Hi Mike,

sorry for the delay of my answer and thanks to all for the discussion
which is trying to look forward instead of just talking about the
mistakes and hopes surrounding Wikipedia Zero in the past. I would
like to follow your example, Mike, and not going point by point
through your arguments but trying to break new ground for future
solutions of the actual problem.

John Vandenberg gave us a nice picture by saying that Wikimedia isn’t
an island in the world of free content projects. It's more one of the
mountains in the landscape of Free Knowledge and public content
online. I think going in this direction can create a solution which
re-unites the varying positions.

Wikipedia Zero should be newly framed as a leading example of Public
Free Knowledge.

Therefore the WP0-initiative proved that the future of the web should
include zero-rating when the word „access“ is taken in a classical
understanding of free publicness. Public like streets and libraries.
Common access to streets and to public libraries are a cornerstone for
a free society therefore Telecoms which agreed on giving Wikipedia
zero-rated status should be welcoming by add more free content (like
e.g. the video-libraries of great universities) to their offer.

A Telecom provider which would then argue that a video library with
lots of free educational videos isn't the same thing as Wikipedia
clearly isn't sharing the views of the movement and obviously was led
by different interests than us. A Telecom which isn't ready to take
its responsibility for a society serious maybe wasn't a good partner
in the beginning. Such access providers shouldn’t be partners of us in
the future when Wikipedia is leading a global initiative to give as
many as possible Public Free Knowledge (text, foto, video, graphics,
data, visualizations) to the people. This would be a leap forward,
especially for the Global South.

An access provider (e.g. Orange) which only shows interest in our
brand product Wikipedia most probably isn’t really interested in
giving Free Knowledge to the people and therefore shouldn’t partnering
with us. Also only selecting a few non-data-extensive education stuff
to zero-rate apart from Wikipedia isn't really a clear statement but
more of a fig leaf.

It should be the focus of the well-paid people at the WMF to change
the approach on contract-making according to the Public Free Knowledge
approach and so proving that Wikipedia isn’t just a mountain which
doesn’t care about its surrounding but a powerful player who is
interested not only in its own brand, but in the global access to free

I have some thoughts about how the range of Public Free Knowledge
could be defined nationally and globally, but I would like to hear
your thoughts on my layout so far first.

best regards

Jens Best

2014-12-09 4:56 GMT+01:00, John Mark Vandenberg <jay...@gmail.com>:
> Comparisons to PBS/TV are not a useful pro-Wikipedia Zero argument, as
> the TV network model is itself a convincing argument effectively used
> by the pro-net-neutrality people as a worst case outcome of eroding
> net neutrality - most people agree we need to avoid the Internet
> descending to a TV network model, where distribution costs must be
> paid by someone before the content is put onto the network.  NPR/radio
> might be a better comparison, but again there the government grants
> spectrum licenses, and it still differs from 'the Internet' as content
> can't be pulled adhoc by the listener; the content is pushed over
> physically limited resources (and adding channels requires engineering
> advances / spectrum reorganisation, which is not as simple as laying
> extra cables), and someone else decides what is pushed out, and when.
> It seems Wikipedia Zero has 'sponsorship statements' because that was
> a requirement imposed by these telcos in exchange for getting free
> access to their networks to distributing Wikipedia Zero content and
> Wikimedia Foundation decided it is an acceptable requirement, so it
> was added to the contracts with these organisations.
> Many worry that there are a few slippery slopes and conundrums around
> our current position.  Two that concern me are..
> Do we want all ISPs/telco's putting a 'sponsorship statement' on top
> of Wikipedia content, as their requirement for allowing Wikipedia
> content to be sent freely across their network to the reader?  In
> Australia, some high bandwidth content creators (e.g. Big Brother)
> enter into agreements with telcos to allow unrated access to their
> content.  I am curious whether that type of sponsorship statement
> appear on every single website page, or just on the entry screens.  If
> a telco provides Wikipedia content freely to their customers, but
> inserts a sponsorship statement like Wikipedia Zero, will Wikimedia
> Foundation take them to court...for distributing Wikipedia content
> freely without Wikimedia Foundation's blessing?
> Do we want other free content providers, such as Project Gutenberg and
> Distributed Proofreaders, to be less freely accessible than Wikipedia,
> because telcos only consider 'Wikipedia' as a viable loss leader, and
> these other free content projects dont have the human resources needed
> to establish contracts with telcos?  Wikipedia has been built on the
> back of these other free content projects, with millions of volunteers
> who scanned/photographed/transcribed free content which has been
> imported into Wikipedia and sister projects.  *If* we help erode net
> neutrality, and telcos turn the Internet into a TV model, it may not
> prevent Wikipedia being distributed as the telcos might be happy to
> use Wikipedia as a loss leader, but it will strangle the vibrant free
> content marketplace of which we have been a thought leader, and helped
> Wikipedia become what it is today.  Wikimedia is not an island.
> On Tue, Dec 9, 2014 at 8:23 AM, Mike Godwin <mnemo...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> If MZ doesn't like the Public Broadcasting System, I see no reason for
>> him to misplace his rage against public television and direct it to
>> Wikipedia. Certainly PBS forces me to see sponsorship statements that
>> Wikipedia doesn't force me to see.
>> I don't actually see the Wikipedia banner ads, so I can't understand
>> how MZ has conflated his experience with Wikipedia -- where I guess he
>> does not log in -- with his experience of PBS, whose sponsorship
>> announcements can't be avoided even if you are a donor.
>> I do follow the debate about PBS from time to time, but MZ's comments
>> haven't shown up there for me yet, if he has posted them.
>> --Mike
>> On Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 8:10 PM, MZMcBride <z...@mzmcbride.com> wrote:
>>> Mike Godwin wrote:
>>>>Does this mean some platform providers will use Wikipedia Zero to
>>>>justify their own self-serving economic alliances? Of course it does.
>>>>But we don't have to let their propagandists define us.
>>> I think we should be explicit here: in exchange for zero-rated access to
>>> Wikipedia, the Wikimedia Foundation places a banner at the top of the
>>> page, inserting a prominent advertisement for the associated
>>> telecommunications company. So much for "we'll never run advertising,"
>>> eh.
>>> I'm still digesting this thread (and I certainly agree with Liam that
>>> this
>>> thread is a showcase for healthy and informed discussion), but I do
>>> wonder: if Wikipedia Zero is so great, why is Wikipedia Zero only
>>> available in "developing countries" (which we somehow make more
>>> pejorative
>>> by using the term "Global South")? When will Wikipedia Zero be available
>>> in the United States or in the United Kingdom?
>>>>What's more--and this is central--Wikipedia Zero, by encouraging
>>>>higher usage of Wikipedia without additional costs to users, actually
>>>>increases demand on the mobile infrastructure. Providers will have to
>>>>increase capacity to handle the increased demand. In the long run,
>>>>this promotes overall increased internet access in the developing
>>>>world. That is an unalloyed positive result, in my view.
>>> Yeah... both Facebook and Google are trying to sell this same argument:
>>> they're in it to bring Internet to the world, nothing sinister about
>>> that!
>>> Of course, the reality is far different: both companies are primarily
>>> interested in mining and selling user data to advertisers. Strange
>>> bedfellows, to be sure.
>>> MZMcBride
> --
> John Vandenberg
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