On last January we celebrated the 10th Wikipedia birthday. It’s probably one of the most celeb collaborative projects and the best sample of what a community collaborative work can create. And it all happened in just ten years.
Shortly after we attended to a great presentation with Miguel Vidal, and Felipe Ortega (you can review this talk in the MSWL blip.tv channel, along with a lot of another interesting Libre Software videos)
In the last weeks I have been reading in international press about a shocking initiative started by Wikimedia Germany, as a part of the birthday celebrations: Wikipedia applying to be the first digital site which joins the UNESCO World Heritage listings.
Their main fact: UNESCO protects the World Heritage Sites around the world. But what about the brand new digital world? Shouldn’t UNESCO protect the whole human knowledge exchange (unique in the history of the civilization) and the global open access to it?
Being realistic, it’s hard that the UNESCO consider the Wikimedia request because applicants have to fullfit very strict requirements. For example, only countries can promote a Heritage listing request. Of course, no country owns Wikipedia. It belongs to all the anonymous users that have contributed to make it grow; it doesn’t even belong to Wikimedia Foundation, which only have rights over the trademark. Any country could offer itself as the petition sponsor? Even then, will be Wikipedia able to get UNESCO appreciation? And (most important) people appreciation?
Will you sign the petition? As Jimmy Wales states, Wikipedia is not technology, it’s culture. I believe in free knowledge and I think it is very important keeping it alive. So, I have already signed it!