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News from the Wikimedia Foundation and about the Wikimedia movement

Wikivoyage

Wiki Tour Chile 2014 photo contest in its final stage!

This post is available in 2 languages:
English  • Spanish

English

Moai in Rano Raraku, Easter Island, Chile.

Wiki Tour Chile 2014.

Wikimedia Chile organized the photo contest Wiki Chile Tour 2014 which ran between April 5 and May 4 with a theme centered around Chile’s heritage and identity. The competition focused on photographs of nature, urban landscapes, holiday destinations, typical locations, economic activities, crafts, customs and cuisine that showed the cultural particularities of Chile.

Old house in Alegre Hill, in Valparaíso, going up through Almirante Montt street.

The contest produced 3,000 photographs, counting those directly uploaded to Wikimedia Commons and the ones shared on the Flickr group that requested compatible licenses. These pictures will serve to better illustrate articles on Wikipedia, but mainly the articles on Wikivoyage, the free travel guide that anyone can edit, a project of the Wikimedia Foundation that was launched in early 2013.

Two winners will be determined by popular vote by way of most “likes” received on Facebook. The voting will take place between May 26 and June 22 via the albums Wikimedia Chile made ​​available to the public through Facebook. You can find the links below:

Contestant’s photographs are housed on Wikimedia Commons, another project of the Wikimedia Foundation, which are available for you to see and use, provided that you respect the license with which the photos were released with by their authors.

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Journey across Pakistan – Saqib Qayyum

Lulusar-Dudipatsar National Park in Khyber Pakhtunkwa is encircled throughout the year by snow clad peaks

Saqib Qayyum intends to forever alter Pakistan’s tourism reputation via Wikivoyage.

Pakistan is not exactly a leading tourist destination, but for Saqib Qayyum, a young active contributor to one of Wikimedia’s youngest projects – Wikivoyage – it has the potential to be just that.

“Pakistan is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It has an extensive history, rich culture, unique heritage, incredibly diverse landscapes and breathtaking natural beauty,” he says. “But, Pakistan’s image has severely deteriorated over the past few years due to instability in the country and many countries declaring Pakistan as unsafe and dangerous to visit. Foreign tourists stopped visiting and even local people are afraid to travel around the country for recreation and leisure while some simply prefer to spend holidays outside Pakistan.” While abroad in Germany, Greece and Austria, Saqib met fellow European travel enthusiasts. “I’ve been told by fellow travellers that their priority is to explore and see their own country first, and then go anywhere else because they want to invest their money in their own country instead of spending their money abroad and they want to understand who they are and where they come from before going to learn about others.” This perplexed and disheartened Saqib.

“That’s not fair and it really hurts me. Pakistan is home to beautiful, hospitable, generous and peace-loving people, and is a land of spectacular and stunning places, but it lacks good branding. The country deserves to be explored, even by its own people at the very least.” This inspired Saqib to begin something astounding.

In mid-February, Saqib set off on what he calls a “journey consisting of a chain of journeys” to canvas, photograph, and upload the entirety of Pakistan to Wikimedia Commons, and Wikivoyage in an effort to alter Pakistan’s dubious image. Already, Saqib has traveled to the Kirthar National Park in southwest Pakistan, and created its article on Wikivoyage, which surely to be the first of many new additions to the online travel guide.

“I strongly believe a travel guide is something that can motivate travellers to travel to Pakistan and I think Wikivoyage can be a very useful and powerful tool and it can play a very positive role in helping promote the tourism in the country. That’s why I decided to show a unbiased and true image of Pakistan through Wikivoyage. Saqib points to other countries that are deemed dangerous and their equally – if not more – tenuous reputations that have better travel coverage than Pakistan. “There hasn’t been an updated travel guide on Pakistan since 2008,” says Saqib about the travel publisher, Lonely Planet. “And even their website that references Pakistani destinations is now incomplete and out of date,” he laments, “they still publish about more dangerous countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, and many African countries.” Therefore, in a culmination of negative press coverage, and lack of current travel information (aside from the all-too-common travel advisory), Pakistan’s image suffers mercilessly.
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Launching an Unconventional Trademark Policy for Open Collaboration

The Wikipedia puzzle globe and wordmark.

On February 1, 2014, the Wikimedia Foundation’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved an unconventional new trademark policy. The new policy is uniquely permissive, was developed in a massive online collaboration among the Wikimedia community, and contains cutting-edge information design principles to make it user-friendly.  Just like the content on the Wikimedia sites, the new trademark policy is licensed under a free license, so everyone is free to build upon it when crafting their own trademark policies. In short, it is the perfect fit for Wikimedia’s collaborative projects.

Unlike the legal policies of other companies that are drafted by lawyers in a vacuum (if not simply copied from other websites), this trademark policy was developed through a seven-month long consultation with the Wikimedia community to address its particular needs. This unique process distinguishes Wikimedia from virtually every other top website.

We began by asking the community how they would like to change our 2009 trademark policy. Using their suggestions and other concerns, we prepared a draft policy that we posted on a wiki for online discussion and editing. According to the page’s revision history, the draft policy was edited 138 times in the course of the remaining consultation. While the policy itself has only about 4,000 words, the consultations around the policy resulted in a discussion of 52,000 words. That’s more words than in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy!

Here are some of the major changes.

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Wikivoyage has a new logo

The new Wikivoyage logo

We are thrilled to announce that, following a spirited and collaborative process, the Wikivoyage community has selected an official logo.

Wikivoyage, a free online travel guide, joined the Wikimedia movement in January of this year. It currently offers over 65,000 articles in 15 languages.

The World Trade Organization expressed concerns about Wikivoyage’s initial logo on account of the design’s visual similarity to the WTO’s own logo. And so we embarked upon the hunt for a permanent and unique logo to represent the project.

The logo selection procedure prompted the submission of 68 creative proposals. The community discussed the submissions and casted votes to narrow the proposals to a shortlist of finalists. The Wikimedia Foundation legal team, while fittingly on a voyage for Wikimania in Hong Kong, performed extensive trademark review for each of the shortlisted logos and provided the designers with feedback. Community members discussed the designs and proposed improvements. The final candidates were then voted on by the community and a victor was declared.

All of this could not have been accomplished without the exemplary efforts of the Wikimedia community. We are immensely grateful to all of you who submitted designs and contributed comments. Thanks to user AleXXw for proposing the victorious logo and thoughtfully redesigning it in response to our feedback. Special thanks are also due to user Rillke for everything he did to help, including the several scripts for displaying the logos and organizing the votes. We also want thank Wikimedia Foundation Senior Community Advocate Maggie Dennis, who did a terrific job coordinating the contest and communicating with the community on a regular basis throughout this process.

We welcome your help publicizing the new design and transitioning to it wherever the old logo appears off-wiki. If you would like to use the logo for additional purposes, please review our trademark policy and contact our trademark team at trademarks@wikimedia.org.

Yana Welinder*
Legal Counsel, Wikimedia Foundation

* Special thanks to Dashiell Renaud, Legal Intern, for his work on this blog post.

Some of the other proposals included:

A victory for Wikivoyage and free knowledge

Settlement of litigation between Internet Brands and the Wikimedia Foundation

Today we are pleased to announce a settlement in the legal proceedings between the Wikimedia Foundation and Internet Brands relating to issues stemming from the creation of Wikivoyage, our community’s newest free knowledge project. We regard this settlement as a victory for the Wikimedia movement, and a vindication of our values and beliefs.

Our community expressed a strong desire to create a new, freely shareable, non-commercial travel wiki project. In response, Internet Brands (owners of a for-profit wiki-based travel project) sued two Wikimedians visibly involved in supporting the travel wiki project. Internet Brands branded the proposed new site an “Infringing Website” and claimed that the volunteers were acting “for the benefit of the Wikimedia Foundation” to “usurp” the community of users of Internet Brands’ site and taking actions that included “deliberately misleading statements, and Trademark infringement and violation of Internet Brands’ intellectual property rights.” Internet Brands identified the “Wikimedia Foundation, members of its Board, and other members of the Foundation” as potential “co-conspirators” who were “corrupt in this scheme”.

Unintimidated, the Foundation moved in to defend our volunteers and to protect our community’s right to an open and meaningful discussion about the project.

We contacted one of the most respected law firms working in this field, Cooley LLP, and asked that they represent and defend the two volunteers facing legal action from Internet Brands. Cooley was engaged, and with our financial support, the volunteers moved the case to federal court and also filed an anti-SLAPP motion against Internet Brands, alleging that their freedom to openly discuss the project was under threat. Internet Brands responded by abandoning its federal claim, essentially admitting it had no factual basis. The federal court then dismissed all of Internet Brands’ remaining claims.

Meanwhile, in September 2012 the Wikimedia Foundation filed its own lawsuit against Internet Brands seeking a declaration from the court that Internet Brands had no proper basis to block the travel wiki project.

The settlement was signed on February 14, 2013, and Internet Brands has now released the Foundation and Wikivoyage e.V. (the German not for profit who worked so hard to make the project a success) from any and all claims related in any manner to the creation and operation of the travel wiki project. In return, the Foundation will dismiss the suit.

Wikivoyage is now officially launched and growing, with about 9000 new entries added in the first month, and new language versions in Polish, Romanian, Finnish, Hungarian, Chinese and Japanese being opened.

The Wikimedia Foundation believes there is enough room for multiple travel sites to co-exist, and for community members to contribute to multiple sites in this area. Our Executive Director, Sue Gardner, outlined this perspective in a post to the original travel project discussion. We have stood by this belief from the beginning, and we believe that a successful, freely-shareable, non-commercial travel project will help support the overall quantity and quality of travel information on the web.

We thank and recognize our global community of volunteers, particularly the pioneers of the Wikivoyage project for their dedication and focus in making the project possible. I want to thank my colleagues at the Foundation in many different departments for their hard work on this case. We are also grateful to our friends at Cooley LLP for their continuous support, tireless dedication, and outstanding legal counsel through these challenges.

It’s now possible for the Wikivoyage community to continue their efforts to build a global free-knowledge travel site unhindered. We wish them the best of luck and look forward to working closely with the Wikivoyage community as the project grows and thrives.

Geoff Brigham, General Counsel

Wikimedia Foundation launches Wikivoyage, a free, worldwide travel guide that anyone can edit

The Wikimedia Foundation is excited to announce the launch of its 12th official project: Wikivoyage, a free, worldwide, online travel guide. Like Wikipedia and its sister projects, Wikivoyage is free to edit, free of ads, and built collaboratively by volunteers from around the globe.

Wikivoyage becomes the 12th official Wikimedia project and debuts on the 12th anniversary of the founding of Wikipedia on January 15th, 2001, what Wikipedians often refer to as Wikipedia Day. Wikivoyage is already available in nine languages: Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish. There are approximately 50,000 articles, which are edited and improved by a core group of approximately 200 volunteer editors.

“There’s a huge global demand for travel information, but very few sources are both comprehensive and non-commercial. That’s about to change,” said Sue Gardner, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. “Wikivoyage is a great, useful service for travelers, and I’m expecting that with the support of the Wikimedia Foundation and the global Wikimedia editing community, it’s going to get even bigger and better.”

Wikivoyage has been an active wiki-based travel guide since 2006 in German and Italian, supported by the German non-profit Wikivoyage Association. The contributors on that site and the non-profit requested to migrate their content and offered to donate their brand to the new project hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. The proposal was approved by the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees in October 2012. The site was moved over to the Wikimedia Foundation servers in November of 2012, where it was in Beta until today.

“The purpose of the Wikivoyage Association is to promote education and knowledge of all countries and regions in the world, as well as understanding among nations,” said Stefan Fussan, Chairman of the board of the Wikivoyage Association. “We’re very excited about the launch of Wikivoyage as a Wikimedia project, and about the future role of the Association in supporting the Wikivoyage community through its programs.”

Wikivoyage is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license, which allows anyone the right to read, copy, print, save, download, modify, distribute, sell, and update its content in any way, provided the terms of the free license are respected. This includes giving proper attribution to the creators of the content and ensuring that any reuse or derivative works are also freely-licensed.

“As contributors to Wikivoyage, we work hard to create high-quality content, written by travelers, for travelers, in their own language,” said Peter Fitzgerald, an administrator on Wikivoyage. “We’re very excited to be part of the Wikimedia community, and we invite travelers to join us in creating an independent, non-commercial, online travel guide for the world. We are confident that it will become the number one travel resource on the web.”

Matthew Roth, Global Communications Manager, Wikimedia Foundation