Thank you to everyone for your questions and thoughts regarding the Wikimedia
Foundation's Form 990.
Regarding Lodewijk's first question about the legal services (totalling
US$1.7M) which were conducted by Jones Day (page 61 - Part VII): As our global
reach has grown over time, we felt it was important to strengthen the trademark
portfolio and solidify the protection of Wikimedia’s marks globally. In
December 2013, we began working with Jones Day on our global trademark filings,
registrations, and oppositions. During the 2014-2015 fiscal year we filed
1,500+ new trademark applications for 35 different trademarks in 100+
countries. A significant portion of the legal services expenses in 2014-2015
went toward the mandatory government trademark application filing fees.
These new trademark applications contained expanded coverage and revised
descriptions to ensure better protection of Wikimedia's marks and projects,
including countries where readership was growing through targeted programs or
distribution (such as Wikipedia Zero and mobile readership). Going forward, we
anticipate (and are beginning to realize) a decrease in trademark expenses year
over year, now that we have this initial foundation is in place. This
investment immediately benefits Wikimedia and its communities by ensuring that
our trademark portfolio reflects the maturity and breadth of the Wikimedia
movement, and protects us against certain forms of infringement or misuse.
Regarding Lodewijk's question about compensation to the 'ED team': The
Foundation regularly discloses compensation information for Foundation
leadership through our Form 990 filings. The 990 disclosure is an approach
widely relied on by many different stakeholders: it is clear, transparent,
consistent with other charitable entities, and a matter of public record. As
such, we have chosen to use it as our primary means of disclosure.
The Signpost recently also reached out with a similar question about the
special advisor role. Here is the response Patricio shared:
"In May 2014, Jan-Bart announced that Sue would stay on as a special
advisor, which he confirmed again in June that year.
The Board felt that Sue Gardner's knowledge and experience in our movement was
valuable to support the Foundation as it went through that ED transition. In
general, it is good practice to make sure that there is the ability to draw on
the expertise of an experienced former executive - in this case, someone who
grew the organization from a few people to more than 200.
We felt this was an important leadership change, perhaps one of the bigger ones
in the Foundation’s history. This was a practical means of ensuring the
handover went as smoothly as possible, and key institutional knowledge was
preserved during an important period of transition."
As for the question about why the Wikimedia Foundation spent $317,490 fighting
"cybersquatters" that offered to donate the domain in dispute: We’re not sure
where this question comes from, as we haven’t dealt with a case that fits this
description. We do not fight cybersquatters who offer to donate their domains
(especially if they are community members), and, to date, we have not spent
anything approaching that much money on this type of case.
In answer to a question that was asked on Facebook:
"i'm curious about the investment of cash in corporate and municipal bonds. is
there an investment policy? no sign of working capital needs and how to manage
cash. no sign of endowment preparation."
Our investment policy, which is the guidance being used today, is available on
Foundation wiki. The investment policy for the endowment will be set by the
Wikimedia Endowment Advisory Board that we are forming right now. We are
recruiting Advisory Board Trustees with significant investment expertise, from
a diverse set of backgrounds. We announced the appointment of Annette
Campbell-White last week as one of the founding board members. You can read
more about her here.
Again, thanks for your questions and feedback both on this list and elsewhere.
> On May 24, 2016, at 11:17 AM, Lodewijk <lodew...@effeietsanders.org> wrote:
> I do hope btw that the unfortunate derailing doesn't mean the questions
> won't get an answer... I hoped those would be fairly obvious and easily
> 2016-05-20 0:52 GMT+02:00 Neil P. Quinn <m...@neilpquinn.com>:
>> I totally second this. I apologize for engaging with him earlier; I didn't
>> realize at the time that he was such a pathetic troll.
>> *Neil P. Quinn*
>> +1 (202) 656 3457
>> On Thu, May 19, 2016 at 3:18 PM, Jake Orlowitz <jorlow...@gmail.com>
>>> Seconding Lodewijk here. I can already count at least 5 phrases or
>>> statements that David Emrany has said which made me cringe and wonder why
>>> hasn't this been blocked/moderated already?
>>> Hostile, accusatory, and vulgar behavior degrades this entire forum
>>> its already damaged capacity for inclusion of multiple voices).
>>> Please do something.
>>> Jake Orlowitz (User:Ocaasi)
>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
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>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> New messages to: Wikimediaemail@example.com
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
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> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
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