User talk:LuisV (WMF)/Archive 1

Latest comment: 8 years ago by LuisV (WMF) in topic )-:

Any progress on Talk:Legal_and_Community_Advocacy#Clarifying_database_copyright_issues_in_link_with_Wikidata ? Filceolaire (talk) 22:41, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

Update posted over there. LVilla (WMF) (talk) 21:18, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Still no answer? It's been nearly 3 months. Filceolaire (talk) 16:28, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
Is this thing on? Filceolaire (talk) 01:21, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
It is on, and we're unfortunately really busy. -LVilla (WMF) (talk) 02:30, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
I'll interpret that as "Looks ok for wikidata to carry on but there might be some corner cases." rather than "Stop everything. There's a massive breach in the copyrights!" since you have decided it is not an urgent priority. If that needs a response then could you do it on the legal page?
I'm afraid I'm posting a second question over there for you to consider. Filceolaire (talk) 18:52, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
@Filceolaire: Specific questions over there are the best way to move forward. Also, I wouldn't necessarily judge what Wikidata should/shouldn't do just from the priority for the Foundation's legal team - too many other factors come into play in how we prioritize our time. -LVilla (WMF) (talk) 19:03, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

side discussion on trademarks

Hello LVilla, since we seem to be talking past each other somewhat, I came over here for the moment, if that is okay with you. Once we hash out where we agree and where we differ, then I am happy to return to the trademark-policy-talkpage. (And of course, if you'd rather talk there than here, that is also perfectly fine by me.) Apologies in advance for the w:WP:WALLOFTEXT. Please feel free to *directly* edit my comment, using strikethru where helpful.

definition of the term 'right' is disputed... suggest we avoid using it here in this two-way discussion

First, a note on definitions. When I say, that someone has an inherent right, I'm not talking about a *legal* entitlement, something that the local government of their nation gives them. Trademark, like copyright and patent laws with which it is associated, is a *compromise* where an inherent right such as liberty -- e.g. the right to decorate a birthday cake however you please and then sell it -- has been restricted by the government. Trademark allows the WMF to "own" the word WikipediA, and to sue me if I use that word without permission. Trademark law is enforced by various legal bodies. Copyright law allows Bomis to "own" the contents of Nupedia, and sue anybody who tries to distribute modified versions of the articles therein.

Why do I not get sued, when I violate the Bomis copyright, and distribute modified versions of wikipedia pages? Simple: because the pages are copyleft. Why, therefore, ought WMF sue me when I make a birthday-cake that says WikipediA in big letters? There is no argument that, by following the letter of the trademark-laws currently applicable in countries around the world, WMF has the power to sue me for that. The argument is whether WMF ought to use that power to sue me, or instead, ought to change from a traditional trademark over into a sharemark, just like the content of wikipedia itself is changed from a traditional copyright into copyleft.

That said, you obviously have a very different working definition of the term 'right' which is almost entirely founded in statutory language. Rather than argue about etymology, or definitional matters, suggest we both do our best to just avoid the term entirely, and specify what we mean without using the loaded terminology.

Here is what I'm hearing you say:

claims made by LVilla, please edit for correctness
  1. there is a risk to loss of trademark-status ("our 'right' to police the mark")
  2. thus we must require a license for certain activities
  3. the only "way" is to police the mark, in the traditional fashion
  4. the definition of "we" is identical with WMF lawyers
  5. there can be no other "way"
  6. there can be no other "we"
  7. therefore arbitrary requirements are necessary ("the best option"--WMF / "ridiculous"--PiR)
  8. rules should be objective and predictable , to minimize bureacracy & confusion
  9. currently based on WMF voting criteria ("not great not terrible... for suffrage... maybe trademark too?"--Philippe)
  10. better rules welcome (must be objective, easy to apply, and consistent to apply)
  11. trying to identify Good Folks
  12. trying to identify people committed to the movement
  13. trying to identify people trusted to make solid judgments about an important matter
  14. trying to identify "known" people
  15. anons don't have the required level of experience
  16. anons don't have the required familiarity with community values and norms
  17. thus, probably can't include anonymous users by default
  18. anons are unknown, and thus cannot be trusted
  19. anons can try to get a standard license (subjectivity alert!)
  20. anons must beg permission in advance, and must have a good reason (subjectivity alert!)

As you can probably guess, I disagree with a few of those.  :-)   The motivation here is specific, although the conversation is general. I want to improve retention, outreach, and similar things. I want to be able to sell t-shirts that say WikipediaA, pamphlets that explain WikipediA, and birthday-cakes that say WikipediA. Err, well, not me personally.

  But I want to incite others to do such things. Right now, it sounds like they will *not* be able to, unless they are global Stewards or ArbCom folk, who regularly sleep in Jimbo's guestroom. That is way too strict for my goals. Anyhoo, I'm appreciative of the loosening of the language relative to 2009, but I'm trying to loosen it up further, to permit the Inherent Right To Sell Wikipedia Stuff For A Profit... and I fully realize we need to simultaneously both preserve the legally-defensible trademark-status of the words/logos/etc, as well as prevent "bad actors" from abusing the marks in various ways.

  But my bald assertion is this: when the local t-shirt shoppe sells an otherwise-plain hoodie that says WikipediA, for a profit, when the local bakery sells happy-birthday-wikipedia cakes, for a profit, and when the local printer sells wikipedia-posters-and-books, for a profit... as long as the designs and graphics and texts of those items are all 100% CCBYSA&&GFDL... the winner is wikipedia herself. Competition will keep prices down. Will the WMF get a kickback? Nope, not in fiat-monies. But will the wikipedia community get something? Most certainly. Hope this helps; if I don't respond promptly, please ping my enWiki talkpage. 22:41, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Hi! Thanks for reaching out. Unfortunately, since I'm not sure who you are, I can't ping you on enWiki :)
I can respond in more detail if you'd like, but I think maybe before plunging into Wall of Text(tm) it might help to address two of the key misunderstandings.
First, we're happy to discuss changing the definitions, even to the point of including anonymous editors; but that discussion really has to happen on the main talk page.
Second, whether or not you're a community member is relevant only to using the community mark to show community membership (Sec. 3.4). You can use the other marks, or this mark in other ways, regardless of how community member is defined. So your examples - selling t-shirts, cakes, etc. - aren't relevant to the question of how community member is defined. It's still important to get it right, but it doesn't really touch on the questions you're raising.
Hope that helps make more sense of it. -LVilla (WMF) (talk) 23:57, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Registering is not required for a talkpage; w:User_talk: is where you can ping me. As to who I am, well, I'm 74, you can think of it as a jersey number, if you like. Yes, I realize that getting anything *changed* will require gaining consensus on the article-talkpage. The point of coming here first, is to get my confusions ironed out with just us two people, so that the wider readership does not have to watch the flailing around. :-)
  On to your point about how community-member-is-defined: yes, my first question on the talkpage was about the restrictive definition of 'community member' with regards to the RGB-logo. But my original impetus for visiting the talkpage had to do with profitably selling cakes/shirts/pamphlets/etc that say "WikimediA" on them... *without* requiring that I first email in a permission-request, and wait for an answer back from the WMF, each and every time. Given your response to my question about the much-more-loosely-controlled *community* logo methinks it will be better to gab a little here with you first, before I post my freedom-to-sell-wikipedia proposals into the talkpage subsections related to some particular exceptions to the restrictions of 4.6, into the new section 3.8 which is "stuff you can sell without asking for a license first" and written much like the existing 3.7 section on make-your-own-but-do-not-sell. Does that clarify where I'm headed with the 20-claims-list? Do you *not* apply something stiffer than those twenty restrictions to the wikiLicense process? 00:39, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
  For comparison, here is the Linux trademark, and their position on selling shirts.[1][2] Methinks something like that would be helpful to wikipedia, but slightly more restricted perhaps, to prevent tivoization of content/designs. 00:45, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
The case for the cake, continued.  :-)       I left you a long missive, but I hope a clear one. Thanks for your help hammering this out. 06:42, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
Okay, you've convinced me that it is a bit too legally risky to pull it off at this time. Still, I left you a *much* smaller reply (relative to the whale of the previous time), which in a nutshell argues that low-quality is exactly what wikipedia is all about... because we have a mechanism.
  1. for reverting (aka section 6.2 revocation),
  2. for improving (aka collaboration and/or competition),
  3. for anti-spam (aka some restrictions on the quantity of low-quality-stuff that one entity can produce).
That is the wikipedia philosophy, and methinks it can work for enabling free-as-in-freedom trademarks, just like it work for free-as-in-freedom content. I ask that in 2015 or whatever, when trademark-policy is revisited, we try again to unleash the horde of wiki-cakes, so as to spread our message throughout the land.  :-)   Thanks much for your efforts, see you around. 17:25, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

Hope you will reply soon. It is very important to Commons as whether we can use original files if find somewhere else and also for photographers whether it is safe to share a reasonable size version if anyone can claim a free license for the original if they can somehow find it. JKadavoor Jee 14:08, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

@Jkadavoor: I'm talking with Creative Commons about the issue right now, but the community should continue discussing and analyzing the issue rather than waiting for us. -LVilla (WMF) (talk) 16:40, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks; we're continuing that discussion at Commons:Village_pump/Copyright#File:Trabalhos.jpg. JKadavoor Jee 17:18, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
See Commons:Administrators%27_noticeboard#File:Trabalhos.jpg. Does the legal has an opinion in this matter or it is also very vague as of CC and our admins? Jee 17:33, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Important: We definitely need some qualified legal advice on what to do with future and past uploads. See Commons:Village_pump/Copyright#A_real_case. :) Jee 07:22, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

Creative Commons 4.0 as default on Wikimedia Commons?

Hi Luis,

Don’t know if you remember me − we met at Wikimania last August. Hope you are well!

As you know, over on Wikimedia Commons we had some discussions about CC v4.0, and about a possible move to default to 4.0 in the UploadWizard. During the last Metrics & activities meeting you said (yes, that was me on IRC! ;-) « Not yet », especially as there was no much traction to make switch yet.

Well, the Public Library of Science announcement decided me to move forward with that! I opened a section on COM:VPP to get some opinions, with a tentative switch date of January 1st (just because deadlines help making things happen − this is of course no hard requirement).

Your input would be valuable over there. Yann notes that a review from Legal would be appreciated, may I let you comment on this as well?

(I am pinging you as you mentioned you followed the discussions on that subject on Commons ; of course feel free to notify/transmit to whoever might want to weigh in).

Thank you for your time!

Jean-Fred (talk) 21:12, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

Definitely remember, of course! I will weigh in and explain the situation a bit. Thanks for pinging me about this - I have been following, but have also been swamped the past few days. -LVilla (WMF) (talk) 00:32, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

Expecting your opinion here. We are not talking about making CC BY-SA 4.0 as the default (recommended) license for all future uploads; but making them (CC BY 4.0 and CC BY-SA 4.0) as available options so that people can choose if they prefer so. Currently we have to use the old form and add the license manually; so only experienced users can do it. :( Jee 13:16, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

@Jkadavoor: Thanks for pinging me on this, I will take a look. —LVilla (WMF) (talk) 17:31, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Images taken "by proxy"(?)

Hello Luis! Would you mind giving some thought (or some pointers to existing comments) over the question at the core of Commons:Commons:Deletion_requests/File:Bejinhan.JPG#File:Bejinhan.JPG:

If you hand a friend/stranger your camera and ask him/her to take a picture of you. Who owns the copyright.

Is there a clear cut answer to this? Is this a work for hire? Does it matter if specific instructions with respect to the framing of the shot are given? Is that "meat remote release"? Does i matter if it is a friend or stranger. Or do we not care about any of the circumstances and have to assume that the friend/stranger is the copyright holder? Cheers --Dschwen (talk) 15:35, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

@Dschwen: We can't generally provide advice on specific files like this one, but I'll ask our interns to look at the general question for a Wikilegal memo so that it can be referred to in future issues like this one (since this one is resolved). -LVilla (WMF) (talk) 19:04, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
thanks, Luis, that is exactly what I wanted. That specific file was just sparking the idea. --Dschwen (talk) 03:16, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

This issue has now come up again in this discussion on the Commons Village Pump. --Dschwen (talk) 18:58, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

We almost have a memo ready. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 02:37, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Where can we see it? And see this discussion too. Jee 15:46, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
We will post it on m:Wikilegal when it is ready. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 16:04, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
@Jkadavoor: Posted. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 23:43, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for this detailed analysis. Very useful. Jee 16:07, 6 May 2014 (UTC)


Hi Luis, can you please look at Talk:Non-disclosure_agreements#Non-disparagement. Thanks, Russavia (talk) 09:39, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

Dear Luis, thank you for your official Foundation response proposals. They reflect what Wikimedians like me have commented. Good luck! --NaBUru38 (talk) 02:08, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

I just came here to say the same thing :-) SJ talk  12:29, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Dear Luis, have you prepared an official document? I would like to share it with Wikimedia Uruguay and related organizations. Thank you, NaBUru38 (talk) 15:45, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
I sent it to advocacy-advisors on Tuesday- I'll put it up on the wiki today. Thanks again for your help! —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 16:13, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Ok, let us know when you publish the document.

By the way, did you see this? It seems that consumers only provide money, private data and user-generated content (the latter two with thin arrows). Artists and producers are a totally separate category. Communities like Wikipedia don't appear anywhere -NaBUru38 (talk) 00:29, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

It was supposed to have been posted Friday; I'll nag my intern about it :)
Yes, I posted about the "value tree" on advocacy-advisors list. Pretty ridiculous. I think it would be a very interesting exercise to rewrite it from our perspective (since I think we can do better than just saying "this is a forest"). —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) (sometime earlier this week that I forgot to sign like an idiot)
@NaBUru38: It is now posted. Thanks again for your help. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 22:54, 13 March 2014 (UTC)


Could you verify the legal accuracy of Template_talk:Personality_rights#Version_6? Jee 07:17, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

...paging doctor Hugh Moore... is Hugh Moore here...

"trust me, if we'd wanted to write something much longer or more complex, we could have!"

Thanks, that was classic.  :-)   — 02:57, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

:) —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 03:07, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

How about adding political affiliations whether paid or not?

I have noticed in wikipedia articles about certain politicians and their parties (especially those of the right) a marked tendency to gloss over the politician's faults and extoll his or her virtues (which are frequently dubious and subjective. I think, given the nature of politics, it would be useful to know who is composing the biography of any given politician or description of a political party.




This means that most of your inexpert users are finding themselves unable to leave comments.

2. The comment I wish to make:

THIS CHANGE IS INSUFFICIENT. For the most part, I rely on to gain quick clarification about the meaning of something I come across in my readings or internet use. Sometimes I also want a more in-depth understanding and read large parts or even all of an article. I assume that many users are like myself.

THIS MEANS THAT I NEED TO KNOW IF SOMETHING IS POTENTIALLY BIASED -- such as being paid for -- AS I USE THE ARTICLE -- that is, quickly. I do not want to have to do research to find this out. I might add, I would have to start by finding out how to access the user page, etc., in order to do so! This changes a quick look -- 30 seconds or more -- into a major undertaking! I am appalled.

Suppose, for example, I want to find out who a particular person mentioned in what I am reading is. What's their outstanding contribution, opinion, reason why they are cited? It might be a political point of view or series of writings (John Stuart Mill, Lincoln, Thoreau, 1984, Marx, urban myth?, etc.). (I have not taken time to figure out good examples.) In these cases, BIAS MATTERS -- but I am not taking the time to research the writers. There should be information RIGHT THERE IN THE ARTICLE [in a set-off such as this] to WARN me!!! If the detailed background info can't be included, a link to where it is should be!!

As my exclamation points show, I feel VERY STRONGLY about this. In fact, I am shocked to learn that I may have unwittingly been using the encyclopedia w/o this info. And again, I strongly suspect that I am like the vast majority! of users, who are probably "casual" like myself -- looking for good, reliable, fast background on something we don't (quite) understand.

I feel saddened -- and deprived.

3. It also means that I apparently have had a misunderstanding of the objectivity of Wikipedia -- and that this is so for the vast majority of your users.

4. If a note is not made at the point that something paid for is in the article -- or that something (or the whole article) is by someone who is paid -- then A NOTE SHOULD BE ADDED AT THE BEGINNING OF EACH ARTICLE (or PART of the article which is being looked at) -- THAT THE ARTICLE OR PARTS OF THE ARTICLE MIGHT BE PAID FOR OR BY SOMEONE WHO WAS PAID. That at least would alert naive users (like myself) to be wary.


Your opinion on this matter is appreciated. Jee 16:45, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

Hi, Jee: thanks for bringing it up. We're talking about it already; I hope we can do something to help out but it does come up against some of our legal constraints. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 18:58, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Luis; and please look on the other matter I mentioned below too. We need a uniformity in guiding our reusers about the reuse requirements. Currently it is different in different places (file page, license tags, crditline, "use this file" option in Media Viewer, etc.); which only helps to confuse the reuser. As we are not professionals, we are struggling to find a perfect solution. :( Jee 02:17, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
Yup, I understand - it is a difficult situation, and we'd like to help. But interpreting the license obligations for the public is also tricky for us, so we're working on it. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 21:57, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks; we'll wait. :) Jee 02:21, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

This needs your attention. Thanks. Jee 15:50, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

Rich Farmbrough 21:33 7 September 2014 (GMT).

Privacy policy plan

Rich Farmbrough 21:33 7 September 2014 (GMT).

Harassment by a critic via Email

Greetings Luis, I don't think we've had the pleasure to interact much yet but I wanted to drop a note about an issue that has been going on in email for quite some time and affects a number of Wikipedia users. There is an individual sending some pretty vile and annoying emails to a large group of Wikipedia editors. This individual uses several differnet names including Sara Reinholz, Michael Harris, John Lary and others. I grant you its easy enough just to delete these or route them into a spam folder but this individual is also creating a lot of vile images and linking to them in the EMails. Although I could just continue to ignore these emails, I wanted to drop you a note and see if there is anything the WMF can do to make this dipshit stop. If you need me to forward a couple to you via Email I can, just let me know.Reguyla (talk) 17:55, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

Hi, Reguyla - sorry to hear about this. It is usually pretty hard for us to do much about off-wiki harassment that isn't directly tied to specific on-wiki users - there just aren't many tools available for us to use. But we can at least take a look. Please send some of the representative emails and a summary of the situation to, and we can work from there. Thanks. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 18:08, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Will do, thanks Luis. I'll draft something up and send it to you in the next day or two. Maybe a request to Google to kill the guys (it is a guy and I'll explain in the email) account. Reguyla (talk) 21:03, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Greetings Luis, I just wanted to let you know I haven't forgotten and I am still drafting this up. I don't really feel like the WMF cares about editors anyway so I really don't expect anything to come out of it anyway, but since there are some admins and others invovled maybe that will make it important enough. Sorry for the negative tone but my attitude about the us and them mentality between admins and editors and the WMF and editors is pretty low at the moment. Anyway, it may be a little longer before I can send it out but I am working on it. Reguyla (talk) 14:59, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry you feel that way. Certainly, in legal, we spend a lot of time and effort working with (and defending) editors - in the US, Greece, Italy, and that's just the past few months. This doesn't mean we can fight every fight, but we do take editors/editing very seriously. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 15:12, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Maybe I just wish some of the other sections at the WMF spent more time fighting for the editors rather than with them. Generally speaking the WMF has been pretty complacent in most aresa regarding the Wiki's and it shows in the form of a declining relationship with the community and communities that have evolved into spheres of abuse. Admins are above the rules and editors are blocked, even here on this Wiki, for indifinite or lengthy periods for no reason. Although I have participated in WMF wiki's for the last 6 years my attitude is not what it once was and I question whether the WMF wiki's will be able to survive beyond the next couple years unless the WMF starts some constructive involvment. And I don't mean the VE, MediaWiki, Flow crap no one wants either. Anyway, I'll try and get you at least something by the end of the weekend and then you can let me know if you need more info or not. Reguyla (talk) 15:42, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for uploading File:EC Copyright Consultation - Wikimedia Foundation Response - Final.pdf. However, it currently is missing information on its copyright status. It may be deleted soon, unless we can determine the license and the source of the file. If you know this information, then you can add a copyright tag to the image description page.

If you have uploaded other files, consider checking that you have specified their license and tagged them, too. You can find a list of files you have created in your upload log. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them at this page. Thanks again for your cooperation. Stefan2 (talk) 16:22, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

@Stefan2: Sorry this took so long to get back to you on; I responded here. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 17:06, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

Can something be done about this Email spammer

Greetings Luis, I know I have mentioned it before but please, for the love of God, can something be done about this email spammer that sends Email to hundreds of people a week with text like "THANX4BLOCKIN WIKIPEDOIA,U FELL INTO OUR TRAP!!! HUGE PROBLEMS WITH ANTANDRUS & BSADOWSKI1, WHOEVER MADE THEM ADMINISTRATORS WAS TOTALLY DRUNK!!!" and with links to derogetory pictures on sites like the one he left here at MyWikiBiz]. I am not an admin, I am not even an editor anymore because I was banned from editing the English Wikipedia for criticizing abusive admin conduct. Even after contributing for years, over a half million edits, featured content, etc. I was blocked to send a message to the community about what happens when admins are questioned or criticized. So, I do not think the WMF or the project cares about editors on bit at this point, so I do not deserve, nor do the other recipients of these emails, to allow this to go on indefinitely with no action from the WMF. Send a letter to Google asking for it to stop, send a letter to the operators of MyWikiBiz, send a letter to the individual telling them to cease and desist (their identity is well known). Do anything please to give the impression that the WMF cares about harassment like this.Reguyla (talk) 18:23, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

Hi, @Reguyla: We've talked to Google twice about it, and are preparing to do it again. I can't make any promises, though :( Sorry we're not in direct control. :/ —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 04:47, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I guess that's better than nothing. I do find it kind of funny that someone on ENWP contacted my employer and tried to get me fired because I refused to abide by a ban that was done abusively and through a manipulation of policy but we are powerless to get this guy and actual problems like this to stop. May I suggest then contacting the operator of the MyWikiBiz site that this fellow uses as a platform to launch much of his antics? Perhaps if we can isolate him from the sites that he uses for his images and writings that may help. Reguyla (talk) 16:28, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

My Wish

Dear Luis, first of all I wish you all the best for your new position. To be honest my faith in the WMF has been seriously destroyed over the last years, especially in the last one, but Wikipedia is my main hobby for half my life and I don't want to give up the hope that maybe there can be improvement still on the institutional side. I would like to see that you try to get something done about the Letter to Wikimedia Foundation: Superprotect and Media Viewer. To me it is highly frustrating that 950+ volunters (if you add the extern signatures you even get 1000+) don't get even a bit of a reaction while this is easily the highest number who ever voiced themselves this way in our projects. You can put yourself on a position like Lila often does, saying that this is past and shouldn't matter anymore, but it matters. Why would still from time to time signatures drop by even nearly half a year after the incident if it doesn't matter? That is a matter of respect for us. On the talk page you can see statistics that indicate that important members of the communities voiced here their concerns. And when you want to get in better touch with the communities then you also have to try to heal the biggest disruptions of the past. Not adressing the voices of more than 950 volunteers, easily more than any Board member got in an election I think is a sign of disrespect that to me is really troubling. Ignoring is not a way to handle this issue properly. I really would like to see you making this your first project, taking first steps to heal the bad of the past. I'm ready for a new start with the WMF, when I see that things really change, that you do your job good for the sake of the projects and communities, for us volunteers. And I think many would be more than welcoming steps that make them find again their faith in the WMF. But that needs you personally and you (meaning the WMF as whole) enganging on our concerns. Best --Julius1990 (talk) 17:24, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

+1 --Trofobi (talk) 18:16, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
+2 --Ricordisamoa 07:46, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
+1 from me too. As explained above it very much seems to me and others that the WMF has no repect for the editing community and has the attitude that the volunteers are an expendable commodity that's easily replaced. It might be beneficial if the employees actually edited the project. Some do, but most have never done one edit and I think it really serves to detach them from the process of what they are supporting. Reguyla (talk) 16:13, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
+1 On a related note, a while ago on Lila's page I mentioned withdrawing from m:Community_Engagement_(Product)/Process_ideas because of renewed threats of Superprotect and De-admining against the community. You said the link didn't work. I'll try again:[3] Or you can just look at the top section of the page: Current State / Requested changes / The WMF reserves the right to refuse any requested change, and rarely (but memorably) invokes this right. Their refusal may be backed up by de-sysopping admins or superprotecting pages to prevent local admins from making community-requested changes. Bolding added. I find it scary that nobody on either side seems to have realized just how much worse things could get after that point. Alsee (talk) 03:06, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Sad to see that nearly four month were not even time enough for a negative reply ... that is exactly why I think the WMF is the evil in the Wikimedia universe and you people do nothing to change this perception. Thanks for nothing (but broken software). --Julius1990 (talk) 23:14, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

Foundation wiki userpage

Hi Luis, your userpage on foundation wiki need updating. ;) -- KTC (talk) 11:53, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

Doh, thanks. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 04:42, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

About your native language

Excuseme for this question, however, your last name look like you are a latin guy like me, Do you speak spanish? --The Photographer (talk) 11:27, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

@The Photographer: Un poquitico. Mi papa nacio en Cuba, pero yo nacio en Miami y mis abuelos murieron cuando yo fue un nino pequeno. Despues no hablabamos espanol en casa. Entonces lo puedo leer y escribir mas o menos, pero es dificil oir/hablar. (Mi mama es Americana pero ella ya tiene mejor espanol que yo ;) —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 15:22, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

Fair use files

Hi Luis. Since the community seems that is not able to raise an agreement over this issue I think that involvement from WMF would be appreciated. It is my understanding that we're hosting files against wmf:Resolution:Licensing policy and our efforts to solve this rather (IMHO) problematic situation have been futile. Saludos. —MarcoAurelio 18:11, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

Community Tech

I understand that User:TNegrin (WMF) is "incubating" Community Tech. Please would you ask him to respond to the requests on his talk page relating to this project. It clear to me that the whole project is a sham and I am challenging him and you to do something about it. Didcot power station (talk) 17:46, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Need to improve file pages in Commons

Do you still interested to support this move? I noticed your title changed; but it seems now you're in a more community related position. :) Jee 03:11, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

@Jkadavoor: That kind of request should probably go to Stephen these days. I'm interested but there are only so many hours in the day :( —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 18:25, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Could you ping him as I don't know his user name. Yes; too little time to do actual work after answering to so many nonsense in Commons! :) Jee 01:23, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
@Slaporte (WMF): :) —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 01:28, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Jee 01:57, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

Community Engagement (Product)/Process ideas

Back in mid-April, you informed the ED [4] that you were pushing very hard to do this right and that As soon as I have more concrete news (hopefully soon) I'll try to update those pages. Over two months later, do you have any news for the community? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 15:33, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

Dear Luis,
It is now almost three months since you made the commitment I quote above, and almost two weeks since I asked you about progress. Since then, there has been no progress on the commitment and, although you have logged in to Meta and so may be presumed to have seen my question, you have chosen not to respond even with an acknowledgement. I find that discourteous, both to the community and to me personally. If no progress has been made, then please have the courtesy to at least say so, with a brief indication of the reason for the continued delay. I believe that an apology for the discourtesy is also in order.
Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 18:38, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
Hi, Rogol. After discussing the issue in April, we decided that the correct response was to create a community tech team. Unfortunately, spinning up a new team is not something that happens overnight, and is particularly challenging where we'd like to limit growth of the overall budget.
With regards to the issue of discourtesy, I'm not sure how best to respond. On the one hand, I would like to be able to respond to every response that is directed to me, and I'd particularly like to respond to questions on legitimately important issues like this one. On the other hand, if I responded to every email and talk page post I get, or even a significant percentage, I'd quickly be unable to actually get much work done. Suggestions on how to strike that balance are welcome; my current intuition is, frankly, to mostly focus internally as we build up the department, and then work more externally once we're in a more comfortable place in terms of planning and direction. I realize that looks rude, but my intent is not to ignore you but rather to focus on the things that impact a very large number of users - like building the team - rather than individual interactions.
This state of things, frankly, sort of sucks - it isn't why I got into community-driven work in the first place. But it is also the reality sometimes when working with a very large, very vocal community. Please accept my apologies, but also please accept a more realistic assessment of how often and how promptly I can communicate here while still fulfilling the most critical obligations of my job.—Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 05:53, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for taking the time to respond and for your apology. We agree that the current state of affairs is unsatisfactory -- the remedy seems to be in your hands as Senior Director of Community Engagement. I think it significant,, revealing and disturbingly mistaken that you write as if "respond to legitimate questions" were an opposite to "get much work done". I suggest that the former is at the heart of Community Engagement, not a distraction from it: it actually is the work you are doing. Your comments about Community Tech are also in point: how strange it is that you imply that setting up a team to communicate is an activity that prevents you from communicating, when surely the new team is an opportunity for you co engage and communicate by involving the community broadly in the setting up, so that when the team is ready to take over the work of engaging with the community (within the scope decided), the community is ready to engage with the team.
Tactically, I make the same suggestion to you that I did to Lila: have a member of staff responsible for monitoring your talk page(s), acknowledging questions, triaging and directing them appropriately. Strategically, have your staff create a small number of well-known portals where community members may receive prompt, clear, usable, authoritative answers to questions and comments, with named staff responsible for giving those answers and for owning more complex questions through to resolution. Culturally, try to move to one of genuine open cooperation and communication between staff and volunteers rather than point-scoring, information-hoarding, back-channel decisions making and sulking. Save all staff time by discouraging them from taking part at all in conversations on subjects they are unable or unwilling to follow through on and encouraging all community-facing staff to own anything they say and to follow through on any assurances they give. Do not let staff raise expectations they do not have the ability or authority to meet. Have responsible people make promises, not predictions, and keep them, or else acknowledge, explain and apologise for their failure. Above all, communicate clearly, quickly and effectively; be frank and open; share your working in places where community members are likely to see it; and embrace the community as your partners not your adversaries. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 06:50, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
I want to suplement my initial response, which I think may have been overly generous. I note that you give no answer to the question raised, namely about when, if ever, we may see further progress on the Community Engagement (Product)/Process ideas project (except in so far as you mention Community Tech -- another project with zero communication, visible outcome or timeline). I further note that you agree that failing to acknowledge, let alone answer, legitimate questions is rude, but coupled this with a clear statement that you intend to continue to behave like this.
For me at least, this is not good enough. The result is that I am not going to bother to discuss anything further here, as you have made it clear that you do not yourself as obliged to respond to me in any form, and I have no appetite for exposing myself to further deliberate discourtesy. I assume that this outcome is what was intended. As a senior leader and role model within your workforce, this a clear message to your team that community engagement is an optional extra when set alongside their other work -- whatever that might be.
It also means that I am going to assume that the Community Engagement (Product)/Process Ideas project has been abandoned, which means that this mismanaged project has wasted a considerable amount of staff and volunteer time and effort, has damaged the relation between WMF and volunteers further, has discouraged serious constructive contributors, and has wasted an opportunity to improve the WMF planning and strategisation. An explicit acknowledgement and apology is called for, not a deliberate refusal to address the situation.
I am really very disturbed by this answer. It calls into question either the intention or the ability of the WMF to engage effectively and constructively with the volunteer community.
Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 17:05, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Hi Rogol Domedonfors maybe I am reading too much into Luis' answer, but could it be that the Community Tech team will take responsibility for Community Engagement (Product)/Process ideas once that team is better staffed? That would be nice.
  • Regarding WMF executive responsiveness to community inquiries, I agree that transparency and communications are suffering here, and I imagine that Luis is as concerned about this as we are. I agree that hiring staff specifically to handle this kind of communications work would make sense. The WMF Communications team was budgeted for several new hires in the current annual plan. I am wondering if Katherine might be able to help us know if some of those staff will help with the issues that we're discussing here. --Pine 05:55, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
I was informed [5] by Philippe Baudette that Kim Gilbey is writing the report into the 2015 Strategy/Community consultation and I suggested to Kim four weeks ago that it might be helpful to fold anything useful from the Community Engagement (Product)/Process ideas project into that report. Unfortunately I have not received any response to my suggestion, nor have we have not been given any further information about when that report might be issued.
We have not yet been told exactly what the scope of the Community Tech team is, but I am not sure that "meeting the needs of active Wikimedia editors for improved, expert-focused curation and moderation tools" entirely covers issuing a report on "how software components get built and delivered to communities". Presumably allocating the work to the right team is the sort of issue that needs to be resolved by Luis and prevents him from always being able to respond to concerns raised on this page. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 06:31, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I agree that openness and transparency into the strategic planning process is very lacking, and it would be nice if Luis would give Kim a suggestion to provide regular public updates. --Pine 04:46, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Just to update this discussion: I was told by the Executive Director today [6] that We are working on a draft that we intend to publish this quarter on improvements to our software process. Engineering management has an offsite specifically focused on that at the end of August. I do hope that someone in Community Engagement will have the time to update the Process Ideas page with that draft before the meeting happens. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 15:39, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

Map of Luis' brain

Guess what I found? (: --Pine 05:20, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

;) —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 17:47, 28 July 2015 (UTC)


Thank you for adding some material to Innovation page. I identified several relevant Phabricator tasks and added them to that page, some from phab:T98348 of course. However, none of them seem to have an owner at present. When you have a moment, please could you identify the member of staff with overall responsibility for Innovation, which is after all one of the three main pillars of the Call to Action, and have that person go to the Innovation page, identify themselves and outline how they wish to join with the community in driving forward innovation across the projects. I realise that you are extremely busy, but this does seem rather important. Indeed, Lila's views [7] were clear that most innovative projects came out -- and will continue to come -- from the community. What we need to do at the WMF is to better spot and support those, including providing guidance around how to scale them ... I expect the "response team" will be put together in the ~90 days. That was 118 days ago, so the response team will be up and running by now, all it has to do is to connect with the community and I venture to suggest that the Innovation page is one of the places for it to begin that work, or at least point to where that engagement will be caried out. So please take a moment to start that off. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 20:53, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

Upcoming 5 millionth article milestone on English Wikipedia

You are invited to participate in the discussion at pump (miscellaneous)#5 millionth article celebration: community press release, video, open letter, and site banner. --Pine 07:03, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

Community portal

Hi Luis, how is the community portal progressing (the one that Lila mentioned at the Wikimedia Conference)? I asked one of your employees but they hadn't heard of it. Thanks! --Pine 23:18, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

@Pine: Some experiments are in the pipeline for the upcoming quarter. We'll learn and adapt from there. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 00:43, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
OK, thanks. (Just for future reference, Echo in its current state won't ping someone if you write {{ping|User X}} without including your signature --~~~~ in the same edit.) --Pine 06:08, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

Editor recruiting and retention

Hi Luis, editor recruiting and retention were frequent topics at WikiConference USA. As far as I can tell, most of the research being done at WMF on these subjects are being done by just one person, Halfak (WMF). Meanwhile, the Editor Engagement mailing list was abruptly closed with no consultation or forewarning that I saw. I am wondering what it would take to get WMF back into the business of working directly on editor engagement issues (and I don't mean developing Flow and VE). There are three relevant recent or upcoming IEGs: Reimagining Wikipedia Mentorship, WikiProject X, and the proposal that I created for a video series that I believe will help a lot with the onboarding of newbies. Some helpful ideas for editor retention were offered here and in this thread. Could WMF work on the points raised in those last two links? Thanks, --Pine 16:00, 13 October 2015 (UTC)


Hi Luis,

Can I nudge you on the above which has been "under discussion" since 2013? If I understand correctly, it's your predecessor whose name was attached to the project as the WMF liaison. There is a rumour going around saying might close its doors, so if that were true, it would now be high time to attempt to at least get a copy of's data en route to hosting it on a WMF server in the future.


Samsara (talk) 01:03, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

@Samsara: I'm sorry, can you link to the discussion you're referring to? I'm aware of general discussion about Webcite, but not anything in specific about the service shutting down. (Or if I was aware I've forgotten about it, sorry!) —LuisV (WMF) (talk) 17:50, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
There's some discussion here: en:Talk:Cecil_(lion)#Archiving_links. Regards, Samsara (talk) 09:36, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
We've been talking with Internet Archive about this problem, and helping a little bit (we can't take most of the credit!) to get DeadlinksBot working. I was actually supposed to give a speech about it tomorrow but there were some last-minute hiccups about getting the bot fully up to speed. Assuming we can get that fully up to speed soon, does it look like that addresses your concern? LuisV (WMF) (talk) 10:12, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
Except that it doesn't mention what will happen to existing WebCite content and links - there's a vague hint on their website that they may be making content available through, but I don't know if this is already happening - perhaps the content is already being woven into the default timeline interface, or maybe not at all! An alternative would be just letting DeadlinksBot re-archive anything that currently points to WebCite. Samsara (talk) 12:27, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
Ah, I see what you mean. Looking into what our contacts are at Webcitation, will let you know if I hear anything. @Legoktm (WMF): any idea? —LuisV (WMF) (talk) 19:36, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
Sure, let us know if anything comes of it - there may be two or three others watching this discussion. Cheers. Samsara (talk) 09:40, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

WebCite is not even interested in collaborating with the Internet Archive and we have nothing to do with them. There was no consensus about throwing money at this exercise and now there is even less motivation to do so (see mw:Archived Pages). Please stop beating the dead horse. Nemo 20:26, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

If you feel so strongly about dead horses, it might be an idea to place appropriate tombstones of the "superseded by ..." kind on relevant project pages. Samsara (talk) 22:02, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

Articles for Creation research

This summary from the most recent Research newsletter caught my attention:

"User interaction with community processes in online communities" From the abstract: "We find that articles that are deleted from Wikipedia differ from those that are not in many significant ways. We also find, however, that most deleted articles are deleted extremely hastily, often before they have time to develop. We use our data to create a model that can predict with high precision whether or not an article will be deleted. ... We propose to deploy a system utilizing this model on Wikipedia as a set of decision-support tools to help article creators evaluate and improve their articles before posting. ... English Wikipedia’s Articles for Creation provides a protected space for drafting new articles, which are reviewed against minimum quality guidelines before they are published. We explore the possibility that this drafting process, which is intended to improve the success of newcomers, in fact decreases newcomer productivity in English Wikipedia, and offer recommendations for system designers."

WMF was working on the Draft namespace awhile back. Any chance of WMF taking up the suggestions offered by these researchers for discussion with the AfC community?

Also, I'd love to see WMF restart the Growth team, which could be assigned projects like this on an ongoing basis. --Pine 22:52, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

(talk page stalker - not sure how narrowly limited this is to Luis' personal work area in particular, anyway)
Hi Pine, I'm glad you found this excerpt in the new research newsletter interesting! I did it in haste without having the time to (as we often do) point out connections and related work.
Regarding "decision-support tools", you may find it worthwhile to know that the researcher has a related IE grant project: Grants:IEG/Automated Notability Detection (there was also a separate proposal last year at Grants:IEG/Learning about deletion). And without having had access to the full dissertation, I guess that the part about AfC is at least partly based on the paper reviewed in the August 2014 newsletter. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 20:24, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
Product has been through a lot of churn lately. A more appropriate route would probably be making sure that growth is a key factor in the strategies for all three product teams. It already is a key concern for all of them, but we could stand to think about how to (1) make that more obvious/transparent and (2) how to be more accountable on that sort of thing.LuisV (WMF) (talk) 23:16, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
  • OK. Pinging Wes to ask for his thoughts. --Pine 07:32, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
  • We are in the process of defining some shared goals across the product teams. Making "Growth" as a specific label or strategy tied to goals planning and review with a clear metric will help make it transparent and accountable. I have been reviewing the past notes on the Growth team and talking to Moiz to learn more. It may take on a bit of a different structure but the cross collaborative team seems like it has some great elements. WMoran (WMF) (talk) 11:07, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
Following up here with Luis and Wes: Jonathan Morgan recommended the book Building Successful Online Communities to me. I like it and would recommend it to both of you in the context of thinking about contributor growth. If there's a book club at WMF, I would recommend this book for it (: --Pine 23:28, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
I've owned it for several years :) Definitely excellent. Happy to hear any other suggestions you have on the reading front! LuisV (WMF) (talk) 00:30, 5 January 2016 (UTC)
Thanks and love the idea of a book club WMoran (WMF) (talk) 19:28, 5 January 2016 (UTC)
@WMoran (WMF): My team has been toying with the idea of a speaker series, at least. We're spread pretty thin, though, so hasn't been a priority. LuisV (WMF) (talk) 19:31, 5 January 2016 (UTC)

Community culture brainstorming

Just wanted to make sure that you, Maggie and Patrick saw these brainstorms from WikiConference USA 2015 and can use them to inform WMF strategy processes. I hope that you're having a nice Thanksgiving weekend. --Pine 22:06, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for sharing, Pine. Good list of ideas. LuisV (WMF) (talk) 23:57, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
I was missing an image. Added the SWOT analysis of where we are today. --Pine 08:11, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

Format of table in "Global metrics overview - all programs"

Please see the question and forward to the relevant place/persons if I missed them. Federico Leva (WMIT) (talk) 11:31, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

@KLove (WMF): or @Wolliff (WMF): are likely the right people. They're both mid-flight to India right now, though, so may be a little slow to respond. LuisV (WMF) (talk) 17:41, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
Yes, we're on it! Thanks LuisV (WMF) and Federico Leva (WMIT) -- answer is here. KLove (WMF) (talk) 08:23, 28 January 2016 (UTC)


)-: )-: )-: )-: )-:

More churn than a butter factory. All the best with parenthood, and thanks for the support and encouragement over the years. Expect to see you edit at WS. Perfect place to type and read with one hand/arm, while the other cradles infant/pets.  — billinghurst sDrewth 12:51, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

I think Wikidata Game is more my one-handed speed, but we'll see ;) 15:16, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Or maybe I'll just file bugs to fix account management so I'm not logged out all the time... LuisV (WMF) (talk) 15:17, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
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