[Foundation-l] bylaws

effe iets anders effeietsanders at gmail.com
Fri Aug 11 19:29:22 UTC 2006


As I have very little legal expertise, I can only give my view on the
Having members will change the whole functioning of the Wikimedia
Foundation, would change it's nature. However it is very nice from the
democratic point of view, I don't know whether it is something that
would add a lot of value to the existing structure. At the moment we
have in fact a lot of unofficial members, the
Wikimediaprojects-community. They are allowed to vote on two members
of the board of the wikimedia Foundation, and when they give an
"advice", it is usual that the board listens to that. On the other
hand there is still an independant Board, which is in fact allowed to
make all decisions by itself.

When the membership of the Wikimedia Foundation would be introduced,
the board would have to be chosen by the members, and would have to
listen to it's desisions. Besides the problematic General Assamblee
every year (Wikimania?) and other problems because of the
worldwide-ness of the foundation, I think it is a hard question
whether the foundation would gain democratic values at all. Because
while in the current situation people don't have to join the
Foundation as a member, and don't have to pay money for it, in a
situation with members, only a very select group of users, probably
mostly the somehow richer people, will be able to have the overall
power in the Foundation. (However I don't doubt there are lots of
legal tricks to prevent "bad decisions" by the members) What is more
democratic: A foundation where a board rules with two *community*
representatives and a third who promises to vote with them if they
agree, or a board elected by a maybe more select group of members? I
am not sure, but I think this is the kind of questions whe should
think about. Maybe it is even more democratic to add one more
community representative when a non-representative member wouldstep
down (I understood at the end of this year that might happen anyway?),
or to expand the board, and add that way two more community
representatives, and gain a majority that way.

That of course all besides the question whether it is ok to have this
kind of an important foundation democratic in the idea of "can we
trust those people?".

Greetings, Lodewijk aka effe iets anders

2006/8/11, Anthere <anthere9 at yahoo.com>:
> It seems that amongst the most important and urgent issues we have to
> fix, are.... the bylaws.
> And after thinking deeply about it, I have decided that
> * I would like the feedback of the legal-able on the current version.
> * I would like the feedback of the community on the whole "membership"
> issue.
> 'cause right now, the "membership" issue is in limbo. And being in
> limbo, the new bylaws can't be approved.
> If you guys could come up with a
> * decent
> * reasonable
> * legally feasible
> * technically implementable
> solution...
> That would be really cool.
> Please try to not troll. This is serious business. But for the legal
> able, please avoid editing the live version, but rather edit the
> discussion page. Be practical (submit a solution rather than just
> complain or grumble).
> Of course, current candidates are *more* than welcome to have an opinion
> on this.
> It is here ------> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Bylaws_update
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