[Haskell-cafe] Proposal to incorporate Haskell.org

Don Stewart dons00 at gmail.com
Wed May 11 00:44:38 CEST 2011

Hello everyone.

The haskell.org committee[1], in the interest of the long-term stability
of the open source Haskell community infrastructure, has decided to
incorporate haskell.org as a legal entity. This email outlines our
recommendation, and seeks input from the community on this decision.

The committee's proposal is that haskell.org incorporate as an entity
under the Software Freedom Conservancy umbrella organization (the same group
that Darcs joined recently):


If we proceed with this move, haskell.org will be a legal entity, and
registered as a non-profit, allowing us to more directly accept
(US tax-deductible) donations, and to invest in assets that benefit the
Haskell open source community.

We welcome your feedback on the proposal attached below.

-- Don Stewart (on behalf of the Haskell.org committee)


= A proposal for the incorporation of Haskell.org =

In recent years, haskell.org has started to receive assets, e.g. money from
Google Summer Of Code, donations for Hackathons, and a Sparc machine for use in
GHC development. We have also started spending this money: in particular, on
hosting haskell.org itself. There is also interest in running fundraising
drives for specific things such as Hackathon sponsorship and hosting fees.

However, haskell.org doesn't currently exist as a legal entity, meaning that
these assets have had to be held on our behalf by other entities, such as
Galois and various universities. This leads to tricky situations, with no-one
being sure who should decide how the haskell.org assets can be used.

To solve these problems, we propose that haskell.org applies to become a member
project of the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC)
<http://conservancy.softwarefreedom.org/>. The SFC is a non-profit organization
that provides free financial and administrative services to open source
projects. Additionally, it has 501(c)(3) status, meaning donations from the US
are tax-deductible. The SFC would hold haskell.org's money and other assets,
and would be able to accept donations on behalf of haskell.org.

The haskell.org committee, as described here [2], will make decisions on
spending assets and other decisions related to governing the non-profit.

Before proceeding, we are inviting input from the community in the form
of specific objections or queries regarding the plan.

We've tried to answer some of the most likely questions:

Q: Does this mean that my Haskell project must now be covered by a
     copyleft licence such as GPL?
A: No, but Haskell projects using haskell.org resource should use an
    Open Source licence

Q: Will it still be possible to use community.h.o to host
     non-open-source material, such as academic papers?
A: An overall minority of such content, as is the current situation, is
    not a problem.

Q: Will it still be possible to have job ads on the haskell.org mailing
    lists and website?
A: Yes.

Q: Will this affect our ability to host the Haskell Symposium
    <http://www.haskell.org/haskell-symposium/>  and Industrial Haskell
    Group<http://industry.haskell.org/>  webpages within haskell.org?
A: No.

Q: What will be the relationship between haskell.org and other
    organizations such as the Haskell Symposium and Industrial Haskell
A: Those organisations will continue to exist as separate entities.

Q: If an umbrella non-profit organisation "The Haskell Foundation" was
    created, would haskell.org be able to join it?
A: Yes. It's likely that in such a scenario, the Haskell Foundation
    would become the owner of the haskell.org domain name, with the cost
    divided between the members. The entity that is part of the SFC would
    be renamed "community.haskell.org" in order to avoid confusion.

[1]: http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/Haskell.org_committee
[2]: http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/Haskell.org_committee#Operation

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