Mission & Vision statement updated

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
53 messages Options
123
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Mission & Vision statement updated

Erik Moeller-4
The Mission and Vision statement of WMF have been officially updated
after the recent community discussions:

http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mission&oldid=571884
http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Vision&oldid=571890

See the related Board resolution:
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Mission_and_Vision_statement

Some clarifications that have been made include:
- focus on "neutral educational content" instead of simply "knowledge" in the MS
- use of "free content license" instead of the possibly confusing "free license"
- in VS, replace "free access" with the broader "share in the sum of
all knowledge"

The unstable versions are still open to editing, and we will debate
this issue regularly. For now, I would appreciate it if translators
could start working on these statements. They should probably also be
posted in a couple of very official places on wikimediafoundation.org
:-)

--
Peace & Love,
Erik

DISCLAIMER: This message does not represent an official position of
the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.

"An old, rigid civilization is reluctantly dying. Something new, open,
free and exciting is waking up." -- Ming the Mechanic

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Mission & Vision statement updated

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen
On 4/25/07, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:
> The Mission and Vision statement of WMF have been officially updated
> after the recent community discussions:
>

Not to be querulous, but which specific community discussions are you
referring to? I must not have gotten the memo...



--
Jussi-Ville Heiskanen, ~ [[User:Cimon Avaro]]

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Mission & Vision statement updated

daniwo59
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
 
Just a quick point here: the Foundation may not change its mission  statement
without an official determination letter from the IRS. If the mission  is
changed substantially (and that is determined by the IRS, not the WMF mailing  
list), the Foundation could lose its 501 c 3 accreditation.
 
I am confident that the Board is aware of this, but do suggest that the  word
"draft" be included with every newly formatted mission statement so that  
there is no misunderstanding.
 
Danny
 
 
In a message dated 4/25/2007 4:42:43 PM Eastern Daylight Time,  
[hidden email] writes:

The  Mission and Vision statement of WMF have been officially updated
after the  recent community  discussions:

http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mission&oldid=571884
http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Vision&oldid=571890







************************************** See what's free at http://www.aol.com.
_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Mission & Vision statement updated

jmerkey-3
[hidden email] wrote:

>
>Just a quick point here: the Foundation may not change its mission  statement
>without an official determination letter from the IRS. If the mission  is
>changed substantially (and that is determined by the IRS, not the WMF mailing  
>list), the Foundation could lose its 501 c 3 accreditation.
>
>I am confident that the Board is aware of this, but do suggest that the  word
>"draft" be included with every newly formatted mission statement so that  
>there is no misunderstanding.
>
>Danny
>
>  
>

As has been previously pointed out by many other folks, a lot of this
needs to be vetted by an attorney
before publication. Erik is well-intended and has the foundations best
interests at heart, and of that
there is no doubt, but still, when dealing with IRS regulations, it is
always wise to consult an attorney
before proceeding.

:-)

Jeff

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Mission & Vision statement updated

Erik Moeller-4
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
Oh, and that was an official Board announcement, so I should have left
off the disclaimer - sorry about that.

Erik

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Mission & Vision statement updated

Kelly Martin-3
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
On 4/25/07, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The Mission and Vision statement of WMF have been officially updated
> after the recent community discussions:
>
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mission&oldid=571884
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Vision&oldid=571890
>
> See the related Board resolution:
> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Mission_and_Vision_statement
>
> Some clarifications that have been made include:
> - focus on "neutral educational content" instead of simply "knowledge" in the MS
> - use of "free content license" instead of the possibly confusing "free license"
> - in VS, replace "free access" with the broader "share in the sum of
> all knowledge"
>
> The unstable versions are still open to editing, and we will debate
> this issue regularly. For now, I would appreciate it if translators
> could start working on these statements. They should probably also be
> posted in a couple of very official places on wikimediafoundation.org
> :-)
>
> --
> Peace & Love,
> Erik
>
> DISCLAIMER: This message does not represent an official position of
> the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.
>
> "An old, rigid civilization is reluctantly dying. Something new, open,
> free and exciting is waking up." -- Ming the Mechanic

I remind the Board of Trustees that the sole purpose of the Wikimedia
Foundation is "to create and freely distribute a free encyclopedia in
all the languages of the world".  It would be wise for the Board to
ensure that its mission and vision statements clearly explain how the
various goals and directions set forth there are all related to this
fundamental purpose.  It is not legal for the Board to engage in
activities that are not related to that fundamental purpose.

Kelly

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Mission & Vision statement updated

Erik Moeller-4
In reply to this post by Jussi-Ville Heiskanen
On 4/25/07, Jussi-Ville Heiskanen <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 4/25/07, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > The Mission and Vision statement of WMF have been officially updated
> > after the recent community discussions:
> Not to be querulous, but which specific community discussions are you
> referring to? I must not have gotten the memo...

In addition to the Board retreat discussions in Frankfurt which
included chapter representatives, there have been three calls on this
mailing list:
http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2006-November/024907.html
http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2006-December/025459.html
http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2007-January/026662.html

--
Peace & Love,
Erik

DISCLAIMER: This message does not represent an official position of
the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.

"An old, rigid civilization is reluctantly dying. Something new, open,
free and exciting is waking up." -- Ming the Mechanic

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Mission & Vision statement updated

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
On 4/25/07, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Some clarifications that have been made include:

> - use of "free content license" instead of the possibly confusing "free
> license"
> - in VS, replace "free access" with the broader "share in the sum of
> all knowledge"

These are hardly clarifications. The former is a major shift away from
longstanding policy. Wikimedia has long made the stand that we are not
merely about content under a free licence, but also about content in
formats that are under freel licence. It is *categorigally* not a
clarification to walk away from this.

To call the latter a clarification is a stupendous misuse of the term "clarity".


--
Jussi-Ville Heiskanen, ~ [[User:Cimon Avaro]]

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Mission & Vision statement updated

Erik Moeller-4
This is not a change of policy at all. I think it could be nice to
emphasize "free formats" in a future mission statement, but neither
the past nor the present statement refers to formats at all.

On 4/26/07, Jussi-Ville Heiskanen <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 4/25/07, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > Some clarifications that have been made include:
>
> > - use of "free content license" instead of the possibly confusing "free
> > license"
> > - in VS, replace "free access" with the broader "share in the sum of
> > all knowledge"
>
> These are hardly clarifications. The former is a major shift away from
> longstanding policy. Wikimedia has long made the stand that we are not
> merely about content under a free licence, but also about content in
> formats that are under freel licence. It is *categorigally* not a
> clarification to walk away from this.
>
> To call the latter a clarification is a stupendous misuse of the term "clarity".
>
>
> --
> Jussi-Ville Heiskanen, ~ [[User:Cimon Avaro]]
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>


--
Peace & Love,
Erik

DISCLAIMER: This message does not represent an official position of
the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.

"An old, rigid civilization is reluctantly dying. Something new, open,
free and exciting is waking up." -- Ming the Mechanic

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Mission & Vision statement updated

Anthony DiPierro
In reply to this post by daniwo59
On 4/25/07, [hidden email] <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Just a quick point here: the Foundation may not change its mission  statement
> without an official determination letter from the IRS.

Can you please provide us with the law or regulation which says this?
Can you also let us know the methods by which one can obtain such a
determination letter?  Are you saying an entirely new Form 1023 has to
be submitted?

> If the mission  is
> changed substantially (and that is determined by the IRS, not the WMF mailing
> list), the Foundation could lose its 501 c 3 accreditation.

In order to keep its 501(c)(3) status (I've never heard it called an
"accreditation"), an organization must obviously continue to be
described by 501(c)(3) of the IRC.

> I am confident that the Board is aware of this, but do suggest that the  word
> "draft" be included with every newly formatted mission statement so that
> there is no misunderstanding.
>
That's fine, as long as it's a draft, and not the final version.  If
it's the final version, don't call it a draft.  It seems to have been
adopted by resolution of the board of directors, and that would make
it quite incorrect to call it a draft.

Anthony

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Mission & Vision statement updated

Anthony DiPierro
In reply to this post by Kelly Martin-3
On 4/25/07, Kelly Martin <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I remind the Board of Trustees that the sole purpose of the Wikimedia
> Foundation is "to create and freely distribute a free encyclopedia in
> all the languages of the world".

Are you talking about the original articles of incorporation?  They
were amended years ago.

http://www.sunbiz.org/COR/2005/0316/70917147.Tif

Anthony

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Mission & Vision statement updated

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
On 4/26/07, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 4/25/07, Jussi-Ville Heiskanen <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On 4/25/07, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > The Mission and Vision statement of WMF have been officially updated
> > > after the recent community discussions:
> > Not to be querulous, but which specific community discussions are you
> > referring to? I must not have gotten the memo...
>
> In addition to the Board retreat discussions in Frankfurt which
> included chapter representatives, there have been three calls on this
> mailing list:
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2006-November/024907.html
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2006-December/025459.html
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2007-January/026662.html
>

One of those contained the following text:

"The idea is that, after a discussion and editing period of at least
two weeks, the Board will choose a version of the M&V statements.
These versions will then be put forward to the community, for a simple
"up" or "down" vote. If a statement reaches at least a two thirds
majority of support, it will be implemented as such. If it only
reaches a simple majority, further discussion and potential revision
may follow, at the Board's discretion. A statement that does not reach
a majority will not become an official statement of the WMF. The usual
voting restrictions will apply (minimum participation period etc.) and
will be announced together with the vote."

Where was that lost?



--
Jussi-Ville Heiskanen, ~ [[User:Cimon Avaro]]

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Mission & Vision statement updated

Erik Moeller-4
On 4/26/07, Jussi-Ville Heiskanen <[hidden email]> wrote:
> One of those contained the following text:
(..)
> Where was that lost?

See the third email I quoted:
http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2007-January/026662.html

I'm sorry you missed these discussions, but the statements are not set
into stone -- feel free to edit the unstable versions & we'll take
your suggestions up again. Kat also wasn't entirely happy with the
current version, I think, so there's a chance that an update will be
made soon.
--
Peace & Love,
Erik

DISCLAIMER: This message does not represent an official position of
the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.

"An old, rigid civilization is reluctantly dying. Something new, open,
free and exciting is waking up." -- Ming the Mechanic

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Mission & Vision statement updated

Kelly Martin-3
In reply to this post by Anthony DiPierro
On 4/25/07, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 4/25/07, Kelly Martin <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > I remind the Board of Trustees that the sole purpose of the Wikimedia
> > Foundation is "to create and freely distribute a free encyclopedia in
> > all the languages of the world".
>
> Are you talking about the original articles of incorporation?  They
> were amended years ago.
>
> http://www.sunbiz.org/COR/2005/0316/70917147.Tif

Ah, thanks for pointing that out.  The point remains that the Boards
needs to make sure that its goal and vision statements are
demonstrably consistent with the purpose of the organization, as set
forth in the Articles of Incorporation.

Kelly

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Mission & Vision statement updated

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
On 4/26/07, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 4/26/07, Jussi-Ville Heiskanen <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > One of those contained the following text:
> (..)
> > Where was that lost?
>
> See the third email I quoted:
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2007-January/026662.html
>
> I'm sorry you missed these discussions, but the statements are not set
> into stone -- feel free to edit the unstable versions & we'll take
> your suggestions up again. Kat also wasn't entirely happy with the
> current version, I think, so there's a chance that an update will be
> made soon.

I squinted hard, and indeed the version of the unstable Vision
statement is the one that you have now officially adopted. I
personally don't have an objection to the content of the vision
statement, except to note that that vision is in it blurred, not
clarified by the emendation of the language. No substantial objection
to the new form, but just calling a spade a spade.

However the version of the mission statement linked from that post,
which you suggest adopting "without objection", is definitely _not_
the one you have now adopted officially. It still has the language
"free licence" which I personally would think would implicitly (if not
explicitly) mean "free content available in formats under free
licences" and if the object was to clarify rather than change that
meaning, that would have been the preferred phrasing. I am sure these
things can be discussed reasonably, sorry if my tone in the above
posts was a bit stroppy.

--
Jussi-Ville Heiskanen, ~ [[User:Cimon Avaro]]

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Mission & Vision statement updated

Erik Moeller-4
On 4/26/07, Jussi-Ville Heiskanen <[hidden email]> wrote:
> However the version of the mission statement linked from that post,
> which you suggest adopting "without objection", is definitely _not_
> the one you have now adopted officially.

True - more edits happened after that announcement & we did some final
tweaking on the Board-level (e.g. we had a brief discussion about
whether we want "neutral" in there or not, and decided in favor).

> It still has the language "free licence" which I personally would think would
> implicitly (if not explicitly) mean "free content available in formats under free
> licences"

There are plenty of open source decoders for patented file formats, so
that wouldn't necessarily be clear enough. One can always make up
phrases such as "unfettered file formats" and explain them elsewhere.
I'm generally supportive of incorporating a free&open format clause,
as I think the issue is becoming very hot with Windows Vista's
built-in DRM malware, the MP3 lawsuit, and so on.
--
Peace & Love,
Erik

DISCLAIMER: This message does not represent an official position of
the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.

"An old, rigid civilization is reluctantly dying. Something new, open,
free and exciting is waking up." -- Ming the Mechanic

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Mission & Vision statement updated

Jussi-Ville Heiskanen
On 4/26/07, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 4/26/07, Jussi-Ville Heiskanen <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > However the version of the mission statement linked from that post,
> > which you suggest adopting "without objection", is definitely _not_
> > the one you have now adopted officially.
>
> True - more edits happened after that announcement & we did some final
> tweaking on the Board-level (e.g. we had a brief discussion about
> whether we want "neutral" in there or not, and decided in favor).

In fact, I find it hard to say how anyone could claim that the further
emendations made were in fact made "in consultation" with the
community or had any serious review by it at all. So to me it appears
that those "edits" and "tweaking on the board-level" largely by-passed
approval by the community, even by ommission to comment, since they
were not submitted for even dissaproval after the call for instating
the unstable-mission statement as it then stood.


> > It still has the language "free licence" which I personally would think
> would
> > implicitly (if not explicitly) mean "free content available in formats
> under free
> > licences"
>
> There are plenty of open source decoders for patented file formats, so
> that wouldn't necessarily be clear enough. One can always make up
> phrases such as "unfettered file formats" and explain them elsewhere.
> I'm generally supportive of incorporating a free&open format clause,
> as I think the issue is becoming very hot with Windows Vista's
> built-in DRM malware, the MP3 lawsuit, and so on.

In my opinion this is simply not good enough. If you are of the
opinion that we do _not_ need to specify that we are *only* interested
in keeping the *content* under a free licence, why "clarify" the
sentence by adding that specific word "content" there, when a
reasonable reading - and I do think my reading is reasonable - will
contend that adding "content" in there is a specific disinclusion of a
requirement for free formats, and thus a radical shift in policy.

I genuinely hope you are not being disingenous in suggesting that we
"incorporate" language - in the future -  to say we are for free
formats. The language as it stood, if not clear, certainly supported
what was already long standing practise of our projects. So it is in
my view very much inaccurate to say that it would be an innovation to
add such language, when much simpler would be to not add the confusing
term "content" there in the first place.

I do infact urge the board to reconsider their position, and
specifically would urge the community to voice whether they wish to
*only* have free "content" or whether that is a too limited phrasing.




--
Jussi-Ville Heiskanen, ~ [[User:Cimon Avaro]]

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Mission & Vision statement updated

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Anthony DiPierro
> > Just a quick point here: the Foundation may not change its mission  statement
> > without an official determination letter from the IRS.
>
> Can you please provide us with the law or regulation which says this?
> Can you also let us know the methods by which one can obtain such a
> determination letter?  Are you saying an entirely new Form 1023 has to
> be submitted?

I don't know the details, but it is common sense that such a law
exists. I can't found a charity to help cure cancer, get lots of
donations, and then change the charity to one that provides caviare to
aristocrats. Once you start accepting public donations, you have to
spend those donations on what you said you would spend them on.

I don't know if the changes that have been made are significant enough
to be a problem, but it is certainly something that requires talking
to a lawyer.

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Mission & Vision statement updated

Florence Devouard-3
In reply to this post by Jussi-Ville Heiskanen
Jussi-Ville Heiskanen wrote:

> On 4/26/07, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On 4/26/07, Jussi-Ville Heiskanen <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> However the version of the mission statement linked from that post,
>>> which you suggest adopting "without objection", is definitely _not_
>>> the one you have now adopted officially.
>> True - more edits happened after that announcement & we did some final
>> tweaking on the Board-level (e.g. we had a brief discussion about
>> whether we want "neutral" in there or not, and decided in favor).
>
> In fact, I find it hard to say how anyone could claim that the further
> emendations made were in fact made "in consultation" with the
> community or had any serious review by it at all. So to me it appears
> that those "edits" and "tweaking on the board-level" largely by-passed
> approval by the community, even by ommission to comment, since they
> were not submitted for even dissaproval after the call for instating
> the unstable-mission statement as it then stood.
>
>
>>> It still has the language "free licence" which I personally would think
>> would
>>> implicitly (if not explicitly) mean "free content available in formats
>> under free
>>> licences"
>> There are plenty of open source decoders for patented file formats, so
>> that wouldn't necessarily be clear enough. One can always make up
>> phrases such as "unfettered file formats" and explain them elsewhere.
>> I'm generally supportive of incorporating a free&open format clause,
>> as I think the issue is becoming very hot with Windows Vista's
>> built-in DRM malware, the MP3 lawsuit, and so on.
>
> In my opinion this is simply not good enough. If you are of the
> opinion that we do _not_ need to specify that we are *only* interested
> in keeping the *content* under a free licence, why "clarify" the
> sentence by adding that specific word "content" there, when a
> reasonable reading - and I do think my reading is reasonable - will
> contend that adding "content" in there is a specific disinclusion of a
> requirement for free formats, and thus a radical shift in policy.
>
> I genuinely hope you are not being disingenous in suggesting that we
> "incorporate" language - in the future -  to say we are for free
> formats. The language as it stood, if not clear, certainly supported
> what was already long standing practise of our projects. So it is in
> my view very much inaccurate to say that it would be an innovation to
> add such language, when much simpler would be to not add the confusing
> term "content" there in the first place.
>
> I do infact urge the board to reconsider their position, and
> specifically would urge the community to voice whether they wish to
> *only* have free "content" or whether that is a too limited phrasing.
>
>
>
>
> --
> Jussi-Ville Heiskanen, ~ [[User:Cimon Avaro]]

I do not think anyone can reasonably claim that the change came as a
total surprise. The issue of updating the mission statement has been
mentionned as early as october 2006.

I do believe that the current mission statement is an "improvement"
compared to the original one.

For reference, the old one

The general purpose and objectives of the Foundation shall be the
following: Wikimedia Foundation is dedicated to the development and
maintenance of online free, open content encyclopedias, collections of
quotations, textbooks and other collections of documents, information,
and other informational databases in all the languages of the world that
will be distributed free of charge to the public under a free
documentation license such as the Free Documentation License written by
the Free Software Foundation Inc. at http://www.fsf.org or similar
licensing scheme, see http://www.wikimedia.org. The goals of the
foundation are to encourage the further growth and development of open
content, social sofware WikiWiki-based projects (see
http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki) and to provide the full contents of
those projects to the public free of charge. In addition to managing the
already developed multilingual general encyclopedia and almanac named
Wikipedia, (http://www.wikipedia.org) there is a multi-language
dictionary and thesaurus named Wiktionary, an encyclopedia of quotations
named Wikiquote, a collection of e-book resources aimed specifically
toward students (such as textbooks and annotated public domain books)
named Wikibooks and a collection of source works called Wikisource;
other projects are envisioned. The Foundation also manages the
operations of the largely dormant Nupedia project (which is not a wiki
but is open content).

The new one

The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people
around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free
license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and
globally.
In collaboration with a network of chapters, the Foundation provides the
essential infrastructure and an organizational framework for the support
and development of multilingual wiki projects and other endeavors which
serve this mission. The Foundation will make and keep useful information
from its projects available on the Internet free of charge, in perpetuity.


Now, no one is claiming the new one is perfect. Kat herself is not fully
happy with it. I am not 100% happy either, even if I prefer it to the
previous one. For example, I am embarassed by the restriction caused by
the use of the words "educational content", because wikinews is more
about "informational content" than about "educational content".

However, the previous statement basically limited ourselves to be wiki
projects hosting providers (is dedicated to the development and
maintenance. To encourage the further growth and development of open
content, social sofware WikiWiki-based projects and to provide the full
contents of those projects to the public free of charge).

Do you really think this is ONLY what we want to be ? That this is ONLY
what we want to do ? Being host providers ?
I do not think so.

I think many of us also wants the Foundation to push the distribution
and the dissemination of content beyond online. I think many of us also
wants to be freedom advocates. I think many of us want to develop a
global awareness, partly thanks to the collaboration with the chapters.

All this was not in the previous statement.



We wondered whether to wait again till everyone is 100% happy (which may
be an unreachable dream), or to update the statement to better fit what
we think the Foundation is about. Some of you have noticed that we are
not always very quick to do things and to take decisions
(understatement). I do believe that when we are "reasonably" happy, we
should avoid waiting forever to take a decision. In particular for
issues which can be changed in the future.
I will add that whilst we knew that Kat was not fully happy with it, the
call for comment and participation did not provide much feedback, so we
had the reasonable expectation that the change was okay for most.
Hence the decision to update it.



Now, this is not graved in stone. You want to discuss it ? Discuss it.
Put a new version on meta. Call for feedback. Get a new agreement. No
problem. Once a new version seems to be reasonably approved and
preferable to the current new version, it may be updated in the bylaws.
Elections are a perfect time to do that. Please do be an actor on this.


As for me, I think that this statement is 90% good. In comparison, staff
situation is maybe 60% good. Governance is perhaps 30% good. I prefer
focusing my attention on what is really really broken, than getting a
90% satisfaction to 95%. But do keep the discussion open please Cimon.

Ant


_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Mission & Vision statement updated

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
On 26/04/07, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 4/26/07, Jussi-Ville Heiskanen <[hidden email]> wrote:

> > It still has the language "free licence" which I personally would think would
> > implicitly (if not explicitly) mean "free content available in formats under free
> > licences"

> There are plenty of open source decoders for patented file formats, so
> that wouldn't necessarily be clear enough. One can always make up
> phrases such as "unfettered file formats" and explain them elsewhere.
> I'm generally supportive of incorporating a free&open format clause,
> as I think the issue is becoming very hot with Windows Vista's
> built-in DRM malware, the MP3 lawsuit, and so on.


The problem is that software patents exist at all, and that everything
is susceptible to submarine attack. Hell, a submarine attack on *JPEG*
worked for a time.

A mission statement needs to be *concise*. You can't hang subclauses
off it and expect to have something any sane person could remember and
apply. "We're here to write an encyclopedia." THAT is a mission
statement.

On the free formats thing - it's easy enough to argue that free
content isn't free content in an encumbered format. You don't need to
fog the mission statement with that one.


- d.

_______________________________________________
foundation-l mailing list
[hidden email]
http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
123