Proposal to incorporate

Simon Peyton-Jones simonpj at
Wed May 11 11:16:29 CEST 2011

Dear committee

Great stuff.  Thanks for getting this together.

Things I wondered about are:
	- who will run the entity?
	- how are they chosen?  do they have fixed terms? 
	- how are they accountable to the Haskell Community
	  (eg an a brief annual report would be good; 
             since money is involved, accounts perhaps)

None of these look like being problems to me, but I think we should have a page that sets out these matters -- a kind of constitution for, if you like -- as part of the process.


| -----Original Message-----
| From: libraries-bounces at [mailto:libraries-bounces at] On Behalf
| Of Don Stewart
| Sent: 10 May 2011 23:45
| To: haskell at; Haskell Libraries; GHC Users Mailing List; haskell-cafe;
| committee at
| Subject: Proposal to incorporate
| Hello everyone.
| The committee[1], in the interest of the long-term stability
| of the open source Haskell community infrastructure, has decided to
| incorporate as a legal entity. This email outlines our
| recommendation, and seeks input from the community on this decision.
| The committee's proposal is that incorporate as an entity
| under the Software Freedom Conservancy umbrella organization (the same group
| that Darcs joined recently):
| If we proceed with this move, 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 committee)
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------
| = A proposal for the incorporation of =
| In recent years, 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 itself. There is also interest in running fundraising
| drives for specific things such as Hackathon sponsorship and hosting fees.
| However, 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 assets can be used.
| To solve these problems, we propose that applies to become a member
| project of the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC)
| <>. 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's money and other assets,
| and would be able to accept donations on behalf of
| The 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 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 mailing
|     lists and website?
| A: Yes.
| Q: Will this affect our ability to host the Haskell Symposium
|     <>  and Industrial Haskell
|     Group<>  webpages within
| A: No.
| Q: What will be the relationship between 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 be able to join it?
| A: Yes. It's likely that in such a scenario, the Haskell Foundation
|     would become the owner of the domain name, with the cost
|     divided between the members. The entity that is part of the SFC would
|     be renamed "" in order to avoid confusion.
| [1]:
| [2]:
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