Why did Wikipedia “go dark” (if you can call it that)? The story according to a “volunteer”

Here’s a couple questions:  If Wikipedia takes copyright so seriously it actually monitors for copyright infringement and maintains an advanced state of copyright purity, then how is it that copyright infringement is not part of its function?  And exactly how did the “Wikipedia community” express its “stance” on rogue sites legislation?  Wasn’t it really more a question of “Jimbo’s” stance and decision?  Any ideas about who might have influenced that decision?

And isn’t this response really saying that Wikipedia acted in its own interest?  Sorry…the Wikipedia community, all 450 million users a month or so they say.  And exactly how was that interest measured?  Majority vote?

But of course, this “volunteer” doesn’t speak for Wikimedia/pedia, in order to get that you have to send a certified letter via snail mail.

On behalf of the Wikimedia community, please allow me to extend a sincere thank you for taking time out of your day to write to us.

First, let me assure you that Wikipedia respects copyright laws. We are one of the most advanced sites on the web in the matters of copyright purity. Our volunteers monitor almost all additions for possible copyright infringements and spend a great deal of time ensuring that all media files in use comply with both US and international law.

The problem with SOPA and PIPA is not that they allow fighting of copyright violations—we are strongly against copyright violations. The problem is that many of the formulations in the proposed bills are very flawed, and many procedures in the proposed bills can easily be abused and used for censorship. For a detailed explanation about the problems with the proposed legislation, please see a statement by our General Counsel, Geoff Brigham, at <http://blog.wikimedia.org/2011/12/13/how-sopa-will-hurt-the-free-web-and-wikipedia/> [“Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!”].   The Wikipedia community took its stance on SOPA and PIPA because we believe the bills are dangerous and harmful to our mission. We have had no discussion regarding how piracy should be fought because that question does not directly affect Wikipedia’s function. Therefore, we do not propose any alternatives to SOPA.

I hope this helps to address your question, and thank you again for writing to share your thoughts with us.

Yours sincerely, Benn Newman

Disclaimer: all mail to this address is answered by volunteers, and responses are not to be considered an official statement of the Wikimedia Foundation. For official correspondence, please contact the Wikimedia Foundation by certified mail at the address listed on http://www.wikimediafoundation.org