A few moments ago we posted this to the Wikimedia Foundation Blog, it is
self explanatory.

Today the Wikimedia Foundation filed a
San Francisco against Internet Brands seeking a judicial declaration that
Internet Brands has no lawful right to impede, disrupt or block the
creation of a new travel oriented, Wikimedia Foundation-owned website in
response to the request of Wikimedia community volunteers. Over the summer,
in response to requests generated by our volunteers, the Wikimedia
community conducted a lengthy Request For
Comment<http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wiki_Travel_Guide> (RFC)
process to facilitate public debate and discussion regarding the benefits
and challenges of creating a new, Wikimedia Foundation-hosted travel guide
project. The community extended the RFC at the Wikimedia Foundation Board’s
request to allow for greater community input, and to encourage input from
Internet Brands. Once concluded, the RFC process revealed the community’s
desire to see a new travel project created. The Wikimedia Foundation Board
supports the community’s decision and is moving forward with the creation
of this new project.

Unfortunately, Internet Brands (owner of the travel website Wikitravel) has
decided to disrupt this process by engaging in litigation against two
Wikitravel volunteers who are also Wikimedia community members. On August
29, Internet Brands sued two volunteer administrators, one based in Los
Angeles and one in Canada, asserting a variety of claims. The intent of the
action is clear – intimidate other community volunteers from exercising
their rights to freely discuss the establishment of a new community focused
on the creation of a new, not-for-profit travel guide under the Creative
Commons licenses.

While the suit filed by Internet Brands does not directly name the
Wikimedia Foundation as a defendant, we believe that we are the real
target. We feel our only recourse is to file this suit in order to get
everything on the table and deal head on with Internet Brand’s actions over
the past few months in trying to impede the creation of this new travel

Our community and potential new community members are key to the success of
all of our projects. We will steadfastly and proudly defend our community’s
right to free speech, and we will support these volunteer community members
in their legal defense. We do not feel it is appropriate for Internet
Brands, a large corporation with hundreds of millions of dollars in assets,
to seek to intimidate two individuals.

This new, proposed project would allow all travel content to be freely used
and disseminated by anyone for any purpose as long as the content is given
proper attribution and is offered with the same free-to-use license.
Internet Brands appears to be attempting to thwart the creation of a new,
non-commercial travel wiki in a misguided effort to protect its for-profit
Wikitravel site.

The Wikimedia movement stands in the balance and the Wikimedia Foundation
will not sit idly by and allow a commercial actor like Internet Brands to
engage in threats, intimidation and litigation to prevent the organic
expression of community interest in favor of a new travel project, one that
is not driven by commercial interests.

The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people
around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free
license <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/en:free_content> or in the public
domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally. We are devoted to
creating and nurturing free knowledge projects supported by volunteers. Our
actions today represent the full stride of our commitment to protect the
Wikimedia movement against the efforts of for-profit entities like Internet
Brands to prevent communities and volunteers from making their own
decisions about where and how freely-usable content may be shared.


Kelly Kay, Deputy General Counsel

Kelly Kay
Deputy General Counsel
Wikimedia Foundation

message might have confidential or legally privileged information in it. If
you have received this message by accident, please delete it and let us
know about the mistake. For legalreasons, I may only serve as an attorney
for the Wikimedia Foundation. This means I may not give legal advice to or
serve as a lawyer for community members, volunteers, or staff members in
their individual capacity.*
Please note: all replies sent to this mailing list will be immediately directed 
to Wikimedia-l, the public mailing list of the Wikimedia community. For more 
information about Wikimedia-l:
WikimediaAnnounce-l mailing list

Reply via email to