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Wikimedia UK Newsletter
February 2009 Issue
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Summary: The chapter is now up and running, and we have now opened our bank account. We have a new website, and are putting plans in place for the first Annual General Meeting. Meanwhile, February has seen the successful Wikipedia Loves Art at the Victoria and Albert Museum, bidding to host Wikimania 2010 has opened, and the Government's Intellectual Property consultation has closed. We also bring the regular news of meet-ups, and a new feature highlighting press coverage of Wikimedia in the UK.

In this month's newsletter:

  1. Chapter formation process
  2. Website
  3. Annual General Meeting
  4. Wikipedia Loves Art
  5. Oxford Wikimania bid
  6. IP consultation
  7. Meet-ups
  8. News coverage

Chapter formation process

We now have a bank account with the Co-Operative Bank! We'll shortly be processing the membership applications and donations received so far, so if you want to be one of the first members of the chapters you need to get your applications in as soon as possible!


If you're reading this, then you'll notice that we have a new website,! The site's naturally a wiki, so every page is editable, although we will be protecting the pages that formally represent the chapter (e.g. the Main Page, the Memorandum of Association, etc.). Please, go forth and edit!

We're after administrators for the site to help maintain it - remove vandalism, block troublesome users, edit protected pages, etc. If you'd be interested in helping your chapter this way, then please let us know.

Annual General Meeting

Now we have our bank account, we can finally pin down a date for the AGM. This will be discussed at the next board meeting, on the 2nd of March, and on the mailing list over the following week.

Wikipedia Loves Art

The Wikipedia Loves Art photography contest has been running all this month at fifteen museums globally, including at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The launch event on Sunday 1st February saw at least 30 people come along to the museum, who laid out refreshments, cameras to lend, computers for uploading photos and staff on hand to help. The following Sunday saw the regular "second Sunday" London meet-up relocate to the museum, and half a dozen more people showed up then. So far over 3,000 images have been uploaded to the flickr group, including over 200 from the V&A. You only have a few days left until the end of February to take pictures and upload them - so keep snapping to be in with a chance of winning one of the prizes on offer!

Oxford Wikimania bid

User:Seddon has been continuing his work on the Wikimania bid. However, for it to have a chance of success he needs to be able to demonstrate to the judges that he has a committed team. Thus if you want Wikimania in the UK, now is the time to really get involved.

IP consultation

Earlier this month we submitted a document to the government (available here) in response to their request for comment on an IPO "Issues Paper". In our response we focused on the issue of the copyright status of photographs of public domain works. Currently in the UK anyone who takes a photograph of a public domain painting (for example) holds copyright over that photograph, which means, for example, that when scanned post-cards of paintings are uploaded to Wikipedia, Wikimedia is taking a legal risk. We argued that such photographs do not meet the standards of originality necessary for a work to be copyrightable.

The deadline for submissions has been extended, so we have not heard back from the IPO as yet, however we are optimistic that we will be invited to discuss these issues further with them in the summer.


The London February meet-up relocated to the Victoria & Albert museum to take part in the Wikipedia Loves Art photography contest (see above). We will return to the Penderel's Oak on 8th March. Meetups are also planned over on 28th February in Cambridge and in the next couple of months in Manchester and Birmingham.

News coverage

The possible implementation of flagged revisions on the English language Wikipedia has been in the news in the UK, and we've been providing accurate information. Mike Peel was interviewed by BBC Radio Wales' "mousemat", who put together an informative feature. Meanwhile, David Gerard spoke to the Daily Mail about some vandalism to the article on Alan Titchmarsh.[1]

Other stories this month have included a piece in the Sunday Times based on an interview with Jimmy Wales, in which Giles Hattersley claimed that his Wikipedia article had contained several errors[2] - but the Daily Telegraph noted that Hattersley has no Wikipedia article.[3] Reuters reported on a Conservative Party official altering a Wikipedia article in an attempt to support a claim made by David Cameron.[4] The Independent published a article critical of Wikipedia,[5] but David Mitchell, writing in The Observer, thinks that Wikipedia is "brilliant".[6]


  1. Rebecca Camber and Claire Bates, "Alan Titchmarsh insists he's not a sex guru after web pranksters sabotage his Wikipedia entry", Daily Mail, 30 January 2009
  2. Giles Hattersley, "Wikipedia bolts its open door", The Times, 8 February 2009
  3. Shane Richmond, "Giles Hattersley admits Wikipedia error",
  4. Tim Castle, "British lawmaker apologizes for Wikipedia tampering", Reuters UK, 12 February 2009
  5. Stephen Foley, "So is Wikipedia cracking up?", The Independent, 3 February 2009
  6. David Mitchell, "Twitter ye not - I adore Wikipedia", The Observer, 22 February 2009