Is someone from WMF monitoring wikimedia-l and notifying relevant employees
when an issue arises under their remit? This issue - big companies using
our writing without attribution and like-licensing - has been hanging with
no word from the WMF for six months.

Anthony Cole

On Thu, Apr 5, 2018 at 6:22 PM, Anthony Cole <> wrote:

> I see this from Brian Heater at Tech Crunch on 25 March:
> "In a conversation earlier this week, Wikimedia’s Chief Revenue Office,
> Lisa Gruwell told TechCrunch that this sort of usage doesn’t constitute any
> sort of formal relationship. Most companies more or less hook into an API
> to utilize that breadth of knowledge. It’s handy for sure, and *it’s all
> well within Wikimedia’s fair use rules*, but as with Maher’s letter, the
> CRO expressed some concerns about seemingly one-sided relationships ... *Smart
> assistants are certainly playing by the applicable rules when it comes to
> leveraging that information base.*"[1]
> That article I link to has both Katherine (WMF ED) and Lisa (Chief Revenue
> Officer) asking the companies who use our work for free to "give back." I
> want them to give back too, but I don't absolve them of their obligation to
> meaningfully attribute my work and share it with the same rights attached.
> If it is the opinion of the WMF that these smart assistants are not
> breaching my rights, I'd like to see the legal advice that opinion is based
> on.
> 1.
> use-wikipedia-giving-back/
> Anthony Cole
> On Thu, Apr 5, 2018 at 5:47 PM, WereSpielChequers <
>> wrote:
>> Yes of course the WMF can contact those who are detected reusing our
>> content without fully complying with licenses and encourage them to
>> comply.
>> If a case were to go to court it would need to have one or more
>> contributors who were willing to cooperate with WMF legal in the case. But
>> I doubt there would be a shortage of contributors who were keen to do so.
>> As for why the WMF should do so, here are three reasons:
>> Each of our wikis is a crowd sourced project. Crowd sourcing requires a
>> crowd, if a crowd settles down and stabilises it becomes a community. The
>> community is broadly stable, but we need a steady flow of new wikimedians,
>> and our only really effective way of recruiting new Wikimedians is for
>> them
>> to see the edit button on our sites. An increasing shift to our content
>> being used without attribution is an existential threat to the project and
>> hence to the WMF.
>> Our communities are made up of volunteers with diverse motivations. For
>> some of us the BY-SA part of the licensing is important, personally I feel
>> good when i see one of my photos used by someone else but attributed to
>> me.
>> If the de facto policy of the WMF was to treat volunteer contributions as
>> effectively CC0 this would be demotivating for some members of our
>> community. I'm also active on another site where every member regularly
>> gets stats on their readership, something I very much doubt would happen
>> if
>> it wasn't an effective mechanism to encourage continued participation.
>> Every organisation needs money, the WMF gets most of its money by asking
>> for it on wikipedia and other sites. Again, encouraging attribution back
>> to
>> Wikipedia etc tackles the existential threat of other sites treating
>> wikipedia et al as CC0.
>> WSC
>> On 5 April 2018 at 08:04, <>
>> wrote:
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > Hi,
>> >
>> > On 04/04/2018 08:36 PM, Anthony Cole wrote:
>> > > I'm curious also. I release my articles under "attribution, share
>> alike"
>> > > and rely on WMF to preserve those rights.
>> >
>> > Why are you relying on the WMF? Wikipedia contributors (like yourself)
>> > are the ones who own copyright to the articles - the WMF doesn't. Unless
>> > you've granted/transferred copyright to the WMF (or some other license
>> > enforcement agreement), I don't think they can pursue legal action for
>> > you or other Wikipedians. (IANAL, etc.)
>> >
>> > -- Legoktm
>> >
>> >
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