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

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen cimonavaro at gmail.com
Mon Jan 23 01:45:28 UTC 2012

On Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 3:24 AM, Sue Gardner <sgardner at wikimedia.org> wrote:

> I thought we had already discussed this here, but maybe it was only
> discussed on the SOPA pages on-wiki? Upshot: the Wikimedia Foundation
> engaged a DC firm, Dow Lohnes Government Strategies, to help us better
> understand SOPA/PIPA. They are the folks who've been advising us over
> the past month or so, helping us figure out how big a threat SOPA/PIPA
> are, where they came from, what stage they were at, how likely they
> were to pass, what kind of response the blackout was getting, and so
> forth.
> When Geoff or anybody from the Foundation was opining on-list or
> on-wiki about SOPA/PIPA, it was with the benefit of the expertise of
> the DC firm.

Oops. Okay, that explains the notes on how somebody thought the
anti-forking provisions in that bill were to the favor of the WMF-ethos.

You shouldn't blame them for that though. This is a pretty special
operation. Not easy to understand that we *WANT* wikimedia to be
forkable, just for our own protection...

> It remains to be determined how or whether we will continue using that
> firm (or any other similar firm). We don't have any intention of doing
> anything secretive or underhanded.

I don't think you need to be discouraged from employing such firms,
but you have to understand the information they provide, should be
tightly proscribed to providing effective means for the foundation to
fulfill its mission, rather than help us steer our mission so that we as
a movement can be more "effective" in some political game.

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen, ~ [[User:Cimon Avaro]]

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