If only my emails were wiki-editable.  Thanks for the correction
regarding my affiliation.

"Seems to me that in its current form it's just going to drag
along---Zero either needs a clear procedural rethink or it needs to be
would down."

The only two possible choices, eh?


--Mike




On Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 9:44 AM, Aleksey Bilogur
<aleksey.bilo...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Er, Mike, this is a minor point but your signature seems to indicate that
> you were general counsel for over a millennium---very impressive!
>
> Personally I think that Zero should be evaluated from an impact perspective.
> While it's indisputable that it's strategically aligned with the WMF
> mission, if the message isn't reaching the audience is strategic alignment a
> good enough argument to keep chugging? The Foundation has taken a lot of
> flak for taking stances like that---totally strategically aligned, sure, but
> nil for impact. Seems to me that in its current form it's just going to drag
> along---Zero either needs a clear procedural rethink or it needs to be would
> down.
>
> On Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 7:05 AM, Mike Godwin <mnemo...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> GerardM writes:
>>
>> > With Wikipedia Zero people have access to knowledge that they would not
>> > have otherwise. It is well established that having information readily
>> > available is an important indicator for further development. Not having
>> > Wikipedia available is absolutely a worse situation than having it.
>> >
>> > [...]
>> > My answer is sure HOWEVER given that the objective of Wikipedia is to
>> > share
>> > in the sum of all knowledge, your argument is decidedly secondary.
>> > Sources
>> > may be important but they are secondary to having the information
>> > available
>> > in the first place. As long as we have sources in full blown Wikipedia,
>> > as
>> > long as it is WMF that provides the Wikipedia Zero content... what is
>> > your
>> > point. Yes, ideally we want people to ensure that people know about
>> > sources. When sources are just statements of fact and they are in turn
>> > not
>> > accessible because of cost. What is your point in practical terms?
>> >
>> > Wikipedia Zero is very much a fulfillment of our aspirations. Do not
>> > forget
>> > who you are: white, privileged and well educated. What you propose is
>> > taking away something that you take for granted. Not nice.
>>
>> I agree with everything Gerard says here. My mission as a Wikimedian,
>> both during my tenure as an employee of the Wikimedia Foundation and
>> in my time as a volunteer Wikimedian, has been to get the world's
>> knowledge into everybody's hands for free. Wikipedia Zero is so
>> consistent with this primary goal that I value it even more highly
>> than network neutrality (which I also favor, as a general rule, in
>> countries with developed and humanely priced internet services).
>>
>> It should be noted that the Federal Communications Commission, in its
>> recent Report and Order requiring network neutrality for American
>> telcos and service providers, expressly refused to draw a categorical
>> conclusion whether zero-rated services (including Wikipedia Zero)
>> harmed competition. Instead, the Commission said it would make
>> case-by-case determinations based on the particular services each
>> zero-rated service is providing. If it were shown that Wikipedia Zero
>> is suppressing competition from other encyclopedic knowledge bases or
>> suppressing sharing of knowledge, that would be something for the
>> Commission to consider -- but of course there are no facts that
>> support this argument, at least not yet.
>>
>> I've spent the last two years working on internet-policy issues in
>> developing countries, from Myanmar to Cambodia to South Sudan, and my
>> personal experience has been that Wikipedia Zero is a profoundly
>> important developmental resource in developing countries, where the
>> key barrier to Wikipedia access (as a user or contributor) is the data
>> caps on the mobile devices that the vast majority of users need to get
>> access to the internet. Wikipedia Zero gets us past that barrier in
>> these countries. Yes, in an ideal world, perhaps, there might be an
>> argument against privileging Wikipedia Zero in this way -- but in an
>> ideal world everybody would have free access to Wikipedia already.
>>
>> To get to an ideal world, we'll need everyone to have access to
>> Wikipedia (and to Wikimedia resources generally) -- not just those of
>> us in developed countries, but to everyone everywhere. Wikipedia Zero
>> is a strategic approach to expanding access for everybody in every
>> country. As we do this, we'll be creating incentives for developing
>> countries' telcos and internet providers to expand their access and
>> facilities in ways that will enable more and more citizens to fully
>> participate as users and contributors to Wikipedia. Any other approach
>> reminds me of the beginning chess player who looks at a board prior to
>> the first move and says "how do I get to checkmate from here?" The
>> experienced chess player knows you have to make a number of strategic
>> decisions and deployments in advance in order to make eventual victory
>> possible.  Wikipedia Zero is one strategy that gets us to the end
>> result we all want to see.
>>
>> Best regards,
>>
>>
>> --Mike Godwin
>> WMF General Counsel 1007-2010
>> Director of Innovation Policy and General Counsel, The R Street Institute
>>
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