FSFE ignoring OOXML?

Georg C. F. Greve greve at fsfeurope.org
Wed Apr 25 17:22:55 UTC 2007

Dear Davide,

I understand that you are unhappy about FSFE having to decline the
supplying of funds to your activities. For obvious reasons, giving
money to third parties is always a difficult decision -- especially
when there is no track record of working together yet.

Part of that extreme caution on behalf of FSFE is our awareness that
most of our money comes from people who donate this money to FSFE in
the expectation that we will spend it directly and immediately on
projects for the benefit of Free Software and software freedom.

Our constitution in fact obliges us to do so: giving funds to third
parties is something that is strictly regulated and monitored by the
German authorities.

So when we received your request for 2.4k EUR (later 2k EUR), it was
clear that this would be a borderline case of what we could do. It
would have required some very good argument why this was the best way
to spend 2k EUR, in particular considering that this money translates
to months of full-time work in Eastern Europe and at least several
weeks in Western Europe.

Should we give those 2k EUR to another organisation without common
track record only for getting its foot into the door of a national
body of standardisation so it might or might not be able to swing the
Italian vote in ISO on OpenXML? Or should we save that money so
someone else can do work that directly benefits Free Software?

I'm sorry, but my answer would still remain the same.

But yes, it is important to do the work in the committee, which is why
I offered you concrete, substantial cooperation on this. I could have
seen various ways of working together, but unfortunately you did not
follow up on that offer and invitation.


Georg C. F. Greve                                 <greve at fsfeurope.org>
Free Software Foundation Europe	                 (http://fsfeurope.org)
Join the Fellowship and protect your freedom!     (http://www.fsfe.org)
What everyone should know about DRM                   (http://DRM.info)
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