[Foundation-l] Latest board resolutions

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Tue Aug 1 18:44:10 UTC 2006

Jimmy Wales wrote:

>I think anyone who thinks Wikipedia should be more famous and more
>popular should be excited, rather than fearful, about the prospect of an
>out-of-the-blue confiscation of our servers or shutdown.  Such an event
>would make us more powerful than ever.
The thing that makes me most fearful about rapid growth is that we could 
too easily lose sight of the factors that produced that growth.  Fame, 
popularity and power can too easily become poison pills.

>I have said this before, but it is worth repeating... we have very
>powerful friends in the U.S. government, in business, in charitable
>foundations, in major law schools, etc.
These social assets are especially comforting and handy to have lurking 
in the background when bureaucracy starts to get silly.  When we keep 
our own house in order that makes them even more powerful for us.  They 
are probably even more important when it relates to how we can influence 
policy in areas close to our fundamental principles.

>We need to expect that sooner or later, despite our best efforts to
>always do the right thing and be kind to everyone, there will be some
>kind of frivolous lawsuit against us.  Such is the nature of life in a
>litigious nation, and we need to take this seriously in every part of
>our planning, of course.
Absolutely.  But this should not require heroic measures to avoid the 
more far-fetched scenarios.  We should generally base decisions on what 
the law really says, and not on someone's fearful speculations.  We 
individually vary considerably in how much risk we tolerate.  If someone 
is willing to take on an issue, and it can be framed in such a way that 
it benefits the collective without putting it at unnecessary peril, he 
should have the green light.

>But the idea that the US government is suddenly going to shut us down
>(a) is so far fetched that it is hard to even imagine it seriously and
>(b) would be something which would make our traffic and popularity
>triple or quadruple within just a few weeks, worldwide.
Of course, though realistic multi-purpose back-up plans are always worth 


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