Wikmedia Foundation Hires DC Lobbying Firm

Posted on January 3, 2012 by

The news that Dow Lohnes Government Strategies has been hired by the Wikimedia Foundation was reported by Politico this afternoon after the registration filing was released.

You can view the full text here (via Sunlight Foundation)

They lobbying is for legislation related to online intellectual property infringement, including H.R. 3261 [SOPA], S. 968 [Protect IP Act], and S. 2029 [Open Act].

On December 28, 2011, Geoff Brigham, General Counsel for the Wikimedia Foundation, posted the following on the SOPA initiative project page about the organization hiring Wikipedia.

Brigham Writes:

In response to some inquiries, I want to spell out some of our government affairs work, though it has been quite limited to date. Once it became clear that the proposed legislation was becoming active, the Wikimedia Foundation hired Dow Lohnes Government Strategies (“DLGS”) to provide educational background on several bills, including SOPA, IP Protect, and OPEN. The crux of the work is to provide us information on the legislation, such as the changing schedule for the various legislative steps; the substance of amendments; the key political players, including supporters and opponents, in the debate; news about the legislation; etc. This information has been useful in updating our community from an educational perspective. Early on, DLGS did have limited contacts with the House Judiciary Committee to understand the initial version of the legislation and to determine whether there would be room for acceptable legislative amendments. However, upon understanding the overall structure of the legislation, the Wikimedia Foundation decided that amendments could not address our community’s key concerns. In the immediate future, we do not anticipate significant contacts with members of the House or Senate by DLGS on the legislation. We will continue to employ DLGS to furnish us their expertise on the legislative process and the various procedural and substantive legislative steps affecting the proposed legislation.

Posted in: Government, Legal