The Wikimedia Foundation doesn’t manage the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia and its other projects on its own. It is helped by independent organisations of active users grouped by country called Wikimedia “chapters”. Until recently Belgium was missing from the network of national Wikimedia groups in Western Europe. But 2 weeks ago that gap was filled, reveals Friday’s edition of L’Echo.
Wikimedia Belgium was created as a non-profit association based in Rue du Trône in Ixelles, and fully acknowledged by The Wikimedia Foundation. Its 8 founding members will present their “baby” to the Speaker of Parliament in mid-November.
Wikimedia chapters take on the marketing of various projects, bring local support to the free knowledge movement by lobbying politicians, museums, libraries and other institutions, and organise workshops to train future contributors, amongst other things. The new Belgian unit in particular will have an important role to play because European institutions are based in Belgium. Moreover, the free knowledge movement, advocated by the association, clashes with certain perceptions of the concept of copyright.