Gentoo Archives: gentoo-nfp

From: Ferris McCormick <fmccor@g.o>
To: gentoo-nfp <gentoo-nfp@l.g.o>
Subject: [gentoo-nfp] [Fwd: Re: [gentoo-core] Software in the Public Interest]
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2008 12:02:59
Since Alex forwarded the original to -nfp, I'll forward my response as
well.  I didn't reply on -nfp originally because it started on -core.


-------- Forwarded Message --------
From: Ferris McCormick <fmccor@g.o>
To: Yuri Vasilevski <yvasilev@g.o>
Cc: trustees <trustees@g.o>
Subject: Re: [gentoo-core] Software in the Public Interest
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2008 11:50:22 +0000

  Thanks a lot.  I think we have looking for some of this information.
All,  I've added a couple comments.

On Sun, 2008-08-10 at 23:32 -0500, Yuri Vasilevski wrote:
> Hello, > > I am currently at DebConf in Argentina, and today there was a BoF > by Bdale Garbee about SPI [1] with another 5 members of the SPI board > present and participating. And that reminded me about the discussions > that where happening on this list some time ago, so after the BoF I > approached Luk Claes (one of the members of the board and a friend) to > ask him about the doubts regarding how SPI could work and what could > be the advantages and the disadvantages of Gentoo having a relationship > with SPI. > > From what we talked, SPI could provide three services to Gentoo: > > 1) Helping to take care of all the paperwork regarding legal status, > trademarks, copyright and such. > > 2) Offering legal advice and helping in court for free. And if they can, > that's not only limited to USA, but also to other countries. > (As an example he told me that there was a case where someone > registered a domain name in Spain with debian in it and they managed > to contact a Spanish lawyer and he arranged a settlement for that > case.) > > 3) Gentoo can accept (in some cases tax deductible) donations through > them in the USA. For this they accept four ways making the donations > (two electronic ones, checks and wire transfers), as well as, they > provide ways to channel this money where it's needed (like in the > case of DebConfs that some of Debian's money that came from donations > in the USA was made available for use in this conference in > Argentina). > > And the good part is that the tree options are completely independent, > so Gentoo, or any project for that matter, can join with any subset of > the three options mentioned above. > > I also asked whenever they were in a position to accept a project the > size of Gentoo and I was told that they should be able to accept Gentoo. >
I would think so. Debian is a member, I believe. So also is the IRC OFTC network.
> Also being, us gentoo developers, part of a big free software project > makes us by default contributing (aka voting) members of SPI in case we > (as individual developers) join it, so we should be able to have some > influence on how things are run within SPI, as well as, if some people > are interested they should be eligible for being a member of the > board. > > So, After this very long preamble I would like to express that I think > we should seriously consider joining SPI with, maybe, just a subset of > the options they provide. And I'll go option by option (in reverse > order) now: > > 3) This one I'm unsure, if I am not mistaken, Gentoo Foundation has the > right status to be able to accept tax deductible donations. So for > me it would make sense to join if the SPI method is more flexible and > makes it easier and friendlier for the donor to make the donation. Or > else it might also make sense to have it as a completely parallel > channel and see how it works so in case it works well, Gentoo will be > able at some point to free itself from dealing with the related > paperwork. >
We are a registered not for profit with the State of New Mexico, but we do not have 501(c)(3) Federal tax status (well, I don't think we are 501(c)<anything>). So this is useful.
> 2) I think this one is very good to have, as well as, it is a good way > to get to know SPI better and to see if later we should outsource > more responsibilities to them. So for me, this reason alone is good > enough to join it and then see how open, trustworthy and efficient > they are so we can make a qualified decision on whenever to change or > not our status within SPI. >
This is *extremely* useful. We do not have international law expertise, and lawyers who do are in high demand and so expensive. This could also come in handy if someone actually takes the IRC/Freenode grumbling beyond the grumbling stage. Also most useful when we start talking about licensing others to sell Gentoo-branded mugs and such outside the US (such as in Russia).
> 1) This is the most delicate one and the one I have no clue about. I > don't know what is involved in keeping all the paperwork done, nor > how much time and energy it consumes. So I can not say how much sense > does it make to do it in house as apposed to outsourcing it. >
We're legal at this stage, and so far as New Mexico is concerned, the paperwork for that costs us about 10 minutes and 10 dollars / year. The money goes to the state, so it is a fixed expense anyway.
> So, I would like you to consider my proposal as well as to offer you my > services as proxy for any questions you might have for the SPI board > members here at DebConf, or, you can always contact them directly [2] > > Here is also some info on guidelines for the projects wanting to join: > > > Kindest regards, > Yuri. > > [1] > > [2]
Thanks again, Regards, Ferris -- Ferris McCormick (P44646, MI) <fmccor@g.o> Developer, Gentoo Linux (Devrel, Sparc, Userrel, Trustees)


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