[Fsfe-ie] IFSO Rules, Draft 2

Loic Dachary loic at gnu.org
Sun Nov 9 13:19:23 CET 2003

[A short introduction for this first post: I've been lurking the
archives of the list for some time and had some contact with Ciaran
O'Riordan regarding the EUCD. I'm a dedicated activist for Free
Software since the late eighties. I live in France and I'm doing my
best to cooperate with other activists worldwide. Developing Free
Software is my job, with a focus on video games starting 01/2004.  My
focus as an activist is on legal matters, advising Free Software
developers or helping people to switch to Free Software (Blender last
year for instance or much more obscure and frustrating abuses of the
GNU GPL). My philosophical orientation is very close to the FSF
views. ]

> 1. The name of the Club shall be Irish Free Software Organisation ('IFSO')
> 2. The club shall Promote and defend the writing of Free Software of
>    the sort advocated by the Free Software Foundation and others,
> 3. Promote and defend the use of Free Software, and
> 4. Encourage the localisation and translation of Free Software into Irish. 


	Here are my 2 cents:

	Instead of refering to the Free Software Foundation, it might
be more informative to add a PREAMBLE before the OBJECTS that defines
Free Software. Cut and past of the definition published on the fsf.org
web site could do the job.

	Rather that limiting the scope of the association to writing,
usage and localization, it might be wiser to allow any kind of
activity as long as it has a clear relationship with Free
Software. Lobbying governments so that laws fair to Free Software are
implemented (I'm thinking EUCD here ;-) does not directly relate to
writing, using or translating Free Software although it seems clear to
me that IFSO should be entitled to act on this front. It is often the
case that people think about these activities as marginal to the goals
of a Free Software non-profit (or criticize them as too "political")
and stating this clearly in the OBJECTS prevents useless discussions
in the future.

	You might want to add specific wording in the OBJECTS so as to
ease the fact that IFSO is recognized as a charity (tax deductible
donations). I'm unsure if this is relevant regarding the legal system
governing non-profit organizations in Ireland, I just wanted to let
you know that it helped FSF France to get tax deductibility.

	At some point IFSO might want to act on behalf of one of its
members in court. Although unlikely, it would be a shame of the OBJECT
prevents that because of a legal technicality. In France, for instance,
we just need to add a phrase that says the non-profit is entitled to 
act on behalf of its members, should they ask it.

	Although there are examples of OBJECTS sections for non-profit
such as yours (AFFS for instance), each of them is more or less ad-hoc
and need to be adapted. A crystal clear object is essential for a
democratic non-profit since it is ultimately the only safeguard,
should members be tempted to drift away from the original purpose.

Donate to FSF France online : http://rate.affero.net/fsffrance/
Loic Dachary, 12 bd Magenta, 75010 Paris. Tel: 33 1 42 45 07 97      
http://www.fsffrance.org/   http://www.dachary.org/loic/gpg.txt

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