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Old 05-21-2011, 03:58 AM
Igor Pires Soares
 
Default Why we DO need a legal entity, why it must have "Fedora" in it's name and why it must be granted the trademark

Em Sáb, 2011-05-21 às 01:06 +0200, Christoph Wickert escreveu:
> (Sorry for the longish subject, I hope I have your attention now.)
>
> LinuxTag is over. I had to catch up a lot because I missed 4 days of
> work and I didn't find the time to blog about it. Nevertheless I want to
> share what I have learned as the primary event owner.
>
> 1. We need credit cards
>
> We need credit cards or a reliable way to get money. I know of people
> who are waiting for money for months and depending on the amount it can
> be really bad. I paid for nearly all LinuxTag expenses, more than 2500
> EUR. In addition to that I booked the hotel for Zoltan in Vienna,
> another 310 EUR. On the other hand Max prepaid me 1000 EUR. Still this
> means I had to prepay more than 1800 EUR.
>
> Reimbursing people does not work when we are talking about these kind of
> sums. Purchase orders don't work either, they take way to long and are
> to unreliable, at least here in Germany. Thus we need credit cards.

About that point specifically, I remember Max saying on FUDCon Tempe
that Fedora would provide community credit cards for key contributors in
specific regions. We are still waiting for this, since it will help us
to improve things.

Reimbursement is really not feasible when working with big amounts. Even
if we think of small amounts it won't work well in some regions where
income distribution is a social problem, like in Africa for instance.

In addition, folks from Community Architecture and the FPL are usually
very busy and don't have available time to deal with all purchases
needed for major events around the world. For instance, airfare for
FUDCon Panama was bought just a few weeks away from the event. That is
far from ideal. Airfare for FUDCon Tempe was bought months ahead, what
gave organizers and attendees enough time to deal with traveling
paperwork and coordinate with their employers.

I'm not saying that credit cards are the best way to solve this issue,
maybe there are other ways. Anyway, I see that those issues are faced by
our community in different parts of the world, therefore they must be
addressed.

Regards,
--
Igor Pires Soares
Fedora Ambassador (Brazil) - Member of FAmSCo
Fedora I18N/L10N QA
https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/User:Igor

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Old 05-21-2011, 08:15 AM
Gerold Kassube
 
Default Why we DO need a legal entity, why it must have "Fedora" in it's name and why it must be granted the trademark

Hey Guys, ...

and you all know that this will never happen again!
There is a PROFIT Organisation, who is holding the Trademark (of Fedora)
and this (Trademark) will been never given to the community.
Said that it is also clear, that a NPO with Fedora in it's name (to be
different to other foo-Linux-support-entitys) also will never happen,
because there is a legal issue that Red Hat (as a Stock listed company)
cann't support a NPO with the name of the Trademark they are holding ...
This lookd like money washing (was explained to me).

This is why Fedora EMEA e.V. has failed.

God bless you Christoph, that you'll get your mone. I'm waiting since
January (and the bills where also paid then).

Do you remember FAD at FOSDEM in Brussels? I'm also sure that Jan is not
able to get the CEO of Red Hat to FOSDEM 2012 to hold a keynote and show
us, that Red Hat is supporting
- Linux in generell
- their "own" community called Fedora
- the people who do the shit at every community event (because since
years I haven't seen any Red Hat booth at an community event) ....

Tell and write things are mostly different to the act of the writer or
speaker :-(

All the best

Gerold


Am Samstag, den 21.05.2011, 01:06 +0200 schrieb Christoph Wickert:
> (Sorry for the longish subject, I hope I have your attention now.)
>
> LinuxTag is over. I had to catch up a lot because I missed 4 days of
> work and I didn't find the time to blog about it. Nevertheless I want to
> share what I have learned as the primary event owner.
>
> 1. We need credit cards
>
> We need credit cards or a reliable way to get money. I know of people
> who are waiting for money for months and depending on the amount it can
> be really bad. I paid for nearly all LinuxTag expenses, more than 2500
> EUR. In addition to that I booked the hotel for Zoltan in Vienna,
> another 310 EUR. On the other hand Max prepaid me 1000 EUR. Still this
> means I had to prepay more than 1800 EUR.
>
> Reimbursing people does not work when we are talking about these kind of
> sums. Purchase orders don't work either, they take way to long and are
> to unreliable, at least here in Germany. Thus we need credit cards.
>
> 2. We need a legal entity
>
> But wait, credit cards will not solve our problems either because they
> don't deal with liability. If I book a hotel, I am liable. We need a
> legal entity to share the liability and to minimize the risks for the
> individual contributors.
>
> Some things cannot be paid with credit cards, they require a bank
> account. A bank account again requires a legal entity.
>
> And we need the legal entity not only for the expenses but also for
> earnings. I ordered ambassador's polo shirts for more than 850 EUR. Some
> of them are already 'sold' to our contributors, but others will be
> delivered at FUDCon Milan, so it will take a while until I get my money.
> I doubt that Community Architecture can take over the costs because how
> would we pay them in return? Even if Comm Arch could receive payments
> from contributors, could it in another fiscal quarter or even fiscal
> year?
>
> For this very reason we had the NPO: While my money is to work for me
> and not for Fedora, the funds of the NPO are to enable Fedora
> contributors to spread Fedora in a way that Comm Arch obviously cannot.
>
> 3. The legal entity must have "Fedora" in it's name
>
> One of the requirements of the Red Hat Legal dept for continuing the
> Fedora EMEA NPO was that it must change the name to something without
> Fedora. But this doesn't work: When we sponsor the drinks in the project
> area of LinuxTag, we want to make some good PR of it. This means we want
> the poster to say "These drinks are brought to you by the Fedora
> Project" instead of "These drinks are brought to you by yet another
> Linux user group".
>
> 4. The NPO must be granted the Fedora trademark
>
> Jared, do you remember when we were sitting at Rheinfelden and
> brainstormed for cool swag like baseball caps, mugs, pins and all that?
> On the same weekend we also closed down the NPO, but we failed to see
> the consequences: All the cool swag we have been thinking of will never
> happen.
>
> Without an NPO we have to stick with cheap give-aways like buttons or
> stickers because it will be hard to find somebody who can pay for the
> production of expensive things like mugs or baseball caps. That person
> basically has to sponsor the production because without the NPO we
> cannot sell something, thus he never gets his money back.
>
> And even if we had an NPO to produce and sell stuff, we cannot do Fedora
> swag because this NPO would not be allowed to use the Fedora logo and
> trademark.
>
> Take a look at other projects, say Debian: They have quite a lot of
> swag: Shirts, caps, ties, mugs, wine, books, ... Sometimes I wonder if
> they still do Linux because they hardly have any media, but all this
> swag helps them to raise money for their project. It's a pity we cannot
> do the same and it is bad for both the Fedora Project and Red Hat.
>
> I am looking forward to your suggestions how we can overcome this
> problem.
>
> Regards,
> Christoph
>

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Old 05-21-2011, 05:31 PM
Christoph Wickert
 
Default Why we DO need a legal entity, why it must have "Fedora" in it's name and why it must be granted the trademark

Am Samstag, den 21.05.2011, 08:39 -0400 schrieb Jan Wildeboer:
> The signal that a typical CEO talk at FOSDEM would send might be nothing
> compared to the combined effort opf the Fedora community to promote the core
> values.

Hi Jan,

the problem is that we hardly can promote Fedora and it's core values if
we don't save three questions of
1. money,
2. liability and
3. earnings.

The money problem can be solved with credit cards, the two other
problems cannot. The require a legal entity.

> Instead of wasting energy (IMHO) on beating a dead horse to the point
> everyone feels angred, fed up and disappointed, why not help on more
> important fronts?

Such as? What could be more important then solving some of the root
problems that our community is suffering from?

We had these problems in the past and as a result we founded the Fedora
EMEA e.V. It enabled Fedora to have a strong presence. Now the NPO is
closed down and we are back to the same old problems: Organizing events
has become difficult. If I didn't issue Red Hat a free credit of roughly
2700 EUR there wouldn't have been any Fedora presence Berlin or Vienna.

If you have a solution to the problems of liability and earnings without
a legal entity, I'd like to hear it, but please don't call the NPO a
'dead horse' if you don't.

Kind regards,
Christoph


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Old 05-21-2011, 06:59 PM
Christoph Wickert
 
Default Why we DO need a legal entity, why it must have "Fedora" in it's name and why it must be granted the trademark

Am Samstag, den 21.05.2011, 14:33 -0400 schrieb Jan Wildeboer:
> The three things you mention - money, liability, earnings sound more about
> running a company and not like a non-profit assisting the day to day
> proceedings of a community.
>
> If that is what you want - that is what Red Hat is and offers ;-)

So, ATM Red Hat hardly offers me any money, in fact I offer them credit.
Getting money from Comm Arch works (mostly), but having Red Hat Germany
pay for something is nearly impossible.

Next up are liability and earnings. What can Red Hat offer me there?

If I get a credit card, will there also be a clause that Red Hat takes
over the liability for my bookings? The drafted documents I have seen
seem to indicate the opposite: The contributor is liable to Red Hat.

And what about the earnings? Is comm arch able to receive money from
people who buy swag or ambassadors who buy polos? Is it able to spend
money on something in the fiscal year 2011 and in return receive a
payment for it in 2012? The NPO can because it's not a profit driven
company.

I cannot help it but frankly speaking your reply does not make me feel
as if you really read my initial mail. What can Red Hat as a company
offer to solve our problems?

Regards,
Christoph


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Old 05-21-2011, 07:20 PM
Gerold Kassube
 
Default Why we DO need a legal entity, why it must have "Fedora" in it's name and why it must be granted the trademark

Am Samstag, den 21.05.2011, 20:59 +0200 schrieb Christoph Wickert:
> Am Samstag, den 21.05.2011, 14:33 -0400 schrieb Jan Wildeboer:
> > The three things you mention - money, liability, earnings sound more about
> > running a company and not like a non-profit assisting the day to day
> > proceedings of a community.
> >
> > If that is what you want - that is what Red Hat is and offers ;-)
>
> So, ATM Red Hat hardly offers me any money, in fact I offer them credit.
> Getting money from Comm Arch works (mostly), but having Red Hat Germany
> pay for something is nearly impossible.
>
> Next up are liability and earnings. What can Red Hat offer me there?
>
> If I get a credit card, will there also be a clause that Red Hat takes
> over the liability for my bookings? The drafted documents I have seen
> seem to indicate the opposite: The contributor is liable to Red Hat.
>
> And what about the earnings? Is comm arch able to receive money from
> people who buy swag or ambassadors who buy polos? Is it able to spend
> money on something in the fiscal year 2011 and in return receive a
> payment for it in 2012? The NPO can because it's not a profit driven
> company.
>
> I cannot help it but frankly speaking your reply does not make me feel
> as if you really read my initial mail. What can Red Hat as a company
> offer to solve our problems?
>
> Regards,
> Christoph
>
>
Christoph,
I understand you totally and I can answer you directly:
NOTHING ....
Because the process how "community" should be paid for expenses is (just
in my eyes) either not in place or still defined.
There is a "personal agreement" between you and a Red Hat Employee who
promised you to be reimbursed for your expenses as a "Fedora" related
person without any official order.

Just my five cents


Gerold

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Old 05-25-2011, 12:00 AM
Robert 'Bob' Jensen
 
Default Why we DO need a legal entity, why it must have "Fedora" in it's name and why it must be granted the trademark

----- "Max Spevack" <mspevack@fedoraproject.org> wrote:
>
> As I write this email, the only thing remaining for our community
> credit
> card initial trial in EMEA (Joerg), LATAM (Neville), and NA (John) is
>
> their signatures on a couple of documents, and then processing by our
>
> finance department.
>
> For folks who don't remember earlier discussions, the purpose of these
>
> credit cards is to allow a community member in each region to be able
> to
> be a point of contact for whatever expenses come up that we *can* put
> on
> credit cards, and a receipt-wrangler. Red Hat will pay the monthly
> bills, which will cut down on out of pocket expenses, and will also
> cut
> down on paypal transactions.
>
> We'll still have to watch our overall budget and monthly limits, but
> this will eliminate a huge amount of overhead.
>
> After a 3-card trial period, we'll probably expand the program with a
>
> couple of others, and additional global coverage.
>
> I know that this only addresses a portion of Christoph's email, but
> this
> has been something that is long overdue, that I deserve the blame for
> in
> terms of it being stalled, but that I am happy to report should now be
>
> able to proceed very quickly.
>
> I will work with all of these community volunteers to make sure that
> once they get their cards, the process of using them and reporting
> receipts back goes smoothly for everyone.
>

Max,

This is great news for the communities, and shows a great example of how Red Hat supports us and speaks volumes about the trust they have in the community.

-- Bob

------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Robert 'Bob' Jensen || Fedora Unity Founder |
| bob@fedoraunity.org || http://fedoraunity.org/ |
| http://bjensen.fedorapeople.org/ |
| http://blogs.fedoraunity.org/bobjensen |
| http://www.facebook.com/rpjensen |
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