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Directory:Wikipedialogs.com

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Wikipedialogs.com was a site dedicated to publishing IRC logs of official Wikimedia Foundation IRC channels. The site was closed after a legal threat from the Foundation, and technical difficulties. Despite the legal threat, the domain name was retained by the original owner until it expired December 10, 2015.

Wikimedia Foundation and IRC

The Wikimedia Foundation prohibits publishing logs of most of their IRC channels, except for a very few that are published by the Foundation including "Office Hours" IRC logs. The owner of Wikipedialogs.com feels that this is contrary to Wikimedia Foundation's stated principles of transparency and openness, and the site was intended to help fulfill those principles by publishing these logs.

Former Wikipedia Foundation executive director Sue Gardner disagrees, claiming that IRC is an "ephemeral medium", and should not be logged, while referring to some of her own sexual comments on IRC as "an informal, jokey exchange". In a December 2014 Los Angeles Times op-ed, she quotes 9 year old emails, despite her assertion at Wikipedia that this is "not useful":[1]

 
 
I'm aware that this IRC exchange is being quoted, lately, in the context of an Arb Com case. I'm not that familiar with the case (nor do I feel I need to be), so I'll limit myself to a general comment about the exchange. This was an informal jokey exchange on IRC among people who know each other well: Ironholds, Kat and I have all known each other for years, and we are friendly. That's the context. A slightly broader point: IMO IRC is a medium that lends itself to, and is often used for, casual kibitzing -- it is essentially a social medium that provides a way for people to collapse physical distance and hang out together as though they were in the same room. In the same way that I don't think it would be useful to, years later, play back sections of a phone call or office water-cooler conversation, I also don't think it's useful to quote back sections of IRC dialogue. It's an ephemeral medium. Thanks Sue Gardner (talk) 16:31, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
 

 

Legal threat

The Foundation sent a legal threat to the owner, demanding the removal of the site, because of the use of their wordmark "Wikipedia" in the URL. They claim that the use of "Wikipedia" in the URL cultivates an apparent relationship between the two sites. The owner added a disclaimer to the sitenotice (a special page whose text is displayed on all pages), and the Foundation did not send any further legal threats.

Text of the legal threat

Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2013 20:09:06 -0700
Subject: Use of Wikipedia trademarks on wikipedialogs.com
From: TM Enforcement 
To: [REDACTED] @dildomail.com

To Shawn McNamara, the domain owner of Wikipedialogs,

We at the Wikimedia Foundation recently noticed that your website uses the
word mark, Wikipedia, in its URL. We’re delighted that you like the
Wikimedia projects as much as we do! However, it’s our duty here at the
Foundation to manage all trademarks of the Wikimedia projects in order to
protect the work and reputation of our community members. The word mark,
Wikipedia, happens to be one of the trademarks under our guardianship.

The Wikimedia Foundation and the community have worked hard to gain
worldwide recognition as the source of the largest collaborative
encyclopedia on the internet. As you know, volunteers put in countless
hours of effort to make Wikipedia what it is. Projects’ marks symbolize the
reputation and goodwill created by the efforts of our Foundation and
community more broadly. Because your site uses one of these marks, it could
easily confuse third-party viewers. As you can imagine, we come across
situations like this quite frequently. However, if we allow uses that could
be potentially confuse other viewers, we risk chipping away at the link
between our word mark and the work of the Wikimedia community.

We love your enthusiasm for the Wikipedia projects and your desire to get
involved in their development. But, due to the concerns mentioned above, we
must respectfully ask that you refrain from using our word mark to
cultivate an apparent relationship between our project and your site in the
absence of such official partnership. Please get back to us within 14 days
and let us know that you received this message by responding or emailing us
at tm_enforcement@wikimedia.org. If you have any questions or concerns
about what usages of the trademarks are acceptable, please contact us here
or by email.

Sincerely,

–
Stephen LaPorte
Legal Counsel
Wikimedia Foundation
149 New Montgomery Street, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
slaporte@wikimedia.org
415.839.6885 ext. 6793 (Office)
415.882.0495 (Fax)

Provenance

In 2011, Wikipedia banned a longtime contributor who had been collecting IRC logs over his several years of contributing to Wikipedia, and he published these in 2011. Wikipedialogs republished them in 2012, along with their own logs. Many Wikipedians were exposed as using abusive and misogynistic language, which proved embarrassing to them. Many Wikipedians deny the validity of the logs, but some of them have tacitly admitted to the accuracy of the logs by apologizing for things they said on IRC, and which were accurately represented by the logs.

See also

External links

  • wikipedialogs.com (now expired)