----- Original Message ----- 
From: "rupert.thurner" <rupert.thur...@gmail.com> 
To: wikimediauk-l@lists.wikimedia.org 
Sent: Sunday, 10 May, 2009 20:12:30 GMT +00:00 GMT Britain, Ireland, Portugal 
Subject: Re: [Wikimediauk-l] Minutes of yesterday's Board meeting 

>> would it be possible to slightly adjust your "bylaws" and add 
>> education as most other wikimedia chapters do? 

When the by-laws were written we talked about "educational content". This was 
our attempt to marry the charitable aim of "promoting education" with the 
Mission of the Wikimedia Foundation stated at 
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mission. Our correspondence made clear and 
repeated reference to "promoting education" so they were in no doubt how our 
Object links into the law on charitable activities. 

Adjusting the bylaws would be a long process. We would need to call a general 
meeting of members, and get 75% approval for the change. We would also need the 
Foundation to approve the change which could take months. 

The tax authorities' objection was not based on the wording of our Articles - 
their interpretation of the law was that producing an encyclopedia did not 
count as "promoting education" under UK law. We're contesting that 
interpretation - see http://uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/Submission_to_HMRC for the 
draft of the response we are writing. 

If we fail in this appeal one route we could go down is to revise the objects 
but our immediate response is to ask the matter to be referred to the Charity 
Commission who are more familiar with the law in this area. 


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