Amical Wikimedia/Mail8

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from	Gomà <>
to	Gomà <>
date	Sat, Jan 9, 2010 at 6:34 PM
subject	Copy of your message to Michael Snow: Wikimedia CAT chapter proposal.

Dear Michael,

I send you this mail addressed to the Board of Wikimedia Foundation.

Thank you for transmitting it to the Board.


Dear Board members. Six months have elapsed since we applied to become a Local Chapter. At that time, we had already fulfilled the requirement to ask the opinion of the Local Chapters which were already established in territories where we wished to be active, and they do not seem to have any objections. (see:

The current situation is hurting us. Once our situation has been defined, we can organise our association and focus our efforts on promoting the Wikimedian movement, which is what we like best. But this indeterminacy makes us suffer from an uncertainty which is hindering all our activities.

We believe that we meet the requirements to become a Local Chapter. We have not seen it written anywhere that activities cannot be extended beyond the political borders of a country. If WM-FR and WM-IT have no objections to us promoting the projects in France and Italy, we cannot understand that the Chapcom may object. The fact that the proposed name is not WM-Andorra because the laws of the country do not allow for it and because WM-CAT identifies us better with the cultural community to which we belong does not convince us either. Wikimedia-UK is not called Wikimedia United Kingdom because their laws are similar to those of Andorra. WM-CH is not called WM-Switzerland, out of deference to the different language communities which cohabit there. Thus, the desire to be called WM-CAT is perfectly consistent with other identical or similar cases.

We believe that the only problem comes from the fact that WM-ES is having a hard time taking off.

Last December a group of people gave new impetus to the project to create WM-ES. We have offered to help them in every way possible as an organization. (See and There are also people who support our proposal and who have registered personally to collaborate in the Spanish proposal. Unfortunately, it seems that they have chosen a slow path, and that it can take months –if it does not stall as it has done several times in the past.

In part, it is somewhat humiliating that our situation is dependent on WM-ES. It is not because Andorra is a small country that we have no dignity. Nobody asked WM-FR to wait for WM-BE to be incorporated in order to be able to promote the projects in all the French-speaking areas (see Programme « Francophonie 2.0) including those in Belgium. Similarly, we cannot understand that we are asked to wait for WM-ES to be incorporated in order to be able to promote the projects in the Catalan-speaking regions of Spain.

Since the Chapcom informed us that it has no authority to approve chapters like ours,(*see copy below) we address directly the Board and request it to decide the following:

 1. to authorise the creation of the Wikimedia Foundation Local Chapter in Andorra, bearing the name "Wikimedia-CAT";
 2. to authorise Wikimedia-CAT to carry out activities promoting and supporting the projects in the Catalan-speaking areas of France and Italy jointly with WM-FR and WM-IT, according to the wish to cooperate already expressed officially by said Local Chapters;
 3. and to authorise Wikimedia-CAT to carry out activities promoting and supporting the projects in the Catalan-speaking areas of Spain.

We hope the Board has the authority to attend our issue and we expect it to be resolved favourably.

Joan Ramon Gomà i Ayats

  • Mail sent by Chapcom stating they have no authority:

Hello Joan,

Unfortunately there isn't anything else that we can do to continue this issue for now. We still need to receive confirmation from WM-FR and WM-IT that such a thing that you are proposing is even acceptable to them. It is beyond the authority of the Chapcom to approve one chapter that overlaps the areas of other chapters without explicit agreement. We cannot continue this discussion at all until we've heard from WM-FR and WM-IT saying that they are in agreement with your proposal.

>But, do you really think that it is worth to invent a completely new >concept when we have one tested and working? I think it could be better to >be a local chapter as any other. Then in the contract between the chapter

>and the Foundation fix as many details as necessary to avoid any potential >difficulty.

We as a committee simply do not have the authority to approve a transnational chapter right now. Not to say that this authority will never be granted in the future, but we do not have it right now. We also don't have the authority to invent a new level of official recognition if being a "chapter" is impossible for you.

>By example, just now it saddens us that we have been denied attendance to >Chapters meeting in Berlin. Guillaume Paumier explained that Chapters >decided to hold the meeting only with recognized chapters. We fear that if

>we are not a chapter we are going to have this kind of problems every day.

The chapters meeting in Berlin is restricted to only currently-existing chapters only. Several groups have been excluded from this meeting for a variety of reasons, including several groups who are actively working to produce "traditional" national chapters. This is not an exclusion specific to you or your organization. This is a business meeting and is not appropriate for non-chapters to attend because they will have no business to participate in.

Your best opportunity for involvement now is to prepare a delegation to send to Wikimania. There may even be funding available to send members of your group to that event, and it will be a more inclusive meeting where your group can get more involved.

>We would like to hear from Chapters Committee as many problems as possible >of recognizing us as a chapter (not just because you are different) perhaps >then we could help in finding solutions.

We've discussed a list of issues previously. To reiterate:

1) We MUST receive confirmation that all overlapping chapters accept your proposal as is. We cannot move forward with an overlapping chapter without approval.

2) We do not have authority to approve transnational chapters right now. A case would need to be made to the WMF Board and probably to other existing chapters too before we get approval to make decisions like these.

There isn't anything else that the Chapcom can do right now until both these two issues are resolved and resolved favorably. I'm happy to answer any questions you have, or to forward any communications from you to appropriate parties in the WMF, WM-FR, or WM-IT as necessary to facilitate your needs. However, besides these things we have no capabilities to help you right now.

--Andrew Whitworth

-- This e-mail was sent by Gomà to Michael Snow by the "E-mail user" function at Meta.