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Wikimedia Europe

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Markus Trienke, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Charles J. Sharp, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Benh LIEU SONG (Flickr), CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Michael S Adler, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

JohnDarrochNZ, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Stefan Krause, Germany, FAL, via Wikimedia Commons

We are Wikimedians working on EU policy to foster
free knowledge, access to information and freedom of expression.

Open letter to protect Wikipedia and other public interest projects in the Global Digital Compact

Wikimedia Europe has signed an open letter, penned by the Wikimedia Foundaiton, that calls on UN Member States to protect Wikipedia and other public interest projects in the forthcoming Global Digital Compact. The Global Digital Compact initiative is a unique and pivotal opportunity to shape our digital world in a manner that advances the public interest and supports sustainable development for everyone, everywhere.  UN Member States have the chance to embrace a positive vision for the internet’s future that supports and empowers diverse communities everywhere to build and operate free and open knowledge projects. The Wikimedia projects, including Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, provide the world with the largest free and open, multilingual, intercultural, universally accessible repository of educational materials ever created. The volunteer-run Wikimedia projects have formed a community-led ecosystem that champions information integrity. They serve as digital public infrastructure for openly licensed, neutral, encyclopedic content in over 300 languages. Wikipedia’s experience of over two decades has taught us that the internet needs to be open, global, interoperable, and inclusive in order to serve all of humanity. To that end, three essential commitments should be included in the text of the Global Digital Compact:

Visions of AI in Popular Culture: report is out

Activist organisations often have difficulties with raising awareness around the problems that they make it their mission to solve. While lack of adequate expertise or access to funding that could be spent for information campaigns, are among reasons, there is a lot to be said about the messaging and methods we chose. What if we got inspiration from pop-culture and artworks that excell at translating the emerging tendencies and new technologies into the zeitgeist?

These are the droids you’re looking for

Together with SWPS University’s Institute of Humanities in Warsaw, Poland, we delved into exactly this inspiration! Students worked under the direction of the faculty on data collection and report Visions of AI in Popular Culture: Analysis of the Narratives about Artificial Intelligence in Science Fiction Films and Series. The Wikimedia assignment was to examine attitudes and winning narratives pertaining to the key narrative tropes:

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Wikimania 2024: call for submissions open!

The great celebration of everything Wikimedia will take place in Katowice, Poland, August 7-10 . Wikimedia Europe was asked to curate the track on Legal and Advocacy, which we are happy to support. As Wikimania 2024 gathers under the topic of the Collaboration of Open, we present under your consideration some ideas on how to align with this message.

You can submit a session proposal for Wikimania 2024 here.

Food for thought

In this time of global conflict, disinformation and digital authoritarianism, the Wikimedia movement offers a model for decentralised, grassroots governance of free knowledge. Our movement empowers communities to exercise their right to access knowledge, and to advance other fundamental human rights. The Wikimedia model offers inspiration on how to create connections between people of various backgrounds, cultures and beliefs. 

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We need a Digital Knowledge Act

A digital knowledge act for europe

In December 2023 the Communia Association, which Wikimedia Europe is a member of, rolled out the idea of a Digital Knowledge Act at the European Union level. A EU regulation that makes the interests of knowledge institutions, such as libraries, universities and schools, a top priority. 

In the past five years we have seen the EU tackling various specific digital issues through legislation – content moderation through the Digital Services Act, market power through the Digital Markets Act, data sharing through the Data Act and the Data Governance Act. All these were necessary steps, we believe, they however treated institutions, such as libraries, archives, universities and schools, almost as an afterthought.  

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Anti-SLAPPs Directive: a step in the right direction. 

 

The new legal tool only introduces minimum safeguards: it’s now up to Member States to transpose the new rules ensuring a comprehensive and meaningful protection for the victims of SLAPPs as well as freedom of expression and information.

Introduction

The European Parliament formally adopted, during the last February plenary session held in Strasbourg, the anti-SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) Directive, which it has also been referred to as Daphne’s law from the name of the Maltese journalist, Daphne Caurana Galizia, who was murdered in 2017. The adopted text is the result of the compromise that both Parliament and Council struck in November 2023, one year and half later the Commission published the proposal. Now, the text needs to be formally adopted by the Council, this will normally happen in March, and published in the Official Journal.

Read More »Anti-SLAPPs Directive: a step in the right direction. 

Cyber resilience Act – it’s a wrap!

We finally have a deal on the Cyber Resilience Act.

It is a EU regulation thought up to make internet-connected products safer. With other words, it tackles the IT security and software maintenance of your smart toaster and AI-powered fridge. The tool originally chosen is to create obligations to manufacturers and/or vendors. We were involved in these negotiations because the newly proposed obligations could have seriously messed up the free & open software ecosystem. 

Perhaps not intended, but the initial proposal and some of the interim versions didn’t clearly protect free software and would have risked that individual, volunteer contributors of code to free software projects are liable and have to comply with the same stringent obligations as large companies. 

Read More »Cyber resilience Act – it’s a wrap!

Protecting youth online: Wikimedia Foundation publishes its first Child Rights Impact Assessment

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Originally posted on 17 January 2024 by Richard Gaines on Diff.

The Wikimedia Foundation has published an independent assessment to understand the impacts, risks, and opportunities posed to children who access and participate in Wikimedia projects.

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European Media Freedom Act: some reflections from Wikimedia Europe

The European Media Freedom Act is a proposal for regulation put forward by the EU Commission in September 2022 aiming at safeguarding media freedom and pluralism in Europe. For Wikimedia it is relevant, because, on the one hand, it wants to regulate how online platforms moderate content by media service providers and, on the other, it introduces some general rules of media law, including the protection of journalists.

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