Gentoo Archives: gentoo-nfp

From: Richard Freeman <rich0@g.o>
To: Roy Bamford <neddyseagoon@g.o>
Cc: gentoo-nfp <gentoo-nfp@l.g.o>
Subject: Re: Foundation existence and behavior (Was: [gentoo-nfp] Section 4.1 Member Classes)
Date: Sun, 25 May 2008 14:11:45
Message-Id: 48397381.4020504@gentoo.org
In Reply to: Re: Foundation existence and behavior (Was: [gentoo-nfp] Section 4.1 Member Classes) by Roy Bamford
Roy Bamford wrote:
> > The Foundation needs a set of bylaws *now*, that suit Gentoo as it is > *now* but written in such a way that allows for flexibility as Gentoo > ch ages. > > The Foundation is set up as a business legal entity because that's the > only sort there is. Its behavior is bound by New Mexico law, as > interpreted by case law and the bylaws, which we are discussing here, > Article by Article. William is quite right when he says there is no > such thing as an informal foundation. Try informally filing your > personal tax returns.
Agreed. I'd really argue for KISS for now - we can always change it later.
> > Back to the now. > The emphasis is very much on the *now*. There is no point in framing > bylaws for what Gentoo might become - more than likely, it won't become > what we expect today, We will never agree such speculative bylaws > anyway. Even if we did, because of what we are today, we could not > follow them. > > Its back to the simple here and now, with adaptability. >
I agree. I'm actually not completely opposed to many of the ideas being tossed around in this discussion. But perhaps they should be tried out at least informally before they are codified. Let's focus on getting the bylaws to reflect the status quo (well, at least what it should be) - and then worry about the grand plan after everything is in place. If we want to experiment with giving users more of a voice, why don't we try creating some forums for this, which don't have any legal power? We can then see how it all works without any commitment to go in a particular direction. I happen to work in a highly regulated industry, and in many cases we need to have formally documented processes that we are legally obligated to follow - with routine inspections to ensure compliance. When we want to try out something new, we usually try to pilot it in some area that isn't too critical or overly regulated, and then if it is successful we steadily embrace it across the company. The last thing we would want to do is to formally and legally adopt untested processes and get ourselves into a mess where we have to constantly justify not following those processes because they don't work out as expected. I think we should try something similar here. Let's get the Foundation running good and strong in its present scope, and then let's talk about how we can improve things steadily. I think that once we get into an environment where things are working successfully there will be a lot more trust and goodwill towards taking on more. And I do want to thank the trustees for the work that goes into all of this. I also recognize that formally being on a board of directors comes with a lot of legal risk as well. Sure, Gentoo can indemnify anybody it wants to, but the Gentoo coffers won't go far if a trustee gets sued by some company ticked about Gentoo dropping their product from portage or whatever. I also want to point out that while I probably disagree with William about a few things I'm probably closer in thought to him than might be immediately apparent and I appreciate all he is doing here! -- gentoo-nfp@l.g.o mailing list