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GlassBeadGame
WP may often be viewed as the private property of a God-King, guided and defended by a cabal. In fact it is a 501 ( c ) ( 3 ) foundation that derives its status by contributing to "Continuing Adult Education." One possible reason it is able to operate much like a closely held company might be a Board of Trustees that can be easily dominated and controlled by JW. The board governs Wikipedia as public trust. It has 7 members, including Jimmy himself. Two of these members are so obscure as to not warrant any WP mainspace articles, one had an article but it couldn't survive AfD/DRV process. As far as a cursory look can tell none have any substantial background in adult education, public sector administration, or anything else that would make sense. Instead of the captains of industry, great minds of society, or leaders of noble civic endeavors they seem, well just a little lightweight for the calling.

I contribute to the encyclopedic project of WP even though I would never support a non-profit organization that lacks a broad-base of community and civic input in it's governance. I tell myself this is alright because of the nature of the open source licensing of the project's contents. I suspect that someday the foundation will get itself into a jam and won't be able recover. This will allow a "rescue" of the project by a properly broad-based organization that steps in simply by "forking" the content and proclaiming their successorship. If they have the bona-fides and gravitas they will be credible with or without consent of the foundation.

Keeping all of this in mind it might be worthwhile focusing some of the problem solving skills of WR on identifying the background of Board members, the circumstances of their securing board seats, and the decision making process involved in foundation matters.

thekohser
QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Sat 31st March 2007, 10:06pm) *

The board governs Wikipedia as public trust. It has 7 members, including Jimmy himself. Two of these members are so obscure as to not warrant any WP mainspace articles, one had an article but it couldn't survive AfD/DRV process. As far as a cursory look can tell none have any substantial background in adult education, public sector administration, or anything else that would make sense. Instead of the captains of industry, great minds of society, or leaders of noble civic endeavors they seem, well just a little lightweight for the calling.

Has Brad Patrick joined Wikipedia Review? This sounds a lot like The Former Counsel's admonition that the Board could have just as easily been established by way of a pie-eating or Tiddly-Winks contest.

Somebody do a Checkuser on GlassBeadGame.

wink.gif

Greg
Somey
QUOTE(thekohser @ Sat 31st March 2007, 8:40pm) *
Has Brad Patrick joined Wikipedia Review? This sounds a lot like The Former Counsel's admonition that the Board could have just as easily been established by way of a pie-eating or Tiddly-Winks contest.

You're kidding, right? Tell me you're kidding...

Anyway, not to worry - Mr. BeadGame checks out OK. And the info he's registered under suggests that he knows what he's talking about, too! (Did we ever post a welcome note, by the way? If not, sorry... and welcome to the forum!)

He's right on his final point, too - the other board members have always flown completely under the radar. We never mention Michael_E._Davis, and while Tim_Shell is no longer on the board, we hardly ever mentioned him either. Oscar_van_Dillen is a musician whom we never mention, and Jan-Bart de Vreede is someone nobody has ever heard of, for all intents and purposes.

As for Brad Patrick, we should probably just avoid him as a topic for the time being. dry.gif
thekohser
QUOTE(Somey @ Sat 31st March 2007, 11:56pm) *

You're kidding, right? Tell me you're kidding...

Kidding about me thinking we just garnered one Brad Patrick at WR? Yes.

Kidding about the pie-eating and Tiddly-Winks reference? Unfortunately, not.

Greg
GlassBeadGame
Is Mr. Patrick still planning on eating some pie in June?
Jonny Cache
QUOTE(GlassBeadGame @ Sat 31st March 2007, 10:06pm) *

WP may often be viewed as the private property of a God-King, guided and defended by a cabal. In fact it is a 501 ( c ) ( 3 ) foundation that derives its status by contributing to "Continuing Adult Education". One possible reason it is able to operate much like a closely held company might be a Board of Trustees that can be easily dominated and controlled by JW. The board governs Wikipedia as public trust. It has 7 members, including Jimmy himself. Two of these members are so obscure as to not warrant any WP mainspace articles, one had an article but it couldn't survive AfD/DRV process. As far as a cursory look can tell none have any substantial background in adult education, public sector administration, or anything else that would make sense. Instead of the captains of industry, great minds of society, or leaders of noble civic endeavors they seem, well just a little lightweight for the calling.

I contribute to the encyclopedic project of WP even though I would never support a non-profit organization that lacks a broad-base of community and civic input in it's governance. I tell myself this is alright because of the nature of the open source licensing of the project's contents. I suspect that someday the foundation will get itself into a jam and won't be able recover. This will allow a "rescue" of the project by a properly broad-based organization that steps in simply by "forking" the content and proclaiming their successorship. If they have the bona-fides and gravitas they will be credible with or without consent of the foundation.

Keeping all of this in mind it might be worthwhile focusing some of the problem solving skills of WR on identifying the background of Board members, the circumstances of their securing board seats, and the decision making process involved in foundation matters.


Putting aside the all-important questions of who eats what kind of pie and when, I think that these remarks provide as with much food for thought. Unfortunately, I and mine are right in the midst of our annual Spring-cleaning marathon — I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sweep — so let me just put down this marker by way of skipping over all the foregoing pixelations.

Jonny cool.gif
Heat
Are board members still going to be elected by wiki-wide elections or has that been changed with the decision that wikimedia "has no members"?
Daniel Brandt
The Foundation looks to me like a de facto membership organization, and a "member" gets defined by the Board of Trustees. In the last election, they defined those qualified to vote by the number of edits they had. This included electing some Trustees, and ArbCom members, and stewards, etc.

If their bylaws define the corporation as a non-membership organization, with only the Big Seven on top, I don't see that as binding. I think that legally, a court might want to look at the facts surrounding the procedures for the latest election.

If I'm right, then the link between the Foundation and the editing "community" is strong enough to make the Foundation liable for the content on Wikipedia. That's the same thing as saying that Wikipedia is a publisher, or "content provider," and not a "service provider."

Bye-bye section 230.
Joseph100
QUOTE(Daniel Brandt @ Mon 9th April 2007, 12:56pm) *

The Foundation looks to me like a de facto membership organization, and a "member" gets defined by the Board of Trustees. In the last election, they defined those qualified to vote by the number of edits they had. This included electing some Trustees, and ArbCom members, and stewards, etc.

If their bylaws define the corporation as a non-membership organization, with only the Big Seven on top, I don't see that as binding. I think that legally, a court might want to look at the facts surrounding the procedures for the lastest election.

If I'm right, then the link between the Foundation and the editing "community" is strong enough to make the Foundation liable for the content on Wikipedia. That's the same thing as saying that Wikipedia is a publisher, or "content provider," and not a "service provider."

Bye-bye section 230.


Amen...hello Class action and [[USA:CiVIL/CRIMINAL]], [[USA:DEFAMATION]] and the most important policy

[[USA:CIVIL/CRIMINAL>WP:policy]]

gomi
From the Wikimedia Foundation Bylaws:

The Foundation does not have members. (Fla. Stat. Section 617.0601)

They do, however, have a "community":

(C ) Persons elected by the community shall be appointed for a term of two years. The Board of Trustees shall determine the dates, rules and regulation of the voting procedures. The Board shall determine who shall be qualified to vote in the election.

(D) The majority of the Board shall be elected or appointed from within the community.

(E) "Community" as used in the Bylaws, shall be defined by the Board, consistent with the mission statement.


The mission statement, both from the Wikimedia website and from the Bylaw document itself, is silent on the subject of "community".
Heat
QUOTE(Daniel Brandt @ Mon 9th April 2007, 6:56pm) *

The Foundation looks to me like a de facto membership organization, and a "member" gets defined by the Board of Trustees. In the last election, they defined those qualified to vote by the number of edits they had. This included electing some Trustees, and ArbCom members, and stewards, etc.

If their bylaws define the corporation as a non-membership organization, with only the Big Seven on top, I don't see that as binding. I think that legally, a court might want to look at the facts surrounding the procedures for the latest election.

If I'm right, then the link between the Foundation and the editing "community" is strong enough to make the Foundation liable for the content on Wikipedia. That's the same thing as saying that Wikipedia is a publisher, or "content provider," and not a "service provider."

Bye-bye section 230.


A class action suit against wikipedia by banned editors or other aggrieved individuals would be interesting.
Daniel Brandt
QUOTE
They do, however, have a "community"

What if a newspaper's corporate bylaws said, "The Times is not a publisher. We produce a newspaper, and for this purpose we supervise a community of reporters, editors, printers, and distributors."
GlassBeadGame
QUOTE
ARTICLE II - STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.

In collaboration with a network of chapters, the Foundation provides the essential infrastructure and an organizational framework for the support and development of multilingual wiki projects and other endeavors which serve this mission. The Foundation will make and keep useful information from its projects available on the Internet free of charge, in perpetuity.

---Wikimedia Foundation By-Laws emphasis added


Daniel, your probably already aware of this but ths seems to say "our reason to exist is to provide content."
gomi
QUOTE(Daniel Brandt @ Mon 9th April 2007, 4:05pm) *

QUOTE
They do, however, have a "community"
What if a newspaper's corporate bylaws said, "The Times is not a publisher. We produce a newspaper, and for this purpose we supervise a community of reporters, editors, printers, and distributors."
Daniel - I hope you know that I'm not disagreeing with you, just citing the facts. What the jurisprudence would be on your underlying question is an interesting question. Your analysis argues in one direction, and the usual 501c3 structures argue in the other direction. I'm not in a position to do the legal research to see if there are any precendents, but that would be an interesting thing to do.
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