[Foundation-l] what do we do in the event the Foundation fails? - Re: Pol...

Delphine Ménard notafishz at gmail.com
Wed Apr 18 22:46:35 UTC 2007

On 4/19/07, Kelly Martin <kelly.lynn.martin at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 4/18/07, Delphine Ménard <notafishz at gmail.com> wrote:
> > On 4/19/07, daniwo59 at aol.com <daniwo59 at aol.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > The assets are not the content. They are the servers, the logos, the
> > > trademarks, and the name. That would be lost. That is what people  recognize.
> >
> > Allow me to strongly disagree. The financial assets are the trademarks
> > and the name. Technical assets are the servers. But all of these are
> > worth nothing if there is no content, and more important, no
> > volunteers to continue carrying out the work.
> >
> > Not to mention that in the evenutality we're talking about, ie. the
> > Foundation is sued, those assets you are mentionning would be... moot.
> You can disagree all you want; you will still be wrong.
> The Foundation's most valuable asset is the domain name wikipedia.org.
>  That domain name alone is worth millions, possibly billions, of
> dollars.  All other assets owned by the Wikimedia Foundation pale in
> comparison.  Honestly, if you handed me the domain "wikipedia.org"
> tonight, I could make myself $100 million by the end of the year by
> turning it into an adfarm with no content at all.  The domain would be
> worthless at the end of that time, but in the meantime I would make a
> ton of money.
> If the Foundation is sued, even sued into oblivion, that domain name
> will continue to be valuable.  Its value will decline with time once
> the content is stripped, but it'll still be worth a great deal of
> money.  It makes sense to take steps to protect it.
> The content hosted by the Foundation is legally worthless.

You are right, thank you for clarifying this. I still disagree. Except
I used the wrong words. Asset, I realize, is much more legally bound
than what I meant. Blame it on my being non-English speaker.

We're talking, if I am not mistaken, about the Foundation going
because some ill-willed company/person/alien has decided to bring it

It is still my belief that the name Wikipedia, how ever much it is
worth today, will only be worth anything in the long run if the spirit
lives with it.

In this, the content and the people are, in my opinion, still the one
thing that anyone wanting to carry on Wikipedia should try and
"secure", making sure that Wikipedia stays what it is today.

And we seem to agree that one can call themselves Wikipedia all they
want, if they don't make sure that the content stays free, freely
available, freely editable, etc., very shortly (albeit having brought
lots of big bucks in the meantime) domains and trademarks will be
worth a historical souvenir, and no more.

So I stand by what I said. I'll just clarify.

Legally and financially today, the assets of the Foundation are
trademarks and domain names and servers.

In the longer run, the value of those is sustained and generated by
the content and, again, most of all, the Wikimedia community.

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