactly the shade of color you'd need... -- 11:21, 21 November 2013 (UTC) (Elitre)

You can order a cake with a Wikimedia mark for yourself or friends at a bakery under Section 3.7. You only need to seek a licence under Section 4.6 if you’re making a business out of selling things with the marks, in which case we want to make sure that people wouldn’t be confused about whether those sales are supporting the Wikimedia projects. If you order lots of cakes for a meetup or another event for community members, that would be covered by Section 3.2, which allows marks to be used for community-focused events without a license. And we would of course not require you to strictly follow the Visual Identity Guidelines when it’s not possible on cakes. For example, all these cakes are fine. These are excellent questions and we’ll write an FAQ to make this clearer. And please feel free to share my response where this topic is being discussed on Facebook so that we can nip this rumor in the bud. :) YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 18:31, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
PANTS ON FIRE! <grin> Err, uhmm, lemme rephrase that. Attorney & law prof Michael Atkins strongly disagrees! You (the hypothetical average everyday wikipedian) can ask the baker to make you a cake which infringes on WMF trademarks, sure. But the baker is the one violating the trademark, if they charge you any money for the cake.[2] The only way to have a cake that says wikipedia from the bakery, is to pay the baker to make it, and decorate most of it, plus finally sell you the tube of icing, so you can take it home and scrawl "WikipediA" on it all by yourself, gratis. See also[3] where fair-use is broadly construed by Linus Torvalds. But this is very risky[4] territory. 12:39, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Linus is right :) YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 18:18, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
So I'm calm now, I just ate a cake, decorated by myself. <bounce> <bounce> <bounce> Ummm... lot of sugar in those things. Anyways, can we modify this intro-sentence, and the corresponding-legalese? "Place marks on t-shirts, cakes, and other things without selling them." I want to be able to sell t-shirts / cakes / pamphlets, that have the wikipedia-wordmark and/or the stylized WikipediA-wordmark. For a profit. Produced commercially. Wikipedia should be a household name; people should be able to express their individuality.[5] Under what circumstances should such things be allowed?
  Linux-wordmark is allowed to be used sans license thataway -- selling shirt/cake/keychain/etc merchandise for a profit included -- in all circumstances by LMI, except for actual websites-n-software-stuff. Methinks wikipedia should use a bit more parsimony... to avoid e.g. shirts that look like the WMF logos and therefore are somehow "sponsored by" GoogMsftApple (or even w:Wiki-PR or other advertising-n-marketing firms). By contrast, there *is* actually an w:Oracle Enterprise Linux t-shirt; I don't think we want there to be an w:Oracle Enterprise Wikipedia t-shirt, however.
Is there a balance that can be achieved, which helps wikipedia, without restricting the freedom-to-sell-wikipedia-related-promotional-stuff? We always have the revocation-clause 6.2 that we can fall back upon, if need be. 02:38, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Hi, 74! Lots of inter-related issues to grapple with here. Let me try to take them one at a time:
Does the Baker Need a License?: The citation you gave about bakers and trademarks doesn't address the situation where someone who requests the cake has a valid license to use the mark themselves. And, for section 3.7, that's the case we're talking about. In that case, the baker does not need to call us up for a separate license. It is, of course, different if the baker wants to do an entire line of cakes for commercial gain — then a license is needed, which the baker can get under section 4.6.
Commercial Use: If I understand you correctly (and maybe I don't) I have some sympathy with your basic argument: that it is good for the visibility and success of the movement if a thousand cakes and t-shirts bloom. But I don't think the license is the major problem there. Let's say a baker wants to make a line of high-quality puzzle logo cakes and sell them to the public: they're going to have to learn how to make the puzzle logo on a cake; they're going to have to figure out how to sell them to the public (put them on their website? in a catalog?); etc. Complying with the three very minimal requirements in section 4.6 is a fairly small blocker, assuming you're trying to make reasonably high-quality products in any significant numbers. (If you're not trying to make them in significant numbers, other portions of the policy are likely to apply; if you're not trying to make high-quality products, then the benefits go away.)
Complexity and Premature Policy-Making: Assume for purposes of discussion that I'm wrong in the previous point, and we really should offer broad commercial licenses to many butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers. Even then, I still think it's better, in this revision of the policy, to channel anyone who wants to make serious numbers of cakes to us, so that we can better understand what people are trying to do with the policy. After a few years of that, we'll be able to make much better judgments about what restrictions do/don't make sense. Right now I don't think we can make a good judgment about which of your proposed restrictions (or others) make the most sense, because we don't know what commercial vendors might want. Contrast this with Linux, where the current LPI policy was written only after so much use that there were two significant legal challenges to the status of the mark, so there was plenty of understanding of what the real risks and benefits were.
Hope that helps clarify; thanks for engaging with us seriously and in good faith on this issue. -GLaDOS, aka LVilla (WMF) (talk) 23:25, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
You understand exactly, appreciate the excellent reply. My argument still stands, methinks. That's my WP:NICE way of saying you are *so* totally wrongo. :-)   Okay, you are *not* totally wrong, but I do disagree in specific ways on all fronts. Explaining why takes some verbosity, apologies for the wall-o-text, which I've chunked into sections. Thanks for improving wikipedia; your efforts here are much appreciated. 02:40, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

  Most bakers will not themselves be editors; there are only 80k active editors (30k on enWiki) and every little town in most first-world countries has a commercial baker. Section 3.7 requires a coincidence of wants (if I am a wikipedian and want a cake that says wikipedia either I must be a baker myself... or I must find a commercial baker who is also a wikipedian). This is *exactly* the subtly crippling restriction that cause money to replace w:barter. 99% of the time, the baker will officially need a license, by the letter of the trademark policy. I'm not happy with violations of the letter, because I think that trademark-protection of the puzzle-globe is the only thing standing between wikipedia and doom, not to put too fine a point on it. So the counterargument here is that 99% of bakers aren't wikipedians and thus WILL technically need a license to make wiki-cakes for their wikipedian-customers. In a nutshell, I'm against using trademark law to enforce a wikipedian-bakery-only monopoly on the convenient commercial sale of wiki-cakes. 02:40, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
I don't believe that's how it works. Let's pretend that you work for Disney (which is notoriously protective of its trademarks). Let's say that you want, as part of your job, to get a cake for your department that features Mickey Mouse.
You go to the baker. You say, "Hello, I'm the administrative assistant for the CEO of Disney–here's proof—and my boss wants a cake at the a department meeting next week that has classic Mickey Mouse on the top. Please bake one, and here's my corporate credit card to pay for it."
In this situation, would you expect the baker to say:
  1. "Well, you are obviously authorized to have a cake like this, but I am not, so unless you're going to come squirt frosting on the cake yourself, then I need to spend the next several weeks doing paperwork to get approval for my involvement in making the cake that you are already authorized to have", or,
  2. "Sure, no problem"?
If you go back to the link about what bakers ought to do, you'll notice that the customer asking for a birthday cake with a cartoon character on it never has a license for the cartoon character. This is a critical difference compared to both the Wikipedian and the Disney employee, both of whom do have a legal license to use the trademarks in this way. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:14, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
Hello WhatamIdoing, I've seen you before, but never got the change to complement you on your awesome username; consider yourself kudo'd. Quite frankly, the serious answer to your question is, I'd expect the Disney drone to retroactively coerce that hapless baker into signing a one-sided contract, screaming about outlandish-yet-credible legal threats. :-)   But your point is well-taken, if it is legally-speaking a work for hire, then a wikipedian can use a commercial baker/tailor/keychainManufacturer/whatever to produce their mugs. So I was mistaken when I gave the example, of needing to scrawl your own decorations, since the baker would refuse to do it for you. Theoretically speaking.
  Or was I? How does the "critical difference" that I am a wikipedian, not just some random cake-customer without a mickey-mouse-trademark-license, play out in the real world? How does the baker know I'm a wikipedian? How does the baker know I submitted an email request for an official WMF-approved WTEL? How does the baker know it was accepted? What if I didn't print out the license-grant-contract? What if I signed it "General Of The Army Dwight Eisenhower" rather than in my own full legal name? Or used purple ink instead of blue or black? What if I don't convey the Visual Identity Guidelines to the baker? What if the baker is not sure they can comply with said legally-enforceable "guidelines", including exactly matching the trade-dress? What if I don't work for Jimbo? What if I don't have the WMF-branded corporate credit card? What if I don't even have a wikipedia-logo on my shirt, because just like the baker, the tailor I went to said get-outta-my-store-bub-I-gots-real-work-to-do-awright...? Only if the *baker* is a wikipedian, and only if the *baker* has submitted the WTEL-paperwork themselves, are they following best-practice CYA procedures, to protect their bakery from being sued into the ground. In theory there is a difference, in practice I'm just another annoying customer, who could get the baker's boss (the bakery owner) in deep legal doo-doo.
  You, on the other hand, could prolly pull it off; you work for the WMF, you have plenty of tangible proofs thereof, it would *be* for an Official WMF event, and so on. If that's the main goal of the cake-mark-policy, just say so. But the larger point is this: I want bakers that are not wikipedians, to be able to make a cake that says WikipediA™ in black letters on a white background, and sell that cake to anybody at all. I don't want this to be an onerous process of "becoming" a member of the wider WMF-recognized community, registering for an account, figuring out how to request the WTEL, printing out the paperwork, signing in blue or black ink, scanning or faxing it back... every single time another customer orders a variation-on-the-theme wiki-cake. This is not a commercially-viable model.
  Here is a viable model: given certain quantity limitations, and certain stylistic limitations, the baker ought to be able to make and sell wiki-cakes *without* requesting an explicit license in advance. That means, to pick some off-the-cuff criteria, that as long as they produce less than 99 cakes per year per zipcode, and they only include WMF-marks in WMF-colors on the cakes (plus optionally the phrase "happy birthday" and/or "dictator-for-life Jimbo Wales presiding"), none of that bureacratic stuff is needed. Based on section 6.2 the WMF can still unilaterally *revoke* the implicitly-granted-permission if necessary. If they exceed the quantity-limitations, or want to combine other content with the WMF marks, then the explicit license is required.
  That said, see below, LVilla pretty strongly believes this commercially-viable approach risks loss of the marks in court (aka that legally-viable and commercially-viable are directly in conflict). Anyhoo, does the goal I'm aiming at make sense now, even if it turns out to be legally-speaking too perilous? 15:44, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
Actually, I've got almost no tangible proof that I work for the WMF (as a part-time, temporary independent contractor whose work has absolutely nothing to do with this policy, so I'm here for the same purpose as you: to protect Wikipedia as a volunteer). I can login to (but who would know that this is mostly restricted to staff?), I can send e-mail from a staff account (but that's moderately easy to forge), and I've got a scanned copy of contract (but you know how trivial it is to photoshop something like that). I don't even have a paystub that says I work for them, much less business cards. So we're in the same boat when it comes to proving a relationship, and I'm still quite confident that I could get this kind of a cake baked. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:33, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
  Visibility. Publicity. Real-life WikiLove. Yes. Those are the goals. There is also the philosophical principle... "Users may freely view, use, distribute, modify, and exploit all Meta content, in any form, and for any purpose (including commercial exploitation) without limitation (except attribution)." Which methinks is even more crucial, in the long run. But we can stick to pragmatic reasons and still make the Case For The WikiCakes well enough, prolly. Cakes, shirts, tote-bags, hats, keychains, car-decals, fridge-magnets, and so on. Manufacturing those wiki-things costs money; they are not like an article, of digital text and digital imagery, which can be copied (free-as-in-freedom) for a tenth of a calorie of human effort and a fraction of a pfennig in electricity. Capitalism is the most efficient economic mechanism for merchandizing the wikipedia brands, and the licensing of the marks should not be onerous for small quantities.
  Your point about the license-acquisition being a relatively small potatoe is flat out incorrect, *commercially* speaking. Sure, it takes months or years to become an expert at decorating cakes, it takes days or weeks to design/create/operate online stores and design/publish/distrib sales catalogs. Getting the explicit trademark license is nothing, right? Wrong: it is an up-front and endlessly-repeating *operating* expense, with at least in theory severe legal consequences for failure to correctly do it. See w:regulatory compliance. Learning to be a baker, and creating a business that sells cakes, are w:sunk_costs, money already spent! You simply cannot compare the two. Counterargument #2A ... explicit licensing compliance is an ongoing operating expense, not a sunk cost.
  However, it is worth noting that the relative burden of explicit-trademark-license-compliance is highly dependent on the quantity-of-identical-copies being manufactured. If you are producing one cake, the license is nuts. If you are producing ten unique cakes, the license is really nuts. If you are producing 100 identical wiki-cakes, the license is probably break-even. If you are producing 1000 identical wiki-cakes per year, the license is a small potatoe. However, if you are producing 1000 custom-designed personalized wiki-cakes per year, the license will kill you. Thus, we have to modify my statement above... the licensing of the marks should not be onerous for small quantities of any given design. Cakes and shirts are the merchandising-wiki-products which most exemplify the could-be-custom-every-time phenomena... keychains tend to be mass-produced in lots of ten thousand, and are a different category. We cannot apply wiki-keychain thinking to the wiki-cakes and wiki-shirts; however, arguably the reversed-applicability is possible. If we come up with a good wiki-cake policy, it will automatically also apply to wiki-keychains, and so on. 02:40, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

  Skipping the quality-merchandise-thing for the moment, and going to your point about premature-policy-making, and trademark-license-complexity... these are generic arguments, but *very* telling ones. My vague proposal for easy-wiki-cake-licensing is going to be difficult to hammer into a trademark-policy-language. It might even be impossible, because there might be unintended loopholes which we find no way to get around. Of course, the worst case scenario is that we produce unintended loopholes that we do not notice and then some hyperconglomerate exploits those loopholes, using their crack legal team to win in the courts, and takes down all trademark protection.
  Assuming for purposes of discussion that I'm 100% right, that licensing is a serious burden, that wiki-merchandise will wither without it, and therefore that the wiki-brand will not spread as widely as it could, and the quantity of wikiLove in the world will be slightly smaller, and our general wikipedian philosophical stance will be incorrect when it comes to trademark law... tough. The risks are catastrophic if we screw up; wikipedia would no longer be wikipedia, if everybody and their dog could build websites that looked like us, acted like us, had the same content as us, but were locked down tight as a drum under proprietary copyright and proprietary software and tivoized hardware. We do *not* want to risk coming into existence; everybody and their dog is not the problem, but if the dogs can do it, then the wolves can also do it. I'd rather see fewer wiki-cakes in the world, if we cannot keep the trademarks safe otherwise.
  That said, basically what you are saying here is wait-n-see. How can we make a wiki-cake policy, until we see how burdensome the explicit-license-every-time-you-make-a-cake-and-sell-it policy functions? But this is not fair. There has never been a policy which permitted folks to make cakes, and sell them. The *existing* trademark policy prevents that. How many wiki-cakes have you eaten? How many wiki-cakes have you seen on sale at the local bakery? How many public functions, which were not wikipedia-specific, have you been to where random people were wearing wiki-shirts, wiki-hats, wiki-belts? Did they have wiki-keychains, and wiki-car-magnets? When you visit a residence or a school or a business, how many desks did you see with wiki-mousepads, wiki-puzzle-globe statues, wiki-posters, wiki-kitsch?
  Maybe some of us are so wrapped up in the wikipedia world, that the lack of everyday branding does not seem amiss. But consider other consumer products -- and wikipedia *is* for the readership in the end... though of course unlike many other consumer products we want, nay, we demand, that our readership always have the freedom to hack on wikipedia itself, by becoming editors. Look at the prevalence of Apple Computer branding; they started off in the education market, pushing their brand in schools. Look at the prevalence of Nike branding; they too are in the education market, pushing their brand in school sports. Look at the prevalence of Wikipedia branding, in high schools, in universities, in bookstores, in public speaking forums... we should be the #1 brand in education and we are not. We are the encyclopedia that anyone can edit, and that is a Good Thing, and therefore people around the world should have access to our content, but more than that, people who support our ideals should be able to buy a wiki-cake or buy a wiki-shirt or buy a cutesy kitschy crappily-manufactured wiki-keychain, and trademark policy as written in 2009 prevents that from happening, and the update in 2013 will continue to prevent that from happening.
  Point being, perhaps you are correct. Maybe, if some folks who are *already* wikipedians, and who are *also* already bakers, start producing and selling wiki-cakes in high quality and large quantities at a premium monopoly-enforced-price, they will create a new market. Other bakers will want to get in on the action, and will become wikipedians, registering an account, making a few edits, and then emailing for the paperwork, printing it out, signing their full legal name, scanning it back into the computer, uploading it to the WMF... every damn time they make a new cake-design. Or maybe that's lunacy, and they'll instead just sell Linux-cakes, which are almost as popular among wikipedians. Of course, they'll make more cash if they undergo the onerus licensing required by Disney, so they'll prolly do that instead. Gag.
  If you think I'm wrong, or if you think the risks of hypercorp-loophole-exploitation are too high, then I suggest a compromise: pick one of the marks, not the "wikipedia" mark which is our domain-name but one of the high-profile high-visibility marks like the puzzle-globe, and write a looser almost-but-not-quite-naked broad-automatic-in-most-circumstances-commercial-license for that mark only. This mitigates the risk somewhat (we might lose one trademark... but only one) and also gives us a real-world test for how much the bakers, hatters, shirters, keychainers, mousepadders, plastic-deconstructible-puzzle-globe-makers, and other commercial manufacturers will gravitate one way or the other. It's not quite a *fair* test since the wikipedia-mark is the primary one, but the puzzle-globe is number two, and quite famous by itself, so it is fair enough by my standards. 02:40, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

  Finally, you bring up the question of High Quality. This angers me, frankly, somewhat deeply... though on reflection maybe less than at first glance, since the review-by-other-wikipedians point is not an unreasonable goof (see postscript). But is *is* most definitely a major goof. I will quote you directly so I don't mis-state / mis-characterize what you said, *too* much anyhoo. :-)

[the burden of explicit license compliance is] a fairly small blocker, assuming you're trying to make reasonably high-quality products ...(... if you're not trying to make high-quality products, then the benefits go away.)

  You also had some caveats in there about policy-loopholes for small-quantity-production, elided above, which I incidently disagree with. The policy has no such loopholes, and I don't want the "unwritten rule" to be that WMF won't sue you for trademark violation unless you are one o' them evil big biz types, but small businesses run by good people are let off the hook. That's bad morality, and also of course, bad in the strictly legal sense that failure to at least *attempt* to enforce the trademark policy strictly and uniformly could hurt us in the courtroom someday.
  Be that as it may, my main disagreement here is that wikipedia, and the WMF marks, demand this vague "high quality" that you speak of. Apple is a place that demands 'high quality' merchandise. Nike is a place that kinda-sorta demands 'high quality' merchandise. Wikipedia has proven to be a popular website, that hundreds of millions of people use every month, because anyone can edit, and explicitly NOT because every article was 'high quality' before it hit mainspace.
  The assertion that the puzzle-globe, and the community-RGB-globe, and the other WMF-marks, can *only* be reproduced on 'high quality' keychains, on 'high quality' shirts, and on 'high quality' cakes, sounds eerily similar to something most folks have forgotten that we used to call w:Nupedia around here. I will say no more, save to note that the success of wikipedia has absolutely nothing to do with pre-emptively demanding high quality. We set the quality-bar low, and that in itself is why we succeeded in producing something of quality. We made the barrier-to-participation low, and that in itself is why wikipedia is a top-ten-website-in-the-known-universe. Trademarks are brands. We should set the quality-bar low, and we should set the barrier-to-participation low. That will make us one of the top ten brands in the known universe. That is how free-as-in-freedom wikipedia works; that is how the WMF ought to work. "High quality" is how proprietary-lock-in iStuff works; we are not Apple Corporation.
  p.s. Yes, the point did not escape me that in mainspace, when one person produces an edit of low quality in some respect, other wikipedians can correct that, and improve the quality. You might argue that forcibly demanding that an Official WMF Representative pre-emptively get to 'look over' every cake-design, shirt-design, keychain-manufacturing-biz-plan, and so on, to keep out the low-quality-crap-kitsch-merchandise, is just the same thing. But it is redacted redacted NOT the same thing, because it is not the cake-design-anyone-can-edit, it is the if-you-dare-design-a-cake-you-must-first-beg-for-official-approval. We have a system in mainspace, called beboldo, that says anyone can edit. We have a system in reality, called the free market, that says anyone can compete.
  If you see somebody producing low-quality cakes, you can drive them out of the market by out-competing them, not by refusing to approve them. And hey, why not have our cake and eat it too, as the saying goes? If you can make the case (on a cake by cake basis) to the community that the low-quality-cake-maker is mis-using the marks, then under section 6.2 you can stop them in their tracks. Pre-emptive approval is neither needed, nor philosophically in line with WMF principles, and if there is any way to satisfy the pragmatic limitations (namely trademark-case-law-precedents), then we should do our dern'd-est to make the thousand points of wiki-cake candle-lights bloom. Thanks much for reading; hope this helps. 02:40, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
I can't possibly respond to all while still taking care of the rest of my job :/ But let me respond to two points briefly:
  • "if there is any way to satisfy the pragmatic limitations (namely trademark-case-law-precedents) ...". I have spent quite a lot of time looking at this question. I do not think the case law is as strong as some trademark lawyers would have you believe, but the number of cases that grant the scope of permissions you're asking about and actually keep the mark when challenged is essentially two. (Both involving universities (U. Wisconsin and Penn State) who had allowed people to make t-shirts with their logos.) The number of cases in the other direction is large; large enough that a former boss once told me that if I advised a client to rely on the Wisconsin/Penn State cases I should "probably be disbarred". I still don't think that rules this route out completely, but the overwhelming weight of legal consensus is against it.
  • You're telling me, on the one hand, that we need to spread the brand very widely and become a "top ten brand"; on the other hand, you're telling me that low-quality things with the brand are OK. Those two things are, I think, quite contradictory: "top global brands" get that way because they are high quality, not by flooding the market with just anything. We hold our content to fairly high standards (and we're probably a top global brand already because of it, given the reach of our website). I'm not seeing a persuasive argument here that we shouldn't do the same for content created for profit/by non-community members. -LVilla (WMF) (talk) 01:24, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
Absolutely no prob, w:WP:REQUIRED applies. Please keep your job. :-)   Anyways, you responded to the key points -- thanks much. There is no contradiction; low-quality things *are* okay, if there is a mechanism for quality-improvement, plus a quantity-restriction to halt spam. That is the way wikipedia turns low-quality individual sentences into the top encyclopedia of all time. That is also how the wiki-brand can become one of the top brands of all time, methinks. More on this idea, at the end. In any case, as I grok it your position is, at this time aka 2013, we prolly cannot do what the Linux-trademark folks do, let alone what the two universities do, because it is too risky. ( Back when I was in that top law school with my esteemed classmate EssJay, that was called being chicken! ) Seriously though, I will defer to your legal expertise... but I do ask that you keep thinking about ways to make it happen, in 2015 or whenever the next round of trademark-policy-revisions happen. There are three places that *have* done it, right? We ought to be able to do it, too. If it will help.
  And *that* is the key disagreement here, methinks. Will having hand-decorated shoddy-looking wiki-cakes help? Or should we insist on photo-realistic top-of-the-line quality-cakes, to show the "true meaning" of the wikipedia brand? What about home-designed garish wiki-shirts, printed with cheap ink on the lowest-cost materials, will they help our mission? Or should we insist on 600-thread-count boutique-ink designer clothing, personally quality-reviewed by the WMF committee on art history? Is having thousands of cheap keychains, with some anonymous editor's naked two-year-old on one side, and an off-centre off-colour puzzle-globe on the other side, good for the encyclopedia? Or is it better to insist on high quality merchandise, and accept that very-high-cost and very-limited-quantity is a necessary consequence? Why would we allow some seventh grader to make their *own* crappy two-dollar poster, mis-using the wikipedia marks in a low-quality way, when instead we could use our legal monopoly to insist they purchase a twenty-dollar bland mass-produced poster designed by a professional graphic designer on the WMF payroll?
  In case it was not abundantly clear by now, I'm on the side of hand-decorating, home-designed, kitsch-encumbered, sophomoric-quality branding freedom. I'm against artist-mandated, professionals-mandated, finest-craftsmanship-mandated, high-quality-only branding rules. The mission of the WMF is not to produce boutique merchandise in small limited-edition quantities with the resulting high cost; that was the mission of Nupedia, which failed. The mission is to "empower and engage people around the world". That very starkly means we have to accept low-quality, or we have to disempower people, there is no middle ground. Along the way, the goal is to create "educational content under a free license or in the public domain" ... and while the WMF marks are not 'educational content' themselves, they *symbolize* that educational content, and as long as the users of those marks are not violating the mission (see 6.2 revocation fallback), it behooves us to license the *marks* in a free-as-in-freedom fashion, as best we can. Finally, and most tellingly, the true goal is to "disseminate it effectively and globally". What is more effective than w:capitalism? What is more global than w:globalization?
  The license of our content permits anybody to produce a textbook, and sell it, as long as the content remains under the same free-as-in-freedom license. We do not permit use of the WMF marks on the cover, because we do not want people to be misled ... the content inside may have been modified prior to publication by neo-nazis, republicans, democrats, or some other distasteful political group. <grin> Same things goes for websites. But cakes? The WMF will not allow WikipediA™ cakes, because the ingredients might not be "high quality" and thus reflect badly on the WMF? Shirts? Keychains? The rules for websites and books, are categorically different and qualitatively distinct from more generic sorts of merchandise. We should not restrict freedom to make and sell a cake, over worry about neo-nazi textbooks.
  But the key argument here is about quality. In our content, we achieve quality by accepting *any* good-faith contributions, and then *challenging* that which is too low-quality, with citation needed tags, or reversion, or in the ideal case by collaboratively improving things. The same methodology should apply to cakes/shirts/keychains/etc. We should accept any good-faith contribution, subject only to the legal requirements of case-law that keep the marks in the hands of the WMF, including ugly cakes, garish shirts, kitschy keychains, et cetera. We can revert using clause 6.2, and we can competitively *or* collaboratively improve, by creating higher-value and/or higher-quality products. As for adding snark-tags, I would *love* to be able to buy a package of stickers saying {{citation needed}}™ that can be stuck on cake-packaging, shirts, foreheads, keychains, textbooks, and other objects in real life. *Please* hurry up and wordmark that phrase, plus of course, loosen up the WTEL.
  TLDR: restrictive control of the marks is *not* the wikipedia philosophy. We must encourage low-quality good-faith wiki-cake and wiki-shirt designs, just as we live by w:WP:BOLD for text and images in mainspace. Our key is the improvement mechanism, and the community that makes those improvements, not The RULZ. Wikipedia *means* something different than those "other brands" ... and with any luck, it always will. :-)   Thanks for reading, hope this helps, and much thanks for improving wikipedia. 17:11, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
Hi 74. Thanks for all of your questions and comments (and the TLDR). :) The legal team will be responding to comments soon; the next sprint scheduled for the day after tomorrow. I'll make sure that they get back to you. Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 18:23, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
You mean these stickers? Face-wink.svg WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:33, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks again for engaging seriously (in content, if not in tone ;), 74. I hear what you're saying about wiki philosophy, central control, and rapid improvement, and I agree there is tension there. But I want to disagree/clarify in a few ways.
First, I want to remind/highlight that, overall, this policy is very aggressively biased towards decentralizing control, avoiding heavy-handed RULZ ;), and giving Wikimedians a lot of flexibility and self-control over what they do with the mark. So what you and I are discussing is interesting, and there is tension between trademark and wiki way, but I want to make clear to anyone reading this that overall the policy pushes very aggressively in favor of the wiki way, within the bounds of what we feel we can do legally.
Second, you're right to say that wiki is in large part about low-quality inputs. But I think you're maybe underestimating the importance of our extremely high-quality process for turning those low-quality inputs into a solid-quality eventual product. (The policy refers to this when it talks about our "rigorous and transparent editing".) It's not just that we don't have that sort of process to deal with low-quality uses of the trademark; it is that for most products we simply can't have that process - I can't be bold to your cake :) At best I could suggest a better recipe for the next batch, but even then, there is no mechanism for us to collaboratively improve the recipe, much less your bakery. Without that post-creation process, I think we do have to be much more concerned about pre-creation quality than we normally are.
Third, and relatedly, I think the impact of low-quality things is very different in trademark-space than in wiki-space. When our process works, a low-quality article either (1) isn't seen by many people or (2) is pretty quickly improved. Either way, the impact is pretty limited. As I already mentioned, we don't really have our standard mechanisms for improvement, so #2 is somewhat out the window. And if the theory behind widespread, unlicensed use is that it'll raise awareness of our brand, then #1 is out the window too. So large numbers of permanent low-quality goods has a very different, more negative, and more permanent impact than smaller numbers of transient low-quality articles. (And that's putting aside the risk of losing the mark that I discussed earlier.)
Finally, or maybe just to put it another way: you say "Wikipedia means something different than those other brands". I agree completely. For me, what I think the Wikimedia family of marks should mean, in the best case, is "a community has worked together, in a collaborative wiki way to produce this thing". And that isn't true of the cakes; can't be true of the cakes. So perhaps it is best to think of the trademark policy as a stand-in: when "did our community make it in our wiki" isn't available, what other guidelines can we use? The policy is our best answer to that question.
One other note: I don't think that w:WP:REQUIRED applies here- this is, in fact, my job, and so it is required. :) But I appreciate your patience/understanding that we're all juggling many things right now! -LVilla (WMF) (talk) 19:51, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 22:05, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

Free as in beer for a piece of cake[edit]

If I wanted to make and sell a cake that had a bunch of art on it (e.g., browser wars or something), and include a small WMF logo that was not the main focus of the cake's decorations, then I would like to have the free-as-in-beer right to do so. As I read it, I think such a use is prohibited. (I apologize if this has been addressed elsewhere; I searched the page and didn't find anything that discussed this possible use) For § 3.17, 3.19-.24, I would like to see something similar to the license for "icon" or "graphics" collections one finds around the net:
One is permitted to use whatever logo in any product for sale as long as:
  1. The logo is not the largest graphic element in the work,
  2. The logo/WMF is not the subject of the work,
  3. The logo is not the only graphic element in the work,
  4. The work must not promote or endorse illegal or patently offensive acts (as defined by __insert legal jargon here__),
  5. The work must not imply endorsement or affiliation with WMF in any way, and
  6. (optional) The work includes the words "_____ logo courtesy of Wikimedia Foundation" or their translation
Summed up: you can't sell WMF stuff unless it is a small part of your stuff; don't use our stuff on stuff that will make us look bad; don't lie and tell anyone we're best friends; kindly give credit where credit is due.
Safety Cap (talk) 18:36, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
@Safety Cap: We don't explicitly talk about this sort of use case, but like other commercial uses, someone trying to do this could reach out to us under Sec. 4.6 and get a license. There are a few reasons we don't think it is a good idea to include an explicit section covering this sort of thing:
  • none of us can remember ever seeing any requests for anything like this;
  • if we included six-point tests for every speculative use, the policy would quickly grow very, very long, which has a real cost to people trying to understand the policy;
  • in practice some of these uses will be permitted under other aspects of the policy, like nominative use; and
  • if someone wants to do this in a serious way, and are significantly concerned, there is a pretty low barrier to getting a license under 4.6.
Like I said to 74 above, if we do start seeing a lot of requests of this sort, we can clarify or update the policy as necessary, but until then, it seems premature. —LVilla (WMF) (talk) 22:43, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 20:20, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Use of marks in conjunction with QR codes[edit]

The draft policy mentions QRpedia, but only in the FAQ and then not very clearly. Following the acquisition of the QRpedia IP by WMUK last month, for free use by the community, we expect QR Codes to become much more widely used on signs and printed materials to provide a quick and easy way for a user with a smartphone to go straight to a Wikipedia encyclopedia article in the appropriate language. In order to encourage wide usage of QRpedia codes, it's important that organizations such as local government bodies, GLAMs or local history societies who want to provide local signs can do so without having to ask specific permission or have to negotiate an individual trademark licence with the Foundation. Many such local bodies or societies are not able to afford lawyers and will shy away from anything that looks even remotely problematic. It's therefore of some practical importance that policy covers this area clearly and with explicit examples.

There are two specific use cases that we hope could be covered: (a) Where the Puzzle Globe or the 'W" mark is embedded within a Wikipedia-directed QR Code (ie is printed or displayed in the centre of such a code); and (b) where the Puzzle Globe or the 'W" mark is printed or displayed immediately adjacent such a code. Such indications of use are needed to reassure users that when they scan the code they will not be taken to a commercial or an advertising site.

May I suggest the addition of a new example, as section 3.6.4 along the following lines:

3.6.4 Machine-readable codes that direct to Wikimedia websites

You can use the Wikimedia marks to indicate that a machine readable code such as a QRpedia QR Code or the like serves the sole purpose of directing a scanning device that reads the code straight to a Wikimedia website. You may indicate the purpose of the code by embedding a Wikimedia mark within the code, for example by displaying it in the center of the code, or you may display the Wikimedia mark immediately adjacent the code (but not elsewhere).

--MichaelMaggs (talk) 11:30, 31 December 2013 (UTC) (WMUK Chair)

Hi MichaelMaggs! Thanks for your comment. We are discussing this issue in the legal team and will respond here shortly. Thanks, YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 00:49, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
@MichaelMaggs:, thanks for seeking to clarify the policy! The current draft permits free use of unstylized marks with QR codes, without the need to request permission. But a license under Section 4 is needed to use the stylized marks. To further promote the open use of Wikimedia marks by the community, we could modify the current GLAM Quick license to allow community members to use the stylized “W” mark with QR codes and clarify this in Section 4.1.2 of the policy. What do you think about that? YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 05:17, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
Hi @YWelinder (WMF): thanks for looking into this. It's an issue that is becoming increasingly important for GLAMs. You mentioned the the stylized “W” mark, but it's actually the globe logo that the partners of WMUK (and probably others as well) really want to use. That is much better recognised as the indicator of origin for Wikipedia, and I would hope that any policy changes could include that mark as well.
A noticeboard using the globe mark
I can understand your legal preference for the Quick license approach as that both allows you to set out specific terms in more detail and also provides you with feedback on where the marks are being used. That seems a good approach in the common current situation where a GLAM or a local government authority wants to put up notices such as the one in the image which include both a QRpedia code and also the globe logo. There are many ways the code and the logo could be positioned, and you might well want to restrict what can be done to avoid for example the mark being mixed up with a lot of extraneous advertising material. That was the reason I had suggested above that the mark should be "immediately adjacent the code (but not elsewhere)". Whatever you decide, I think that would work pretty well.
I need to push back, though, on the other opinion, of the globe or 'W' mark being displayed/printed in the centre of a QRpedia code. That seems to me to be a different situation where you could allow limited free use without requiring users to sign a licence. As I mentioned, many local government bodies, GLAMs or local history societies are really fearful of anything that looks overtly 'legal' (read "OMG, we are going to have to pay a lawyer, get insurance and risk being sued"). By requiring what is effectively a binding signature by an authorised officer on a legal contract you will be in practice be significantly restricting the extent to which QRpedia codes will actually be used. An official signature is fine for a large, well run and staffed GLAM, but is really scarey for a local history society that is run entirely by volunteers.
As I see it, the main purpose of your TM licences are (1) to protect the marks against misuse and (2) to provide you with feedback on where your marks are being used. Where the mark is printed in the centre of a QRpedia code, you can be guaranteed that it is not being misused provided you require that such a code must always send the scanner straight to a Wikimedia page and not to some external landing page. That can be achieved by some wording such as I suggested. And your need for feedback could be achieved in ways other than asking for a signature on a licence. For example, if WMUK were to undertake to modify the QRpedia software, it should not be difficult to automatically tag all scans that have been made of codes that have one of your marks printed in the centre. That would actually get you better feedback than a simple licence signature as it would provide you with near real-time actual usage data.
So, what I would hope is that we could have a new Quick license for the 'associated with QRpedia code' uses, and a new section 3.6.4 for the 'embedded' uses. Suggested new wording:
3.6.4 Embedding Wikimedia marks within machine-readable codes that direct straight to Wikimedia websites
To indicate that a machine readable code such as a QRpedia QR Code or the like serves the sole purpose of directing a scanning device that reads the code straight to a Wikimedia website, you may embed a Wikimedia mark within the code, for example by displaying or printing it in the center of the code. Other uses may be possible by signing a GLAM Quick license.
--MichaelMaggs (talk) 10:18, 12 January 2014 (UTC) (WMUK Chair)
I just want to say that Michael's points have matched my experience when working with GLAMs too: smaller ones are unlikely to sign any agreement that looks vaguely legalistic - and smaller GLAMs are the ones who really need our support. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 11:52, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
I appreciate the concern that small GLAMs are unable to sign complicated legal documents. Unfortunately, licenses are not just there to prevent misuses and provide us with feedback. Failure to license can sometimes result in the loss of a trademark. Given that the uses of marks with QR codes would mostly be appearing in a non-community environment, they need to be subject to a license, whether they are embedded in the QR code or not. Having said that, we want to facilitate work that is important to the community. That is why we are designing simplified Quick licenses that are written in plain language, are much shorter than standard trademark licenses, and include an explanatory key on the left side of the document. Hopefully, this format will make it easier for GLAMs to use the marks with QR codes. And when they absolutely want to avoid any document, they will still be able to use the unstylized wordmark.
While we generally need to avoid broad outward-facing uses of the puzzle globe without a standard trademark license (such as for QR codes), I think that we can reconsider that position if it’s something that is important to the community.
Thanks, YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 07:54, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Hi MichaelMaggs and Chase me!
I wanted to make sure that your comments were addressed given that this consultation is scheduled to close on January 19. To reflect our discussion here, we have deleted FAQ Section 4.4, which stated that the Quick license could not be used for QR codes.
There is currently only a sample Quick license and we will prepare more Quick licenses before the final policy is launched on Foundation wiki. When we do that, we will prepare a separate GLAM Quick license for QR codes as we discussed here.
Thanks, YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 22:58, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the response. I am rather concerned we were not able to complete our discussions before the nominal closure of the consultation, and I hope it will be possible to finalize this with a short chat. This is indeed important to our community of volunteers, but perhaps most important to the Chapters that are trying to work with small GLAMs for whom a scary signed legal agreement is out of the question. WMUK is particularly concerned to get this right, as we have had many queries about using QRpedia codes since we took ownership of the QRpedia IP. I'd like to discuss if we could the well known legal principle that 'failure to license can result in the loss of a trademark', as it appears you may be restricting that dictum to signed licences, whereas a licence offered to the world (eg a new section 3.6.4) requiring no signature is just as much a licence as one that has to be signed. Such a licence can perfectly well be used to control use of the marks to avoid unpoliced misuses and hence loss of rights. It's not the signature but the policing that is critical. I will email you tomorrow with a suggestion for a telephone call. We should be able to speak at a detailed legal level as I am by profession a patent attorney. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 23:19, 19 January 2014 (UTC) (WMUK Chair).
Hi MichaelMaggs, that sounds good. I'm happy set up a call to discuss this. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 23:39, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 20:22, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Links to Wikimedia sites[edit]

3.6 Links to Wikimedia sites
You may use the marks on your own website as a hyperlink to the Wikimedia sites. The use of logos in hyperlinks should follow the Visual Identity Guidelines. For example, the marks may be resized, but not modified in any other way.
YMMD. Syrcro (talk) 10:39, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Replied to the same point in German here. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 01:15, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Before closing 3.6, please see the section Use of marks in conjunction with QR codes below. Thanks. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 23:19, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 20:20, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Discussion about section 4 (Special uses that require permission)[edit]

  • See question above[6] about whether there is a loophole in 3.7 make-your-own-cake-shirt-pamphlet-etc, which allows bypassing the clear language of 4.7 sans-license-you-cannot-sell-cake-shirt-pamphlet-etc. 12:46, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
  • I believe this shall be replaced by an obligation to announce the use to WMF and an automatic licensing when WMF does not make objections within some period. The GLAM, Outreach and other activities are very important - and on the other hand, they are very demanding. Every volunteer shall be supported to the maximum extent, and he/she should not be asked to discuss anything with WMF if it is not really an issue. I agree it is good for WMF to know about all these activities, so I suggest the obligation to announce such use, but I think the need to ask for the license is another obstacle which can be the last straw to stop the volunteer preparing such an demanding activity. With the announcement obligation, the WMF receives all the information it needs and if it does find someething to object against, the Foundation shall itself make steps to avoid granting the license. --Okino (talk) 16:42, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
Hard to argue with an auto-grant-system, when talking about something like printing a batch of a hundred t-shirts for some wiki-bash, which has to be planned long in advance, no matter what. But a bake-sale? That can be "planned" in advance, by deciding to purchase an extra few cake-mixes while at the grocery store, on the spur of the moment. If there is a "thirty day cooling-off period" before I can hold the bake-sale... prolly there will be no wikipedia cakes at the sale, right?
  We already have the revocation-clause in 6.2, which can be used preventatively methinks. If the auto-grant-system is a zero-day-waiting period, with an auto-reply-bot that immediately grants all requests by default, then I can definitely sell my wikipedia-themed cakes at my first bake-sale. However, if I get the WMF a lot of bad press, by using sorbitol instead of good old-fashioned WMF-approved sweeteners, they can change the auto-reply-bot to deny my future requests. Maybe it can even be humans answering, piggybacking on OTRS or somesuch. Does this rationale make sense? 02:48, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Hello 74, in this hypothetical, if the cakes are sold commercially, then permission (and perhaps a little advance planning) is necessary. It is important to ensure that we can maintain trademark protection that is earned by the Wikimedia community of volunteers. Just as a cross reference, Luis responded to a similar question in a little more detail above -- as he explained, this is a point that can be refined after we have a little more information about how people wish to use the marks. Thanks! Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 23:31, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
  • A couple of comments re: Section 4.4: the phrase "... in a publication in a way that is not fair or nominative use ..." is a bit clunky, in part because it's a definition of a negative. How about " ... in a publication that will be sold for profit," or something similar that is clear & unambiguous. (Of course you'll still want to address fair use). Also, in the collapsed section in which you list the information that must be supplied, ask for the price of the publication as well. This will make it clear whether or not the publication will be sold commercially. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:59, 5 December 2013‎
Hello 68, fair and nominative use, under trademark law in the U.S., depends on how the logos are used, not necessarily whether the publication itself is commercial. It's a complicated topic to include in the policy, but hopefully we can make it easier to understand. Do you think this is clearer?

You need a trademark license if you want to use a Wikimedia mark in a publication, unless your use qualifies as fair or nominative use under U.S. trademark law or other applicable foreign laws.

Thanks for the suggestion! Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 22:06, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
I incorporated this change in the policy. Thanks again! Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 22:16, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
  • In section 4.5 you start with the following sentence: "You need a trademark license to use the Wikipedia logo in a movie, TV show episode, or online production." which indicates that a license is required per one TV episode. However in consecutive sentences and paragraphs you discuss obtaining the license for a TV show or series. Is the license per episode or for the TV series once and for all? I think this section needs to be rephrased. Thanks for your concern! Asaifm (talk) 21:14, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing that out, Asaifm. A member of the legal team will respond soon. Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 22:54, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
@Asaifm: Good point. We will clarify section 4.5. A license covers only the episode described in the request. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 22:53, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 20:22, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Discussion about section 5 (Prohibited uses)[edit]

  • Could someone please clarify "look and feel"? By default, MediaWiki comes with the vector and monobook themes, which most (if not all) WM sites use. Should the downloadable version not have these themes, and are these themes copyrighted non-free? --wL<speak·check> 21:54, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
    • It's fine to use the MediaWiki software as long as you don't combine it with one of our logos or something that is confusingly similar to them. You can read more about that in FAQ Section 5.3. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 01:59, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
      • The default install includes the MediaWiki logo[7], which is covered by this trademark policy, but was a public domain logo, released into the public domain by User:Eloquence and User:Anthere in 2003. Also people have created derivatives of the MediaWiki logo to use for related software or products.[8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15] You'll need to employ lots of lawyers to put this ten year old genie back in the bottle with lots of cease and desist letters. I wouldnt be surprised if the lawyers also feel that use of flowers and square brackets in conjunction with wikis creates confusion, so which adds another set of trademark violations to process, like [16] [17] [18] John Vandenberg (talk) 05:18, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
I can't speak for her, but my guess is that Yana was talking about a case like "MediaWiki setup + Wiktionary logo" more than "MediaWiki setup + MediaWiki logo". (For completeness, I should note that while the default install does include the MediaWiki logo, the version that's loaded by default has been clearly identified as a placeholder for some time.) She and I talked a fair bit of the specifics of the MediaWiki logo already, including its public domain status which will definitely be maintained. Thanks for collecting these examples, though; I had promised Yana to send her a bunch of example uses of the MediaWiki logo & mark, and this is a great start. I find none of these concerning in any way, FWIW.--Eloquence (talk) 06:26, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
G'day Eloquence, WikiLeon isnt asking about a "MediaWiki setup + Wiktionary logo" setup. They are talking about the packaged default MediaWiki, which includes "look and feel", and trademarked logos. I will also add that some of the new UI redesigns (which are extensions or skin-mods IIRC) use the WMF colours - I havent looked to see if those colours are in the default code - something to check, because if the WMF colours are being redistributed in MediaWiki / MediaWiki extensions written by the WMF, then WMF is promoting the WMF colours=mediawiki site, which means it is harder to win a passing off battle.
It is great to know that you think the use I listed are fine, but where is the section of the trademark policy which states that, even broadly? Apologies if I have missed it.
I mention derivatives of the Community Logo in a section below, but the problem applies to all of the logos, as I'm pretty sure that derivatives of every logo have been created and used offwiki. But the MediaWiki and Community logos are the two most important ones to maximise freedoms for, as they are PD, and represent something which exists beyond the servers owned by the WMF.
Is it ok to use the placeholder (a derivative of a trademarked Wikimedia logo) on a mediawiki powered site? Unlike the 'powered by' logos, the placeholder doesnt link to MediaWiki, so it cant use that exception.
Which section of this policy allows for the derivatives that I have mentioned above. If they need to be registered with WMF before they are used outside the WMF servers, it needs to be clearly said, and we need a request form for people to fill in and send to WMF for approval. John Vandenberg (talk) 16:01, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
If the derivatives are not confusing, they don't fall within the trademark protection of a mark. That is why you can, as I mentioned below, use them off wiki without any permission. We'll prepare an FAQ section to clarify this point so that people know that they don’t need to fill out the request form.
I would think that most people understand that a “placeholder” is only in place to show users where to add their own image. But perhaps we can work on making that clearer in the FAQs too.
The uses that you listed are broadly covered by Sections 3.5 and 3.6. As Erik mentioned, we are thinking about how our trademark practice can best serve open source development, so the examples that you listed are indeed very helpful. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 17:24, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Section 3.5 and 3.6 use the term 'wordmark'; does that apply to the trademarked logos as well - many of the registered trademarks dont include words at all? John Vandenberg (talk) 02:09, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
The use of the term “wordmark” was intentional in Section 3.5 because those sections refer specifically to how people may use wordmarks in their writing or everyday speech. Accordingly, there is no concern individuals will infringe marks that do not include words at all, because merely describing the logo through words is okay. However, we realize that the organization of Section 3.6 is a little confusing and we revised it to make it clear when we are referring to wordmarks and when we are referring to all marks. Thank you so much @John Vandenberg: for helping us clarify this section :) MBrar (WMF) (talk) 01:06, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
Hi Manprit, thanks for confirming that the WMF used wordmark intentionally. In light of that could you and the team return to the question "Which section of this policy allows for the derivatives that I have mentioned above." If it is section 3.5 and 3.6 as Yana asserted, could the team please clarify which part of 3.5 and 3.6 allows for using a derivative of the MediaWiki logo as the logo of a commercial product which relates to MediaWiki? John Vandenberg (talk) 07:54, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Sure! Section 3.6 allows for the derivatives of the MediaWiki logo in the examples you mentioned. Nominative use is a doctrine created and defined by US court decisions, which is reflected in Section 3.6. Instead of simply stating “people have a right to use the marks nominatively under US law,” we thought it would be more useful to identify clear examples of nominative use currently permitted by courts. However, the use permitted under the doctrine requires that you use only as much of the mark as necessary to identify the trademark owner’s product or service associated with the mark. The use of a derivative of the MediaWiki logo as the logo of a commercial product may go beyond the minimal use of a logo permitted by current US law (because you could simply state on your site, “Powered by MediaWiki” rather than including the logo). But, we interpret Section 3.6 broadly to allow people to create MediaWiki logo derivatives when that advances the open source movement because we don’t feel users will be confused about whether Wikimedia sponsors your commercial product. We did not frame the language of this provision to explicitly allow this because, 1) it is unique to the MediaWiki logo and 2) would go beyond current US law and pose additional legal risks to maintaining the Wikimedia marks. I hope this addresses your question. Please feel free to post if it doesn’t and we can try to clarify :) MBrar (WMF) (talk) 23:36, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Hi MBrar (WMF) and thank you for your explanation so far. It is nice to know that WMF is feels logos and even logo derivatives are nominative use. I would like to see that approach apply to all of logos, as such nominative use of the other logos would also advance our mission and WMF interpreting the nominative use doctrine in different ways depending on which asset is at stake seems to open a can of worms (as you say: pose additional legal risks), but I'll leave that for another discussion.. ;-) I can see that the WMF's broader interpretation of nominative use could cover many of the instances I linked to above (such as these two derivatives in commercial software), however this derivative appears to fail every test for nominative use as they are using a derivative of the MediaWiki logo as their own logo. Could you explain how that use falls within the policy? If not under 3.6, perhaps that specific derivative logo is permitted under 3.7 as it is used in a non-commercial setting (i.e. open source). Thank you. John Vandenberg (talk) 00:52, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Great question! You are right that their use of a derivative of the MediaWiki logo as their own logo is not a typical nominative use. However, their use does fall under 3.6.3, which allows for non-commercial use of Wikimedia logos because their logo describes how their software builds on MediaWiki software, and lets you work outside of it. Furthermore, they are promoting the open-source movement by improving on the MediaWiki software and not charging for their services (just the type of initiative we like to support!). MBrar (WMF) (talk) 00:47, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

I have a question inspired a little bit by FAQ 3.14, point 3. Let's say that I want to create a fork of Wikipedia in my language. I am a "community member" as defined in "3.4 Community logo use to show membership". Let's also say that I have good reasons (IMO) to make this move (eg. I am blocked on Wikipedia in my mother tongue for 3 years for some incoherent reasons like trying to politely persuade admins to change "Bradley" to "Chelsea" and use feminine pronouns in "Bradley Manning" article). Questions:

  • Can I use the Wikipedia logo as a logo of my forked version of Wikipedia?
  • Can I use the community logo as a logo of my forked version of Wikipedia?

Thanks in advance for an answer. BartłomiejB (talk) 23:04, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for your questions, BartłomiejB. The legal team will be responding to them shortly. --Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 17:57, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Hi there, BartłomiejB! You can always create forks of Wikipedia, so long as you re-use of the content in adherence to the creative commons license terms. But the Wikipedia logo should only be used on the original Wikipedia. Otherwise, people would be confused that the fork is Wikipedia. Likewise, the Community logo should not be used as a logo on the fork because that will make it look like Meta.
I hope this helps! Just let me know if there is anything more I can elaborate on for you. And thanks for your inquiry! DRenaud (WMF) (talk) 21:28, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 01:25, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Section 5 prohibitions trump everything else[edit]

Section 5 prohibits certain uses of the marks, while sections 3 and 4 allow certain uses. For greater practical and legal certainty it would be sensible to make it clear that all of the s3 and s4 permissions are subject to the restrictions of s5. That's clearly intended but does not appear to be explicitly stated. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 10:29, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

That's a good point. I'll clarify this in Sections 3 and 4. Thanks, YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 07:57, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 21:58, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Discussion about section 6 (Trademark Abuse)[edit]

  • First, strongly suggest that "abuse" is the wrong word. It's not abusive when I put WMF wordmarks onto a baseball bat, along with my malware URL, and sell the baseball bat. It is abusive when I use the bat to beat the living daylights out of editors that fail to understand their is a difference between they're and there. Hardly think WMF lawyers will be pursuing me with trademark lawsuit in hand, eh? Besides, I have an iron-clad defense, I was defending the English language against abuse. :-)   Strongly suggest rewording this to be "misuse of" ... or even the maximally-weasely-worded "inappropriate use of" ... because we want to be able to keep folks from misusing the marks, or merely using the marks inappropriately, without calling them abusers (let alone proving the are abusers in court). E.g. it is inappropriate to put the WMF marks on a murder-weapon, even when one does so without abusing the English language. 13:52, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Hi 74! I believe you mean that they “fail to understand ‘there’ is a difference.” Don’t beat yourself up over it! ;) Your point that “abuse” is the wrong word for referring to third parties’ acts of abusing our trademarks is well-taken. We are changing the word “abuse” to “misuse” throughout, per your recommendation! DRenaud (WMF) (talk) 23:11, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Danke. Mis-use may not permit a wider *legal* latitude in pursuing folks that should not be using the trademarks is some fashion via the courts, but methinks it will help by being less *colloquially* confusing to readers of the policy. p.s. Yes, grammer has always bin my strong suite, thanks for noticing. <preens> And I would never misuse a bat to smack myself with; I love echo-location! 02:56, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks again, 74! I really think that your recommendation is a material improvement to the policy that will make it read more clearly and more accurately. Your input is much appreciated! DRenaud (WMF) (talk) 17:47, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Second, what specifically does 6.2 mean when it says "if we [WMF] determine that" ... what specifically is the procedure for such determinations? Assuming there is no such thing already, I'd like to propose an *alternative* procedure, where the wikipedia community members can prevent inappropriate uses of the marks. Maybe I should be more specific on *which* wikipedia community I mean... defined as the 500m+ readers ... or the 25m at-least-one-edit-folks ... or the 80k currently active 5+edits/mo folks ... or the ~~7k holders-of-the-trademark-userright-criteria "community-members" defined elsewhere in this trademark policy document.
  If there is an ArbCom vote that using WMF marks to promote some hypothetical cult, which we will call The Church Of The Great Jimbo aka TCOTGJ for the purpose of this discussion (with apologies to User:Jimbo_Wales), even though all the WMF members are committed bishops in said church, and all the WMF lawyers are high priests, I want the ArbCom decision to trump the WMF lawyers. This is *only* about preventing inappropriate uses, please note. I do not want the readers / editors / activeEditors / tmPermbitHolders / activeAdmins / arbCom to be able to vote in favor of permission to use any mark, when WMF lawyers are against it. But I do want at least some of those groups to be able to override the WMF lawyers, and be able to revoke permission, which WMF lawyers have inappropriately granted to TCOTGJ.
  Furthermore, I don't think this proposed override-process for community-revocation of the WMF-legal-team decision needs to be in the formal trademark-policy legalese. The vague language of the trademark policy is fine, for courtroom use, against Really Bad Eggs. But I'd like the non-legally-binding FAQ to document the finer details of the procedural-innards for non-courtroom-dramah, which would then become morally-binding on future WMF trustees/employees/etc. 13:52, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
I appreciate the colorful hypothetical, 74! Are there any real life instances of an organization granting trademark use to an unscrupulous entity in contravention of the organization’s mission or philosophy that come to mind? Not to trivialize your concern, but I am sure you recognize that the Foundation’s legal department has a compelling interest in not permitting an entity to use the Foundation marks against the protests of the community, or any of the groups you have named. Would you agree that the morally-binding dicta that you seek is largely covered by the Foundation’s Statement of Purpose? DRenaud (WMF) (talk) 23:11, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
My mention of the church of the great jimbo was not hypothetical; I'm a member, and we are evangelical, so I hereby extend an invitation to you — join us! :-)   But using TCOTGJ has the advantage that I don't have to bring up any old or not-so-old real-world examples. I'm in particular thinking of situations where commercial entities with close ties to the Great Jimbo may-he-live-ten-thousand-years, or to some other WMF individual perhaps, are given lucrative contracts. I'm also thinking of local chapters, which are not necessarily operated in a fashion that "the (wider) community" approves of. I'm envisioning scenarios where some hypercorp, or some government, or some other external entity becomes a "partner" with approval of the WMF folks ... but without the approval of the wider community. In other words, I want a safety-override-switch, for use in emergencies, when the majority of the WMF folks are "drinking the kool-aid" and have made a mistake of some kind.
  Of course, there are less controversial worries; maybe two similar-sounding groups apply for permission to hold a bake-sale, and the WMF staffer mixes up the names, and tells one group yes, and the other group no, when the answers should have been flipped. I'd like there to be an existing, well-documented process for "the community" to open some kind of WTEL-for-deletion thingamabob, and upon getting a hundred !votes for revoke to have the WMF-granted permission be contractually withdrawn. Anybody who has seen AN/I lynch-mobs knows that such things can be achieved in a matter of hours or minutes, around the clock 24/7/365... whereas it might be a few days before WMF staff notices the revocation-alerts in their work-queue, depending on holiday schedules and workload and so on. The only way that is going to be possible, obviously, is if the WMF-granted permission-letter actually *says* that such a community revocation process exists, at the time. This need not be hardcoded in the WMF-response, but instead could be a link to some kind of trademark-grant-terms-and-conditions-that-the-WMF-can-modify-at-any-time, but it does seem wise to get this hammered out in advance.
  Anyways, does this explanation give you the flavor of my concerns? There are *plenty* of real-world examples of the upper management doing things that are against the will of the shareholders. Rather than give a detailed and explicit enumeration of such potential conflicts, though, I'd prefer to stick with TCOTGJ, and their goal to convert the world to their new religion. Can we "the community" override the WMF-license-grant, and thereby yank TCOTGJ's permission to use the marks? If not, why not? If so, how exactly does it work? Thanks. 04:14, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
Currently, there is no community override process for WMF-license-grants. The Legal Team is responsible for granting trademark licenses. Legally speaking, WMF is the “owner” of the marks, and must take on the responsibility of protecting those marks by exerting quality control over the licensing process in order to maintain protection over the marks. That being said, the Legal Team's goal is to license trademarks in ways that advance the Wikimedia mission. So, if the community ever felt that a licensee was not advancing our mission, or worse, harming it, we would immediately reevaluate the grant of the license. We do not grant perpetual licenses to individuals and if for some reason we were unable to revoke a license the community was unhappy with, we would simply select not to renew it at the end of its term. I understand your concern that WMF may ignore the wishes of the community, but WMF functions to serve the worldwide community and we would not license trademarks “against the will” of the collective community. This can be evidenced by our recent decision to suggest to the WMF Board to revoke the registration of the Community Logo in response to a community vote. I hope this quells some of your concerns. MBrar (WMF) (talk) 00:50, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
  • While we are on this subject, I'm curious about the WMF-specific revocation process; although I'm against the WMF-based revocation-process being actually in the legalese, and certainly don't insist the override-process proposed above be in the legalese, I'd definitely like there to *be* fully documented process-mechanisms, I'd like there to *be* a commitment to be transparent about how WMF-revocation-decisions are made, and to log the minutes-of-the-WMF-revocation-meetings, and such things. What is the definition (for purposes of pragmatic usage as opposed to purposes of adjusting the legalese) of the words "inconsistent with our mission" and also "could harm the community/movement/WMF"? Who defines the mission? Who defines the community? 13:52, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Transparency is one of our core values. To help increase the transparency of who is granted a trademark license, we have amended the trademark licenses to indicate we may publish a list of all trademark licensees to make this information public. The decision to revoke a trademark license will likely come after community members contact WMF to report the misuse of Wikimedia trademarks in a way that disparages the Wikimedia name. As to the definition of the “mission” it was crafted in accordance with how the community felt the Wikimedia sites should be run. The mission is “to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.” Accordingly, it is “inconsistent with our mission” to reproduce content from Wikimedia sites with a copyright notice, as this will restrict others from using and adapting that content. This “could harm the community/movement/WMF,” because it hinders the reputation of Wikimedia projects as free, open-source collections of educational content. The Wikimedia movement relies on this reputation to encourage greater volunteer contribution and develop partnerships all over the world to increase access to and expand the amount of free knowledge available online. MBrar (WMF) (talk) 19:04, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
That is fine, and I appreciate the links in particular, some I hadn't seen. I would caution that the publication of the trademark-licensees should be careful to respect their privacy; if they explicitly agree (by checking an optional box or somesuch) have their real-world legal name published, that is one this, but *publication* of that real-world legal identity should be entirely optional (and as a fallback the WMF can report that a trademark license was given out to User:PiRSquared17 or to User_talk: or whatever their on-wiki "identity" might be).
  But actually, what I'm asking about the specifics. The transparency-core-value says that, barring a good reason, internal organizational policies/procedures/practices should be well-documented, and available on-wiki. So: here is an example scenario. I notice BadGuy mis-using the marks! <ohnohz> Quickly, I visit the trademark policy homepage, and alert the WMF! Presumably via email to trademark@wikimedia or somesuch, as opposed to the Bat Signal. Then... well, then what exactly? One person reviews my alert, that works on the WMF legal staff? My alert is wiki-logged somehow? All global sysops can see my alert? All autoconfirmed wikipedians can watchlist the alert-log? Who decides when action will occur? Who can veto that decision to act? And so on. The actual *action* of stopping BadGuy is not my interest; I'm asking about the process of how the decision is made, that #1) an alert is valid and #2) a response is gonna happen. How is "mis-use" defined, and by whom? Thanks.
  p.s. Along the same lines, I'd like to know the details of the license-approval-process. Many of them are explained above, such as the requirement that one has to download a PDF, print it out, and then either snail-mail it to the WMF, or scan it and then email-as-an-attachment to the WMF. But what happens after that? Who does the approval? Are they actually the same folks which are responsible for handling BadGuy-alerts? That's good in the sense that fewer bodies are needed, but not good in the sense that naturally folks who just *approved* the mark are going to be resistant to turning around and revoking that permission. Again, my goal here is not to modify the language of the trademark policy, though it might be worth adding "how does the process work in detail" as a FAQ subsection. 04:14, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
I completely agree that we would need to respect the privacy of trademark licensees. The license will in fact provide an area for the licensee to indicate how they would like to be identified, either by their personal name, username, or by their organization name that they are licensing the trademark on behalf of. I apologize for misinterpreting your questions earlier. Trademark enforcement is currently handled by the WMF Legal Team to ensure consistency and compliance with trademark law. When receiving a complaint, we first send a confirmation to the person submitting the complaint. Potential infringements are then logged into our system when we receive a complaint from our community and triaged. The Legal Team then combs through each of those complaints to investigate the alleged infringement. We visit the site personally to make sure the complaint has merit. Then we apply US trademark law in assessing whether there is actual “misuse” and it is a valid infringement of the trademark. In general, the standard of “misuse” in US law is whether the use of the trademark is “confusingly similar” to WMF’s use of the trademark. In other words, will the potential infringers use of the trademark confuse users into thinking their site is sponsored by or hosted by WMF? We always contact the potential infringer first to see if they will voluntarily stop using our marks or work with us to make their use less confusing. If we are unable to work things out informally, and they refuse to comply with a cease and desist letter, the decision to move forward with litigation to stop their infringement is made by the Legal Counsel. Similarly, the license approval process is also done by a member of the Legal Team, which sometimes is the same person who handles the violations. We can certainly add an FAQ addressing these questions to bring greater transparency to the trademark enforcement and licensing process. I hope this better answers your questions, and if I missed something please let me know! Thank you again for all your insightful comments. :) MBrar (WMF) (talk) 00:55, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 22:11, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

Discussion about section 7 (Revision and Translation of the trademark policy)[edit]

Discussion about the Quick License (formally "Wikilicense")[edit]

  • Would it be possible to find a better name for this? Right now, I find it rather confusing for several reasons: 1) it is confusing with the CC BY-SA license which is externally also sometimes refered to as 'the wikilicense'. Specifying that it is about trademark usage might be wise. 2) wiki suggests it might be editable. I guess that is not the case. Wikimedia might be more appropriate here.
All in all, I don't think we need a very short name for this anyway, because it is mainly a term used in this context only, and not for publishing purposes. We can afford to be thorough here :) Effeietsanders (talk) 16:42, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm open to suggestions here if there is strong community support for another term. What would you or others suggest? We used "wiki" because, in one context, it means "quick" or "speedy," but I am open to other views as well. Geoffbrigham (talk) 19:15, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Glad to hear you're open to suggestions. I could suggest Pre-approved Trademark License or Trademark License for Community use. Naming things isn't my strong point though - I'm sure other people (native speakers) can come up with more descriptive names that are also easy to translate. Effeietsanders (talk) 21:57, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
(p.s. please capitalize Wiki Loves Monuments ;-) )
Wiki Loves Monuments is now capitalized. :) Thanks, Effeietsanders. Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 00:31, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Agree with Effeietsanders that WikiLicense is too vague. Suggest instead "WikiTrademarkExplicitLicense" which can even be shortened further to w:WP:WTEL (although I'm against that acronym-form being 'official' as it is potentially-confusing). Most of the time, when people are engaging in fair-use stuff, they will be utilizing the "WikiTrademarkImplicitLicense" aka w:WP:WTIL. Suggest that the same policy-page also explain the various WikiContentRedistributionLicenses to include CCBYSA and GFDL, with pointers to their existing copyright-policy-pages. 13:59, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for your suggestion, 74. We'll take this under consideration, but we are curious about what other community members think about your suggestions. We are also open to other suggestions from community members. Mpaulson (WMF) (talk) 22:48, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
I would also recommend finding a new name - perhaps one that is not new. My concern is that the text introduces a new concept, the "wikilicence" which is meant to be an easy and quick way to get a trademark permission. The main concerns are that as the term is new, one actually needs to spend time on understanding what it is, losing some of the quickness and easiness; and secondly, the licence still needs to be e-mailed so it is not wiki after all.
Considering the overall clarity of language used in the whole policy, it would be more consistent to use a description as suggested above ("pre-approved licence") instead of a name that needs to be expanded and explained. –Bence (talk) 13:31, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
Bence, you make an important semantic point here. I'll make sure that the legal team answers you soon. Best, Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 19:23, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

Otherwise, I think the wikilicence idea is great!
I am certain the usability of it will require some work though. If it requires a real-world signature before e-mailing than using a PDF form to fill in might be more convenient than editing a wiki page and then printing and scanning; if one is meant to e-mail the wiki page, I would expect some weird breakage of the design upon copy-pasting which might be confusing and annoying to the user. Also, with translations, one needs to consider whether to accept the form in any language, or require translated versions to come with the English version attached... I expect this is all in development, but the most usable final form might not be on a wiki, so this might also be a consideration to use a name that doesn't imply one specific technology or an understanding of the origin of the word "wiki". –Bence (talk) 13:41, 24 November 2013 (UTC)

You raise a good point, Bence. We will provide a PDF to facilitate printing and scanning and are considering other ways to make it easier to use. We'd love to hear more suggestions on this point. As for the translations, they are intended to facilitate broad discussion during the community consultation phase. We intend to provide translations of the final version to make it more accessible. However, if there are any differences between the translations and the original English language version, you should follow the English language version. We do this because the license is governed and interpreted in accordance to United States law. AVoinigescu (WMF) (talk) 01:54, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Ughh. The WTEL-aka-wikiLicense has to be signed, in blue or black ink only, full legal name? Or am I just confused. Also, I do like the side-suggestion by Bence... why *not* make the request of an explicit pre-approved trademark-use-license actually be wiki-style? There could be a trademark-noticeboard here on meta... or better, avoid extra bureacracy-creation, and just merge the requests into some existing noticeboard[19][20][21] which already deals with somewhat-similar stuff, or maybe even is just in the metaphorical ballpark.[22][23][24][25] Who knew it also stood for 'request for cake'?
  p.s. If a signature is mandatory, suggest that uploading a pic the person took with their phone (of their handwritten signature on an otherwise-blank piece of paper) that is then attached to a boilerplate wiki-noticeboard-request with a clickwrap that says "I swear this is my sig and hereby attach it to this text" would be preferable to pdf-print-sign-scan... we want to support tablet/smartphone editors, not just folks working in an office that has an all-in-one-printer-scanner-copier unit. This is important not just because it broadens the ability to get the license from various devices, but also because if people *forgot* to request the license, or did not *realize* they had to get the license, we want them to be able to request it at the last minute, from the checkout-line at the t-shirt-printing-shop, or the bakery, or whatever. 03:28, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Uploading signatures as images might not be the best idea in the long run (except for the Wikipedia article infoboxes). The Adobe software for Android at least allows one to sign a PDF using the screen and their fingers and it then embeds that image. Not sure if its legal as a signature, but it does make it convenient on a phone or tablet. -Bence (talk) 17:12, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
@Bdamokos: For now, we will be able to accept Wikilicenses via physical mail or a scanned signed copy via email. In the future, we hope to build an electronic form, where users can submit a license entirely online (but that is still a work in progress). Thanks, Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 22:55, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
That makes sense about the format (still doesn't look too complicated, especially once people have some time to test and optimize the whole process), though I would still recommend caution with using "wiki" in the name. --Bence (talk) 18:43, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
Bence, again, the point you're making here is appreciated. The legal team will respond soon. Best, Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 19:23, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

@Bdamokos: After considering the name, we changed "Wikilicense" to "Quick License" to avoid misunderstanding about whether the license is editable. Thanks for the feedback! Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 21:37, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 22:06, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

Discussion about the FAQ[edit]

  • I think the those blue "FAQ boxes" within in the policy are quite small and not very visible at the right side, especially for people like me who use a widescreen monitor. Maybe we should change their position or appearance? Maybe the boxes should not just say "FAQ"? --Gnom (talk) 13:35, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing this out! We could try placing the box on the left to make it more visible on widescreen monitors. Do you have any suggestions on what the boxes could say instead of “FAQ”? MBrar (WMF) (talk) 21:02, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Maybe just "Frequently asked questions" or "Read FAQ" or anything that's longer and hence more visible ;-) --Gnom (talk) 08:24, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for your input @Gnom:! We will move the FAQ box to the left to make it more visible for users. However, in the interest of reducing the text on the screen, we think it will be more helpful for readers to keep the text in the box short. We greatly appreciate your feedback :) MBrar (WMF) (talk) 23:15, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
  • 1.5. What does “very supportive” mean? seems to be outdated - the term can't be found in the entire document. Alice Wiegand (talk) 13:36, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
    • You're absolutely right. We have deleted that portion from the policy, but forgot to delete the FAQ. I'll delete it now. Thanks! YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 18:45, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. Philippe (WMF) (talk) 21:47, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

Discussion about the trademark "request a license" form[edit]

  • Proposed uses currently list "Online (website, email) Book, periodical, Print TV, Movie, or Broadcast, Other". I see elsewhere that community events are allowed without request, but I think that this form should emphasize that the use of marks during community events is permitted since that is such an unorthodox allowance. To this list of proposed uses, add "advertising for Wikimedia event", "conference presentation", "starting a Wikimedia community group (unofficial)" and other common uses rather than these very uncommon uses, and perhaps if someone checks any of those boxes, send them to a page which tells them that they may freely use the mark. Otherwise, it might be a good idea to have them register their use anyway just as another communication channel to identify community organizers. Blue Rasberry (talk) 11:45, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
    • I like the idea of emphasizing community uses to save people the trouble of applying for a license when they don't need one. We have done this on the Wikilicense, which has a warning that ask people to double check whether they need a license at all and links to the provisions that describe license free uses. But perhaps it would be helpful to call out some of those uses specifically here. Enabling a communication channel for community organizers also sounds like an excellent idea. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 07:33, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
      • Thank you. I have trouble articulating what I want. I am sure that I want community organizers to be empowered to advance the Wikimedia movement. I am not sure what else I could say now or how I should feel or respond. Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:16, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
  • The form currently says to name, "Wikimedia chapter, thematic organization, or user group & title (if any)*" Are not chapters already empowered to use marks as they like without further notice to anyone? Blue Rasberry (talk) 11:38, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
    • Movement organizations can do a lot things under their respective agreements, but there are certain uses that may not be covered. (The trademark policy discusses the relationship between these agreements and the policy in Section 1.4.2.) For example, if someone with a chapter were to write an unrelated book and wanted to use the puzzle globe logo on the cover, they would need to get an ordinary trademark license. But the fact that this is a chapter person would be relevant to know because a trademark holder is sometimes allowed to relax the trademark quality control requirement when it has a relationship with the trademark licensee. We want the application form to cover edge cases like this to make it really effective and avoid unnecessary back and forth emails. I'd love to hear if there is anything that we have forgotten. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 07:33, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
      • I can think of nothing more to say at this time. I would not want the inappropriate use you have described to happen. Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:16, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. Philippe (WMF) (talk) 21:48, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

Discussion about the violation reporting form[edit]

  • Who is going to respond to violations? I have been interested in inappropriate use of all kinds of Wikipedia content. Can this form also go into a queue for sending spankings to people who violate other policy, like inappropriate reuse of community uploaded text and images? Who is administering the spankings? I would favor this process from the beginning being something both for the community for their protection as well as for the WMF for their mark protection. I do not favor this being a queue only for protecting the WMF and not the community. Blue Rasberry (talk) 11:48, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Good question, Blue Rasberry. The WMF Legal team will monitor any reports of potential trademark violations that come to us via this form and respond as appropriate. This is just one more avenue by which the community may report potential abuse - in the past, the Legal team has reviewed cases that have come in via the email address (listed here). We will continue to closely monitor both, so please choose whichever option is more convenient for you.
In cases of inappropriate reuse (such as violations of the CC-by-SA license), the community should send an email to and the Legal team will determine whether to send a letter regarding proper compliance with license provisions. Furthermore, since such reports come largely from within the community, the reporters themselves are certainly welcome to report potential reuse violations on-wiki in whatever manner the community would find easiest to track. As the owner of the copyrights, members of the community are always free to reach out to (and, if the violators are community members, perhaps sanction) reusers who are not following the rules.Rkwon (WMF) (talk) 21:50, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Maybe we can also do this the other way around: publish a list of allowed usages (not necessarily exhaustive) so that community members can check against that list that indeed (for example) Orange has a deal with the WMF to use the trademark in certain situations. No need to be very detailed, but right now it's a lot in the dark. That would limit the reports in the longer run. Effeietsanders (talk) 16:44, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
    • Hello @Effeietsanders: In practice, we verify that someone is not a licensee before we contact them about misuse of the trademark. (We also must evaluate whether it is parody, nominative use, or another type of acceptable use, so checking against our licenses is another easy step in our process.) We could post an incomplete list of licensees if that is helpful for the community, but it would be too difficult to maintain a comprehensive list, and I am hesitant to do anything that would make the trademark process slower. I think the process works best if the community reports all uses that they feel are inappropriate. Thanks for the feedback, Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 19:42, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
    Thanks, Stephen LaPorte (WMF). I think an incomplete list is totally fair and nobody would want to delay the process over this. The problem I've seen a few times, is that a community member is unsure about how legit a certain use of the trademark is somewhere by a company, and then they start a discussion in the village pump equivalent. That goes on forever, and speculation arises on whether or not they have a license. They feel held back to waste your time, are uncomfortable with the language or simply have something against the WMF. Such a list could probably remove doubts about many cases, and might increase the number of reports of real abuse sent (now they might just assume it's a licensee). Of course I assume you do have a comprehensive list somewhere in the office for the final check before writing them an angry letter ;-). Effeietsanders (talk) 15:13, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
    This sounds reasonable -- we will investigate building a public list. We are sensitive to potential privacy questions, so I would like to give licensees advance notice that their use may be listed publicly. I added a line to the license request form, and we may need to clarify this point elsewhere. Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 22:27, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Thanks for everything said here. I have no further comments at this time except to say that I am happy enough with the response and hope that the conversation continues. Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:18, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Other discussion[edit]

  • Unclear right at the top: do you mean this? "YES please! / You have a fair use right to use the Wikimedia marks when: / Truthfully describing a Wikimedia site. / Doing accurate news reporting and or artistic, literary, and or political work. / Using a wordmark when its meaning is unrelated to Wikimedia. / Linking to Wikimedia sites.

    "Doing" is pretty ungainly (do drugs?), but I can't think of anything better at the moment. Non-anglophones will bump on the "and" after "reporting" and after "literary", since English is unusual in treating "and", not "or", as the default mortar between listed items; but here, "or" would be better even for natives.

    Approaching that opening text in ignorance, I'm befuddled by the third bullet. Is is clear enough to the many people who won't bother to read the fine print? Tony (talk) 08:36, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Hi, Tony! This is great input. We brainstormed the question, and we have replaced the present summary language with the following:

"You have a fair use right to use the Wikimedia marks to:

· Truthfully describe a Wikimedia site;

· Accurately report news;

· Create artistic, literary, or political works; or

· Link to Wikimedia sites."

Do you feel that this edit resolves your concerns with the wording? DRenaud (WMF) (talk) 21:01, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Nice indeed! Tony (talk) 09:31, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks again for the recommendation, Tony! DRenaud (WMF) (talk) 17:40, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

"help shape new policy"[edit]

Like so often - if your motherlanguage is not english, you have nearly no possibility to "help". It's an important thing for me, because I'm doing a lot of outreach work. But with this long and often technical texts, there's no possibility to coorperate. Maybe Coorperation is not really wanted from other regions of the world. It makes the things not easier... Marcus Cyron (talk) 00:25, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Hallo Marcus, du kannst gerne auch auf Deutsch kommentieren! Der Entwurf ist in 6 verschiedene Sprachen inklusive Deutsch übersetzt worden und das Team wird Kommentare in allen Sprachen lesen - wie schon in der ersten Phase der Diskussion, als zB auf Französisch, Spanisch und Deutsch verfasste Diskussionsbeiträge gelesen und beantwortet wurden.
(English translation of the above: Hi Marcus, you are welcome to comment in German, too! The draft has been translated into 6 different languages including German, and the team will read comments in all languages - as it did in the in the first stage of the trademark discussion, where comments in e.g. French, Spanish and German were read and responded to.)
Grüße, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 00:57, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
And for us poor angloids, if the arabic/french/german/japanese/other talkpages bring up some insightful point, please do put a link to *that* talkpage discussion, into the relevant section here on *this* talkpage. Monolinguals can always use binging or googling for machine-translation, but those raw tools are a poor substitute for some multilingual human, acting as a bridge. Anyways, Marcus, your point is well-taken, and appreciate you were brave enough to make it. Keep on doing so, please, this is an important problem, not just for things like trademark-policy-discussions, but for the long-term viability of wikipedia, as a place that attracts and retains great contributors, no matter their native spoken-language traditions. 14:24, 22 November 2013 (UTC)


Hello. My username on Wikia is CalzoneManiac, but my account here is DudeWithAFeud. On several wikis on Wikpedia, I often copy and paste Wikipedia content to create high-quality pages, such as Clark County, Nevada on the U.S. Counties Wiki. I always put a Wikpedia sticker to show that the content is not mine and that it originates from the page I copied from. Can you give me any advice on how to work out the new rule for Wikia sites? DudeWithAFeud (talk) 00:41, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Hi DudeWithAFeud. Thanks for your comment. Looking at the page you pointed to, it looks like you're appropriately attributing to Wikipedia already. The English Wikipedia community has a similar template here to attribute Wikia content on Wikipedia. Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 01:04, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
@DudeWithAFeud: Yes, to confirm what Anna says, if you use the Wikipedia name/logo to link to Wikipedia, then it is allowed under § 3.6.4 in the trademark policy. Thanks for the question! Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 01:14, 19 November 2013 (UTC)


We have a long history of creating derivatives of the Community Logo. What is the status of existing derivatives? Are new derivatives allowed? John Vandenberg (talk) 09:43, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

I have helped develop a lot of derivatives for a lot of purposes. I also would like clarification of how derivatives should be used. I would like them used freely, and I like the idea of registering use based on people's intent to document their activities and to use the marks properly even if derivatives are not WMF trademarks. I hope that this process does not just have to be about protecting the WMF, but can also be a system for encouraging people to use marks appropriately and connect to the rest of the Wikimedia community. Blue Rasberry (talk) 11:52, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for raising this! You should be free to create derivatives. To the extent that those derivatives are very similar to an existing trademark (so similar that someone may think it's the same mark), we ask that you only use those derivatives on the Wikimedia sites to avoid confusion.YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 15:51, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
People are already using these derivatives offline. How should these people proceed? Stop using them? Request permission from WMF, even for situations where they would be permitted to use the unmodified Community Logo without requesting permission? John Vandenberg (talk) 04:57, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
My sense - without having seen any of these offline uses - is that people are probably using derivatives that are unlikely to cause confusion and so do not need to do anything. But I cannot tell for sure without seeing specific examples of uses. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 05:18, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Hi, wmpl:File:ULOTKA_ZJAZD_2008_1.png is a specific example we could use to aid discussion here. It is an offline part of wmpl:Konferencja Wikimedia Polska 2008, which is mentioned on Community Logo. Which part of the policy allows this? Could 'derivatives' please be explicitly mentioned in the policy/faq somewhere? John Vandenberg (talk) 01:12, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the example! This derivative mark is unlikely to cause confusion. On its own, it doesn’t look like the Community logo and therefore wouldn’t be covered by its trademark protection. We’ll prepare an FAQ to clarify this. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 00:20, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

With this change to the policy, my concerns about derivatives are allayed, and this section can be archived. Many thanks to the staff involved, and also User:Bluerasberry for categorising those images on Commons. John Vandenberg (talk) 01:59, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

photography question[edit]

Is it allowed to take photos containing the trademarks and sell the photos as art (e.g. fine art prints in an art gallery or printing the photo on a 3D sculture made with a 3D printer) or sell licenses for the photos to newspapers for editorial use? Apart from photos, can the trademarks be recreated with a 3D printer and used in installation art? How is the sell of commercial merchandise differentiated from the sale of artistic objects? Art objects in an art gallery, in which items can sell for thousands of dollars, regularly display trademarks (e.g. in a recent exhibition and sale, the artist was selling photos made within a supermarket, with the trademarks of hundreds of items visible in the large print). The policy proposes to allow artistic use of the trademarks which it classifies as non-commercial, but how the trademark owner (Wikimedia) would feel if the trademark was used artistically and the artist made lots of money? 3D printing is very popular in art galleries right now and I've seen works in which trademarks are recreated with 3D printers in some artistic way, these are often put in installation art pieces, for which the gallery visitors pay for entrance tickets, photos of the installation are sold, or used in advertisements for the show. Photography is also regularly sold as art, for example an art gallery may sell fine art prints for $5,000 - $40,000 if made by a good photographer, and sometimes such photographs do contain trademarks. Sometimes art galleries or the artist may also print the photo on other items such as t-shirts or even 3D scultures made with 3D printers (printed photos on scultures made with 3D printers is also becoming popular in avant-garde art galleries) and numbered copies of the sculture may be sold to collectors, so what if the photo on the sculture contains the trademark? How is the sale of art differentiated from the sale of commercial merchandise? Photos containing trademarks can also be sold as editorial photos to journalists and newspapers, e.g. a photographer may take a photo and then sell it to a newspaper or use it in a book which is sold. So, if a pohotographer takes a pic which contains the trademark and uses the pic as the cover of a book, would this be classified as commercial use or as non-commercial use? and would it be allowed without a license?

  • Could the trademarks also be used in paintings that are sold? Many paintings regularly feature trademarks and their value is often quite high in art galleries and museums. A good painting can fetch millions of dollars. For example, see Andy Warhol's interpretation of various commercial iterms containing trademarks. Would photographers taking photos of the painting, and the sale of such photos, also be okay without a license?
Interesting question, and the answer is: “it really depends.” If the use is fair use, an artist may use the marks in an art project. See FAQ 3.18. However, if the use of the trademark is not fair use and intentionally creates confusion by suggesting a false affiliation of the artist to the Wikimedia Foundation, it would not be permissible. Geoffbrigham (talk) 19:44, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Using trademarks as a verb[edit]

Is it allowed to use the trademarks as a verb? We regularly say "wikipeding" or "wikipedize it". Could such a use of the trademark be used in a book, newspaper, blog post, in spoken speech etc? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Cogiati (talk) 10:54, 19 November 2013

FAQ number 2.3 covers this one explicitly:
'The wordmarks should not be used as a noun (e.g. “a Wikipedia for street names”), a verb (“Let’s Wiktionary this”), or in the plural or possessive form (e.g. “Wikiversities” or “Wikiversity’s”).'

Hope that helps! Philippe (WMF) (talk) 11:13, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Yes, I can clearly see the WMF sending cease-and-desist letters to people who use the word Wikipedia as a verb. I think I recall a The Big Bang Theory actor use it quite recently, perhaps someone should inform them they won't be able to do that once the new policy comes into life. odder (talk) 11:41, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
I think such use might perhaps fall under section 3.6.3 (artistic and other non-commercial use). Or Yana even licensed the use to the Big Bang Theory people. Don't laugh: WMF legal actually does a lot of licensing for TV shows. --Gnom (talk) 13:28, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
The situation I am referring to happened during an interview (I can't find it right now), so I doubt this section would apply here. Good luck enforcing such a clause, though. odder (talk) 13:50, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Wouldn't that be fair use, as nominative use? I was under the impression that restrictions like this one only apply to uses that are licensed by the entity making them—hence why you don't see a ™ after "Wikipedia" in a newspaper article. — PinkAmpers&(Je vous invite à me parler) 15:13, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Oftentimes, this would be fair use and we would not try to do anything about. But sometimes it wouldn't be fair use even if the entity weren't using the marks under a license. For example, if someone was marketing their website as “a Wikipedia for street names,” they would be using a Wikimedia trademark to market their own independent product, which may not reflect our values and mission. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 15:25, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm A little confused as to why we want to disallow the use of "Wikipedia" as a verb (as in "I wikipedia the author of my favorite book"). Wikipedia is where a lot of people go to get information on the web thus it seems like a similar situation to google ("I google the author of my favorite book"). "I searched for/read up on the author on wikipedia" is more formal, but when you are using coloquial speech, it seems that Wikipedia or just Wiki'ed, in, for example a novel's dialogue, might sound more realistic. Could someone explain to me the reasoning behind this part of the policy. Edit: I forgot to sign -- 23:55, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
I second this anonymous post. If you're only planning to disallow the use of the name Wikipedia as a noun (as @YWelinder didn't respond to the verb part I brought up), then why mentioning the other parts of speech at all? odder (talk) 17:40, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
We discourage the use of the Wikimedia trademarks as verbs because such a use could evolve in a way that weakens the connection in the public imagination between the mark and the Wikimedia projects. The danger is that the mark will become generic -- i.e. no longer a trademark. “Hoover(ing)” is an example of a former trademark that’s become generic in the United Kingdom because it is used synonymously with “vaccum(ing).” To reduce the risk that the the Wikimedia marks will be used interchangeably with “researched” or similar verbs, we discourage their use as verbs. Google’s trademark guidelines prohibit the use of “google” as a verb (as in “I google the author of my favorite book”) based on similar concerns. Of course, “wiki” is not a trademark. So you can use “wiki’ed” freely to mean “look up on Wikipedia” -- or anything else :) AVoinigescu (WMF) (talk) 20:16, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
And yet, people are using the word Wikipedia as a verb now, and will undoubtedly continue to do so in the future. What will be your reaction to that? odder (talk) 22:21, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Hello again odder, see my posts below... if the people verbifying the WMF marks are just individuals, chatting on the interwebs, the WMF need do nothing in most cases, because trademark-case-law does not require them to take action. However, if the "people" doing the verbifying are Legal Corporations In The State Of Delaware, which are publishing and advertising and in general *legally* propagating this verbified stuff, *then* trademark-law demands the WMF sue their asses. :-)   Hope this helps; see also my discussion of the difference between the FAQ, versus the courtroom-legalese-trademark-policy. 15:03, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

@YWelinder (WMF): This is nonsense. "Wikipedia" is already a noun, as all proper nouns are nouns. "Wikiversities" is already a word to refer to multiple editions of Wikiversity. Unrelated, but just seeing this rule is making me consider whether I should even contribute to Wikimedia projects when the WMF tries to impose restrictions on usage like this... Anyway, another example: Many of "Wikiversity's" users are students in courses. "Let's Wiktionary this" is completely harmless. "A Wikipedia for x" is already misused unfortunately, but the vast majority use "a wiki for x". This is way too extreme, and you might lose an editor over this. PiRSquared17 (talk) 22:48, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

I'm not entirely sure that genericization is a problem for us, especially on the verb front. Generally speaking, the risk with genericization is that it ceases to refer to a specific provider's product or service and comes to mean the whole class of product or service: e.g. kleenex for facial tissue, band-aid for adhesive bandage, xerox(ing) for photocopying, googling for using a search engine, and (in Britain) hoover for vacuum cleaner. The thing with all of this is that there are competitors to these products: there are bajillions (technical term) of manufacturers of facial tissue and adhesive bandages around the world, and more than just a few for photocopiers and vacuum cleaners; even with search engines, despite Google's domination of the market, there's still a few search engines around. On the other hand, the Wikimedia projects are generally one-of-a-kind, for good reason: they're free and open, so making a competitor on the same model would generally be pointless, and there's no profit to be had in making an alternative anyway even if it did sell ad space. This is especially true of Wikipedia, whose scale would make it a particularly daunting task. It's the classic case: why try to beat them and lose, when you can just join them and they're perfectly happy to have you?
Consider what it would mean for "Wikipedia" to turn into a verb. It would currently mean "look up on Wikipedia." What could it turn into? Well, at first stage of genericization, it could mean "look up on an online encyclopedia." Except that there aren't any others worth mentioning--all the "competition" is tiny, appealing mostly to either fanatics (e.g. Conservapedia) or the five people left who trust "regular" encyclopedias but don't have one at home and so use the online version. At the second stage, one supposes it could mean "look up online" or "look up in an encyclopedia," but for the former we have "google" and for the latter--well, who even looks stuff up in a print encyclopedia anymore? And if they did, what on Earth would they be doing saying they "wikipediaed", say, birds, in print Brittanica? And as for simply "researched" or "looked up"--why would anyone say that? "Researched" and "looked up" are perfectly good words, and much less unwieldy than "wikipediaed." Try it. It's a mouthful and kinda clunky. The other cases of genericization happened when the generic word for the thing/action was not well-established, and/or sounded overly technical or clunky. I mean, what's easier/more fun to say: "xerox" or "photocopy"? "Kleenex" or "facial tissue"? "Band-aid" or "adhesive bandage"? (So much Latin in that one!) "Google" or "search the Internet"? It ought to be obvious. Now consider: "Wikipediaed" or "researched"? I don't think we're at any risk of that word ever referring to anything other than using our largest Wikimedia project. Lockesdonkey (talk) 00:15, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

I did hope that the shibboleth of genericization would not rear its ugly head. Diderot may have been hoist on that particular petard, but we, it seems likely, would not. Wikiepdia could once have been described as the Britannia of online encyclopaedias, or perhaps as the Rolls-Royce of reference sites. Neither usage makes the trade makes generic. There is a perfectly good alternative for a wiki, or for an encyclopedia. It is certainly true that other sites, deliberately or not, trade off the components of the brand name - Wikileaks, Wikia and Parkopedia come to mind. Parkopedia even describes itself as "Wikipedia for parking" - we could take issue with this statement, because it implies association with Wikipedia in some readings, but not, I think, for risk of genericity ("Like Wikipeida, for parking" would seem unexceptional).

Moreover there seems some confusion about plurals and possessives. One of Wikipedia's most compelling propositions is the presence of Wikipedias in many languages.

I would suggest that the actual target of the provision be addressed directly (bearing in mind that the provision is only addressed to licensees) "The trade marks shall not be used in a generic manner". Thus it is perfectly acceptable to say that one will "Wikipedia Raedwald" providing one is actually using (a) Wikipedia to do it.

Rich Farmbrough 01:52 20 November 2013 (GMT).

These are similar to my concerns above. PiRSquared17 (talk) 03:13, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Didn't the EFF have something to say on this topic related to the Ubuntu trademark troubles lately ? We might be wise to take that into account. TheDJ (talk) 08:16, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
As a former fellow at EFF and a proud card-carrying EFF member, I follow everything they write and certainly take it into account when writing this trademark policy. But I’m not sure how the Ubuntu debacle relates to the discussion in this thread. This policy and our trademark practice interpret fair use broadly to protect speech related activities that were at issue in that case. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 15:11, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Rich and PiRsquared, methinks the problem is "our hypercorp will help clients wikipediafy their knowledge into this proprietary locked-in software suite". There is a generic term already: wiki, wikify, et cetera. There is absolutely[citation needed] clearly{{w:OR}} the risk that verbing the WikipediA wordmark will genericize it, and wikipediafy will become a synonym for wikify, thus *all* our trademarks will become useless for protecting the five pillars and the content-licenses as definitive parts of what Wikipedia and the WMF are known for. Therefore, I take the hardline, and say that the "Wikipedia of parking lots" is trademark infringement. They can call themselves the "Wiki of parking lots" without any trouble, right? But unless all their content is licensed under CCBYSA, unless anybody can edit their project, and unless the website is advert-free-not-counting-WMF-begging-spam, calling that website the "Wikipedia of parking lots" is, legally speaking, Bad News for the WMF lawyers.
  See also my discussion of why-sometimes-nonsensical-legalese-can-be-pragmatically-necessary. That said, if the nutty case-law precedents of trademark-law permit the legalese to simply give a blanket "shall not be used in generic manner" then I'm in favor of simplifying the language that way. But I suspect the "you may not verbify WMF marks" language is prolly mandatory, if we want to minimize in-the-courtroom-type risks during enforcement lawsuits slash anti-genericization lawsuits. Hope this helps. 14:58, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Can someone please reply to my and Rich's concerns? I don't know what the Ubuntu debacle is, and I don't see how it relates to this one. PiRSquared17 (talk) 23:35, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Hi PiRSquared17! I have deleted FAQ Section 2.8 in response to your concerns. Thanks, YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 00:10, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
"2.3 Can you give me examples of uses of the Wikimedia wordmarks that are not “proper names” or “adjectives”?
"The wordmarks should not be used as a noun (e.g. “a Wikipedia for street names”), a verb (“Let’s Wiktionary this”), or in the plural or possessive form (e.g. “Wikiversities” or “Wikiversity’s”)."
- Amgine/meta wikt wnews blog wmf-blog goog news 01:03, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for catching that, Amgine. I have deleted that section too now. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 02:07, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
You're very welcome. It's the evil Wiktionarian in me, reacting in a knee-jerk fashion to the POS restrictions. (See also: POS headers, if you're a word geek.) - Amgine/meta wikt wnews blog wmf-blog goog news 02:16, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
FAQ section 2.8 is one of the least questionable sections. I see no reason to remove it. See my comment above, at 22:48, 19 November 2013 (UTC) and Rich's. PiRSquared17 (talk) 01:28, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Hi PiRSquared17, I've looked at your comment at 22:48. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that this is addressed now that we deleted FAQ Sections 2.3 (which had a provision on plural form). And the policy already states that people can use the wordmarks as nouns. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 02:29, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Okay, thanks! I didn't notice the edit to /FAQ and the shift in numbering, so I thought you were removing a different section. Sorry. PiRSquared17 (talk) 03:01, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Ah, that explains it. I'm glad we were able to figure this out. And thanks for taking the time to thoroughly comment on the draft. It's really becoming better as a result of the consultation over the past two days. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 03:39, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm confused. Isn't the FAQ supposed to be "not a legal document", just something explaining the policy? If you just changed the FAQ, you still need to change the policy (unless the FAQ was false, or the policy is unclear to the point of meaning both A and ¬A). So, if you can link a specific diff to the policy that would be appreciated. --Nemo 23:27, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
I think the FAQ is the written-but-not-legally-binding portion of the trademark policy, and the formal numbered portions are the legally-binding stuff that is used in court. Trademark law in notoriously nutty, unfortunately. There is very definitely a serious problem with some judge being able to destroy wikipedia trademarks, by 'proving' they are genericized. Yana is in the unenviable position of being forced to write the legalese-portion so that it complies with some pretty-dern-nonsensical legal precedents... which is why PiRsquared sees nonsense here. :-)   It is nonsense, but legal systems sometimes are. Anyways, your point is correct: changing the FAQ will only change the colloquial interpretation, and if push comes to shove and somebody is taken to court, *only* the legalese portion matters.
  That said, this is one case where the legalese is probably going to have to be nonsensical, however, and the legalese will have to explicitly state that sentences like "we will wikipediafy your corporate knowledge into our proprietary locked-in product suite" are flat-out infringing on the WMF's legal wordmark. Does that mean the WMF is gonna sue some hollywood celeb who doesn't stick to the exact legalese of the trademark? Well, it depends, right? On how close to crossing the case-law-precedent line-in-the-sand the celeb goes.
  For instance, while I was googling on this genericization problem, using as my search engine of choice, I didn't worry about genericizing the Google(tm) mark, because pffft. And they won't be suing me for that sentence, because case-law-precedent does not demand they do. But if I were to register and redirect it to DuckDuckGo, in exchange for a million bucks from the owners of that engine, *then* Google Corporation lawyers would sue me, in a heartbeat. WMF needs to have the similar sort of legalese, so they can act on a case-by-case basis, to protect the Wikipedia trademarks, and thereby protect Wikipedia herself. The problem here is not that the WMF is spouting nonsense; the problem here is that trademark-case-law itself is nonsensical. Hope this helps. 14:45, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
I called it nonsense because it was nonsense. All the trsdemarks are proper nouns, so what does "should not be used as a noun" mean? Instead of using the genitive ("Wikipedia's best articles") do we need to use "of" ("Best articles of Wikipedia")? Anyway, Wikipedia is being used as a noun here, so it is verboten. There are hundreds of Wikipedias in various languages, of which the English and German ones are the largest. Oh wait, I forgot that the plural was banned. Anyway, I guess it's fixed now. PiRSquared17 (talk) 14:15, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

Minor format issue[edit]

Oh! Here they go again, with the children's version of legal documents, big shiny colourful images... I thought. But well, this is the age of big shiny buttons, and it actually looks fine and readable. Just a note, the right hand side text of the second box ("Request a licence" etc.) overruns the box and the last line ("other uses") is outside of it while the previous ("on things that [...]") is exactly on top the orange border. Using Opera/9.80 (X11; Linux i686) Presto/2.12.388 Version/12.16. By the way: "Place marks on [...] cakes [...] without selling them." Really? The WMF has been losing bazillions dollars with people selling WMF cakes? That is, do we really need to talk about cakes? :-) - Nabla (talk) 11:04, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

The same goes for (a old) Firefox (3.6.13), except that Firefox shows a gradient (which Opera did not) - Nabla (talk) 14:52, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm so glad that you like the design! Thanks for letting us know about the issues with using different browsers. We'll make sure to account for that when we prepare the final draft. That draft will be presented on foundation wiki (along with all the other legal policies) and so will need to be adjusted to different browsers at that point. As for cakes, we just wanted to emphasize the wonderful things that community members do with the marks. If you think it's silly, we could just move it to the FAQ. :) YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 15:13, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Nabla, the cakes/shirts/pamphlets issue is important. The language of 4.6 permits folks to sell cakes, of course, even without giving the WMF any kickback whatsoever, as long as the baker first requests a license via email. I'm planning an empire of cake-production-facilities, with WikipediA wordmarks on every single cake, so I'm trying to get the license-required-language loosened for several common cases, see talkpage sections above. "Let them have cake" as the famous lady once said. :-)   p.s. As for the childish formatting, it is unfortunately just *tablet* formatting, and will become ever-more-common. I tend to think of it as the iPhonization of the ARPANET. Dern you, Steve Jobs, dern you to heck! — 15:10, 22 November 2013 (UTC)


I'm unfamiliar with the term Wiki Con, and it's a red link in the document. I doubt our trademark policy should have a red link, so we either need to create that page, fix the link to the correct page, or remove the link. I'm also curious if "wiki con" itself is a wordmark misuse because it implies that our general use of 'wiki' is directly related to Wikipedia. I thought we were trying to avoid using 'wiki' to mean 'wikipedia' or 'wikimedia'. (Great work on this draft, it's a huge improvement). Ocaasi (talk) 12:04, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

We greatly appreciate your support, Ocaasi! Thank you for your active and insightful participation! DRenaud (WMF) (talk) 21:16, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
"Wikicon" is a term we crazy Germans came up with (we love meetups!), see de:Wikipedia:WikiCon. And you're definitely right about the "wiki" part. --Gnom (talk) 13:19, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Hi Ocaasi and Gnom. Red link is now blue; thanks. :) Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 20:30, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Ocaasi, it seems like WM.DE's use of WikiCon is not a misuse of the wordmark because it's a term that's used on-wiki as the "proper name" (Section 2.1) of a "community-focused event" (Section 3.2), similar to the term WikiWomen. Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 20:30, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Anna Koval (WMF), trademark-wise it's not a problem simply because "wiki" is not trademarked. --Gnom (talk) 08:22, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Gnom, as with many legal matters, there could be several reasons why the use of this term is not a problem. :) Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 21:39, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Online production[edit]

In the moview and tv shows section, I'm concerned that "online production" is an overbroad term that could include any internet video, youtube sketch, web news, web parody... If we mean online movie or online tv show, I'd prefer we clearly define 'production' as such. Anything you produce is a production, so I'd prefer we used narrower phrasing or indicated our intent as I think the policy implies. (Thank you for your hard work on this). Ocaasi (talk) 12:07, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Hm, where do you draw the line? There are Youtube channels that come very close to real TV, don't you think? I suppose the cases that you are thinking about are already covered by section 3.6.3 (artistic and other non-commercial use) and therefore require no license anyway. --Gnom (talk) 13:24, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
And Youtube profits from ads, as well as some Youtube accounts are 'partners' who receive a cut of ad revenue. I'd like more clariication on this one. Ocaasi (talk) 13:41, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Hi Ocaasi and Gnom. To be honest, narrowing the term “online production” is a tricky thing to do. The variety of works created and distributed on the internet is vast and attempting to enumerate every present and future (at least the “future” meant to be covered by this trademark policy draft) scenario is pretty much impossible. And as Gnom noted, it’s also difficult to draw lines within categories of online productions. An internet video could simply refer to Wikipedia in passing as it discusses tools of online collaboration or it could use the Wikipedia logos imply endorsement on unrelated commercial promotions. The former may be perfectly permissible while the latter would be misleading to the general public.
That said, many uses (such as web parodies or web news) within online productions will not require a license because the use is permitted under fair use or nominative use principles, as discussed in Sections 3.5 and 3.6 of the policy draft. This means that the nature of the use, rather than the medium, is more determinative in an permissible use analysis. Mpaulson (WMF) (talk) 19:17, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

"Fair use" is a U.S. concept, not worldwide[edit]

I follow the "call for comments on draft trademark policy" on the Wikipedia Kurier. The new draft policy begins with "YES please! You have a fair use right to..." My question: Does this policy apply worldwide including in countries that do not know any "fair use" rights? "Fair use" is a concept in U.S. law; the German language Wikipedia, for example, does not permit any media under a fair use claim. This policy may allow me to use marks under "fair use", but our own policies (e.g. those of forbid "fair use". --Neitram (talk) 12:20, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Hi Neitram, you might confuse copyright and trademark here: The different rules on fair use images on the English and German Wikipedias deal with copyright (Urheberrecht). This license covers trademark (Markenrecht). But you are right, German trademark law is different from U.S. copyright as it does not have a concept such as fair use. (Instead, it uses different ideas that achieve very similar results.) But that should not affect your right to use the marks under the license because this license is governed by U.S. law. Yana will correct me if I'm wrong. Gruß, --Gnom (talk) 13:06, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Whenever I read "fair use", alarm bells ring in my head because the rules "Ein Fair Use von Bildern gibt es nur nach US-amerikanischem Recht; die Verwendung urheberrechtlich geschützter Bilder unter Fair Use ist in der deutschsprachigen Wikipedia deshalb nicht erlaubt."; "Bilder, die in anderen Wikipedias als Fair Use gekennzeichnet sind, entsprechen nicht den Richtlinien der deutschsprachigen Wikipedia und können daher nicht verwendet werden." taught me: hands off of anything labeled "fair use"! --Neitram (talk) 16:35, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
You are absolutely correct about these differences in German and U.S. copyright law. However, this is not much of a problem in trademark law. -- 16:46, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Okay, I understand now that "copyright fair use" is different from "trademark fair use". But I still don't understand why you propose the wording "You have a fair use right", linking to the trademark fair use defense in U.S. law. It seems to me that the trademark fair use defense is a different thing from what you actually mean to say: a granted right (license) to use the mark for the listed purposes and in the listed ways. --Neitram (talk) 10:59, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
While I do not know the reasons for the WMF legal team's choices, my guess is they do not wish to grant that (or any) license in writing. Saying people have the right to use their mark - even in curtailed circumstances - may weaken their attempts to control the use of the mark at a later point in time. I believe it is for the same reason they are attempting to get people to stop verbing and adjectivising their marks (no more wikipedize!) - Amgine/meta wikt wnews blog wmf-blog goog news 17:07, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for your question, Neitram. We agree with Gnom on the fact that this may sound as a confusion of the fair use doctrine within copyright law, and what “fair use” could mean under a trademark law perspective. Regarding the wording, we stated that this was “fair use” because the policy cannot grant these existing rights under U.S. law -- it can only explain them. And we linked to the trademark fair use defense in US law article to show examples of the descriptive and nominate uses. But this policy is meant to apply internationally. These uses are permitted for users worldwide under the new policy regardless of how they are labelled. Thank you all for your interest and feedback! --JVargas (WMF) (talk) 21:07, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
But Fair use (U.S. trademark law), as I read it, is a defense that permits the use of a trademark a) as a culturally established word or symbol in other senses, and b) in nominative fair use. This fair use defense, by law, applies always and to all trademarks -- it does not need to be granted by the trademark owner and it can not be restricted by the trademark owner. Correct? If yes, then I feel this policy should be honest and say so, instead of making it sound by the wording as if this policy granted "fair use" rights to use Wikimedia's trademarks only in certain kinds of use as defined by the policy.
Secondly, I don't know much about these legal things but it's clear that "fair use" is a defense in United States trademark law. From Wikipedia: "Like any national law, trademark laws apply only in their applicable country or jurisdiction, a quality which is sometimes known as "territoriality"." So the question is, can the fair use defense be used only within the U.S., or can it be used internationally? It is widely known that in copyright law, the U.S. concept of fair use does not apply to international users in countries that do not know such a a concept. If the fair use defense in U.S. trademark law is similarly territorial, and if we can't avoid its use in this policy, we might want to point out this territorial limitation explicitly. And if it is territorial but not in practice because practically all jurisdictions worldwide have a similar concept in their trademark laws, we might want give this information too so that it becomes clear to the international reader. --Neitram (talk) 13:14, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Hello @Neitram: Both of your points are correct. In the U.S. and some other jurisdictions, fair use is allowed by law (and so we cannot restrict it). However, we phrase the policy as granting permission, to maximize compatibility with other jurisdictions and allow fair use and nominative use to the broadest extent possible. If a jurisdiction has a less-permissive type of fair use or nominative use, you may always use the marks as described in this policy. In practice, nominative use is more likely to be applicable than fair use, which is why the policy explains nominative use in detail. Is there anything we can do to make this point clearer in the policy? Thanks for your time and feedback, it's very much appreciated. Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 18:24, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
My suggestion would be to change "YES please! You have a fair use right to use marks to" to: "YES please! This policy grants you the right to use marks to". This way it would be clear that this policy grants a usage right worldwide. By connecting the usage permission we want to give to "link target: fair use in U.S. trademark law", I feel we do not extend but narrow it. Additionally you could add a separate line saying something like "Note: In U.S. trademark law, the concept of fair use allows you to use any trademark as long as your usage fulfils the conditions of fair use. This policy can not restrict this, and exists to extend usage permission to jurisdictions that have a less-permissive type of fair use." --Neitram (talk) 14:12, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Another benefit to avoiding the phrase "fair use" is that even the USA statutory definition of "fair use" can change... and if it becomes more restrictive, we don't therefore want *our* trademark policy to also become more restrictive. Or is this wrong, and we *do* want to explicitly follow whatever the courts define as 'fair use' in whatever country is being discussed? 16:07, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Hello Neitram and 74: We changed the summary based on your suggestion, and we also added an FAQ item to provide further clarification:

3.12 What does fair use mean?

In U.S. trademark law, the concept of fair use allows you to use any trademark as long as your usage fulfills certain conditions. This policy cannot restrict your fair use rights. We added Sections 3.5 and 3.6 to make your rights easier to understand.

For jurisdictions that do not recognize fair and nominative use as set out under U.S. law, these sections simply provide permission to do this.

Is this clear enough? Thanks again for your suggestions! Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 23:34, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Yes, thank you very much. --Neitram (talk) 12:18, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
May I suggest removing 'simply'? it then assertively gives permission. - Amgine/meta wikt wnews blog wmf-blog goog news 17:33, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
@Amgine: Yes, we can do that. It's now updated per your suggestion. Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 18:48, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Community vs. Public (editathon vs. hackathon and GLAM)[edit]

I'm a bit unclear on the distinction between editathons and hackathons and public events. You focus on whether the event is geared towards members of our 'community' to justify license-free editathons, but you also require licensing for public events. This leaves me befuddled. An editathon is often geared towards attracting new editors, who are not (yet) members of our community. At the same time, an editathon is also a public event. I get the sense that the license requirements for public events in section 4 need to better distinguish why they don't include editathons; or editathons need to be more specifically rationalized in section 3. I'm also confused about why GLAM events need licensing for a GLAM editathon. Yes, it involves another institution, but that's just a question of venue. If I hold an editathon at a museum, how is that materially different than holding an editathon at a public library--why does one not require licensing but the other does not, or maybe I'm misunderstanding your meaning of 'GLAM event'. Lastly, your definition of hackathon doesn't clearly distinguish it from an editathon, so I'm left wondering why hackathons require a license. You say, "This provision applies to hackathons where people meet to work on Wikimedia projects together." Clearly, an editathon involves working on Wikimedia projects together. To be honest, so would Susie and Bobby getting together at starbucks to improve a stub article. I'd prefer you much more clearly explain why hackathons are distinct from editathons, or perhaps reconsider entirely if they actually are. (I like the visual design of this document, it's very approachable and easy to read) Ocaasi (talk) 12:23, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

I was thinking about this also - GLAM is given special attention over other kinds of events, and I think that things like the education program, political meetups, tech meetups, and science meetups are increasingly deserving of attention comparable to GLAM. Also I am confused about the event definitions and payment discussions. To attend a meeting at a coffeehouse store policy is almost always to require visitors to buy a cup of coffee, and if admission to a coffeehouse meetup has a price then I wonder why special rules are needed for a thrifty university conference which charges a small attendees fee. Elsewhere there are also separate policies for conferences for Wikipedia community members as compared to non-members. Ideally I wish that most meetups were mostly non-community members. I am seeing the same things as Ocaasi - a lot could be clarified with standardized language and definitions. Blue Rasberry (talk) 12:55, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Bluerasberry that there are many different types of projects and meetings that are not explicitly covered here. But many (if not all!) of the ones that I can think of fall under the "Community-focused events" and "Outreach and recruiting new editors" sections and therefore require no license. Ocaasi is definitely right that this needs some clarification. Most of all, we should put someting in section 4.3 to explain that this only means "public events and conferences that are not community or outreach-related". So section 4.3 would only cover very few cases. --Gnom (talk) 13:15, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Hi Gnom and Ocaasi! Thanks for clarifying section 4.3. We'll tweak that language to make it clearer. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 15:27, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Thanks a lot for this[edit]

I am really happy with the drafts of all these pages, this policy, and this discussion. This seems like what I wanted and in any case is an awesome attempt to respond to community concerns. Thanks to all who organized this. Blue Rasberry (talk) 12:48, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Thank you Blue Rasberry! It is really encouraging to hear after working on this draft for months. :) YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 14:51, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
BlueRasberry, not sure where *you* learned to negotiate, but *I'm* not thanking them until I get what I want, see w:WP:PONY for details. :-)   I deserve a pony! I earned it! Waaaah! 16:17, 22 November 2013 (UTC)


Is there a list of all the trademarks this would apply to? --MF-W 15:44, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Yes! Section 1.1 of the draft links to this page, where you should find all the trademarks. Gruß, --Gnom (talk) 15:59, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Brilliant; I did not manage to spot this in the vastness of the page. --MF-W 17:31, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Same here. In the banner were a lot of logos unknown to me, which led me to the same question. Linked page explain them. Thanks ! --Wikyvema (talk) 15:29, 21 November 2013 (UTC)


Just a minor thing but very meaningful: please make sure in lists of requirements whether they are *and* or *or* lists. Specifically, this is unclear in the non-legal description "2. Outside the Wikimedia sites when you:". Effeietsanders (talk) 16:27, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Hi Effeietsanders! I’ll review the policy again to make sure that we are clear about using “and” and “or” for different requirements.
We don’t use “and” and “or” in the summary because it’s intended as an overview and doesn’t set out any requirements. We’ve tried to avoid any extra words in the summary so that people can quickly find a relevant provision and click a link to read more in the policy. But I’m happy to be convinced otherwise. :) YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 18:44, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Not using and or or in that summary actually makes it more confusing to me :) It is unclear to me whether all conditions have to be fulfilled or either of them. There are of course more ways to accomplish that, but currently at least to me clearity is missing. Effeietsanders (talk) 21:33, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Point taken. Let's think about how we can make it clearer. :) YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 00:21, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Trademark symbol[edit]

I know this is a returning topic, but it would be unfair not to bring this up. "2.2 Notice or trademark symbol" specifies, like the visual guidelines, that the (R) or TM should be added to the logo's. Imho, this is quite unrealistic. Over here (Netherlands, Europe) it usually just makes you look silly. It is stating the obvious and gives a commercial feeling to the logo. In practice, it gets left out all the time because it is unpractical, ugly and silly - and I don't see this changing.

I know the current text specifies 'When reasonable' so probably most people acting in good fair will just assume it is unreasonable in their geography. Maybe it is good to point out when you *really* want to enforce this, and stick to that? Effeietsanders (talk) 16:37, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Hi Effeietsanders. Thanks for your comment. We know that, under Section 2.2, our community members will interpret reasonableness in good faith according to local customs and norms. This trademark policy applies also to non-community members, where we are likely to be stricter in its construction. Trying to anticipate the various fact scenarios where “enforcement” would be appropriate in the following years would be difficult and render this section too detailed, in my opinion. But, frankly, I cannot imagine now a scenario where we would actively "enforce" against any community member under this provision. We may help guide people in a helpful way, but we expect everyone to work in good faith on this. Geoffbrigham (talk) 20:11, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the helpful pointer. Effeietsanders (talk) 21:58, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Legal document[edit]

Where does the 'not a legal document' end? Current layout suggests to me the whole document is not the legal document. Effeietsanders (talk) 16:52, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Good point. We need to make that clearer. The legal texts starts in the black box, where it says “trademark policy.” How about if we state “End of the summary” right before the black box? YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 18:27, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
It's a curious disclaimer, a user will want to know "can I rely on this" - perhaps what we want to say here is that "this is a non-binding summary only, the policy proper trumps the summary in case of conflict." But this begs a number of questions:
  • Can I rely on the summary, or is it just an aide memoire?
  • If I can rely on the summary, why have a more detailed document?
  • If the documents conflict, where do they conflict and can we repair this?
Rich Farmbrough 18:35 19 November 2013 (GMT).
Hi Rich! Thanks for asking for clarification on this. The summary and the policy should not conflict, but there are more details in the policy that mean that you can’t rely on the summary only. That’s why I flag that the "summary is not a legal document.” But I can say that it's “non-binding” instead if that’s better. I'm aiming for a statement that non-native speakers would easily understand. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 19:34, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
That does improve the clarity. If the summary refers to the comprehensive document in the appropriate places, we may not even need this disclaimer. Rich Farmbrough 19:49 19 November 2013 (GMT).
You could perhaps treat it as a translation, and state that in case of conflicting language, the legal document always applies? This clearly states that the intention is to summarize it as good as possible. Also, if you link to the first section of the legal document with the word 'legal document' that would probably clarify that that is the point where it starts. Effeietsanders (talk) 22:00, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
That’s a good idea. How about if I change the statement like this:
“This summary is not part of the trademark policy. It’s meant to help you find the relevant provision that governs your use.”
That will also address your first question about where the summary ends. What do you think? Thanks, YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 22:37, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Would also suggest that the FAQ be clearly distinct, and clearly marked as going *beyond* the legalese... without thereby later *limiting* the use of legalese (and only legalese) in any hypothetical legal proceedings. The legalese is quite brief, and well-written... it almost sounds human! :-)   Suggest a thick dark black border around the actually-legally-binding portions, and maybe a different fontface. 16:24, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Hi 74! The FAQ will appear on a separate page in the final version. It was just presented on the same page here to make the community review easier. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 00:45, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Allow use in critic sites[edit]

Please allow use in Wikipedia critic sites.InSANITYreTURN (talk) 18:56, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Isn't that implied with trademark law around the world ? Are we aware of any country where it would not be allowed this way ? TheDJ (talk) 19:35, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Nominative use is allowed explicitly (Section 3.6). Rich Farmbrough 19:43 19 November 2013 (GMT).
So, I can use it, nice. Never mind Wikipediocracy, my critic site will be much more, grand!InSANITYreTURN (talk) 20:22, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Grand! Rich Farmbrough 20:45 19 November 2013 (GMT).
There are limits of course, a satiric spoof site at an almost identical URL and look and feel, might cause confusion for the 'general public'. That's where that line would be. My point was that a use in itself is not a violation. It's the way you use a trademark that determines if it is legal or not. And critical commentary in itself is not enough reason to violate a trademark. A critical commentary on a website that might trick users into thinking it is the original Wiki(pedia) might be a a usage that could violate the trademark (not a layer here, so i'm careful with my interpretation). TheDJ (talk) 08:13, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Hi InSANITYreTURN, TheDJ, and Rich Farmbrough. As Rich noted, use in critic sites is permitted under Section 3.6 of the policy draft. Mpaulson (WMF) (talk) 19:27, 20 November 2013 (UTC)


... it may be helpful to mark your work as "satire" or "parody." If only! Rich Farmbrough 19:43 19 November 2013 (GMT).


All of the restrictions on use contained in this policy can be grounded in trademark law. However, the file description pages for the Wikipedia logo, as well as several other logos, indicate that the logos are © the Foundation, and not freely licensed copyright-wise. It would be helpful, therefore, to know:

  • if the proposed policy, if/when implemented, will change that, and
  • if not, what is the purpose of the Foundation's claim to restrictive copyright protection, as well as trademark protection?

Phillipedison1891 (talk) 20:16, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

It seems to me that retaining copyright, where it subsists, provides additional protection against misuse of the marks. Copyright protection, at least in theory, is geographically almost universal. It would be sensible for the document to provide copyright release on the same terms as trademark license. Rich Farmbrough 20:34 19 November 2013 (GMT).
The trademark policy will not change the copyright status of our logos. But I’m working on changing their copyright status to CC BY-SA or a similar free license. I’ve started this with the new Wikivoyage logo. The other logos are a little bit more complicated for historic reasons, but we’re working on it. :) YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 20:46, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
The community logo is, of course, PD. Rich Farmbrough 01:26 20 November 2013 (GMT).
And although I know I'm stirring a hornet's nest here... sorry... anything that is public domain can be later copyrighted, under CCBYSA, or even under totally-proprietary traditional copyright terms, as long as the new owners of the "new" logo make some contributions that change the logo, even if ever-so-slightly. As I understand it, the point of trademarking the RGB-globe-logo is at least partly *because* it is PD under copyright-law. I do not yet really understand the problem deeply enough to be for-RGB-globe-trademarking, or alternatively against-RGB-globe-trademarking, but it is important to recognize which marks are under which copyright-status. There is a page over here, which could list that information, but does not at the moment -- -- does somebody here have the necessary access, and knowledge about the history? I realize you can click on each logo, and read the licensing-section thereof. p.s. The logo for the Wikimedia Incubator gives off a distinctly eye-of-sauron vibe. Wonder if that was intentional. :-)   That particular file is full-bore copyright,[26] btw, not GFDL or similar. By contrast, the meta-wiki logo is simultaneously[27] public-domain-copyright *and* registered-trademark-of-the-WMF. — 16:44, 22 November 2013 (UTC)


"I'll just Wikipedia that... hmm looks like it was Egfrith." Ok abuse of the English language, arguably, like the infamous "Mouse that icon!" or nearer to home "Googling" ... But I'm not sure we should be discouraging it as policy, and certainly I hope not from a misplaced sense that the traded mark will become generic. Rich Farmbrough 20:39 19 November 2013 (GMT).

wikt:Wikipedia#Verb PiRSquared17 (talk) 22:00, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
This topic is also being discussed here on this page. Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 23:39, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Trade dress and the MediaWiki interface[edit]

"trade dress is the design of a website or article that identifies the source of the website or online material. Think of it as the 'look and feel' of a site"

How is the trade dress particular to Wikimedia Foundation projects to be distinguished from the default skinning of MediaWiki, which is used by many other wikis? Will they have to change their appearance to avoid infringement (in countries where that's taken more seriously than U.S. law takes it, at least?) Daniel Case (talk) 00:07, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Hi Daniel, we don't consider the mere use of the MediaWiki software to be a trade dress violation. Generally, it is fine to use the MediaWiki software as long as you don't combine it with one of our logos or something that is confusingly similar to them. You can read more about that in FAQ Section 5.3. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 01:45, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Hm, presumably the "Powered by Mediawiki" button needs a little thinking about. (I have a feeling the sunflower was the default logo on the first Wiki I installed, but that may have been becasue it was the only graphic on the system.)
"Powered by MediaWiki" would generally be a nominative use of the logo to describe that the wiki is powered by MediaWiki, so that should also be fine. It's an excellent question. I'll add it to the FAQ section to clarify that. Thanks, YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 02:21, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Looks pretty good to me[edit]

I'm only a very occasional editor here on Wiki, but I have a lot of interest in supporting the site. I think these are positive changes, and the communication of them is pretty clear and effective too.--Spud of Doom (talk) 07:31, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for your feedback, Spud of Doom. I'm sure the legal team appreciates it. :) -Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 18:20, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Domain names[edit]

This discussion was copied from Talk:Trademark practices discussion.

The current policy states that "If you want to include all or part of a Wikimedia trademark in a domain name, you have to receive written permission from the Wikimedia Foundation." But the Foundation appears to have been unwilling to enforce this legally in at least the case of the domain name A policy that is (or can be) only selectively enforced seems undesirable.

A blog posting by a representative of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, with regard to, said "There is no trademark or cybersquatting issue here. First, the site is entirely noncommercial, which puts it beyond the reach of U.S. trademark law. ... Moreover, even if U.S. trademark laws somehow reached this noncommercial activity, the artists’ use of the mark is an obvious fair use. ... The disputed site ... does not use any more of the Wikipedia mark than need be; for example, it doesn’t even use the Wikipedia logo. Simply put, the site does not purport to be, nor does it look anything like, Wikipedia and the artists have done nothing to suggest Wikipedia endorses their work."

The relevant case law seems to be Bosley Medical Institute, Inc. v. Kremer. (Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer.)

If the EFF statement above is true, then the current policy seems very problematical. Perhaps something like this would be better, though even that may still be an overreach, in light of Bosley:

"If you want to include all or part of a Wikimedia trademark in a domain name, you should contact the Wikimedia Foundation to find out whether it objects. People naturally associate domain names with organizations whose names sound similar. Any use of a Wikimedia trademark in a domain name, by other than the Wikimedia Foundation, must not confuse consumers into thinking that the domain is owned by or endorsed by the Wikimedia Foundation."

John Broughton (talk) 18:27, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for raising this question. The EFF blog post touched upon two issues that we would like to clarify by updating the trademark policy: (1) how project names can be used in domain names (see the next thread below); and (2) what uses of our marks constitute fair use. In certain cases, trademark rights cannot be enforced because of fair use. This may look like inconsistent enforcement. But we may be able to avoid this appearance by clarifying what uses would constitute fair use. As I’ve mentioned above, we hope to include more specific examples of fair use in our trademark policy and FAQs. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 23:28, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
I own several domains that include full Wikimedia trademarks in their names, as I bought them to prevent cybersquatting (and have paid for them from my own pocket). I have never asked the WMF for permission to do so, nor am I willing to take part in any authorisation process. The domains redirect to their respective projects, and I'm not planning to use them for any type of activity; I'm also willing to cover their costs until I'm not. Seeing that the trademark policy specifically requires people like me to receive written permission from the WMF to be able to buy such domains, what is the Foundation's position on the matter? (Note: I personally know several other volunteers who own domains with Wikimedia trademarks in their names, so I think it's a bigger issue than just an individual user.) odder (talk) 14:47, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
@YWelinder: given that the new draft trademark policy imposes a requirement to ask for permission from the WMF every time I recover a cyber-squatted domain, I would really like to hear an answer to this. Thanks, odder (talk) 08:46, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Hi odder. We appreciate your recovering cyber-squatted domain names for the Wikimedia community. Assuming your domain names are not fair use, we would prefer that you transfer the domain names to us as a custodian for the community (and we would reimburse expenses). If those domain names are in the Wikimedia portfolio held at WMF, we can better defend the Wikimedia trademarks against third-party attacks or misuses, including cybersquatters with similar domain names. We often launch successfully WIPO challenges against improper use by individuals or firms outside our community, and it helps to have a complete portfolio of domain names as a point of reference in arguing our right to cybersquatted domain names. Also we have a top firm comprehensively monitoring misuse of domain names in our portfolio on the web. That same firm ensures that the domain names in our portfolio are properly renewed to ensure against any lapses that could allow cybersquatters to steal the domain name. That said, with any provision in the trademark policy, we will exercise good judgment and assume good faith in its application and enforcement. So, as an active community member, if your domains faithfully redirect to the Wikimedia sites without advertisement or any other misuse, I’m not going to worry about it too much at this time. There are more important priorities for us. Geoffbrigham (talk) 19:09, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for your answer, Geoff, it's very reassuring. I doubt that any of those domains would qualify as fair use; I avoid mentioning their existence, and they do not contain any content, and are mere redirects to appropriate Wikimedia projects. Also, thank you for such a detailed answer, it's appreciated. I will consider donating the domains to the Foundation, and I might get back to you via e-mail soon. odder (talk) 19:39, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Update translations[edit]

About a week ago I corrected some mistakes in the Hungarian translation of the banner, but it is still not updated (for me). How does it works? Should I write a message about corrections to somebody? Thanks in advance! Samat (talk) 20:26, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Fixed, but the WMF should probably be doing this (Tbayer (WMF)?). PiRSquared17 (talk) 20:29, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks PiRSquared17, I've been creating banner pages as I can, the workflow is broken right now because of a bug in the translation extension (that won't let you publish changes) that is being worked on (as far as I understand as bugzilla:53748 ). Without that workflow it can be very difficult to tell when a translation needs to be updated (and when it's been reviewed) so I appreciate your help and anyone who notices it as well as a heads up if something is taking too long. I think Philippe will be keeping an eye on it as well. Jalexander--WMF 21:04, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
You can add &tux=0 for now to fix it. PiRSquared17 (talk) 21:07, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your help! Samat (talk) 23:13, 26 November 2013 (UTC)


This edit, made by anonymous user @, which raised edit requirements for free use of the Community Logo from 20 to 300 edits, is absolutely scandalous. I can only hope this view is not shared by the Foundation, and would like to urge any staff member to revert the edit. odder (talk) 11:28, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Sorry @Odder:, but you are misreading the diff. The ip removed the "20 edits during the past year" but leaved the "300 edits across all projects". This edit is losening the requirements, not raising them. Pleclown (talk) 15:04, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Oh, right. Thanks, @Pleclown; I definitely misread the diff. I think I might have compared it to someone's suggestion to have 1 edit in total as a requirement, and hence my comment. Thanks for clearing up the confusion. odder (talk) 16:05, 2 December 2013 (UTC)


on pg: in box to r of 'YES please!', error of omission:

<Use this mark to (...?) as an active Wikimedian>

would edit myself, but not sure what verb intended (perhaps to 'act' as an active Wikimedian? ) --‎Nickholbrook 18:58, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the catch, Nickholbrook! Krinkle just fixed it. :) YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 20:05, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, NO[edit]

I think something should be added as to suggest one could not use it for personal gain or commercial use. Jacedc (talk) 19:02, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Hi Jacedc, thanks for your input! The "Sorry, NO" section in the summary doesn't include prohibition on use for personal gain or commercial use because they are not currently prohibited by the policy draft. Do you think that such uses should always be prohibited? The current draft specifies some instances when these uses are allowed (e.g. Sections 4.3 - 4.6), but requires them to be reviewed on a case by case basis to make sure that the commercial use is not inconsistent with the Wikimedia mission? YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 20:15, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Mhm. Okay, so it is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Seems fair enough. :) Jacedc (talk) 16:53, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

possible amendments to the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act[edit]

There's been talk of amending the ACPA, apparently in response to ICANN's generic top-level domain (gTLD) plans (which could potentially allow the registration of, for example, I presume the WMF would support such legislation given the strong statements I have heard about the importance of protecting trademark but, if so, what would be the response to those who claim that this would be 'SOPA For Trademarks'? Obviously it would seem hypocritical to support "SOPA for Trademarks" given this project's history. Is "SOPA for Trademarks" misleading? Would the WMF not support a strengthening of ACPA?--Brian Dell (talk) 03:51, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Hi Brian, I don't believe that ACPA needs to be expanded and I doubt that we would support it. Generally, we only support the level of trademark protection necessary to safeguard the Wikimedia projects. A domain like should not be a problem because most users would probably realize that it's not a WMF domain given that it would criticize Wikipedia. And we would not support any trademark law that infringes upon freedom of speech. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 07:15, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Would be curious to hear more wikipedians chime in to defend freedom (yay), and explain whether ACPA is or is not conducive to freedom (I've never heard of it), but maybe the political aspect is off-topic here. Perhaps w:Talk:Anticybersquatting_Consumer_Protection_Act where we can improve the ACPA article based on expert advice? p.s. It says right at the top of the trademark policy that you can found wikipediaSucksDotCom ... you just have to "truthfully describe a Wikimedia site" and also to "accurately report" just how it specifically sucks. :-)   Hope this helps! — 14:15, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Comments by Shell[edit]

  • 1.1 The "Wikimedia marks": "You can see a non-exclusive list of our trademarks [here]."
    • What does "non-exclusive" mean?
    • "Here" as link text is generally discouraged. It would be possible to change it into something like "See also a non-exclusive [list of our trademarks]."
      • Good point. I have revised this to: “See also a [non-exhaustive list of our trademarks].” YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 01:50, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
        • Good. //Shell 11:10, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • 1.3 and 1.4 "We" and "you": I have seen some policies specify also various forms, such as "our", and "your". While I would think that it's common sense that it applies to those forms too, I just wanted to make sure you don't get into legal trouble for it.
    • Thanks for flagging this. The use of “our” and “your” is usually clear from the context. But companies like to define every form of a word just in case, making the text more difficult to read in the process. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 01:50, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
      • Ok. //Shell 11:10, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • 2.2 Notice or trademark symbol: "...use a trademark symbol (™)..." The "™" is linked to Trademark, which redirects to Wikimedia trademarks, which redirects to Wikimedia:Wikimedia official marks, which redirects to Wikimedia:Wikimedia trademarks. Why not link there directly? Or maybe the link isn't needed at all?
    • You’re right. The link is superfluous. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 01:50, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
      • Good. //Shell 11:10, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • 3.2 Community-focused events: "...under Section 4.1." Maybe link to Section 4.1?
    • I have added a link to Section 4.1. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 01:50, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
      • Good. //Shell 11:10, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • 3.4 Community logo use to show membership:
    • "...members may use the ... logo ... if [t]hey are registered and ... [n]ot be blocked..." Sounds like a grammar error to me. I suggest adding "are" to the previous line and changing this one to just "Not blocked..."
    • "...registered Wikimedia contributors..." This is terminology that I'm not familiar with. Maybe replace with "They have an account on a Wikimedia site and:"
    • "...Wikimedia Foundation staff and contractors..." Shouldn't it be "or"? You might need to add a comma afterwards for clarification.
    • "...current and former members..." Like above, maybe "or"?
    • "They are members of a Wikimedia chapter ... that have been members..." Could you clarify?
      • We have proposed completely different standard for Section 3.4 that is shorter and hopefully clearer. I would love to hear your thoughts on it. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 01:50, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
        • As I also said there, the shorter version is clear. I trust you/others to come up with good criteria - everything proposed seems okay to me. //Shell 11:10, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • 3.6.2 Personal blogs and social media: "...except when you use the Community logo under Section 3.4." This sounds a bit weird to me. Would it be possible to split out into its own sentence?
  • 3.6.3 Artistic, scientific, literary, political, and other non-commercial uses:
    • "For more information, please see the portion of this policy on "special uses that require permission" (Section 4)." Would it be possible to just say "For more information, see Section 4."?
    • Is it okay to use a mark in a painting that I sell? What if I sell 100 copies? What if I rent it to a gallery? Is okay to sell parody to a newspaper? Is it okay to do jokes on a website with ads?
      • This section describes nominative use, which is a type fair use. Generally, the fact that a mark is used commercially means that it’s less likely to be considered fair use. But courts have found some commercial uses to be fair use. There are no bright line rule for this and courts would consider these types for situations on a case by case bases. We would generally not restrict artistic uses, even for commercial purposes, unless they were intended to confuse users. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 01:50, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
        • I missed that these sections were preceeded by "Here are some other specific cases of nominative use:". It's okay. //Shell 11:10, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
    • " may be helpful to mark your work as "satire" or "parody." " Who would mark it as such? Would something like this work: "Please ensure that users do not think that your work is affiliated with the Wikimedia sites."
      • “Parody” notices are more common than you’d think. ;) But there are also other ways to mark work as “parody” (e.g. “With apologies to the Wikimedia foundation”). We’re just mentioning "satire" or "parody" as examples, but we wouldn’t insist on any particular label provided it was clear that the work is satire or parody. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 01:50, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
        • Ok. I guess it's okay. //Shell 11:10, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • 4.1 Wikilicense for special community uses:
    • "It is available on Meta-Wiki." I expected a link here.
      • We have removed “any” and added a link to Wikilicense. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 01:50, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
        • Good. //Shell 11:10, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
    • "There is no need to wait for any approval." Remove word "any"?
  • 4.1.1 Photo contests: Link to FAQ doesn't work.
    • Thanks for the catch. We have fixed this and the one below. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 01:50, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
      • Ok. //Shell 11:10, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • 4.1.2 GLAM-Wiki initiatives: Seems to link to the wrong FAQ section.
  • //Shell, it seems to be linking to the right section, even if the numbering doesn't sync up: it's 4.1.2 in the policy, but 4.4 in the FAQ. Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 19:00, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
  • When I commented on this Nov 25, it linked to "3.18 Can I use the marks to link to Wikimedia sites using QR codes?". This has been fixed since. //Shell 23:49, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Thanks for catching that, //Shell. I didn't want to archive your comment without addressing each of your points. :) Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 22:33, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
  • 4.3 Events and conferences / 4.4 Publications / 4.5 Movies & TV shows These sections have collapsed info about what to include when requesting permission. Why do they have different shades of gray?
    • This is to make it easier for users to keep track of which collapsable box they have previously expanded. But we can make them all the same color if it doesn’t serve that purpose. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 01:50, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
      • It might make it easier to keep track, but it's entirely unclear why they have different colors, as a reader. It also adds to the visual noise, making it less coherent (added as a separate point in the bottom). //Shell 11:10, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
        • I see your point about different colors from your comment below. I think we can make all the collapsable boxes the same color. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 18:35, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
          Good. //Shell 11:48, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
  • 6.1 Reporting misuse: You should have a FAQ link.
  • 7.2 Translation of the trademark policy: "If some term in a translation ... is inconsistent..." You could probably remove "some term in". Either way, I think the language used in the Privacy Policy sounds better: "Please note that in the event of any differences in meaning or interpretation between the original English version of this Privacy Policy and a translation, the original English version takes precedence."
    • The Privacy Policy language is more formal, so I revised the language to be consistent with the tone of the trademark policy.

If there is any differences in meaning between the original English version of this trademark policy and a translation, you should follow the original English version.

Is this clearer? Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 00:12, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Yes - good! //Shell 11:10, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • FAQ 3.9 What can I do with the Wikimedia Community logo?: "(as long as you follow the requirements in section 3.4.)" Should start with a capital "A".
  • FAQ 3.16 Can I use a logo or a screenshot in my news or magazine article?: You should also cover use in videos, e.g. news on TV.
    • Yes, you are correct, this also covers news on TV (added). Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 00:12, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
      • The text also has to be updated: "That will confuse your readers, and ours!" Should perhaps add "viewers" or rephrase somehow. //Shell 11:10, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • FAQ 3.22 What kind of stuff can I make?:
    • "You can make shirts, hats, and bags, mugs, pins and pens, stickers, posters, and desktop wallpapers, and even cakes." I suggest removing either the comma or the "and".
    • You have a {{commonscat|Wikipedia promotion}}. To me it feels out of place. I'd prefer a link inline or not at all.
      • This was added by Lotje originally, but we moved it into the FAQ where it makes more sense. I would prefer to keep it—do you think there is a better place for this? Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 00:12, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
        • I don't know of a better place, but it adds visual noise (added as a separate point below). At the very least it should be moved up so that it doesn't move the content below further down (screenshot on my computer). //Shell 11:10, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
          • //Shell, we've changed this to a link instead of a "has more media" box. Does that make sense/work for you? Thanks again for all your feedback. -LVilla (WMF) (talk) 20:46, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Some of the examples are the same as in Section 3.7, some not. I suggest having either this FAQ be a strict superset, or having completely different examples.
      • The FAQ is a collection of examples of of things that can be made for personal use, based on our past experiences. All of the specific goods listed in the FAQ fall within the first sentence of Section 3.7. Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 00:12, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
        • I meant the specific examples given: "t-shirts, caps, desktop wallpapers, lanyards and even cakes" vs. "shirts, hats, bags, mugs, pins, pens, stickers, posters, desktop wallpapers, and even cakes". I suggest using one of t-shirts/shirt and caps/hats respectively, and either removing lanyards from the policy or adding it to the FAQ. //Shell 11:10, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • FAQ 4.6 Can you give an example of cybersquatting?: "We enforce very strictly." What do you enforce?
  • FAQ 4.8 Can I use a Wikimedia mark if I use a different top-level domain?: " domain or country code top-level domain." Is it really necessary to specify "country code"? That's also a top-level domain...
    • This is rephrased. We have received some specific questions about country-code TLDs in the past, so we would like to include it as a specific example. Is this clearer? Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 00:12, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
      • Good - now it doesn't sound like you don't know the difference. :-) //Shell 11:10, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • FAQ 4.13 What is a "publication"?: "See [Movies and TV shows] for trademark uses in films." In other places you have used "Section X".
  • FAQ 4.17 Do I need permission to show the Wikipedia marks in a film I am making for my school project?: " your school or workplace..." Does this mean I need permission to show the film to my teacher and classmates? It would probably be allowed anyway under fair use, but I think this sounds a bit harsh. Of course, if it's open to the whole school it might be another story.
    • Yes, it may be allowed under Sections 3.5 and 3.6 if it is a scientific or educational use. Do you think that needs to be clarified in FAQ 4.17? Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 00:12, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
      • On second thought, I don't think it needs to be clarified. I misremembered some of what was said in section 3. //Shell 11:10, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • The purpose of our trademark policy: The headings are all complete sentences. I would prefer normal, shorter ones, but it's no biggie.
  • Purpose 2. Why use trademarks?:
    • "...allow a user to trust her intuition that a mark she recognizes will in fact lead her to the work that she is seeking." Is it a good idea to use the feminine pronoun? I thought that nowadays you use "they"/"their" as gender-neutral.
    • "...-- such as Creative Commons and GNU GPL --..." I suggest you use '&emdash;' instead of two '-'.
  • Purpose 2.a. How trademark rights protect against misuse.: [<tvar|wikipharmacy> is visible in the section.
  • Purpose 5. What else is new?: [[<tvar|readabilitytestslink>:w:Readability_test#Readability_tests</>|readability indices]] is visible in the section.
    • Thanks for pointing this out. I am not sure what is causing the tvar tags to be visible. I will ping James if the problem persists. Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 00:12, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
        • Ok. //Shell 11:10, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
  • General:
    • Choose either “ and ” or " and "
      • Impressive attention to detail! We will change the quotation marks to " Rkwon (WMF) (talk) 23:59, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
        Good. //Shell 11:48, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Good summary
    • Throughout the text there are lots of links explaining terms. That's useful.
      • Thanks, glad you find the summary and links helpful :) Rkwon (WMF) (talk) 23:59, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Somebody should go through the links to avoid redirects. Even though it won't affect the reader, it's cleaner that way.
    • Consistently link to content projects: I've seen links on the format [w:en:] and [wikipedia:], [wikt:]
      • Currently there are multiple people editing the document and links may get changed eventually. But point well taken, we will work to make everything more consistent, including links, at the end. Rkwon (WMF) (talk) 23:59, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
        Good. //Shell 11:48, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Good that you have "Back to" links in the FAQ.
      • Most of the time you only have one link back per section, but at least for 4.2 and 4.3 you duplicate it.
        • I have changed the “Back to” link for 4.3 to “Back to Make your own branded stuff.” I’m not sure if this is something you intended to note, but I believe this linkback makes more sense. Rkwon (WMF) (talk) 23:59, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
          Good. //Shell 11:48, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
      • Sometimes the section name starts with a capital letter, sometimes not. (no capital at least for 4.2 and 4.3)
        • I’ve made this change. Rkwon (WMF) (talk) 23:59, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
          Good. //Shell 11:48, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
    • The icons are good enough (and much better than nothing). Since they are all released under CC0, would it be possible to suppress the link when used in the section heading?
      • Good point, Shell, I made that change. Thanks! heather walls (talk) 22:28, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
        • Good. //Shell 11:10, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
    • Overall, I think this trademark policy balances the community's interests in both protection and free use. Also, it's well-written and pretty easy to understand.
    • [added] The policy is a bit cluttered, at least for someone like me who has read the whole thing and scrolls back and forth through it. It has many distinct styles:
      1. Links to translations in the top
      2. The short summary: 3 colors, 5 font styles (colored heading; community mark text; colored big body text for "YES please"; black big body text for "YES, but first" and "Sorry, NO"; small black bulleted text), 2 link styles (normal links, which come in all fonts; dotted link to "Visual Identity Guidelines") and two list types (minibullets, numbered)
      3. Trademark policy "ToC" (symbols in a row)
      4. Trademark policy introduction (like summary, has gradient border)
      5. Trademark policy text (headings with icons (sometimes colored), indented, sub-headings to the left, prominent links to FAQ)
      6. Section 4.3-4.5: collapsible content in different colors
      7. Purpose (centered heading not used elsewhere, gray dotted border, the only part that has complete-sentence headings (except for "The purpose of our trademark policy"), subheadings are listed as "a." and "b." instead of numbered; no dotted line between sections)
      8. FAQ (solid border, has section "0" (understandable, but still))
      9. FAQ 3.22 has a very specially formatted link to Commons
      10. Everything that the Vector theme adds: sidebar, top links, H1, search, category, footer
    • Do you see that the page has too many styles? You'd need a designer to make a perfect design, but I have a few simple suggestions:
      • Consistently number headings: "3." vs. "3"; "3.a" vs. "3.1"
      • The short summary: Community mark info: use the same font-size/boldness as some other text
      • Purpose: Use the same-style border as other sections (maybe another color?), left-align the heading, add dotted lines between sections
    • //Shell 11:10, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Hi again, Shell! To respond to a few things from your list: There is nothing we can do about the way translation links look, nor can we change or remove vector theme elements. We don't design to "fit" those because they may change at any time completely separately from anything on the pages.
Regarding the different look for the different sections, this is also intentional to make it visually clear that you are reading a different section. If you clicked a link and are suddenly in the FAQ and not the policy, I want that to be obvious.
We have made these changes per your suggestion (they might not be obvious yet as they need to get through the translation tool):
  1. In the summary: We made the body text all black and changed the size of the text referring to the community logo.
  2. We made all of the collapse boxes the same color.
  3. We revised the infobox link to commons into a regular text link to make it consistent with other links.
  4. We changed the list style of the purpose document.
Thank you for your continued help! heather walls (talk) 00:42, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
@Heatherawalls: I realize that you can't change the look of Vector or the translation links, but since a reader will see those too the page still has more clutter (of course one of the main goals of Vector was to keep the "chrome" to a bare minimum - in order to give the content more attention). Because Vector+translation links exist, you have a greater requirement to not make the content overly cluttered.
That said, I understand that the page will ultimately be split into three, and along with the changes you have made, I think the page will be sufficiently uncluttered.
Note: There is still a Commons infobox in FAQ 3.19 "What kind of stuff can I make?". //Shell 11:48, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
Hi Skalman,
Thank you for the additional comments on the design. Really helpful! heather walls and I will talk about how we can implement this.
One thing I that should probably flag is that both the FAQ and the Purpose will appear on separate pages in the final version. We just included them on one page now to make it easier to discuss them together and we created a distinct design for the Purpose to make it clear that it is a completely different document. So the final version (where this text will be split up over three different pages) will probably be far less cluttered. Having said that, we can still work on more consistency across the fonts and the colors. We trying to make the design of this policy user-friendly and really appreciate your help with that. We did a blog post about the design process for the policy, in case you are curious about how it came about. :)
Thanks, YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 18:35, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, the differences in style won't matter as much if they're on separate pages. The short summary should still use fewer styles though. Overall you've made the policy quite approachable. :-) //Shell 11:08, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

Whoa. That was a long read! //Shell 11:49, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

Thanks again, Shell! We appreciate all your time reviewing the policy. We are still working on your suggestions, but we will respond above inline. Best, Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 00:12, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
I've responded inline to your comments. I've also added a comment about the styling of the policy. //Shell 11:10, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. --Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 19:00, 18 December 2013 (UTC)


Is Wikipetan a trademark of the Foundation? (I mean the character) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Cogiati (talk)

She is not. Philippe (WMF) (talk) 11:10, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
… yet. odder (talk) 11:38, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

We wouldn't trademark Wikipetan. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 15:33, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Right! No need to, the puzzle tile is already trademarked and there isn't real need to trademark this mark which includes it as substantial element, right? --Nemo 22:39, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
For those of you playing along at home, wikipe-tan is a GFDL-licensed creation, which uses a generic puzzle-piece, and a generic CJK glyph, and a generic shade of grey, as you can see in the image to the right. Nemo and odder and various other folks are unhappy about something else, which is a Public-Domain-licensed creation, the RGB-community-globe-thing, which you can see in the top left corner of this website you are reading this moment. Methinks that the reason the RBG-community-globe-dingus *was* trademarked, will remain controversial... but methinks also that Wikipe-tan is reasonably safe from getting sucked into the gaping horrendous maw of the WMF lawyers. :-)   Sure, there are some puzzle-pieces... but the cute little anime-girl is the main part of the photo. Sure, various WMF trademarks *also* use the puzzle pieces, and the trade-dress of wikipe-tan is reasonably close, and of course her *name* is unfortunately borderline-infringing. But it still seems astronomically unlikely, on balance, that WMF will ever need to trademark wikipe-tan's image... though there is some possibility that they will somebody need to push for her to be given a less-borderline-name, such as wiki-ping-tan of the GNU clan. Actually, that has a nice ring to it; does she have the superpower of pre-cognitive omniscience? Cause that would be fitting.
  Seriously, though, can some lawyer-or-close-enough-to-count-person please confirm that my analysis of the nowhere-near-infringing nature of the Wikipe-tan image, and the borderline-but-still-prolly-safe filename? But methinks the key naming-difference is usage-in-practice: the RGB-globe-thing *is* used as a front-line symbol of the WMF, whereas wikipe-tan is not used as the front-line symbol for *anything* at present, correct? If some website were to pop up, and use Wikipe-tan as their logo, and register, and try to trademark all words containing "Wikipe" as their wordmarks, methinks WMF lawyers would prolly complain. Whereas, if this hypothetical website used the exact same logo, but called it wiki-ping-tan, and used for their domain, and trademarked PingTan, nobody would care. HTH. 15:50, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
The Community logo is just that -- the community logo. Not the WMF logo. PiRSquared17 (talk) 15:52, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

((ArchivingSoon)) Philippe (WMF) (talk) 02:34, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

I for one would like a brief clarification, and have thus removed Philippe's template. Can I register , and use the imagefile shown here as my logo (including the puzzle-pieces), plus trademark the name "Wikipe-tan" of the character (and possibly trademark the logo-as-an-imagefile also)? Methinks the answers are no; the marks are Too Similar to existing wikipedia WMF-owned marks.
  Question two: if in 2014 there *is* a new WMF-sponsored site, which does begin to use the Wikipe-tan imagefile as their logo, in 2015 will the WMF trademark the Wikipe-tan logo? Methinks the answer is yes, the relevant quote being when DRenaud said "...the Wikipedia logo should only be used on the original Wikipedia... Likewise, the Community logo should not be used as a logo on [any other website] because that will make it [the other website] look like Meta." In other words, the community-logo was public domain, for use by anyone, until the WMF decided to be one of the "anyone" group.
  Now, obviously, it could have been far worse -- maybe $hypercorp could have done the same thing! So having the WMF protect the mark, is preferable (to me anyhow) as the least-bad-alternative. And maybe, the WMF will end up trademarking it, and then purposely genericizing it, should "the community" so will, for use by all and sundry, without the need to worry about $hypercorp. But my question is, in particular, about the future use of logos which are not current WMF marks, and are not yet used widely on WMF-sponsored projects. Can the WMF trademark Wikipe-tan, someday, as a name and/or as a logo, should she become widely used in that way? If so, what steps need be taken to prevent both $hypercorp and also WMF from restricting the Wikipe-tan name (to conceivably include the step of renaming), and/or restricting the Wikipe-tan imagefile (to conceivably include the step of nixing the puzzle-pieces). Thanks. 04:39, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
  p.s. JVargas partially answers this, saying to use CC-NC, down below -- Talk:Trademark_policy#PD_as_a_trademark -- but the Wikipe-tan license is not CC-NC methinks, so this case seems distinct. 04:46, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
Hi 74! There is no trademark registration for the Wikipe-tan’s puzzle piece hair clip, or for her name. Only the Wikipedia puzzle globe is officially trademarked, so the Wikipe-tan image doesn’t actually make use of a Wikimedia registered mark. WMF does have an unregistered trademark in the puzzle icon, but Wikipe-tan’s hair clips are not sufficiently similar, particularly given that they only make up a small portion of the image. So using her image would not violate WMF trademarks. In response to your second question, after hearing from the community, we have recommended the Board drop all trademark registrations of the Community logo to ensure it may be used by anyone. We have learned a lot from our experience with the Community logo registration. As a result, we would not register a mark like Wikipe-tan that is used by the community without asking the community for feedback first :) MBrar (WMF) (talk) 19:45, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Visual Guidelines talk page is protected (prohibits comments)[edit]

The talk page shouldn't be protected :)

I also think the explanatory text on the visual guidelines page is too small.

(That page is very nicely laid out and has the spirit of simple design throughout). Ocaasi (talk) 12:31, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Hi Ocaasi, given that the Visual Identity Guidelines are closely related to the trademark policy, maybe we can just discuss it here (as you have) and we'll take that feedback to improve the guidelines. Thanks! YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 16:14, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Very practically, just add a link to the proper discussion page on top of that talkpage? Effeietsanders (talk) 16:29, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
@Effeietsanders: Good idea, I added a link. Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 16:58, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Well... I guess that is a pragmatic solution, for this specific conundrum. But why is this the case? "Unfortunately, does not allow open editing at this time" They give no rationale for using locked-down-no-editing-allowed protection, as opposed to something like w:WP:FLAGGED aka "moderated" talkpages. Is there a rationale for locked-down talkpages, published somewhere? I would have asked over on that talkpage, usually, but... you see....     :-)   — 16:13, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, this has been a bit of a question for some time. There was a move about a year or so ago to open up particular namespaces, perhaps, for editing, but I'm not sure where that stands currently. I actually don't think flagged revisions/pending changes/the-name-of-the-month is a terrible idea for that wiki. Noted. I'll nudge some folks in engineering, communications, and HR/Talent and Culture and see if I can't get a conversation started about that again. Philippe (WMF) (talk) 23:11, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. --Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 20:09, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

FAQ button/icon looks odd left-aligned at the top of the Trademark Policy introduction[edit]

It's a nice navigation table you have, but on my browser FAQ is by itself on a second line and all the way on the left. It frankly draws all the attention to FAQ rather than the top-line sections. Perhaps it'd be better if FAQ was center-aligned on the second row. (You've clearly taken the community's concerns into account in this document, and responded thoughtfully. Thanks for that). Ocaasi (talk) 12:47, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

That's a good point. The policy was designed on wider screen where are the icons were on one line. We'll see how we can tweak to avoid the focus on the FAQ. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 14:54, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. --Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 20:09, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Logo remixing[edit]

If I'm hosting a glam editathon at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, can I be cute and do this?

(By the way, where's Rory?? He only likes privacy and not trademarks, I guess.) Ocaasi (talk) 13:01, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

In the past I was told no, because modifications to any marks other than the community mark was off-limits. I also want clarification. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:18, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Remixes used to be prohibited in the old trademark policy, but will be allowed on the Wikimedia sites under the new draft. So it really depends on where you plan to display the logo. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 15:36, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks YWelinder (WMF) How about a) on a physical flyer at the Art Museum, b) on a physical flyer at a nearby Universtiy b) on an online Wikipedia project page, c) on the online Art Museum webpage? Ocaasi (talk) 15:47, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
That sort of begs the question: what is a "wikimedia site" ? Is it exclusively the WMF project sites? Does it include Wikimedia Chapter sites, or sites they host? Does it include a site created by wikimedians to support their efforts on wikimedia projects? What about Affiliate Groups? - Amgine/meta wikt wnews blog wmf-blog goog news 17:12, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
@Amgine: We currently define “Wikimedia sites” as sites hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation and listed on this page. But I don’t see a problem with also including something like “the official webpage of a movement organization.” Would that be a good revision?
@Ocaasi: You would always be able to post something like this on a Wikipedia project page. As for the other places, you would need to move up the image a little to include the white space shown in the Visual Identity Guidelines. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 19:14, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
@YWelinder: That really just kicks the can. What is a movement organization? A wikiproject I create to help coordinate effort on articles related to a topic? A recognized Affiliate Group? A Wikimedia Chapter? The community has always been organic, with high rates of churn, meaning an official, approved org may suddenly devolve to nothing while, flash-mob-like, a random coalition of like-minded individuals can sprout wings of activity and contributions. Much of the spontaneity of wiki community development is precluded by this policy's approach to regulating use, imo. - Amgine/meta wikt wnews blog wmf-blog goog news 15:01, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
@YWelinder (WMF): I would still like to see this question resolved, if that is possible? - Amgine/meta wikt wnews blog wmf-blog goog news 14:38, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Hi Amgine, my apologies for the delayed response. By movement organizations, we mean chapters, thematic organizations, and user-groups. These are the different types of groups that the community has established as part of the organic development of the movement. Trademark rights require some sort of organization, but we're trying to minimize the friction that it imposes by maximizing permitted trademark uses for the community. If the community comes up with additional recognized organizational types, we see no problem in expanding the term “Wikimedia sites” under this policy to cover them as well. I also completely agree with you that our movement thrives on its decentralized nature and the trademark policy needs to make room for that. That is why it has license exceptions for community-focused events and outreach work. I just wanted to emphasize that this policy does go beyond what most free culture and open source organizations are permitting as well as our current trademark policy. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 19:54, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
@YWelinder (WMF): I believe this reading would preclude the remixes of, for example, although some of those remixes predate the trademarking of the project's logo. That particular site does not fall into an outreach or an event classification, and I know of a few similar projects of wikimedians building their own support sites using WMF logoremixes. - Amgine/meta wikt wnews blog wmf-blog goog news 22:09, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
This is a great question, but there is no need to worry, Wikinewsie does not violate the trademark policy draft :) It is a valid remix because even though it is not used on a Wikimedia site, the remix will not be confused with the original Wikinews logo. Their site has a completely different logo and it clearly states that they are supporting the English-language Wikinews project. Furthermore, in their footer, they provide a clear disclaimer that they are independent from the Wikimedia Foundation to ensure users are not confused. This is explained in FAQ 2.7, which states that other sites using WMF logo remixes of wordmarks are acceptable if it is clear that they represent something separate from the Wikimedia sites. MBrar (WMF) (talk) 23:42, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Actually, the remix does not (to my knowledge) pre-date the registering of the Wikinews mark. However, it would've been back in 2007 or 2008 where we approached the Foundation about use of the mark in supporting Wikinews contributors. All reuses/remixes have been clearly highlighted as contributor-related, and not affiliated with the WMF. That was an emphasised requirement at the time the issue was discussed, and we've been at pains to respect that request and avoid doing anything which might dilute, diminish, or tarnish the mark. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:28, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your comment, Brian. I'll make sure that the legal team sees it and responds to it. Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 15:44, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Thank you Brian for writing in and clarifying those dates :) has done a great job of notifying users of its independence from WMF. Their continued efforts to not only support Wikinews contributors, but also respect the original Wikimedia marks is greatly appreciated as it allows Wikimedia to maintain trademark protection over its marks and innovative initiatives like to use remixes of the logos. MBrar (WMF) (talk) 18:28, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. --Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 20:11, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Registration of the community logo as a collective membership mark[edit]

@User:YWelinder (WMF) announced in this blog post that the Foundation plan to register the community logo as a collective membership mark, and have included a provision with respect to the use of this logo in the draft policy. How does it relate to the fact that this very discussion was just re-started, and the fact that you have been conveniently avoiding answering questions asked by various community members at Community Logo/Reclaim the Logo, Community Logo/Request for consultation and Talk:Trademark practices discussion (to name just a few places)? Given that you decided to take some steps even before this discussion got moving, it's really hard (for me) to assume that you care about what the community think about this. odder (talk) 11:17, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. --Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 20:28, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Collective membership mark[edit]

Hi everyone,

Given that odder and Nemo have started a legal action against WMF, I cannot respond to them directly regarding matters in that action. As a lawyer for WMF in that action, I have to communicate with them only through their lawyers and will do so. That is very unfortunate because we have an ongoing consultation regarding trademarks to get feedback from the community, but we also have to observe ethical rules.

But I would like to provide some background on the consultation for the collective membership mark. We started that discussion almost two months ago. Since then, we have engaged in an active discussion with the community and received strong community support for registering the community logo as a collective membership mark. There were some comments requesting additional information, so we provided an update on how a collective membership mark would provide protection in both the US and the EU. Now in the draft trademark policy, this is explained in more detail. Ultimately, there were 42 supporting comments (!votes) and 9 opposing comments (with 12 abstentions) in the consultation on the collective membership mark. As we were already rolling out the new trademark policy for community consultation, we initiated a specific discussion with respect to the standard that should be applied with respect to the use of the community logo as a collective membership mark.

Thanks, YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 20:00, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Well, that all sounds fair enough. But the legal-profession-ethical-restraints you are under do not apply to myself, correct, since I'm not a party to the lawsuit, and have never used nor abused the RGB-globe-logo, correct? (I plead the fifth on that puzzle-globe thing btw.) I have some questions about the specifics of the RGB-logo-fiasco, that will help me understand what the best way forward is. But it seems that it might be helpful, for me to ask a couple questions, concerning the past and the present situation, which I believe you or some other w:WP:INVOLVED representative of the WMF are perfectly free to answer.
  1. Does the WMF believe that the way in which the RGB-globe-logo situation has been handled by the WMF folks, during the past few years and especially the past twelve months, was optimal for all wikipedians everywhere, and flatly could not have been done better, with what was known at the time?
    As we have explained elsewhere, the Community logo was on the list of Wikimedia logos in April 2009, when the Board directed WMF staff to register the logos. Trademark registration is a good way to protect them. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 00:10, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
  2. Is the WMF really really really sorry for their part in failing to prevent the current acrimonious state of affairs, and willing to work with everybody to get things solved properly, in a way that satisfies the spirit of w:WP:CONSENSUS rather than merely the letter of some esoteric lawbook, so that we can all get back to really really Assuming Good Faith about each other?
    We’re absolutely willing to work with the community and assume good faith to reach a consensus regarding this logo. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 00:10, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
  3. Even if that working-things-out-process might, at the end of the day, mean WMF will have to drop the idea of trademarking the meta-wiki-logo entirely, and perhaps spend the time and money to create a totally distinct logo for use on meta-wiki-website, and so on?
    As we stated when we initiated the community logo consultation, “[w]e will follow the clear direction from the wider community and the Board, and we are willing to drop the registration as well as the protection of the logo.” YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 00:10, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
This is a question of whether the WMF is committed, basically. I expect the answers to be "coulda done waay betta" / "we truly regret our historical part" / "if the community consensus is to start over we will not shirk that mandate" but methinks Odder and Nemo and the others will feel much better if some official WMF pooh-bah were to step forward and give a long heartfelt answer. Would any such pooh-bah care to stick out their neck? :-)   Besides, there are other battles to fight, right? We could be arguing about whether to say Chelsea or Bradley, not to mention, whether infoboxen are the spawn of satan-atan-atan, correct? Let's get this trademark-of-the-public-domain-logo thing amicably worked out, so we can all get back to the important stuff, please. Hope this helps. 17:07, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Hi 74, I cannot agree more. I just want this resolved in the best way for the community. Please see my in-line responses to your questions above. Hope that helps! Thanks, YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 00:10, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. --Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 20:28, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

PD as a trademark[edit]

Pard' my French English :-) as it's not my native language. Anyone is free to correct the text.
The issue with the community logo registered as a WMF trademark had been discussed at ru-wiki as well. A few questions in my translation I asked then and still seeking for answers.

  • Is it possible at all under the US law to take a public domain arwork, which is not a someone's trademark, never was someone's trademark before, and not originally created as someone's trademark — and to register such image as someone's trademark? To visualize the question: would it be possible this year for a perfume company to register Mona Lisa for a new line of their perfume and to prevent onward any use of Mona Lisa for perfumes by other companies? I do realize that artistic merits of the community logo are way below such of Mona Lisa :-) At the same time I don't see any legal differences for both of them. But I am not a lawyer and I well can be mistaken.

If after a better thinking the answer is "no", then the whole trademark registration seems legally void and the question closed. If yes, then:

  • Is there a way for Commons contributors prevent their donations under PD-self or similar to be registered as someone's trademark? at least without their explicit concerns? Would it make any legal difference to contribute such artworks under Cc-zero rather than PD-self? I see the paragraph 4.a of the legal code of this license saying: «No trademark or patent rights held by Affirmer are waived, abandoned, surrendered, licensed or otherwise affected by this document.» Bit I don't understand if it makes any implications for a 3rd party decided to register such artwork under CC-0 as a trademark.

I would be most graceful for some light shed on it. --NeoLexx (talk) 15:05, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Hi Neolexx, thanks for your questions. I'll respond here shortly. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 01:02, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
Hi NeoLexx,
1. While it may seem odd, it is possible for a perfume company to register a trademark in Mona Lisa if the image comes to represent its perfume (see, for example, this trademark registration of Mona Lisa for a business management consulting company). Trademark is very different from other types of IP rights. Unlike with copyright, the creator of an image doesn’t get a trademark right in the image simply by creating it. He or she first needs to establish a connection between that image and other work. It is that connection that is protected by trademark law, which operates independently of copyright. For that reason, if the image comes to represent goods or services of an organization, that organization acquires a trademark right in the image rather than the image creator. And once the image no longer represents the goods or services of the organization, the trademark right is lost (again, without any implication for any copyright in the image).
2. Generally, the only way to prevent someone from trademarking an image is to either license it under a non-free licence, such as CC BY-NC (which Commons contributors can’t do), or by trademarking the image. For trademark purposes, it wouldn’t make a difference whether a contributor licenses the image under CC0 or labels it as public domain. CC0 and public domain labels do not affect anyone’s trademark right in the image, which arises independently by virtue of association between the image and certain other work. So if the image creator also establishes a trademark in the image, he or she doesn’t waive it by licensing the image under CC0. But the CC0 license also doesn’t prevent others from establishing a trademark right in the image. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 17:59, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
Thank you greatly for your elaborative answers. I'm going to make a translation of it for the relevant Russian discussion if you don't mind.
As I suspected earlier, here the US patent trademark law is nearly straight opposite to the Russian one. For instance in case of Iya Yots v. State Hermitage Museum it was declined to trademark even a clearly derivative work of the "Lady in Blue" by Gainsborough (ca. 1780). Here the core approach as I read it for trademarking is "common property — is no one in particular property in such commercial means". Again I am not a professional lawyer and I can be wrong.
If not, it can be a "mirror situation" not between the US and Russia per se, but between the common law and the civil law in whole. Then between the US and Poland (or another EU country) as well. Then it can be one of roots of the tension because of "improper actions" and so in the community logo issue.
As a side note I say that I am personally a bit shocked by the US trademarking freedom as described and I need now an extra coffee with a lot of sugar. :-) But my shock is my shock and the acting laws are acting laws. I need to go over the first and to accommodate a part of my thinking for the second, I guess.
--NeoLexx (talk) 19:48, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm glad that I could clarify this and please feel free to forward and translate my response. While trademark laws differ greatly in other countries, the relationship between public domain (copyright) and trademark is similar in Europe. From the Lady in Blue article, it sounds like Russian museums have the right to control how images are used for trademark purposes ("Сутью является обладание российскими музеями всеми имущественными и смежными правами на хранимое ими общественное достояние, включая права на создание любых производных произведений любой достаточной (в терминах товарных знаков) схожести.") I'd be curious to know whether this applies to public domain images that are not held by museums as well. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 20:34, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
Translated at our copyright forum as a separate topic. As I said at the bottom, we better hope that the personality rights protection in the US is strong enough to not find own grand-dad's war photo once placed on Commons latter being used on spam cans and stuff :-) With Iya Yots there are two separate issues: first an attempt of trademarking (2008), second a commercial use for "an atmosphere in the business place" (2010—now). The latter is still currently contested in a court of appeal, the first is steadily in effect as I know. Any way, "У каждой избушки свои погремушки" (~ Every family has a skeleton in the cupboard)... :-( :-) Thank you again, going to sleep now. --NeoLexx (talk) 21:29, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
This topic was so fascinating that we wanted to dig a little deeper. I’ve looked at the decision from the Sixteenth Arbitration Court of Appeals of May 20, 2013 for Iya Yots v. State Hermitage Museum. As I understand, the trademark registration in that case was denied because the work was an object of cultural heritage. It looks like Article 1483, Paragraph 4 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation prohibits registration of precious objects of cultural heritage of the people of the Russian Federation or of world cultural or natural heritage preserved in a collection. Lady in Blue is also covered by a Resolution of the Russian Federation Government (No. 480 pursuant to Presidential Decree number 294 of 1991 "On specially of national heritage of Russia"), stating that the State Hermitage Museum is federal property and cannot be subject to privatisation.
It seems that this case did not broadly address trademarking of images that are in the public domain for copyright purposes. Rather, it stated that Russian law doesn’t allow trademarking of objects of cultural heritage that are permanently located in a public institution in Russia. This was a really interesting issue to look into. Keep them coming! :) --JVargas (WMF) (talk) 08:42, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

>This topic was so fascinating — I'm glad you like it :-) btw it's me who wrote the relevant article content — after the initial news hint from the executive director of the Russian local chapter. You may give credits to him as well. I am a philologist by my primary education and my job. Still being a many years lurker and poster of Commons and ru-wiki copyright forums I have collected a large collection of most different cases of the kind. By now I'm afraid if I start selling them even for a buck per item I'd become a wealthy person :-) But for the project everything is for free of course. But it seems more appropriate then to continue with this at your talk page. If you have any particular topic demand for the first entry just let me know.

Within the scope of the current discussion I see one unclear aspect remained. As it was clearly stated before, the copyright law and the trademark law are in two "parallel non-crossing universes". This way any trademark limitations have no effect to Wikimedia Commons hosting rules. This way it would be totally OK then to say donate an own work under CC-0 and with a warning like "Any trademarking is strictly prohibited" or something lesser restrictive of the kind? Or in the US trademarking is acting as a "force majeure"? Thus if someone decided to trademark something then no will or desire of the creator can stop it? --NeoLexx (talk) 06:52, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

We’re very glad you are in our community contributing on this important topic. Thanks for making Wikipedia better! As Yana stated in her response above, it would be correct to affirm that if someone licenses his/her work under CC0, he/she would be allowing any individual to trademark such work in the future (just like when a work is in the public domain because the copyright has expired). If it is licensed under CC0, no warning like “trademarking prohibited” would be possible. If such was the creator’s intention from the beginning, then it would be better to license the work under CC-BY-NC (or another non-free license), avoiding any commercial use - such as using the image to market products or filing for a trademark application. You can also acquire a trademark right before releasing the work into the public domain, in order to prevent someone else’s intention of doing that. Remember that if the author already has trademark rights over the work (before releasing it to the public domain), licensing it under CC0 would not waive or abandon such rights (as established in 4(a) of the CC0’s legal code).
By the way, for me being a Colombian attorney working in legal issues in the US, all this knowledge you’re sharing regarding Russian copyright issues has definitely been a blast to study! Any more information related on this topic you want to discuss is more than welcome in my talk page! I don’t have any particular topic in mind for a first entry, so feel free to start with any food for thought you have in mind! :) --JVargas (WMF) (talk) 23:34, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. --Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 20:28, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

"It was adopted in 2008"[edit]

The text of the page says "It was adopted in 2008". This is incorrect: it was adopted by the Meta-Wiki community in 2008, but it was in use by (parts of) the Wikimedia community earlier, e.g. on Toolserver. --Nemo 12:43, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

Good catch! We will clarify the language to state “it was officially adopted as the community logo for Meta-Wiki in 2008.” MBrar (WMF) (talk) 23:36, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. --Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 20:28, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Outreach and recruiting new contributors[edit]

Do "outreach and contributor recruitment" include videos like this one? Hope so :) Erasmo Barresi (talk) 15:48, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

Yes, this is a great example of outreach material. Nice video! YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 02:54, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Agree. Nice introductory video! Geoffbrigham (talk) 18:26, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. --Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 20:23, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Nomitive Use, "misleading" and "truthful"[edit]

Reading through, I noticed the following two sections, which I am not sure if I am interpreting correctly:

  • Derivative work of Wikimedia content in a way that is not misleading (e.g. "the encyclopedic content on this site is derived from Wikipedia").
  • You may use the Wikimedia marks to make truthful statements about the Wikimedia sites in news reports and commentary.

According to my current understanding of these lines, they intend to prohibit the use of trademarks such as "Wikipedia" statements which contain or imply false or misleading information about MediaWiki et cetera. As an example, a smear campaign would, in addition to whatever action is taken, incur trademark violations. While I by no means endorse smear campaigns and the like, MediaWiki's policy relating to such things should be separate from its policy on trademark misuse for the following reasons:

  1. The potential for inadvertent violation is worryingly high. As it is currently worded, my understanding is that the use of one of the trademarks in conjunction with false or misleading information would constitute a trademark violation whether or not the information was intentionally false or misleading.
  2. I'm not certain MediaWiki even can revoke nominative use of its trademarks like this. According to my (admittedly somewhat limited) understanding of trademark law, nominative use of trademarks is protected, at least under US law. For instance, McDonald's could not bring trademark violation charges against a movie which alleges, say, that each McNugget takes ten years off your life, while knowing full well that that is not the case. Defamation charges, probably, but not trademark violation ones. In jurisdictions outside the US where nominative use is not protected I can see the policy being enforceable, but I would put forward that blanket permission for nominative use should be extended to those in such jurisdictions, for reasons of consistency, if nothing else.
  3. Assuming, however, that I am wrong on the previous point, I would put forward that the policy is not a desirable one. Such a policy has the potential put a chilling effect on discussion about MediaWiki et cetera, which runs counter to MediaWiki's values and vision. I cannot speak for others, but I would very much see granting blanket permission for nominative use, even in scenarios where it would be possible and even standard to deny it, as advancing said vision and values.

Before it's brought up in response, I would like to point out that (as far as I understand) even if this section of the policy were completely removed, in no way would MediaWiki's protections from defamation et cetera be impaired or lessened. Anyway, it would be much appreciated if someone would allay my worries about this/help work out an alternate policy. I apologize if this post lacks coherency at points. I wrote it in-between other tasks, and I am currently somewhat sleep-deprived, so it's not exactly my best work. Aero-Plex (talk) 15:51, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for bringing this up, Aero-Plex. The legal team will take a look and get back to you soon. Hope you get some sleep. --Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 18:48, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Hi Aero-Plex! The two statements you’ve identified in Sections 3.6 and 3.6.1 are specific examples of how the word marks could be used in a fashion that would be treated as nominative fair use under United States trademark law. They are not meant as an exhaustive list of of the scenarios that would qualify as nominative fair use -- just two common cases. Any use of the word marks that is nominative fair use would not be a trademark infringement and the Wikimedia Foundation would have no right to forbid it (and thus no authority to “permit” it in the Trademark Policy). AVoinigescu (WMF) (talk) 23:11, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
I should add a caveat to my last comment: Nominative fair use may be interpreted differently or more broadly under United States trademark law than it is in some other countries. Some countries may not recognize nominative fair use at all. To the extent that nominative fair use is more narrow or restrictive in a given country than it is under United States trademark law, the Trademark Policy is intended to allow uses of the word mark that would fall under the umbrella of normative fair use in the United States even if the uses would not be similarly privileged in that country. AVoinigescu (WMF) (talk) 23:44, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. I suppose the parts I was mainly asking about are the qualifiers "truthful" and "not misleading" - basically, could, for instance, knowingly making a false or misleading statement about Wikimedia in a news report fall under the protection of nominative use, or would the statement being knowingly false preclude it from such? If it would fall under the nominative use protections, then it might be a good idea to remove those qualifiers, as I can see them causing confusion among readers. Aero-Plex (talk) 15:27, 7 December 2013 (UTC)\
Hi Aero-Plex -- it turns out that’s not an easy question to answer :) In the U.S. at least, nominative fair use isn’t a clear set of rules -- it’s a set of judge-made factors that courts balance on a case by case basis to make decisions specific to the facts of their case.
As an example, one factor for determining nominative use is that “only so much of the mark or marks [is] used as is reasonably necessary to identify the product or service.” So if someone were to make a statement about “Wikipedia” hosting leaked government documents while actually describing Wikileaks (i.e. using the “Wikipedia” word mark in a misleading fashion), this would not be a nominative use because using “Wikipedia” is not necessary at all to identify Wikileaks.
Rather than just throw the factors out there and ask potential users of the trademarks to determine what’s nominative use on their own, we wanted to provide some specific examples of what is ok (because it’s nominal fair use) as guidance. AVoinigescu (WMF) (talk) 23:28, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. --Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 20:24, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Granting of licenses[edit]

I am most interested in the Wikimedia Community Logo, but just to help me understand how licenses are proposed to be granted, could someone please help me with a comparison of different cases?

Here is the situation - An event coordinator is organizing a community meeting for 100 people and would like to advertise the event with a Wikimedia logo. The event is about education; it is asserted that there is some relationship between the conference and Wikimedia projects, and a Wikimedia presentation will be part of the conference. At the event, this person would like to sell merchandise branded with the logo including books and thumbdrives of Wikimedia content showing the logo and the city and date of the conference. The event coordinator applies for a license at Trademark/Request a license form.

What happens? Is the license automatically granted as a matter of process or are variables weighed and is a decision to grant or not grant a license made? Who will make this decision and on what basis? To what extent does the outcome change if the following variables change?:

Most of these uses would be considered use of logos for a community-focused event, which doesn't require a trademark license under Section 3.2. The use of logos in the presentation about Wikimedia may further be “nominative use” or “outreach” under Section 3.3, which can also be done without a license. Selling merchandise would however require a license under Section 4.6. Given that the merchandise would be sold in the course of a community-focused event for community members, we would likely issue a trademark license after reviewing the application to make sure that there are no issues with it and that it complies with Section 4.6. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 01:35, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
  • The event coordinator is a member of the Wikimedia community, versus not a member
If the event coordinator is a community member, the application will get priority. An organizer of a community-focused event of the type that you describe above would also get priority. This means that we would process their applications before we review applications from movie studios, publishers, and other unrelated organizations. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 01:35, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
  • The event coordinator has the support of established Wikipedians, versus someone without expressed community support
We would treat such an event coordinator in the same way we treat community members.
  • The venue hosting the conference is a for-profit entity, versus a non-profit entity
We don’t currently consider whether the venue is a non-profit when we grant trademark licenses.
  • The conference itself is a commercial conference, versus a non-profit conference
We are more likely to issue a license if the conference is closely aligned to the Wikimedia mission. If it is a commercial conference for community members, we would try to ensure that the admission is free or low cost to make it accessible to as many community members as possible.
Under the latest draft of Section 3.4, the event organiser would be able to use the Community logo without a trademark license. The puzzle globe would require a license for commercial merchandise.
  • The logo requested is a unique derivative of the Wikimedia community logo designed for use in this event, versus an existing logo
The Community logo (as well as derivatives) would be used freely under the latest version of Section 3.4.
  • The merchandise (books and thumbdrives) are sold at cost to produce, versus for profit
If the merchandise are sold at cost to produce, it is more likely that the organizer is simply trying to promote the Wikimedia movement. We would therefore grant such a license if the use otherwise complied with Section 4.6.

My understanding of the precedent and history was that if someone is using a Wikimedia Foundation trademarked logo such as the Wikipedia puzzle globe, then all these sorts of factors are considerations in making a decision about whether a license to use the logo would be granted. I further understood that if the Wikimedia Community Logo or its derivatives were used, then the event coordinator could use the logo without seeking any permission or oversight at all. I like the idea of having people request a license if only to register the frequency with which logos are used and to direct them to tutorials on policy and correct usage, and also I like the idea of regulating use of the marks most associated with the Wikimedia Foundation and less associated with the Wikimedia community. I am not sure how I would feel about someone requesting to use the Wikimedia Community Logo and then having their request denied - perhaps this could be good or not, but I do not think this kind of regulation follows the historical use of the Wikimedia Community Logo. Under what circumstances could it happen that someone request a license to use the Wikimedia Community Logo or any derivative and have their request denied? Thanks. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:00, 7 December 2013 (UTC) What background exists for this? I found this -

Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:03, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Hi Blue Rasberry, Thanks for outlining the different licensing cases. I'll provide a response here shortly. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 07:40, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
@Bluerasberry: Thanks for your detailed questions. I have responded to them in-line above. Hope its helpful! YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 01:35, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
Thank you @YWelinder (WMF):. Your answers match my hopes and expectations and satisfy me entirely. I understand better and will share what I learned with others. Thanks for replying. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:57, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. --Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 20:25, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

German translation[edit]

I cannot edit "wahrheitsgemäßeBeschreibung" to "wahrheitsgemäße [space/Leerzeichen] Beschreibung" --WikiWikinger (talk) 22:51, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Thank you. I have made the change. :) Philippe (WMF) (talk) 00:06, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. Philippe (WMF) (talk) 01:31, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Defining commercial use[edit]

How does the Wikimedia Foundation define "commercial use"? I know that the Wikimedia projects have adopted Creative Commons licenses; do the projects also adopt Creative Commons' definitions of "commercial use"? It seems to me that Creative Commons is an authority on the matter.

Leaving aside nuance and special cases, what differences if any exist in the Wikimedia Foundation's perspective on "commercial use" and Creative Commons' perspective of the same? If the perspective of Creative Commons and its supporters used "commercial use" in a certain way, and if the Wikimedia community also was aligned with that perspective, then should I expect that the Wikimedia Foundation would likewise be aligned with that perspective?

I am asking because I know that the Creative Commons community has done research on this topic and found that the issue is complicated.

The term "non-commercial" is being used in the trademark policy despite it being a troublesome term to define. I feel that most people's perspectives on the term are defined by the way that Creative Commons uses it, but I am not aware of the Wikimedia community or Wikimedia Foundation making any statements about how noncommercial is defined for the Wikimedia movement. I would be in favor of following the lead of Creative Commons and their community as a default practice until and unless there is reason to do otherwise, but what is the current practice now? Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:57, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

Hi Blue Rasberry. Thanks for your questions, comments, and links. I'll make sure that the legal team sees this and responds to you soon. Take care, Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 18:29, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, no rush. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:49, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Hello @Bluerasberry: thanks for the links. The Creative Commons' research on this question is a helpful reference point, but for trademark purposes we plan to look at the question on a case by case basis. For most cases, a commercial use should be easy to recognize (for example, selling a product with the Wikipedia logo on it). If someone has a question about whether their use is commercial, they can contact us at and we will look at the specific facts. If needed, we can make further clarification in the FAQ based on the questions we receive. Looking at the Creative Commons research, we should also keep in mind that they are approaching the question from a copyright perspective, so they face slightly different issues. Best, Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 19:42, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Thank you Slaporte (WMF). You have addressed my question in entirety and I am satisfied with your response. I appreciate your reply. Blue Rasberry (talk) 21:32, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. Philippe (WMF) (talk) 21:56, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

Copy-edit queries[edit]

I just ran through it lightly, making no substantive changes.

Two queries:

  • "outreach work without a trademark license" – can that be more clearly expressed as "outreach work that has no trademark license"? (especially for translators)
“[W]ithout a trademark license” means that all these uses can be done without getting a license, so we can make this provision clearer by revising it to “[t]hey are also free to use all Wikimedia marks on the Wikimedia sites and for community-focused events, as well as outreach work without getting a trademark license.” YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 20:54, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
  • "The names of the screenwriter, director, producer, distributor, actors, and any interviewees (for documentaries)." – is the intention to exclude interviews that are not part of documentaries? It would be OK to remove the parenthetical if the reference is to all interviews (say, in comedy, in news and current affairs, etc).
That’s a good point. We’ll remove the parenthetical. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 20:57, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Does the use of "Please" weaken the legal position of the WMF? For example, "Please do not use the Wikimedia marks in a mirror of a Wikimedia site." Why isn't it uniform in tone throughout: "Do not use the Wikimedia marks in a mirror of a Wikimedia site." Sounds like a serious aspect of the policy to me.
We use the word “please” throughout the policy to make it sound friendlier than regular legal documents. It is consistent with our broader trademark practice. For example, we found that friendly cease-and-desist letters with respect to trademark infringement can be just as effective as using more stringent language. The use of the word “please” throughout the policy should not change the legal meaning of the provisions. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 20:57, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Tony (talk) 06:01, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

Tony, thank you for your questions and comments. The legal team will take a look at these points and get back to you about them. Kind regards, Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 18:22, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Hi Tony! Thank you for making the draft clearer. Please see my responses to your comments in-line above. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 20:59, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Tony1, I have changed 'get' to 'obtain' throughout, as get is a beautiful word that some grammarians recommend against using for various reasons, but one that is relevant is that people with English as a Second Language can stumble on it easily, especially when used in relation to a process as it could mean after a stage of a process, or it could mean the process itself. John Vandenberg (talk) 16:32, 19 December 2013 (UTC) (revert or improve if you disagree)

All sounds good. Tony (talk) 13:26, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. Philippe (WMF) (talk) 21:55, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

Arabic Translation[edit]

In section 3.2, what do you mean by the word provision in the following sentence: "This provision does not allow you to use the marks for fundraising"? Is it a law or legal statement; or a supply of something e.g. money, tangible items etc? Asaifm (talk) 22:05, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Hi Asaifm, "provision" in that sentence means "term" or "clause" and refers to section 3.2. It means that section 3.2 does not allow the marks to be used for fundraising. Thanks for clarifying this for the translations! YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 19:50, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks YWelinder! Provision has been translated mostly so far to "بند". You may find it sometimes as "شرط" too. Asaifm (talk) 21:08, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. Philippe (WMF) (talk) 21:54, 7 January 2014 (UTC)


OxygenGuide is an offline Wikivoyage. Its logo is based on the (previous) Wikivoyage logo:

Is that OK? It is Open Source, and I am the developer so I can change it if not OK.

More generally, is it OK to use a modified Wikimedia logo as an app icon, if that app is created by the community, dedicated strictly to making the wiki's content more accessible or checking/improving the wiki's content? Thanks! Nicolas1981 (talk) 04:51, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

Hi Nicolas1981! Thanks for your work on making Wikivoyage content more accessible!
Generally, our trademark policy does not prevent the use derivatives of Wikimedia logos when they are so distinct from the original that users wouldn't be confused about the source of the app.
Given that the app is open source and is clearly advancing the Wikimedia mission, you may want to get a license to use the new Wikivoyage logo instead. To request a license, you can email us at Thanks, YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 05:38, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. Philippe (WMF) (talk) 00:28, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

How will this policy be enforced outside the USA?[edit]

While reading and translating this policy, I can see what you want to enforce in terms of protection. What puzzles me though is comprehending how will you apply this policy outside the USA especially when there are no laws protecting trademarks in the country of violation. Could you elaborate on what steps are you going to take in such cases? Thanks! Asaifm (talk) 21:23, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

Appreciate you mentioning this, Asaifm. A member of the legal team will get back to you shortly. Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 22:56, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Hi Asaifm! Most countries have trademark protection, though the extent of that protection varies. When we learn of an infringement, we usually try to contact the person in question regardless of where they are located. We do so through a friendly email or letter so that they feel comfortable contacting us. If we are unable to stop the infringement, we usually retain a law firm in that country, which helps us to figure out what our options are under local law. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 22:41, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. Philippe (WMF) (talk) 00:28, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Community logo still mentioned in the policy[edit]

I've been assured by @James Alexander that, because the new policy will not cover the community logo, every mention of it will be removed before the draft is finalized. Yet, it hasn't been done to this day, and the consultation period appears to have finished (blog announcement). @YWelinder (WMF), AKoval (WMF), Philippe (WMF), LVilla (WMF), and Slaporte (WMF): can you please remove almost all mentions of the community logo from the policy before it is presented for Board of Trustees approval? I'm especially concerned about the parts which say that the new policy allows free use of that logo, because it doesn't.[28] I'm also pinging @Sj, Phoebe, and Raystorm: so that they're aware of this issue and can react before they vote on approving the new draft. odder (talk) 11:43, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Hey odder, I'm going to sleep (and we have a holiday tomorrow) so I am unlikely to respond right away but I'm a bit confused so if you could expand that may help the others answer in case they are as well. The new policy, as I read it, only mentions the Community Logo in a couple places to specifically call out that that it is available for free use ( "This logo can be used freely" , "The Wikimedia Community logo can be used freely." etc) with the only possible restriction being that it says that you shouldn't file a trademark registration for the logo.. which seems to make sense. I imagine that if someone attempted to reserve the mark for their own use (through a TM registration) and therefore taking it away from the community they would want us to defend it, I know I certainly would. I would also want the logo mentioned as it is (in a 'this is free to use' way) rather then not mentioned at all because if it is going to be free to use I think we have a bit of an obligation to make sure people know that instead of hiding it. It's obviously always possible I missed something so if there is a piece that looks different I'd appreciate some expansion. Jalexander--WMF 12:24, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Hi James, thanks for the fast response. I don't know whether the Foundation is planning to protect the community logo from malicious takeovers; I think someone already asked this question and did not receive an answer. I would certainly hope and expect the Foundation to act in community's interest should such a situation happen in the future, and would warmly welcome a statement from the legal team saying so.
As far as this new draft and its summary are considered, they mentioned that the community logo could be freely used as an effect of this new policy, which isn't true, since the logo is not covered by it. I personally don't think the community logo should be mentioned at all in this policy, just like you don't mention the Wiki Loves Monuments logo, the WALRUS logo, or other logos created by the community. To show what I meant, and in a wiki spirit, I removed some mentions of the logo from the policy and the summary (1, 2, 3); please do have a look at those edits. odder (talk) 20:53, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Wait, you wanted trademark protections removed from the community logo, but now you hope that the legal department will protect it from malicious takeovers? You can't have it both ways. You advocated for opening up the logo, now it's open. Don't go asking for legal interventions now... Anyway, I think you're being unhelpful by removing mentions of it. Do you want people to use the community logo or not? If so, then they have to learn about it somehow. It seems reasonable to assume people will learn about it via the trademark policy. Therefore, it seems like it would be in the best interest of anyone who actually wants the community logo to be used to leave mentions in there. Your over-interpreting of language is getting in the way of the actual goal here, I think. But, hey, whatever. -- phoebe | talk 22:20, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
I absolutely can have it both ways, @Phoebe. If the Wikimedia Foundation aims to have the best interest of the community at heart, I think it is only reasonable that they would protect the logo against malicious takeovers should such situation arise. Of course, we at the community are perfectly capable of acting on our own, and the Foundation is not required for us to be able to effectively protect the logo. Reclaim the Logo has proven this beautifully, and if the Foundation does not wish to help the community in this case, I think they should make their stance known — it will definitely make it easier for us and our donors to decide whether it's best to donate money to the WMF or maybe choose a local chapter that is actually supporting the community that creates our projects.
I don't think I'm being unhelpful by removing mentions of the logo from the policy. That's just your opinion, and while you are entitled to it, please do notice that I did not remove all mentions of the community logo from the policy (such as section 3.4), but only those that were either misleading or simply factually incorrect. Also, please take into consideration that this logo isn't covered by the policy, so it doesn't make any sense from a legalese perspective to mention it; as I said before, the draft doesn't mention the logos of Wiki Loves Monuments, WALRUS, etc. But hey, whatever. odder (talk) 22:40, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, you did ask me to give my opinion, so I did. -- phoebe | talk 00:04, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
No worries James, this should make it clear: [29]. And please don't thank me, the past taught me I'd later have to pay you a high price for the honour. --Nemo 21:20, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Some recent edits by Philippe seem to imply that something is not clear yet about this matter. Everyone feel free to comment on talk. --Nemo 09:50, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

What the fuck is going on ? If the community logo is not trademarked by the Foundation, why should the trademark policy of the Foundation speak about it ? Or is there any hidden agenda behind this ? I've got to admit that I'm quite pissed at how all this was done... Pleclown (talk) 12:25, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
@Pleclown: be polite, please. @Nemo: As a board member I don't appreciate last minute editing of the draft; LCA closed the consultation in time for them to submit it to the board, on our calendar, before our meeting; given that, I would like a stable and legal-team approved version to read this week. Everyone had many months to read and consult, and I accept that it will never be perfect; you should too. -- phoebe | talk 22:26, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Hi Phoebe, thanks for stepping in. I've however no idea what you're talking about, the decision on the community logo (as regards the WMF staff) was taken over 40 days ago, way before the closure of this consultation. Its presence here was either a typo, or some misunderstaing, or a precedence issue on whether the staff should first wait for the board to confirm that they don't want WMF to register the community logo, or instead they can already proceed that way (including in this draft). As you've not yet commented on the issue, perhaps you may want to tell us if you/the board thinks that it takes an amendment to past board resolutions for the community logo not to be registered by WMF, and if yes whether and when the board will discuss the matter, and if yes if it will be decided together with this policy, and if yes where it can be written if not in the policy itself. --Nemo 22:43, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, the matter was brought to us; I don't know if anything's been published yet, I'll have to look. Anyway, no one is arguing with the decision to withdraw trademark registration; that's not in dispute, and mentioning the community logo in the trademark policy doesn't imply that it is. As I noted above, I think mentioning the community logo as one option that is always open to people, in a description in the trademark policy of what people can do with the trademarks and what they can't, is perfectly reasonable. I don't think it's appropriate to keep making substantial edits at this late date, but mostly I certainly don't think it's worth edit warring over. -- phoebe | talk 00:04, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Phoebe, then we'll wait for info on how you plan to proceed on the matter. I agree that some parts of the page may name the community logo: see also my edit linked above and the comment below, 00:33, 22 January 2014. --Nemo 10:41, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
No, @Phoebe. I've been personally assured by @James Alexander that the legal team were working on re-writing the draft after the closure of the request for consultation that they started following our trademark opposition. Perhaps unwisely, I trusted James' assurance and did not look at this draft since — so you can imagine my surprise at seeing the logo still mentioned in it (for instance, "To further make it easier for community members to use the marks, this policy introduces some creative trademark solutions. For example, community members may freely use the Wikimedia Community logo", is just blatantly false), which, of course, resulted in my starting this discussion. odder (talk) 22:50, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Hey odder, it appears there may be some misunderstanding about my response to you on that. You asked me if we were going to remove all references to the Community Logo now that it wasn't going to be trademarked. You're right that I said I expected significant changes to be made to the document (and then talked about how it might take a bit of time given everything) but I also said that I expected the lawyers to want "something explicit in there about how 'this logo belongs to the community' too, so that it's obvious to others as well." That seems to be what they've done here. My comment about expecting final changes to take time "as people try to clarify etc" was meant to imply time for anyone within the community who didn't think the changes were clear enough to say so; I was hoping you'd continue to participate in that discussion in case anything was unclear. Jalexander--WMF 00:02, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
@Jalexander: And I'm cool with that; as I wrote above in response to Phoebe, I'm not removing every mention of the logo from the policy (even though I don't think it should be there), only the parts that were false (see above) or misleading (such as links to a Commons category for community logo derivatives when talking about remixes of trademarked logos). odder (talk) 00:33, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
And yet, @Philippe just revered my edit, bringing those links back. Let me repeat what I already said: linking to a category with files derived from the community logo—which isn't covered by this policy–while talking about remixing Wikimedia trademarks is totally misleading. (This is visible in Translations:Trademark policy/40/en and Translations:Trademark policy/50/en.) Please, please fix it. Thank you. odder (talk) 18:42, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
… anyone? odder (talk) 20:20, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

I have taken another look at this, and I believe it is appropriate for the policy to mention the free use of the community logo, which we have done, for example, in Section 3.4. That logo is the symbol that is on all the Meta-Wiki pages hosted by WMF, so we should explain that the community logo is treated differently from the other Wikimedia marks; as the community consultation showed on the issue, there were differing and strong views on the registration of the mark, so a clear statement in the trademark statement is appropriate to ensure we all move forward on the same page; and, finally, a clear statement will help ensure against any inadvertent registration in the future (after this debate is long forgotten). That said, I will remove the sentence that refers to the community logo in line 73 "(It allows community members to use the Wikimedia marks without a trademark license for Wikimedia community-focused events and outreach work.") since the context of that sentence is subject to different interpretations. We will also post the Wikimedia logo, in lieu of the community logo, in the summary section of the new trademark policy to avoid too much emphasis on the community logo. Geoffbrigham (talk) 18:44, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Mention the free use, why not. Linking to remixes of the community logo when speaking about remixes of trademarked logos of the Foundation, no. There is plenty others remixed Foundation trademarked logos on Commons to chose from. Pleclown (talk) 16:12, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Pleclown! We have replaced the links. YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 00:28, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, @YWelinder (WMF), this change is greatly appreciated. odder (talk) 12:26, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

I believe that this discussion has concluded and, unless you remove this template, will be archiving this topic soon. If you disagree, please edit this section and remove {{ArchivingSoon}}. Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 20:57, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Board review edits[edit]

I have done a final review of the trademark policy as we prepare its presentation to the Board for its January 31st meeting. Upon further reflection, to avoid confusion by community members and others, I want to underscore in the policy what we already say in the FAQ (FAQ 3.4) that Wikimedia marks should be used to represent only the projects for which they stand. Therefore, in Section 5.3 of the trademark policy, I am adding the following sentence: "When you use a Wikimedia mark under this policy, please use it to represent only the project for which it stands." Thanks. Geoffbrigham (talk) 19:44, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

We have also made a few editorial changes to the Trademark policy and the FAQ. Thanks, YWelinder (WMF) (talk) 00:54, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
<jocular> Foundation under Jimbo, indivisible,...
</jocular> - Amgine/meta wikt wnews blog wmf-blog goog news 19:53, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Can we modify the Wikipedia logo for a local Wikipedia?[edit]

We're discussing a minor change to the Wikipedia logo for the Romanian Wikipedia (several community members feel Romanian would be better represented if we included a Romanian-specific character on the logo instead of one of the characters currently on the logo). This will be subsequently used as the main logo on I wanted to make sure this is fine with WMF before we conclude the discussion there. --Gutza (talk) 10:08, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

A site[edit]

Hi. I faced a web-site which uses a name "Wikipedia Чиновників". It seems that they mess up what's Wiki and what's Wikipedia but anyway it's an abuse. Please take care of that. Thanks. --Base (talk) 14:36, 1 September 2014 (UTC)


IRC is explicitly mentioned as one of the allows uses in 3.1 "Can you give me some examples of when I can use the marks on the Wikimedia sites?"

However IRC is not a Wikimedia site, and a Wikimedia specific IRC channel like #wikipedia-enconnect is not significantly different to WikipediaWeekly, is it? John Vandenberg (talk) 01:51, 10 March 2017 (UTC)

Will the trademark abuse reporting form ever go live?[edit]

The trademark abuse reporting form mockup hasn't had a substantive edit since 2014, after being created in 2013 to be discussed. No discussion has happened since 2013. User:Rkwon (WMF) was in that discussion and said The WMF Legal team will monitor any reports of potential trademark violations that come to us via this form and respond as appropriate, so it looks like the form was a WMF-endorsed thing as of then. Section 6.1 of the current live version of the policy page links to the form as if it's live. But it still only exists as a mockup, six and a half years later. Is that going to change (anytime soon)? ← PointyOintment (talk) 18:24, 6 May 2020 (UTC)

Giving different names to wikis in languages other than English[edit]


Wikimedia projects usually start with English content and an English name. For years, it has been a common practice in many languages that when an edition of a project begins in another language, the name is not just transliterated from English, but fully translated. The "Wiki" part is usually kept as-is, and the "Wikipedia" name is usually close to the original English (although I think there are some exceptions even there), but the other part is often different. =

For example, Wikidata is "Wikidannyie" in Russian, and Wikibooks is "Vikiuchebnik" (I'm writing the Russian names in the Latin alphabet for easier reading). "Dannyie" means "Data", as you would expect, and "uchebnik" means "textbook" in Russian, which is a little different from the original "-books", but in a way it is an even better description of what the project does than the original English name.

These are just two examples from one language. There are hundreds of others.

As far as I know, the Foundation's trademark professionals never complained about this. However, I couldn't find an explicit written publicly-available policy that says that this is allowed from the trademark law perspective. Is there such a thing? Sorry if it exists, and I just missed it :)

Tagging some people who can be relevant: User:RStallman (WMF), User:CRoslof (WMF).

Thanks! --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 12:52, 13 October 2020 (UTC)