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Re: A summary of some open discussions


From: Mark Wielaard
Subject: Re: A summary of some open discussions
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2020 01:05:02 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.10.1 (2018-07-13)

Hi,

On Mon, Jan 13, 2020 at 05:13:29PM -0500, Carlos O'Donell wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 6, 2020 at 5:16 AM Brandon Invergo <address@hidden> wrote:
> > Mark Wielaard writes:
> > > This is just a legal technicallity. The FSF has oversight
> > > responsibility over the GNU project. That means that the FSF needs to
> > > determine that GNU maintainers operate in a manner consistent with
> > > FSF's exempt purposes, have the needed expertise and that their
> > > activities can be monitored by the FSF board. So GNU Maintainers and
> > > Steering committees are technically appointed by the FSF (previously
> > > RMS when he was FSF president and board member) as stewards of GNU
> > > packages. Basically GNU maintainers serve at the pleasure of the FSF.
> >
> > This is absolutely false.
> 
> Which part?
> 
> The FSF is a tax-exempt charity that has oversight responsibilities
> for the work being done with the resources it owns. So at least that
> part is true.
> 
> The last two sentences are a reframing of the existing governance
> structure based on the legal requirements placed on the FSF by its
> tax-exempt status, which is why Mark uses the word "technically" not
> "literally." You appear to have interpreted this as the literal
> meaning, which is likely not Mark's intent. As Ludovic says, please
> assume good intent. You can ask Mark what he meant by it before
> calling all of it, incorrectly so, a falsehood.
> 
> I agree with Ludovic and Andreas' comments downthread that when you
> join a volunteer organization you join it to further the goals of the
> organization.

This was indeed what I meant. More specifically I said "GNU
maintainers serve at the pleasure of the FSF" because that is what I
really believe. I certainly joined GNU because I support the FSF
mission. My copyright assignment is with the FSF. When I became a GNU
maintainer I was added to some FSF internal lists that said "For ALL
gnu programmers (volunteers included) and programmers of software that
the FSF has included in GNU." As a GNU maintainer the FSF arranged I
could talk to legal counsil (java used to have lots of tricky legal
issues). The FSF sysadmins have always helped with any extra technical
setups GNU projects need. I am a member of the FSF and donate money to
the GNU project through the FSF.

Cheers,

Mark



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