Proposal for future goal of the chapter

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Proposal for future goal of the chapter

Thomas Dalton
Inspired by the recent legal discussions on foundation-l, I've had an
idea for something the chapter could usefully do. It's not something
we'll be able to do any time soon (it would certainly require a bank
account! [any progress on that recently?]), but I'll probably forget
it, so I'll suggest it now.

We should hire a lawyer. In addition to handling legal stuff for the
chapter they would be able to advise the foundation and appropriate
communities (where practical) on issues of UK law. Currently the
foundation's only legal expert, Mike, is purely a US lawyer and,
AFAIK, has no experience with other jurisdictions. That's not a great
situation for a foundation involved in activities all over world.
Obviously, the WMF cannot hire a lawyer from every country in the
world, but individual chapters can hire lawyers for their country and
offer their services to the foundation. I think doing so would be an
excellent use of chapter funds (once we have some, that is).

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Re: Proposal for future goal of the chapter

Ian A. Holton
I'm pretty sure that we could find a lawyer who might do this pro-bono.

Ian
On Mon, 2008-04-07 at 17:33 +0100, Thomas Dalton wrote:

> Inspired by the recent legal discussions on foundation-l, I've had an
> idea for something the chapter could usefully do. It's not something
> we'll be able to do any time soon (it would certainly require a bank
> account! [any progress on that recently?]), but I'll probably forget
> it, so I'll suggest it now.
>
> We should hire a lawyer. In addition to handling legal stuff for the
> chapter they would be able to advise the foundation and appropriate
> communities (where practical) on issues of UK law. Currently the
> foundation's only legal expert, Mike, is purely a US lawyer and,
> AFAIK, has no experience with other jurisdictions. That's not a great
> situation for a foundation involved in activities all over world.
> Obviously, the WMF cannot hire a lawyer from every country in the
> world, but individual chapters can hire lawyers for their country and
> offer their services to the foundation. I think doing so would be an
> excellent use of chapter funds (once we have some, that is).
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia UK mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_UK
> http://mail.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediauk-l


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Re: Proposal for future goal of the chapter

Thomas Dalton
On 07/04/2008, Ian A Holton <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I'm pretty sure that we could find a lawyer who might do this pro-bono.

There are limits to how much you can ask of and rely on a volunteer.
As an interim measure, it's a good idea, though.

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Re: Proposal for future goal of the chapter

Tom Holden
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
I have a friend who's qualified as a barrister who may be interested in
helping out, but he wants to know in more detail what kind of problems you
envisage wanting his help with. (I'm sorry if this was obvious from the
foundation-l discussion, I unsubscribed in despair at the volume of nonsense
that list generates these days.)

Tom

-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email]
[mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Thomas
Dalton
Sent: 07 April 2008 17:33
To: [hidden email]
Subject: [Wikimediauk-l] Proposal for future goal of the chapter

Inspired by the recent legal discussions on foundation-l, I've had an
idea for something the chapter could usefully do. It's not something
we'll be able to do any time soon (it would certainly require a bank
account! [any progress on that recently?]), but I'll probably forget
it, so I'll suggest it now.

We should hire a lawyer. In addition to handling legal stuff for the
chapter they would be able to advise the foundation and appropriate
communities (where practical) on issues of UK law. Currently the
foundation's only legal expert, Mike, is purely a US lawyer and,
AFAIK, has no experience with other jurisdictions. That's not a great
situation for a foundation involved in activities all over world.
Obviously, the WMF cannot hire a lawyer from every country in the
world, but individual chapters can hire lawyers for their country and
offer their services to the foundation. I think doing so would be an
excellent use of chapter funds (once we have some, that is).

_______________________________________________
Wikimedia UK mailing list
[hidden email]
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_UK
http://mail.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediauk-l


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Re: Proposal for future goal of the chapter

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
On 09/04/2008, Tom Holden <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I have a friend who's qualified as a barrister who may be interested in
>  helping out, but he wants to know in more detail what kind of problems you
>  envisage wanting his help with. (I'm sorry if this was obvious from the
>  foundation-l discussion, I unsubscribed in despair at the volume of nonsense
>  that list generates these days.)

Everything and anything, really - that's one of the reasons paying
someone would be better than a volunteer (once we have the funds to do
that). Mainly I expect it would be how UK copyright and libel laws
affect Wikimedia projects. The current discussion on foundation-l is
about the fact that Wikipedia is licensed under GFDL version 1.2 *or
later* and there are suggestions that such "or later" clauses aren't
valid in some jurisdictions. It would be useful to have someone able
to advise the foundation/community on whether they're valid in the UK.

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