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 <> 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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