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February 21, 2014, Moscow — Wikimedia RU and Echo of Moscow radio station announce start of the WikiVoices project, aimed to record, select and store samples of voices of notable people.
The voice samples will be published by Echo of Moscow under a free license, in a free audio format. It will be both recordings created for the project and snippets from interviews from the studio's archive. Then the samples will be put into the Wikimedia repositories. Then wikimedians will systematize and catalogize them. Links to the samples will be inserted into respective Wikimedia articles.
Vladimir Medeyko, Wikimedia RU Director: "The aim of the project is to distribute a knowledge about culture, inluding that of Russia. Therefore, the samples of voices are provided under a free license, that allows everyone to use them in their works. The samples are recorded in a high studio quality, and the most interesting ones are selected. Also, links to the recordings will be available from the respective Wikipedia articles, that makes search of the sample easier. Considering our positive experience with photos (many reusers publish Wikimedia images), we hope that many people will learn the voices of famous persons."
More than a dozen voices are already published, including those of: Alexander Schirvindt, screen and stage actor; Valentina Matviyenko, Chairman of the Federation Council of the Russia; Leonid Roshal, noted pediatrician from Moscow; Yury Skuratov, former Prosecutor General of Russia; and Viktor Sadovnichiy, rector of Moscow State University.
The project resembles WikiVIP (invented in the UK). For this project, BBC provided more than two hundreds samples of voices, including Charles Duke, lunar module pilot, who spent on the Moon for almost three days; Benedict Cumberbatch, actor; Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the democratic opposition in Burma; Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web and a head of W3C; and Stephen Fry, English actor, writer and playwright.
Stanislav Kozlovskiy, Wikimedia RU Executive director: "The idea to include voice samples into an encyclopedia has a long history. For example, in the 1970s one of the volumes of the Large Soviet Encyclopedia contained a flexible shellac with the recordings of Lenins's speeches. Earlier this year an English WikiVIP (Voice intro Project) started to actively develop. Voices of famous people were being recorded for this project. We decided to make a somewhat similar project in Russia. We managed to make an agreement with Echo of Moscow concerning the WikiVoices project. I suppose, it's a very important project. Now we can keep for the history not only the appearance of famous people, but their voices as well."
Other media archives and everyone else are invited. It's possible both as a joint project with Wikimedia RU, or may be done independently - just get a sample of a famous person's (who Wikipedia contains article about) voice, obtain the permission to distribute it under a free license, and upload it to Wikimedia Commons - like many other independent Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch and Polish editors done, inspired by WikiVIP.
Wikimedia RU is a non-commercial partnership of promotion of distribution of encyclopedic knowledge, a legally independet organization, created to assist development in Russia of projects devoted to creation and distribution of free-for-use encyclopedic, educational and similar information, reflecting sum of the human knowledge. Primarily it supports and develops Wikimedia projects, including Wikipedia.
Echo of Moscow is one of the leading information and discussions radio stations, broadcasting 24h per day. Alexey Venediktov is a co-founder and the Main editor of the station.
- https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Echo_of_Moscow_media_project/en — WikiVoices project home page
- http://wikimedia.ru — Wikimedia RU site
- http://echo.msk.ru — Echo of Moscow site