[Wikimedia-l] WaPo Wikipedia's 'complicated; relationship with net neutrality

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WaPo Wikipedia's 'complicated; relationship with net neutrality

Mike Godwin-2
Jens writes:


On Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 11:35 PM, Jens Best <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Common access to streets and to public libraries are a cornerstone for
> a free society therefore Telecoms which agreed on giving Wikipedia
> zero-rated status should be welcoming by add more free content (like
> e.g. the video-libraries of great universities) to their offer.

I agree. But I think it is not part of the mission of Wikipedia to try
to compel telecom companies to do this with regard to resources we
don't produce. Not even Creative Commons tries to do that, so far as I
know.

> An access provider (e.g. Orange) which only shows interest in our
> brand product Wikipedia most probably isn’t really interested in
> giving Free Knowledge to the people and therefore shouldn’t partnering
> with us.

Why do we need to inspect their motives if the result is that more
people have more access to the free knowledge and other resources we
provide? Especially if the alternative--refusing to partner with
them--will likely result in citizens in the developing world having
less access than you and I do, perhaps for the rest of this century?

> It should be the focus of the well-paid people at the WMF to change
> the approach on contract-making according to the Public Free Knowledge
> approach and so proving that Wikipedia isn’t just a mountain which
> doesn’t care about its surrounding but a powerful player who is
> interested not only in its own brand, but in the global access to free
> knowledge.

I think the focus of people at WMF should be on getting as much free
knowledge distributed, at as low a cost as possible, to everyone in
the developing world and elsewhere. I know that this is considered a
hopelessly primitive notion, but I'm stuck with thinking that
near-term access to free knowledge for a developing-world citizen in
her 20s is more important than refusal to engage in compromise without
which she may not get such unfettered access until she's in her 70s.
If ever.

WMF is not fundamentally a policy organization, although it does
engage in policy from time to time as required by external events.
Network neutrality has its own advocates independent of WMF. Let's let
them do their job, and let's try to do ours. And, as I pointed out,
Wikipedia Zero may actually result in the kind of demand that requires
mobile providers to build out their capacity enough to free users from
restrictive data plans.

This of course is a prerequisite for net neutrality to work in a
developing country.


--Mike

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WaPo Wikipedia's 'complicated; relationship with net neutrality

Erik Moeller-4
In reply to this post by Jens Best
On Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 8:35 PM, Jens Best <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Wikipedia Zero should be newly framed as a leading example of Public
> Free Knowledge.

Hey Jens,

I think your line of argument here is reasonable, and we are generally
thinking in the direction of how Wikipedia can be part of a broader
coalition dedicated to free access to knowledge. Wikipedia Zero
started off as an experiment to bring Wikipedia to millions of people
who could otherwise not afford it. But now we should think (and are
thinking) about the kind of coalition we want to create to bring free
knowledge to every person on the planet, rather than primarily
advocating for free access to Wikipedia.

I'd be indeed curious about your thoughts on how to define Public Free
Knowledge. IMO the licensing status of the material ought to play some
role in defining what kinds of resources should be made freely
available in this manner. I don't know that this should be an
absolutely non-negotiable criterion (even Wikimedia makes exceptions),
but it should count for something.

Freely licensed material (in a manner compatible with the Definition
of Free Cultural Works or the Open Knowledge Definition) is not tied
to a specific website and host; the ability to fork free knowledge is
a fundamental protection against the misuse of power. Moreover, if
society creates a social contract that freely licensed and public
domain information should be available free of charge, this creates
further incentives to contribute to a true commons. It protects our
heritage and reminds us to expand it. This is a position entirely
consistent with our mission, as well.

I agree with Mike that WMF needs to take a practical stance to bring
free knowledge to the largest number of people, and we need not
apologize for Wikipedia Zero -- it's a program that serves the
organization's mission well. But entirely practically speaking,
building a greater coalition in support of access to knowledge could
serve the mission to an even greater extent, if we manage to pull it
off.

Imagine a world where you can take a smartphone or tablet without a
contract and immediately connect to an ever-growing library of free
knowledge, without charge. I couldn't think of a better 21st century
equivalent to the foundation of public libraries, and frankly of a
better way to even the odds for the survival of our species.

Erik

--
Erik Möller
VP of Product & Strategy, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WaPo Wikipedia's 'complicated; relationship with net neutrality

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
When you consider that Wikipedia is the most used source of information in
the countires where ebola is rife, it makes these countries particularly
important to have Wikipedia zero. They are.

There is no way we should underestimate the importance of Wikipedia zero.
It effectively saves lives.
Thanks,
       GerardM

On 9 December 2014 at 07:28, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 8:35 PM, Jens Best <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Wikipedia Zero should be newly framed as a leading example of Public
> > Free Knowledge.
>
> Hey Jens,
>
> I think your line of argument here is reasonable, and we are generally
> thinking in the direction of how Wikipedia can be part of a broader
> coalition dedicated to free access to knowledge. Wikipedia Zero
> started off as an experiment to bring Wikipedia to millions of people
> who could otherwise not afford it. But now we should think (and are
> thinking) about the kind of coalition we want to create to bring free
> knowledge to every person on the planet, rather than primarily
> advocating for free access to Wikipedia.
>
> I'd be indeed curious about your thoughts on how to define Public Free
> Knowledge. IMO the licensing status of the material ought to play some
> role in defining what kinds of resources should be made freely
> available in this manner. I don't know that this should be an
> absolutely non-negotiable criterion (even Wikimedia makes exceptions),
> but it should count for something.
>
> Freely licensed material (in a manner compatible with the Definition
> of Free Cultural Works or the Open Knowledge Definition) is not tied
> to a specific website and host; the ability to fork free knowledge is
> a fundamental protection against the misuse of power. Moreover, if
> society creates a social contract that freely licensed and public
> domain information should be available free of charge, this creates
> further incentives to contribute to a true commons. It protects our
> heritage and reminds us to expand it. This is a position entirely
> consistent with our mission, as well.
>
> I agree with Mike that WMF needs to take a practical stance to bring
> free knowledge to the largest number of people, and we need not
> apologize for Wikipedia Zero -- it's a program that serves the
> organization's mission well. But entirely practically speaking,
> building a greater coalition in support of access to knowledge could
> serve the mission to an even greater extent, if we manage to pull it
> off.
>
> Imagine a world where you can take a smartphone or tablet without a
> contract and immediately connect to an ever-growing library of free
> knowledge, without charge. I couldn't think of a better 21st century
> equivalent to the foundation of public libraries, and frankly of a
> better way to even the odds for the survival of our species.
>
> Erik
>
> --
> Erik Möller
> VP of Product & Strategy, Wikimedia Foundation
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WaPo Wikipedia's 'complicated; relationship with net neutrality

Jens Best
Hi Eric,

your last line expresses a direction which would enhance the spirit of the
movement in an appropiate way. Let me repeat it: "Imagine a world where you
can take a smartphone or tablet without a contract and immediately connect
to an ever-growing library of free knowledge, without charge."

THIS is a great punchline, a good next big target which could put Wikimedia
in the middle of a stronger and broader global movement. Free Public
Knowledge is also great when you think of the goals of Wikidata -
structured data connected to empower knowledge enabler and facilitators of
Free Education around the world with good data and informations. Free
Public Knowledge is putting the beacon named Wikipedia in front of a great
campaign which would reach out far beyond being the greatest encyclopedia
ever.

It is clear by now that imho it would also help to make something better
out of the flaw which Wikipedia Zero is right now when it comes to net
neutrality. (I'm still a little bit irritated by your rhetoric trickery,
Mike, when calling the usual and established understanding of net
neutrality repeatedly "absolutist". This cheap rhetorical maneuver doesn't
fit you.) It would be good for WMF to admit that with the best intentions a
mistake was made which scale wasn't really thought through before.

Wikipedia Zero is still primarily a marketing stunt for mobile providers
(e.g. Orange) which build up on the great trust in the name "Wikipedia".
Data is data, no user is thinking in terms like "good cause data" and "pure
commercial data" - and this kind of familiarization with data on different
rates (incl. zero rate) is what the mobile providers count on. I consider
activists for other aspects of a free and open web partners in crime and
not some other unrelated guys whose cause I'm willing to trade cheap when
it fits the selfish interests of my brand.

But, as mentioned, there is no sense in looking the stable door after the
horse has bolted - so let's think forward by reflecting activity-oriented
on putting Wikimedia in the middle of a broader movement for all Free
Public Knowledge and reduce ill-concieved partnerships with commercial
players on the way.

best regards

Jens Best

PS: Eric, gimme a moment (aka another later mail) to write about draft of
the definition of Free Public Knowledge (especially from the point of view
of our movement).

@GerardM
I don't wanna narrow your joy about WP0, but the thing with saving
lifes/protecting against ebola is that in neither[1] of the countries (Liberia,
Sierra Leone and Guinea) mentioned by James Heilman Wikipedia Zero is
active. So there is no proof that it wins laurels for that.

[1] according to http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Mobile_partnerships

2014-12-09 8:25 GMT+01:00 Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]>:

> Hoi,
> When you consider that Wikipedia is the most used source of information in
> the countires where ebola is rife, it makes these countries particularly
> important to have Wikipedia zero. They are.
>
> There is no way we should underestimate the importance of Wikipedia zero.
> It effectively saves lives.
> Thanks,
>        GerardM
>
> On 9 December 2014 at 07:28, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > On Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 8:35 PM, Jens Best <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> >
> > > Wikipedia Zero should be newly framed as a leading example of Public
> > > Free Knowledge.
> >
> > Hey Jens,
> >
> > I think your line of argument here is reasonable, and we are generally
> > thinking in the direction of how Wikipedia can be part of a broader
> > coalition dedicated to free access to knowledge. Wikipedia Zero
> > started off as an experiment to bring Wikipedia to millions of people
> > who could otherwise not afford it. But now we should think (and are
> > thinking) about the kind of coalition we want to create to bring free
> > knowledge to every person on the planet, rather than primarily
> > advocating for free access to Wikipedia.
> >
> > I'd be indeed curious about your thoughts on how to define Public Free
> > Knowledge. IMO the licensing status of the material ought to play some
> > role in defining what kinds of resources should be made freely
> > available in this manner. I don't know that this should be an
> > absolutely non-negotiable criterion (even Wikimedia makes exceptions),
> > but it should count for something.
> >
> > Freely licensed material (in a manner compatible with the Definition
> > of Free Cultural Works or the Open Knowledge Definition) is not tied
> > to a specific website and host; the ability to fork free knowledge is
> > a fundamental protection against the misuse of power. Moreover, if
> > society creates a social contract that freely licensed and public
> > domain information should be available free of charge, this creates
> > further incentives to contribute to a true commons. It protects our
> > heritage and reminds us to expand it. This is a position entirely
> > consistent with our mission, as well.
> >
> > I agree with Mike that WMF needs to take a practical stance to bring
> > free knowledge to the largest number of people, and we need not
> > apologize for Wikipedia Zero -- it's a program that serves the
> > organization's mission well. But entirely practically speaking,
> > building a greater coalition in support of access to knowledge could
> > serve the mission to an even greater extent, if we manage to pull it
> > off.
> >
> > Imagine a world where you can take a smartphone or tablet without a
> > contract and immediately connect to an ever-growing library of free
> > knowledge, without charge. I couldn't think of a better 21st century
> > equivalent to the foundation of public libraries, and frankly of a
> > better way to even the odds for the survival of our species.
> >
> > Erik
> >
> > --
> > Erik Möller
> > VP of Product & Strategy, Wikimedia Foundation
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
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> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WaPo Wikipedia's 'complicated; relationship with net neutrality

Mike Godwin-2
In reply to this post by Kim Bruning
Jens writes:

> (I'm still a little bit irritated by your rhetoric trickery,
> Mike, when calling the usual and established understanding of net
> neutrality repeatedly "absolutist". This cheap rhetorical maneuver doesn't
> fit you.)

I suppose at this point I could declare that its "rhetorical
trickery," Jens, for you to declare my honest expression of my opinion
regarding network neutrality to be "rhetorical trickery." (It's
actually a reflection of discussions I had with my colleagues at the
Internet Governance Forum in Istanbul earlier this year.)

I frankly don't see why you need to understand my beliefs regarding
network neutrality as "cheap rhetorical maneuver" when in fact there
has always been variation among net-neutrality activists as to what
"network neutrality" might mean. I've been writing about the subject
for eight years now, and my writing on the issue is publicly
available. In general, a "cheap" maneuver is one that takes little
investment, and I've clearly invested more than most people. As for
"trickery," it hardly seems to me to be a trick when I'm not
concealing anything.

I want to suggest that if your first impulse is to criticize my
motives rather than to Assume Good Faith, you may want to consider
that I get nothing personally out of (a) advocating Wikipedia Zero, an
initiative that post-dates my tenure as WMF staff, or (b) talking
about network neutrality in a way that recognizes the particular
issues that mobile platform providers invoke.

As I pointed have pointed out, we *already* qualify network neutrality
with exceptions. These exceptions have not been ones you've noticed
before now, as far as i know. Should Wikipedia Zero be an exception? I
think so, for the reasons I've stated, as well as for the general
proposition that people in developing nations need unfettered access
to Wikipedia content now, and should not have to wait until the
Promised Land of generally unmetered access to mobile platforms is
created (which may not occur in our lifetimes).

>It would be good for WMF to admit that with the best intentions a
> mistake was made which scale wasn't really thought through before.

It would be better if one didn't begin with the assumption that no one
at WMF thought hard about these issues before Wikipedia Zero was
launched. And still better, in terms of effective persuasion, if you
didn't begin by assuming bad faith (e.g., "rhetorical trickery" on the
part of those who disagree with you. After all, I don't assume bad
faith on your part.
.


--Mike

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WaPo Wikipedia's 'complicated; relationship with net neutrality

Mike Godwin-2
In reply to this post by Kim Bruning
+1
I agree entirely with every word of Erik's response here.


--Mike


> Message: 2
> Date: Mon, 8 Dec 2014 22:28:37 -0800
> From: Erik Moeller <[hidden email]>
> To: Wikimedia Mailing List <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] WaPo Wikipedia's 'complicated; relationship
>         with net neutrality
> Message-ID:
>         <CAEg6ZHmwuejO-F3t+1aAMuBpk98FvEBskRyw4sE2QCJGqo8=[hidden email]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>
> On Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 8:35 PM, Jens Best <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Wikipedia Zero should be newly framed as a leading example of Public
>> Free Knowledge.
>
> Hey Jens,
>
> I think your line of argument here is reasonable, and we are generally
> thinking in the direction of how Wikipedia can be part of a broader
> coalition dedicated to free access to knowledge. Wikipedia Zero
> started off as an experiment to bring Wikipedia to millions of people
> who could otherwise not afford it. But now we should think (and are
> thinking) about the kind of coalition we want to create to bring free
> knowledge to every person on the planet, rather than primarily
> advocating for free access to Wikipedia.
>
> I'd be indeed curious about your thoughts on how to define Public Free
> Knowledge. IMO the licensing status of the material ought to play some
> role in defining what kinds of resources should be made freely
> available in this manner. I don't know that this should be an
> absolutely non-negotiable criterion (even Wikimedia makes exceptions),
> but it should count for something.
>
> Freely licensed material (in a manner compatible with the Definition
> of Free Cultural Works or the Open Knowledge Definition) is not tied
> to a specific website and host; the ability to fork free knowledge is
> a fundamental protection against the misuse of power. Moreover, if
> society creates a social contract that freely licensed and public
> domain information should be available free of charge, this creates
> further incentives to contribute to a true commons. It protects our
> heritage and reminds us to expand it. This is a position entirely
> consistent with our mission, as well.
>
> I agree with Mike that WMF needs to take a practical stance to bring
> free knowledge to the largest number of people, and we need not
> apologize for Wikipedia Zero -- it's a program that serves the
> organization's mission well. But entirely practically speaking,
> building a greater coalition in support of access to knowledge could
> serve the mission to an even greater extent, if we manage to pull it
> off.
>
> Imagine a world where you can take a smartphone or tablet without a
> contract and immediately connect to an ever-growing library of free
> knowledge, without charge. I couldn't think of a better 21st century
> equivalent to the foundation of public libraries, and frankly of a
> better way to even the odds for the survival of our species.
>
> Erik
>
> --
> Erik Möller
> VP of Product & Strategy, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WaPo Wikipedia's 'complicated; relationship with net neutrality

Marc-Andre
In reply to this post by Jens Best
On 14-12-09 08:45 AM, Jens Best wrote:
> when calling the usual and established understanding of net
> neutrality repeatedly "absolutist".

Except that it is.  At its heart, "net neutrality" demands that there be
no QoS or pricing difference to 'net access depending on the endpoint.
That is, fundamentally, an absolutist view.

As I've said elsewhere, it's percieved as desirable by many
first-worlders because we equate that as "everything is equally
inexpensive" to level the playing field.

Except that for the vast majority of the world's population, it means
"everything is equally expensive and unafordable".

If we fail to understand the necessity to make exceptions or the
desirability of making Free Knowledge /effectively/ available to the
world then it *is* an absolutist stance.

-- Marc


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WaPo Wikipedia's 'complicated; relationship with net neutrality

David Gerard-2
On 9 December 2014 at 20:35, Marc A. Pelletier <[hidden email]> wrote:

> As I've said elsewhere, it's percieved as desirable by many first-worlders
> because we equate that as "everything is equally inexpensive" to level the
> playing field.
> Except that for the vast majority of the world's population, it means
> "everything is equally expensive and unafordable".


You may well have nailed the two-liner of why Wikipedia Zero is a good idea.


> If we fail to understand the necessity to make exceptions or the
> desirability of making Free Knowledge /effectively/ available to the world
> then it *is* an absolutist stance.


Rather, not *our* absolutism.


- d.

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[Wikimedia-l] Bharti Airtel to charge for using VOIP services Re: WaPo Wikipedia's 'complicated; relationship with net neutrality

Kim Bruning
In reply to this post by Kim Bruning

Net Neutrality issues cropping up in india now, VOIP providers are first to be targeted..

        http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/12/24/bharti-airtel-rates-idINKBN0K20SU20141224

If they can charge for VOIP or for other things, it means there is also nothing stopping providers
in India from charging for wikipedia either. The reason they haven't done it yet, is just because
they haven't thought of it yet.

Due to our current activities in India, we may be in a bit of a tricky situation trying to prevent
afforementioned scenario.

We'll have to see how this progresses in practice.

sincerely,
        Kim

On Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 10:07:02PM +0100, Kim Bruning wrote:

>
> Washington post article
> http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/11/25/wikipedias-complicated-relationship-with-net-neutrality/
>
> sincerely,
> Kim
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Bharti Airtel to charge for using VOIP services Re: WaPo Wikipedia's 'complicated; relationship with net neutrality

Karthik Nadar-2
Hi Kim,

Ofcos I see there are many reasons which prompted them to make this move.
Firstly and majorly been that they have lost their earning in calls and
traditional SMSes because of VoIP and messaging applications like whatsapp.

​Not sure for now if they will end up charging additionally for Wikipedia,
​ as it in now way impacts their business.



Regards from Mumbai,
Karthik Nadar.

On Sat, Dec 27, 2014 at 2:46 PM, Kim Bruning <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Net Neutrality issues cropping up in india now, VOIP providers are first
> to be targeted..
>
>
> http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/12/24/bharti-airtel-rates-idINKBN0K20SU20141224
>
> If they can charge for VOIP or for other things, it means there is also
> nothing stopping providers
> in India from charging for wikipedia either. The reason they haven't done
> it yet, is just because
> they haven't thought of it yet.
>
> Due to our current activities in India, we may be in a bit of a tricky
> situation trying to prevent
> afforementioned scenario.
>
> We'll have to see how this progresses in practice.
>
> sincerely,
>         Kim
>
> On Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 10:07:02PM +0100, Kim Bruning wrote:
> >
> > Washington post article
> >
> http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/11/25/wikipedias-complicated-relationship-with-net-neutrality/
> >
> > sincerely,
> >       Kim
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
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> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
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>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WaPo Wikipedia's 'complicated; relationship with net neutrality

Kim Bruning
In reply to this post by Kim Bruning


Found another article calling out Wikipedia. Are there also
articles praising us? :-)


        https://medium.com/backchannel/less-than-zero-199bcb05a868

I do think that wikipedia zero is useful in the short term. I'm
a bit worried about the long term though.

Question: How do you predict wikipedia zero's effect on the internet in
the long term? There are clearly going to be both positive and
negative effects. Denying either is silly. What can we do to
strengthen the positive effects, and how do we mitigate the
negative?

At what thresholds would wikipedia zero be stopped in some
country and at what thresholds promoted? Are there
documents/analysis online?

sincerely,
        Kim

On Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 10:07:02PM +0100, Kim Bruning wrote:

>
> Washington post article
> http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/11/25/wikipedias-complicated-relationship-with-net-neutrality/
>
> sincerely,
> Kim
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WaPo Wikipedia's 'complicated; relationship with net neutrality

Bjoern Hoehrmann
* Kim Bruning wrote:
>Found another article calling out Wikipedia. Are there also
>articles praising us? :-)
>
>
> https://medium.com/backchannel/less-than-zero-199bcb05a868

Quoting,

  Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Wikipedia become “the Internet” for
  the users of mobile data supported by “zero rating” plans, because
  accessing these services doesn’t cause users to hit the data caps
  applied by the carriers, and in many cases the plans don’t require
  the user to sign up for mobile data at all.

http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Wikipedia_Zero_Operating_Principles

  Wikipedia Zero cannot be sold as part of a bundle. Access to the
  Wikimedia sites through Wikipedia Zero cannot be sold through limited
  service bundles.

It seems pretty clear to me that users of Wikipedia Zero must pay a
non-trivial amount for "mobile data" above and beyond normal telephony
services, even if they only access "zero-rated services", otherwise it
is a limited service bundle which we are lead to believe is forbidden.

(It is also possible the intent of the requirement above is that it is
entirely okay to "sell Wikipedia Zero" through limited service bundles
so long as an operator does not offer even more limited services; in
that case the phrasing is grossly misleading.)

I assume the Foundation closely monitors offerings of operators it has
made an agreement with to ensure access to Wikipedia Zero is never sold
as part of a limited service bundle. Could the relevant records please
be released?
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