Modification of WMF protection brought to Arbcom: The Wikimedia Foundation's Director of Community Advocacy's application of pending changes level two on the article Conventional PCI—an action taken under its rarely used office actions policy—has escalated to the Arbitration Committee after an editor upgraded it to full protection.
In this case, pending changes were applied after a DMCA takedown notice was issued to the Foundation. The notice forced the WMF to remove links to PCI's Local Bus Specifications revisions 2.1, 2.2, and 3.0, according to its official policy governing takedown notices:
In some cases, the Foundation may be required to remove content from a Wikimedia Project due to a DMCA take-down notice. ... to retain safe harbor status, the Foundation is required to comply with validly formulated notices even if they are spurious. ... As a matter of policy, the Wikimedia Foundation will terminate, in appropriate circumstances, the accounts of repeat infringers as provided under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. 512). … In the event that material is removed due to a DMCA notice, the only recourse for restoring such material is to file a counter-notice with the Foundation. ... Please note that filing a counter-notice may lead to legal proceedings between you and the complaining party to determine ownership of the material.
English Wikipedia administrator Kww objected to the nature of the protection, since an extensive discussion determined that PC2—which requires review before edits from autoconfirmed and anonymous editors—"should not be used" on the English Wikipedia. While Kww will typically downgrade PC2-protected articles to PC1 or semi-protection, in this case he increased the level of protection (to "fully protected"—only admins can edit) to avoid PC2 from being active on an English Wikipedia article. Doing so put him into conflict with the Foundation for the second time in recent memory; in September, Kww implemented what the Foundation called "badly flawed" code blocking the VisualEditor.
In response, Beaudette wrote Kww that he "just spoke to the legal team about your actions and asked them what to do. ... We select the level of action very specifically and with a great deal of care. If you have a problem with it, you're invited to contact us prior to taking action. That's the minimum standard expected of any admin when overriding an action, much less an office action." Beaudette advised that "On any other wiki, I'd be removing your tools right now. However, on this wiki, because there is a functional Arbitration Committee, I'm going to, instead, refer this to them for them to determine what sanction to take."
As of publishing time, the Committee is voting 6–1 to admonish Kww for "for knowingly modifying a clearly designated Wikimedia Foundation Office action." The motion continues that Kww did so without "any emergency and without any form of consultation", and declines his request for a full case, as it would involve a review of an inviolable office action.
Two RfBs at once: Unusually, there are two current requests for bureaucratship (RFBs). Bureaucrats, known colloquially as "crats", can appoint admins and crats based on community decisions, remove admin rights in certain circumstances, change usernames for most users, and grant and remove bot status. The RFBs are for Worm That Turned, to close 27 January, and Acalamari, to close 31 January.
Affcom appoints new members: The Wikimedia Foundation's Affiliations Committee, more commonly known as "Affcom", has resolved to add two new people to its membership, and to reappoint two others. Lodewijk Gelauff and Galileo Vidoni, along with new members, Cynthia Ashley-Nelson and Kirill Lokshin, will serve until 2016. Affcom is the Foundation's primary vehicle for selecting new Wikimedia affiliates.
Chinese Wikivoyage: The Chinese Wikivoyage was created and opened for editing on 14–15 January.
Education newsletter published: The Wikipedia Education Program has published its newest newsletter. While its page on Outreach appears to be out-of-date—for example, it makes no reference to the much criticized Wiki Education Foundation, a legally separate organization that now runs the US and Canada aspects of the initiative—the program appears to be partnering with professors in four countries (Brazil, Egypt, Algeria, Jordan) and boasts of much more extensive efforts in others.
Foundation evaluates institutional content donations: The Wikimedia Foundation has published its latest program evaluation on the impact of content donations from GLAMs—galleries, libraries, archives, and museums. It concluded, in part, that the average implementation time is three months, and large portions of the uploaded content remain unused on Wikimedia projects. Comments on the talk page have criticized the practice of mass image uploads from these sources.
Picture of the Year competition begins: The first of two rounds in the Wikimedia Commons 2013 Picture of the Year competition has opened for voting. Editors with more than 75 edits to Commons before 1 January this year are eligible to vote for as many images as they wish in this round.
Visiting Scholar, Wikipedia Affiliate: The US' George Mason University is seeking a Wikipedia visiting scholar. The position, detailed on-wiki, will involve an individual with limited access to scholarly resources, at least a year's editing history, and experience writing Wikipedia articles on historical topics. They will be granted free access to George Mason's online libraries "to help improve Wikipedia’s reliability and accuracy by providing Wikipedia editors with access to the best scholarly information resources while providing a model for other universities to do likewise."