[Foundation-l] About transparency

Marc Riddell michaeldavid86 at comcast.net
Fri Dec 28 23:00:19 UTC 2007

on 12/28/07 5:32 PM, Derrick Farnell at derrick.farnell at gmail.com wrote:

>> 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


The issue of wider Community involvement in Project decision making has
been, and I hope will continue to be, a subject of much discussion. Sooner
or later a reasonable balance will be struck as the Community itself
establishes, defines and refines its own identity here. I don't have the
answers; just encouragement to keep asking the questions. Welcome to the
Mailing List, Derrick.

Marc Riddell

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