[Wikipedia-l] [Fwd: Software Patents: Help Us Win in the Europarl!]

Jimmy Wales jwales at bomis.com
Thu Aug 21 20:08:55 UTC 2003

Kurt Jansson wrote:
> Of course not. Wikipedia should take part because software patents could 
> have direct effects on the project. They threaten free software (like 
> MediaWiki) in general, and I wouldn't be surprised if someone claimed to 
> have a patent on "websites which are editable by visitors" (of course 
> formulated much more eloquently).

Well, lots of things could possibly affect us.  War, changes to the
U.S. tax laws, proposed 'hate speech' laws in the U.S. and Europe, the
list is endless.

> > Taking sides is something that
> > all of us have a moral responsibility to do as individuals, but
> > Wikipedia the encyclopedia is outside politics.
> Sorry, but that sounds a bit naive to me.

Maybe, but that's what's so charming about me, isn't it?  ;-)

Seriously, though, I think it's naive to think that we can start down
a path of using Wikipedia for political purposes and not set some very
bad precedent for the future, bad *internal* precedent, leading to
huge amounts of internal dissent.  As if we don't have enough already.


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