[Foundation-l] Board resolutions (chapters)

Mike Godwin mgodwin at wikimedia.org
Tue Jan 20 15:28:48 UTC 2009

Florence writes:

>> The chapters has agreement with the WMF that they may in their area
>> negotiate with third parties on use of wikimedia project logos and
>> names.
> Actually, that's a pretty optimistic view of the situation.
> The very largest majority of chapters do not have agreement.
> Afaik, only one chapter has.
> When propositions are received, either we forward them to the  
> Foundation
> and hope someone will deal with them. Or we just dump them because we
> can not negociate.

After ongoing review of the chapter agreements, both as templates and  
as they have been specifically implemented, I believe Florence's  
characterization here is fundamentally correct. In general, the  
chapter agreements as they are implemented nowadays do not delegate to  
the chapters the right to negotiate business propositions regarding  
wikimedia project logos. I should add that I have not reviewed every  
single chapter agreement (notably, I haven't reviewed the German  
chapter agreement), and that in the course of trying to regularize  
chapter agreements we have discovered that our records of chapter  
agreements are incomplete, or at least scattered. (This is not a  
result of the relocation to San Francisco -- I think the records were  
disorganized or complete prior to the move.)

Among my goals for this calendar year are (a) improving record-keeping  
of the specific chapter agreements, (b) harmonizing, to the extent  
possible, the chapter agreements so that there is a fairly standard  
understanding of what chapters may do or are likely to do as a  
function of their agreement with WMF, (c) improving chapter agreements  
in terms of trademark management and brand identification. We have  
asked the Stanford Law School Organizations and Transactions Clinic to  
work with us on reviewing and revising our standard chapters agreement  
this year, and if our previous experience with them is any guide, we  
expect this collaboration to be fruitful.

On another topic, for what it's worth, I find it clearer to think of  
"subnational chapters" rather than "subchapters."


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