[Foundation-l] About transparency

Derrick Farnell derrick.farnell at gmail.com
Fri Dec 28 22:32:23 UTC 2007

> Foundation matters are mainly about the real-life issues - like
> methods of collecting money for maintaining servers, legal things -
> like  changing bylaws or closing of a project because it contains
> large number of copyright violation etc.

I don't see why any of the above couldn't be done by community consensus.
For example, wrt legal matters, we surely must have lawyers among the
community who would be willing to volunteer, and advise the rest of the
community, with the community as a whole then debating the issue, followed
by a vote.

> Bear in mind that if a
> decision made by voting would be against US law, Foundation's Board
> members should immediately resign - as the realization of illegal
> decision make them criminals in US.

This could be avoided by simply not giving the option to vote for something
which would be illegal.

> Bear in mind that Wikimedia's
> projects community is not a collection of registered citizens or at
> least members, but rather an amorphous group of project's accounts in
> vast majority completely or semi-anonymous. One can vote one day, and
> completely leave Wikimedia's projects next day.

I don't see why any of this is a problem - it's certainly not considered a
problem wrt deciding on who should serve on the board, or of course on the
content of the projects themselves.

> Moreover a system of
> voting of any decision could simply paralyze Foundation. What to do if
> a given decision has to be taken fast, for example overnight, and this
> decision might be crucial to survival of Foundation?

I don't see why such a system would necessarily be any slower than the
present system. There would be a time-limit on the debating and voting
periods. As for decisions which need to be made quicker, I wouldn't have a
problem with the board making such decisions, and then explaining their
decision to the community afterwards. I wouldn't have thought such decisions
would be required very often, and would think they would form a tiny
fraction of the decisions made.

Derrick Farnell

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