[Foundation-l] Quo vadis, WMF?

Jeff V. Merkey jmerkey at wolfmountaingroup.com
Wed Aug 30 21:51:24 UTC 2006

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen wrote:

>For a long long time it has been the operative assumption that the
>Wikimedia Foundation carries the legal liability, and if things go
>really really badly wrong, the foundation would sacrifice itself, so
>the community, and the content itself could continue elsewhere.


>Firstly there is the building of increasingly robust defensive
>bulwarks against litigation and other forms that the foundation could
>be seriously harmed. 

The behavior of the community is the whole reason this risks even exist. 
How about the
community take some ownership for its own actions. i.e. "Do folks own 
any of this risk
based on their own actions?"

>The other facet of the question is the speed at which the organs of
>the foundation develop into integral parts of how our whole greater
>endeavour operates. Note I am not saying indispensible in the sense
>that those particular organs are locked into place (we are a long way
>from that yet), but integral in the sense that should the highly
>unlikely eventuality of having to start again occur (as the GFDL
>allows), _something_ would have fill their functions in the operation
>of the restarted endeavour.
>The problem (or non-problem, as the facts may obtain) here lies on
>what philosophy do we adopt toward this earlier operative assumption
>of sacrificability?
Man, this is what I meant when I said "gaping disconnects from real 
world realities".

>Do we find on reflection, that we have already crossed the Rubicon,
>that although theoretically the work could be restarted elsewhere, the
>disruption would be high enough, that it is wisest to abandon all
>worry about the possibility of sacrificing the Foundation, and
>concentrate on making the Foundation functional without regard to what
>things it might lock us into, and speed up construction of legal and
>other defensive bulwarks into a kind of Fortress Wikimedia Foundation?
>Or should we seriously consider examining every new thing the
>Foundation takes onto its plate, making doubly sure that it is
>something that would compromise our ability to just chuck the
>Foundation away like the tail of a lizard, and trust we will have the
>resources to grow a new tail, there being no vital organs in it.
"Right to leave, Right to fork". Cimon, you are running for the board? 
What on earth are you
talking about?



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