As Diaspora has grown into a healthy community run Free Software project in the last year, it is time to find a proper home, backed by a non-profit to help it continue to grow. While we can all agree that the community-driven infrastructure is great, there are still a number of things the project cannot directly do without an entity supporting it, such as raising funds.
The past 8 months, Sean and I have been working to find a good home for the assets of Diaspora. One that will support the project’s values, provide a nice structure for dealing with trademarks, copyright, money, and other assets that will ask both in the best interest of, but at the will of the project.
We looked around to our network, trying to find the right place, but one name was at the top of our list: Eben Moglen.
We are lucky that when we asked Professor Moglen for his help, he proposed what was the perfect solution for our community: Diaspora should join the Free Software Support network (http://freesoftwaresupport.org/), an organization that he heads up as a peer organization to the Software Freedom Law Center (http://www.softwarefreedom.org/). The Free Software Support Network operates as a non-profit holding organization for worthy Free Software projects. FSSN helps projects with the paperwork and clerical stuff that hackers generally don’t want to do, like taxes and dealing with banks ( I know you don’t want to do this because I have been dealing with it
FSSN gives Diaspora the following:
A respected place to hold all of the assets of Diaspora; the trademarks, the code copyright, JoinDiaspora and our money. It is a transparent organization which acts in the interest of the project and the community. If we decide we want to spend money doing code bounties or give swag to our top contributors, FSSN will let us do what we need to do.
Take tax-free donations. FSSN is a 401c3 charity. Every penny that is donated to FSSN in Diaspora’s name is dog eared for our project. This is huge in keeping the ‘back room’ of Diaspora clear, and means hackers can focus on being hackers without doing the annoying dirty stuff.
A partner that shares our values. Enough said.
What it does not do:
Tell us how to run our community
Tell us how to write code
Change how we create Diaspora.
The only real requirement of the FSSN is that there is a governance structure in place. After a year of experience, it is my belief that we have a great organic structure to make things more codified.
Here’s the course of action we want to take:
Make Diaspora a Member of the FSSN
Transfer all Diaspora Inc Diaspora related assets to FSSN (Trademark, hosting, Social media accounts)
Assign all Diaspora code to the FSSN, and amend our contributor agreement to reflect this change.
To celebrate our first year as a community project, and fill the coffers of our project, and joining the FSSN we also want to run a Crowdhoster campaign for Diaspora(see a work in progress here: https://diaspora.crowdhoster.com/help-take-the-web-to-the-next-level-with-diaspora… will launch on Monday). This money will go directly to the Diaspora project via the FSSN, and we can figure out together the best way to help the project. Since Crowdfunding AND Free software are so essential to the core of what we do, Crowdhoster is a great choice. We will be going for the same goal of 10k, and even have some cool swag made up.
(EDIT: I clarified more what I meant here: https://www.loomio.org/discussions/6353#comment-46047)
(EDIT 2 more thoughts: https://www.loomio.org/discussions/6353#comment-46413)
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