[announcement] new staff member in business development

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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

George William Herbert
On 5/18/07, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 5/18/07, George Herbert <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On 5/18/07, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > The WMF is not a business.  It's a publicly supported charity.  As
> > > such, I think the proper solution is to limit business activities as
> > > much as possible.
> >
> > This is insane and irresponsible; any organization with this much
> > activity and financial throughput not run as a business (in terms of
> > professionalism), specifically INCLUDING real charities, is insane.
> >
> > The charities and nonprofits I know of all enthusiastically hire
> > professional business people to do business stuff... because it's how
> > you get things done at that level.
> >
> This is really a matter of terminology, which I'm not interested in
> getting into.  However, the job description of the business developer
> makes it clear that this position goes beyond the necessities of
> running a charity.
>
> Obviously the WMF needs to be responsible and professional.  Obviously
> they need to hire experienced professionals to do things which can
> casually be referred to as "business stuff" (collecting donations,
> applying for grants, producing financial statements, writing to
> donors, reviewing contracts, etc.)  If the announcement was the hire
> of a new grants coordinator, or a controller, or a new legal
> coordinator, my reaction would have been completely different.  I'm
> not objecting to the job title, I'm objecting to the job description.
>
> Anthony

You don't wish Wikipedia to be involved in business income ventures
other than pure donations type relationships?

Most big charities engage in "real business" relationships (selling
services, intellectual property or content, training, consulting
relative to the charities' activities interactions with the world,
etc) as well as asking for donations.  This is not unreasonable and
does not sully the name of the charity unless you chose unsavory
business practices or partners.


--
-george william herbert
[hidden email]

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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

Anthony DiPierro
On 5/18/07, George Herbert <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 5/18/07, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On 5/18/07, George Herbert <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > On 5/18/07, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > > The WMF is not a business.  It's a publicly supported charity.  As
> > > > such, I think the proper solution is to limit business activities as
> > > > much as possible.
> > >
> > > This is insane and irresponsible; any organization with this much
> > > activity and financial throughput not run as a business (in terms of
> > > professionalism), specifically INCLUDING real charities, is insane.
> > >
> > > The charities and nonprofits I know of all enthusiastically hire
> > > professional business people to do business stuff... because it's how
> > > you get things done at that level.
> > >
> > This is really a matter of terminology, which I'm not interested in
> > getting into.  However, the job description of the business developer
> > makes it clear that this position goes beyond the necessities of
> > running a charity.
> >
> > Obviously the WMF needs to be responsible and professional.  Obviously
> > they need to hire experienced professionals to do things which can
> > casually be referred to as "business stuff" (collecting donations,
> > applying for grants, producing financial statements, writing to
> > donors, reviewing contracts, etc.)  If the announcement was the hire
> > of a new grants coordinator, or a controller, or a new legal
> > coordinator, my reaction would have been completely different.  I'm
> > not objecting to the job title, I'm objecting to the job description.
> >
> > Anthony
>
> You don't wish Wikipedia to be involved in business income ventures
> other than pure donations type relationships?
>
I'm not sure the foundation should actively avoid it, but I don't
think they should be hiring someone to focus on it, especially not at
this time, when so many more important areas need to be taken care of.

> Most big charities engage in "real business" relationships (selling
> services, intellectual property or content, training, consulting
> relative to the charities' activities interactions with the world,
> etc) as well as asking for donations.

Not to a significant degree they don't.  Shall we choose 10 US-based
501(c)(3) public charities and look at their financial statements, to
see what percent of their revenues come from donations, and what
percent comes from business activities?

Anthony

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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

Erik Moeller-4
We have to distinguish tax-exempt activities here from those which are
not.  Much business development is about basic logo & trademark
licensing, e.g. for the purposes of setting up a mobile phone portal.
Such royalties are tax-exempt if they are not combined with the
provision of services, see e.g.:
http://www.independentsector.org/mission_market/tax.htm

The other area of business development have been the live update feed
agreements with companies like Answers.com. These are currently on a
relatively small scale. I cannot comment on whether these need to be
classified as UBIT, but if so, it should not pose a problem.

Should the scale of business development exceed our expectations, we
can spin off a taxable subsidiary if necessary:
http://www.asaecenter.org/PublicationsResources/whitepaperdetail.cfm?ItemNumber=12175

This is what, for instance, National Geographic or Mozilla have done.

Vishal was hired on Carolyn's recommendation. He has previously worked
for us as an intern, and if we had not hired him now, he would likely
have moved on. He is working on business development on a part-time
basis. I do not consider it unreasonable at all to devote staff time
to this source of revenue. As noted above, much of it is not taxable
to begin with, and the small extent to which it may be does not
currently pose a problem. Even if it should become a problem, it's one
of the type I wouldn't mind having.

As for other priorities, we have spoken to candidates for the Legal
and ED position and will likely meet two of them at the next Board
meeting in Amsterdam, June 1-3.


On 5/19/07, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 5/18/07, George Herbert <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On 5/18/07, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > On 5/18/07, George Herbert <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > > On 5/18/07, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > > > The WMF is not a business.  It's a publicly supported charity.  As
> > > > > such, I think the proper solution is to limit business activities as
> > > > > much as possible.
> > > >
> > > > This is insane and irresponsible; any organization with this much
> > > > activity and financial throughput not run as a business (in terms of
> > > > professionalism), specifically INCLUDING real charities, is insane.
> > > >
> > > > The charities and nonprofits I know of all enthusiastically hire
> > > > professional business people to do business stuff... because it's how
> > > > you get things done at that level.
> > > >
> > > This is really a matter of terminology, which I'm not interested in
> > > getting into.  However, the job description of the business developer
> > > makes it clear that this position goes beyond the necessities of
> > > running a charity.
> > >
> > > Obviously the WMF needs to be responsible and professional.  Obviously
> > > they need to hire experienced professionals to do things which can
> > > casually be referred to as "business stuff" (collecting donations,
> > > applying for grants, producing financial statements, writing to
> > > donors, reviewing contracts, etc.)  If the announcement was the hire
> > > of a new grants coordinator, or a controller, or a new legal
> > > coordinator, my reaction would have been completely different.  I'm
> > > not objecting to the job title, I'm objecting to the job description.
> > >
> > > Anthony
> >
> > You don't wish Wikipedia to be involved in business income ventures
> > other than pure donations type relationships?
> >
> I'm not sure the foundation should actively avoid it, but I don't
> think they should be hiring someone to focus on it, especially not at
> this time, when so many more important areas need to be taken care of.
>
> > Most big charities engage in "real business" relationships (selling
> > services, intellectual property or content, training, consulting
> > relative to the charities' activities interactions with the world,
> > etc) as well as asking for donations.
>
> Not to a significant degree they don't.  Shall we choose 10 US-based
> 501(c)(3) public charities and look at their financial statements, to
> see what percent of their revenues come from donations, and what
> percent comes from business activities?
>
> Anthony
>
> _______________________________________________
> 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

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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

Anthony DiPierro
On 5/19/07, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:
> We have to distinguish tax-exempt activities here from those which are
> not.  Much business development is about basic logo & trademark
> licensing, e.g. for the purposes of setting up a mobile phone portal.
> Such royalties are tax-exempt if they are not combined with the
> provision of services, see e.g.:
> http://www.independentsector.org/mission_market/tax.htm
>
They are tax exempt, but they still are limited by section 509 of the
Internal Revenue Code.

> The other area of business development have been the live update feed
> agreements with companies like Answers.com. These are currently on a
> relatively small scale. I cannot comment on whether these need to be
> classified as UBIT, but if so, it should not pose a problem.
>
I could comment on this, but I'm not going to do so publicly.  Suffice
it to say that right now live updates serve a dual purpose of
disseminating free content and raising revenue.

The issue with this is one of focus.  I don't think I'm alone in my
belief that the focus in this area should be on disseminating free
content, and the data feeds should be managed by someone with this
goal in mind, not the goal of "analyz[ing] the price asked ... and
implement[ing] an increase if suitable".  These two goals are in fact
counter to each other.  My opinion is that data feeds should be *more*
accessible, not less.

Perhaps both goals, increasing revenue *and* disseminating more free
content, could be achieved in certain ways, such as making the data
feed more visible, providing a market price so that *anyone* could
subscribe, not just the big players who can negotiate individual
contracts.  I suppose it could be argued that this might eliminate
some monopoly market powers that the WMF currently has, and thus
reduce revenues, but as we're talking about free content it's probably
only a matter of time before someone starts competing with the WMF if
it doesn't get its act together in this manner.  In fact, there's
probably nothing stopping your current data feed partners from turning
around and reselling the data feed to others, as any contractual
restriction on doing so would violate the GFDL.

> Should the scale of business development exceed our expectations, we
> can spin off a taxable subsidiary if necessary:
> http://www.asaecenter.org/PublicationsResources/whitepaperdetail.cfm?ItemNumber=12175
>
> This is what, for instance, National Geographic or Mozilla have done.
>
What are the expectations?  I would assume the expectations are
significant if someone is being hired to work on business development.
 Obviously you don't have to answer that if you think it's
confidential, but you're the one who brought up expectations.

> Vishal was hired on Carolyn's recommendation. He has previously worked
> for us as an intern, and if we had not hired him now, he would likely
> have moved on. He is working on business development on a part-time
> basis. I do not consider it unreasonable at all to devote staff time
> to this source of revenue. As noted above, much of it is not taxable
> to begin with, and the small extent to which it may be does not
> currently pose a problem. Even if it should become a problem, it's one
> of the type I wouldn't mind having.
>
> As for other priorities, we have spoken to candidates for the Legal
> and ED position and will likely meet two of them at the next Board
> meeting in Amsterdam, June 1-3.
>
Thanks for your openness on this.  I certainly wouldn't worry about
whether or not the income is taxable, after all taxation is always
(usually) less than 100%.  There are other tax issues which are much
more serious than whether or not the income is taxable, though.  Your
comments on the matter seem to suggest that at least someone has
informed you of them, which is a lot more than was suggested by Ant's
open-ended questions.

But I think the main issue has nothing to do with the IRS.  It's a
matter of focus.  Developing a profitable business competes with the
maximum production and distribution of content.  Charging maximum
prices for data feeds reduces the dissemination of the data.  Charging
licensing fees to DVD distributors raises the prices of the DVDs and
thus reduces the number of DVDs which are distributed.  Etc, etc (*).

Anyway, you've relieved my worry to some extent by acknowledging at
least some awareness of the legal issues (in contrast to Ant who said
"All questions difficult right now with no legal counsel though.")
But I hope you and the rest of the board can keep in mind the danger
of having someone on board focusing on business development.  Please
always keep business considerations as a secondary concern to the
mission of the foundation.  This new position is worrisome, but I
suppose it can be managed.

(*) That Cisco commercial was cool, though.  I had noticed Wikipedia
in it and had never considered that they actually paid the WMF for it.

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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Anthony DiPierro
> This is horrible.  The foundation is having enough trouble trying to
> run a charity, and now you're trying to run a business on top of that?
>  The chair of the board doesn't even have a good idea where the
> revenue is coming from, save an old yearly financial statement which
> admittedly didn't provide enough details?
>
> This is getting pathetic.

The WMF is a business, it's just a business that works to make free
information for the world, rather than dividends for its shareholders.
The operations side of things is exactly the same.

It does, however, seem rather bad that the chair of the board doesn't
have access to regular accounts. I know it's normal to only publish
accounts on a quarterly basis, but the board should be given them as
often as they have board meetings (which is apparently weekly).  The
point of the board meeting is to decide what the foundation should do
in the future - it is impossible to do that well if you don't know
where the foundation is now.

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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

Jesse (Pathoschild)
On 5/19/07, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:
> It does, however, seem rather bad that the chair of the board doesn't
> have access to regular accounts.


I assumed that was one of the reasons Vishal was hired to "Prepare
written presentations, reports, and term sheets".

Yours cordially,
Jesse Martin (Pathoschild)

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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

Anthony DiPierro
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
On 5/19/07, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:

> > This is horrible.  The foundation is having enough trouble trying to
> > run a charity, and now you're trying to run a business on top of that?
> >  The chair of the board doesn't even have a good idea where the
> > revenue is coming from, save an old yearly financial statement which
> > admittedly didn't provide enough details?
> >
> > This is getting pathetic.
>
> The WMF is a business, it's just a business that works to make free
> information for the world, rather than dividends for its shareholders.
> The operations side of things is exactly the same.
>
Whether or not "the WMF is a business" is a matter of terminology, but
the operations side of a business and a charity is by no means exactly
the same.  The goals are different, so the operations are different.

For example, if the goal is to make free information for the world,
shouldn't the task of the foundation's employees be to "analyze the
price asked for certain services and implement a *decrease* if
suitable"?

> It does, however, seem rather bad that the chair of the board doesn't
> have access to regular accounts. I know it's normal to only publish
> accounts on a quarterly basis, but the board should be given them as
> often as they have board meetings (which is apparently weekly).  The
> point of the board meeting is to decide what the foundation should do
> in the future - it is impossible to do that well if you don't know
> where the foundation is now.
>
Moreover, doing all your accounting at the end of the fiscal year is
*more work* than doing it on a regular basis, and if your books are
clean and up-to-date printing out financial statements once a month is
trivial.

My apologies if calling things pathetic was over-the-top.  But this is
a serious matter which is long overdue to be resolved.

Anthony

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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

Anthony DiPierro
In reply to this post by Jesse (Pathoschild)
On 5/19/07, Jesse Martin (Pathoschild) <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 5/19/07, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > It does, however, seem rather bad that the chair of the board doesn't
> > have access to regular accounts.
>
> I assumed that was one of the reasons Vishal was hired to "Prepare
> written presentations, reports, and term sheets".
>
If so, that's a serious conflict of interest.  You don't want your
business developer preparing reports on your current financial
situation.  The financial situation needs to be reported by someone
whose interests lie in presenting an accurate picture, not in someone
whose job is to improve that picture.

I assumed the written presentations and reports were more for sales
pitches, not financial reporting.

Anthony

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Re: [announcement] new staff member in businessdevelopment

Casey Brown-2
Anthony:

May I enquire as to why your e-mail address is wikilegal?

Cbrown1023

-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email]
[mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Anthony
Sent: Saturday, May 19, 2007 10:06 AM
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] [announcement] new staff member in
businessdevelopment

On 5/19/07, Jesse Martin (Pathoschild) <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 5/19/07, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > It does, however, seem rather bad that the chair of the board doesn't
> > have access to regular accounts.
>
> I assumed that was one of the reasons Vishal was hired to "Prepare
> written presentations, reports, and term sheets".
>
If so, that's a serious conflict of interest.  You don't want your
business developer preparing reports on your current financial
situation.  The financial situation needs to be reported by someone
whose interests lie in presenting an accurate picture, not in someone
whose job is to improve that picture.

I assumed the written presentations and reports were more for sales
pitches, not financial reporting.

Anthony

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Re: [announcement] new staff member in businessdevelopment

Anthony DiPierro
In reply to this post by Anthony DiPierro
On 5/19/07, Casey Brown <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Anthony:
>
> May I enquire as to why your e-mail address is wikilegal?
>
Yes, you may.

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Re: [announcement] new staff member in businessdevelopment

Anthony DiPierro
On 5/19/07, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 5/19/07, Casey Brown <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Anthony:
> >
> > May I enquire as to why your e-mail address is wikilegal?
> >
> Yes, you may.
>
I originally created the email address in order to read the
wikilegal-l mailing list.  At the time I was using two separate email
accounts, one for reading the mailing lists, and another for posting
to the mailing lists.  This was a pain in the ass, but it was better
than the alternative of receiving lots of spam.  Then I found out
about the gmail feature which allows you to send mail from different
email addresses.  Problem solved, and now I could abandon my other
email account.  Except now a new problem was introduced: when a
message is crossposted to multiple mailing lists, one must be
subscribed under the same email address to all mailing lists or else
the post gets moderated.  So I had to sign up for all the mailing
lists under the same email address.  As it turns out I'm actually
signed up for some mailing lists under lots of email addresses, I'd
basically keep signing up every time the mail bounced.  The wikilegal
address seems to have propagated to all the mailing lists, or at least
most of them.  If there was an easy way to get an address unmoderated
on *all* the mailing lists at once, I'd have changed it by now, as a
small number of people have claimed to be confused by it.

So there's the story.  Wasn't that interesting to everyone?

Anthony

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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

Yonatan Horan
In reply to this post by Florence Devouard-3
A while ago I was brainstorming a bit and came up with a few ideas, some may
be good and some may not (or not be feasible). I didn't read this whole
thread so I might be repeating some ideas that have previously been
mentioned as I came up with this stuff a long time ago. This is just some
stuff I thought up in 10-15 minutes so they're not necessarily well thought
out ideas but there might be some good ones lurking in there somewhere:

MediaWiki – platinum support? Support? Hosting service? Help corporations
install mediawiki installations and help customize it to their needs (since
they don't wanna do it themselves) meaning a hired dev (ie. Brion + someone
else who could be hired as business expands, this is of course post-SUL as I
suppose that's the most pressing issue at the moment) can develop (or
modify) an extension\the mediawiki code specifically for that third party's
use. The extension wouldn't be exclusively owned by the third party but
rather released under a free license like the mediawiki code (at least I'm
pretty sure that's under a free license).

·          Amazon referral links – there are over 15,000 links on the
English Wikipedia to amazon.com. Since they are already there, there's no
reason not to append a referral to the link so the WMF gets some money every
time someone buys something through that link. It's not extra advertising or
anything of the sort as the amazon links are *already present*, this would
just be better utilization of them for revenue purposes.

·          Content – charge people and in return help them get copies of the
databases, etc. the content is free but the bandwidth costs Wikimedia money
and it should therefore be compensated for it (if not extra). Wikimedia
could also possibly load the databases onto a new server for the other
company that wants the content from wikipedia and have it all ready for
actual use by that company.

·          Help sites like answers.com outsource the whole mirroring
Wikipedia business and leave it to Wikimedia (for a fee) – could be done
much more efficiently and the articles on places like answers.com wouldn't
get outdated so quickly.

·          Start enforcing WMF's rights, see this search at
walla.co.il<http://search.walla.co.il/?e=hew&q=%E2%27%E5%F8%E2%27%20%E1%E5%F9>,
walla show the Wikipedia logo (at least one of them which I believe is
protected under trademark laws) and then redirect to wallapedia instead of
redirecting to Wikipedia. They mislead people into thinking they're going to
Wikipedia but instead the people are going to wallapedia where walla makes
money off the ads (and in a way diverts potential donors away from
Wikipedia)

-Yonatan

On 5/18/07, Florence Devouard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> <snip>

I expect there are other ways to make business and to collect some cash.

> Which ones would you suggest ?
>
> Each of these systems has advantage and drawbacks. I above mentionned
> the advertisement system, but there are others which might be
> controversial. For example, if we have wikipedia logo printed on a game
> of trivial pursuit, will you be happy, or not ? If Microsoft is
> Wikimania sponsor, will you be happy, or not ?
>
> Community can very largely provide input here.
> <snip>
>
> Ant
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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>
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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

Andrew Gray
On 19/05/07, Yonatan Horan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> ·          Amazon referral links – there are over 15,000 links on the
> English Wikipedia to amazon.com. Since they are already there, there's no
> reason not to append a referral to the link so the WMF gets some money every
> time someone buys something through that link. It's not extra advertising or
> anything of the sort as the amazon links are *already present*, this would
> just be better utilization of them for revenue purposes.

Most direct amazon.com links should be removed, anyway, so this may
not be much help...

--
- Andrew Gray
  [hidden email]

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Re: [announcement] new staff member in businessdevelopment

Ray Saintonge
In reply to this post by Anthony DiPierro
Anthony wrote:

>On 5/19/07, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  
>
>>On 5/19/07, Casey Brown <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>    
>>
>>>Anthony:
>>>
>>>May I enquire as to why your e-mail address is wikilegal?
>>>      
>>>
>>Yes, you may.
>>    
>>
>I originally created the email address in order to read the
>wikilegal-l mailing list.  At the time I was using two separate email
>accounts, one for reading the mailing lists, and another for posting
>to the mailing lists.  This was a pain in the ass, but it was better
>than the alternative of receiving lots of spam.  Then I found out
>about the gmail feature which allows you to send mail from different
>email addresses.  Problem solved, and now I could abandon my other
>email account.  Except now a new problem was introduced: when a
>message is crossposted to multiple mailing lists, one must be
>subscribed under the same email address to all mailing lists or else
>the post gets moderated.  So I had to sign up for all the mailing
>lists under the same email address.  As it turns out I'm actually
>signed up for some mailing lists under lots of email addresses, I'd
>basically keep signing up every time the mail bounced.  The wikilegal
>address seems to have propagated to all the mailing lists, or at least
>most of them.  If there was an easy way to get an address unmoderated
>on *all* the mailing lists at once, I'd have changed it by now, as a
>small number of people have claimed to be confused by it.
>
>So there's the story.  Wasn't that interesting to everyone?
>
I have no objection to what e-mail address you use, and clearly the
people at inbox.org don't either.  We don't have a monopoly over all
words containing the string "wiki".  I have mixed views on the various
substantive points that Anthony attempts to make, but it belittles the
importance of those issues if we get hung up on such a trivial point as
the name he uses with the unrelated ISP of his choice.

Ec


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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

Yonatan Horan
In reply to this post by Andrew Gray
Perhaps but the unavoidable fact is that we currently have 26,000 links to
amazon, many of them being sources for pictures, sources in articles or
otherwise non-policy violating links. Even if they are violating policy, if
we aren't removing them, the referral might as well be added. Also, there's
Special:Booksearch for which one could add the referral id to amazon\Barnes
and Noble links.

-Yonatan

On 5/19/07, Andrew Gray <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On 19/05/07, Yonatan Horan <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > ·          Amazon referral links – there are over 15,000 links on the
> > English Wikipedia to amazon.com. Since they are already there, there's
> no
> > reason not to append a referral to the link so the WMF gets some money
> every
> > time someone buys something through that link. It's not extra
> advertising or
> > anything of the sort as the amazon links are *already present*, this
> would
> > just be better utilization of them for revenue purposes.
>
> Most direct amazon.com links should be removed, anyway, so this may
> not be much help...
>
> --
> - Andrew Gray
>   [hidden email]
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
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> http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: [announcement] new staff member in businessdevelopment

Anthony DiPierro
In reply to this post by Ray Saintonge
On 5/19/07, Ray Saintonge <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I have no objection to what e-mail address you use, and clearly the
> people at inbox.org don't either.

No, "they" certainly don't.  (I own inbox.org.  One of the best
domains I picked up back in 1997, around the time they opened up .org
to other than just non-profit organizations, I believe)

Anthony

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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

Yann Forget-2
In reply to this post by Anthony DiPierro
Hello,

Anthony a écrit :
(...)
> But I think the main issue has nothing to do with the IRS.  It's a
> matter of focus.  Developing a profitable business competes with the
> maximum production and distribution of content.  Charging maximum
> prices for data feeds reduces the dissemination of the data.  Charging
> licensing fees to DVD distributors raises the prices of the DVDs and
> thus reduces the number of DVDs which are distributed.  Etc, etc (*).

I think this is false, because we deal with digital and free content.

It is not because you sell a datafeed to one organisation at one prize
that you sell it to everybody at the same price. Same logic for DVDs.

Regards,

Yann
--
http://www.non-violence.org/ | Site collaboratif sur la non-violence
http://www.forget-me.net/ | Alternatives sur le Net
http://fr.wikipedia.org/ | Encyclopédie libre
http://fr.wikisource.org/ | Bibliothèque libre
http://wikilivres.info | Documents libres

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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

Andrew Gray
In reply to this post by Yonatan Horan
On 19/05/07, Yonatan Horan <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Perhaps but the unavoidable fact is that we currently have 26,000 links to
> amazon, many of them being sources for pictures, sources in articles or
> otherwise non-policy violating links. Even if they are violating policy, if
> we aren't removing them, the referral might as well be added. Also, there's
> Special:Booksearch for which one could add the referral id to amazon\Barnes
> and Noble links.

a) Adding it to special:booksearch, one centrally generated URL, is a
relatively sensible move. Adding it to anywhere *else* means that we
have to manually patrol each and every use of the URL in order to add
the referral ID, and check it doesn't get changed to another referral
ID, and deal with people who will editwar to keep them out

b) most material "sourced" from Amazon can be more appropriately
sourced elsewhere

c) it is inappropriate to give our editors a motive, no matter how
well-meaning, to encourage the use of links to *specific* sales sites
in articles. It effectively will create a single, or a group of,
recommended commercial partners.

d) as you say, a sizable fraction of those links are appropriate
"image sourced from this URL" - and, as such, they link directly to
the image generation URL. No-where to put a referral link, and no
benefit to anyone from doing so...

--
- Andrew Gray
  [hidden email]

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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

Anthony DiPierro
In reply to this post by Yann Forget-2
On 5/19/07, Yann Forget <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hello,
>
> Anthony a écrit :
> (...)
> > But I think the main issue has nothing to do with the IRS.  It's a
> > matter of focus.  Developing a profitable business competes with the
> > maximum production and distribution of content.  Charging maximum
> > prices for data feeds reduces the dissemination of the data.  Charging
> > licensing fees to DVD distributors raises the prices of the DVDs and
> > thus reduces the number of DVDs which are distributed.  Etc, etc (*).
>
> I think this is false, because we deal with digital and free content.
>
> It is not because you sell a datafeed to one organisation at one prize
> that you sell it to everybody at the same price. Same logic for DVDs.
>
Interesting.  I don't think that would be feasible for datafeeds
though, and I'm pretty sure it isn't feasible for DVDs.  In the case
of DVDs, if you tried to sell them to different groups for different
prices, you'd simply see people resell the DVDs (engage in arbitrage).
 I think this would happen for datafeeds as well, if they were ever
accessible to the regular public.  If I as an individual could buy an
en.wikipedia datafeed for $100/month (which would probably be more
than enough to cover WMF's actual costs), the WMF wouldn't be able to
charge companies $5000/month, because if they did I'd just step in and
resell my $100/month datafeed for much less than $5000.

And I think the WMF *should* be willing to sell unrestricted datafeeds
to *anyone* for little more than its actual costs.  This is in line
with maximizing the useful distribution of free content, which is
after all the purpose of the WMF.

Anthony

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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

Florence Devouard-3
Anthony wrote:

> On 5/19/07, Yann Forget <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Hello,
>>
>> Anthony a écrit :
>> (...)
>>> But I think the main issue has nothing to do with the IRS.  It's a
>>> matter of focus.  Developing a profitable business competes with the
>>> maximum production and distribution of content.  Charging maximum
>>> prices for data feeds reduces the dissemination of the data.  Charging
>>> licensing fees to DVD distributors raises the prices of the DVDs and
>>> thus reduces the number of DVDs which are distributed.  Etc, etc (*).
>> I think this is false, because we deal with digital and free content.
>>
>> It is not because you sell a datafeed to one organisation at one prize
>> that you sell it to everybody at the same price. Same logic for DVDs.
>>
> Interesting.  I don't think that would be feasible for datafeeds
> though, and I'm pretty sure it isn't feasible for DVDs.  In the case
> of DVDs, if you tried to sell them to different groups for different
> prices, you'd simply see people resell the DVDs (engage in arbitrage).

Reselling one or two DVD would not be a big deal.
However, engaging into a real reselling activity of a DVD using
trademarks which you are not authorized to use for a commercial
activity, is illegal.



>  I think this would happen for datafeeds as well, if they were ever
> accessible to the regular public.  If I as an individual could buy an
> en.wikipedia datafeed for $100/month (which would probably be more
> than enough to cover WMF's actual costs), the WMF wouldn't be able to
> charge companies $5000/month, because if they did I'd just step in and
> resell my $100/month datafeed for much less than $5000.

Yeah, and since your contract agreement at $100 explicitely does not
allow you to resell the feed to a third party, you would engage into
illegal activity as well.



> And I think the WMF *should* be willing to sell unrestricted datafeeds
> to *anyone* for little more than its actual costs.  This is in line
> with maximizing the useful distribution of free content, which is
> after all the purpose of the WMF.

Datafeed is one of the way we can make money. Which will allow us to pay
the accountant.
Which will allow us to provide all the financial information you are
noisily requesting.
If you count in "actual cost" uniquely the bandwidth cost, $100 could
make it. But running an organization uniquely counting as cost, the
bandwidth, is seriously being out of it.

ant

> Anthony


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