Workspace: Public policy
The Public Policy Committee (PPC) is a chapter committee to develop expertise and consensus on public policy matters and advise the board. The committee coordinates with experts, co-hosts public forums on policy topics, and recommends public policy stances to the Board and the movement. The chapter is a nonprofit organization, and tax rules on such organizations requires that only small amounts of chapter money may be allocated to lobbying and other public policy efforts.
Members of the committee are listed here. As of Oct 2018 they are Peter Meyer, Dominic Byrd-McDevitt, Robert Fernandez, Jim Hayes, Kevin Payravi, and John Sadowski.
Issue areas and activities
- /Allowing digital backups by GLAMs - petition, April 2020
- /Copyright policy issues -- we made formal comments to Copyright Office about orphan works
- Public domain day, Jan 2019 -- new works from 1923 are freed from copyright. Details: , , . We co-organized a forum at American University's law school with AU's PIJIP program to discuss copyright changes expanding the public domain and new works becoming copyright-free as of January 1.
- copyright training from Creative Commons and CopyrightX from Harvard Law School which includes exams
- "Copyright is Not Theft” - one minute tune with superb animation
- "When and how to contact OTRS" - https://vimeo.com/338753121 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:When_and_how_to_contact_OTRS.webm
- Other areas
- /Net neutrality -- Our published statement, May 5, 2018: Wikimedia DC statement supporting Senate action to restore Net Neutrality
- /Federal government Open Source Policy -- OMB has a new policy as of early August 2016. Peter commented, not specifically representing the chapter, in the drafts offered in March and April 2016. Peter to send a summary to WMF public policy list.
- /Congressional briefings -- WMDC was invited to present to communications staffers on the Hill in May 2016. This window fell through. Peter hopes to present in the period after the election.
- /Patents on software and related -- we attended Alice vs CLS Bank case when it was argued at the Supreme Court
- /Reform of Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (e.g. Aaron's law)
- Internet response to SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA. 
- SAA letter to WIPO asking for freedom for cultural heritage insts to make precise digtal backups
- /Wiki for evaluations of scientific work
- /Practices and rules for federal government staff who edit on work time -- /Draft blog post on federal and congressional editing
- The WMF Policy office lists these five as its policy advocacy topics: Access (to the net); Copyright; Censorship; Intermediary Liability; and Privacy. (Harassment is not on the list, but is an area where changes in law are under discussion.)
- /Prep for Oct 8 2016 presentation at Wikimania
- Possible partner: Credibility Coalition
Background, and other topics of interest
- ACTA: The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), is a multinational treaty for the purpose of establishing international standards for intellectual property; agreed on in 2011 if I understand correctly
- CISPA: Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act -- a proposed U.S. law to "allow" (require?) sharing of Internet traffic data between the U.S. government and some companies, intended to help the government investigate cyber threats and ensure security of networks.
- CISA = Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015
- CALEA: The wikipedia:Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act is a United States wiretapping law passed in 1994
- Public Domain Day mentioned in Signpost
- The potential right-to-repair , , 
- Wikipedias in Native American languages ; Native Language Immersion Student Achievement Act
- edit articles on legislation and court cases (meeting usual criteria of neutral language, sourcing of statements, and working cooperatively online) -- we've done well creating the article on the upcoming case Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International
- could organize an edit-a-thon on government procurement topics ; or, again do one on legislation -- with Cato Institute
- join WikiProject Public Policy
- Virginia state law stuff is largely not copyrighted but there seem to be exceptions: https://leg1.state.va.us/000/src.htm. We need info on other jurisdictions in our chapter area.
- /TPP -- the Trans-Pacific Partnership
- /Freedom of Panorama, a hot topic in European legislation
- /Tor and WIkimedia
Our role and constraints
- The Wikimedia DC board must approve any public document from the committee representing the chapter, before release
- Committee members may self-identify as members of Wiki DC but should not claim to represent Wiki DC without board approval of specific positions.
- Generally Wiki-DC and this group should take stances that are in the public interest of free knowledge, not stances advocating narrow interests of the organization
- /Reports to the Wikimedia DC board
Connections and affiliations
- Our chapter may wish to join the Congressional Data Coalition
- The chapter held events at Cato Institute, the Sunlight Foundation and American University's Washington College of Law
- Advocacy page on meta
- In April 2012, Wikimedia DC partnered with the Washington European Society and the Estonian Embassy in Washington to present a panel on Internet Freedom & Open Government: An International Conversation, featuring speakers Danny Weitzner, Deputy CTO for Internet Policy at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy; Chairman Marko Mihkelson, Chairman of the Estonian Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee; Ian Schuler, Senior Manager for Internet Freedom Programs at the State Department; and Rebecca MacKinnon, Bernard L. Schwartz senior fellow at the New America Foundation and a member of the Wikimedia Foundation Advisory Board. Adam Kushner, Deputy Editor of the National Journal, moderated the discussion.
Answers from the PPC on behalf of the chapter
- How can our chapter advocate for public policy without violating not-for-profit rules? Our answer (Feb-Mar 2014)
- How should copyright rules be changed to allow more use of orphan works? Our published answer (May 2014)
- Should our chapter join the Congressional Data Coalition? Overwhelmingly our committee said YES. (June 2014, in board meeting minutes)
- How should our chapter prepare to give a prize to an international recipient? WMF legal counsel Villa advised (June 2014) that (a) For issues related to chapter status/agreement, ask Stephen LaPorte of WMF legal; (b) Please check with firstname.lastname@example.org regarding use of trademarks before using them in a contest; (c) WMF-Legal "can't" give us legal advice regarding our 501(c)3 status or money transfers out of the country. Econterms is following up with WM-NYC and can contact LaPorte.
- Should our chapter sign on to these declarations and manifestos? (July 2014) (1) Public Domain Manifesto; (2) Berlin Declaration; (3) Washington Declaration. We'll recommend something by the July 26 meeting.