[Foundation-l] Update of Foundation organization

Oldak Quill oldakquill at gmail.com
Mon Mar 5 19:41:51 UTC 2007

On 05/03/07, Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 3/5/07, Florence Devouard <anthere at anthere.org> wrote:
> [snip]
> > * we wish to involve people from all over the world, not restricting
> > employees to USA only. Currently, those working "offshore" have to be
> > their own employers (they are contractants). This is not sustainable in
> > the long run, so we have to explore more international employment issues.
> [snip]
> First off, I'm terrified to raise this point in public because I know
> that there are people here who will scream that I'm some kind of
> nationalist bigot for bringing this up. But I think it's a very
> serious matter which demands the input and understanding of a wide
> audience.
> It is my understanding that if we have true employees in a nation that
> our organization will have a legal presence in that nation. If we have
> a legal presence in that nation, we will be subject to the
> jurisdiction of that nation.
> It would be ideal that our activities would generally be so far away
> from the ambiguous grey areas of the law that the differing legal
> behavior would not be a substantial issue for us. However, this just
> isn't the case today. We benefit substantially from detailed aspects
> of US law in the areas of libel, copyright, and privacy.
> *Does operating the foundation with regular employees in a nation
> create a jurisdictional issue as I described?
> *How can we avoid this risk while maintaining the agility to hire
> useful people from any part of the world?
> *What are the qualities and risks of various jurisdictions?
> *How can we deal with the impact of being subject to multiple jurisdictions?
> I fear that in the worst case being directly subject to the laws of
> many nations we may find our entire method of operation (open access
> Wikis) to be too risky.

A related question: what would an online employee bring to Wikimedia
that online volunteers couldn't? If the answer is not much, then
perhaps resources could be better spent elsewhere. This is not to say
that I don't look forward to the day when the Foundation has employees
in several countries with different backgrounds, perspectives and
skills, but the expense of acheiving this must be justified.

Oldak Quill (oldakquill at gmail.com)

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