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Wikipedia fundraiser event, Frankfurt book fair, news in brief

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By Resident Mario, Tony1, Tilman Bayer and Ziko

Wikipedia community gathers for fundraising event

Some of the Wikimedians who attended the event

As reported by Steven Ma, the Wikimedia Foundation's Community Associate, "more than one hundred Wikipedia editors, donors, and readers" attended an event titled Inside the Globe in New York on 7 October. The evening was both a fundraiser and an opportunity to introduce major donors to the people and culture of the projects. Roughly a dozen editors were present, including Wikimedia New York City board members and other local Wikimedians. Hosted by the Harnisch Foundation (a patron of Wikimedia) in the Metropolitan Tower, the evening saw presentations by Jimmy Wales and Wikimedia fellow Steven Walling. Steven spoke about "the identity and culture of the most involved editors, highlighting the motivations and methods behind their amazing accomplishments within the project". After the event, Ruth Ann Harnisch, the president of the Harnisch Foundation, expressed her pleasure to have introduced "so many people to the workings of their favorite online resource." In an August blog post, she had invited donors to attend the Wikimedia fundraising event, noting that she had added the WMF to her list of grantees several years ago (as a "tiny part of the support system for Wikipedia"); in the posting, she also expressed her support for the Wikimedia Foundation in its then ongoing conflict with the FBI over the reproduction of the Bureau's seal (see Signpost coverage).

Argentine Wikimedians at Frankfurt Book Fair

Wikimedians Patricio Lorente (right) and Beatriz Busaniche (second from left) on a panel at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Two members of the Argentine Wikimedia chapter recently traveled to Europe to present a book about the copyright situation in Argentina at the Frankfurt Book Fair, which is considered the world's largest book fair and where Argentina was this year's "guest of honor" country. Beatriz Busaniche and Patricio Lorente are known to many Wikimedians as part of the organizing team of last year's Wikimania. Both also work with the Vía Libre Foundation, which collaborated with the German Heinrich Böll Foundation to produce the book Argentina copyleft.

The copyright situation in Argentina is considered particularly restrictive. In a 2010 Consumers International study of 34 countries, it came out sixth-worst for consumer rights. Argentina provides no fair use or library exceptions, and does not even permit the free use of public domain works in all cases (for some uses, a fee has to be paid to a fund supporting artists). The book argues that this is detrimental for education and culture. Wikimedia Argentina has engaged in various lobbying efforts regarding the copyright situation, such as signing a letter to parliament protesting last year's extension of copyright in phonograms (sound recordings) from 50 to 70 years after creation, and opposing ongoing lobbying by photographers to extend the monopoly on photographs from 25 to 50 years after creation, which would affect commons:Template:PD-AR-Photo.

Edited by Busaniche, the book collects contributions by various authors to the copyright debate in Argentina. One chapter, by Wikipedian and founding member of Wikimedia Argentina Roberto Fiadone, presents Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects as examples of communities that generate free knowledge. Another chapter, on ebooks, was reprinted by the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit. The Heinrich Böll Foundation funded a translation into German and organized a presentation of the book in Berlin, in addition to the panel at the Frankfurt event. The book is available as a PDF under a CC-BY-SA license. The Spanish version was downloaded more than 20,000 times during the first week. Busaniche also gave a podcast interview (in English) about the book to German blog Netzpolitik.

In brief

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A rather straightforward week...ResMar 00:58, 22 October 2010 (UTC)[reply]

A P.S. on the Frankfurt Book Fair story: It should be said that the Wikimedia Foundation supported this by funding Patricio's trip with a grant (m:Grants:WM_AR/Participation_at_Frankfurt_2010; see also m:Grants:WM_AR/Frankfurter_Buchmesse. These links were already noted in the story as an HTML comment, but since it wasn't clear from m:Grants:Index whether these applications had been successful or not, additional fact-checking was necessary, which wasn't completed until after publication).

Regards, HaeB (talk) 04:03, 27 October 2010 (UTC)[reply]


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