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Re: [Fenfire-dev] FFF Extraordinary Meeting

From: Benja Fallenstein
Subject: Re: [Fenfire-dev] FFF Extraordinary Meeting
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 17:58:23 +0300


I am really, really sorry that it took me so long to reply to this.
I'll be faster in the future!

On 8/8/05, Matti Katila <address@hidden> wrote:
> The Fenfire Foundation association's registration on National Board of
> Patents and Registration of Finland was rejected, i.e., the
> constitution of association was not legal by 1§ and 2§ 1.clause. The
> association had an extraordinary meeting to decide what to do, and thus
> am I writing because of that.

I'll summarize the reason as I understood it in the meeting.

Basically, an yhdistys needs to have an "ideological" purpose, and it
must neither benefit its members financially nor be an organization
whose purpose is merely to hold money or other belongings or move them
around. The board of patents and registration felt that our yhdistys
would violate the latter requirement (i.e., be a "financial"
organization). Ibid thinks that this is because our ideological
message wasn't understandable in the previous draft except perhaps by
free software hackers. :-)

> To add more fuel to discussion I add here link to current constitution
> (http://fenfire.org/foundation/fff-hyv-saannot.txt)
> and to a new draft by Antti-Juhani
> (http://kaijanaho.info/tmp/fff-saantoluonnos-2.utf8.txt).

So ibid's proposal basically says,

- the products of research should be available to the public as free
software (short explanation of what free software is);
- we are an organization doing research and all resulting software
will be available under free software licenses.

I wasn't sure about this because I felt that we are more *hackers*
than *researchers* -- i.e. more concerned with writing useful and
elegant programs than with whether we are discovering something *new*
that nobody has even thought of before.

Ibid said he had been thinking about Paul Graham's opinion that
hackers aren't really scientists, but "makers" (like painters or
architects), who pretend to be scientists when at the university,
because outsiders not familiar with it don't really understand what
hackers do and don't appreciate it on its own merits--


and said that similarly, his (ibid's) proposed constitution is a way
to explain what we are doing to people not familiar with it.

I still feel that there is a better way to explain it, and I hope that
we can work it out -- trying to do that is essentially what the
meeting would hope this discussion would do, except that the
discussion hasn't materialized yet. :-/

Okay, let me try whether I can summarize the ideas I think we should
put in the constitution.

- Software should be free.
- The purpose of this organization is to develop Fenfire, which aims
to be a new basic infrastructure for computing. For basic
infrastructure, it's even more important that it's free.
- All software released by this organization will be under a free license.
- Recognizing that there is non-free software in our world, too, the
association may also license its code to developers of non-free
software, so that non-free software can run on the Fenfire system,
too. (However, all code published by the association will also be
available as Free Software.)

I don't know whether we can find a good formulation for this, but I
think this is what I'd like the constitution to say, essentially. How
do you others feel about this -- is this the right direction to try?

>    -Matti (chair)

No, it's "pot, kettle, saucepan, pan" -- but not "chair".


- Benja

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