Talk:Wikimedia Czech Republic/Bylaws/en
Feedback from ChapCom 
As I am the fourth one in ChapCom reviewing your bylaws, I take on to write down our common comments as well as some specific ones from me. Anders Wennersten 13:43, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
- We've discussed it, the results are some changes in the proposed bylaws (we've edit the Czech version as a primary, so it would be necessary to translate it back to English) and some comments on comments. I had taken the task of summarizing the comments, so our "official reply" follows, marked by italics to distinguish it from my personal comments. --Wikimol 20:56, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
Chapter 1 
Chapter 2 
p1.2 We react to your use of a reference in the text to a definition on a website that are not fully stable. We would prefer that you either rewrite, so no definition is necessary or that you include a short version of a definition in the text.
- Accepted - short definiton will be included in the bylaws --Wikimol 20:56, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
p2.1 My personal comment "focus on Czech language". I feel the word focus can be taken as "the only important", ie that you will ignore Czech interested in other laguage versions. Here in Sweden we feel the need to support our many users in the English, German, Finnish, Norweigan version and last weekend we even learnt that some Pakistan being here for studies wanted us to support them in their efforts on the Urdi language version. If possible I would prefer a wording like "with all language versions being used by the Czechs and with extra focusus on the Czech language version." if you at all need to have this passage.
- Accepted - that part of the sentece will be removed --Wikimol 20:56, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
p3 Could you please elaborate on subitem 1 and 2? Dependant on your purpose there could be an issue where we want to discuss this further, especially the Publisher part.
- To make that a little clearer, I expressed concern about one of the items being "'publisher". We try and avoid as much as possible that Wikimedia Organisations are publishing any of the content hosted on Wikimedia projects, to make sure that at no time the organisations are made responsible for the content. In short, I strongly advise against listing "publishing" as one of the means. There are many other means that can come bfore publishing, and you can still publish if really needed, but the less "clear" the better. notafish }<';> 17:06, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
- Main reasons for this is a peculiarity of Czech law. According to some interpretation we have: Civic association can in principle do anything, carry business, or do something profitable - as long as the profit is used for the main purpose of the association. (IMO this is the same as in many other countries.) However... in CZ, some activities, which are most usually done as a "business" should not be done as part of the "main goals" of the association, and if they are, they must be unprofitable (according to that interpretation). But, if the same activity is done as a "by-line activity", it can be profitable - and even can be done as a business - as long as the profit is at the end spent on main activities. The requirement is such "by-line activities" have to be clearly stated in the bylaws of an association.
- Generally, "publishing" is one of such activities which is usually done/considered as a "business". So, if we want to eventually publish something (just about anything), and don't have the statement in bylaws, it's possible we would have to make sure in advance it would be unprofitable... which seems disadvantageous.
- We understand the concerns, but in other places of the bylaws the projects are described as beeing operated by the Foundation - so it should be clear WM CZ neither publishes nor hosts the projects.
- Suggestions how to phrase it differently are generally welcome. --Wikimol 20:56, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
4) Within its area of operation, the Association represents and promotes the projects operated by the Foundation (hereinafter referred to as “Wikimedia Projects”).
Ohh, I just realized that the use of "represent" in this sentence is very ambiguous. Although the chapter does help find people to represent the projects, it does not as such "represent" the projects. You need to change this to "support and promote". notafish }<';> 20:18, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
- Accepted --Wikimol 20:56, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
5) I see the footnote about free content definition a bit confusing. The sentence including the footnote would say.
- support and propagation of free content (free content denotes works or expressions which can be freely studied, applied, copied and/or modified, by anyone, for any purpose. Any restrictions are permissible only if they respect or protect these essential freedoms), especially works that can be freely used, reproduced and modified <-- This seems redundant.
I propose to avoid the footnote and write something like:
- support and propagation of free content. In this context, “free content” shall be understood as works or expressions which can be freely studied, applied, reproduced, copied and/or modified, by anyone, for any purpose. Any restrictions are permissible only if they respect or protect these essential freedoms.
Barcex 17:18, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Chapter 3 
p4.2 We are not happy with your writing here. We want the Local Chapters to be open to everyone who wants to support our goals, not only active users. As an example again from Sweden, of our members something between a 1/4 to a 1/3 are not at all active user and among them we have some very important persons in the society like members of parlament, chair of some highly important organsatitons, and we see these as extremly important to have as members in the good-will and influence they give our cause in the society.
- (I had written this but not saved it. I'm too lazy to rewrite it, so here are my comments, that come before Wikimol's explanations.)
- Very clearly, I personally believe that tying a real life membership to an active contribution to the projects is a mistake and presents the following disadvantages:
- it prevents from having people who support the cause but can't / won't edit (my grand-mother, the president of another non-profit who has something else to do than spend time editing the projects.
- it strengthens the ties between projects and chapters, when we are trying to be very clear as to the fact that chapters have NO influence at all in the projects. Having only contributors as members is a sure way to recreate the same kind of hierarchy as on-wiki, which I believe is the wrong thing to do.
- is an administrative nightmare (as you stated, what does "actively" mean? 400 edits? Having a user name? Etc. You are opening the door to people who will just cheat to be members, and closing the door to people who just can't be bothered to be members. Could I be a member, knowing that my edits date back to about 2 years ago? How do you reconclie a user name with a real name? etc. notafish }<';> 20:44, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
From our experience to have three types of memberships will complicate matters for you. Also that you you demand a written application (p4.3) will frighten many potential members away. But these comment is just advice from us, not necessary for you to act on. -- Anders
- I don't agree with Anders' comment about the written application though. I think it should be mandatory so as to make sure you have "real" people at the end of the application. ;-) notafish }<';> 20:44, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
- (a personal comment, just form me) IMO in the 3.4.2 requirement, there may be slight misunderstanding what qualifies a person as an active user. As I understand it, it means a reqirement to have an account on any Wikimedia project and one edit. So it's not some big obstacle, but just an attempt to ballance requirement, stating the chapter must involve contributors to the Wikimedia projects, and reqirement, that a chapter should be open to everyone. The nominal activity is only required from regular members - those with voting power. Important persons in the society who support our goals, and for some reason don't want to become involved as contributors, could still become 'supporting members' or 'honorary members', so the chapter is still open for everyone.
- IMO while external, non-contributor input is really welcome, the decisive voice should stay with people who do know and support Wikimedia project to the extent of having a user account. And I don't think it would really be a problem even for members of parlament and like... AFAIK one former minister of education is among contributors of cs.wiki. If it really would be a problem for somebody - who athe same time doesnt' support Wikimedia by some other means, which would qualify him as a supporting member - it's IMO really questionable if such person should have the right to decide about chapters matters.
- Btw I guess the cz.Wikimedia comunity will easily agree on widthdrawing 3.4.2 - it's not really a crucial thing. I just wanted to explain and express my opinion - that this this chapcom comment is partially based on a misunderstanding. IF there was just one type of membership, as suggested in other comment, it would be well grounded. But within the current proposal, it's IMO a bit unwise - it could easily be there would still be 1/4 to a 1/3 non-project-contributing members, only they would be counted as supporting members, wouldn't raise various quora, the chapter's board wouldn't have the problem of for example ceasing membership of a member of parliament who haven't payed the regular membership fee, etc. --Wikimol 17:49, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
- I wouldn't go as far as saying you "have" to withdraw this. But you should really think about how to phrase it differently. My experience is that asking for the voting members to be active contributors is just re-creating the wiki in another form, and that it is definitely not the best way to go about. this part of the guidelines is very clear about it. This said, these are personal opinions, which should not be seen as impeeding the chapter to exist. If you believe the cs community and the people involved in the founding would be ok with changing this, I would strongly recommend changing it. :-) notafish }<';> 20:49, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
- Ok. So to put it simply the main objection is, such condition is against the principle that chapters have no influence at all in the projects. As I see it, that's the case de iure - de facto people in the project often consider what chapters do and say. My principal reason is the same in the opposite direction - that projects should have influence on the chapters :-)
- IMO of much use would be some experience from existing chapters, some of which do have such requirements (...obviously much of the proposed was influenced by what we've seen elsewhere) So, if your dislike of it is based on actual experience how such conditions work in existing chapters ...that would be really decisive argument :-) --Wikimol 00:10, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
- Well, my observations is that the members that tend to join more mature and active chapters are usually people who 1) have not been contributors for a while. 2) have never been contributors, but find their way to the chapter to actually support the Wikimedia cause.
- As far as I am aware, there is only one chapter which conditions their membership to "active contribution" to the projects, and that would be Wikimedia Polska (so I don't get your "obviously" here :-) ). All others either mention that active contribution is a good thing or don't mention it at all, but definitely don't make it the sole requirement for being a member.
- On the other hand, I do not agree at all with your assessment that chapters should be influenced by "the projects". As is, "the community" is a shifting body that has no legal or even practical existence and being a "contributor" is a highly subjective matter which will evolve over time. Today you say "one edit" but maybe tomorrow it'll be 10 000 edits. Again, would I even be considered for membership by Wikimedia CZ knowing that my average contribution rate for the past two years has been maybe 1 edit every two months?
- To make a long story short, I believe that tying a real life membership to a virtual "status" brings absolutely nothing, short of complications and incentive for people to cheat. Will you take the biggest CZ troll under the principle that they are an "active contributor"? I rather like the mechanisms in place to disapprove a membership (board as a veto right on the inclusion of the member on the membership roll),as those are real barriers to membership. Again (and again and again and again :-) ) I am convinced that conditionning membership to contribution in the projects is a fake barrier that will not (and in the longer run, also cannot) be upheld. notafish }<';> 09:34, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
- Wikimedia Italia/bylaws article 7.2 (and they even specifically mention contribution to Italian language projects), WM Taiwan requires an account, WM Serbia has something similar (every physical person that want to work actively on projects of the Association may become the regular member. Every physical and legal person, that does not want to work actively, but wants to promote and support the activities of the Association may become the helping member.). Given we are in continental legal climate that "elsewhere" meant mainly ch,de,it,nl,pl,sr, and as the Polish legal system is probably the most similar with special weight on pl.
- That contribution means one edit could be stated explicitly, for sure you would be welcome :) Btw just on this page I see 6 your edits in a week, nowhere is written that contribution means just improving articles in 'pedia main namespace.
- Sure, the more concrete ;) barrier is the applications are approved by the board. IMO what it would really bring is a soft self-selection pressure... so for example above mentioned "VIPs" who can't be bothered to have an account would tend to become supporting and not regulars. But ok, I see the point this soft self-selection may deter some of the people you mention we want as regulars. So I'm convinced :) But still part of the original intention remains - to have as regular members only people who intend to be active (i.e. there is non-zero chance they'll show at the general assembly), know what a wiki is, etc. --Wikimol 12:20, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
- Darn, you took all the right examples. ie. those I didn't have a say in, because they appeared before I even was chapters coordinator or there was a chapters committee. Can we agree that you present my comments to the founding members and see what the overwhelming majority is? If everyone thinks this is totally relevant and important and you can't do without it, then well, I guess I'll have to just shut up. If not, I would really appreciate that my arguments be considered. notafish }<';> 20:22, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
- re 4.2 - active contibutors - accepted - will be changed to wants to work actively towards the goals of the Association or something like, not mentioning work on the projects.
- re written application - According to Czech personal data protection law, we need a consent of members to keep a list of them. Written application including the consent seems to be the easiest and safest way. --Wikimol 20:56, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
Chapter 4 and 5 
Chapter 6,7 and 9 
p 6.7 this is an extremly tough requirement. If you want some kind of minimum attandence to constitue a quorum I would propose you use a minimum number instead of a percentage.
- We kept it. It's kind of traditional among Czech civic associations - and there is a mechanism what to do if the quorum is not met in 6.8: the General Assembly will meet in the "second term" (which may be just half an hour after the first) where is no need of presence of more than half of all regulars. Only, per 6.10, such GA in second term can't change the agenda: so if few people meet, they can't - all of sudden - do something unexpected, like changing of the bylaws. --Wikimol 20:56, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
p 6.11.3, p7.3 and p 9 there are some contradiction or unclearities in these as how the members beside chair are to be elected and/or if they could be elected via mail vote. I would suggest you keep p 6.11.3, ie election is done only by the General assembly and that you change p7.3 accordingly. And that you write more explicity in p 9 that elections can not be done via Mail Vote alternative that only elections of a temporary character can be done.
- In our opinion there are no contradictions, although because some details are specified in the Rules of the procedure it may be a bit unlear
- It should work this way: General Assembly can do anything, and is supposed to elect both the chairman and the rest of the board. If the chairman resigns, the board falls with him. If any other board member resigns, the chairman _selects_ a candidate, and a Mail Vote is organized for approval. So, it's cooptation + approval by mail vote. In the rules of the procedure are other requirements, like - no more than 2/5 of board members could be selected this way. --Wikimol 20:56, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
Rest and conclusion 
Chapters 8, 10-13 no comments.
In general we are positive to your bylaws and besides the issues mentioned above we approve of them
- Thanks :) --Wikimol 20:56, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
- For my part I am happy with and approve of your proposed changes. Please send a mail to chapcom when you have a revised version ready, so we can make a final review. Anders Wennersten 19:47, 2 January 2008 (UTC)