Without getting into the details of the situation, Pine, I'll simply point
out that the budget for the legal team of an international corporation like
Burger King is going to be significantly larger than the entire budget of
the Wikimedia Foundation, and punishing organizations that have figured out
a way to trigger a voice-activated software program to obtain information
that is likely to come from Wikipedia articles doesn't really seem to be
within scope. I do not see why you would advocate spending the WMF's tiny
Legal Department budget like this, instead of on copyright reform, or
assisting in prosecuting those harassing members of our community, or
preventing others from claiming they are directly related to the Wikimedia
Foundation or its projects; all of these are entirely on-mission.

There's nothing there to sue them for, anyway - it's open-licensed content
that anyone can use in any way they see fit, including for commercial
purposes.  Indeed, that's exactly what Google does on its own search
results, every day, all day - and it's exactly why the Burger King "trick"
works, too. They're taking advantage of the Google interface, knowing that
it is most likely to search Wikipedia for the information requested.  But
there's not as much vitriol directed at Google, because after all it was
Google bumping Wikipedia up in its search result algorithms that has (in
large part) driven the popularity of  the Wikipedia projects.  There's not
even a genuine attribution issue; as I recall, Alexa says "From Wikipedia"
at either the beginning or the end of its report.

In other words, I'm hard-pressed to see why you would want the WMF to take
legal action against a company that is using Wikipedia as intended.  Okay,
it's not my favourite way of using it....but this is exactly how it's
intended to be used. I regularly see links to Wikipedia articles in
mainstream media, not to mention twitter and facebook news reports. Just
think if someone says "OK Google, what is Neurocysticercosis?" or "OK
Google, who's Charlie Murphy?" to reflect two news stories I learned about
today. I got to the Wikipedia articles on both of those subjects by
following links in online reports by commercial news outlets.


On 13 April 2017 at 00:01, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm bumping this thread because there has been a somewhat high-profile
> incident of misuse of Wikipedia by a corporate entity.
> This is not entirely the same as undisclosed paid editing, but it was
> certainly a misuse of Wikipedia.
> https://www.theverge.com/2017/4/12/15259400/burger-king-
> google-home-ad-wikipedia
> https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Whopper&diff=
> 773807497&oldid=773585358
> It seems to me that this kind of behavior, and accompanying waste of
> Wikimedia volunteers' time, is likely to continue until WMF Legal cracks
> down and starts making it financially painful for organizations to misuse
> Wikipedia in all their various creative and inappropriate ways.
> A quote from
> http://www.marketwatch.com/story/clever-burger-king-ad-
> attempts-to-hijack-google-home-devices-2017-04-12:
> “Burger King saw an opportunity to do something exciting with the emerging
> technology of intelligent personal assistant devices,” a Burger King
> spokesperson said. I would like for WMF to make Burger King feel that their
> misuse of WIkipedia was inappropriate and for WMF to hit them where it
> counts -- in their checkbook -- and with enough force that corporations
> will decide that messing with Wikipedia is both ethically wrong and
> financially not worth the risk. WMF needs to change marketers' thinking
> from the idea that messing with Wikipedia is "an opportunity" to "a big
> risk." I would like to see WMF Legal get energized about cracking down on
> these kinds of situations, and I'd be happy to have WMF make an expensive
> example of Burger King to deter misconduct by others.
> Pine
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