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Re: [fsfc-discuss] FSF Canada: next possible steps

From: Denver Gingerich
Subject: Re: [fsfc-discuss] FSF Canada: next possible steps
Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2012 10:43:00 -0500

On Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 10:23 AM, Fabian Rodriguez
<address@hidden> wrote:
> - - If FSF Canada is non-profit, it can't participate in political
> activities - it's the law for charities here in Canada. Can someone provide
> a reference for this ?

That wouldn't surprise me; it's basically the same in the US.  Note
that EFF is a 501(c)(3), yet it does some amount of lobbying despite
this.  You may want to contact them to see how they do this (ie. where
the lines are for what they can do).

> - - Is it desirable to have the FSF "banner" or should we just form or band
> around an existing Canadian organization ? I thought CLUE (CAOS, for
> Canadian Association for Open Source) ? would be it but last time I checked
> my membership went away and haven't heard back from it/lost interest. Last
> activity on cluecan.ca seems to be around 2008.

I don't know if we want the "FSF" brand, as it is sometimes conflated
with the GNU Project.  It also depends largely on what the
organization is going to do (more on this below).

> The Software Freedom conservancy seems to do well in may ways, perhaps we
> could learn a bit more about it. Here's a bit about what the SFC does in the
> USA:
> http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/Controversy-around-Busybox-alternative-1426119.html

(Disclosure: I am an employee of the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC).)

Enforcement of the GPL for BusyBox (and other Conservancy member
projects) is one example of something the Conservancy does (and I
happen to work primarily on this there).  Conservancy also provides
many other services for free software projects:


I would hesitate to associate Conservancy primarily with enforcement;
indeed, this is third in the list of major activities Conservancy is
involved in (see
http://sfconservancy.org/blog/2012/feb/01/gpl-enforcement/ ).

Basically Conservancy offers the above services to member projects in
exchange for some percentage of the donations the projects receive.
You can find more details on Conservancy's blog (as Fab mentioned
below) or by asking me.

With respect to the particular article linked above, I suggest reading
the following (going from most original to least; the comments are
particular interesting to read for all of them - see especially tbird,
mjg, and BrucePerens comments):


If you wish to further discuss this, please start a new thread (ie.
change the subject line).

> Keep in mind such initiatives already have global impact, so having a local
> focus/action/impact requires careful coordination.
> Their blog is particularly useful and includes lots of detail and reports on
> what they do and how:
> http://sfconservancy.org/blog/

Yes, the blog is very useful in learning about what Conservancy does.
Yesterday's post on enforcement (mentioned earlier; see
http://sfconservancy.org/blog/2012/feb/01/gpl-enforcement/ ) shows how
that part of Conservancy works in particular, and also links to
Conservancy's Form 990, which describes how Conservancy's funding is
arranged (ie. how much is spent on enforcement).

Conservancy is much different from the FSF in what it does (focus on
member projects vs. focus on general free software
campaigning/outreach).  If we want to go in Conservancy's direction, I
think using the "FSF" name would be less appropriate.


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