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Re: [Fsfe-uk] AFFS strategy (Was: Beyond bitching...)

From: Graham Seaman
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] AFFS strategy (Was: Beyond bitching...)
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 18:12:40 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0.2 (X11/20050328)

Tom Chance wrote:

>I find the notion of members totally confusing as well. There are many 
>hundreds or thousands of people in the UK using, contributing to and 
>advocating free software. If the aim of the AFFS is, as the website suggests, 
>to "to promote the freedom of computer users in the UK through free 
>software", then in a sense all of those people are "members". IMHO membership 
>is a fairly artificial thing tacked on to give tangible benefits to those who 
>donate money to fund the AFFS' activities. Maybe UKFSN users are members too?
I don't think so as things stand - I used the AFFS website to become a
member, it's fairly explicit about that being the route to membership.
If you have membership it has to be a choice, telling (for example) a
fanatically purist BSD supporter that (s)he is a member of a pro-FSF
organisation, like it or not, is not going to work well..

>Just because of my political and ethical beliefs, I'd like to see the AFFS 
>embrace a radically decentralised, grassroots approach to achieving its aims.
Me too, but I don't think that's incompatible with having formal

>If that isn't what people presently involved want, then the alternative is to 
>retain a traditional NGO structure, and try to institutionalise the AFFS so 
>that it can make effective dialogue with governmental organisations, whilst 
>providing an umbrella structure for related organisations and a route for 
>representation for busy free software users/contributors/advocates. I think 
>that this is what Alex is suggesting?
That doesn't sound a viable route to me, so I hope it isn't what Alex is

But as an element of the whole it's fine - a grassroots organisation can
still have the formal institutionalised side for the times when it needs
to talk to governments (I know one very grassroots style organisation
which is formally registered as an NGO so it can be accredited at things
like WIPO meetings, for example).



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