[Fsfe-ie] IFSO Rules, Draft 2

Glenn Strong Glenn.Strong at cs.tcd.ie
Tue Nov 11 18:41:24 CET 2003

On Sunday, November 9, 2003 at 13:19 +0100, Loic Dachary wrote:
> > 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
> 	Here are my 2 cents:

Hi Loic,

Thanks for your comments, they're very helpful. I have question about
one of your suggestions.
> 	Instead of refering to the Free Software Foundation, it might
> be more informative to add a PREAMBLE before the OBJECTS [...]

I agree, this is a very good idea - it was mentioned in draft 1 and
I'm not sure what I was thinking of when I rewrote it. Anyway, this is
clearly the way to go.

> 	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 ;-)

Here I have a question; I know you have been active on the EUCD, so
you have a better insight than I do. Anyway, I shall ask my question
and suggest why it occurs to me:

Why would lobbying or campaigning against the EUCD not be covered by
proposed objects 2 & 3? It seems to me that various clauses in the
EUCD imply problems for Free Software (for instance by making it
impossible for Free Software authors to provide support for formats on
Free platforms where manufacturers choose not to do so). I would have
argued that we could (and should) oppose the EUCD on at least these
grounds. I would draw a parallel with the EU patent legislation
here. But it may be that I am missing something.

On the general subject of IFSO and politics - I am in substantial
agreement with Malcolm in his reply to you, and with your original
mail. IFSO should be politically active, it is important.
> 	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).
> [...]
> 	At some point IFSO might want to act on behalf of one of its
> members in court.

I am investigating further what, if anything, would be required in
Irish law for these. Thank you for pointing out that we may need them.
> 	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.

Nothing to add, I just want to express my agreement.

Glenn Strong

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