(warning, tl;dr!)
*@Andreas - *I understand your sentiment, but in a reasoning way, I find I
don't agree with that assessment.  For what it's worth, I edit a lot on law
- one of my GAs is a Supreme Court case, numerous others worked on, it's an
area I like, and I tend to read full rulings like some read science fiction
or fanbooks.  It doesn't mean in any way I'm expert but I read draft
legislation. So I'm not dependent on any WMF writer to assist on that.

NPOV works well in articles with divided views, and suggests a good
approach is to characterise the issue and the divisions. In that spirit, my
attempt to fairly bridge the gap and explain where I see things diverging:

   1. Some bring stolen goods to the party, we can agree. In this case that
   means that some people breach copyright in a severe way online, which can
   fairly be characterised as theft if one ignores technicalities such as the
   minority of countries that don't make it a crime. In the vast majority we
   can agree it's theft in all jurisdictions. So yes, theft takes place. We
   can agree it's significant, though in the context of global trade and
   dubious "facts"there's a big dispute about the impact.
   2. *(Evidence: The UK govt review of copyright theft online, Hargreaves
   or something, I may have edited it, certainly read it, said of the various
   studies into online piracy that most were figures based on unproven
   assumptions, or plucked from the air, or something of that kind, and that
   not one study could be found that was actually reliable in the sense of
   unbiased fair and methodically rigourous conclusions)*.
   3. Theft in general web-wide was never the reason or issue for the
   protests by Wikimedians, or the WMF's involvement. It was not at any time a
   purported reason why *_Wikimedians_ *objected through *_this_ *site.There
   was never a plausible claim that Wikimedian protest was even slightly
   motivated by a wish to retain the ability of other sites to continue crime.
   4. As regards Wikimedia itself and its community, as far as I can tell,
   both have very strong views that theft (ie copyvio) should not be allowed
   on this site. I see no evidence that parts of the
   regular/established/core/active community have an agenda to improve our
   project's use, or ability to use, copyvio material,  see no evidence anyone
   here tries to turn a blind eye to it. We already have community policies
   that set standards far higher than the law requires.
   5. Is it therefore fair to characterize the objections to SOPA/PIPA as
   "we want to do illegal things, someone wants to stop us, and we don't want
   that"? I can't see how that's sustainable.
   6. I have the impression your complaint is that Wikimedians may have
   protested on grounds that were (a) not well founded in that in your view,
   the suggested risks were inaccurate, and (b) in protesting they chose to
   overlook harm elsewhere which these laws could have improved.
   7. I think it's fair to characterize the objections of individual users
   en masse and how they felt as, "We don't want to do illegal things, but
   illegal things may be done or claimed wrongly to be done, or actions
   threatened on the assertion of illegality. If this law passes, that could
   cause some things to be shut down for bad faith reasons or mistake without
   recompense, or legal concerns to have a chilling effect, and we don't want
   8. They could be correct or incorrect to have that concern. I'm looking
   here at what individual Wikimedians like me, supporting the protest, may
   have believed and felt. In other words, were Wikimedian community
   protesters acting from a good faith belief there was a real concern, or in
   bad faith to  gain by pretence a means to allow crime to occur? I think the
   9. As supporting evidence I also note that the objections were not to
   the basic princviple of cutting off piracy. They were to matters that would
   allow harm without good cause. It targeted DNS issues where the markup
   committee had admitted they didn't know what technical issues would arise.
   It targeted shut down without fair hearing, and immunity for bad faith or
   mistake, no matter the harm done. Those could have been fixed. In the
   alternative OPEN bill, they generally were. One can judge the protests'
   intent by the points protested about. Whether or not that concern was
   well-founded, it was a good faith concern by individual members of the
   community expressing concerns.

>From your complaints and descriptions, it's *not* that the projects offer
things "without consideration" as you suggested first. We do expect and
require consideration, such as attribution and license compliance in return
(see above). It's *not* that we give on the basis of "No strings" and later
make demands - see above, giving does not imply indifference and doesn't
exclude the right to say "we see a problem here, please don't let that
problem happen".  It *isn't* that we are hosting a giant volunteer party
and noticing some goods brought to be given away are stolen and we want to
ensure that can continue - we have rigorous standards and there's no
evidence people want to have looser ones or turn a blind eye to breaches.

Your stated issues so far - that something was given and later had
conditions added, or stolen material is covertly desired to be usable -
really dont stack up. What I *_think_* your *real** *issue is, is that you
feel the impact of SOPA/PIPA was exaggerated and it would not have had the
stated effects, and you feel the natural and rightful concern of community
members to protect freedoms and free speech and user-created sites, was
manipulated or given "spin" to motivate action which protected rights that
(in your view) werent at risk in the ways suggested.  In the worst case
scenario, you suggest such manipulation, or spin, was driven by large
internet businesses and their links to WMF.

So maybe your *real *question is, were the legal analysis and the proposed
fears, significant/realistic, or were they manipulated, spun, and "sold" to
community members. That's a fair question.  *If the analysis was
valid*then the community acted in good faith and with good reason.
*If the analysis was invalid* then the community acted in good faith but
was "sold" the idea on false or exaggerated grounds, perhaps to benefit
others' business (in your suggestion).  It comes down to the validity of
legal analysis.

What is *not *fair is suggesting *the protests by mass Wikimedians* was
somehow intended either to support theft, or to impose demands related to
material understood to ave been freely gifted with no strings.

If that's close, then can you comment so far and we'll carry on.


On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 12:42 PM, Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I am afraid that is not how it feels at all. It's more like organising a
> giant volunteer effort to provide a market stall handing out free sweets
> and cakes for anyone who wants some. The stall is very popular, and many
> people chip in, bringing in cakes they've baked and candy they've made. And
> some bring in stuff they've stolen from factories and supermarkets.
> Then someone suggests there should be a law against handing out stolen
> goods, like apple pies that still have "Mr. Kipling's Exceedingly Good
> Apple Pies" written on the wrapper. At that point, the popular market stall
> says, "We couldn't possibly continue to hand out free sweets if you pass a
> law like that. We'd have to shut down, because some of our sweets are
> stolen. And just so you know what that would feel like, we're not opening
> the stall today."
> So now you assume that everyone who baked their own cakes and brought them
> in is against laws that forbid stealing. And you're leveraging the goodwill
> these people have created to enable theft. And you're misrepresenting what
> the law would mean to the operation of the market stall: because all that
> would be required is that if you see a Mr. Kipling label on a wrapper, you
> don't hand that over to a visitor. And later it transpires that your market
> stall has come to be funded by a very large organisation that stands to
> profit from lax laws against theft, to the tune of tens of billions of
> dollars ...
> One clincher for me was Tim Starling's e-mail the other day, about how the
> community were ... let's say "misinformed", to put it politely, about what
> SOPA would have meant for Wikipedia:
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2012-July/121092.html
> Man, I wish this organisation had an annual budget of $2 million rather
> than $20 million again, like it did five or six years ago. It had ethical
> problems then, what with Essjay and Carolyn and so forth, but there was at
> least a *plausible* semblance of innocence about the effort. That has well
> and truly been lost.
> On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 3:00 AM, FT2 <ft2.w...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > There's a fallacy going on here - ie a term with two subtly different
> > meanings.
> >
> > The community - who are the ones ultimately "making the gift" do so
> > altruistically, in the sense of not seeking *compensation*, but that's
> not
> > the same as not expecting *consideration*. We do expect consideration.
> > Attribution (CC-by-SA/GFDL) is one form of consideration. The offer of
> this
> > knowledge by editors has quite specific terms that we expect to be met in
> > return by the world at large, which is the meaning of consideration.
> >
> > The offer of that knowledge, and its gifting, also doesn't imply *
> > indifference*. This is more subtle, and arises because we aren't donating
> > our time and effort into a void. We are donating as a result of, and
> often
> > to benefit, things we believe in, such as helping others or free
> > knowledge.  There is an implied expectation (by some, perhaps not by
> > others) that it will be treated with respect and used to further
> humanity.
> >
> > This kind of expectation isn't contractual, but it's there anyway. It's
> the
> > same kind of expectation that says you would probably be upset , if you
> > spend a week trying to find something as a special gift for me, and I
> > respond by flushing it down the toilet and saying "well you gave it to me
> > so why are you upset what I do with my property?" It might be legally
> true,
> > perhaps technically true, but it's certainly not socially and perhaps not
> > morally true.
> >
> > We donate time, effort and sometimes money, and we are not indifferent to
> > whether those are supporting things we believe in. We donate for free
> > knowledge and humanity, and do so because we care about free knowledge
> and
> > humanity. Sometimes we say *"Look, we care about these things enough that
> > we put this effort in, you care enough to support and appreciate us
> putting
> > this effort in, so please listen when we say that something is harming
> the
> > ecosystem within which that effort is placed"*. That is completely
> ethical
> > and appropriate; no less than a wildlife volunteer who cares for dolphins
> > pointing out things that harm dolphins or any other ecosystem that one
> > might care for and try to support by nurturing it over time. Very few
> > people throw sustained effort or money into a vacuum without any care
> > whether it grows or dies.
> >
> >
> > FT2
> >
> >
> > On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 2:28 AM, Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > > For the record, I did not endorse the SOPA blackout, and I deeply
> resent
> > my
> > > work in Wikipedia being leveraged to that political end.
> > >
> > > And I deeply resent Jimbo's statements to the BBC today*, about how "We
> > > gave you Wikipedia and we didn't have to, and so you might want to
> listen
> > > to what we have to tell you".
> > >
> > > A gift is either made altruistically, without strings attached, or it
> > > isn't. To claim selfless, altruistic purpose and then demand
> > consideration
> > > in return for what has been given is disgusting.
> > >
> > >
> > > * http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-19104494
> > >
> > >
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