[Foundation-l] Re: Outsiders on the Board? (was Re: Poll for Wikistandards)

Anthony DiPierro wikilegal at inbox.org
Wed Feb 1 12:11:57 UTC 2006

On 1/30/06, Anthere <Anthere9 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Gerard Meijssen wrote:
> > As I understand things, there are two types of people in the Wikimedia
> > Foundation and its projects.
> >
> >    * There are the person with an official role; they are appointed or
> >      chosen to their function.
> >    * There are the persons with no official status as far as the WMF is
> >      concerned. These include stewards, bureaucrats, admins and users.
> >
> > Only the first two groups have any protection for what they do within
> > the Wikimedia Foundation. They have this protection as they represent
> > the Wikimedia Foundation in an official capacity. When something is done
> > on any of the projects that results in a legal situation, it is the
> > person who will be, when identified, be the one prosecuted. Depending on
> > the situation the Wikimedia Foundation or a chapter may involve itself,
> > this is not a given.
> >
> > When a person in his official position gets into a legal situation, it
> > typically is the organisation, here the Wikimedia Foundation, who will
> > be prosecuted. It is only when a person is criminally negligent or
> > involved that there is a ground to prosecute an individual.
> >
> > This is my understanding of how these things work. The consequence is
> > that officers of the WMF or of chapters have protection that all other
> > WMF volunteers lack. The fact that statutory laws exist for '''gross'''
> > mismanagement is something that we should welcome. Typically it takes
> > some effort to qualify as gross mismanagement. Given the people that we
> > currently have in official positions this is unlikely to happen.
> >
> > The only group of people for whom it is not entirely clear to me what
> > their status is, are the people who help out on OTRS. Yes, I do know how
> > careful these people try to do their job.. :)
> >
> > Thanks,
> >   GerardM
> My apologies Gerard, but all this seems to me to be a misconception of
> the whole issue. Not even erroneous, but dangerous actually.
> I think it is incorrect to imply that those elected/appointed are
> somehow "protected" by their position in the Foundation (ie, the
> Foundation will be prosecuted rather than them as individuals) while
> "regular editors" lack protection.
> I would like to ask Brad here to clarify this issue publicly for you,
> and for all those who read your statement. Brad, can you help ? Thanks
> in advance :-)
> Anthere

It seems to me that he is basically right.  The doctrine is
[[respondeat superior]], and it typically applies only to people
working in an official capacity.


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