[Foundation-l] Advertisement

Andrew Gray shimgray at gmail.com
Thu Dec 28 17:57:01 UTC 2006

On 28/12/06, Jeroenvrp <wikipedia at xs4all.nl> wrote:
> Hello,
> There is much going on today. The community is split about the actions the
> Foundation took. Let me clarify something about Virgin Unite:
> Virgin Unite is a charity organisation of one of the largest multi-nationals
> in the world. If I can think about one company that will really do everything
> to own Wikipedia, it's Virgin.


I can get "Virgin is a multinational, which worries me", or "I am
worried we have given Virgin leverage" or stuff like that. I don't
agree with it, but it's a valid point to raise.

But this? "... one company that will really do everything to own
Wikipedia, it's Virgin."

All I can say is: you wouldn't have said that this time yesterday,
before people began making wild assumptions. Google would want to take
us over, perhaps. Encarta or Britannica might want to take us over, at
least to deal with a threat to the business plan. Any number of
two-bit "online content" people would jump at the chance.

But Virgin? Why on *earth* do you think Virgin, of all people, deeply
care about controlling Wikimedia?

> Their €250.000 is nothing compared to that.
> Virgin Unite is just a PR-department. Almost every multi-national has these
> kind off charity organisations. What if the Gates Foundation will offer these
> kind of money? A lot of us will see that it is just a PR-stunt from
> Microsoft.

You know, we are perfectly capable of saying "no, that's a PR stunt,
we're not interested in helping you, go away". For all I know, we've
turned them down already; Danny is very insistent at ensuring we don't
become puppets for something like this. We make these things on our
terms. It may not be the best of terms, but we set them. We're not
stupid, and we have no intention of becoming shills.

- Andrew Gray
  andrew.gray at dunelm.org.uk

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