On Sun, Feb 28, 2016 at 7:04 PM, Brion Vibber <bvib...@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> What non-hypothetical work are you referring to?
> {{cn}}
> -- brion


You tell me. :) For what it's worth, Jimmy Wales has said in this thread


On the very specific topic of donor funding going to help commercial
re-users, we've had some interesting but inconclusive board discussions
about this topic.


So this clearly has come up.

What originally triggered my curiosity was this: I noticed a couple of
weeks ago that the Kindle offered a Wikipedia look-up function. I couldn't
recall -- and cannot find -- any corresponding WMF announcement. So, how
did this happen?

The only thing I did find, as I was looking for a WMF announcement, was a
mention in an Engineering Report, which mentioned, in passing, a WMF team
doing work on this:


"In side project work, the team spent time on API continuation queries,
Android IP editing notices, Amazon Kindle and other non-Google Play
distribution, and Google Play reviews (now that the Android launch dust has
settled, mobile apps product management will be triaging the reviews)."



Google Play certainly contains a lot of Wikipedia content, and it's a
commercial service. I also recently was pointed to this 2008 email from Sue
Gardner, released as a court exhibit in the same antitrust case Arnnon
Geshuri was involved in. Sue said, in part:


I think Google and Wikipedia can and should have a complementary and
positive relationship. And I gather Larry and Sergey feel the same: I
believe they've told Jimmy that Google has no ill will towards Wikipedia,
and that they'd be willing to make a donation to us in order to signal that

I also believe that any real or perceived tensions in the Google/Wikipedia
relationship may be being exacerbated at some levels inside Google by their
unfulfilled desires to do business with us. Since relocating to the Bay
Area in January, we've had plenty of Google folks reach out to us. But - we
have a total staff of 21 people, with just one person responsible for
business development, so I am not sure we are even able to politely keep up
with their pitches. IMO, rather than spending our time on multiple
product-specific pitches, it would probably be more productive for
Wikipedia and Google to develop a single umbrella relationship/agreement
(obviously within the limits of Wikipedia's non-commercial context).

So. I think a good next step would be some kind of high-level meeting
between Wikipedia and Google, to talk through these issues and see if a
donation and/or business deal makes sense.



I don't recall any such business deal or umbrella agreement ever having
been announced publicly. So, what happened, and has it impacted in any way
what people at WMF have been working on since?

I believe that if the WMF does enter into business agreements with
companies like Google or Amazon, or does work designed to enhance their
product, then the community and the donating public should be told.

I'm sure you appreciate that it's very hard for me as a non-staff member to
gauge what's going on, but there were enough breadcrumbs here for me to
feel it was worth asking the question.

Does that help?

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