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

Delirium delirium at rufus.d2g.com
Thu Aug 21 20:11:47 UTC 2003

Kurt Jansson wrote:

> Jimmy Wales wrote:
>> While I'm sympathetic to the cause, I'm not really comfortable with
>> Wikipedia per se taking part in a political act just because I (and
>> presumably a majority of wikipedians) happen to agree with it.  
> 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).

On this issue I think free Wiki's may actually be the first to utilize 
the concept, which would make it not a problem for us.

In any case, starting to take political stands gets a bit murky.  
Perhaps since we're a GFDL encyclopedia, some of us see copyrights as 
being detrimental to our work, since we cannot freely integrate material 
from copyrighted sources.  But should we therefore lobby for the 
abolition of copyrights?  Some would say yes, but many would say no.  I 
think we should basically stay out of all these political disputes as 
much as possible, and let the individual contributors make whatever 
personal political stands they want to.  Having Wikipedia make official 
stands is only going to alienate contributors who disagree with those 
stands.  I would think people who support software patents are still 
welcome to write articles on Wikipedia, but if Wikipedia starts taking 
such stands they may feel unwelcome here.


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