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

Florence Devouard Anthere9 at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 18 22:55:41 UTC 2007

Kelly Martin 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.
> Kelly

None of you are wrong, you are just both not looking from the same angle.
Your angle is from an editor or a reader point of view. That's the point 
of view of the community.
Delphine's angle is from the Foundation point of view.

Financially speaking, the domain name is not bringing anything to the 
Foundation, whilst the brand is, and will more and more in the future.

I can expect that over time, the brand will origin the majority (or at 
least a significant portion) of the financial revenu of the Foundation.
Right now, most of our revenu come from donations, but this will 
probably not be hugely expending.
We could get much more from big organizations.
We could get some money from grants, but asking for grants right now is 
probably not a good idea because we lack of a processus to make sure the 
grant related work is actually done.
Sale of tee-shirts is symbolic.
Endowement is still something to set up.

So, right now, what is left ?
Essentially selling data services (datafeed), and monetizing the brand 
(as on DVD or on cell phones).

As such, the brand is in effect, of huge interest.

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