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What Does China Blocking Wikimedia Foundation from A World IP Forum Have to Do With Free Speech?

Organizations like Wikimedia Foundation work towards ensuring access to international Intellectual Property is not dictated by large media and patent industries.

We missed this earlier: In yet another instance of how diplomatic pressure can impact free speech online, China has once again blocked the Wikimedia Foundation's application for observer status at the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The (familiar) reason: "disinformation" on Wikipedia pages that counter China's stance that Taiwan is an inalienable part of it. "The Wikipedia [sic] foundation operates many reference projects, including Wikipedia...Until the Foundation clarifies its Taiwan-related position and addresses China's serious concerns, China cannot agree to the Foundation becoming an observer. I would like to reiterate, firstly, the activities undertaken by the observer applicant, should not undermine the sovereignty and territoriality of the member states, which represents the minimum respect for the member states of WIPO," said China's WIPO representative on March 13th, 2023. This is the fourth time of late China has objected to the Foundation's participation in WIPO proceedings. The Foundation plans to reapply for observer status at the upcoming WIPO General Assembly meeting in July. Wait, what's WIPO and what does the Wikimedia Foundation have to do with it?: WIPO is a self-funded United Nations agency. 193 member states come together at this forum to deliberate global standards on intellectual property and copyright policy. The Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights helps WIPO figure out these global standards. If it gets observer status at the Committee, the Wikimedia Foundation—which runs projects like Wikipedia—may be able to help shape global standards on copyright law. For example,…

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