Why “fellowship”?

Reinhard Müller reinhard at fsfe.org
Thu Jan 5 16:09:52 UTC 2012


please let me add a little background to this discussion:

Am Donnerstag, den 05.01.2012, 15:28 +0000 schrieb Heiki "Repentinus"
> >> It is possible to join FSFE as a member too.
> > How, where? ;-)  The "Join" link is for the fellowship.
> https://fsfe.org/about/legal/constitution.en.html - write an
> application to Karsten Gerloff in his official capacity as the
> President of the FSFE. I admit, it is hidden rather well.

Ever since FSFE exists, we have tried to limit the bureaucratic overhead
to what is absolutely necessary.

Basically FSFE is a bunch of people working together for the advantage
of Free Software. They come and go as they want, they get more or less
involved according to their own wishes, from an hour a month to a full
time job, and with commitments ranging from occasional contributions to
a discussion to maintaining the complete server infrastructure, meaning
to be more or less reachable at any time.

However, there needs to be a legal body representing this bunch of
people legally, towards banks, towards the court, and so on. For this,
FSFE decided to create a legal association based in Germany. This
association is kept as small as necessary to fulfil it's purpose.

The operational decisions in FSFE are not taken in this legal body. They
are taken in the working groups, consisting of the people - as the name
implies - that do the work.

Of course there are tasks that the legal body has assigned, however
these tasks are more of the kind that usually a "board of directors", a
"steering committee" or a "supervisory board" would do.

So yes, the procedure of joining the legal body behind FSFE is not
published very aggressively, and that's because joining the "real" FSFE
(the people doing the work, a by magnitudes bigger group) is much easier
*and* much more important.

[Side note: believe me, once you contribute to FSFE over a longer
period, you get sucked into a role with more responsibility and decision
power faster than you expected. Happened to me as well ;-)]

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