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IRC office hours/Office hours 2011-12-15

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This is an edited version of the IRC office hours session with Sue Gardner and Geoff Brigham regarding the Wikimedia Foundation's position on the Stop Online Piracy Act.

[18:06:26] <Theo10011> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Jimbo_Wales
[18:06:40] <Theo10011> it is getting fairly out-of-hand on jimmy's page.
[18:06:44] <sgardner> (I would like to ask Kat to also speak here, because she has written some lovely things on the mailing lists, that I think provide thought leadership on this issue. So if Kat feels like starting to type up something, I will recap the Wikimedia Foundation's official position in the meantime.)
[18:07:36] <sgardner> The official position of the Wikimedia Foundation is that we are opposed to SOPA, because we think it's a badly-drafted law that will have consequences that are damaging for the free and open internet in general, and potentially also for Wikipedia.
[18:07:36] <sgardner> Also
[18:08:14] <sgardner> We believe that the community should make up its own mind about whether to take any kind of on-wiki action. We don't have a position on that: it's a community decision, and the community should weigh the pros and cons of any potential action, and make up its own mind what's best to do, if anything.
[18:08:21] <sgardner> Whatever the community decides, we will support.
[18:09:09] <sgardner> We're happy to offer legal interpretation, and also to summarize/synthesize/provide information and interpretation from other organizations, both about SOPA itself, and about other organizations planned actions WRT SOPA. And we will help in whatever other ways we are asked to.
[18:09:12] <sgardner> That's our position.
[18:09:22] <sgardner> Hi Pete, Peter, Sarah :-)
[18:09:24] <Theo10011> Excellent.
[18:09:25] <sgardner> Abbas :-)
[18:09:28] <PeterSymonds> Hi Sue.
[18:09:34] <SarahStierch> Allo sgardner !
[18:09:53] <peteforsyth> Hi Sue!
[18:09:55] <Abbas> Hi Sue, hi all :-)
[18:10:05] <sgardner> We're also in contact with other organizations -- like EFF, Creative Commons, Craigslist, Mozilla, etc. Trying to get a sense, in a fast-moving context, of what others have planned.
[18:10:18] <sgardner> So that's where we are. What do you folks think about all this? I am curious.
[18:10:24] <Theo10011> mindspillage, this particular issue seems easy to take a stance on...
[18:10:29] <mindspillage> I said most of whatI had to say on the list -- basically I see the idea of using our voice effectively and responsibly the same way I see using our money effectively and responsibly. We could be spending our goodwill to influence the legal infrastructure that makes things like us possible. How that's done is difficult--but some people on the pages are suggesting we shouldn't do so at all and I don't think that's in line with our mis
[18:10:29] <mindspillage> sion.
[18:10:30] <peteforsyth> I like the CC banner.
[18:10:35] <Theo10011> I"m wondering does it open the way
[18:10:39] <Theo10011> for more advocacy
[18:10:41] <Theo10011> in future
[18:10:42] <Theo10011> ?
[18:10:55] <mindspillage> Theo10011: I would hope so.
[18:11:03] <sgardner> Theo, I think it does open the door for more advocacy.
[18:11:33] <peteforsyth> Theo10011: if there is good deliberation around this one effort, that would set a strong precedent for good deliberation around any future efforts, no?
[18:11:35] <sgardner> The Board has been talking about whether the Wikimedia Foundation should be more active, as Kat says, using our voice and our credibility to support a free and open internet, in general.
[18:11:45] <Theo10011> I dont disagree, but I thought we were still contemplating remaining neutrally uninvolved.
[18:11:57] <sgardner> And the community seems to want to sometimes be more active as well -- ie the Italian shutdown.
[18:12:00] <Philippe> Theo, that's not what came out of the strategy project, though….
[18:12:11] <Theo10011> Agreed.
[18:12:22] <sgardner> I think what Kat said on the lists is true: not taking a position is a position.
[18:12:25] <Philippe> The advocacy agenda there was limited, as necessary, to do thing such as sustain DMCA protection. (Specifically called out)
[18:12:26] <sgardner> (In effect.)
[18:12:28] <Seddon> Advocacy against things that directly affect our existence I think has to happen
[18:12:46] <Seddon> I would be a bad call to simply roll over and die
[18:12:48] <Seddon> it*
[18:12:55] <sgardner> Jay Rosen I think talks about something similar when he labeled some forms of journalistic objectivity as "the view from nowhere."
[18:12:55] <Theo10011> But I'm wondering if we're planning on being more active in the advocacy area.
[18:13:12] <Theo10011> Surely, this bill threatens our freedom but does the advocacy agenda
[18:13:24] <Theo10011> reach further into trademarks or IP laws next?
[18:13:25] <sgardner> I think there are two separate issues here. There's the issue of "should we protect the projects' continued ability to exist."
[18:13:43] <mindspillage> Theo10011: yes, we are starting to think about what that looks like (and worldwide, not just in the US).
[18:13:50] <sgardner> Which I think is self-evident, that the Wikimedia Foundation must do what it can to protect the projects' continued ability to exist.
[18:13:52] <Theo10011> Good.
[18:14:02] <Seth_Finkelstein> How does the Foundation indent to respond to the inevitable accusations that this is improper lobbying for a 501(c)(3) charity, using pretextual excuses to do a favor for a big donor (Google)? Note - I know both some lobbying is permitted, and the "nobody home" reply, and I've pre-emptively addressed those in my phrasing.
[18:14:12] <sgardner> The separate second question is "do we have a position on the free and open internet," more generally.
[18:14:15] <Seth_Finkelstein> Argh, "intend", not "indent"
[18:14:25] <sgardner> Does the Wikimedia Foundation, does the editorial community.
[18:14:37] <sgardner> And there is a good argument to be made, I think, that yes, we do.
[18:14:47] <mindspillage> Seth_Finkelstein: I *wish* we could depend on Google to take the same positions we had; it would be much cheaper. Google can fight its own battles and they arent' always the same as ours.
[18:14:48] <geoffreybrigham> I will answer Seth
[18:14:54] <Seddon> Theo10011: Ahhhh in that instance I would be very much against utilising the sites for advocacy in those areas although I dont see any issue lobbying to impact those areas
[18:15:06] <Theo10011> Hey StevenW
[18:15:11] <geoffreybrigham> So limited lobbying is allowed under the law.
[18:15:16] <StevenW> Good morning (or evening)
[18:15:17] <StevenW> :)
[18:15:24] * SarahStierch nods at geoffreybrigham
[18:15:30] <geoffreybrigham> It should not be "substantial" which most read as about 5% of revenues.
[18:15:39] <sgardner> Kat is correct: we do have a powerful voice. We're powerful because people trust us, and they trust us because we are not beholden to any special interests. We're a public service, a public good, and we work in the public interest. That gives us credibility on issues that affect the public, because people know we are on their side. Not on the side of corporate interests.
[18:15:46] <sgardner> (I will stop talking and let Geoff talk now.)
[18:15:58] <geoffreybrigham> We also have options to elect with the IRS to allow lobbying under a more strict budget (section h election).
[18:16:08] <geoffreybrigham> Our positions will need to support our movement.
[18:16:35] <geoffreybrigham> Most of the time we will see ourselves partnering with those close in our movement.
[18:16:46] <geoffreybrigham> But when legislation threatens the internet in general
[18:16:59] <geoffreybrigham> we will not hesitate using resources of big players to advance our agenda
[18:17:25] <peteforsyth> Seth_Finkelstein: there is a great deal of advocacy a 501c3 can do.
[18:17:38] <Theo10011> hoi Fluffernutter
[18:17:47] <peteforsyth> sorry, catching up -- I see geoffreybrigham has taken that one, never mind.
[18:18:06] <Fluffernutter> ohai Theo10011
[18:18:09] <apergos> gmaxwell poings out that the sopa debate is happening now
[18:18:14] <apergos> http://stream.zaytoon.hidayahonline.net:8000/sopa.ogv
[18:18:15] <geoffreybrigham> advocacy is a better word than lobbying ... the restriction is on lobbying, not advocacy though
[18:18:21] <apergos> (I just spamed your link)
[18:18:23] * TBloemink is now known as TB|Busy
[18:18:24] <apergos> +m
[18:18:33] <apergos> *points.
[18:18:36] <geoffreybrigham> So there are many things we can do that count as advocacy that don't count for the IRS
[18:18:38] <Seth_Finkelstein> @peteforsyth, yes I know there's a advocacy, but a "strike" seems to me something that could be *accused* of crossing a line, because it interferes with the charitable mission.
[18:19:02] <Theo10011> how?
[18:19:35] <peteforsyth> SOPA interferes with the charitable mission. It seems like a judgment call. Though, of course there is a level that would be totally unreasonable.
[18:19:43] <sgardner> (Side note: I would love to have Kat talk further. She has been thinking pretty deeply about these issues, and what role the Wikimedia Foundation could usefully play, not just on SOPA, but in general.)
[18:19:44] <peteforsyth> I doubt our board would let us go to such an extreme though.
[18:19:48] <Theo10011> Italian Wikipedia already had a blackout. I'm not sure how a community's decision intereferes with the charitable mission of the movement.
[18:19:59] <Seth_Finkelstein> @Theo10011 - if your charitable mission is an encyclopedia, and you take away the encyclopedia, that seems to me a *possible* problem.
[18:20:02] <Rainbow_Dash> "An extreme" being what the Italian wikipedia take?
[18:20:04] <Rainbow_Dash> did*
[18:20:14] <sgardner> Pete, the Wikimedia Foundation will support whatever the community decides to do.
[18:20:30] <Theo10011> Seth_Finkelstein, the community made those decisions, it is not the foundation making those.
[18:20:55] <Seth_Finkelstein> @Theo10011 - to be blunt, I think "the community" here is a very much a pretext.
[18:20:57] <geoffreybrigham> An education mission includes fighting laws that prevent education
[18:21:02] <geoffreybrigham> educational
[18:21:11] <peteforsyth> sgardner: , Seth_Finkelstein - the level I'm talking about is something I can't imagine the community *or* the board consenting to, like taking the encyclopedia offline for weeks at a time or something like that.
[18:21:32] <peteforsyth> I do have concerns about Wikipedia being relied on in ways we can't predict.
[18:21:37] <sgardner> I trust the community to make a good decision here. I truly do. Consensus won't be achieved for something that is reckless or irresponsible.
[18:21:49] <Theo10011> probably.
[18:21:56] <Seddon> Seth_Finkelstein, Theo10011: Where actions are being taken to prevent the long term loss of charitable mission I think a short term loss is fairly acceptable. It is completely about assessing the gains compared to the cost
[18:22:05] <geoffreybrigham> We may fight laws in other countries that prevent people from having truthful information ... completely consistent with an educational mission.
[18:22:06] <peteforsyth> so I would much rather see something that *interrupts* the encyclopedia for a few seconds, than something that takes content offline entirely.
[18:22:10] <sgardner> Can someone post the link to the meta page that James Forrester created after the Italian shutdown?
[18:22:10] <geoffreybrigham> same applies to u.s.
[18:22:27] <Seddon> peteforsyth: agreed
[18:22:33] <sgardner> I haven't visited it in a few weeks: I'm wondering if it's evolved further in anticipation of SOPA, or as a result of the discussions of the past few days.
[18:22:39] <Seth_Finkelstein> @Theo10011 IF there is a strike, there will be a flamestorm that will make the Commons porn deletions look like a pleasant chat. Someone IN POWER is going to slam the wheel-warriors.
[18:22:41] <gmaxwell> peteforsyth: of course, people are free to just download the whole thing. ;) http://dumps.wikimedia.org/ (that shouldn't get taken offline regardless)
[18:22:48] <SarahStierch> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Project-wide_protests
[18:22:56] <SarahStierch> That was the page created post-Italian shut down.
[18:23:09] <peteforsyth> gmaxwell: not practical in most cases
[18:23:12] <sgardner> Are people talking anywhere about banners re SOPA, instead of something that interrupts people's ability to read the encyclopedia?
[18:23:14] <mindspillage> Seth_Finkelstein: "could be accused" is vague. I'm not aware of anything that would prevent a temporary shutdown. (I could speculate about interpretations of use of resources that are a bit farfetched.) I think the aim is for any disruptive action to be done for the shortest time possible to make the desired impact--and I can't see that as being enough to provoke anything meaningful.
[18:23:15] <StevenW> SarahStierch beat me to the link.
[18:23:16] <Philippe> Sarah beat me by --> <-- much
[18:23:16] <StevenW> :)
[18:23:17] <sgardner> Thanks Sarah.
[18:23:20] <mindspillage> (in terms of regulatory action)
[18:23:27] <gmaxwell> sgardner: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Project-wide_protests
[18:23:27] <SarahStierch> np
[18:23:27] <Seth_Finkelstein> @peteforsyth - The question is if such a denial-of-service is legal as 501(c)(3) permitted lobbying
[18:23:33] <sgardner> Thanks Greg.
[18:24:15] <Theo10011> Seth_Finkelstein, you are talking about this as if there is not a community in the middle of all this.
[18:24:20] <geoffreybrigham> technically, denial of service is not lobbying. it does not involve Congress.
[18:24:24] <sgardner> (I am reading that page for a minute. It looks like it has been edited lately -- by HaeB, Ziko, etc.)
[18:24:30] <geoffreybrigham> it is an exercise of our First Amendment rights.
[18:24:32] <Seth_Finkelstein> @mindspillage - I'm phrasing things like "could be accused" to try to indicate I don't necessary believe it's true, but I think it's also a *reasonable* question.
[18:24:34] <Theo10011> As if the foundation owns and creates and then publishes all the content.
[18:24:38] <StevenW> Deciding whether to serve a website or not is not really lobbying under the regulatory definition, I suspect. Geoff?
[18:24:43] <gmaxwell> sgardner: yes, It's been rewritten since I last saw it.
[18:24:58] <SarahStierch> Yeah, it wouldn't' be a form of lobbying, from my studies.
[18:24:59] <sgardner> (It's a pretty good page. Reasonably thorough.)
[18:25:49] <mindspillage> Seth_Finkelstein: I don't know of any reason to think that question has an answer that would be worrisome for us. If you or anyone knows of one, it would be welcome.
[18:25:58] <sgardner> So do we want to talk about SOPA, or about the broader more general issue? Do people have any questions about SOPA that Geoff or others here could answer, that would help them make decisions about how the community should/could handle this?
[18:26:20] <sgardner> ("The broader more general issue" being advocacy, and what Wikimedia's position on it should be.)
[18:26:29] <Seth_Finkelstein> SOPA. General issue is not a good use of specialist's time.
[18:26:50] <sgardner> Okay. So what do people want to know?
[18:26:56] <StevenW> We're all Wikipedia specialists here. ;)
[18:26:57] <bodnotbod> Question: what is the time-frame for all of this? Chiefly, would any form of protest/action be after the fundraiser is complete?
[18:27:06] <peteforsyth> If anybody could update where the most relevant discussion about SOPA actions in Wikimedia is taking place, that would be nice. It's my understanding that Jimmy's talk page poll is closed. Is there an RFC now or something?
[18:27:06] <sgardner> That's an excellent question.
[18:27:18] <sgardner> Kat, Geoff, can you talk about the timing?
[18:27:24] * mindspillage defers to Geoff.
[18:27:28] <geoffreybrigham> ok
[18:27:51] <geoffreybrigham> So there are a couple of critical points for the legislation.
[18:27:59] <Philippe> pete, WP:SOPA
[18:28:02] <geoffreybrigham> I laid out at the end of my blog the legislative process.
[18:28:18] <geoffreybrigham> Today is an important day, because it is a mark up of the committee version of the bill.
[18:28:41] <geoffreybrigham> We are going to assess timing issues after today.
[18:28:45] <Seth_Finkelstein> @mindspillage - If someone wrote "Wikipedia is a 501(c)(3) mission to encyclopedia, strike is violating mission, maybe 501(c)(3) violation", I would think "Yes, they are right!" - but I would think "Hmm, that's an interesting point, not obviously wrong".
[18:28:47] <geoffreybrigham> We have someone at the hearings
[18:28:57] <geoffreybrigham> and based on their advice we are going to look at timing issues.
[18:28:58] <StevenW> Just for reference, it seems the two places on-wiki it's being discussed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Jimbo_Wales and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:SOPA_initiative.
[18:29:02] <geoffreybrigham> it is a guessing game.
[18:29:20] <Seth_Finkelstein> Aarg, "I *wouldn't* think obviously right" - I hate IRC!
[18:29:24] <geoffreybrigham> There is also a Senate bill - Protect IP - which is not great either.
[18:29:40] <geoffreybrigham> So ... what we expect is that there will be some other key points.
[18:29:50] <geoffreybrigham> Committee consideration of IP-Protect bill
[18:30:00] <geoffreybrigham> Vote on the floor ... sometime next year
[18:30:31] <geoffreybrigham> As I say we are doing an assessment after today's hearings and will try to guesstimate the next critical steps.
[18:30:58] <geoffreybrigham> Sorry I can't help more yet ... but making law is quite unpredictable (as well as ugly and awful).
[18:31:11] <mindspillage> Seth_Finkelstein: sure. But it would have be be more than a "maybe, possibly, could be possible" to act on it when other knowledge available suggests away from it being correct.
[18:31:25] <sgardner> I am just checking quickly in my e-mail, because I think Jay mailed around something yesterday about Mozilla's speculations about timing, that might be helpful here.
[18:32:10] <Seth_Finkelstein> @mindspillage - YEs, but it's enough that in a chat, I'd ask WMF people their response. It's a pretty obvious issue.
[18:32:26] <sgardner> Jay says this: "FWIW Mozilla is planning to undertake a new round of attacks on SOPA in the new year and probably not before then."
[18:32:54] <geoffreybrigham> Yep ... I expect today to be the last critical point before next year
[18:33:02] <bodnotbod> I hear that, Geoff. I am following a bill through the UK parliament (totally non Wiki related) so appreciate timings can be hard to follow with these things.
[18:33:30] <StevenW> I was wondering about this on the train... The discussions seem to have quieted down a little on-wiki. Vis a vis Jimmy's talk, the SOPA Initiative talk page, and the VP. Are we missing any place, or does there need to be some kind of more concrete proposal for what/when/how if the community is going to do this?
[18:33:43] <StevenW> I have this feeling like everyone is waiting for someone else to do something.
[18:33:56] <Theo10011> True.
[18:33:58] <peteforsyth> StevenW: agreed.
[18:34:07] <peteforsyth> Do you know if anybody has tallied results in a useful way?
[18:34:28] <StevenW> From the straw poll? Yeah, I think it's pretty clearly above 80%
[18:34:32] <sgardner> Yeah, I think that might be true. That's why I want it to be really clear that the Wikimedia Foundation isn't going to lead on an on-wiki protest. It's not our role. We would support if the community wants to take action, but people shouldn't wait for us to lead or facilitate.
[18:34:32] <StevenW> 89, last I heard.
[18:34:37] <sgardner> I think it was 89, yes.
[18:34:53] <peteforsyth> 89 what?
[18:34:57] <StevenW> %
[18:34:59] <sgardner> in favour
[18:35:02] <jorm> Extension:WikiProtest
[18:35:10] <sgardner> It was a straw poll thing though, not an actual proposal.
[18:35:23] <sgardner> "Would you support doing something" not "would you support doing x."
[18:35:23] <peteforsyth> Yes, but as a straw poll, a tally is useful.
[18:35:43] <geoffreybrigham> Also ... as an addendum to my above comments ...
[18:35:51] <Seth_Finkelstein> The straw poll was not valid due to Jimbo's fist on the scales.
[18:35:58] <geoffreybrigham> There are approximately 70 amendments being discussed today in the House Judiciary.
[18:36:05] <Seddon> StevenW: Was that excluded the pletheora of IP's?
[18:36:09] <Seddon> excluding*
[18:36:09] <geoffreybrigham> This bill could be very different after today.
[18:36:29] <StevenW> I don't know whether people excluded IPs and SPAs in that count.
[18:36:34] <Seth_Finkelstein> Remember, he is *immune* from civility and no-personal-attack, so could absue opponents from on-high.
[18:36:36] <sgardner> Seth: I don't think it matters, because nobody is using the straw poll as a justification for action. It was as I understand it simply a testing of the waters, to see if there is sufficient interest for a proposal to be created.
[18:36:38] <geoffreybrigham> So we will need to reassess once the new amendments are in.
[18:36:49] <bodnotbod> Question: given that English Wiki, whilst primarily a US beast, is very international in participation are there any issues about non-US citizens taking part in any activity that concerns US law? Will there be issues over... validity... for want of a better word?
[18:36:54] <geoffreybrigham> The general wisdom is that it won't change much, but we don't really know yet.
[18:37:00] <peteforsyth> This morning's NPR headline was "SOPA pits Hollywood against Silicon Valley." My first thought was "Where's the public interest in that framing"
[18:37:07] <sgardner> Good question Bodnotbod.
[18:37:37] <Seth_Finkelstein> @peteforsyth - public interest doesn't have lobbyists or lots of money.
[18:37:50] <peteforsyth> Seth_Finkelstein: agreed.
[18:37:58] <Theo10011> ahh US-centrism
[18:38:04] <gmaxwell> bodnotbod: if the law will adversely effect these people then they should speak up— the world wide impacts of laws are prefectly reasonable considerations.
[18:38:11] <sgardner> It depends on what the purpose of the action would be, I think. If the purpose of the action is to influence lawmakers, it's my understanding that they don't care much about people outside of the United States. So it would be an effectiveness question, not a legal question.
[18:38:22] <geoffreybrigham> So ... the bill actually hurts our international friends.
[18:38:31] <geoffreybrigham> its focus is "foreign sites"
[18:38:36] <RoanKattouw> Isn't it at least illegal for non-citizens to spend money to influence US legislatures?
[18:38:50] <RoanKattouw> Or is that only for non-US corporations?
[18:38:55] <RoanKattouw> (Or maybe I'm just imagining it)
[18:38:57] <geoffreybrigham> But we think the most effective voice with a U.S. Congress will be U.S. citizens ... yes a bit U.S. centric.  :(
[18:39:00] <Seth_Finkelstein> @geoffreybrigham I think there's a substantial "neutrality" faction that would be more evident in other Wikipedia discussions
[18:39:02] <peteforsyth> sgardner: if their constituents dare about impact on foreigners, that's the thing that could make a difference
[18:39:08] <geoffreybrigham> even though the bill is an international attack
[18:39:11] <peteforsyth> RoanKattouw: oh, if only :)
[18:39:23] <peteforsyth> AIPAC is probably the most influential lobbying group in DC
[18:39:25] <sgardner> If the purpose of the action is to raise public awareness about threats to the free and open internet, then I think the audience for the action is Americans (who can influence this specific bill) but also non-Americans (who can't influence this law, but who would be affected by it, and might have similar issues in their own countries).
[18:39:33] <Theo10011> oh BTW I was wondering about a US-only banner pointing to Geoff's blog and information about SOPA.
[18:39:43] <RoanKattouw> peteforsyth: Of course it'd be easy to circumvent by incorporating a daughter corporation in the US, but still ...
[18:39:47] <gmaxwell> geoffreybrigham: I was surprised to not see the anti-circumvention provisions get more attention in your analyis. En Wikipedia has hunreds (if not thousands?) of citations to wikileaks documents. If WLs got SOPAed, we'd surely fix the URLs to new IPs/domains thereby perhaps making us afoul of the anti-circumvention.
[18:40:07] <SarahStierch> Do you guys want me to walk down the street and go kick some ass in Congress?
[18:40:13] <geoffreybrigham> Yep ...
[18:40:14] <SarahStierch> I can scrounge up some bored Occupy DC people
[18:40:16] <SarahStierch> ;-)
[18:40:17] <Philippe> plz, SarahStierch
[18:40:20] <SarahStierch> Give them Wikipedia buttons
[18:40:22] <apergos> SarahStierch: yes please!!
[18:40:31] <geoffreybrigham> I did link to articles that addressed the anti-circumvention provision, namely the EFF piece
[18:40:46] <geoffreybrigham> it was one of my bullet points that talked about human rights groups.
[18:40:52] * peteforsyth cocks an eye at SarahStierch -- is there a terrorist in our midst?
[18:40:57] <gmaxwell> Ah.
[18:41:00] <geoffreybrigham> But you are right it deserves empahsis.
[18:41:00] <Sargoth> is there a "plan b" for the foundation, for instance to move to canada, if wikipedia is shut down under sopa?
[18:41:05] <sgardner> Something I don't understand is why people seem to think that only Americans would be affected by SOPA. Or am I imagining that, and nobody thinks it.
[18:41:31] <Nemo_bis> Actually sometimes it looks like the opposite.
[18:41:50] <sgardner> Hi Sargoth. Unfortunately, the conditions that allow Wikipedia to operate really don't exist outside the United States. Canada has for example hate speech laws that would probably constrain us.
[18:41:51] <Theo10011> sgardner, the law in its current incarnation is still a US legislation.
[18:41:57] * Philippe is personally advocating for Wikimedia-from-space, Sargoth.
[18:42:24] <sgardner> So, Theo, do some people think only Americans would be affected by SOPA? Do you think that?
[18:42:34] <Theo10011> No.
[18:42:38] <Theo10011> But on first look....
[18:42:49] * StevenW and Sue are talking about moving to Iceland
[18:42:50] <Theo10011> that is a common reaction.
[18:42:54] <RoanKattouw> Theo10011: Yup, but .com, .org and .net are all under US jurisdiction
[18:42:57] <apergos> Philippe: there's a small latency issue with that
[18:42:58] * StevenW doesn't want to freeze to death
[18:43:01] <Theo10011> Mostly because others might not be that informed.
[18:43:10] <Seddon> Sargoth: In all likelihood the WMF would have to move to places like Denmark, Netherlands, Iceland etc.
[18:43:15] <Philippe> Just as an aside, for those having trouble connecting to the live stream, the House staff says "we have more eyes on this than we have ever had on anything by a long stretch and that may be causing the stickiness. Thank you for the heads up and you can let the folks know we are on it."
[18:43:27] <StevenW> Seriously though, even if we moved, SOPA would still maybe kill the free Web.
[18:43:50] <Theo10011> Let's just move to Iceland. :P
[18:43:51] <sgardner> Yeah. But I think it's important for people to understand that the reason this issue matters is because our servers are in the United States. So it's not US-centric to care about this bill. This bill would affect all the projects, all the language versions.
[18:43:52] <geoffreybrigham> Ironically, we would become a foreign site
[18:43:56] <RoanKattouw> Right
[18:44:01] <RoanKattouw> And be even more screwed under SOPA
[18:44:15] <gmaxwell> FWIW, absent SOPA US laws are very well suited to what we do, perhaps uniquely well suited, and we have a lot of powerful allies in the US. Those are not easy alternatives.
[18:44:16] <geoffreybrigham> People could harass us under both Section 102 and 103.
[18:44:33] <StevenW> Can you clarify what that means Philippe? Stickiness?
[18:44:37] <peteforsyth> gmaxwell: ++
[18:44:45] <geoffreybrigham> Sue - I do not want to move to Iceland and will think of any legal argument to prevent that. Otherwise, I need to buy a new coat.
[18:44:48] <Theo10011> Is it legally smart to have operational redundancies in 2 or more countries?
[18:44:52] <peteforsyth> glad you made that point. expansion would be awesome.
[18:44:55] <sgardner> Geoff :-)
[18:44:57] <Theo10011> server infrastructure and the like
[18:44:58] <Philippe> StevenW: There's some problems accessing the live stream at http://keepthewebopen.com/sopa. That's referring to those problems.
[18:45:03] <StevenW> Ah
[18:45:17] <sgardner> Theo, do you mean: would it be good to have operations in two or more countries?
[18:45:23] <sgardner> Not really: it creates more exposure for us, not less.
[18:45:35] <Theo10011> sgardner, or only servers?
[18:45:41] <geoffreybrigham> Right ... U.S. law is extremely positive on free expression and liability protection against hosting companies.
[18:45:46] <sgardner> Same thing -- more exposure.
[18:45:48] * Sargoth will get a used, but warm coat for geoffreybrigham - promised :)
[18:46:13] <geoffreybrigham> Right ... we would have to subject ourselves to different legal regimes.
[18:46:19] <Nemo_bis> quick help request: did someone explain this passage of geoffreybrigham's post? where? http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2011-December/070861.html
[18:46:25] <geoffreybrigham> Extremely complex and often not possible with conflicting laws and values
[18:46:33] <Theo10011> This is prob. an odd example to use, but when some popular torrents got legal threats from DMCA and other legislation.
[18:46:38] <Philippe> House committee is in recess, temporarily, for about 45 minutes.
[18:46:41] <sgardner> Geoff, can you help Nemo_bis with that bit of your post?
[18:46:43] <Theo10011> they found it easier to move operations to another country
[18:46:50] <Theo10011> and have redundant domains
[18:46:50] <sgardner> Philippe, what did they mean by "stickiness"?
[18:46:55] <geoffreybrigham> Yep.
[18:47:16] <Philippe> sgardner: Problems with accessing the stream.
[18:47:17] <apergos> sgardner: problems accesing a web stream of the debate
[18:47:17] <sgardner> Oh got it, sorry. StevenW explained stickiness to me.
[18:47:20] <geoffreybrigham> In the old version, rights owners could harass us by calling us an infringing site.
[18:47:21] <sgardner> Thanks :-)
[18:47:34] <geoffreybrigham> they could serve notice on our payment processors for fundraising to stop revenues.
[18:47:47] <geoffreybrigham> we would respond, take them to court, but it would consume time and resources.
[18:48:03] <geoffreybrigham> and we would have to do it every time a rights owner came after us.
[18:48:08] <geoffreybrigham> In the new version ....
[18:48:09] <peteforsyth> Theo10011: seems like moving a torrent vs. moving the 5th busiest web site are completely dissimilar -- also, the way torrents approach copyright and the way Wikimedia does are vastly different
[18:48:18] <geoffreybrigham> U.S. based companies were exempted ... including us.
[18:48:23] <geoffreybrigham> so it was an improvement.
[18:48:39] <apergos> it would take us a good chunk of time to set up a new data center
[18:48:42] <geoffreybrigham> that said, our international friends are still subject to such potential harassment.
[18:48:45] <apergos> (in fact it's already doing so)
[18:48:48] <Nemo_bis> geoffreybrigham, right owners from abroad?
[18:48:56] <Theo10011> peteforsyth, I know it was an odd analogy, I meant don't other top 10 websites have redundant infrastructure in multiple countries?
[18:48:59] <Theo10011> I thought they did.
[18:49:09] <apergos> I am sure some do
[18:49:12] <RoanKattouw> geoffreybrigham: To clarify, do the amendments mean that we would not be exposed to nasty or new avenues of harrassment?
[18:49:20] <sgardner> Many of the other top sites customize their services for the jurisdiction where they're putting servers.
[18:49:20] <Nemo_bis> or is it "payment processors" as in PayPal and bank?
[18:49:20] <apergos> we're tiny, still running on a relatie shoestring and not so much hardware
[18:49:26] <apergos> *relative
[18:49:30] <RoanKattouw> (I know that's a selfish POV and international sites are still screwed -- but focusing on the impact on us now)
[18:49:34] <sgardner> e.g., Google and China. (Before Google pulled out.)
[18:49:36] <peteforsyth> Theo10011: it's quite possible, but they don't place such a strong emphasis on free participation as we do --
[18:49:43] <peteforsyth> probably the key difference.
[18:49:51] <geoffreybrigham> rights owners from abroad can seek action under SOPA
[18:50:20] <geoffreybrigham> @RoanKattouw. Under Section 103, yes.
[18:50:28] <Theo10011> wow SOPA sounds scarier and scarier.
[18:50:40] <geoffreybrigham> But under Section 102, we can still be obliged to take down so-called "foreign infringing sites"
[18:50:52] <Philippe> Theo10011: that's the point.
[18:50:57] <geoffreybrigham> It is very evil Theo ... I would not sleep at night if I were you.
[18:50:57] <Philippe> It Is freakishly scary.
[18:51:03] <RoanKattouw> Oh, we'd have to remove links to foreign sites?
[18:51:06] <apergos> do we get handed a list of those (so'called infringing sites) or how does that work anyways?
[18:51:08] <RoanKattouw> That's evil
[18:51:13] <mindspillage> geoffreybrigham: no giving the community nightmares.
[18:51:19] <geoffreybrigham> Right RoanKattouw ... and here is the catch.
[18:51:22] <Philippe> Guys, I've been tracking US legislation for years, and this is one of the scarier ones I've seen.
[18:51:23] <Theo10011> heh geoffreybrigham too late. :P
[18:51:31] <geoffreybrigham> we could be linking to non-infringing material.
[18:51:47] <geoffreybrigham> But we could still be forced to take down the link
[18:52:02] <geoffreybrigham> because a rights owner had complaints about other infringing material on the site
[18:52:13] <geoffreybrigham> or i should say "claimed" infringing material
[18:52:18] <RoanKattouw> alleged
[18:52:20] <gmaxwell> Or there might be "infringement" which might not stand up.
[18:52:35] * aude|away is now known as aude
[18:52:37] <apergos> do we get notified about every claim via court order? is there some master list? how does any of it work?
[18:52:38] <geoffreybrigham> the solution of SOPA is to take down the whole site ... not address more surgically the infringing material.
[18:52:49] <RoanKattouw> So the standards for verification are kind of like the Italian law? :)
[18:52:57] <peteforsyth> geoffreybrigham: so, for instance, the way YouTube currently works (which would surely change) -- the fact that somebody uploaded a JayZ video could force us to take down a link to a presidential address hosted there?
[18:52:59] <geoffreybrigham> bad for SOPA ... but terrible precedent on how to handle infringing issues in the future.
[18:53:05] <RoanKattouw> As in "the rights holder asserts it's infringing, therefore it is unless proven otherwise"
[18:53:22] <Philippe> apergos: Enforcement is still undetermined at this point, I understand, because the bill isn't through with markup.
[18:53:27] <Seth_Finkelstein> @geoffreybrigham For Wikipedia, I'd have much more sympathy for that argument if not for http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:BADSITES
[18:53:48] <sgardner> apergos: Part of the problem is that nobody knows how it would work. It'd be a new law, and it would need to be interpreted and fought over and so forth. A major concern for me is that the Wikimedia Foundation is tiny: we do not have an army of lawyers and administrators to handle something like SOPA, the way richer for-profit sites do.
[18:53:56] <geoffreybrigham> So we would be served from a court order.
[18:53:57] <apergos> and the en wp list covers all languages and all projects?
[18:54:05] <peteforsyth> sgardner: I like that framing very much!
[18:54:07] <Seth_Finkelstein> YEs, it's a failed proposal, but people did try to do very much what you describe as WIKIPEDIA POLICY.
[18:54:13] <geoffreybrigham> multiple right owners in multiple districts in the U.s. would seek to get orders
[18:54:18] <gmaxwell> Seth_Finkelstein: with things like that we're (and our community) is able to weigh the cost benefit on a case by case basis. Not quite the same.
[18:54:37] <peteforsyth> back to that NPR headline: "Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley. Public interest oriented, non-profit sites caught in crossfire."
[18:54:38] <apergos> of course they would be engaged in judge shopping etc
[18:54:45] <Nemo_bis> oh, court order; so it's still some orders of magnitude better than the DDL Intercettazioni
[18:54:51] <Seth_Finkelstein> @gmaxwell - Maybe not *quite* the same, but close enough to make me cynical.
[18:54:53] * aude waves
[18:55:04] <Theo10011> hiya aude
[18:55:40] <geoffreybrigham> Yeah ... Nemo_bis ... there is this who other part of SOPA that could technically "break" the Internet.
[18:55:41] <apergos> have people been digging up all the bizarre things people have done with dmca claims to point out just how the new law will certainly be abused?
[18:55:54] <geoffreybrigham> I linked to some articles on that, and I think we will be posting other articles.
[18:55:57] <Seth_Finkelstein> @gmaxwell - Every time I try to link to an "examiner.com" article, for example
[18:55:58] <aude> mindspillage: geoffreybrigham: inknow today's vote is important, but what (and when) is the next step?
[18:56:03] <sgardner> pete: I think that is also part of the argument about SOPA stifling innovation. Enormously profitable sites would be able to support the infrastructure to accommodate SOPA, but start-ups would not.
[18:56:11] <geoffreybrigham> Again I've been talking only about us, but the issues are bigger ... it is the Internet under attack.
[18:56:21] <Nemo_bis> geoffreybrigham, yes, I'm not saying that it's not bad :-p
[18:56:25] <geoffreybrigham> who=whole
[18:56:26] <Philippe> geoffreybrigham: I'm posting articles this afternoon
[18:57:13] <gmaxwell> Seth_Finkelstein: at the limit, even if we're all morons wrt BADSITES at least you're free to fork the site and correct our idiocy. Not a great solution but even that is not availaber under sopa.
[18:57:16] <geoffreybrigham> aude ... guessing now ...
[18:57:30] <Seth_Finkelstein> @geoffreybrigham - I actually sort of agree with you about the global problem. But this - also for @mindspillage - gets into politics I call being "Catspaws Of The Google". Some other discussion.
[18:57:32] <geoffreybrigham> but probably the next big step is Senate committee hearings (next year)
[18:57:39] <geoffreybrigham> or a House vote (next year).
[18:57:47] <geoffreybrigham> We are assessing after today's hearing
[18:57:50] <Seth_Finkelstein> @gmaxwell - "at least you're free to fork" - you can't be serious.
[18:57:51] <aude> geoffreybrigham: thanks
[18:58:10] <Theo10011> heh going to be a fun holiday season waiting for those. :P
[18:58:12] <Seth_Finkelstein> @gmaxwell - "at least you're free to fork" - that's like the argument "love it or leave it"
[18:58:30] <sgardner> So, there was some kind of proposal to do a shutdown last night, right?
[18:58:31] <gmaxwell> Seth_Finkelstein: if you can't see a difference between having your speech completely surpressed and not getting your choice of pulpits...
[18:58:32] * peteforsyth brainstorms his own headlines
[18:58:35] <peteforsyth> "Why is Hollywood trying to kill Wikipedia"
[18:58:36] <Philippe> Correct, Sue.
[18:58:38] * aude has attended capitol hill hearings and
[18:58:39] <mindspillage> Seth_Finkelstein: I am still not clear on how you think Google is involved here.
[18:58:44] <sgardner> But I think it was felt that there wasn't time to have a proper discussion.
[18:58:58] <aude> knows somehow it's possible to organize events on capitol hill, to raise awareness
[18:58:59] <sgardner> (Oh sorry, I will wait while Kat and Seth talk about Google.)
[18:59:10] <sgardner> (It's worth being clear on, I think.)
[18:59:12] <peteforsyth> sgardner: , Philippe link please?
[18:59:15] <Seth_Finkelstein> @mindspillage - See the hillicon valley article, also Hufffpost. We're running out of time.
[18:59:20] <mindspillage> sgardner: no, go ahead.
[18:59:42] <mindspillage> (We don't take policy direction from Google. There's no more to be said.)
[18:59:53] <apergos> can we have an article about The Pirate Bay? can we include a link to it (as we would for any notable site)?
[19:00:08] <Theo10011> BTW is this the last IRC office hour of the year?
[19:00:11] <sgardner> Okay. On Google, fast, I think I would just repeat what you already said. Google and Wikipedia are going to have the same interests, I think, most of the time. Sometimes we aren't. So mostly we will agree, and sometimes we might disagree.
[19:00:14] <sgardner> But anyway
[19:00:20] <Seth_Finkelstein> @gmaxwell - It's a weak argument when Wikipedia can do something when it's ox is being gored.
[19:00:54] <Seth_Finkelstein> @mindspillage - See Lessig's point about economies of influence.
[19:01:03] * xls is now known as xls|away
[19:01:05] <geoffreybrigham> So under SOPA, probably not. Exactly my point. We can link to Pirate Bay today as long as the link is not to infringing material. But SOPA targets Pirate Bay. If we get a court order, we have to take down that totally legitimate link.
[19:01:09] <sgardner> I am assuming that given consensus wasn't achieved in time to do something today, to synch up with the mark-up, that people will start talking about i) what is the right form of protest to stage and ii) when is the right time to stage it.
[19:01:17] <geoffreybrigham> OK ... I know...my spelling sucks
[19:01:31] <sgardner> Your spelling was fine :-)
[19:01:50] <peteforsyth> sgardner: or Philippe -- can you link this proposal to do something today please?
[19:02:02] <Philippe> peteforsyth: it was an RFC that closed last night
[19:02:04] <Philippe> i'll find it
[19:02:04] <sgardner> So I am wondering -- is there anything we can tell you here, or find out for you outside of this chat, that would help people make informed decisions?
[19:02:21] <mindspillage> Seth_Finkelstein: we don't need money from them--or any other single source--so badly that we'll act for them rather than ourselves. Part of the reason we have to act ourselves is that we cannot depend on them.
[19:02:26] <sgardner> (I am assuming you're wanting to form a position, influence the discussions when they happen on-wiki, etc.)
[19:02:36] <sgardner> Google isn't giving us any money right now.
[19:02:38] <peteforsyth> sgardner: Geoff's blog post was a fantastic step in that direction -- thank you geoffreybrigham for doing that.
[19:02:39] <sgardner> By the way.
[19:02:40] <gmaxwell> Seth_Finkelstein: I probably agree with you about all the reasons that its important for Wikipedia to be open and inclusive, etc. But I don't see how it's not orthogonal. If we're being stupid we should fix it. That doesn't make SOPA suddenly acceptable because it would also make us be stupid.
[19:03:18] <mindspillage> sgardner: I'm assuming he's equating Brin Wojcicki to Google, but the point stands either way.
[19:03:19] <peteforsyth> as a wikipedian, of course, my bias is "the more well-processed, factual information is available, the more possible it is to make good decisions" :)
[19:03:21] <Seth_Finkelstein> @sgardner - No straw man. I've been doing net-politics for many years. Don't oversimply quick IRC comments.
[19:03:22] <sgardner> They gave us money through Tides a few years ago, and Sergey's private foundation is giving us money. But we don't actually have a lot of contact with them, and we aren't talking about funding at all at the moment.
[19:03:31] <sgardner> Kat: yeah.
[19:03:54] <bodnotbod> @sgardner The only thing I can think of as helpful to me at the moment is that we have a solid place we can stay updated (because as Geoff says, this is a moving target). I will monitor http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:SOPA_initiative unless informed there's a better place to stay in touch with all this.
[19:04:09] <Philippe> I think that's a good link, bodnotbod
[19:04:16] <peteforsyth> sgardner: mindspillage : I would argue that where there is 89% buy-in from the community, the Board has broad latitude to act as it believes the community would want it to.
[19:04:29] <SarahStierch> and if you want some memes: http://getyourcensoron.com/
[19:04:30] <Philippe> (and ps - @bodnotbod - hello, my friend.)
[19:04:52] <Seth_Finkelstein> @peteforsyth - "there is 89%" - NO, there isn't. Note, straw poll being used wrongly.
[19:04:54] <peteforsyth> The Board acting without any regard for consensus would be bad, obviously; but the Board acting with a strong understanding of where the consensus lies is something different entirely.
[19:05:22] <peteforsyth> Seth_Finkelstein: I'm just going on what's been reported here. Nobody linked an analysis, just said "89%".
[19:05:32] <sgardner> Bodnotbod: yeah. I think the Wikimedia Foundation can use that page as a place to put information for people. I am assuming it won't be the place where community discussion happens -- because there is no RfC there. But we will use it to put updates, whatever information we get about other sites' plans, and so forth.
[19:05:40] <peteforsyth> I'd trust the board to do a good job of exploring that number before acting, as well.
[19:05:56] <gmaxwell> Seth_Finkelstein: taking it as yes no is a bit silly. But there is clearly strong support, as well as some clear reservations (some which can probably be addressed via technique and timing.
[19:06:00] <sgardner> Pete: I don't think the Board has plans to do anything. I think it's up to the community how to handle this.
[19:06:00] <Seth_Finkelstein> @peteforsyth This is why that so-called "straw poll" is so bad, created fictitious number.
[19:06:16] <sgardner> If the community wants something from the Wikimedia Foundation, it should just ask.
[19:06:17] <peteforsyth> sgardner: I understand that. I'm just putting the idea out there.
[19:06:22] <mindspillage> Most of the action being proposed doesn't require anything from the board, other than to choose not to intervene. (Well, and to ask the staff to put resources into advocacy efforts.)
[19:06:25] <Theo10011> peteforsyth, I think the board should remain neutral and involved in this.
[19:06:33] <Theo10011> *uninvolved
[19:06:34] <peteforsyth> There are cases where carefully timed action is very hard to accomplish by broad consensus
[19:06:40] <sgardner> Yeah, but I don't think people should wait for the Board. I think they should make their own decisions through normal community process.
[19:06:44] <sgardner> I hear you though, on slowness.
[19:06:45] <peteforsyth> in my opinion, that's one of the reasons we *have* a board.
[19:06:48] <kim__> Still busy here!
[19:07:00] <Theo10011> hiya kim__
[19:07:09] <sgardner> 'And yes, to Kat's point: the Board, and the Wikimedia Foundation in general, would not interfere with anything the community decides to do.
[19:07:15] <Philippe> OK, folks, I'm going to have to duck out… I have a dozen things on my desk.  :) I'll see you folks later.
[19:07:18] <mindspillage> I think timing for effective action will be very difficult, and this is something I expect that Geoff and his outside consultants are best able to advise on.
[19:07:23] <sgardner> The only way we would interfere, I think, is if something very rogue happened, that seemed not supported.
[19:07:28] <sgardner> Bye Philippe :-)
[19:07:31] <Seth_Finkelstein> @sgardner - You might not be able to answer this, but the question for Wikipedia is, if strike, when the wheel-war happens, how does it get settled? ("the community" is not the answer).
[19:07:31] <Philippe> bye :)
[19:07:39] <kim__> hello, was just talking with rcom about the Berkman/Science PO study. That's going to go ok now, I think
[19:08:01] <kim__> Seth_Finkelstein, I don't think we'll get a wheel-war
[19:08:03] <sgardner> Good Kim, thank you :-)
[19:08:11] <StevenW> Seth_Finkelstein: our answer has always been for everything... the WMF doesn't settle wheel wars for the community.
[19:08:22] <StevenW> And no one wants us to.
[19:08:23] <sgardner> I want to talk for one minute about Wikimedia Foundation support for any action.
[19:08:30] <kim__> Seth_Finkelstein, currently there is already about 80% support for taking action
[19:08:43] <peteforsyth> sgardner: back to your question about "what can WMF do" -- I think "summarizing the conversation and linking the important parts" is a BIG piece.
[19:08:45] <kim__> Seth_Finkelstein, I don't see that going lower, so I have a feeling that a wheel war shan't erupt :-)
[19:08:57] <sgardner> I was kicking around some ideas yesterday with Zack, Jay, Geoff and Kat, about what might happen here.
[19:09:04] <Seth_Finkelstein> @kim__ - No, there is not "80% support", that statement is incorrect.
[19:09:10] <kim__> another thing the foundation can help with is timing our protest together with google and some other internet people :-)
[19:09:14] <peteforsyth> I'd love to see WMF prepared in an office hours like this to link RFCs, summarize its understanding of the consensus with links, etc.
[19:09:20] <sgardner> And what kind of support the community might need or want.
[19:09:35] <SarahStierch> peteforsyth perhaps a "SOPA" specific "take action" office hours?
[19:09:37] <StevenW> I honestly don't think there will be wheel-warring. I mean shoot, English Wikipedia changed the logo for the 10th anniversary with less than 12 people commenting about it. Nobody wheel warred about that.
[19:09:43] <sgardner> So as you know, Zack used to work for MoveOn.org, so he has lots of experience with this kind of thing.
[19:10:17] <kim__> Seth_Finkelstein, There is >80% of wikipedians that are in favor of doing *something*. I agree that this is subject to stricter interpretation, (so don't anyone go do something foolish)
[19:10:20] <sgardner> He is on holiday. But he said that if people are discussing an action somewhere, he would be happy to join in, and advise from the perspective of someone who used to do that kind of thing for a living. Not steering or deciding anything, but just advising.
[19:10:24] <Seth_Finkelstein> @StevenW - my take is that the anti-strike faction has been antagonized. I could be wrong.
[19:10:35] <kim__> buuut, even if someone pulled an Ed Poor now, they would probably survive ;-)
[19:10:59] <StevenW> I am not old enough to remember what pulling an Ed Poor means.
[19:11:07] <Theo10011> heh
[19:11:09] <aude> :)
[19:11:11] <kim__> StevenW, do you remember what Votes for Deletion was?
[19:11:15] <StevenW> Yeah
[19:11:20] <StevenW> Did he change it to AFD?
[19:11:23] <Seth_Finkelstein> I think there is widespread SOPA-bad view. Much less widespread turn-off-Wikipedia view.
[19:11:28] <kim__> Ed Poor deleted. I say, DELETED VFD
[19:11:33] <sgardner> Also, the Wikimedia Foundation has a fundraising infrastructure. Those folks are working crazy hours right now on the fundraising. But if the community wanted help with banner design or text, or anything like that, I am sure we would be able to free up some resources for that. And there are also lots of volunteers who've been involved with the fundraising, and presumably some of them might also be willing to help.
[19:11:42] <kim__> StevenW, and he almost got away with it too, if it wasn't for those dang kids ;-)
[19:11:44] <apergos> hahaha that's amazing (
[19:12:00] <sgardner> I am saying this because I want people to know that the Wikimedia Foundation is willing to give counsel, advice, support of various kinds, if we are asked for it.
[19:12:04] <sgardner> Taht's all :-)
[19:12:09] <kim__> Ultimately he was right, part of our editor retention issues stem from continued issues with the deletion process
[19:12:23] <kim__> sgardner, that's *all*? That's awesome :-) Thanks so much :-)
[19:12:27] <bodnotbod> @sgardner I'm certainly in favour of Foundation staff being fully involved in the community discussion. I feel a presence is needed that is familiar with non-profit law and to let community know of implications of certain decisions they may be leaning towards.
[19:13:37] <sgardner> Yeah, Bodnotbod, and we are happy to participate there. I do really want people to understand that we are in a support tole, not leading anything. I think that if community members feel like the Wikimedia Foundation is trying to control what happens, that could cause backlash and upset. We really do just want to support you.
[19:13:39] <kim__> sgardner, do you have contacts with google, MS, internet archive, reddit, other tech organizations (commercial or non?)
[19:14:01] <kim__> ... for the purposes of organizing this protest?
[19:14:07] <kim__> In the mean time, totally different tack
[19:14:08] <sgardner> Kim, yes. We're talking to all those folks on a daily basis, and we'll post what we're hearing about their plans (to the extent they're comfortable with it) on the SOPA page.
[19:14:16] <sgardner> Can someone post the link again, for Kim?
[19:14:25] <kim__> excellent I missed the link to the sopa page earlier
[19:14:33] <StevenW> http://enwp.org/Wikipedia:SOPA_Initiative
[19:14:34] <bodnotbod> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:SOPA_initiative
[19:14:41] <sgardner> Okay. We should start wrapping up here.
[19:14:50] <sgardner> Or at least, I should start wrapping up ;-)
[19:14:52] <kim__> sgardner, totally different tack, how do we get say the EU to take over DNS?
[19:15:06] <kim__> or iceland :-)
[19:15:06] <apergos> I don't know if you want them to
[19:15:07] <peteforsyth> thanks sgardner -- I think my last coment to you may have got lost in the shuffle
[19:15:07] <StevenW> By giving them a magical unicorn.
[19:15:11] <apergos> iceland, maybe
[19:15:11] <Seth_Finkelstein> @kim__ You wouln't want that. Block hate speech, etc.
[19:15:13] <sgardner> Is there anything else we want to talk about, before we close?
[19:15:20] <sgardner> I didn't see it Pete -- I'll go back and read for a second.
[19:15:21] <kim__> apergos, <grin>
[19:15:31] <SarahStierch> viva le révolution!
[19:15:34] <peteforsyth> thanks :) no reply needed, just want to be sure it got through
[19:15:41] <kim__> Seth_Finkelstein, not the EU itself, some member states need reeling in though
[19:15:49] <sgardner> Thanks Pete; got it :-)
[19:15:54] * peteforsyth eyes SarahStierch again warily
[19:15:55] <sgardner> Sarah!
[19:15:58] <gmaxwell> kim__: SOPA isn't really about the registries anyways, e.g. it largely targets search engines and recursive resolvers. And as Seth_Finkelstein says,— the US really does have good laws for the internet.
[19:15:59] <SarahStierch> What!
[19:16:01] <sgardner> I love it.
[19:16:02] <bodnotbod> I'm happy to end here.... getting an IRC headache.
[19:16:09] <StevenW> If this is a revolution, does that mean I get a Cuban cigar?
[19:16:11] <kim__> Seth_Finkelstein, we could ask the good old nelie kroes to look in to it? ;-)
[19:16:24] <sgardner> Okay. I am going to bail out too. Thank you all: this was a really useful office hours :-)
[19:16:30] <sgardner> Thanks Geoff for coming by, too :-)
[19:16:33] <kim__> hello gmaxwell :-D
[19:16:40] <Theo10011> StevenW, OMG breaking embargos already?
[19:16:40] <geoffreybrigham> my pleasure ... bye all
[19:16:41] <bodnotbod> Bye Sue
[19:16:43] <Seth_Finkelstein> YEs, thanks for answer, I know it's not easy
[19:16:43] <peteforsyth> thanks all for great discussion!
[19:16:45] <Theo10011> bye
[19:16:46] <kim__> sgardner, have a great day
[19:16:47] <Moonriddengirl> Bye, Geoff!
[19:16:55] <StevenW> Adios muchachos.