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  Do we need to found a PhysicsOverflow company / corporation?

+ 3 like - 0 dislike

In the context of a question about who owns MathOverflow, it is mentioned that on May 17, 2013, MathOverflow became a nonprofit nonstock corporation in the state of Delaware, which could then negotiate the agreement with Stack Exchange about joining the SE network.

Since quite some time I am wondering if founding some kind of company / corporation to represent PhysicsOverflow in the context of legal / financial issues would be beneficial or even needed too.

  • For example, each web site is responsible for its content, and in case of upcoming issues it might be a good idea to not let a single (or small group of) civil person sticking out his/her head.
  • When providing some not charge free services such as for example advertising cool ArXiv papers that need more attention, maintaining a paid team of professional programmers / software developpers, etc it might be even needed that a company stands behind this (?) ...
  • It might (in particular at the beginning) be the case that not everybody is happy about the service we are providing, so it might be good to have some kind of an PhysicsOverflow entity that is capable of acting and which can be represented by a competent lawier if needed.
  • Etc ...

So my question is, do we need to found some kind of a PhysicsOverflow company or corporation, which can act on behalf and represent and defend the needs of our community ?

asked Feb 26, 2014 in Discussion by Dilaton (6,240 points) [ revision history ]
edited Mar 29, 2014 by dimension10

1 Answer

+ 2 like - 0 dislike

This is time consuming, and it involves legal advice, so the best bet is to wait until the need arises. If you do it ahead of time, it creates a frozen structure, generally you end up drafting documents and creating authorities that are, at this point, completely unnecessay. For all you know, at this point the site will fail to attract any attention, and you are just wasting time (I mean, I hope not! But you can't be sure ahead of time). There can't possibly be any issue on this site, except copyright infringement if someone copy-pastes copyright texts, and you can just remove it when asked (or before being asked).

answered Feb 27, 2014 by Ron Maimon (7,720 points) [ no revision ]

Thanks for your wise and reasonable thoughts (once more) Ron. I have to admit that concerning such legal issues I dont know what I am talking about anyway ;-) and I am happy if we can neglect or delay them to start with ... But what should maybe be kept in mind is that the reception of PhysicsOverflow might not be exclusively friendly everywhere and by everybody in the world wild web, in particular at the beginning ...

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