Why “fellowship”?

MJ Ray mjr at phonecoop.coop
Thu Jan 5 14:36:57 UTC 2012

Before I start: http://fsfe.org/source/index.en.xhtml looks broken and
the contact page says to mention it here.

Matthias Kirschner <mk at fsfe.org>
> There are two topics: 
> - There is no European association. That is bad, because else FSFE would
>   have choosen that one. As this is not possible, we set up a German
>   association.

To all intents and purposes, a German association is a European
association because it is governed by EU law as well as German law and
I think members could join it from anywhere in the EU (maybe even the

Even when a European corporate form exists, like SCE, you still have
to choose somewhere as its residence.

> - Fellows not being members. It was a choice when we set up the
>   Fellowship to have Fellows as non-members. Like most of the people
>   doing work for FSFE are non-members. 

I feel that was a poor choice, as you can probably guess.  I am a
member of most of the things I work for at the moment.

Not trusting future leaders with all aspects of our work is one reason
why people choose strong copyleft, GPL rather than BSD, so it seems a
bit odd that FSFE (like FSF) basically demands BSD-style surrendering
of control over the future uses of one's work.

> After some time we wanted to give
>   the Fellows more legal power in our constitution, so we introduced the
>   Fellowship seats in the GA, which Fellows can vote.

That was a good move.

> (Of course one of
>   the most powerful ways to influence FSFE is still to just do the work
>   as a volunteer and to contact us on matters, and discuss with us.)

That seems rather opaque and neither democratic nor do-ocratic.  As
you may remember, I stopped volunteering when that approach did not
produce proper consideration of putting any FSFE web pages under a
free software licence.

MJ Ray (slef), member of www.software.coop, a for-more-than-profit co-op.
http://koha-community.org supporter, web and library systems developer.
In My Opinion Only: see http://mjr.towers.org.uk/email.html
Available for hire (including development) at http://www.software.coop/

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