Wikimedia chapters/Reports/Wikimedia Deutschland/November 2011

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Position paper on copyright law[edit]

A bylined article by European Commissioner Neelie Kroes gave us a real gift for addressing the current crisis of legitimacy of copyright law in a way affecting the public. A joint position paper by Wikimedia Germany, Digitale Gesellschaft e.V. and Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland e.V. was taken up by dpa and found favorable comments and critical appraisals in numerous media publications and blogs. Meanwhile, the Free Software Foundation Europe e.V. would also like to co-sign the paper. In addition to a fair-use clause for the legally compliant operation of user-generated content projects such as Wikipedia, the declaration demands that there be a coupling of protection periods to a work register for copyright protected works. If a current rights holder cannot be determined in a definite and automated manner, then a comprehensive re-use should thus be possible. In this context, we favor the establishment of a freely accessible database of works and rights holders at the European level.

Keep the duck outside! Dispute over Loriot stamps[edit]

Hardly any other topic has captivated people this month as much as the deletion of the welfare brands with Loriot-motives, "The Breakfast Egg," "Men in the Bath," "On the racetrack," and "The Talking Dog" on 11.8.2011 through an “Office Action.” This unusual procedure was necessary because the daughter of the great comedians Victor von Bülow alias Loriot at the Berlin District Court obtained a restraining order against the Wikimedia Foundation, after she saw her father’s intellectual property being intentionally violated. The court thus expressly denied the stamps as being official stamps and thus belonging to the public domain. This took place in light of the ruling of the District Court of Munich 10.3.1987 (21 S 20861/86), which for the WP community has so far been authoritative. The case Bülow vs. Wikimedia Foundation - probably on account of the prominent name of the plaintiff - has been covered by numerous media publications including Spiegel Online and

Conference on the digitization of cultural heritage[edit]

It is a patchwork: a survey site on digital cultural heritage lists only 915 projects with 633 participating German institutions. It’s no wonder that central government platforms such as Europeana, non-profit projects such as Wikipedia and private sector initiatives like Google Books are increasingly being used as a springboard to exciting works and are also being problematized. At the high-profile conference “Ins Netz gegangen – Neue Wege zum kulturellen Erbe” (Caught in the Net - New ways to Cultural Heritage) on November 17th/18th at the German Cinematheque the topic of Wikipedia came up several times: while Pavel Richter in his lecture emphasized the contemporary nature and the cultural relativity of the online encyclopedia on the basis of the Wikipedia entries on "rating agencies," "abortion" and "The Simpsons," Mathias Schindler solicited for more courage on the part of the cultural institutions in order to confront in an offensive manner the digital transformation. Dr. Oliver Sander of the German Federal Archives recapitulated the cooperation with Wikimedia Germany, although he did not conceal his sincere regret for the large number of non-compliant license re-uses of federal archive photos on Wikimedia Commons. Altogether, it became clear, more education work needs to be done by our association concerning the intended and unintended effects of free licenses in order to strengthen cultural institutions in regard to their policies of innovation.

Wikipedians in GLAMsterdam[edit]

While for the "culturally interested" people in the German Wikipedia community there is now a central exchange platform, the international GLAM-movement (an acronym for "Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums”) is aiming at taking the next step in the transfer of experience: from the 2nd to 4th of December, about 60 activists from around the world will meet at the GLAMCamp in Amsterdam in order to talk about the new contacts generated through “Wiki loves Monuments” , the improvement of upload tools for digitization projects and the use of QR code in the exhibition context among other things. On the German side, in particular we are hoping for information about the present "Wikipedian-in-Residence" models, which have been a key success factor for imitation effects in the culture business. Half a dozen committed Wikipedians will be there through the support of Wikimedia Germany; from Wikimedia’s workforce Nicole will participate.

CC-friendly international news channel[edit]

Al Jazeera, the home station of the revolutions in the Arab world, has a long tradition of sharing of content under (free) CC licenses, especially for videos that are released on After an intervention by Liam Wyatt and Mathias Schindler, Al Jazeera now also has released its picture feed on Flickr ( under CC by-sa-2.0.



Just in time for the General Assembly of Wikimedia Germany, the last 2011 edition of our club magazine Wikimedium appeared. The magazine’s content at this time is four pages long, including a double page, where all our staff at our office are presented in word and image. In October, the number of subscribed copies of the newspaper was more than 2,500. In the meantime, many interested parties have again requested the free publication, so that we now stand at around 2,800 subscribed copies! We welcome new subscribers or your request for issues for your Wikipedia meet-up groups or other community meetings! Simply send an e-mail to

Press releases[edit]

In November, we drew up four press releases that were distributed through our press contacts. More about the effect this had in the paragraph that follows. Here let it be mentioned that there has been a systematic change with which we intend to improve the readability and thus the availability of the press releases that we send out in the future. In addition to offering all of our press releases in PDF form, we are now offering them as text documents directly on our association’s website. The reason for this is that access to Wikimedia content through mobile devices is growing rapidly. The PDF format cannot be accessed as easily with mobile devices but information can more easily be accessed via a direct link to an URL. In our blog and through other distribution channels we thus have been sharing our press releases since November in this way. PDFs are also still available. Here is our text version of the press release for the donations campaign 2011, the event "Caught in the net," “Caught in the Net Net” for cooperation with the German Senior League for the project ”Silberwissen“, and the position paper on copyright law.

Press conferences / Media cooperation[edit]

Sue Gardner, the Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, agreed to have a “press day” in Berlin after the General Assembly. This required the preparation of press contacts and the interview day was planned and organized as effectively and efficiently as possible. After consultations between the participating journalists, Sue and her team in San Francisco, was ensured here in Berlin a smooth and, from the perspective of public relations, highly successful day full of questions and answers. Among the core topics of press briefings there included technical developments as well as the simplified use of Wikipedia, the low proportion of women within Wikipedia and also the important search for new authors. The result was that the broadcasting of different version of a dpa interview alone led to about half of the total of over 350 reports. An individual interview with Die Zeit resulted in a three part discussion including various video statements. In addition, radio spots were broadcast on rbb and Deutschlandradio. You will find this and, as always, a more extensive selection of news in our press review.

In the last monthly report, we presented in a graph the news coverage of Wiki Loves Monuments according to target groups. This time: a comparison of the pure press coverage on subjects (from left to right) Donation Campaign 2011, reporting on the removal of Loriot stamps From Wikipedia, Sue Gardner's interview day and the joint position paper of Wikimedia Germany, the Digitale Gesellschaft and the Open Knowledge Foundation. The amount of reports regarding Sue Gardner's visit clearly stands out in this series but also the other three issues show, each with its more than 100 reports, a very large local and regional distribution.


Graph used with the friendly permission of Meltwater News Urheberrecht = copyright law

Informational material[edit]

The printing of the brochure on Wikisource was scheduled for November but had to be postponed because of the many tasks related to the General Assembly, the concentrated press work in this month and the production of the early edition of the Wikimedium.

Wikipedia book[edit]

Several readings of "All About Wikipedia" took place in November. A detailed review of the individual events can be found in this blog post.

Initiative “Wikipedia has to become world heritage”[edit]

Things are slowly drawing to an end. Until January 15th, there is the collecting of signatures for the petition “Wikipdia has to become world heritage!” Thanks to a pro bono campaign led by Leo Burnett in November there are hanging posters, drawing attention to the petition. supported us with the distribution of suitable postcards.



The education sector “Education and Knowledge” was introduced in the blog this month in its future form for 2012.

School project[edit]

This month the ”Wikipedia school project” made efforts to have further cooperation and thought about the strategic direction it is going to take for next year. Fortunately, in this context we were able to already have a workshop with students at the University of Tübingen on November 14th. There Johannes Moskaliuk offered this semester a seminar on educational psychology, in which he worked with students on concepts for integrating Wikipedia into the classroom. In this context, students had access to the contents of the materials of the school project and will create a wiki on the basis of them and expand their contents. In addition, students will develop a standardized form of evaluation of the content and make it available on Wikimedia following the semester.

The Wikipedia school project in November had a total of 13 events and was able to reach over 400 people. Especially important for the school project in November was the "Symposium of the Society for Computer Science" with about 150 participants, which consisted mostly of computer science teachers, and the event "From Chalk to the Whiteboard" in Meuselwitz, where the school project had a stand. Right afterwards, there were two inquiries referring to the event. This development is very encouraging and shows the growing interest of the part of teachers.

From November 18th to 20th in Bielefeld, the second EduCamp took place in this year. Wikimedia Germany took part in two of the three days. As a supporter of the camp, we are particularly pleased that the debate about free educational content, which is currently defined by the term "OER" ("Open Educational Resources") found so many enthusiastic supporters at the camp. The exact content of the debate and the initiatives already agreed upon will shortly be presented in our association’s blog. Wikimedia Germany supports the movement for free educational content and can be contacted about it.

Work material for teachers[edit]

At the end of November in Cologne there was held a working weekend, where teachers, Wikipedians, representatives of Wikimedia Germany and lecturers in the school project met both personally and virtually in order to revise intensely and in a concentrated manner over a two-day period the structure and content of the work material "Wikipedia in schools." This textbook, which is naturally under a free license, is being developed collaboratively under the supervision of numerous experts on Wikibooks and here you are invited for further collaboration.

On the Monday afterwards, Elly and Denis met in Ludwigshafen with representatives of During this meeting, both sides agreed to intensify their cooperation in the future. This cooperation has already been effective in the preparation of working material for teachers, whose preparation klicksafe will professionally supervise in the coming months. The cooperation should keep on continuing afterwards.

“Wikipedia Ambassador”[edit]

The Wikipedia Ambassador program is taking off: an initial meeting with representatives of universities will be held in Göttingen on December 2nd, where the program will be presented and discussed. In parallel with it, the tender for the speakers of the program was successfully placed in the Kurier. The applicants will be trained on December 17th and 18th in Cologne by experienced representatives of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Silberwissen / TAO[edit]

In the period from November 15th to 17th, the partners of the TAO-Projekts met in Bern, to take stock after a year and to discuss the next steps together. Elvira represented Wikimedia Germany - one of the community partners - with the project "Silver Knowledge.” With around 20 events and a total of 130 participants, including some of selected articles and photos of the "New Wikipedians,” our balance sheet is quite impressive indeed. Also local chroniclers of the district Potsdam-Mittelmark took part with photos of historic buildings in the photo competition “Wiki Loves Monuments“ As a result, the historic buildings of two communities have been uploaded completely.

With Patrick Kenel, the Swiss community partners now have a new project manager. The activities for recruiting senior members for Wikipedia began in Switzerland in November. So soon there will also be an exchange in experiences between Wikimedia Germany and Wikimedia Switzerland concerning recruiting senior members for Wikipedia.

Elvira also attended the closing conference of the nationwide project "Experience the Internet" in Berlin. In the workshops, interesting information was presented concerning the promising and tested methods of recruiting of seniors for Web 2.0. This information should be adapted to the speakers network and made available.


Our fundraising team has prepared a long time for this. Now it is already in full swing: since November 14th, our fundraiser for this year has been running and after the first two weeks it can be stated: this is the most successful launch of a fundraising campaign of Wikimedia Germany. More than 53,000 donors donated in the first two weeks more than 1.213 million €. For a comparison, last year we had 73,000 donors throughout the campaign, as can be seen here. Incidentally, the Wikimedia Foundation is also off to an incredible start, which their statistics significantly show.

In regard to the fundraising campaign, we have been able provide many new features in November for the fundraising. We now have a donation page, with which we test all of the content and layout and easily vary them. With VEWA we have a new donation software program which we have accustomed ourselves to. We have a new front end, with which we receive money transfers and PayPal payments. And we have also conducted numerous tests during the campaign with sometimes astonishing results. The current donation page is thus the result of numerous tests. Finally, we have made many preparations internally so that, among other things, the many hundreds of e-mails that reach us every day can be dealt with efficiently.

What is going to happen in the next few weeks? We had Jimmy Wales during the first two weeks but we are working hard to publish other appeals as soon as possible. So stay tuned. If someone is interested in writing a personal appeal, he / she may register at any time with us:


9th General Assembly of Wikimedia Germany[edit]

On November 19th and 20th, there was held in the Dr. Buhmann school in Hanover the 9th ordinary General Assembly of Wikimedia Germany. With this meeting ended the previous board work and it was replaced by a ten-member volunteer Board, which is distinguished by a number of new faces. With this election, the association's members managed to accomplish the feat of increasing the proportion of women while, at the same time, clearly increasing the proportion of active Wikipedia authors on the governing body.

The organization faced logistical challenges on account of the choice of venue was: because the world's largest agricultural fair Agritechnica was taking place at the same time, the available supply of function rooms, accommodation and other services was very limited. Nevertheless, the general meeting took place without any major mishaps occurring.

A first was the live broadcast of the discussion with Sue Gardner, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, who led a lively discussion of current issues such as the image filter, the decline in the number of authors and the percentage of women participating in Wikipedia. In addition to those present, the observers of the live stream feed via the platform had the opportunity to engage in the discussion, which was also repeatedly used. Thanks to all who have contributed to its success, especially to Manuel Schneider Manuel Schneider for taming the somewhat challenging Hanoverian video technology!

The next meeting will be held in Berlin, namely on April 21st and 22nd 2012. All interested persons are invited to participate in the ongoing online brainstorming.

Member survey: addressing each other[edit]

In the week before the General Assembly, this year's member survey was conducted. A special thanks goes out to all those who participated and to for their support! A detailed analysis of the survey results will follow in the members forum. We are delighted that the work of our association, our (former) board and our full-time employees will be judged very positively. Thank you for the flowers! One question that was asked was related to the preferred manner of being addressed: "you" (Du) or the formal form of "you" (Sie). The result has surprised us with its clarity: only 3% of the membership reject the Du form but 22% take offence at the Sie form. Overall, the Du group comes in with a clear absolute majority, while only 14% prefer the Sie form.

Community project budget (CPB)[edit]

While viewing the 33 applications received in the second round, the preparation of the CPB report to the General Assembly and during the preparation of the next committee meeting, Sebastian Sooth supported the CPB Committee in November. The first round has now resulted in a project and it has been submitted to the payroll audit. Current information can be found on the project page.


The library grant is a new support program for Wikipedians & employees of sister projects. Wikipedians who need library access for research purposes, whether for university, technical or municipal libraries, can have their costs refunded upon application. Also costs for interlibrary loans can be assumed.

The program represents the implementation of a project idea proposed by Anneke Wolf and Southpark. Thank you for the great idea, which is a very suitable addition to the literary scholarship (see below) and, at the same time, is suitable for users who, as part of Wikipedia:Bibliotheksrecherche, are carrying out library research support for other Wikipedians!


We are continuing to have many discussions and negotiations for being able to set up the CommunitySpace in Berlin next year. Sebastian Sooth would welcome hearing any tips you may have concerning partners / locations in other cities. In Hanover, there was a book reading of "All About Wikipedia" (please see above) which served as a prelude to a more extensive form of cooperation in the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Library.

Literature stipend[edit]

The release of the literature stipend in all subject areas is paying off: since its opening, we have been awarding on average three stipends per week compared with just one scholarship per week during the period when it was limited to newsrooms. That's a big step forward to supporting many more authors than before.

WissensWert (Worth Knowing)[edit]

From October 17th to November 24th, project proposals could be submitted as part of WissensWert, which we would support with up to 5,000 €. Nicole was a guest on Trackback (Radio Fritz) and FluxFM . We did a lot of drumming on our Twitter and Facebook channels and on our blog, sent out a press release and made an appeal to friends, acquaintances and fans of open knowledge to participate. A total of 50 projects were sent in, which are currently being reviewed and evaluated by the jury. The public and community can also choose their favorite project. The winner will receive the audience award of 2,000 €. In the meta-wiki, there is a list of eligible and non-eligible project ideas and here there is some background information on the selection process.

Apart from questions concerning content, it was necessary to clarify with many entrants, whether or not truly free licenses are being used (and not licenses which exclude commercial use or editing). There is still much education and persuasion to be done as the current debates show (for example about free educational content and the debate on copyright reform).

Wiki Loves Monuments[edit]

The winner of the German competition we already announced in the last report. It was especially exciting to see how the juries of the different countries decided. At there can be found the finalists from the participating countries. In early December, the European jury will select the winners. We are excited about the decision but we see clearly in the results of national competitions that the judges have different criteria for what was decided upon.

On December 1st, an evaluation meeting was held in Amsterdam, at which the competition was retrospectively analyzed and new plans were made for 2012. It was decided, among other things, that the photo contest will be held again in 2012 – and this time even with worldwide participation!

Zedler prize 2012[edit]

After intensive discussions with the community and internally with Wikimedia Germany, we finally introduced the new Zedler concept and called for a public proposal round. With the new Zedler Prize for Free Knowledge, we will single out in the future individuals, groups and projects that have in the past year been particularly committed to free knowledge. This will create the first prize in the German-speaking countries that recognizes the tireless, volunteer work for free knowledge. In a detailed blog post, we invite you to contribute suggestions for the projects and articles of 2011. For all questions and suggestions, Nicole Ebber is happy to assist.

Tool server[edit]

Various software and hardware maintenance repairs for improving the performance of the server tool were carried out by Daniel Baur and Marlen Caemmerer. Because with the growth of the Wikimedia tool server projects also require more space, currently a large hard disk expansion is being procured for the database server. The OpenStreetMap server in the tool server cluster has been supported by Kai Krüger from the OSM community since November. Sebastian Sooth is supporting the admins in the management of infrastructure and is available for questions as your contact partner.



In recent weeks, we have been engaged in the research project RENDER especially with the intensive preparations for the EU review meetings. At this meeting, we will present before a peer review the activities of the consortium during our first year. We worked to ensure the creation of comprehensive presentation materials in coordination with the other project partners, particularly in regard to the defined application scenarios, the metrics and the first drafts of the planned support tools. We also worked hard on testing data import with our technical partners JSI andOntotext. On November 29th and 30th, we met with the other partners in Luxembourg and agreed upon the final details, jointly edited the planned demonstrations and presentations and "rehearsed" everything. The review itself was held on December 1st, 2011. A full report is going to follow!

A good piece of news: Anselm Metzger, who is currently a part-time employee, will now support the RENDER at Wikimedia Germany. For in the second year of the project we will be developing and testing prototypes for tools for supporting users.

Wikipedia Academy 2012[edit]

Nicole, Denis and Angelika have contacted the first candidates for the program committee of the Wikipedia Academy. On 12.12.2011, the committee will meet for an inaugural workshop at the Club Office Berlin. The aim of the workshop is to agree upon the format of the event, to define the thematic priorities and procedures for the selection of speakers (call for papers, selection by computer, etc.) and to identify potential partners. The following people belong to the committee: Claudia Müller-Birn, Michelle Thorne, Daniel Mietchen, Leonard Dobusch, Dirk Franke, David Ludwig and Lars Fischer.


Job vacancies[edit]

On the website of Wikimedia Germany, you will find current and exciting job vacancies for the Wikidata project.

Interesting events in December[edit]