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Reports/Report 4

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Dear Wikimedia India Members and Community,

The highlights of Chapter Update for July 2011 are given below.

Membership update

The membership stands at 67 as on 7 Aug 2011. Few analytics of the data are given below.


Male membership is at 55 corresponding to 82% and Female membership is at 12 corresponding to 18%.

Geographic location

Maharashtra accounted for largest number of members at 26 followed by Karnataka at 20 and Kerala at 8.


Industry members are the highest at 23 followed by Student at 17 and Academia at 9. Others category has 18.

Preferred language as Editor

English at 54 corresponding to 90% stands first followed by Malayalam 11 and Hindi 6.

City/Language SIG

  • City/language subcommittee (for members only) did not receive a good response. Mumbai and Sanskrit communities showed some interest and had proposals for respective Chairs.
  • Chapter would like to clarify that SIGs are critical to promote wiki projects in their respective areas. SIG Chairs would work closely with Chapter EC in getting necessary support for the activities and they are expected to play a key role in india wide events like Wiki Conference India. As the membership base is low currently as per the analysis in the previous section, there could be some issues in forming a group of members interested in SIG, but we do hope that these SIGs will be strengthened in due course. Aditional clarity on role and responsibility will emerge as we work with these groups. Chapter encourages members to associate with one or more SIGs.

EC Elections

A committee called Nominations Committee consisting of Achal Prabhala, BalaSundara Raman Lakshmanan and Pradeep Mohandas is appointed to conduct EC elections. More details on the process and dates will be communicated shortly by them.


Wikimedia Chapter organised its first public event on 30 July 2011. The title of the event was Copyright and open licensing seminar. Sudhir Krishnaswamy, Pranesh Prakash and Dhanish covered the entire breadth and depth of Copyrights and licensing aspects.

Sudhir explained the abstracted Copyright as a way to regulate information flow. Reproduction of content without attribution is called as plagiarism. In academic world, reproduction of 5 word or more in sequence without acknowledgement of the original source will be termed plagiarism. In open communities like Wikimedia projects, social form of preventing plagiarism is practised. He highlighted that Art instruction rests on copying. To a question on whether Census map reuse in Wikimedia projects will violate copyright, he clarified that Copyright applies to works created by Government agencies, hence it is better to get approval from the relevant authorities. He shared his experience of how government denied reproduction of NSSO data after extensive analytics. He clarified that the material released by Press information or public relations department can be reproduced for journalistic purpose, but it does not mean that the material has become free of copyright.

Pranesh explained that Copyright originated when there was a need to control printed documents, but was expanded to included any content on any media subsequently. Copyright exceptions are provided to Libraries. He said copyrights are not infringed as per US Copyright act, when the material is copied for private study/use including research/criticism/review. He said that even Gazette of GOI is copyrighted and not availble electronically for public. He shared that Government authorities were planning to make the Gazette available electonically soon. He shared that with the availability of e-books, Libraries are also given special and limited licenses of copying when they lend the books to their customers (Harper Collins gives license to allow 27 copies). If the number of copies are used, library has to obtain additional licenses from the vendor as the material is DRM protected. He expressed his disappointment that GOI is planning to amend the copyright of photographs to the same terms as books in terms of aligning with WIPO expectations, although the move will not be beneficial for society at large.

Dhanish explained how creative commons allows the authors to license their works as desired. So instead of "All rights reserved", it becomes "Some rights reserved". Wikimedia projects follow CC-BY-SA along with GFDL license for the content.

Chapter thanks Centre for Internet and Society for sponsoring this event.

Look forward to your continued support.