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To: gentoo-nfp@g.o, rane@g.o
From: Ferris McCormick <fmccor@g.o>
Subject: ByLaws: Article IV, Membership.
Date: Sat, 3 May 2008 23:33:35 +0000
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As I threatened, I am attaching a first attempt to describe membership
in the Foundation.  With a couple exceptions, it is a replacement for
the existing Article IV in the 2007-01-22 proposal.  Parts of it I am
pretty sure of, and parts of it need a lot of discussion and revision.
I leave it to you to figure out which are which.

A fair amount of the text {is enclosed in braces.  Text in braces is
merely clarification or commentary unless you wish otherwise.}

I tried to make this as clear as possible, but I am not all that
satisfied with the result.  Feel free to fix it.

I am explicitly including rane on the distribution because one section
is present as a direct result of a conversation he and I had a few days
ago.  So I am inviting him to rewrite it or expand it if he wishes.

Have fun,
Regards,
Ferris
- -- 
Ferris McCormick (P44646, MI) <fmccor@g.o>
Developer, Gentoo Linux (Sparc, Devrel, Userrel, Trustees)
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This is my attempt to try to define membership in the Gentoo Foundation.  This
is a replacement for Article IV of the current proposed bylaws except for
Sections 4,1, 4.8, and 4.10 which I'd leave as they are after appropriate
renumbering.  {Text in braces is supplementary clarification or explanation of
what I am getting at.  I don't intend it to be part of the membership section,
but I don't object if you keep it.  Also, I will not be too offended if you
look at what follows and tear it apart. Section 4.6 (Other members) is pretty
preliminary.  I think we want it, but I am not sure of what form it should
take.}

4.  Article IV

 
Section 4.1.	-no change-

Section 4.2.	Current members.  All members of the foundation remain members
	as long as they satisfy the requirements of Section 4.4.  { Grandfather
	Clause}

Section 4.3.	Developers.  All Gentoo developers as defined by the Gentoo
	Linux project automatically become members of the Foundation after they
	have maintained active status for 12 months and as long as they satisfy
	the requirement set forth in Section 4.4(a).  These 12 months of activity
	need not be consecutive.  {It can happen that developers have to leave the
	project for reasons outside their control.  There is no reason to penalize
	this if they eventually return.}

Section 4.4.	Requirements of membership.

  Section 4.4(a) Contact information.  All members of the Foundation must
   keep on file valid contact information to the Secretary of the Foundation.
   A valid mailing address and email address are sufficient for this.  As
   active developers becomes eligible for Foundation membership, the Secretary
   will contact them for this information, and their membership will become
   active once they provide it.  {This is both a legal requirement and a
   practical one.  There is no point in having members we cannot locate.}

  Section 4.4(b)	Members who are not developers.  Members of the Foundation
  	do not have to be Gentoo developers.  However, they must be active in the
	Foundation.  Thus, for non-developers to retain Foundation membership,
	they must vote in at least one election submitted or other matter
	submitted to the membership.  (1) If in any year the members have nothing
	to vote for, this condition does not apply.  (2)  A vote of *abstain* or
	*no preference* satisfies this requirement.  {The point is that members
	should participate to the extent that they keep up with what the
	Foundation is doing.  They do not have to express opinions if they do not
	have any.  This also makes sure that we do not have inactive members and
	thus artificially difficulties achieving a quorum in any vote requiring
	participation of some portion of the membership.}

Section 4.5.	Members who leave the Gentoo Project.  Active developers who
	are Foundation members remain members if they resign or are retired from
	the Gentoo project as long as they satisfy the requirements in Section
	4.4 or until they are removed from the Foundation as described on Section
	4.7 or resign as described in Section 4.8.  {Actions taken by the Gentoo
	Linux project are not binding on the Foundation, although the Foundation
	may consider them on a case by case basis.}

Section 4.6.	Other Members; Readmission.	We have many supporters in the Gentoo
	community who are not developers, have never been developers, and don't
	want to be developers.  {Sponsors, active users, especially helpful
	upstream developers, and such like.}  It could well be to both their and
	the Foundation's benefit to grant them membership in the Foundation.  {The
	Foundation serves the Gentoo community, and if there members of the
	community who can help us, everyone can gain if we officially bring them
	in.}

  Section 4.6(a)	Nomination.	Any member of the Foundation may nominate
  	others for membership.  Such a nomination must be contain a brief
	justification and if appropriate, a statement from the nominee.  The
	final determination is made as set out in 4.6(d).

  Section 4.6(b)	Invitation.  The Board may propose to invite others to
  	join the Foundation.  Final determination is made as set out in 4.6(d).

  Section 4.6(c)	Petition.  Users, sponsors, up-stream developers, or
  	former Foundation members who left the Foundation voluntarily or not may
  	petition the Board for membership in the Foundation.  Any such petition
	must of course provide enough background information for the Board to make
	a decision as in 4.6(d).  If it does not but does appear to present a
	valid case for membership, the Board may interview the petitioner for more
	information.  In the case of a Foundation member who left the Foundation
	involuntarily (for inactivity or for cause as set out in Section 4.7),
	this interview is mandatory.

  Section 4.6(d)  Procedure.  Once the Board receives a nomination for
  	membership or proposes to invite someone to join the Foundation, it must
	vote to accept or reject this person as a member {Board determine?
	Officers determine?  Vote submitted to the members? (I vote no on this last
	one.)}  If the proposed member is accepted, he (or she) is invited to join
	the Foundation, and if he (or she) accepts, then becomes a member once
	the required contact information is submitted.  {Someone please figure out
	what I'm trying to say and just say it.  This is pretty bad.}

Section 4.7.	Involuntary Termination.  There are occasions in which it can
	become necessary to terminate membership in the Foundation.  In such
	event, the Board notifies the member of this action (assuming we can find
	him) and he may appeal the action to either the Board or the Officers of
	the Foundation (his choice).

  Section 4.7(a)	Inactivity.		This is described in 4.4(b) and this section
	is the enabling clause.

  Section 4.7(b)	Cause.	Foundation members (developers or not) whose
  	continuing activities outside the private communications within the
	Foundation are harming either the Gentoo Linux project or the Gentoo
	Foundation should not remain Foundation members because such activities are
	completely contrary to the purpose of the Foundation.  {The keys here are
	"continuing activities" and "actual harm" and "external to the Foundation".
	Everyone makes mistakes; I am concerned with something like a campaign to
	harm Gentoo.  And I do not want to stifle or censor private communication
	among Foundation members.  On occasion we will take positions or do things
	which others find wrong, offensive, or so on.  In such cases, I *want* the
	Foundation members to jump on us and try to set us straight.} If the Board or
	Officers of the Foundation become aware of such outside activities, then the
	Board, or the Officers, or their agents must interview the members apparently
	at fault to determine what is actually going on.  {Ugh.  That's what I mean,
	but certainly it can be phrased a bit better.}  If it turns out that the member
	or members are engaged in a pattern of malicious activity contrary to the
	interests of the Foundation, the offending member or members will be removed from
	active Foundation membership.  Members may appeal such decisions to the
	Board of the Foundation or the Officers, their choice.  {I told rane that
	I could not see why we would ever terminate anyone's membership.  So he
	came up with the example of a Foundation member whose actions positively
	harmed the Foundation.  Without permission, I include his example in this
	commentary:
	=====================================
	 <rane>  #ubuntu: "hi, i am a gentoo fondation member and i think you all are **** ***** and ***** and your mothers are ****** and i'd ****** them"
	 ====================================

	 This section needs a rewrite.  I think you can see what I'm getting at,
	 and I think I can explain it, but I don't like how it's phrased.  Also, I
	 am assuming without expressing it that we (Board, Officers, or so on) can
	 always counsel members if their behavior seems out of line in order to
	 avoid reaching this Section.  Indeed, I believe that this is our
	 collective (if unstated) responsibility.

	 ====> Rane <==== You sensitized me to this problem --- perhaps you would
	 like to rewrite what I just tried to say? }

Section 4.8.	Voluntary Withdrawal.  --no change-- {unless someone wishes to
	rephrase it.}

Section 4.9.	Termination.  {This is now Section 4.7, and I replaced it to
	make clear that actions of Gentoo Linux and of the Gentoo Foundation are
	decoupled.  The Foundation is not part of Gentoo Linux (the
	distribution).}

Section 4.10.	Withdrawal.	--no change-- except that ex-members petition for
	readmission under 4.6(c), not 4.1.
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