A week ago Sunday, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales put out this enticing sounding open letter asking Wikipedia users for recommendations about how the collaborative, free online encyclopedia might spend an um, maybe-not-so-hypothetical $100 million war chest to acquire the rights to digital works.
First you should, in conjunction with experts, draw up a list of target properties. Episodes of new and classic tv shows and news broadcasts. Coprighted musical works, especially those from rock, country, blues, jazz, folk urban, and ethnic traditions from around the world. Some classic books from many cultures- books that are still copyright-protected.
Then, maybe you draw up a poll with a bunch of radio buttons where Wikipedia users could express their choices about which specific materials Wikipedia should spend this nest egg on. Then start negotiating.
Once you acquire these rights, start a Digital Archive- linking to each digital archive content item from the counterpart entry in the legacy Wikipedia.
Be sure not to blow your entire war chest on copyright acquisition. You'll need to serve this stuff, you know.
One more thing, Jimbo. I suspect you already know Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive. Invite him to lunch and