Gentoo Archives: gentoo-project

From: Rich Freeman <rich0@g.o>
To: gentoo-project@l.g.o
Subject: Re: [gentoo-project] Council discuss: overlapping council terms of two years
Date: Tue, 02 Aug 2011 18:52:05
In Reply to: Re: [gentoo-project] Council discuss: overlapping council terms of two years by Roy Bamford
On Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 2:24 PM, Roy Bamford <neddyseagoon@g.o> wrote:
> The Gentoo council has no legal standing whatsoever, which I have > already said (at FOSEDEM) makes me a little nervous as a trustee, since > the council makes decisions on behalf of Gentoo that the Foundation > would be held both accountable and responsible for. There have been no > issues with that, yet. > > Maybe its time to reorganise Gentoo along standard corporate lines > again, as it was before drobbins left. If we go in that direction, the > council becomes a technical committee that is part of the Foundation. > GLEP39 is no longer needed and the Foundation bylaws are amended to > reflect the new structure. >
So, while that is something that has been talked about, and which I tend to support, I think that it is a BIG change for Gentoo. Even if the intent is to keep the change small from a practical standpoint. I definitely would prefer to avoid updating the Foundation bylaws, at least right now. My concern is that we're still cleaning up the past in terms of tax filings, legal status, etc. I think that good progress is being made, but I'm afraid that trying to reorganize the distro is going to eat up a lot of effort. Even if this weren't an issue I'd probably still avoid over-formalizing the council - since splitting off the trustees was done precisely to avoid that in the first place. The foundation needs to operate in a fairly formal way for legal reasons. We already have difficulty meeting the required level of formality within our current scope of responsibility. I'd be reluctant to apply that same level of rigor to the council. That said, if an issue does legally threaten Gentoo then it is the duty of the trustees to step in if it isn't sorted out quickly. I think that most would already support this, and unless somebody spots something in the bylaws that is unclear I think legally the trustees already have the authority to do so. In the past I think councils have done a good job steering clear of legal landmines, and I do think that if the trustees were to raise a legal concern with a proposed action they would probably respect our role without any need for coercion. Maybe clarifying this in GLEP 39 might not hurt, but I wouldn't send the document out for another vote with only that change. Rich