Jens writes:

On Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 11:35 PM, Jens Best <> wrote:

> 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.

I agree. But I think it is not part of the mission of Wikipedia to try
to compel telecom companies to do this with regard to resources we
don't produce. Not even Creative Commons tries to do that, so far as I

> 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.

Why do we need to inspect their motives if the result is that more
people have more access to the free knowledge and other resources we
provide? Especially if the alternative--refusing to partner with
them--will likely result in citizens in the developing world having
less access than you and I do, perhaps for the rest of this century?

> 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
> knowledge.

I think the focus of people at WMF should be on getting as much free
knowledge distributed, at as low a cost as possible, to everyone in
the developing world and elsewhere. I know that this is considered a
hopelessly primitive notion, but I'm stuck with thinking that
near-term access to free knowledge for a developing-world citizen in
her 20s is more important than refusal to engage in compromise without
which she may not get such unfettered access until she's in her 70s.
If ever.

WMF is not fundamentally a policy organization, although it does
engage in policy from time to time as required by external events.
Network neutrality has its own advocates independent of WMF. Let's let
them do their job, and let's try to do ours. And, as I pointed out,
Wikipedia Zero may actually result in the kind of demand that requires
mobile providers to build out their capacity enough to free users from
restrictive data plans.

This of course is a prerequisite for net neutrality to work in a
developing country.


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