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

Anthony DiPierro wikilegal at inbox.org
Wed Feb 1 12:47:41 UTC 2006

On 2/1/06, Anthony DiPierro <wikilegal at inbox.org> wrote:
> 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.
> Anthony
Doing more research, there is also, under United States federal law,
the [[Volunteer Protection Act of 1997]].  It's arguable how much it
would apply to Wikipedians, since it requires the volunteer to be
"acting within the scope of the volunteer's responsibilities".  The
best case could be made for those arbitrators appointed by Jimbo.  In
terms of editors, admins, even beurocrats, it'd be a tougher argument.

Of course, the act only applies to volunteers, people who aren't paid.
 And looking further into the doctrine of respondeat superior,
apparently that doctrine is about giving the employer liability rather
than about giving the employee protection.  In practice if I for
instance make a mistake on someone's tax return at work and cost the
taxpayer $1000 in penalties my employer is going to get sued, and I
probably won't be.  But I can't find any definitive answer that this
is an actual part of the law, and I could in theory be sued for (for
example) making a mistake while performing my duties at work (that'd
be somewhat shocking and dismaying if it turns out to be true).


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