FLOSS Entities Working Group Proposal

Last modified by Allison Randal on 2016.04.05 at 02:28:58 PDT

Start date

The first meeting of the group was held on July 21st, at OSCON (prior to the official formation of a working group).

The official start date will be the first meeting after the charter is approved (late August or early September).

Initial members

Working Group Chair: Aaron Williamson

Working Group Sponsor: Allison Randal

OSI General Manager: Patrick Masson

Other Contributors:

  • Aaron Wolf (Snowdrift)
  • Bradley Kuhn (Software Freedom Conservancy)
  • Diane Peters (Creative Commons)
  • Eileen Evans (OpenStack Foundation and HP)
  • Jeff McKenna (OSGeo Foundation)
  • John Lewis (Apereo Foundation)
  • Justin Erenkrantz (Apache and Bloomberg)
  • Karen Sandler (Software Freedom Conservancy)
  • Larry Rosen
  • Mark Atwood (OpenStack and HP)
  • Mark Radcliffe (DLAPiper)
  • Martin Michlmayr (HP)
  • Mike Milinkovich (Eclipse and OSI)
  • Michael Downey (OpenMRS)
  • Richard Fontana (OSI and Red Hat)
  • Rosemary Fei (Adler & Colvin)
  • Simon Phipps (OSI)
  • Stephanie Petit (Adler & Colvin)

Resources needed by group

The group needs a mailing list, which has already been created at entities-wg@opensource.org.

The group may use the OSI wiki for works in progress, and may at a later date need a page on the main opensource.org website to host a set of whitepapers, or other informational publications.

We will partly rely on pro-bono work from several open source lawyers, but in addition will hire some legal resources to ensure dedicated attention. Our target budget is $50k for 12 months, which works out to about $20k for the remainder of 2014. Some funding will come from OSI, but also from OSI affiliates, and other sources. The current proposal is to start with a 2 month pilot budget from OSI, for work to proceed while seeking additional funding.

Deliverable that will be created

The group plans to produce documentation benefitting several audiences:

  • For FLOSS projects: educational material (such as wiki documentation) on their options for formalizing a supporting entity for their development and community activities.
  • For the wider community and established organizations: informational material on the results of our research into the IRS's recent responses and current stance on FLOSS non-profit entities.
  • For the IRS: educational material (such as whitepapers) on the nature of FLOSS non-profit activities

Description of how that deliverable satisfies a part of OSI's mission

This working group is aligned with the OSI's misson to promote and protect Open Source, especially focusing on the "protect" aspects. Applying for 501(c)(3) or (c)(6) status has become the norm for new FLOSS projects. If that route were no longer feasible, it could result in serious harm to the future growth of Open Source. It is critical both to research the recent responses from the IRS and determine if we are in the midst of a trend-shift, and to explore alternatives to IRS 501(c) status for young projects.

Target completion date

We are planning a 12-month run of the working group, covering the core research and discussion topics, and for completion of the listed deliverables. After 12 months, we will evaluate next steps for the group.

Tags:
Created by Allison Randal on 2014.08.11 at 15:01:12 PDT
    

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