[Foundation-l] Politico: "Wikimedia foundation hires lobbyists on sopa, pipa"

Theo10011 de10011 at gmail.com
Sun Jan 22 22:46:38 UTC 2012

Mike, I completely understand your point on this and where you are coming
from. But you made a conflicting point yourself....

On Sun, Jan 22, 2012 at 8:26 PM, Mike Godwin <mnemonic at gmail.com> wrote:
> None of this requires that any nonprofit spend the kind of lobbying
> dollars that Google spends -- even if that were possible (and of
> course it isn't remotely possible). The money WMF spends on something
> like this is microscopic compared to that of for-profit corporation,
> and pretty small even compared to other nonprofits. Nevertheless, a
> nonprofit showing up and making its voice heard -- especially when its
> arguments dovetail with those of much larger players like Google --
> counts for a lot.  It can't be easily dismissed. It makes most
> policymakers think twice.

If WMF were to spend 50% of what it raised last year on lobbying, it would
still be microscopic compared to Google and others. I know the impact of a
united front would be much stronger on this. But as I saw it, we already
made our voice heard? When we blacked out Wikipedia for 24 hours, and saw
some measurable impact in the standing within congress, not to mention the
coverage and support in the media.

I am not an american, and I am not privy to how lobbying works in
Washington - I hear a lot of americans don't know that either. We do
however have limited revenues, from small donations, and as I understand
registered non-profits in the US are legally bound to not spend more than a
certain percentage of revenues on lobbying, for the reason I am stating. It
might not be a worthwhile use of the money, considering all the millions
floating around on lobbyists between for-profit corporations, this might be
more than what we should take on at the time?

We blacked out Wikipedia for a day to get our voice heard, I thought that
was the right action to do at that point. Lobbying generally  sounds of
closed door dealings, and large amounts of money spent on convincing
politicians, in this case, convincing them to do the right thing. When a
non-profit engages in it publicly, one that prides itself on being small
and independent, it affects my perception of it. It might just be me, but I
would rather see public statements, and actions like the blackout over
lobbying any day.


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