jaromil jaromil at
Sat Jul 28 10:11:11 UTC 2001

On Fri, Jul 27, 2001 at 12:30:54PM +0200, Josef Dalcolmo wrote:
> I said:
> >> Why is it then however, that anyone can become a member of the FSF 
> >> (in the USA)? 
> bernhard at said:
> > This is news to me.  AFAIK only the necessary number of people is
> > actually a member of the FSF. 
> Ok, I may mix up terms here. I myself used to be a "member" of the FSF in the 
> USA while I was there. This meant I was on the mailing list and paid the 
> membership fee for a year (some years ago). I did not contribute in any other 
> way. If my memory serves me right, there was an election of some sort 
> announced on the mailing list (treasurer?), but I did not participate 
> actively, since I did not know enough about the people involved to make an 
> educated decision. Still, I believe I could have called myself a "member" of 
> the FSF at that time.

re all,

i have been reading this mailinglist since a couple of weeks now. i am a free
software developer, founder and lead programmer of, a software house
which basically tries to join a political statement beside the practice of
developing free software: in short words free speech is our goal, and free
software is our medium. i'm pretty young and i don't have much experience in
running a software house, alltough this is my experiment in seeking, among the
other goals, a new shape for such a organization.

i'd like to thank Josef for raising (yet another time?) an issue which was
discussed in the freesoftware italian association allready, some months ago.  
as an italian i asked for being a member of ASSOLI (associazione software
libero), and the members of the association (actually only the founders)
declared the association is not yet ready to acquire new memberships, to open
his decisional structure, and that there are other tasks to be accomplished
and being more important than structuring the association in such a open way.
besides that i must say i'm satisfied with the activity of the italian free
software association, which i can follow simply as a spectator.

i see the same situation here, and i have some doubts about the validity of
such a position, which comes to be more dangerous on a larger scale. imho the
free software foundation europe can't claim to be not representative of the
free software european community. as a result of the assembly done on the 6th
of May i read:

  "So is beginning our work as a competence center for Free Software, aimed 
   primarily at journalists and politicians who will be able to find 
   authoritative information about Free Software from the Foundation."

and this _is_ a representative role. besides the discussion that could raise
about validity of representative structures, which i would rather leave into
another context, i think one of the first engagement of such an association it
should be to insure a democratic way to choose representative people into the
pool of represented people, possibly in a "fluid" way. and the first step it 
should be to open the membership, with a declared policy if necessary.

as long i don't like to criticize without being propositive, i see a possible
solution for the wide spreading of such an european more open structure in a
tree structure in which the national associations offer a clear way to people
for choosing their representatives, playing then the role of reference points
on a larger, european scale.
i feel the need for a unified, declared policy and identity statement for the
"branches of the Foundation", appearing in national contexts thru all europe.

i would be worried if such a discussion would'nt raise. also, as Josef pointed
out, i would be happy to call myself a member of the free software association


jrml ..//
6EEE 4FB2 2555 7ACD 8496  AB99 E2A2 93B4 6C62 4800

More information about the Discussion mailing list