Information about the Free Software Foundation Europe

Georg C. F. Greve greve at
Mon Nov 27 14:04:42 UTC 2000

Information about the Free Software Foundation Europe

First of all we would like to thank everyone for their huge interest
and support. It has definitely surpassed our wildest expectations and
we very much appreciate it.

As we are currently seeing more mail than we can reasonably reply to
without giving up everything else, we will try to answer some of the
more frequently asked questions in this posting.

Current plans of the FSF Europe:

We are currently having a lawyer evaluate the different legal
frameworks that exist in Germany to find out which one will suit the
FSF Europe best. Afterwards it is planned to have this lawyer set up
the legal documents so we can proceed with the official founding of
the FSF Europe.

Once that is done, we will seek legal consultation in other countries
as to whether a law for charitable organizations exists, and what it
implies for the local organizations. This will be done in close
contact with people in those countries who will be founding the local

As to which countries will be approached first we cannot say right

About local organizations:

Our plans are to work together with local organizations like the FFII,
AFUL or APRIL. They are doing important work, and we are not planning
to replace them. Bernhard Reiter is member of the new FFII board and
we are in contact with people from APRIL and AFUL. Our declared goal
is to strengthen and unite.

About local representatives:

We are currently looking for people in other countries to become part
of the FSF Europe and we have been contacted by a lot of people so

The FSF in the U.S. itself is not a "membership organization." It is
rather an organization of selected individuals that have proven
themselves to possess a deep understanding of the Free Software
philosophy and a firm belief in the long-term goals of Free
Software. It can easily be understood that being a member of such an
organization requires a relatively high level of commitment.

As we seek to become the acknowledged sister organization of the FSF,
we feel that we have to maintain the same level of commitment and
philosophical awareness of the FSF itself.

For this reason we would like to get to know everyone who is
interested in becoming part of the FSF Europe. Of course we have read
or heard from a lot of the active members of the Free Software
community before, but this is no substitute for getting to know you
from personal email and discussions. We therefore ask you to be a
little patient - talk to us, discuss things with us, let us know your
personal take on things so we know who we are truly dealing with. At
the same time this will give you a chance to really get to know us and
our views and standpoints. Hopefully this will allow us to build the
mutual trust that is neccessary for such a big project.

If this seems overly cautious to you, please keep in mind that we seek
to create an organization that will at least last as long as the FSF
has so far (which is about 16 years). This requires doing things
_right_ and we feel that anything less would not do it justice.

But this does not mean that you have to become a member in order to
help the FSF Europe. In fact there will be a lot of tasks we will need
help with (see below).

On financial donations:

We very much appreciate your offers and would be very pleased to
accept them once the financial part of the FSF Europe gets
started. Acquiring legal consultation in Germany and all the other
countries will cost some money as will doing actual _work_ on behalf
of Free Software. As a result it is quite likely that we will be
asking for donations in the not too distant future.

On other help:

We are extremely pleased with all the spontaneous offers of help we
have been receiving. In general, discussing things with us, giving us
your views and perceptions on things, as well as spreading the word
and backing us, is a lot of help already. Although the amount of
specific tasks that we can be helped with is rather small, that number
will surely increase as we will need everything from web masters and
admins to people helping with booths at shows.

If you have any specific ideas as to how you might help us now, we
would be very glad to hear them. Just because we haven't thought of
it, doesn't mean that we won't consider it a good idea.

Okay, this should hopefully answer a lot of the questions. We will
work our way through the email we receive(d); and even if we don't
reply immediately, please be assured that everything you write will be
read and considered.

Judging by the support all of you have given us so far, it seems quite
likely that together we can build a stronghold for Free Software in

On behalf of the FSF Europe team,
					Georg C. F. Greve
					<greve at>

Hamburg, $Date: 2001/04/28 21:59:02 $

Georg C. F. Greve <greve at>
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