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Kat Walsh
Works at Creative Commons
Attended George Mason University School of Law
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Kat Walsh

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+Jimmy Wales and I have an op-ed in the Washington Post on the SOPA and PIPA blackouts.
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Kat Walsh

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And we're dark. Don't just wonder what you used to do to look things up before Wikipedia--contact your representatives! (Or, if you're outside the US, your State Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs or similar--this affects you too.)
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I contacted the US state department. Lots of coverage of this on BBC radio.
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Kat Walsh

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Wikipedia's going dark on the 18th to protest SOPA--read more here.
Sue Gardner originally shared:
 
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‎(Also, this is the mailing list post my quote is pulled from: http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2011-December/070882.html )
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Kat Walsh

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Finally managed to take the MPRE and get scores returned so I could get taken off the Virginia Bar's naughty list. (Just in time for Christmas.) So now I am officially a lawyer.
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Evelyn Mitchell's profile photoKat Walsh's profile photoBen McIlwain's profile photoChris Ball's profile photo
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Yay!
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Kat Walsh

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Posted originally on Wikimedia's foundation-l on a thread about SOPA and whether we should be involved at all, but I think it stands alone decently too:

I think our very existence is not politically neutral. The articles, yes, as close to that ideal of neutrality as possible. But the project itself? We depend on a legal infrastructure that makes it possible for us to operate. And we depend on a legal infrastructure that also allows other sites to host user-contributed material, both information and expression.

For the most part, Wikimedia projects are organizing and summarizing and collecting the world's knowledge. We're putting it in context, and showing people how to make to sense of it. But that knowledge has to be published somewhere for anyone to find and use it. Where it can be censored without due process, it hurts the speaker, the public, and Wikimedia. Where you can only speak if you have sufficient resources to fight legal challenges, or if your views are pre-approved by someone who does, the same narrow set of ideas already popular will continue to be all anyone has meaningful access to.

I've started thinking of our public voice and the goodwill we have in the public's mind as being a resource that we need to be responsible stewards of--just as much so as the money we're given. Both as the legal entity of the Wikimedia Foundation, and as the broader community-based entity of the movement around our set of goals.

Not using that voice when we obviously have it is also a political decision. We already take many political stances just by what we're doing: we support the right to freedom of thought and expression. We support the idea of letting authors and creators choose different terms than the default copyright term. We think that simple facts about the world should not be copyrightable. We think everyone should have access to educational material on any subject, even if they cannot pay for it or their government doesn't want them to have it.They're assumptions that we don't usually make a lot of noise about, but they are basic to our mission; we cannot do what we set out to do in our mission statement if the laws we're operating under make it impossible.

I think it was good for us that we've focused on creating things rather than talking about things--we have built something that has brought tremendous value to the world, and have built up a lot of credibility. When a law is proposed that challenges our ability to continue doing that, we should use that voice and that goodwill we have to stand up for the mission.

There is more stress and concern on Wikimedia lists over allocating money properly than almost any other topic. It's important--using the resources we've been given by the public to their best end is a huge and difficult responsibility. But that's only (!) a few tens of millions of dollars. Our voice is worth much more than that, and we've mostly been letting it sit in the bank. We should spend it to make things better.
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James Salsman's profile photoPat Gunn's profile photo
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Huge improvement over "Some advocacy, not lobbying" on meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Movement_roles/Roles_Matrix#The_Matrix
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Kat Walsh

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I'm very thankful to Geoff for posting this. Until then I had no good information on the new version of the bill and how it would impact Wikipedia.
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Kat Walsh

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Oh, The Onion, how I love you.
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Kat Walsh's profile photoFrédéric Bazin's profile photo
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thanks. :) Besides tech publication and american blockbusters, my English fails me sometimes
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Kat Walsh

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+Phoebe Ayers, who is a Wikimedia board member, a librarian, and a generally awesome person, posts about why Wikimedia is getting involved, why now, and why librarians (and everyone else) should support action.
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Kat Walsh

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I probably ought to stay off the internet tomorrow or everyone will learn the truth:
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Christine Moellenberndt's profile photoJames Salsman's profile photoJason Honan's profile photoDrini drini's profile photo
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+Madeleine Ball The reason only the English Wikipedia was blacked out is an artifice of how the projects are operated. Each language project is run by a separate volunteer community, and make their own decisions. The German Wikipedia decided they only wants to run a banner, so they did, and although the English Wikipedia community might have wanted them to shut down, they have no say over that project.
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Kat Walsh

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This infographic has several of my favorite characteristics: it's information-dense, distills a complex topic into something understandable without oversimplifying, and is wildly colorful.
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Silona Bonewald's profile photoJames Salsman's profile photo
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Thank you Kat! Hey need to ping you offline about some tech policy stuff. Good time to chat? http://tungle.me/silona has my schedule. tis time sensitive...
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Kat Walsh

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Maybe you don't want to listen to a bunch of civil libertarians who've never been in the military argue that the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act compromises American ideals and freedoms. But how about some retired four-star Marine generals?

(It has passed the Senate. The White House is no longer threatening to veto it. I didn't think due process for Americans on our own soil was such a radical idea that I would have to worry about a center-left administration preserving it.)
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The amendments which removed the veto threat remove the requirement that suspected terrorists be held in military custody, but it still allows it.
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Kat Walsh

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If you're a member of the Wikimedia community, take a look at the discussion on Jimmy Wales's talk page as to whether we should temporarily shut down the site in protest of SOPA.
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My favorite suggestion so far is to add a global stylesheet overlay of a Mickey Mouse parody showing him sending kids' parents to jail for watching old cartoons.
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People
In her circles
452 people
Have her in circles
2,107 people
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Work
Occupation
Wikimedia chair, counsel at Creative Commons, classical bassoonist, tech policy wonk, infovore, nerd.
Employment
  • Creative Commons
    Counsel, present
Basic Information
Gender
Female
Other names
Kathleen Walsh, mindspillage
Story
Tagline
Wikimedia Foundation board member, tech/IP lawyer
Introduction
This is my Google profile. I have lots of others. Sadly. (I am not using G+ anymore except to look at thinks people link me to, because it drives me crazy.)

I'm a Wikimedian and a tech/IP attorney, mostly interested in free culture, free software, and free speech. I'm also a classical musician, playing bassoon and viola in amateur ensembles.
Bragging rights
I once recited a proof of the infinitude of primes using only words of one syllable, without preparation. I can force anything into sonnet form. Occasionally I change other people's minds in argument. Occasionally I change my own mind in an argument. I play a mean game of air hockey. I passed the FE exam without an engineering degree. I am both the longest-serving elected member of the Wikimedia board and the youngest. I can French braid my own hair. I am really good at spelling, and pretty good at cartwheels.
Education
  • George Mason University School of Law
    2006 - 2010
  • Stetson University
    2001 - 2005
  • Merritt Island High School
    1997 - 2000