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Re: A summary of some open discussions

From: Mark Wielaard
Subject: Re: A summary of some open discussions
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2020 11:06:15 +0100

Hi Federico,

On Tue, 2020-01-21 at 10:35 +0200, Federico Leva (Nemo) wrote:
> Mark Wielaard, 16/01/20 19:03:
> > Sure, and the relationship is always evolving. These days the GNU
> > project is actually one of the smaller programs the FSF runs. The last
> > public form 990 states that the FSF spend ~$250 thousand of ~$1.25
> > million on the GNU project (most of the rest of the money goes to the
> > education and outreach program and license education program).
> I agree that supporting GNU isn't necessarily the single most important 
> goal of the FSF now, but I think that the dollar cost of a program isn't 
> the best way to measure how big or important that program is, especially 
> for an organisation like FSF whose job is largely to support volunteers. 
> (I won't get into how you define "runs".)

Totally agreed that dollar cost (or actually spend) is a somewhat
arbitrary measurement. It was just meant to show that the FSF does a
lot of other stuff and that we can (and should) discuss how those
activities relate to the GNU project (especially since some of them are
done through even though they are officially different FSF
programs from GNU).

The dollar amount is even more arbitrary (and saying the FSF "runs" or
"oversees" GNU also somewhat arbitrary) since various GNU projects
actually have their own foundation to handle expenses, members and/or
copyrights, like GNUnet e.V. or the GNOME foundation, some use
different umbrella foundations for holding their assets, like Software
in the Public Interest used by GNU TeXmacs and GNUstep. And the FSF
didn't use to run conferences (they do now through LibrePlanet
and SeaGL), so one of the bigger GNU conferences, the GNU Tools
Cauldron, is still run by different volunteers/companies each year. So
you could say that to define what it means to be GNU, we don't just
need to talk to the FSF, but to some of these other foundations and
organizations too.



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