[Foundation-l] What do we do in the event the Foundation fails?

Angela Beesley angela at wikimedia.org
Sun Apr 22 18:54:35 UTC 2007

Here is some more feedback on this issue from Peter Suber, a member of
our advisory board.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Peter Suber <peters at earlham.edu>
Date: Apr 22, 2007 5:10 PM
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia Advisory Board] What do we do in the event the
Foundation fails?
To: advisory at lists.wikimedia.org

Dear Angela,

I don't have any suggestions on the trademark problem.  But I like Ethan's
ideas (esp. about LOCKSS and the Internet Archive) on the
protection/preservation problem.  Here are a few others:

BioMed Central is a publisher of open-access science journals and finds
itself in a similar predicament.

It wants to guarantee its authors and readers that its published articles
will remain OA forever, even if the company should fail or be bought
out.  It has two strategies for this:

First, it deposits all its articles in multiple OA repositories independent
of the company, including PubMed Central (hosted by the U.S. National
Institutes of Health), the National Library of the Netherlands, the Potsdam
University library, and the library of France's Institut de l'Information
Scientifique et Technique.

It also lets any user download a zipped copy of the entire corpus at any
time, primarily for text-mining but incidentally for LOCKSS-like preservation.

Second, it adopted an Open Access Charter to deal with the risks arising
from a change of ownership.  The charter requires the board of trustees to
evaluate any proposed change of ownership; requires the board to disapprove
any change of ownership that cannot guarantee continued OA; and requires
board approval for any change in the board's membership.

Like BMC, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is OA and faces the same
set of problems.

It uses one of the strategies mentioned by Ethan:  it archives a snapshot
of the encyclopedia every quarter.  Of course each snapshot is itself
OA.  This not only helps assure the survival of the content, but documents
its evolution.


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