Re: [Wikimedia-l] Russian Wikipedia goes on strike

2012-07-12 Thread Mike Godwin
Anthony writes:

I wonder if the WMF will shut down in protest should one of the
proposals to amend the constitution to overturn Citizens United gain
traction in Congress.

I'm not speaking for WMF, but I don't see the connection here.
Wikimedia Foundation, as a corporation, is profoundly regulated in
what it can and cannot do politically, and is even more regulated by
virtue of its being a nonprofit corporation (NGO). There's no Citizens
United connection with regard to anything being discussed here.

As is generally known, I favored the English Wikipedia blackout with
regard to SOPA/PIPA, and I also supported the Italian Wikimedians'
earlier blackout, driven by fear of (effectively) similar regulation.

At the heart of the Wikipedia/Wikimedia projects' success is
democratic action, driven by those who are engaged in the process of
promoting, supporting, and maintaining these projects. So my instinct
is to believe, respect, and support the Russian-language Wikimedia
project activists' decision to demonstrate in an effective way that
what we all are working on here is under threat by ill-considered
legislation by legacy governmental traditions that are used to having
their own top-down way.

To my Russian comrades: I am with you.


--Mike

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikitech-l] New, lower traffic, announcements only email list for Wikimedia developers

2012-07-12 Thread Federico Leva (Nemo)

Amir E. Aharoni, 11/07/2012 15:40:

And the possible change would be for wikitech-ambassadors to become a
medium-to-high-traffic, plain English, list for discussion between
developers and Wikimedia users, to report issues, share ideas and
provide feedback in unapologetically layman terms. The Ambassadors
part also means that users who are on that list will have a role in
disseminating information to their local communities, and reporting
back issues possibly raised on local wikis.


It was my initiative about two years ago to start wikitech-ambassadors
and that's what I hoped it will become. It didn't, but it's still very
much needed.


What's needed? We surely need ways to spread the word better and 
especially during the emergencies such as deploy a mailing list can be 
the way but surely it's not good for brainstorming or to gather feedback 
in a useful way (compare https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Tech which is 
lately serving this purpose, to my surprise I have to say, thanks to the 
effort of some users).


Nemo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Russian Wikipedia goes on strike

2012-07-12 Thread Thomas Morton
On 12 July 2012 10:27, David Gerard dger...@gmail.com wrote:

 On 12 July 2012 08:47, Mike Godwin mnemo...@gmail.com wrote:

  At the heart of the Wikipedia/Wikimedia projects' success is
  democratic action, driven by those who are engaged in the process of
  promoting, supporting, and maintaining these projects. So my instinct
  is to believe, respect, and support the Russian-language Wikimedia
  project activists' decision to demonstrate in an effective way that
  what we all are working on here is under threat by ill-considered
  legislation by legacy governmental traditions that are used to having
  their own top-down way.


 The worrying thing is not only that we've done this three times in the
 past year, it's that we've had cause to do it three times in the past
 year.


Oh pish.

Laws like the ones we protested have been created many times over the last
few years (France, UK, etc.) and we've never protested them before.

The change was us, not them.

Tom
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikitech-l] New, lower traffic, announcements only email list for Wikimedia developers

2012-07-12 Thread Amir E. Aharoni
2012/7/12 Federico Leva (Nemo) nemow...@gmail.com:
 Amir E. Aharoni, 11/07/2012 15:40:

 And the possible change would be for wikitech-ambassadors to become a
 medium-to-high-traffic, plain English, list for discussion between
 developers and Wikimedia users, to report issues, share ideas and
 provide feedback in unapologetically layman terms. The Ambassadors
 part also means that users who are on that list will have a role in
 disseminating information to their local communities, and reporting
 back issues possibly raised on local wikis.


 It was my initiative about two years ago to start wikitech-ambassadors
 and that's what I hoped it will become. It didn't, but it's still very
 much needed.


 What's needed?

What's needed is a medium to announce important impending technical
changes, which require local changes.

Three simple examples:

1. The move to Resource Loader, which required changes in lots of user scripts.

2. The change of right-to-left text handling in 1.18, which required
changes in lots of styles.

3. The replacement of secure URLs by plain https://; URLs, which
required changes in lots of URLs in scripts, templates etc.

It's not that these changes aren't announced at all. They are
announced in various ways - sometimes by mass-posting to village
pumps, sometimes by blog posts, sometimes by CentralNotice. But it was
never properly tested to be effective, and the fact is that it isn't,
because the above issues are still not completely fixed in some
projects. Lots of projects don't get the message.

We could just blame the projects for not caring enough, or we could
come up with a more effective solution. I believe that an ambassadors
list is a good solution. I actually don't have very strong arguments
to support this belief; if anyone has better ideas for such a medium,
I'll be very glad to hear them. Maybe a blog dedicated to such
announcements will be better. Maybe a combination of solutions.

Obviously, the tool - mailing list, blog, feed, wiki page - is just
one side of the solution. The most important component is the
commitment of the people at the project. But better technical tools
are supposed to make this commitment easier to carry out.

The above is the most important requirement. A second priority would
be a discussion list for talking about such issues before they become
implemented and deployed. In the beginning they can be combined.

 We surely need ways to spread the word better and especially
 during the emergencies such as deploy a mailing list can be the way but
 surely it's not good for brainstorming or to gather feedback in a useful way
 (compare https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Tech which is lately serving this
 purpose, to my surprise I have to say, thanks to the effort of some users).

Thank you, I didn't know that page. I'll try to start following it.

In practice, it's harder to follow a wiki page than a mailing list.
But maybe that's just my own feeling.

--
Amir

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[Wikimedia-l] Travel Guide

2012-07-12 Thread James Heilman
A travel guide discussion will be taking place today at Wikimania during
lunch. Representatives from Wikivoyage and from the editor community of
WIkitravel will be hear to answer any questions. A request for comment is
ongoing http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_comment/Travel_Guide

-- 
James Heilman
MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian

The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Russian Wikipedia goes on strike

2012-07-12 Thread Anthony
On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 3:47 AM, Mike Godwin mnemo...@gmail.com wrote:
 Anthony writes:

 I wonder if the WMF will shut down in protest should one of the
 proposals to amend the constitution to overturn Citizens United gain
 traction in Congress.

 I'm not speaking for WMF, but I don't see the connection here.

The connection is free speech.

 Wikimedia Foundation, as a corporation, is profoundly regulated in
 what it can and cannot do politically

What regulations are you referring to?  Corporations can't *deduct*
certain political expenditures.  But what are the profound regulations
on what it can do politically?

 and is even more regulated by
 virtue of its being a nonprofit corporation (NGO).

More specifically, by its being a 501(C)(3).  I'm not aware of any
regulation imposed by simply being a nonprofit corporation.  And even
other 501(C) corporations, such as 501(C)(4) corporations (like
Citizens United) are fairly unrestricted.

Furthermore, 501(C)(3) is a tax status.  The government isn't saying
that WMF can't be political.  It just isn't allowed certain tax
privileges if it does so more than a certain amount.  And in some
cases it is penalized if it takes the tax advantages first and then
does the actions later.

 There's no Citizens
 United connection with regard to anything being discussed here.

WMF is engaging in lobbying, a form of political speech.  In the
Citizens United decision, the Court held that the First Amendment
prohibited the government from restricting independent political
expenditures by corporations and unions.

The connection is quite obvious.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] SOPA, threat or menace (was Russian Wikipedia goes on strike)

2012-07-12 Thread Anthony
On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 3:00 AM, Seth Finkelstein se...@sethf.com wrote:
 Anthony wrote:
 Well, it also has to be read keeping in mind that it would be
 borderline malpractice for him to have stated if SOPA passes then
 Wikipedia will be in violation of the law and forced to shut down -
 just in case SOPA actually did pass, forcing WMF to argue the exact
 opposite.

 I perceive you've been very fortunate, in not having much experience
 with lawyers. Ponder if a health care mandate is a tax or not, or
 whether Mitt Romney thought it was in the past, or does now.

There's quite a difference between a President, a presidential
candidate, and a general counsel for a corporation.

 Moreover, there's already the problem you see in the argument where he wrote:

 Wikipedia arguably falls under the definition of an Internet search engine,

 I'm quite sure that if SOPA actually did pass, WMF would then strongly
 argue the exact opposite, that Wikipedia absolutely does not fall
 under definition of an Internet search engine (as it is not a site
 whose primary function is gathering and reporting, ... *indexed
 information* or *web sites* available elsewhere on the Internet)

Well.  1) I think Mr Brigham made a mistake in making a public
statement about this at all; however 2) He used the word arguably.
If SOPA did (or does) pass, and WMF was charged with violating it
(which, frankly, would probably never happen), then surely they would
argue that Wikipedia is not an Internet search engine.  But not being
something and *arguably* falling under the definition of something,
are not mutually exclusive.

 Without Citizens United upholding free speech of people who use the
 assistance of corporations, something like PIPA would be much easier
 to impose.  And the lobbying currently being done by WMF could very
 well be outlawed.  The Wikimedia Foundation is, after all, a
 corporation.

 The Wikimedia Foundation's legal issues with lobbying are very far
 from the Citizens United sort of case.

Well, yeah, sure.  And WMF's legal issues with copyright infringement
are very different from the sort of cases that would be prosecuted
under PIPA or a PIPA-like law too.

But if the court in Citizens United had opened the door to restricting
nonprofit organizations from engaging in one type of grassroots
lobbying, I don't see how they could leave the door closed regarding
other types of grassroots lobbying, such as the type which WMF is
engaging in.  And really, I don't see how the could leave the door
closed regarding speech in general involving corporate expenditures.
Political speech is, for good reasons, the type of speech which is
most heavily protected by the First Amendment.

 The primary legal issue for WMF here is its
 tax-exempt status and the restrictions which go along with that. Which,
 sigh, is not to assert that WMF violated any such legal restrictions,
 but only to point out that such legal restrictions will become a
 limiting issue long before any corporations-aren't-people campaign
 finance laws.

Not at all.  501(C)(3) charities are allowed to engage in quite a bit
of grassroots lobbying without losing their tax-exempt status (see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_lobbying#Public_Charity_Lobbying_Law).
 If Citizens United had gone the other way, there would be nothing to
stop Congress from eliminating the ability of corporations to engage
in grassroots lobbying altogether.


 I wonder if the WMF will shut down in protest should one of the
 proposals to amend the constitution to overturn Citizens United gain
 traction in Congress.

 Well, check if the WMF starts getting large donations from the likes
 of the Koch brothers or Karl Rove's Super PAC :-) .

Well, no...but there is
http://www.infodocket.com/2012/01/03/wikmedia-foundation-hires-dc-lobbying-firm/

And, of course, there is the (grassroots, not direct) lobbying that
WMF has already (visibly) engaged in.  I'm not sure if we'll have any
way to know if they've been involved in any direct lobbying until the
2011-2012 990 comes in.

 Oh, excuse me,
 it would be a community decision based on the extreme danger to
 Wikipedia from such measures (hmm, Wikipedia relies on the US
 Constitution, so anything which amends that COULD KILL WIKIPEDIA!!!).

Right.  Except, well, it doesn't fit in the political persuasion of
most Wikipedians.  Not as strongly as copyright infringement is not
theft, anyway.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Russian Wikipedia goes on strike

2012-07-12 Thread Mike Godwin
On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 6:38 AM, Anthony wikim...@inbox.org wrote:

 I'm not speaking for WMF, but I don't see the connection here.

 The connection is free speech.

Analytically, however, the issue raised by Citizens United is not
simply an issue of free speech. It centers on the precise question of
what role corporate expenditures can play in elections. It does not
address the question of whether corporations can engage in political
activity.

 Wikimedia Foundation, as a corporation, is profoundly regulated in
 what it can and cannot do politically

 What regulations are you referring to?  Corporations can't *deduct*
 certain political expenditures.  But what are the profound regulations
 on what it can do politically?

See, e.g., 
http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/limits-political-campaigning-501c3-nonprofits-29982.html
and http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/eotopicl03.pdf.

 WMF is engaging in lobbying, a form of political speech.  In the
 Citizens United decision, the Court held that the First Amendment
 prohibited the government from restricting independent political
 expenditures by corporations and unions.

 The connection is quite obvious.

Not merely obvious but quite obvious, eh? Well, in the United States
cases like Citizens United and its predecessors center precisely on
election campaigns (including the ways money can be spent on issue
campaigning aimed at influencing the outcome of elections of
candidates for public office).

I'm unaware of the Wikimedia Foundation's attempting to influence an
election. I'm also unaware of any how Citizens United applies even
remotely the subject matter of this thread, which I had understood to
center on Russian legislation, not (for example) on a Russian
election.

But perhaps you're making a one of those obvious (excuse me, I mean
quite obvious) connections that is too subtle for me to follow.
Speaking only for myself, I remain cheered by the Russian-language
Wikimedians' activism.


--Mike

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Travel Guide

2012-07-12 Thread Arne Klempert
Hi James, where exactly are we going to meet? Arne
Am 12.07.2012 07:54 schrieb James Heilman jmh...@gmail.com:

 A travel guide discussion will be taking place today at Wikimania during
 lunch. Representatives from Wikivoyage and from the editor community of
 WIkitravel will be hear to answer any questions. A request for comment is
 ongoing http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requests_for_comment/Travel_Guide

 --
 James Heilman
 MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian

 The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
 www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Russian Wikipedia goes on strike

2012-07-12 Thread Anthony
On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 11:16 AM, Mike Godwin mnemo...@gmail.com wrote:
 On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 6:38 AM, Anthony wikim...@inbox.org wrote:

 I'm not speaking for WMF, but I don't see the connection here.

 The connection is free speech.

 Analytically, however, the issue raised by Citizens United is not
 simply an issue of free speech. It centers on the precise question of
 what role corporate expenditures can play in elections.

The law in question was with respect to electioneering
communications, which the court held was speech.

 It does not
 address the question of whether corporations can engage in political
 activity.

Political activity is awfully broad.  The ruling was primarily
concerned with political speech.


 Wikimedia Foundation, as a corporation, is profoundly regulated in
 what it can and cannot do politically

 What regulations are you referring to?  Corporations can't *deduct*
 certain political expenditures.  But what are the profound regulations
 on what it can do politically?

 See, e.g., 
 http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/limits-political-campaigning-501c3-nonprofits-29982.html
 and http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/eotopicl03.pdf.

First of all, you selectively quoted me, cutting out the part where I
made it obvious that I was talking about regulations that apply to
corporations in general.  I specifically pointed out that there are
regulations which apply to 501(c)(3) organizations.

Furthermore, I think it's a bit misleading to say that a 501(c)(3) is
prohibited from engaging in these activities.  IRC 501(c)(3) *defines*
a certain type of organization, which does not engage in certain types
of political activities.  Saying that a 501(c)(3) is prohibited from
engaging in certain political activities is like saying that a virgin
is prohibited from having sex.  If a virgin has sex, they cease to be
a virgin.  If a 501(c)(3) organization engages in prohibited
political activities, it ceases to be a 501(c)(3).

 I'm unaware of the Wikimedia Foundation's attempting to influence an
 election.

Surely you understand that one need not be directly affected by the
exact law being challenged to have a great interest in free speech
rights being upheld.

If you prohibit corporations from attempting to influence an election,
what's the big leap from prohibiting them from attempting to influence
legislation?

 But perhaps you're making a one of those obvious (excuse me, I mean
 quite obvious) connections that is too subtle for me to follow.

I guess so.

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[Wikimedia-l] Travel meeting

2012-07-12 Thread James Heilman
We will be meeting in the main lunch room.

-- 
James Heilman
MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian

The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Russian Wikipedia goes on strike

2012-07-12 Thread Mike Godwin
On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 9:19 AM, Anthony wikim...@inbox.org wrote:

 Analytically, however, the issue raised by Citizens United is not
 simply an issue of free speech. It centers on the precise question of
 what role corporate expenditures can play in elections.

 The law in question was with respect to electioneering
 communications, which the court held was speech.

If you are expressing a disagreement with my characterization of the
issue in Citizens United, I'm unclear what that disagreement is.

 Political activity is awfully broad.  The ruling was primarily
 concerned with political speech.

That's imprecise. The case centered on the scope of Congress's power
to regulate speech aimed at affecting elections.

 First of all, you selectively quoted me, cutting out the part where I
 made it obvious that I was talking about regulations that apply to
 corporations in general.  I specifically pointed out that there are
 regulations which apply to 501(c)(3) organizations.

I hadn't understood you to be talking also about for-profit
corporations such as The New York Times Company, which (if you happen
to read the Times) you may know sometimes tries to affect the outcome
of elections.

As for WMF's tax status, I'm not going to talk about that -- I simply
pointed out that 501(c) organizations are regulated.

 If you prohibit corporations from attempting to influence an election,
 what's the big leap from prohibiting them from attempting to influence
 legislation?

I'm entirely comfortable with The New York Times Company (a
corporation) and its efforts to influence the outcome of elections
(e.g., through candidate endorsements; I wouldn't want to prohibit The
New York Times Company from political speech.


--Mike

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Russian Wikipedia goes on strike

2012-07-12 Thread Mike Godwin
I wrote:

'I'm entirely comfortable with The New York Times Company (a
corporation) and its efforts to influence the outcome of elections
(e.g., through candidate endorsements; I wouldn't want to prohibit The
New York Times Company from political speech.'

That paragraph got truncated through an editing error.

What I meant to write was this:

'I'm entirely comfortable with The New York Times Company (a
corporation) and its efforts to influence the outcome of elections
(e.g., through candidate endorsements). And I wouldn't want to
prohibit The New York Times Company from political speech regarding
legislation or policy.'


--Mike

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Russian Wikipedia goes on strike

2012-07-12 Thread Yaroslav M. Blanter

On Thu, 12 Jul 2012 13:34:46 -0400, Nathan wrote:
Is there a service provider exemption for entities like Wikimedia 
in

Russia?


Not that I know of.

Is it possible that making the Russian Wikipedia inaccessible for a
period in order to protest a Russian law might be considered 
political

activism in Russia?


Legally, no, it is not political activism. From the point of view of 
having good relation with the authorities, this, of course, complicates 
things.


I don't believe the WMF itself has any assets in
Russia, but it seems like that wouldn't prevent the Russian 
authorities
from taking steps against the Foundation if the Russian Wikipedia 
community

decides to take steps like this again.



Formally, they can shut down access to Russian Wikipedia on November 1. 
In reality, I doubt very much they are going to do it. I do not see what 
they can gain, and the public opinion, however weak, will not approve 
it.


What about other countries? If the Arabic Wikipedia decides to 
protest laws
in Saudi Arabia or Egypt, or the Chinese Wikipedia against the PRC, 
etc.,
has anyone at the Foundation evaluated if there are any risks 
involved or

potential repercussions?


I guess in this case nobody asked the Foundation beforehand. And I 
think the fact that nobody from wm.ru cared to show up here to provide 
info and answer questions (Victoria and myself are not members and none 
of us is a Russian resident, though I am a Russian citizen and was 
flying from Russia just last weekend) is in my opinion very illustrative 
in this respect.


But indeed a good question is would it be for instance a good idea to 
blackout Chinese Wikipedia to protest the firewall. My opinion is no. It 
would expose a number of people to immediate danger without any obviousl 
benefits, since the probability that the blackout can change anything is 
increasingly low.


Cheers
Yaroslav

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Russian Wikipedia goes on strike

2012-07-12 Thread Andreas Kolbe
On Wed, Jul 11, 2012 at 12:35 AM, Tim Starling tstarl...@wikimedia.orgwrote:

 On 11/07/12 00:32, David Gerard wrote:
  On 10 July 2012 15:29, Tim Starling tstarl...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 
  SOPA didn't threaten the existence of Wikipedia,
 
 
  Geoff Brigham opined otherwise, IIRC.

 Yes, on the basis that Wikipedia arguably falls under the definition
 of an 'Internet search engine'.

 
 http://blog.wikimedia.org/2011/12/13/how-sopa-will-hurt-the-free-web-and-wikipedia/
 

 The definition was:

 The term ‘Internet search engine’ means a service made available via
 the Internet that searches, crawls, categorizes, or indexes
 information or Web sites available elsewhere on the Internet and on
 the basis of a user query or selection that consists of terms,
 concepts, categories, questions, or other data returns to the user a
 means, such as a hyperlinked list of Uniform Resource Locators, of
 locating, viewing, or downloading such information or data available
 on the Internet relating to such query or selection.

 http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr3261/text

 It's hard to see how Wikipedia could fall under this definition, but
 even if it did, what would be the consequences?

 A provider of an Internet search engine shall take technically
 feasible and reasonable measures, as expeditiously as possible, but in
 any case within 5 days after being served with a copy of the order, or
 within such time as the court may order, designed to prevent the
 foreign infringing site that is subject to the order, or a portion of
 such site specified in the order, from being served as a direct
 hypertext link.

 Geoff argued that we would have to manually review millions of links
 in order to comply with such a court order. But the definition of an
 internet site that would be specified under such a court order is:

 [T]he collection of digital assets, including links, indexes, or
 pointers to digital assets, accessible through the Internet that are
 addressed relative to a common domain name or, if there is no domain
 name, a common Internet Protocol address.

 We already index external links by domain name or IP address for easy
 searching, and we have the ability to prevent further such links from
 being submitted, for the purposes of spam control. The compliance cost
 would be no worse than a typical [[WP:RSPAM]] report.

 Maybe SOPA was a serious threat to freedom of expression on the
 Internet, and worth fighting against, but it wasn't a threat to
 Wikipedia's existence.

 -- Tim Starling



Thank you. Well said.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Russian Wikipedia goes on strike

2012-07-12 Thread Mike Godwin
On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 10:08 AM, Anthony wikim...@inbox.org wrote:

 You specifically contrasted regulations as a corporation with
 regulations by virtue of its being a nonprofit corporation.  I
 responded to both.  You then quoted my response to the first, with
 information with respect to the second.

I'm still not sure what you're taking issue with here.

 As for WMF's tax status, I'm not going to talk about that -- I simply
 pointed out that 501(c) organizations are regulated.

 501(c) *is a tax status*.  501(c)(3) is a subset of that tax status.

So? I gave you pointers to regs for 501(c)(3), (c)(4), etc.

 I'm entirely comfortable with The New York Times Company (a
 corporation) and its efforts to influence the outcome of elections
 (e.g., through candidate endorsements; I wouldn't want to prohibit The
 New York Times Company from political speech.

 And fortunately, Citizens United helped protect their right to do so.

That is certainly the ACLU's view (if I recall correctly), and I
appreciate that view, although I think the problem of the corrupting
influence of corporate expenditures remains, and I still think it's
possible, per the whole line of Supreme Court cases leading up through
Citizens United, to regulate the problem of election-targeted
expenditures constitutionally.  (In short, I slightly disagree with
ACLU's position, but only slightly.)

What this has to do with WMF or the Russian-language Wikimedians'
activism is still beyond me, however.


--Mike

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Russian Wikipedia goes on strike

2012-07-12 Thread Milos Rancic
On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 7:34 PM, Nathan nawr...@gmail.com wrote:
 Is there a service provider exemption for entities like Wikimedia in
 Russia? Is it possible that making the Russian Wikipedia inaccessible for a
 period in order to protest a Russian law might be considered political
 activism in Russia? I don't believe the WMF itself has any assets in
 Russia, but it seems like that wouldn't prevent the Russian authorities
 from taking steps against the Foundation if the Russian Wikipedia community
 decides to take steps like this again.

Like in SOPA/PIPA and ACTA cases, objecting to the law is socially too
wide to be considered as political activism in narrow sense. Yandex,
Russian biggest search engine, is among those opposing the law.

 What about other countries? If the Arabic Wikipedia decides to protest laws
 in Saudi Arabia or Egypt, or the Chinese Wikipedia against the PRC, etc.,
 has anyone at the Foundation evaluated if there are any risks involved or
 potential repercussions?

In one email from this thread similar attitude was applied to the
hypothetical decision Russian Wikipedia for Russians.

In short, the attitude is false excuse for vanguardism.

The first case has been based on the fact that Wikipedians from Russia
would like to articulate Wikipedia block for Russia and that they have
no means to do that, except to block Russian Wikipedia for the whole
world (which should be done by WMF).

Anyway, I don't think that anything of the written would happen:
* Every big Wikipedian community has enough collective responsibility
not to act ethnocentrically. Thus, it's false premise that something
like that would pass on Russian Wikipedia.
* Wikipedia is far from being important in China. Thus, going on
strike there wouldn't be productive. And Chinese Wikipedians know
that.
* Arabic Wikipedians come from many [Arabic] countries and there
should be something *really* heavy to see them united in desire to
strike.

Quite opposite, the threats of SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, Italian and Russian
laws are by far more visible than anything mentioned above.

The logic is similar to building bulwarks in a desert because sea
level will raise in few hundreds of years. If you live there, you need
water now.

More realistically, *if* something like that happens, please think and
act if necessary. The fact that the distance between Washington DC and
Rome is smaller than distance between Washington DC and Moscow doesn't
mean that Wikipedia strikes will finish in Pyongyang.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Russian Wikipedia goes on strike

2012-07-12 Thread Anthony
 As for WMF's tax status, I'm not going to talk about that -- I simply
 pointed out that 501(c) organizations are regulated.

 501(c) *is a tax status*.  501(c)(3) is a subset of that tax status.

 So? I gave you pointers to regs for 501(c)(3), (c)(4), etc.

Well, no, you didn't.  But I know where the regulations for 501(c)(3),
(c)(4), etc. are, since dealing with treasury regulations is what I do
for a living.

I also explained to you that IRC 501(c)(3) does not prohibit certain
corporations from performing certain actions, rather it *defines*
certain corporations which do not perform certain actions.  I figured
you would confirm this by reading the code.  However, I'll quote it
for you.  First, I'll quote 501(a):

An organization described in subsection (c) or (d) orsection 401 (a)
shall be exempt from taxation under this subtitle unless such
exemption is denied under section 502 or 503.

Now, the beginning of 501(c):

The following organizations are referred to in subsection (a):

And now, 501(c)(3)

Corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized
and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific,
testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or to
foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only
if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic
facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children
or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit
of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the
activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise
attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in
subsection (h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in
(including the publishing or distributing of statements), any
political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate
for public office.

The code doesn't say that 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from
intervening in political campaigns, rather it says that organizations
which intervene in political campaigns *are not 501(c)(3)
organizations*.

As you will know if you've read the recent court cases, there is a
difference between prohibiting an action, and subjecting it to certain
taxes.

 I'm entirely comfortable with The New York Times Company (a
 corporation) and its efforts to influence the outcome of elections
 (e.g., through candidate endorsements; I wouldn't want to prohibit The
 New York Times Company from political speech.

 And fortunately, Citizens United helped protect their right to do so.

 That is certainly the ACLU's view (if I recall correctly), and I
 appreciate that view, although I think the problem of the corrupting
 influence of corporate expenditures remains, and I still think it's
 possible, per the whole line of Supreme Court cases leading up through
 Citizens United, to regulate the problem of election-targeted
 expenditures constitutionally.  (In short, I slightly disagree with
 ACLU's position, but only slightly.)

 What this has to do with WMF or the Russian-language Wikimedians'
 activism is still beyond me, however.

Nothing.  My comment was about a proposed constitutional amendment to
overturn Citizen United, and I gave that as an example of something
that is even more important than PIPA for Wikipedians to protest.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Russian Wikipedia goes on strike

2012-07-12 Thread Mike Godwin
On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 11:34 AM, Anthony wikim...@inbox.org wrote:

 So? I gave you pointers to regs for 501(c)(3), (c)(4), etc.

 Well, no, you didn't.

I think most people will agree that I did give you pointers to the
regs. I agree that I did not give you direct links to the regs.
Perhaps you understood pointers to mean direct links.

 I also explained to you that IRC 501(c)(3) does not prohibit certain
 corporations from performing certain actions, rather it *defines*
 certain corporations which do not perform certain actions.

This is all lovely, but I am still unclear as to what you believe you
are disagreeing with me about.

 I figured
 you would confirm this by reading the code.

I didn't see much point in rereading those provisions, because I
didn't understand what exactly you were taking issue with me on. I'm
not sure anyone else does either. Perhaps someone else could explain
your disagreement with me, because I'm drawing a blank here in what
I'm reading from you.

 What this has to do with WMF or the Russian-language Wikimedians'
 activism is still beyond me, however.

 Nothing.  My comment was about a proposed constitutional amendment to
 overturn Citizen United, and I gave that as an example of something
 that is even more important than PIPA for Wikipedians to protest.

Why Wikipedians in particular? Citizens United (not Citizen United)
has to do with campaign expenditures. So far as I know, neither WMF
nor Wikimedians have any interest, one way or the other, in attempts
to regulate campaign expenditures, or constitutional amendments
regarding same.


--Mike

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[Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Announces 2012-13 Board of Trustees and Elected Officers at Wikimania in Washington DC

2012-07-12 Thread Matthew Roth
Hello all,
Please find a press release from the Wikimedia Foundation announcing Board
of Trustees election results and welcoming Alice Wiegand and Patricio
Lorente to the Board.

thanks,
Matthew

-- 
Matthew Roth
Global Communications
Wikimedia Foundation



(This release is also posted at
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Press_releases/WMF_Board_Election_July_2012
)

*Wikimedia Foundation Announces 2012-13 Board of Trustees and Elected
Officers at Wikimania in Washington DC*

Washington, DC -- July 12, 2012-- The Wikimedia Foundation today announced
recent appointments and elected officers for the 2012-13 Board of Trustees.
Every year at Wikimania, the annual gathering of Wikimedia contributors
from around the world, the Wikimedia Board appoints its officers for the
coming year, and this year’s appointments were announced in Washington, DC.

This year, Kat Walsh was appointed Chair of the Board, Jan-Bart de Vreede
was re-appointed Vice-chair, Stuart West was re-appointed as Board
Treasurer and Bishaka Dhatta becomes Board Secretary. The Board expressed
its great thanks to former Board Chair Ting Chen, as well as outgoing
trustees Arne Klempert and Phoebe Ayers. Their leadership has strengthened
and nurtured the growth of the worldwide Wikimedia movement.

I am honored to have been chosen to chair the Board in the coming year,”
said Kat Walsh, Chairman of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. “I
want to thank Ting Chen for his service in his period as Chair, and I look
forward to working closely with him as I take on this new role. It's an
important time in the history of the Wikimedia Foundation and the Wikimedia
movement: I look forward to leading the Board in the year ahead.

“It’s been a pleasure to serve the Wikimedia movement as Chair of the Board
of Trustees,” said Ting Chen. “Since I took on the role of Chair we’ve
worked with our global community and the Foundation to introduce an
ambitious five-year plan to increase the diversity and overall population
of our community, while also establishing long-term financial plans to
ensure sustainability for our movement and our projects. Our Board has
matured and strengthened, and I’m proud of the tireless work of my
colleagues.”

There are 10 seats on the Board and according to the Foundation's bylaws,
three members are elected by the Wikimedia community, two are selected by
the Wikimedia chapters, the Founder seat is held by Jimmy Wales, and four
members are appointed by the Board itself to provide additional, specific
expertise.

The Foundation is happy to welcome its two newest members of the Board,
Patricio Lorente and Alice Wiegand, who were elected to the Board by the
Wikimedia chapters in May 2012. The chapters seat selection process was
created in April 2008, in order to demonstrate the Board's commitment to
the chapters as an important player in the fulfillment of the Wikimedia
mission.

Patricio Lorente is the former President of Wikimedia Argentina. He has
worked as Project Manager of the Association for Social Development in
Argentina and he currently serves as General ProSecretary of the National
University of La Plata. Alice Wiegand is personal aide to the Mayor of
Meerbusch, Germany. She has recently begun her Master’s studies in Public
Policy and Governance.

*The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees for 2012-2013:*
*Kat Walsh, Board Chair (current term until July 2013)
*Jan-Bart de Vreede, Vice Chair (current term until December 2013)
*Stuart West, Treasurer (current term until December 2013)
*Bishakha Datta, Secretary (current term until December 2012)
*Jimmy Wales, FounderTing Chen (current term until 2013)
*Samuel Klein (current term until July 2013)
*Matt Halprin (current term until December 2012)
*Alice Wiegand (current term until July 2014)
*Patricio Lorente (current term until July 2014)

*About Wikimania*
http://wikimania.org

Wikimania 2012 is being held in Washington, DC, USA, where more than 1000
Wikipedia contributors, Wikimedia advocates, researchers and educators from
87 countries are in attendance. The previous Wikimanias were held in
Frankfurt, Germany (2005), Cambridge, USA (2006), Taipei, Taiwan (2007),
Alexandria, Egypt (2008), Buenos Aires, Argentina (2009), Gdańsk, Poland
(2010), and Haifa, Israel (2011).

*About the Wikimedia Foundation*
http://wikimediafoundation.org
http://blog.wikimedia.org

The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that operates
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to comScore Media Metrix,
Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation
receive more than 492 million unique visitors per month, making them the
fifth-most popular web property world-wide (comScore, May 2012). Available
in 285 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 22 million articles
contributed by a global volunteer community of more than 85,000 people.
Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited,
501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Russian Wikipedia goes on strike

2012-07-12 Thread Mike Godwin
On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 11:59 AM, Anthony wikim...@inbox.org wrote:

 Okay.  Is there something in those regs which regulates what WMF can
 and cannot do politically?  All I see is regulations stating that WMF
 may be taxed based on what is does.

I'm afraid I don't understand the distinction you're making.

 When you said Wikimedia Foundation, as a corporation, is profoundly
 regulated in what it can and cannot do politically, I thought you
 were referring to some regulation(s) outside of the internal revenue
 code.  Were you?

No.


--Mike

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation Announces 2012-13 Board of Trustees and Elected Officers at Wikimania in Washington DC

2012-07-12 Thread Erik Moeller
On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 8:14 PM, phoebe ayers phoebe.w...@gmail.com wrote:
 It has been an honor to be a member of the Board, and I hope you will
 join me in welcoming Alice and Patricio.

Thank you, Phoebe (and Arne!), for your service to the movement! And
thanks to Ting for his work as Chair, and congrats to Kat Walsh for
succeeding him in this role - a most excellent choice.

Like some other volunteer roles, serving on the Board is exhausting
and often thankless, so please know that your tireless efforts are and
have been greatly appreciated :-).

Welcome to Patricio and Alice, whose many prior accomplishments in
Wikimedia speak for themselves.

Erik

-- 
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

Support Free Knowledge: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate

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[Wikimedia-l] next Wikidata office hours

2012-07-12 Thread Lydia Pintscher
Heya folks,

I just wanted to let you know that the next Wikidata office hours will
be on soon. Denny and I will be around on IRC in #wikimedia-wikidata
to answer any question you might have and discuss. Logs will be
published afterwards.

English: July 18 at 22:00 UTC
(http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?hour=22min=00sec=0day=18month=07year=2012)
German: July 23 at 16:30 UTC
(http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?hour=16min=30sec=0day=23month=07year=2012)


Cheers
Lydia

-- 
Lydia Pintscher - http://about.me/lydia.pintscher
Community Communications for Wikidata

Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.
Obentrautstr. 72
10963 Berlin
www.wikimedia.de

Wikimedia Deutschland - Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e. V.

Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Charlottenburg
unter der Nummer 23855 Nz. Als gemeinnützig anerkannt durch das
Finanzamt für Körperschaften I Berlin, Steuernummer 27/681/51985.

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