Kat Walsh, Voted Chairman of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees

Information Economy Project friend and GMU Law alum, Kat Walsh, was nominated and voted as Chairman of the 2012-13 Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees.  The press release states:  “This year, Kat Walsh was appointed Chair of the Board, Jan-Bart de Vreede was re-appointed Vice-chair, Stuart West was re-appointed as Board Treasurer and Bishakha Datta becomes Board Secretary. The Board expressed its great thanks to former Board Chair Ting Chen, as well as outgoing trustees Arne Klempert and Phoebe Ayers. Their leadership has strengthened and nurtured the growth of the worldwide Wikimedia movement.  I am honored to have been chosen to chair the Board in the coming year,’ said Kat Walsh, Chairman of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. ‘I want to thank Ting Chen for his service in his period as Chair, and I look forward to working closely with him as I take on this new role. It’s an important time in the history of the Wikimedia Foundation and the Wikimedia movement: I look forward to leading the Board in the year ahead.'” http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Press_releases/WMF_Board_Election_July_2012

Politico Morning Tech, http://www.politico.com/morningtech/0712/morningtech510.html, describes, “Kat Walsh has been appointed the new chairwoman of the Wikipedia Foundation. A resident of Herndon, Va., Walsh is an attorney who focuses on ‘copyrights, patents, and technology policy,’ according to Wikipedia. ‘Her particular interests are free content licenses, software freedom, access to knowledge, and freedom of speech.'”

Congrats Kat!

Washington Post: We Are the Media, and So Are You, Jimmy Wales and Kat Walsh

Opinions, By Jimmy Wales and Kat Walsh, Published: February 9.  Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, and Kat Walsh are members of the Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees.  It’s easy to frame the fight over SOPA and PIPA as Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley — two huge industries clashing over whose voice should dictate the future of Internet policy — but it’s absolutely wrong. The bills are dead, thanks to widespread protest. But the real architects of the bills’ defeat don’t have a catchy label or a recognized lobbying group. They don’t have the glamour or the deep pockets of the studios. Yet they are the largest, most powerful and most important voice in the debate — and, until recently, they’ve been all but invisible to Congress.

Kat Walsh is a friend of the Information Economy Project and graduate of George Mason University School of Law.  Read the full opinion here! http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/we-are-the-media-and-so-are-you/2012/02/09/gIQAfNW81Q_story.html.

Self-Regulation: How Wikipedia Leverages User-Generated Quality Control Under Section 230

SSRN 2010.  Kathleen M. Walsh, Wikimedia Foundation Trustee and Executive Secretary of the Board of Trustees; George Mason University School of Law, Sarah Oh, Operations and Research Director of the Information Economy Project, George Mason University School of Law.

As Virginia Woolf once wrote, “[T]o enjoy freedom, we have…to control ourselves.” In the market for online information services, Wikipedia has done just that. Wikipedia has achieved astounding success via self-regulation. Wikipedia promotes user-generated quality control not as a legal obligation, but as a commitment to its educational purpose and values of its fact-checking community. In doing so, Wikipedia has leveraged the purpose of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act into consumer welfare. Section 230 protects sites that engage in “Good Samaritan” policing of harmful material, with no requirement on the quality or quantity of such monitoring. Interactive sites should treat the statute an opportunity, rather than mere permission to thrive in the world of Web 2.0: those who can productively self-regulate, should. Full text available on SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1579054.

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