I support this suggestion.  The Wikitribune trademark is assigned to Jimmy
Group Ltd, a company in which all the shares are owned by you – it is a
conventional commercial operation of which you are the owner.  Its
activities directly overlap with one of the Foundations projects, Wikinews,
and with the news-gathering aspects of Wikipedia, which have been the
subject of much WMF publicity in recent months.  Consequently, it is in
direct competition with the Foundation for donor money and volunteer time.
It is simply untenable for you to be a trustee of the Foundation while you
are the owner and director of a competing commercial operation.


On Wed, Apr 26, 2017 at 4:19 AM, Fæ <fae...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Jimmy,
> Along with the public announcement to the press about Wikitribune, was
> the story that you had immediately resigned from The Guardian's board
> because the new company "will compete for staff, stories and
> donations".[1] Will you be resigning from the WMF board of trustees
> because the Wikitribune commercial venture is a conflict of loyalties?
> This seems like an issue that the revitalized Wikimedia Foundation
> Board Governance Committee should make an independent statement about,
> considering the unique nature of your permanent unelected seat as a
> WMF trustee?[2]
> For the record, it is worth noting that in February 2016,[3] your
> conflict of loyalties between being the successful owner of the Wikia
> commercial venture, and holding a permanent seat on the board of the
> Wikimedia Foundation was raised as a discussion topic on this list.
> Wikia has never been publicly declared by the WMF board as a possible
> conflict of interest, despite a history of staff migrating directly
> from WMF to Wikia, and the obvious reputational benefits to Wikia from
> having their owner sitting on the WMF board. In fact apart from
> denying the possibility that this was an issue with your statement "I
> have always declared, formally and in writing, my role at Wikia. I
> have additionally worked to make sure that all board members know
> about it, and I have on multiple occasions recused myself from votes
> where there could be a perceived or actual conflict of interest", you
> refused properly to engage further with discussing this potential
> conflict of loyalties in 2016, nor did you supply any evidence of a
> formal declaration apart from your email, nor has it ever been
> declared in the public minutes of WMF board meetings as an interest if
> you have recused from votes or strategic discussion at your meetings
> as a trustee; though SJ confirmed that he thought you had declared
> this as an interest in past board meetings, presumably this was
> mistakenly and unfortunately left out of the minutes each time it
> happened.
> Thanks,
> Fae
> Links:
> 1. "Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales exits Guardian board over
> conflict of interest with Wikitribune news site"
> http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/04/25/wikipedia-
> co-founder-jimmy-wales-exits-guardian-board-conflict/
> 2. https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_
> Board_Governance_Committee
> 3. "Jimmy Wales' potential conflict of loyalties for Wikia Inc. versus
> WMF" https://lists.gt.net/wiki/foundation/685587
> On 25 April 2017 at 22:59, Jimmy Wales <jimmywa...@wikia-inc.com> wrote:
> >
> > Today I announced a new initiative, outside of my Wikimedia activities,
> > to combat fake news. It is important to me that I share directly with
> > all of you information about this new initiative early on.
> >
> > The new project  will use a wiki-style setup and experiment with
> > bringing together professional journalists and community contributors to
> > produce fact-checked, global news stories.  At launch, we'll be using a
> > hacked version of wordpress and we'll be evaluating whether that's the
> > right tool moving forward.  Wordpress has a lot to
> > commend it (free software, mature platform, used by lots of newsrooms,
> > active developer ecosystem) but also has some philosophy that's quite
> > "top down" in a way.
> > (Not many people would think in a wiki way when setting up a newsroom!)
> >
> > This new initiative, Wikitribune, will be a learning experience - my
> > vision is one that I've had a hard time explaining... except to
> > Wikimedians who tend to immediately
> > get it.
> >
> > While I am launching this project independent from Wikipedia and the
> > Wikimedia Foundation, it is my plan that this new project will work
> > alongside Wikimedia in the free knowledge movement. For example, I hope
> > that the numerous Wikinews/Wikinoticias/Wikinotizie/etc. communities can
> > collaborate with the  Wikitribune community in way that allows both to
> > learn and benefit from each other. Additionally, Wikitribune will
> > utilize the same Creative Commons license (CC-BY) as other free content
> > projects in
> > the news space - so they can take the stories written by our
> > professional journalists and communities and make use of them.
> >
> > You can find out more information about Wikitribune at:
> > https://www.wikitribune.com
> >
> > Thank you for your time and I'm happy to answer questions!  (But I'm
> > quite swamped with everything at the moment so please forgive me if I
> > answer in bursts!)
> >
> > --Jimbo
> --
> fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
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