[Wikimedia-l] Russian Wikipedia goes on strike

Keegan Peterzell keegan.wiki at gmail.com
Tue Jul 10 05:58:44 UTC 2012

On Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 12:22 AM, Milos Rancic <millosh at gmail.com> wrote:

> Just a couple of words for those who don't understand...
> Writing encyclopedia produces responsibility. Neither Anonymous,
> neither Arab Spring would happen without Wikipedia.
> A person has to be very miserable not to understand that; and not to
> take its own responsibility.

Okay, I'll bite.  This is just my opinion and based on SOPA in the United
States and what our government represents.

1. Freedom

We have freedoms and we have liberties.  Freedoms are guaranteed in our
Bill of Rights and they are fundamental to our existence.  Liberties are
granted by law.  Politics being the interaction of people deciding what is
best for the people.

Laws and legislation libertize our freedoms.  We have freedom of speech,
but it's regulated to an extent.  We have freedom of assembly, but there
are laws requiring permits.  We have a right to bare arms, but there are
gun control laws.  We take these freedoms and move them to the political
realm, where we control each other with them.  These things are not really
freedoms, they are not truly philosophical ideas of things that can be free
because they deal with just humans.

Knowledge is not political.  Knowledge is free.  Other animals learn.
 Plants learn.  They share knowledge among each other.  Learning and
education is something that no matter how much humans may try to
politically restrict or influence, it is impossible. Even the dystopian
classics like *1984* and *Fahrenheit 451* maintain this virtue.

2. Politics

When we black-out one of our projects, we remove our ideal and the
fundamental principle that we support the freedom of knowledge.  What we do
it move the idea into the human realm, where we care about things like
regulations and how it relates to "what is ours."  None of it is ours.  We
release it under free license.

To claim that we have a responsibility for what we write is contrary to the
notion of fully submitting it for reuse and/or modification, unless what
was written was inappropriate by community standards.  When we take the *Atlas
Shrugged* stance of taking our ball and going home to fight politics and
regulation, we have done a disservice to both mankind and the idea of
knowledge.  We may have copyright, but we don't own a thing that we have
done.  It is not ours to take away.

3. Business

When we black-out one of our projects in protest of politics, we are
protesting business and money.  Those are what drive our global political
systems, and these are things that we eschew.  SOPA and other such laws
have to do with national attempts to regulate copyright on the internet.
 I'm still not clear, despite all the arguments that I have read, that this
applies to websites that release content under free license and take due
diligence to remove copyright violations, because we do not believe in
issuing copyright for our intellectual property.

4. Summation

When we use our websites for political protest, we are a level below our
idea.  Our idea is above politics.  To put our idea into politics
diminishes its power.  We provide information for knowledge and education.
 A black-out causes awareness, not education.  While politicians may be
influenced by the media buzz about the black-outs, it is not because of
people that the legislation gets put away.  It's about the money. The
legislation will return in a different form in the future.  Shall we just
continue to black-out?  We lose our teeth and some dignity each time we do
so.  Only our ability to educate will change the future in the politics of

Keep knowledge free.  All the time.



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