Wikimedia chapters/Reports/Wikimedia Deutschland/August 2011


Opinion on Orphan Works sent to the German Federal Ministry of JusticeEdit

The European Commission presented in May 2011 a proposal for a directive dealing with orphan works. If this proposal were to pass, it would have to be cast into national law by the national governments of the EU. The German Federal Ministry of Justice has, therefore, asked us to comment on this EU proposal for a directive.

The opinion of Wikimedia Germany (formulated by Jan and Mathias) first points out that such an "Orphan Works" rule for projects like Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikimedia Commons would only be really helpful if its purpose would go beyond passive viewing in a digital library. Apart from that, there are still many things to improve in the details: for instance, the databases that are used for the release procedure for orphan works and their determination of status would have to be at least seen by everybody for free. We also propose a mutual recognition of use by member states in order to finally make an end to national "island solutions" that create increased information costs for all parties involved. Above all, we suggest opening up the circle of those institutions that benefit from the directive. For it is not clear why a future harmonization of legal provisions should also not affect private-sector initiatives.

Since there will be in mid-September a public hearing on the digitization of orphan works in the legal committee of the Bundestag, we want to continue staying on track with this and publish in the upcoming weeks a position paper in order to make our views clear and understandable.

The Release of Images through the Konrad Adenauer FoundationEdit

Everyone knows it: the classic from the history of election posters. Text: "All roads of Marxism lead to Moscow," suggestively illustrated and used on the occasion of the CDU parliamentary elections in 1953. A digitized version of this poster, along with many other gems from the Adenauer years, can now be reused by everyone. We are extremely pleased that the Archive for Christian Democratic Politics of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation has released in a first delivery 129 photos and posters available under Creative Commons cc-by-sa 3.0. This is the prelude to cooperating with other party-affiliated foundations in order to open up gradually interesting areas of recent history (the Cold War, détente, German reunification, new social movements, etc.). The images of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation have already been uploaded to Wikimedia Commons and the overall view can be found here. Many thanks to all the Wikipedians who helped out with the upload in such a quick and uncomplicated manner!

Election Event in BerlinEdit

In the upcoming days, we expect the answers to the key election issues published here. The initial analyses will be presented by Jan and Mathias at the WikiConvention in Nuremberg. As an accompanying event, we plan to hold on October 1st in Berlin a "Net Politics Hangover Breakfast" with newly elected party representatives of the Chamber of Deputies. Since the campaigns were grid-locked and dominated by other issues (e.g. arsons in residential districts) besides net politics, we would like to use this opportunity to pursue our key themes again in greater detail such as the release of official data, panoramic freedom and Open Access with these representatives of the people and practitioners. The co-organizers of this event are going to be the Open Knowledge Foundation and the Open Data Network among others. Details and the venue will soon be announced on the blog.

4th Collaboratory Initiative on “Private and Public Spheres”Edit

In August in the 4th Collaboratory Initiative Internet and Society, future scenarios dealing with the relationship between "private and public spheres" were further elaborated. An additional workshop at CSC’s offices in Berlin took place. On Friday September 16th in Berlin, the final workshop will be held with external guests. And starting at 5 p.m. there will be a public meeting on the premises of the permanent representation of the state of Saxony-Anhalt. At all dates, reports and documents of the first three panels of experts are available under open licenses. You can learn more from Sebastian.


Press InquiriesEdit

The Wikimania event was also well covered in the German press. We translated the announcement from the Israeli chapters from English into German and, after sending the press releases to our press distributor, we received numerous inquiries and applications (WDR, ARD, ZDF, dpa, Spiegel online, etc.). A portion of the media reports can be found here.

Interviews, background discussion and requests for Wiki Loves Monuments, the WikiConvention and to the Referendum (Filter) kept Catrin occupied during the second half of August. In addition, we coordinated requests for interviews with Jimmy Wales, (Berliner Zeitung, Frankfurter Rundschau) and handled the initial requests for the publication of “Alles über Wikipedia – und die Menschen hinter der größten Enzyklopädie der Welt” (Everything about Wikipedia - and the People behind the Largest Encyclopedia in the World).


The third edition of our association’s newspaper will be released in mid September. At this point, I would now like to thank the many volunteer authors who have sent us their interesting reports. By the end of August, the newspaper had been designed, edited, illustrated and made ready for publication by Catrin and Michael. And no sooner finished, we are already planning the final issue of Wikimedium, since the next (fourth) edition of our association’s newspaper is going to be published when we have our members meeting in November. We gladly will accept any ideas or contributions of yours. Please send them to

As always, you can order the current issue free of charge to distribute it to meet-up groups, to pass along to friends or simply to leaf through it. We currently send the Wikimedium to over 2,000 subscribers. Simply order your free copy by sending an email to the editor.

Press ReleasesEdit

In August, press releases about the activities “Wiki Loves Monuments” and “WikiConvention” were developed together with our community and sent out. Recent press releases can be found on our website.

Press Conferences / Media CooperationEdit

Currently in planning are a Zeit-Online debate for November and cooperation with Deutschlandfunk radio pertaining to the “Long Night of Knowledge,” which is expected to take place in the spring of 2012.

Informational MaterialEdit

As support for Wiki loves Monuments, we created and produced an information flyer for the photo contest together with Kilian Kluge from the project Wiki loves Monuments Mittelhessen. It has already been used and can still be used as a regional version for participating partner cities. Our offer of free Wikipedia gifts was well received. You can request them from us for your Wikipedia events and various activities. For further information, please see Michael’s blog post.

Wikipedia BookEdit

While the Wikipedia book was being printed in August, the preparation of the events went on that are being considered as accompanying measures for the publication of this book. These include the book presentation on September 24th in Berlin, the press conference at the Frankfurt Book Fair on October 12th and the readings that we are planning to have in various German cities. Especially for the last point, feedback from the community is most welcome. Boris and Catrin are currently looking for committed Wikipedians and meet-up groups that would like to organize together with us readings their cities. We look forward to hearing your ideas and requests.

Finally, the flyer for the Wikipedia book was also able to be completed. It is available to authors, community members and the public at large for events and activities dealing with the Wikipedia book. If interested, please contact Catrin Schoneville or Boris Marinov!

In addition, Boris prepared the online content of the book, which serves as a complement to the 350 pages of paper. Since we in the internet are not subject to the limitations of the printed word, the online content contains a more extensive set of images and links, which was well worth the effort creating.

Initiative “Wikipedia must become World Heritage”Edit

In August, the petition “Wikipedia must become World Heritage” cracked the 50,000 mark. Other events in Berlin (on September 2nd), Cologne (in October), Frankfurt and Hamburg are being prepared. Would anyone like to help support an event in a particular city or does anyone have any ideas about where such an event could be held and who could be invited? If so, then please contact Sebastian Sooth.

For the German UNESCO Commission, a project synopsis is currently being prepared in order to be able to prepare the next steps. In October the study project "Wikipedia and the UNESCO World Heritage" will begin at the Brandenburg Technical University in Cottbus.


Wikipedia School ProjectEdit

The Wikipedia School Project had a very productive month in August. The goal was to deepen existing contacts and to plan new events. For the first time, a project took place at an elementary school on August 22nd (the Free School in Potsdam). The goal was to find out to which extent Wikipedia plays a role in primary schools and how pupils in this age group deal with the online encyclopedia as a source of knowledge. At the workshop, pupils of the fifth and sixth grade were able to learn in a playful way more about dictionaries, free knowledge, and Wikipedia. With the help of images, they were told the history of Wikipedia. They could contribute their own questions and in groups they independently researched with the help of their teachers information in Wikipedia. It turned out that they are already working in primary schools with on-line encyclopedias and a playful approach can be enriching for all sides.

From August 26th to 28th 2011, the speakers of the Wikipedia-School Project met in the Coworking-Space in Nuremberg for their fourth meeting. The weekend began with an open workshop, where interested parties could pose their questions and come into contact with the speakers. The workshop was well received by the participants and led to lively, intense discussions. Even a new author could be won for Wikipedia. Afterwards participants in small groups worked intensively on content throughout the weekend and shared experiences. More than ever, all participants are now looking forward to after the summer break when they can have another meeting.

In August, despite a national holiday for pupils and students, three workshops were held in September and already seven workshops are being planned. In the fall, there begins once again the time of the annual educational fairs. In September Wikimedia Germany will be represented in Potsdam at the Media Educational Fair and at the Knowledge Camp in Potsdam. Should you happen to be at one of these events or in the area: come on over, we look forward to meeting you!

Project Silver KnowledgeEdit

In preparation for the introductory lectures in September, the necessary information was compiled and sent to the speakers. In this context, Elvira met with Peter Lamerz, the speaker for the Senior-Adult Education Center Wesel-Hamminkeln-Scharnbeck. The educational material for workshops developed during the speakers meeting in Ulm was sent as a draft to the participants in order to be able to arrive at a final result in the educational forum over the next few weeks. Together with Catrin there was a conversation dealing with the topic of cooperation with Frank Leyhausen of the German senior league. The next steps to be taken together were identified. Please read more about this in the next report.

There was also a meeting to prepare the Wikipedia introductory lecture in the Central and Regional Library Berlin. The lecture will take place in the small columned hall of the library building. In coordination with the representative of the German Society for Postal and Telecommunications History (DGPT) in Berlin, a weekend seminar on October 22nd and 23rd at the Museum for the Post Office and Telecommunications is being prepared. Finally, it was agreed upon with the chroniclers of the Potsdam-Mittelmark district (CPM) to prepare a Wikimedia Commons seminar on September 10th and to allow them to participate in the Wikipedia competition “Wiki Loves Monuments.”


In August, the preparations continued for the fundraiser. For this purpose, we performed a short test again. This time we wanted to know if a banner or a video works better as an entry point for motivating people to donate to Wikipedia. For four days on, there was a Jimmy banner for one half of the visitors and for the other half there was an appeal from the founder of Wikipedia. The results are clear: while a video leads a lot fewer people to the donation page, nevertheless, they have a very high willingness to donate. Almost four times more people could be motivated to donate with the video.

On the information and coordination pages for the 2011 fundraiser on Wikipedia, we have established in this context a new page about testing author appeals. Here in detail the various tests are explained and analyzed. The results of the first two tests which we conducted on are already online. Also here everyone can enroll for a personal appeal. So please register and write your own appeal. Also in the next few weeks in Germany, the first short tests on the German version of Wikipedia will also take place.

In order to jointly create this year's fundraising campaign with interested Wikipedians, a workshop will be held at the Nuremberg WikiCon dealing with writing personal appeals. Together we will discuss previous findings from tests and previous fall campaigns as well as the structure and most important style elements of an appeal for funds for Wikipedia. So if you feel like you would like to actively participate in this year's fundraiser,then feel free to come to the workshop and see to it that the campaign becomes more creative and authentic!

The findings in the donor survey we conducted in August will be helpful. For two weeks, the questionnaire was accessible for the 4,000 donors online, whom we had invited to participate at the end of July. Currently, we are in the process of evaluating them. The results will be published in September. With a participation rate of 33%, we received a great amount of support from our donors. As a thank you, we had a raffle and gave away five copies of the Wikipedia anniversary book that will appear in September. The winners were notified by us and can look forward now to soon receiving one of the first books hot off the press.


Community Project BudgetEdit

The five projects from the first round of the community project budget were in the process of being launched. With Wiki Loves Monuments Mittelhessen, the first project will take place already in September. Sebastian Sooth is in contact with the applicants and is supporting them as they create current project plans. He has also prepared the project funding agreement and is available to offer advice on issues related to implementation. The next application round is planned to start in the fall. Community Space

Also in August, Sebastian Sooth had a look at additional properties for the planned Community-Space and the new Wikimedia Germany office. We are still in negotiations with individual property owners and brokers in order to get good offers. From other cities, we have received inquiries from places that would like to be part of a community space network. More about this can be learned in the session about this topic at WikiCon.


The countdown to WikiCon 2011 in Nuremberg (September 9th-11th, 2011) is running. In August, additional preparations and consultations with the local organizers took place. Meanwhile, more than 170 registrations have been received for the community event of the Wikimedia projects in the German-speaking world. In our office, Simon takes care of the incoming conference papers and sends out confirmation of receipt and payment reminders. In addition, we are in close contact with the volunteer organizers in Nuremberg and we are planning together the extensive, diverse program, hotel bookings and catering. Nicole and Simon are thinking about how the results of the event can be made available to non-participating friends of free knowledge. The office has also been working hard, assisting with publicizing the event through its own channels.

In the course of the program planning, other Wikimedia Germany staff and associates contributed to the program content. Thus, among other things, there will be workshops dealing with the topics of cooperation between the association and the community, the relationship between politics and free knowledge, Wikipedia and education, Wikipedia in regional languages, the campaign “Wikipedia must become World Heritage,” Zedler, WissensWert & Co. (Worth Knowing & Co.) and fundraising Johannes is also preparing a round of introductions of Wikimedia Germany staff at the request of participants.

Wiki loves MonumentsEdit

On September 1st begins the Europe-wide photo competition Wiki loves Monuments. While in the background many hardworking helpers in their spare time are tinkering with monument lists, upload tools and websites, we have taken care of the production of T-shirts and flyers. Together with the chapters from Poland and the Netherlands, we are paying for the T-shirts for all participating countries and we have been in contact with various printers. Also, the flyers for the competition have gone into print after receiving a lot of input from different sources: We are still looking for support for the shipping and distribution of them! At the same time, Simon and Nicole talked about cooperation with sponsors as part of the photo competition. Besides fame and glory, there are now also attractive prizes to win. It's worth so much more to participate now!

Parallel to this on August 22nd, there was the launch of the local Wiki Loves Monuments action in Bergheim. This occurred at a press conference, which was organized by official representatives of the city administration, Kilian Kluge, a volunteer coordinator, and us. Bergheim is a pioneer in regard to the many city cooperation initiatives within the context of Wiki Loves Monuments. Wennigsen is also there and has donated its own special award. Sebastian Sooth was there at the press conference, which was also a prelude to an exciting collaboration with Wennigsen. A look at the press review of the project page shows the high relevance and resonance with local and national media.

Literature StipendEdit

As a complement to the Wiki Loves Monuments project, “LitStip loves Monuments” was created. During this month, eleven stipends were awarded to five people so that starting from September 1st the numerous images being sent in will certainly be able to find their home in one article or another.

But also outside of this action, the literary stipend is being used as intensively as never before. In addition to the WLM stipends, eleven additional requests were received and also the next community initiative for an eLitstip is already about to begin. Thus the year 2011 is already in August, the most successful one so far since the founding of the literary stipend in 2007 with over 40 awards given out. In the coming weeks, there will be some changes that will improve the program even further.

This growth is accompanied by another one: after more than three years, the literary stipend will no longer be managed solely by Denis Barthel but from now on also by Gerrit Holz. We look forward even more to your applications. You know what to do :)!

Volunteer TicketsEdit

After Wikimedia Germany was permitted to award more than 20 Berlin-based Wikipedians with volunteer tickets that provide discounted access to numerous urban cultural institutions and recreational facilities, active members of Wikimedia projects in other states are also gradually beginning to benefit from this recognition. In Bavaria, Bremen and North Rhine-Westphalia, the first set of municipalities has awarded volunteer tickets for the collection and dissemination of free knowledge through Wikimedia projects. It seems that the time is ripe even for German authorities to acknowledge digital volunteering. People who have been continuously active in Wikimedia projects for several years who intend to apply for volunteer tickets in their communities are invited to contact our community coordinator Johannes Rohr for confirmation of their commitment.


The end of the first project year of the research project RENDER is getting closer. In August, we were mostly busy with writing the reports that were due in September (work packages) and discussing and agreeing upon matters with the other partners involved. In the coming weeks, there will be a review process before the final versions are released and published in late September.

The next RENDER project meeting will take place from the 29th to 30th of September in Berlin. Wikimedia is responsible for hosting this meeting. We have found suitable premises at the co-working space Cluboffice in Berlin Wilmersdorf. We are very happy because the Cluboffice has already agreed to support this two-day workshop. Both the rooms and the accommodation will be sponsored.


Looking Back at WikimaniaEdit

At the beginning of August in the Israeli coastal city of Haifa, the seventh annual Wikimania conference took place. It was a four-day conference (including a hacking event), with 700 participants and over 120 lectures, panels, workshops and roundtable discussions.

Wikimedia Germany was represented by Wikipedians, members of our association and board in addition to six staff members. Wikimedia Germany funded 16 scholarships for participants from the community. Part of our work there consisted in giving speeches, for instance, on the initiative “Wikipedia must become World Heritage” (Catrin) and presenting the project RENDER (Angelica) as part of a panel with colleagues from Wikimedia Holland dealing with the topic of research and Wikipedia. In her lecture “Wikipedia and Beyond: Incentivizing Engagement” (slides) Nicole presented projects such as the Zedler medal, WissensWert (Worth Knowing) and Wiki Loves Monuments, which we would like to use to motivate people to participate. Mathias illustrated in his lecture the often underestimated threat to the international Wikimedia movement stemming from interventions in the political freedom of information in democratic countries and, of course, from the far-reaching censorship in authoritarian regimes throughout the world. Denis used his speech to present the network of experts in the field of education and Daniel explained the Wikidata project along with Denny Vrandecic.

As already mentioned in the blog posts (day 1, day 2, day 3, Developer Days), there was not only the comprehensive and exciting program of events but also numerous important and good conversations with representatives from Wikimedia chapters from around the world. By exchanging information concerning educational projects, initiatives to attract new authors, public relations and many other topics it was shown again and again how much we can learn from each other.

We expect that in the coming weeks, the organizers of the - according to many visitors – the best Wikimania so far, the live recordings of nearly all the lectures and panels will be published on YouTube and Wikimedia Commons. Currently, parts of the keynote presentations and the opening round are already online. 2012 Budget Planning

Wikimedia Germany is going on tour. To discuss our budget for 2012, which will be published on September 16th in the Wikimedia Forum, between the 18th and 22nd of September Wikimedia forums will take place in five German cities - Hamburg, Frankfurt, Cologne, Munich and Berlin. Here you will have the opportunity to become directly involved in the planning of our work and to voice your criticism, suggestions and ideas. To register, please send an email to . All details can be found here.