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RfC on joining lobby group; JSTOR accounts for Wikipedians and the article feedback tool

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By Jan eissfeldt

WMF RfC on lobbying

On June 28, the Wikimedia Foundation started a request for comment (RfC) on whether the community feels the foundation should participate in the Internet Defense League, a proposed lobbying organization with the goal of protesting future anti-piracy legislation.

According to the RfC, the organization to be launched aims to build a network of stakeholders interested in activism against legislation such as SOPA and the PROTECT IP Act. League members would be notified if protests such as the SOPA blackout (Signpost coverage) are proposed, but no one would be bound by their membership to take part in any action. The proposed network is a cooperative effort of Mozilla and Fight for the Future. Organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, WorldPress, and Reddit have already joined.

The WMF's legal and community advocacy department published an evaluative statement. While the proposal could turn out to be "very valuable", it says, the initiative involves many uncertainties yet to be clarified, and joining such a network might lead to perceptions that Wikimedia projects are becoming more political.

At the time of writing, two users have supported membership of the league, while more than 30 are opposed. Supporters pointed out that it is possible to deal with the problems raised and that membership would not be politically problematic. The opposers tabled reasons such as negative implications for the perceived character of Wikimedia as an educational organization and the questioning of our neutrality. Eight users were undecided, primarily saying that insufficient information is presented to judge the merits of such an initiative appropriately. The WMF asks editors to share their views at RfC's discussion page to ensure wide participation from its communities.

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Hey folks, just to be clear: the JSTOR deal is not quite done yet, so please be patient. As I mentioned, we still need a legal review of the particulars, among other important details to wrap up. Steven Walling (WMF) • talk 17:20, 3 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]

This is a great initiative. In the meantime, editors who need access to journal articles and other scholarly resources can make a request at the resource exchange. GabrielF (talk) 19:00, 8 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]


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