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Wikimedia renews Public Policy site

Author: Adrian Offerman

Last month, the Wikimedia Foundation — which is responsible for the Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikibooks, Wikimedia and other Wiki* projects — launched its renewed Public Policy website. On the site, the foundation presents five policy areas that it says are most important for its mission and projects: access, censorship, copyright, intermediary protection, and privacy. These enable the Wikimedia community to push for policies to allow people around the world to access, create, share, and remix free knowledge.

The five policy areas as they are described on the website are:

  • Access: Knowledge should be freely accessible by everyone, across every country, language, and device.
  • Censorship: Everyone should have the right to share and access knowledge free of government censorship.
  • Copyright: People don’t just read; they create, share, and remix. Copyright law should evolve to reflect this new reality.
  • Intermediary liability: The law should allow internet platforms to stay out of editorial decisions so that people can share and speak freely.
  • Privacy: Everyone should be free to read and write without governments looking over their shoulders.

Censorship or reprisal

In a blog post announcing the new site, the Wikimedia Foundation calls the newly formulated principles an important step toward protecting Wikimedians from censorship or reprisal due to sharing free knowledge. The team refers to various actions to oppose the Italian and Russian governments trying to limit free speech, to fight the controversial SOPA bill, and to preserve the "freedom of panorama".