Financial decisions in FSFE (was: Re: FSFE ignoring OOXML?)

Bernhard Reiter reiter at
Mon Apr 30 15:41:58 UTC 2007

Hi Davide,

On Friday 27 April 2007 17:51, Davide Dozza wrote:
> Joachim Jakobs wrote:
> > On Thursday 26 April 2007 12:45, Davide Dozza wrote:
> >> I can't call "Two blogs entries and a letter" a lobby activity.

as Georg and other explained before: 
This is not the only thing FSFE did on "Open Standards".  

> > Why should FSFE give you 2500 EUR? 

> As I said, I expected at least a support in order to collect such money.
> Georg, and not I, said that FSFE is supporting Open Standards
> activities, why don't ask to this community a support?

It was and is fine to ask as FSFE does support "open standards activities".
What Joachim wanted to point out is that we have many plans that
further Free Software and comparatively little money to spend.
So we need to decide how to make a difference.

> I agree, get money in cash was quite optimistic but it wasn't the point.

It is my understanding that both Georg and Stefano tried to help your cause,
but I will have to speak to them to find out what we did and we did not.

> Six years maintaining italian community is enough for
> you? Twelve years using and advocating Gnu/Linux gives me *your* 
> legitimation? 

There is no legitimation to propose a plan, anybody can do this.

As to represent FSFE, most team members decide this on a case-to-case basis.
For example, if I have not met somebody I would decline offers to represent 
me, even if this person would be very fine. So this is nothing against you.
FSFE's experiences on trusting people has been mixed,
Free Software and our position has been misrepresented in the past,
by people we did not expect. So we are taking things slowly.

> Or the opportunity to *really* make lobbying activity on OpenXML 
> is not enough?

Stefano and I disagree on the importance of the topic.
I believe we should limit our resources here and better invest in other areas,
where we can have a larger impact on Free Software.

> Or maybe don't you accept guarantees from FSFE Chapter Italy 
> with which we did several coordinated activities?

Of course any referal from a know person or team will be taken into account,
but again, I think Joachim phrased this suboptimal, see the paragraph
about representing above.

> Or when you refer to the Free Software community, 
> are you thinking only at FSFE?
> If the last point was true, there would be no ways. It would look like
> an exclusive club with "elected" people who are more legitimated than
> others.

FSFE and the people with are part of the Free Software community,
not the other way round. :)

> If you want to stay close in your castle, please do it.
> But please do not say "a community of people can exist only if the
> members of this community try to give more than they do take". It
> offends people's intelligence.

Personally do not like this phrase even for countries nor for FSFE,
so I can understand you do not like it.
What I guess Sean wanted to express is that we should try to constructively 
work together towards our common goals. 
This includes conflicts of course and I want the people interested in FSFE 
to tell us their opinion about what we do wrong and what we do right. 
Criticising FSFE is fine and everybody needs to be open to accept arguments.

> I did suggest a concrete way to FSFE to lobby in favor of Open Standards
> and Free Software. I would have given my contribution as I usually do.
> FSFE didn't get it. It's a problem of FSFE.

You and FSFE share the problem, if a good action was not done.
But this was one occasion to miss, 
we can just try to do it better on the next one!

> P.S: With or without FSFE I keep supporting Open Standards and, more
> important, Free Software.

Thanks for doing so!
FSFE -- Coordinator Germany                                   (
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