[Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

geni
On 10 May 2016 at 15:35, The Cunctator <[hidden email]> wrote:
> One very serious element of this decision-making really should be the fact
> that Google is blatantly violating the CCA-SA by reusing Wikipedia content
> without making their derivative work open.
>
>
>    - *Share Alike*—If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you
>    may distribute the resulting work only under the same, similar or a
>    compatible license.
>

They would argue that they are using the facts not the presentation of
those facts and facts are not subject to copyright.



--
geni

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

Kevin Gorman
  1. Restore James Heilman to the board (in Denny's now vacant seat)
Yes. Although there should be a process for removing community trustees,
there's 0 question that the process used to remove James was
inappropriate.  Even if this harms somewhat the functioning the board until
the next election...  Board doesn't seem too functional as it is right now,
but at the same time, I've definitely seen more dysfunctional boards manage
orgs of similar size.

   2. Never remove a community trustee
There should be a way to remove a community trustee, but it requires
community feedback.  In an 'emergency' situation, I'd be happy if even a
subset of stewards and functionaries were involved, with the issue later
being brought forth before the community for a satisfactory explanation -
not the claptrap found in the FAQ about James (some of which is downright
wrong.)

   3. Eliminate Founder's Seat, with various future possibilities for Jimmy
   Wales' role.

I'm pretty sure that I was getting counted in the "anti-Jimmy" camp
mentioned earlier, but the funny thing is, I'm not anti-Jimmy.  I've
explicitly reached out to him to ask for his assistance on a number of
issues before, including a few issues where he was the only person likely
to be willing to help. Ex: with Wiki-PR breaking, WMF legal and comms did
not want to issue a strong statement because they realized some of the
information I had given them had come from someone violating an NDA (FWIW:
NDA's in California are unenforceable without compensation, and the person
in question was an unpaid intern; the NDA was invalid.)  Jimmy (along with
James Hare) issued strong public condemnations of the situation in a move
that helped us not look like complete shit in the media.  What has
concerned me most about Jimmy's involvement in the current situation
(ignoring a general feeling that he should be coming less involved, not
more involved, in the day to day running of WMF, as well as feeling that we
shouldn't have a trustee for life) is that he has consistently made
statements that, even in California, constitute defamation per se against
James Heilman - and I put a lot of thought in to it before stating that for
the first time.  99% of the time my role is to convince people that
statements made against them are *not* defamatory in California, let alone
constitute defamation per se - but Jimmy's statements have really crossed a
line.  He has repeatedly, without evidence, and in the direct face of
comments made by his own staff, including some of his own most senior
staff, made claims about James' behavior that he had not backed up with
evidence, including the claim that James is unable to hold a confidence.
As James is quite literally a medical doctor, these statements are...
well... worse than they otherwise would be.  I again really doubt that
James' would sue, but it's not okay that we have a trustee *for life*
putting himself and likely the Foundation at risk of monetary and
reputational harm.  I know some people have compiled partial diff lists
already, but tomorrow I'm going to start to diff dive for defamatory
statements Jimmy has made against James, and explicitly call for some sort
of restorative justice process (which requires Jimmy's active involvement
and willingness to acknowledge wrongdoing,) and if no progress is made in a
week, start an open letter summarizing the issue and asking Jimmy to either
step aside or the board to take action.  I'm pretty confident that a
well-written open letter with a significant number of signatories will come
to the attention of the press, and I'd much rather have this resolved
before it gets that far.

   4. (expressed as optional) Make Community seats truly elected; increase
   number.

Making them truly elected poses problems revising the governance documents,
but I never imagined they would be treated as recommendations carrying at
best about as much weight as an average undergrad letter of
recommmendation, which seems to be about what they're at now.  This can be
done with changes in practice, rather than actual revisions to the
governing documents.   And I strongly support increasing their number.

Adding on:

5. WMF BOT needs to undergo a full governance review, and they need to
undergo one starting soon.  If needed, I can start recommending firms that
specialize in NPO governance reviews.  There's just an amazing amount going
wrong at the same time, which points to broken underlying processes - and
the exact reason nonprofit governance consultants exist is that the same
broken practices tend to appear in organization after organization.  There
is no shame in looking to others before us to better ourselves, and we
certainly have the reserves to commission a full review.  We made WMUK
undergo a similar (though different scoped review) for far more minor
problems, there's no way that it's acceptable or a good idea for WMF BOT to
avoid public review of their practices when this much has happened this
quickly.  If we can improve the functioning of the BoT for what is, in
terms of our budget and reserves, a minor amount of money, how can we
justify NOT doing so?

----
Kevin Gorman

On Tue, May 10, 2016 at 4:18 PM, geni <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 10 May 2016 at 15:35, The Cunctator <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > One very serious element of this decision-making really should be the
> fact
> > that Google is blatantly violating the CCA-SA by reusing Wikipedia
> content
> > without making their derivative work open.
> >
> >
> >    - *Share Alike*—If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you
> >    may distribute the resulting work only under the same, similar or a
> >    compatible license.
> >
>
> They would argue that they are using the facts not the presentation of
> those facts and facts are not subject to copyright.
>
>
>
> --
> geni
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

Gergő Tisza
In reply to this post by Fæ
Hi Fae,

On Tue, May 10, 2016 at 1:14 PM, Fæ <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Not tricky at all. There are *plenty* of other similar organizations
> that have elections for their trustees to their boards, including
> several Wikimedia chapters/affiliates where their boards have oversite
> of many employees and significant sums of money.


can you share a few examples of organizations where board members are
appointed in a binding election and members of the electorate do not have
to identify themselves to the organization?

Or are you suggesting that the WMF should turn into a membership
organization and Wikimedians who are unwilling to share personally
identifying information with the WMF should not be allowed to vote?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

John Mark Vandenberg
On Wed, May 11, 2016 at 4:48 PM, Gergő Tisza <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Fae,
>
> On Tue, May 10, 2016 at 1:14 PM, Fæ <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Not tricky at all. There are *plenty* of other similar organizations
>> that have elections for their trustees to their boards, including
>> several Wikimedia chapters/affiliates where their boards have oversite
>> of many employees and significant sums of money.
>
>
> can you share a few examples of organizations where board members are
> appointed in a binding election and members of the electorate do not have
> to identify themselves to the organization?
>
> Or are you suggesting that the WMF should turn into a membership
> organization and Wikimedians who are unwilling to share personally
> identifying information with the WMF should not be allowed to vote?

I dont see how the voting method is particularly relevant to this thread..?
It seems this thread is more about governance by post-appointment
trustees, who have been properly vetted before being appointed.

I dont recall that we've had any serious incidents of the board
election outcome being disrupted because we use a voting process that
includes non-identified people.

--
John Vandenberg

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Account of the events leading to James Heilman's removal

John Mark Vandenberg
On Wed, May 11, 2016 at 5:21 PM, John Mark Vandenberg <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Wed, May 11, 2016 at 4:48 PM, Gergő Tisza <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Hi Fae,
>>
>> On Tue, May 10, 2016 at 1:14 PM, Fæ <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>> Not tricky at all. There are *plenty* of other similar organizations
>>> that have elections for their trustees to their boards, including
>>> several Wikimedia chapters/affiliates where their boards have oversite
>>> of many employees and significant sums of money.
>>
>>
>> can you share a few examples of organizations where board members are
>> appointed in a binding election and members of the electorate do not have
>> to identify themselves to the organization?
>>
>> Or are you suggesting that the WMF should turn into a membership
>> organization and Wikimedians who are unwilling to share personally
>> identifying information with the WMF should not be allowed to vote?
>
> I dont see how the voting method is particularly relevant to this thread..?
> It seems this thread is more about governance by post-appointment
> trustees, who have been properly vetted before being appointed.
>
> I dont recall that we've had any serious incidents of the board
> election outcome being disrupted because we use a voting process that
> includes non-identified people.

i.e. I think we , the community, selected *three* **great** Trustees
in the last community election, and the issues that caused us to loose
two of them are post-appointment and we should be looking into the
governance post-appointment to prevent it happening again.

--
John Vandenberg

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