Ben Yates wrote:
Poking my head in:
I don't have an particular argument, but this whole discussion feels
very wrong. Wikipedia should not be acting like a corporation -- it
is not trying to make a profit; its mission is to spread knowledge.
I *do* understand your argument Ben.
However, there are two points that could not be emphasized enough and
which explain at least Mav and my reaction.
First, Wikipedia mission is to gather knowledge and make it available as
much as possible. However, the name itself is becoming quite famous and
some people (I am not particularly talking about Robert here) or
organisations or corporations are trying to use this fame for their own
benefit. If that benefit is essentially to increase knowledge collection
or knowledge distribution, fine. So much the better. However, some are
trying to use the logo or the brand only to make financial benefits or
are using them in such a way it gives a certain coloring to our project
(which could damage our claim of neutrality). We must avoid this. Which
means we must to a certain extent control the uses made of the
name/logo. This is for our protection and for the protection of our
work. If for some reasons the name becomes associated to a political
party or to a commercial firm, we'll be the losers.
Second. It is not because the content is free of charge and not because
the greatest majority of us working to make that resource and to make it
available are working for FREE, that the whole tower is living of water
and love exclusively. Just as most philantropic activities, it needs
financial input. To the best of my knowledge, we are NOT making profit
of Wikipedia content. We are constantly looking for money to support its
goals. To support the wiki and servers running is a minimum (the ongoing
server purchase is of 140 000 dollars). And to find way to further
distribute content would be better. And this requires money. Better face
The organisation (Wikimedia Foundation, not Wikipedia) needs money. And
needs in many ways to be run as a "corporation". That does not mean its
goal is to *make* profit.