[Koha] Next Foundation Meeting?

Thomas Dukleth kohalist at agogme.com
Tue Sep 29 22:07:30 NZDT 2009


I have been communicating with people at the Software Freedom Conservancy,
and the Software Conservancy and I am anticipating some answers to
questions which I did not obtain a week ago at Software Freedom Day
co-hosted by the Software Freedom Law Center in New York.  I have asked
about about what advantage the Conservancy has specifically and also about
asset lock and project withdrawal procedures.

The Conservancy has no voting or membership fee and project affiliation
does not extend to voting on conservancy policies.  The Conservancy is run
by many of the same people who run the Software Freedom Law Center who
have as old and as trustworthy a standing in supporting free software as
anyone and running FSF.

Conservancy projects run themselves and determine their own voting
procedures.  The Conservancy provides the non-profit status and other
legal necessities so that the project can accept donations, etc.


Some of this information is in the text file but not in the table in the
Koha wiki.  I will try to reorganise the information so that is not
missing from either representation and make it all readily findable in the
wiki.  Both pages should be in the 'en' language namespace to facilitate
translation and linked to a common page on the foundation.


I do see a problem which may affect all US based choices for an interim
home for a Koha foundation including both the Conservancy and SPI.  I only
just noticed and do not know if it also affects the Conservancy.

The SPI howto for managing an associated project has no consideration for
transferring assets to a non-US organisation once it would be possible for
a Koha foundation to become autonomous,
http://www.spi-inc.org/treasurer/associated-project-howto.html .  "Your
Liaison may decide that your project is quitting SPI at any time.  Any
assets and money held by SPI for your project may be transferred to the
501(c)3 US non-profit of your choice, or simply held until expended." 
Perhaps that is a legal constraint in the US for 501(c)3 organisations.

The small long term risk of being a litigation victim in the US,
especially over improperly broad software patents, may make the US a poor
long term choice in the absence of changes from the courts or Congress.  I
am not suggesting that the US would be a poor interim choice unless there
is a problem about freely or easily choosing a home country for the
general project foundation long term.

MJ, would you please try to obtain an answer from SPI about what
possibility there is for transferring assets to a non-US organisation when
a project would leave SPI?

If there is no easy way around the issue, that would be a con for SPI and
perhaps also a con for the Conservancy if it is a difficulty of US law.

Thomas Dukleth
109 E 9th Street, 3D
New York, NY  10003
+1 212-674-3783

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