[Haskell-cafe] Proposal to incorporate Haskell.org

Antoine Latter aslatter at gmail.com
Wed May 11 07:08:35 CEST 2011

On Tue, May 10, 2011 at 5:44 PM, Don Stewart <dons00 at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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):
>    http://sfconservancy.org/
> 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)

Keeping -cafe and committee@ on the CC list.

Joining the SFC looks like a good alternative to full-on
incorporation, and having some sort of legal cover for operations
involving money and ownership of infrastructure looks like a good

Which assets would move over to the SFC? The domain name? Any sort of
hosting could then be leased by the SFC to whomever is doing this now.
I'm a bit fuzzy here.

They look pretty flexible, and are open to some, none, or all of a
project's assets being in the name of the SFC.


> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> = 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
>     <http://www.opensource.org/licenses/alphabetical>.
> 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
>    Group?
> 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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