Wikimedia UK

Wikimedia chapter incorporated for the UK

A local chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation for the United Kingdom, to be known as Wikimedia UK, officially came into existence last week. This is now the sixth group to organise itself as a local chapter.

The chapter was incorporated under the legal name of Wiki Educational Resources Limited on Tuesday, 14 February. While incorporation means that it has legal status as a Company, it is seeking Charitable status and will shortly be applying to register as a charity. If this is successful tax deductions may be available for donations to the chapter. As an independent organisation from the Foundation, and subject to UK law, it will use its resources on specific projects as well as supporting the work of the Wikimedia Foundation.

The successful incorporation is the result of efforts that have been ongoing for nearly a year. A number of meetings were held in recent months, both in person and over IRC, to work on the elements necessary to the process. Several of those heavily involved comprise the chapter's initial Board of Directors, which consists of Alison Wheeler, Jon Garrett, James Forrester, Andrew Walker, and David Gerard. Responding to the news of incorporation, Foundation Trustee Angela Beesley said, "Congratulations to everyone who has been involved in setting this up!"

The chapter's objectives, as stated in the Memorandum of Association, are generally to promote "information and educational resources covering the world's knowledge and languages to all persons, everywhere". This parallels Jimmy Wales' stated goal of giving "every single person on the planet...free access to the sum of all human knowledge."

Additional information about the structure of the new chapter is contained in the Articles of Association. As pointed out by David Gerard, the chapter has no authority over content on Wikipedia or any other project of the Foundation, due in part to concern over UK libel laws.


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All looks OK to me. We are, of course, not doing any big announcements until we have charitable status, which takes somewhere between now and whenever - David Gerard 10:39, 21 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Hi. The second paragraph might give an incorrect impression as "the chapter still needs to go through the process of getting registered as a charity. Once this is done ..." as, in fact, receiving Charitable status is not a "done deal" and whilst we are very hopeful we should not assume it will happen. Similarly "not just serve as a conduit for funds to the Wikimedia Foundation" is something that we would specifically not be permitted to do under UK law. Could I suggest an alternative wording therefore along the lines of

The chapter was incorporated under the legal name of Wiki Educational Resources Limited on Tuesday, 14 February. While incorporation means that it has legal status as a Company, it is seeking Charitable status and will shortly be applying to register as a charity. If this is successful tax deductions may be available for donations to the chapter. As an independent organisation from the Foundation, and subject to UK law, it will use its resources on specific projects as well as supporting the work of the Wikimedia Foundation.

--AlisonW 22:08, 21 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]




       

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