Sofia 1000, 4 Triaditsa Str., fl. 2
phone: (+359 2) 981 1301, 980 4457
fax: (+359 2) 980 6889
Dear ladies and gentlemen!
As an editor of the Bulgarian version of Wikipedia, I address you with a request, that you may find unusual. I would like to ask you to make Wikipedia a present – a small but sincere one – on the occasion of its sixth anniversary on December 6, 2009. I believe that it is well within the reach of Register.BG to meet this wish!
As you may know, on November 9, 2009, the 10th jubilee edition of the “BG Site” competition was held, and then the Bulgarian version of Wikipedia was awarded the special prize for contribution to Bulgarian web space . This award is an acknowledgment to the hundreds and thousands registered and anonymous Bulgarians, who have contributed on a voluntary and unpaid basis in the last six years, devoting their time and resources to share their knowledge and competences and thus conduce to the development of the online encyclopedic content in Bulgarian language.
As you may know, Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites of today, having become increasingly often the start point for people, who are searching for information over the Internet. For the nine years since its establishment, Wikipedia has become the most extensive freely accessible informational resource and the largest initiative under free license – a global enterprise that currently finds expression in more than 14 million articles in more than 250 languages and dialects around the world . On a global scale, according to the web popularity statistics of Alexa.com dated November 19, 2009, the website of Wikipedia ranks sixth and it is the only one among the top ten websites over the Internet, managed by a non-profit organisation, and containing no advertisement areas. As of the same date, the Bulgarian version of Wikipedia occupies ninth position in the web popularity rankings within Bulgarian web space.
On this somehow idyllic background, however, there is one regrettable misunderstanding, which Register.BG has been obviously misled to allow, but one which is only a matter of your good will to amend.
As you may know, on March 12, 2008, a physical person named Dobromir Dobrev has registered in Register.BG the http://wikipedia.bg domain, on the basis of an partnership, established according to the Law on Obligations and Contracts (acronym in Bulgarian: DZZD), named „Wikipedia DZZD” . At present, the domain is used exclusively for advertising, which derogates from the reputation of the US Wikimedia Foundation, and the Bulgarian version of Wikipedia in particular, since it compromises the Foundation and its editors and followers, with their declared values and policies against the commercialization of Wikipedia and its sister projects . The use of the name and the domain registration further violate the rights of the Wikimedia Foundation, which has registered the international trademark of “Wikipedia”, protected on the territory of the European Union and Bulgaria .
In Bulgaria, the sole local juridical person, that may possibly exercise some rights over this trademark, would only be a legitimate association of Bulgarian Wikipedians, endorsed by the Wikimedia Foundation, and for the time being such an association has not been established. The procedure for establishment of such a legitimate association (also known as Chapter) is described in detail on the pages of the Wikimedian community project Meta  some of the clauses being the stringent requirement for the person’s name: “Wikimedia Bulgaria”, participation of at least 10-20 Wikipedians, preparation of a bylaws proposal, and approval of this bylaws proposal by representatives of the Wikimedia Foundation. However, this procedure has been evidently  disregarded by D. Dobrev for the establishment of his DZZD, that was used as an argument for claiming rights over the domain name in his application in front of Register.BG.
With respect to these circumstances, the case of „wikipedia.bg” may be qualified without exaggeration as an act of cybersquatting with advertising purposes, which is remarkably arrogant, having in mind the guiding principles of Wikipedia’s managerial body and community against advertisement and commercialisation of the website content. Even if this commercial parasitism on Wikipedia was ignored, using the „wikipedia.bg” domain in any other way but redirecting to the homepage of the Bulgarian Wikipedia, spreads confusion, due to the intuitive proximity of both web addresses, and quite a few examples for such confusions can be given . There are also numerous contrary examples with analogous top-level country domains http://wikipedia.*, which correctly redirect to the respective language versions of Wikipedia . I believe, that it is in the interest of Bulgarian web users to have http://wikipedia.bg redirecting to the official homepage of the Bulgarian Wikipedia http://bg.wikipedia.org, rather than exhibiting some misleading advertising content.
I hope that all of the presented arguments provide good enough reason for the management board of Register.BG to self initiate reconsidering reconsidering the misunderstanding with the registration of the „wikipedia.bg” domain. I am aware that the usual procedure for such cases is inducing an arbitration, yet the clearness and social significance of the case, on one side, and the lack of an organisation appointed by the Wikipedian community for protection of its interests, on the other side, makes it a matter of solidarity and responsible conduct for Register.BG to take stand on this case proactively and pro bono, on the voluntary principle, on which Wikipedia is functioning by itself. For us, a positive outcome of this problem would be redirecting the http://wikipedia.bg domain to the homepage of Bulgarian Wikipedia http://bg.wikipedia.org.
Thank you in advance for your attention and understanding! I believe that Register.BG will do homage to the people, who have kindly contributed for the last six years to the creation and improvement of the Bulgarian Wikipedia, and thus to the whole Bulgarian web space. Should you need any further information, please, do not hesitate to contact me.
< your name >
Please, make sure that you reply to this e-mail on the address of Bulgarian Wikipedia’s mailing list: email@example.com
- ↑ http://bgsite.org/?page=win Special awards of the Expert Committee of BG Site 2009 Competition
- ↑ http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=List_of_Wikipedias&oldid=1728746 : 14,366,765 articles, as of November 19, 2009
- ↑ http://who.is/whois/wikipedia.bg/ (as of November 19, 2009)
- ↑ For instance statements like „The job of the Wikimedia Foundation is to provide easy access to information for people all over the world—free of charge and free of advertising.”, „We don’t sell information and we don’t accept advertising.”, „We are not considering advertising as a source of revenue.” from http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/FAQ_2009
- ↑ http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=78483359 Registration Number: 3040722, Mark: Wikipedia
- ↑ http://oami.europa.eu/CTMOnline/RequestManager/en_Detail_NoReg, Trade mark No: 000839132, Trade mark name: Wikipedia
- ↑ http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Step-by-step_chapter_creation_guide&oldid=1423576 (as of March 13, 2009)
- ↑ http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Requirements_for_future_chapters&oldid=1569292 (as of July 25, 2009)
- ↑ http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikimedia_chapters&oldid=1724763 (as of November 17, 2009)
- ↑ http://wikimediafoundation.org/w/index.php?title=Local_chapters&oldid=42018 (as of November 11, 2009)
- ↑ Three examples of the usage of „wikipedia.bg” or „уикипедия.бг”: http://www.muiiio.com/2008/09/26/245 , http://nabludatel.blogspot.com/2007/04/blog-post_02.html , http://www.capital.bg/showblog.php?storyid=274124
- ↑ Examples for analogues to “wikipedia.bg”, functioning as redirects to the official homepages of the local language versions of Wikipedia: http://wikipedia.am, http://wikipedia.ba, http://wikipedia.be, http://wikipedia.cz, http://wikipedia.dk, http://wikipedia.fi, http://wikipedia.hu , http://wikipedia.ie, http://wikipedia.ir, http://wikipedia.it, http://wikipedia.jp , http://wikipedia.lt, http://wikipedia.lu, http://wikipedia.nl, http://wikipedia.no, http://wikipedia.pl, http://wikipedia.ro, http://wikipedia.se, http://wikipedia.si, http://wikipedia.sk, http://wikipedia.tw, http://wikipedia.us. Examples of analogues to “wikipedia.bg”, functioning as webpages of chapters of the local Wikipedian communities: http://wikipedia.at/, http://wikipedia.ch, http://wikipedia.de , http://wikipedia.eu, http://wikipedia.fr.