[WikiEN-l] Announcing Wikimedia Foundation

Jimmy Wales jwales at bomis.com
Fri Jun 20 16:18:00 UTC 2003

[Could people please make unofficial translations of this for posting
on *.wikipedia.org wikipedias?]

I'm pleased to announce the existence of the Wikimedia Foundation,
Inc., a nonprofit corporation organized under the laws of Florida,
United States.  I am transferring to this new corporation the assets
that follow:

1. All Nupedia.com/net/org/etc. domain names
2. All Wikipedia.com/net/org/etc. domain names

3. All copyrights in software or articles that were previously owned by
Bomis, Inc. and already placed under a copyleft license.  (This
includes work-for-hire by Jason, Tim, Larry, Toan, Liz, and myself, as
well as any other Bomis employees who may have worked on these
projects as a part of their job, but doesn't include any work by those
parties conducted on their own time or while not an employee of

(All that stuff was already under GNU GPL or GNU FDL, so the
contribution of copyrights is basically a formality.  Even so, we want
to set a good example.)

4. Additionally, I am contributing all of my personal copyrights to work
already released under GNU GPL or GNU FDL in Wikipedia and Nupedia to
the foundation.


For the time being, the two machines on which Wikipedia runs will be
continue to be owned by Bomis, but my intention is to donate those if
the tax implications make sense.  I have to consult with an accountant
on that, first.

I do NOT encourage you to make donations to the Wikimedia Foundation
just yet!  I am still working on tax exempt status with the IRS, and I
have not yet set up a bank account for the foundation anyway.  Those
things will take a couple more weeks.

On my TODO list here are:

1.  Complete the IRS process for tax-exempt status
2.  Create forms for the transferance of copyrights to the foundation,
if anyone wants to do that.  See:
for reasons why this might a Good Thing.
3.  Setup a bank account for the foundation
4.  Setup a merchant account for the foundation to make credit-card
donations an easy option

I'll update everyone in a couple of weeks with the status.


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