Archive:Press releases/Wikimedia Foundation opens community consultation new trademark policy

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Wikimedia Foundation opens community consultation on new trademark policy

(San Francisco, California) 19 November 2013 -- The Wikimedia Foundation has opened a two-month consultation period with its community of contributors, who are invited to discuss a new Wikimedia trademark policy draft and propose revisions to it.

Since the current trademark policy was introduced in 2009, the Wikimedia community has developed additional uses of the marks not anticipated by the current policy, which has necessitated an update to better balance permissive use of the marks with the legal requirements for preserving them for the community. Unlike the 2009 policy, which was modeled on the Mozilla Trademark Policy, the new document will be tailored to the Wikimedia community and will be based on their feedback.

The draft policy seeks to make trademark use easier by applying clearer language and a more intuitive format. It contains a user-friendly summary to provide a quick overview of how to use Wikimedia marks under the new policy. Likewise, the policy is written using simple words, short sentences and clear sentence structure. This is especially important because it is being translated into multiple languages (including Arabic, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish) to make it globally accessible. The Wikimedia Foundation also relied on information design principles to make the draft user-friendly. For that, it teamed up with cutting-edge legal information researchers to organize two workshops to brainstorm ways to visualize the policy.

Before preparing a new draft policy, the Wikimedia Foundation reached out to the community for feedback on the current trademark practices and they responded with thoughtful suggestions on how to improve access to the Wikimedia marks, while maintaining legal protection over them.

“Comments from the community are invaluable to us. We rely on them heavily to make our policy as useful as possible,” said Yana Welinder, Legal Counsel at the Wikimedia Foundation. “The collaborative development of this policy has so far produced a comprehensive and improved draft. We sincerely thank the Wikimedia community members who have already contributed to the trademark policy draft and we invite others to join in the discussion.”

For an extended explanation of the policy draft, see this blog post:

For an overview of the draft and the consultation on it, go to this link:

About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the nonprofit organization that operates Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to comScore Media Metrix, Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation receive more than 500 million unique visitors per month, making them the fifth-most popular web property worldwide (comScore, September 2013). Available in 287 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 30 million articles contributed by a global volunteer community of roughly 80,000 people. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.

Press Contact
Matthew Roth
Spokesperson, Wikimedia Foundation
+1 415-839-6885 ext 6635