Christophe Henner wrote:
>Basically it's making the legal team life's easier when they need to do
>small and/or quick changes. They don't have to go through the whole
>resolution process to change a comma.
>
>We're still informed and are talking with staff about those changes.
>
>As for responsibility, we decided to delegate responsibility, but at the
>end of the day we still will have to answer the community's question :)

Hi Christophe,

Thank you for your replies in this thread so far. I'm still confused about
this resolution and its impact.

Were there a lot of regular changes needed to policies, so much so that
the Board had a backlog of some kind? If the changes were as small as you
suggest, such as punctuation tweaks, I would think these would be quick
and easy for the Board to review and approve. If there are regular and
more substantive policy changes happening, I'd like to better understand
why these changes are happening. And I'd like to better understand why
eliminating review and approval by the Board of Trustees for substantive
policy changes is a good thing.

You mention legal staff and lawyers, but for many people, I don't think
it's very comforting to know that you're making it easier for lawyers to
make changes to these policies. While I'm sure the legal staff at the
Wikimedia Foundation is great, I think there's a lot of benefit to having
the somewhat elected (err, selected) Board review and approve policy
changes that affect every Wikimedia wiki. Why would we change this?

It seems worth pointing out that the Wikimedia Foundation General Counsel
position is currently vacant, so when you mention the legal team wanting
to make policy changes, many wonder who specifically is wanting to make
changes and why.

More to the point, while this e-mail thread mentions the legal team, the
resolution is far broader than that. The Executive Director could appoint
a Wikimedia Foundation intern or even an outside contractor as the
responsible party for a global policy now, with the unchecked power to
alter, revoke, or change the terms? Anyone who reads through this PDF from
November 2016 can see that this is not exactly a theoretical concern:
<https://wikimediafoundation.org/w/index.php?curid=24446>. There are
people who want to enact and enforce their policies across Wikimedia wikis
and the Board of Trustees has now greatly expanded the group of people who
can alter global policies. This is a pretty big and sudden shift.

To Lodewijk's point about consultation and notification, was/is the Board
of Trustees planning to announce this seemingly large and significant
change to the affected Wikimedia communities?

MZMcBride



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