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Re: GNU - Principles and Guidelines

From: DJ Delorie
Subject: Re: GNU - Principles and Guidelines
Date: Fri, 03 Jan 2020 22:55:04 -0500

Mike Gerwitz <> writes:
> The FSF does provide essential resources for the GNU Project, but it has
> no say in how the project is governed.  Those decisions must be made by
> rms.

It's important to remember that one of the "essential resources" is the
GNU trademark itself, which means that the FSF has the final say over
who/what can use it and who/what cannot.  While this "say" is typically
ceded to RMS, that is at the FSF's sufferance, legally.

So - worst case - the FSF could revoke RMS's permission to use the GNU
trademark and effectively remove him from the GNU project.  I don't ever
expect this to happen (and hope it doesn't) but I'm not going to agree
that the FSF has "no say in how the project is governed" when they
legally/effectively have the power to choose the leader.

Perhaps remedying this is something that could be added to the
governance discussion - how the GNU leader is chosen, what powers the
FSF is required to cede, and how to enforce those.

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