The Signpost

Jimmy Wales announces the Board's decision to appoint Katherine Maher as the WMF's third executive director (23 min 20 s).
Luis Villa, lawyer, programmer, and former C-level at the Foundation directs his main advice to the Board.
Josh Lim suggests more responsiveness to the changing needs of communities in developing countries
Vassia Atanassova prioritises community trust, transparency, and engagement.
Risker stresses executive hiring, stabilisation, and then progressive change.
The Signpost is moving to a fortnightly publication schedule.
Minister Bussemaker posts her first article and opens the Writing Week on Cultural Heritage.
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Thanks to Katherine for agreeing to take on this very difficult role. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:54, 4 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Do you know when the critical question synthesis of the meta:2016 Strategy/Draft WMF Strategy and its discussion is due back from the strategy process facilitator contractor? It's been "(coming soon)" redlinked in the infobox there for over three months now. @Katherine (WMF): do you know? EllenCT (talk) 21:44, 4 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This promotion from within is sure to be the best approach. At this stage of an organization's lifecycle, there is no substitute for institutional memory and experience, and dropping in some outsider just because they have a good leadership record at some completely different sort of entity would probably have been a mistake. As I told Katherine a few months ago, I didn't think the "provisional" nature of her promotion in the wake of Tretikov's departure should mean "temporary"; glad I predicted correctly.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  17:17, 7 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think removing from the blacklist might be the best thing right now. At least at the Video Game WikiProject a lot of dead websites we use there are on have been hit with robots.txt. WebCitiation I believe can also get their archives taken down with DMCAs. We're gonna need archive alternatives. GamerPro64 19:08, 4 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It is a big win for the sports articles, which have short half-lives. Hawkeye7 (talk) 01:26, 5 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It may be worth "lobbying" to stop honoring robots.txt on sites that are news and secondary sources.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  17:19, 7 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would definitely do that if I knew how because of some rather important websites for the Video Game Projects are suffering from link rot or are dead. GamerPro64 03:27, 9 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't know why the report failed to name the plaintiff in the French case, Élizabeth Teissier. Adam Cuerden (talk) 14:04, 5 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Because this was just a very brief summary—with a link to the WMF blog post explaining the matter in detail—and the name was hardly important to the principle the court ruled on. Then again, no objection to mentioning it either. Andreas JN466 15:22, 5 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This was one of the things that Wikipedia does well. Wikipedians compiled a list of faulty predictions that she had made. Hawkeye7 (talk) 02:28, 6 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

For (mentioned in "Brief notes"), see (talk) 18:42, 5 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How about German Wikimedia community organizes some protests in front of the museum? The museum is wasting its and WMFD money on pointless grandstanding lawsuits, and hurting free culture. Some pickets and demonstrators could make them see how stupidly erroneous stance they are taking. Also the more attention is drawn to idiotic policies preventing photographing and reusing museum content, the better. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 11:33, 6 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A well-considered suggestion. If I lived in Mannheim or its vicinity, I would not hesitate to create a few (German-language) placards depicting such sentiments as "Public art belongs to the public" or "Publicly owned museum is wasting taxpayer funds on frivolous lawsuits" or "Disseminate knowledge instead of suppressing it" and spend a couple of hours each day picketing in front of its entrance. Those who are not within a reasonable distance of Mannheim may decide to submit notes of protest and condemnation on the museum's website. —Roman Spinner (talk)(contribs) 15:19, 6 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Unfortunately, compromise is not good enough for us now. We really need to have the court ruling overturned. Otherwise, the public domain will be thwarted by institutions holding the originals of artworks and images, like the people who fence off access to public beaches. Hawkeye7 (talk) 04:01, 7 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The comment by the German museum spokesperson reveals a major cultural difference, I think: The idea that there could be something wrong with "releas[ing] to everybody the results of work created with public funds" just does not compute for many of us, including anyone from the United States. The very fact that it was created with public (i.e., taxpayer) funds, not private expense, is why it should, in this view, be in the public domain; US caselaw overwhelmingly leans in this direction. Given that the WMF servers are US based, I'm skeptical that any German legal "long arm" concept is a threat to the foundation.

Copyright and other content laws differ all over the world, and the entire online content sphere operates on the principle that you follow the laws of the country you're hosting in. Otherwise anything that, say, Chinese law wanted to suppress would have to be removed from servers in Canada and Borneo. The real world does not work that way, so I'm skeptical the German decision could actually affect what's on WMF server. However, I strongly agree with WMF's decision to appeal, since the negative ruling would harm the free flow of information out of Germany, from sites hosted there, and I'm glad to see the foundation taking an activistic position on free content (even if I also think WP's own internal WP:COPYRIGHT rules are too restrictive of fair use, mostly in furtherance of libre principles rather than legal requirements).  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  17:17, 7 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

While a German decision would not be binding on other countries, it could be cited as a precedent. That often happens in copyright cases. Hawkeye7 (talk) 04:58, 9 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The museum can try to talk like this is about some principle, but the only principle to be seen here is the ability of someone to take a public domain work, lock it up, say no one can take a picture of it, say their own picture is "really quite a lot of effort" and deserves copyright protection despite the lack of originality, and thereby turn that piece of cultural patrimony into their own private money well forever and ever -- unless that is, people get so ticked off that they simply expunge all conception of the work from public dulture, Wikipedia, books on art history etc. and simply are content to permanently erase it from history, which surely is the nobler and more satisfying option. Wnt (talk) 23:25, 13 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I disagree with most of the replies on this issue, and particularly with the one immediately above. The gallery is not taking public domain works and locking them up, it is preserving and displaying them for the public to see. And it is not saying "no one can take a picture of it", it has said "permissions to photograph artwork are granted upon request." It has used public money to pay a professional to photograph the artworks, and the resulting images are the gallery's property. Its decision not to make them public may seem odd, but it is acting within its legal rights. Maybe it is doing this as a consequence of its deal with the photographer, who does not want to see anyone making commercial use of their work. Anyway, it has the power to do as it chooses with the images in which it holds copyright under German law. I believe that Wikipedia is wasting money on this case. Maproom (talk) 21:00, 20 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm sure she's great and all but it seems like this person has a few hundred edits total, that is, including both her WMF and personal account (User:Maherkr 221 + User:Katherine (WMF) 149), and that's only roughly since she's been associated with WMF. How can a person lead this community without knowing about what it's like to be an editor? Jason Quinn (talk) 18:42, 16 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]


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