Tolkien Gateway:Meetings/31 July 2011/Transcript
[2011-07-31 20:06:32] <KingAragorn> Welcome to this special meeting to discuss charitable status. KingAragorn, Mith, Amroth, Ederchil, Gamling, Hyarion, Morgan and Theoden1 are all present.
[2011-07-31 20:07:03] <KingAragorn> Useful links:
[2011-07-31 20:07:03] <KingAragorn> http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Tolkien_Gateway:Meetings/31_July_2011
[2011-07-31 20:07:03] <KingAragorn> http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Tolkien_Gateway:Meetings/31_July_2011/US_proposal
[2011-07-31 20:07:03] <KingAragorn> http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Tolkien_Gateway:Meetings/31_July_2011/England_and_Wales_proposal
[2011-07-31 20:07:20] <Mith> Essential links* :p
[2011-07-31 20:07:52] <KingAragorn> We'll start by looking at the feasibility of becoming a charitable organisation in the United States.
[2011-07-31 20:07:52] <KingAragorn> To summarise the US proposal:
[2011-07-31 20:07:52] <KingAragorn> - Becoming a chartiable organisation is very difficult under federal law.
[2011-07-31 20:07:52] <KingAragorn> - It would most likely not be worth applying for tax exemption from the IRS (not worth it in terms of both time and money)
[2011-07-31 20:07:52] <KingAragorn> - In the process of becoming a charitable organisation in the US we'd have to become 'organized' anyway. We might as well become organised and not pursue formal charity/tax exemption status. When 'organized' Tolkien Gateway would become its own legal organisation.
[2011-07-31 20:07:52] <KingAragorn> What is everyone's thoughts on this?
[2011-07-31 20:08:06] <KingAragorn> *are
[2011-07-31 20:09:25] <Ederchil> It pretty much speaks for itself.
[2011-07-31 20:09:35] <Hyarion> I think it adds too much overhead for not enough benefit.
[2011-07-31 20:09:49] <Amroth> yes, I agree with that.
[2011-07-31 20:10:08] <Gamling> I was once one of the board members of a small non-profit organization in the U.S. We had to file with both the U.S. government and with a state government. Cost lots of $, took lots of time, was a hassle every year to file the paperwork.
[2011-07-31 20:11:48] <KingAragorn> Yeah, the proposal didn't even consider state law. Federal law alone would be quite cumbersome
[2011-07-31 20:11:59] <KingAragorn> What about the simple notion of becoming organised under US law?
[2011-07-31 20:13:13] <Hyarion> I'd imagine there would still be more overhead than it's worth.
[2011-07-31 20:14:00] <KingAragorn> Possibly
[2011-07-31 20:14:05] <Hyarion> Are there any other online Tolkien communities that have become organized?
[2011-07-31 20:14:13] <KingAragorn> Gamling was your organisation tax exempt?
[2011-07-31 20:14:16] <Morgan> How about LotR Fanatics Plaza?
[2011-07-31 20:14:57] <Morgan> Are they an organization? They have some kind of "premium" membership, which you pay for, but I'm not sure if they are properly "organized".
[2011-07-31 20:15:15] <Gamling> My organization was tax exempt. Basically anything under $25,000 per year in income would be tax exempt, but the government wants you to file to prove that each year.
[2011-07-31 20:15:33] <KingAragorn> Ah ok
[2011-07-31 20:15:57] <KingAragorn> I'm not sure whether LotR Fanatics Plaza is organised or not
[2011-07-31 20:16:45] <KingAragorn> But why would another Tolkien community have to become organised before we consider it ourselves? Can't we seize the initiative?
[2011-07-31 20:17:15] <Gamling> The reason my organization filed for non-profit status was because we wanted liability insurance and the insurance company only wanted to deal with an official organization.
[2011-07-31 20:17:17] <Morgan> Surely, it would just be interesting to know
[2011-07-31 20:18:24] <KingAragorn> It would, but it's not a prerequisite for us doing it
[2011-07-31 20:18:49] <KingAragorn> OK, let's look at how it would work under the law in England and Wales.
[2011-07-31 20:19:00] <Hyarion> so have we ruled out the US possibility?
[2011-07-31 20:19:01] <KingAragorn> (Unless there are any more comments on the US proposal?)
[2011-07-31 20:19:11] <KingAragorn> Not yet
[2011-07-31 20:19:25] <Hyarion> should we do so before proceeding?
[2011-07-31 20:19:34] <KingAragorn> No, we need to consider the other option
[2011-07-31 20:19:38] <KingAragorn> first
[2011-07-31 20:20:04] <Hyarion> sure
[2011-07-31 20:20:34] <KingAragorn> Mith, any introductory comments for the England and Wales proposal?
[2011-07-31 20:21:03] <Mith> Nope, I think what I've written speaks for itself. :)
[2011-07-31 20:21:31] <Mith> I invite comments!
[2011-07-31 20:22:16] <Ederchil> I have none.
[2011-07-31 20:22:49] <Hyarion> How does the government decide whether we are based in England and Wales or not?
[2011-07-31 20:23:04] <Gamling> From what I read the England/Wales proposal sounded easier to obtain than the U.S. option.
[2011-07-31 20:23:13] <Mith> Well, this was my main question when I spoke to the Charity Commission on the phone.
[2011-07-31 20:23:52] <Mith> The fact that the server is based in the US is *not an issue* so long as we have a Constitution which clearly states we are under England and Wales law
[2011-07-31 20:24:26] <Hyarion> What are the benefits to now being governed by English and Welsh law?
[2011-07-31 20:24:51] <Mith> However, it was suggested that there would need to be trustees from England and Wales.
[2011-07-31 20:25:08] <Hyarion> a majority percentage, or just 1?
[2011-07-31 20:25:18] <Mith> That wasn't really made clear.
[2011-07-31 20:25:25] <Mith> There is no regulation for this
[2011-07-31 20:25:47] <Morgan> So it's seems more like a recommendation
[2011-07-31 20:25:55] <Mith> From my conversation it seemed as if merely having an England and Wales Constitution was enough
[2011-07-31 20:25:59] <Mith> Yes, I tihnk so too, Morgan
[2011-07-31 20:26:16] <Hyarion> would we need a separate bank account for the charity?
[2011-07-31 20:27:04] <Mith> That's a degree of administrative detail I didn't look into.
[2011-07-31 20:27:59] <Morgan> (it's usually not a big deal to open bank accounts for charities, I've created a couple, although they've been for Swedish organization)
[2011-07-31 20:28:05] <Gamling> My U.S. group had to have a separate bank account in the U.S. Even if we don't need one in England it would be good to have it for cleaner traceability.
[2011-07-31 20:28:26] <Morgan> (*organizations)
[2011-07-31 20:29:17] <KingAragorn> As Gamling and Morgan have just said we should (and can) set up a separate bank account even if its not required legally
[2011-07-31 20:29:22] <KingAragorn> *it's
[2011-07-31 20:29:42] <Hyarion> and I'd assume we would have a credit card or checking card to pay for the monthly server fees?
[2011-07-31 20:30:05] <KingAragorn> debit card is most likely
[2011-07-31 20:30:17] <KingAragorn> credit card would cost more
[2011-07-31 20:30:21] <Mith> Couldn't you do it by bank transfer though?
[2011-07-31 20:30:47] <KingAragorn> Yeah, you could pay in a number of ways
[2011-07-31 20:31:10] <KingAragorn> Dependant on what the server host wants/requires
[2011-07-31 20:31:18] <Morgan> Hyarion, would you mind telling a bit about your total expenses for TG (or woud you rather keep it private)?
[2011-07-31 20:31:22] <Hyarion> It's something to look into, hopefully.
[2011-07-31 20:32:24] <Morgan> (I'm thinking about how much the charity would need to have as income, to pay for server and domain name - if Hyarion is not going to do that himself in the future)
[2011-07-31 20:32:28] <Hyarion> It's fairly minimal, approximately $30 USD/month right now. Plus $10 for each domain per year.
[2011-07-31 20:32:29] <Theoden1> i'm back
[2011-07-31 20:32:42] <Theoden1> whazzup
[2011-07-31 20:32:42] <KingAragorn> wb Theoden1
[2011-07-31 20:32:54] <KingAragorn> Have you read the two proposals?
[2011-07-31 20:33:08] <Amroth> welcome back Theoden1
[2011-07-31 20:33:38] <Theoden1> not yet
[2011-07-31 20:33:51] <Hyarion> I'm assuming we would need to transfer the funds from the US to England to the bank account, and then back again to the US to pay for the server.
[2011-07-31 20:34:05] <Mith> I don't think so.
[2011-07-31 20:34:14] <Mith> I know the Tolkien Society has an American bank account.
[2011-07-31 20:34:36] <Hyarion> In addition to their one in England, right?
[2011-07-31 20:34:43] <Mith> Yes.
[2011-07-31 20:34:55] <Mith> They use it for receiving and sending payments in the US.
[2011-07-31 20:35:04] <Hyarion> I'm just thinking of the overhead of now having to deal with two bank accounts.
[2011-07-31 20:35:10] <KingAragorn> I can pay American organisations directly from my account
[2011-07-31 20:35:38] <Mith> Yes, I think we might not need the two.
[2011-07-31 20:35:49] <Theoden1> the UK charity setup looks simpler
[2011-07-31 20:36:01] <Theoden1> IRS here is a pain in the a**
[2011-07-31 20:36:35] <KingAragorn> Yes
[2011-07-31 20:36:46] <Hyarion> I'm just thinking of the additional cost of having to transfer the funds into the England account and then back again to the US.
[2011-07-31 20:37:27] <KingAragorn> What cost? Potential lost value in currency exchange?
[2011-07-31 20:37:43] <Theoden1> Bank of America charges 3% additional, but not every bank does
[2011-07-31 20:38:05] <Theoden1> service fee, essentially
[2011-07-31 20:38:42] <Hyarion> there is usually some service fee, either separate or included in the exchange rate.
[2011-07-31 20:39:43] <Theoden1> if it stay minimal, then not too big a deal
[2011-07-31 20:41:44] <Theoden1> OK, we still awake out there?
[2011-07-31 20:41:48] <Morgan> Alright, what also need to consider is this: (1) Our basic (but not the only) motivation for creating a charity is that TG is now tied to one person, namely Hyarion (in case Hyarion dies, looses interest, etc, Tg would die). This should be a perfectly understandable worry, and is not to be takes as a ciritcism of Hyarion. (2) There is suggestion to start a TG charity based in the UK - being a charity seems to ensure that TG is
[2011-07-31 20:42:26] <Morgan> Sorry for long post!
[2011-07-31 20:42:37] <Theoden1> good points
[2011-07-31 20:42:50] <Hyarion> Morgan, looks like it got cut off, last phrase I see is "being a charity seems to ensure that TG is..."
[2011-07-31 20:43:12] <Theoden1> also if Hyarion is kidnapped by CS Lewis fanatics, lol
[2011-07-31 20:43:29] <Morgan> Should I break it down? It turns whole on my screen
[2011-07-31 20:43:32] <Morgan> *up
[2011-07-31 20:43:45] <KingAragorn> We could use PayPal
[2011-07-31 20:43:52] <Hyarion> if you can just copy/paste the part after "TG is..."
[2011-07-31 20:44:04] <KingAragorn> Morgan can't copy and paste on his IRC client ;)
[2011-07-31 20:44:16] <Morgan> yep, hold on (need to save a text first!) :P
[2011-07-31 20:44:23] <Morgan> (.txt)
[2011-07-31 20:45:10] <Mith> Amroth and Ederchil, are you still with us?
[2011-07-31 20:45:18] <Amroth> yes
[2011-07-31 20:45:24] <Gamling> Me too.
[2011-07-31 20:45:26] <Ederchil> yes.
[2011-07-31 20:45:34] <Morgan> (1) Our basic (but not the only) motivation for creating a charity is that TG is now tied to one person, namely Hyarion (in case Hyarion dies, looses interest, etc, Tg would die). This should be a perfectly understandable worry, and is not to be takes as a ciritcism of Hyarion.
[2011-07-31 20:45:43] <Morgan> (2) There is suggestion to start a TG charity based in the UK - being a charity seems to ensure that TG is not tied to one person, but to a community (much higher degree of survival + other benefits)
[2011-07-31 20:45:52] <Morgan> (3) However, starting a charity in the UK would be dependant on Mith and KingAragorn - what if they loose interest/perish? TG would also die.
[2011-07-31 20:46:02] <Morgan> This is not intended as a criticism of the charity idea, just problematizing a bit. Would Hyarion be able to restore the "old" TG, if the charity becomes too complex to handle?
[2011-07-31 20:46:54] <Morgan> [done]
[2011-07-31 20:48:59] <KingAragorn> Ok, shall we run through Morgan's points?
[2011-07-31 20:49:06] <Amroth> tes
[2011-07-31 20:49:11] <Amroth> yes*
[2011-07-31 20:49:12] <Morgan> In case they are any good :P
[2011-07-31 20:49:17] <Hyarion> :p
[2011-07-31 20:49:23] <KingAragorn> 1) does everyone agree with this?
[2011-07-31 20:49:36] <Amroth> aye
[2011-07-31 20:49:38] <Ederchil> yes
[2011-07-31 20:49:42] <Gamling> Yep
[2011-07-31 20:50:12] <Hyarion> technically speaking, Mith also has access to the server, so even if I did die, it's not like no one would have access to the server.
[2011-07-31 20:50:20] <KingAragorn> And by proxy I presume everyone agrees with (2)
[2011-07-31 20:50:48] <Ederchil> yes
[2011-07-31 20:50:55] <Hyarion> yes
[2011-07-31 20:50:56] <KingAragorn> Yes but he doesn't have responsibility for paying for the server
[2011-07-31 20:50:58] <Amroth> +1
[2011-07-31 20:51:00] <Gamling> yes
[2011-07-31 20:51:43] <KingAragorn> On point 3 I'm not sure what the laws says about what happens to an organisation when all its members perish
[2011-07-31 20:51:45] <Hyarion> we're assuming I'm dead, so in that event, I'm sure Mith could handle downloading the contents and installing MediaWiki on a new server
[2011-07-31 20:51:56] <KingAragorn> How would we know that?
[2011-07-31 20:52:18] <Morgan> I guess my main point is that we should not make TG dependant on the charity, even if we decide to make such a thing. I'm thinking backups, perhaps several servers, etc
[2011-07-31 20:52:39] <Hyarion> several servers is definitely overkill for a website of our size.
[2011-07-31 20:52:51] <Amroth> +1 for Morgan
[2011-07-31 20:53:05] <Morgan> My experience is that charities/organizations are dependant on a few very motivated people, if they quit, it's very likely that the org. dies.
[2011-07-31 20:53:16] <Morgan> (which is not to say that we shouldn't try it!)
[2011-07-31 20:53:22] <Gamling> Agree with Morgan.
[2011-07-31 20:53:25] <Theoden1> seems OK
[2011-07-31 20:53:49] <Ederchil> yeah.
[2011-07-31 20:54:05] <Hyarion> my concern is I'm having to make a lot of international calls trying to get taxes, bank accounts, etc. sorted out
[2011-07-31 20:54:13] <Hyarion> should something happen to Mith/KA
[2011-07-31 20:54:43] <Amroth> That would be a problem.
[2011-07-31 20:54:44] <KingAragorn> Wait, so Morgan, what you're saying that TG would be more at risk of being lost when multiple people are responsible for it rather than just one individual?
[2011-07-31 20:54:47] <Theoden1> maybe a handful of them, tho?
[2011-07-31 20:55:13] <Hyarion> I think a charity is a nice idea, but we're just not to that size where we can justify it.
[2011-07-31 20:55:14] <Amroth> Of course the change that both Mith and KA is smaller, then that Hyarion dies.
[2011-07-31 20:55:18] <Morgan> No, I'm not saying that!
[2011-07-31 20:55:53] <Hyarion> Amroth, you're saying I have a high likelihood of perishing?!
[2011-07-31 20:55:55] <Hyarion> :)
[2011-07-31 20:55:59] <Amroth> no
[2011-07-31 20:56:18] <Ederchil> The chance of two people is smaller.
[2011-07-31 20:56:21] <Amroth> but that the change that 2 people would die is much smaller then that one person dies.
[2011-07-31 20:56:23] <Hyarion> California is about to sink into the ocean...
[2011-07-31 20:56:28] <Theoden1> how much longer do u have to live, dood? :D
[2011-07-31 20:57:09] <Gamling> I live on the west side of the San Andreas fault. We're not sinking; we're moving north. It's a long-term solution to global warming.
[2011-07-31 20:57:09] <KingAragorn> If me and Mith perish in a nuclear blast then Hyarion would still have access the server - the charity would cease to be but TG wouldn't,
[2011-07-31 20:57:23] <Theoden1> spread the risk, it makes since
[2011-07-31 20:57:37] <Theoden1> u mean if Scotland nooks Wales?
[2011-07-31 20:58:35] <Mith> As far as I can find
[2011-07-31 20:58:46] <Theoden1> he's back!!!
[2011-07-31 20:58:51] <Amroth> But, maybe somebody assasinates Hyarion, Mith and KA.
[2011-07-31 20:58:59] <Mith> There is actually no rule stating that you have to be an EW resident to be a trustee
[2011-07-31 20:59:12] <KingAragorn> ^ back on track
[2011-07-31 20:59:14] <Theoden1> CS Lewis terrorists again???
[2011-07-31 21:00:15] <KingAragorn> So, at this stage, who's in favour of TG becoming a charity and who isn't?
[2011-07-31 21:00:16] <Mith> See: http://charitycommission.gov.uk/FAQS/Running_a_charity/governance/414.aspx
[2011-07-31 21:00:19] <Amroth> yes, who else?
[2011-07-31 21:00:20] <KingAragorn> I'm in favour
[2011-07-31 21:00:28] <Theoden1> i like the idea
[2011-07-31 21:00:31] <Ederchil> +1
[2011-07-31 21:00:45] <Amroth> +1
[2011-07-31 21:00:45] <Morgan> +1
[2011-07-31 21:01:37] <Theoden1> 5 in favour (dopey Brit spelling)
[2011-07-31 21:01:52] <Morgan> We obviously need to make sure that Hyarion is comfortable with the idea - would he have to deal with legal consequences *in case* the charity vanishes?
[2011-07-31 21:01:59] |<-- Hyarion has left irc.tolkiengateway.net (Ping timeout)
[2011-07-31 21:02:03] <KingAragorn> Oh my
[2011-07-31 21:02:05] <Morgan> Hm
[2011-07-31 21:02:06] <Theoden1> of course
[2011-07-31 21:02:09] |<-- Gamling has left irc.tolkiengateway.net (Ping timeout)
[2011-07-31 21:02:12] <Amroth> True
[2011-07-31 21:02:19] <Morgan> US is under attack!
[2011-07-31 21:02:20] <KingAragorn> Has America been cut off?
[2011-07-31 21:02:28] <KingAragorn> Theoden1 is still here
[2011-07-31 21:02:34] <KingAragorn> Where's Gamling from?
[2011-07-31 21:02:35] <Amroth> No
[2011-07-31 21:02:40] <Morgan> US
[2011-07-31 21:02:41] <Amroth> USA
[2011-07-31 21:02:46] <KingAragorn> Where in the US
[2011-07-31 21:02:47] <Theoden1> we're under attack by Canada...
[2011-07-31 21:02:49] <Mith> California
[2011-07-31 21:02:49] <KingAragorn> I mat
[2011-07-31 21:02:51] <Amroth> Pacific
[2011-07-31 21:02:51] <KingAragorn> *meant
[2011-07-31 21:02:52] <Ederchil> Worse, California
[2011-07-31 21:02:55] <Theoden1> New jersey
[2011-07-31 21:03:03] <KingAragorn> Right, so California has lost connection
[2011-07-31 21:03:09] <Ederchil> So, the West Coast is cut off
[2011-07-31 21:03:10] <Theoden1> bummer
[2011-07-31 21:03:15] <Theoden1> OMG!!
[2011-07-31 21:03:19] <Amroth> Looks like so.
[2011-07-31 21:03:31] <Morgan> Really?
[2011-07-31 21:03:37] <Theoden1> its an 11.2 earthquake!!!!
[2011-07-31 21:03:38] <Ederchil> Maybe it's a state budget thing.
[2011-07-31 21:03:40] <Theoden1> or something
[2011-07-31 21:03:58] <KingAragorn> Well, we were waiting on their votes
[2011-07-31 21:04:00] * Mith rolls his eyes.
[2011-07-31 21:04:10] <Ederchil> California fell into the ocean?
[2011-07-31 21:04:26] <Amroth> Maybe it were Portuguese Warships.
[2011-07-31 21:04:49] <Amroth> Last year the Spanish coast was full of Portuguese Warships, aswell.
[2011-07-31 21:05:09] <Morgan> Ok, can I bump my question before the California time-out? Does KingAragorn or Mith know anything about that (which seemed to worry Hyarion)?
[2011-07-31 21:05:38] <Mith> I think we should hold off discussing until they return
[2011-07-31 21:06:01] <Amroth> yes
[2011-07-31 21:06:02] <Ederchil> okay. brb
[2011-07-31 21:06:11] <Morgan> brb
[2011-07-31 21:06:12] <KingAragorn> Yes, this meeting is suspended until they return
[2011-07-31 21:14:44] <KingAragorn> OK, the meeting is resumed
[2011-07-31 21:15:12] <KingAragorn> We were just voting on whether we support the charity idea or not
[2011-07-31 21:15:23] <KingAragorn> Everyone so far is in favour
[2011-07-31 21:15:29] <Gamling> I support the idea.
[2011-07-31 21:15:29] <Hyarion> US or England/Wales?
[2011-07-31 21:15:50] <Gamling> England/Wales
[2011-07-31 21:16:15] <KingAragorn> everyone supports England and Wales over the US
[2011-07-31 21:16:24] <Hyarion> Sorry, I just don't see any benefit to all the overhead.
[2011-07-31 21:17:46] <Gamling> Could we ever get into a legal problem where being a charity would protect Hyarion or other individuals?
[2011-07-31 21:17:48] <Ederchil> It seems like an awful lot of work.
[2011-07-31 21:17:49] <KingAragorn> Not one single benefit?
[2011-07-31 21:18:35] <KingAragorn> Ederchil, the bulk of the work would be in setting it up.
[2011-07-31 21:18:41] <KingAragorn> Gamling, what type of legal problems?
[2011-07-31 21:18:55] <Amroth> lawsuits?
[2011-07-31 21:19:17] <KingAragorn> Over what?
[2011-07-31 21:19:23] <Ederchil> It's primarily because I count neither law nor finances among my strong suits.
[2011-07-31 21:19:31] <Amroth> Using images without permission?
[2011-07-31 21:19:39] <Amroth> Something like that.
[2011-07-31 21:19:40] <Gamling> Could we ever be sued for say for plagiarism?
[2011-07-31 21:19:55] <Theoden1> dealt with by wiki fair use rules
[2011-07-31 21:20:05] <KingAragorn> Not plagiarism, we're not-for-profit and would remain not-for-profit
[2011-07-31 21:20:34] <KingAragorn> We wouldn't be involved in any lawsuit, unless we decide to ignore Cease and Desist notifications
[2011-07-31 21:21:26] <KingAragorn> On top of we should be seeking permission to use images already
[2011-07-31 21:21:31] <Morgan> Mith wrote "Copyrights could be a problem." - would you care to expand a bit on that? Are you thinking of only images? And isn't that already a problem today?
[2011-07-31 21:21:58] <KingAragorn> It is already a problem, yes
[2011-07-31 21:22:13] <KingAragorn> But, no one has sued Hyarion
[2011-07-31 21:22:43] <Hyarion> and is not a concern for a fan-based site like ours.
[2011-07-31 21:22:44] <Amroth> Maybe they don't care/know about it.
[2011-07-31 21:22:47] <KingAragorn> Nor have they, to my knowledge, present him with a Cease and Desist order (apart, perhaps, from the whole maps thing)
[2011-07-31 21:23:01] <KingAragorn> *presented
[2011-07-31 21:23:23] <Amroth> the maps thing?
[2011-07-31 21:23:45] <Hyarion> we were not a target of the maps case and desist orders luckily.
[2011-07-31 21:24:06] <KingAragorn> Several years ago the TE swept the web asking people to remove Middle-earth related maps
[2011-07-31 21:24:25] <Amroth> okay
[2011-07-31 21:24:44] <Amroth> Was that before or after TG was created.
[2011-07-31 21:24:52] <KingAragorn> As a charity in England and Wales we would need to use British copyright law
[2011-07-31 21:25:21] <Amroth> What would change that for us?
[2011-07-31 21:25:57] <KingAragorn> Well, we couldn't simply through on a "fair use" template and hope that covers it (something which we abuse anyway)
[2011-07-31 21:25:59] <Hyarion> it was when we were sitll small enough that we most likely weren't noticed
[2011-07-31 21:26:49] <Morgan> Hyarion - are you mainly against the charity idea since you fear there will be more work for you?
[2011-07-31 21:27:20] <Amroth> that would be a problem with our images.
[2011-07-31 21:28:49] <Hyarion> Mainly it has to do with the lack of benefits, a lot of work for a lot of benefit would definitely be worth it, but this is not the case. The other is now having to rely on someone to handle bank accounts, taxes, legal documents, etc. in another country, I don't think we have enough members yet to support that idea.
[2011-07-31 21:30:33] <Theoden1> hmmm
[2011-07-31 21:30:40] <Mith> If, Hyarion, you are saying that you are absolutely not entertaining the idea, I guess that ends this discussion?
[2011-07-31 21:30:51] <KingAragorn> The point is TG wouldn't be your sole responsibility, so it wouldn't be *you* having to rely on anybody
[2011-07-31 21:32:09] <Hyarion> I think it is a good idea to have a fallback if something should happen to me. Our focus is on a charity, when really all we need is for Mith to have access to the files so he can continue the wiki.
[2011-07-31 21:33:21] <Hyarion> I hope in a few years we will be large enough that we can start our own charity and even have income to support conferences and giveaways, donations, etc. but I don't think we're quite to that point yet.
[2011-07-31 21:34:13] <Gamling> Then from a technical standpoint of running the wiki site all we need is Hyarion, Mith as a back up, and perhaps a third person to back up both of them.
[2011-07-31 21:35:04] <Gamling> As a small organization we can plan someday to become an England/Wales charity when we've grown larger.
[2011-07-31 21:35:10] <Hyarion> agreed.
[2011-07-31 21:35:16] <KingAragorn> But responsibility for paying for the server and domain name rest with Hyarion. No one else has access to these details, and no one would know if Hyarion had died so we wouldn't simply back it up and create a new site as Hyarion suggested earlier
[2011-07-31 21:35:20] <Amroth> Agrees.
[2011-07-31 21:35:24] <Morgan> These are good points. Mith and KA, are there clear benefits of being a charity (which it all breaks downs to)?
[2011-07-31 21:36:07] <KingAragorn> There is no "fallback"
[2011-07-31 21:37:02] <KingAragorn> I think me and Mith have already argued the benefits of being a charity
[2011-07-31 21:37:05] <Theoden1> need some real backup for Hy if lightning does strike...
[2011-07-31 21:37:19] <KingAragorn> And highlighted how easy it would be under England and Wales law
[2011-07-31 21:37:21] <Theoden1> technically and organizationally
[2011-07-31 21:37:36] <Theoden1> easier than in US, thats for sure
[2011-07-31 21:37:41] <KingAragorn> Off course there are small details that need ironing out, but these aren't monumental tasks
[2011-07-31 21:37:43] <Amroth> Little question, do we have a backup and who has acces to it?
[2011-07-31 21:38:02] <Hyarion> Mith has full access to the server, to do everything I can do.
[2011-07-31 21:38:38] <Gamling> So if Mith had to take over he could do so seamlessly?
[2011-07-31 21:38:43] <Hyarion> yup
[2011-07-31 21:38:46] <KingAragorn> (to respond to Hyarion's earlier criticism) We use banks every day, there's one legal document that is made when we set up, there will be no more accounts than paying for the server, and as a charity there would be no taxes
[2011-07-31 21:39:21] <Mith> To be fair, I couldn't continue paying
[2011-07-31 21:39:47] <KingAragorn> And the beauty of a charity is that anyone can give money to it
[2011-07-31 21:40:50] <Hyarion> true, I have pretty strict restritions on who can give me money. No one with 3 arms.
[2011-07-31 21:41:15] <Hyarion> :p
[2011-07-31 21:41:35] <KingAragorn> Nonsense, you've repeatedly said you don't want anyone to give you money
[2011-07-31 21:42:09] <Amroth> �3Little question, do we have a backup and who has acces to it?
[2011-07-31 21:42:29] <KingAragorn> No one other than Hyarion
[2011-07-31 21:42:34] <KingAragorn> The same goes for payment details
[2011-07-31 21:42:38] <Hyarion> Mith has full access to the server, including backups...
[2011-07-31 21:43:03] <Amroth> Would it be possible if multiple people get the backups.
[2011-07-31 21:43:07] <Hyarion> KingAragorn, Re: donating money, why would we all of a sudden start accepting money if we were a charity?
[2011-07-31 21:43:35] <Hyarion> We can put dumps of the DB on the site available for anyone to download
[2011-07-31 21:43:43] <Gamling> We'd accept money as a charity in order to pay for being a charity.
[2011-07-31 21:44:08] <KingAragorn> The hypothetical situation was that Mith couldn't pay for to run TG on his own
[2011-07-31 21:44:33] <Mith> It's not that I couldn't afford it, that's not what I meant.
[2011-07-31 21:44:49] <Mith> I meant, I have no idea how Hyarion pays, and to whom.
[2011-07-31 21:44:51] <KingAragorn> And he couldn't pay the host
[2011-07-31 21:45:09] <Hyarion> I think we are focusing far too much on my death.
[2011-07-31 21:45:45] <Morgan> :)
[2011-07-31 21:45:45] <Gamling> We need a TG special page show Hyarion's latest doctor's report.
[2011-07-31 21:45:49] <Hyarion> lol
[2011-07-31 21:45:55] <Amroth> xD
[2011-07-31 21:46:05] <KingAragorn> OK, let's focus on your extended periods of absences
[2011-07-31 21:46:23] <KingAragorn> And how many here get worried that all there work could be lost
[2011-07-31 21:46:28] <KingAragorn> *their
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[2011-07-31 21:46:58] <Hyarion> I've been to nearly every meeting, am always in chat, respond to e-mails, I don't think I've ever been absent
[2011-07-31 21:47:24] <Hyarion> and we're going on 9 years now...
[2011-07-31 21:47:28] <Theoden1> in the past 4-5 months
[2011-07-31 21:47:42] <Theoden1> last fall/winter, u were hard to find
[2011-07-31 21:47:54] <KingAragorn> Don't pretend that you haven't neglected TG
[2011-07-31 21:48:14] <Hyarion> last fall we migrated to a new server, upgraded MediaWiki, I was in those meetings...
[2011-07-31 21:48:22] <Theoden1> not now, but there have been times
[2011-07-31 21:48:55] <Gamling> If we became a charity how would it change the technical situation?
[2011-07-31 21:49:45] <KingAragorn> Responsibility (for everything) would be shared
[2011-07-31 21:49:56] <Morgan> This is basically what I want: (1) that Hyarion makes it easy for us not to worry when he's absent. This includes backups posted on TG, etc (2) If Mith and KA are willing to proceed with an England/Wales charity, then I'm in support of that. (These two don't have to be mutually excluding)
[2011-07-31 21:50:25] <Gamling> +1 Morgan
[2011-07-31 21:50:34] <Ederchil> +1
[2011-07-31 21:51:41] <KingAragorn> Agreed
[2011-07-31 21:52:04] <Morgan> Perhaps the England/Wales charity could be the future kernel of a US charity too, don't you think Hyarion?
[2011-07-31 21:52:44] <Gishatako> What would be the difference of a US Charity and an England/Wales Charity?
[2011-07-31 21:52:48] <Hyarion> I think we still have some growing to do before we can justify the need for a charity.
[2011-07-31 21:53:10] <Amroth> I think Hyarion is right.
[2011-07-31 21:53:56] <Hyarion> I agree with what Amroth just said.
[2011-07-31 21:53:57] <Theoden1> agree
[2011-07-31 21:54:17] <Theoden1> i agree with KA, to be clear
[2011-07-31 21:54:41] <Morgan> But you wouldn't have to be so involved if you think there's much "overhead" or extra work - Mith and KA are willing to do that.
[2011-07-31 21:55:07] <Hyarion> I don't think we have enough volunteers in England to support a charity there quite yet.
[2011-07-31 21:55:17] <KingAragorn> Gishatako: see the links under documents: http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Tolkien_Gateway_talk:Meetings/31_July_2011
[2011-07-31 21:55:30] <Gishatako> Will do
[2011-07-31 21:56:01] <Amroth> Is it just me, or is TG very slow?
[2011-07-31 21:56:14] <Gishatako> Same here actually...
[2011-07-31 21:56:20] <Mith> I'll restart it
[2011-07-31 21:56:27] <Mith> Back to the discussion...
[2011-07-31 21:57:19] <KingAragorn> Hyarion, is this a case of you not wanting me or Mith involved in the running of TG?
[2011-07-31 21:58:21] <Hyarion> of course not, I just don't see the benefits of having to run a charity.
[2011-07-31 21:59:14] <Mith> KingAragorn, are you sugggesting there's a "personal" element here?
[2011-07-31 21:59:48] <KingAragorn> It feels that way
[2011-07-31 22:00:07] <Amroth> I'm sure that Hyarion only wants the best for TG.
[2011-07-31 22:00:52] <Gamling> And I think he has a valid concern that being a charity would increase the paperwork with little corresponding benefit.
[2011-07-31 22:02:55] <Gamling> If the technical issues of running TG are the same with or without charity status then the reason for being a charity is for legal or financial issues. It doesn't sound like we have any pressing problems in these areas.
[2011-07-31 22:03:13] <KingAragorn> After 4 years it doesn't feel like Hyarion is guided exclusively by what is best for TG, there's certainly a personal element that he finds it hard to give other responsibility for his creation
[2011-07-31 22:03:27] <Ederchil> Agree with Gamling
[2011-07-31 22:03:40] <KingAragorn> For instance he refused to allow anyone other than himself to become a sysop for years
[2011-07-31 22:04:15] <Hyarion> refused, or did we just not have a need for it?
[2011-07-31 22:04:36] <KingAragorn> I would say refused, yes
[2011-07-31 22:04:51] <Gishatako> Why talk about the past while we are discussing the future.
[2011-07-31 22:04:53] <Amroth> I don't believe that
[2011-07-31 22:05:05] <Amroth> +1 to Gishatako
[2011-07-31 22:05:06] <KingAragorn> I wanted to talk about the future...
[2011-07-31 22:08:35] <KingAragorn> And to ensure that it has one.
[2011-07-31 22:09:26] <Gishatako> I would die before seeing all the information on TG disappear...
[2011-07-31 22:09:46] <Gamling> Do we believe, at this point, that this issue can be resolved?
[2011-07-31 22:09:47] <Amroth> We all here want that TG has a future.
[2011-07-31 22:10:54] <KingAragorn> The point is, unless we have assurances that it will survive the unforeseeable what motivation do we have to stay?
[2011-07-31 22:13:38] <Amroth> I've to go now.
[2011-07-31 22:13:40] <KingAragorn> 9 people, no thoughts?
[2011-07-31 22:13:47] <Hyarion> ttyl Amroth, thanks for joining us.
[2011-07-31 22:13:50] <KingAragorn> Good night Amroth
[2011-07-31 22:15:02] <Mith> Good night, Amroth.
[2011-07-31 22:15:19] <Ederchil> I honestly don't know what to think.
[2011-07-31 22:15:23] <Gamling> Right now, if Hyarion departs for whatever reason then TG would go away. If we become a charity and Hyarion is still the domain owner and departs how would the situation be different?
[2011-07-31 22:15:33] <Mith> +1 Ederchil
[2011-07-31 22:15:44] <Hyarion> if Hyarion departs, Mith still has full access to the server.
[2011-07-31 22:15:59] <Amroth> Good night everybody
[2011-07-31 22:16:06] <Ederchil> Good night Amroth
[2011-07-31 22:16:07] <KingAragorn> Does Mith have access to payment details?
[2011-07-31 22:16:08] <Mith> Well, my role would be reduced to taking what we've got and putting it on a new domain?
[2011-07-31 22:16:14] <KingAragorn> Master passwords?
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[2011-07-31 22:16:26] <Hyarion> the information is where the value is
[2011-07-31 22:17:16] <Mith> I don't accept that.
[2011-07-31 22:17:17] <KingAragorn> What does that mean?
[2011-07-31 22:17:24] <Hyarion> okay.
[2011-07-31 22:17:48] <Mith> To be honest, a lot of members are nto email confirmed, how would they find us if we moved?
[2011-07-31 22:18:07] <Hyarion> we are talking about if I'm dead, I really don't see why we need to worry about this so much.
[2011-07-31 22:18:13] <Mith> Similarly the whole Tolkien community and Google knows about Tolkien Gateway but not Tolkien Newway.
[2011-07-31 22:19:13] <KingAragorn> You needn't worry
[2011-07-31 22:19:23] <KingAragorn> But everyone else does
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[2011-07-31 22:21:46] <Hyarion> I think we have exhausted this discussion.
[2011-07-31 22:22:33] <Ederchil> You have exhausted me. I have trouble keeping my eyes open. I think I should call it a night.
[2011-07-31 22:22:46] <Morgan> good night, Ederchil
[2011-07-31 22:22:58] <KingAragorn> Who here is happy with the status quo?
[2011-07-31 22:23:02] <KingAragorn> Good night Ederchil?
[2011-07-31 22:23:06] <Hyarion> thanks for joining us Ederchil, always nice to have you around.
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[2011-07-31 22:23:14] <KingAragorn> Without the question mark
[2011-07-31 22:25:52] <Mith> Well
[2011-07-31 22:26:10] <Mith> I do see both sides
[2011-07-31 22:26:35] <Mith> I have more sympathy for Hyarion's position than I imagine he, and you all, would probably imagine.
[2011-07-31 22:27:26] <Gamling> Having had to deal with all the work of running a non-profit I too sympathize with Hyarion.
[2011-07-31 22:27:45] <Mith> Well, I think the administrative requirements in the UK are limited.
[2011-07-31 22:27:55] <Mith> I actually don't see those as a problem
[2011-07-31 22:28:18] <Mith> In fact, in my chat with Rachael from the Charities Commission, I was bowled over at how light it is
[2011-07-31 22:28:41] <Mith> In fact, all you need is a Constitution and annual accounts (which wno't get checked)
[2011-07-31 22:28:54] <KingAragorn> I've lost all sympathy
[2011-07-31 22:29:20] <Hyarion> KA, I know you don't mean this, but you're coming across as 'I want more power or I don't want to participate'
[2011-07-31 22:29:37] <Gamling> If we were to become a charity and Hyarion were still in charge of the domain and its payment then nothing's different. Is the idea to get the domain and payments transferred to the charity?
[2011-07-31 22:29:41] <Mith> I get the feeling, though, that Hyarion is vetoing this, which I can understand, but this probably could've been said before.
[2011-07-31 22:30:17] <Mith> Well, if we were a charity Hyarion would not be the owner. The Charity would be the owner and Hyarion would be the nominee.
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[2011-07-31 22:31:06] <Hyarion> if we were the size of TheOneRing.net and had expenses such as events, t-shirts, etc. I can see the benefit in keeping everything financially separate, but I don't think we're to that point yet, I hope we can get to that point soon though.
[2011-07-31 22:31:29] <Mith> Is that a veto?
[2011-07-31 22:32:22] <Hyarion> yes
[2011-07-31 22:32:28] <Mith> OK.
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[2011-07-31 22:32:40] <Mith> You could've said that four weeks ago
[2011-07-31 22:32:46] <Hyarion> welcome back Morgan.
[2011-07-31 22:32:54] <Morgan> Thanks, lost connection!
[2011-07-31 22:33:02] <Hyarion> oh I still think this meeting was informative
[2011-07-31 22:33:33] <KingAragorn> I want assurances that TG will survive the unforeseeable and will last as long as the world wide web survives, the charity idea is the most sensible way forward . I don't want more 'power'; the only 'power' I'd have would be in devoting a small amount of my time (and possibly money) in being a trustee.
[2011-07-31 22:33:56] <KingAragorn> Well, I'm annoyed that you humoured us until the last moment
[2011-07-31 22:34:13] <Hyarion> ...?
[2011-07-31 22:34:29] <KingAragorn> "...?"?
[2011-07-31 22:35:21] <Hyarion> When was I humoring?
[2011-07-31 22:36:00] <KingAragorn> For the past four weeks
[2011-07-31 22:37:00] <Hyarion> I've been critical since the very beginning...
[2011-07-31 22:37:34] <Hyarion> from last meeting, "Jul 03 13:43:44 <Hyarion> imho this makes sense if we were a larger organization, but I think it becomes too complicated for a community of our size."
[2011-07-31 22:39:04] <KingAragorn> Was that a veto?
[2011-07-31 22:39:04] <Gamling> Hyarion, at what point (what size) would we need to achieve before you felt that a charity status was desirable?
[2011-07-31 22:41:10] <Hyarion> Gamling, I think the real benefit comes when we start doing financial things that and we need to start keeping that separate from a single individual
[2011-07-31 22:42:09] <Hyarion> example would be hosting our own conference, or customizing our own t-shirts, etc.
[2011-07-31 22:42:27] <KingAragorn> That won't happen
[2011-07-31 22:42:33] <Hyarion> why not?
[2011-07-31 22:43:51] <Hyarion> we were pretty close to hosting an online conference with a fee after the success of The Children of Hurin Release Party
[2011-07-31 22:45:55] <KingAragorn> I wouldn't pay a fee for an online conference
[2011-07-31 22:46:01] <Morgan> Sorry people, I was hoping to make it until the meeting ended - but work calls me tomorrow after four weeks of holidays - need to get up in 5 hours! Good night everybody
[2011-07-31 22:46:20] <Hyarion> thanks for all your input Morgan!
[2011-07-31 22:46:26] <Gamling> Goodbye Morgan.
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[2011-07-31 22:46:49] <Hyarion> KingAragorn, so you don't think TG will do anything that generates revenue?
[2011-07-31 22:47:47] <KingAragorn> Probably not
[2011-07-31 22:50:13] <Hyarion> even charitable donations? I thought you mentioned that was one benefit to the charity.
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[2011-07-31 22:56:30] <Hyarion> hi Icarus
[2011-07-31 22:56:41] <Hyarion> how's your weekend going?
[2011-07-31 22:56:42] <Gamling> Guys, I'm not seeing any resolution here and it's time for me to go. I dislike saying "let's table this discussion" but if we can't get an agreement perhaps revisiting this later would be best.
[2011-07-31 22:56:45] <Icarus> Hey Hyarion
[2011-07-31 22:57:02] <Hyarion> Gamling, I agree, I think this was a very informative discussion.
[2011-07-31 22:57:06] <Icarus> Hyarion: I'm going to school in 7 minutes XD
[2011-07-31 22:57:23] <Hyarion> wow, us Americans are so far behind the times.
[2011-07-31 22:57:41] <Hyarion> Gamling, thanks for joining us, we really appreciate your input
[2011-07-31 22:57:59] <Gamling> OK, talk to you all later.
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[2011-07-31 22:58:17] <KingAragorn> Hyarion, I don't see us ever being so organised as to do anything that generates revenue
[2011-07-31 23:00:58] <Hyarion> you don't think we can be organized enough to accept donations?
[2011-07-31 23:01:15] <Hyarion> I think this discussion is getting sillier, so I better go get something to eat.
[2011-07-31 23:01:25] <Icarus> I was planning yesterday
[2011-07-31 23:01:34] <Theoden1> OK, i checked out for the last 45 min
[2011-07-31 23:01:38] <Icarus> To in the future, make a Harry Potter Wiki
[2011-07-31 23:01:44] <Icarus> With similar styles to TG
[2011-07-31 23:01:46] <Theoden1> no resolution of that, huh?
[2011-07-31 23:01:59] <Icarus> Like infoboxes for wizards, giants, house-elves, etc;
[2011-07-31 23:02:00] <Hyarion> Theoden1, not yet, but it was good to throw some ideas around.
[2011-07-31 23:02:08] <Hyarion> Theoden1, we're glad you could make it out.
[2011-07-31 23:02:14] <Mith> This hasn't really been stated, but I think we can close this meeting. Thank you all for attending.