During this years face to face board meeting, the board started more
serious work / discussions in relation to an openSUSE Foundation, to
most people reading this list including our meeting minutes or who were
at the openSUSE conference this comes as little surprise.
The during the meetings the board put together a "Discussion Document"
that outlines a proposed framework of what the board considers would be
the best way to form an openSUSE foundation, what would change, what
would stay the same and what we would require from our biggest partner SUSE.
While the board is yet to formally present and start discussing a
version of this document with SUSE management (we will do so in the
coming days), we have discussed the content face to face with high
levels of SUSE's management and at this stage have general in principle
support to move forward in this direction. So the board would be very
surprised if we were told to go back to the drawing board and start
again. Having said that much of the detail is still up for discussion
and will be worked through over the coming months so the board welcomes
any feedback from the community.
**Foundation Proposal First Discussion Draft**
The Board has spent most of it's annual F2F meeting with the
continuation of the ongoing discussion about openSUSE's lack of
having/being a legal entity ot it's own. This topic has been out there
almost as long as openSUSE exists, but has returned on the board's table
after the sale of SUSE, and some incidents where not having a legal
entity appeared to be an issue.
SUSE and openSUSE share common roots, history and values. Our current
working relationship is a mutually beneficial "win-win" which we wish to
preserve while simultaneously extending openSUSE's ability to take more
actions on it's own. There is no desire for any increased distance
between SUSE & openSUSE, but to add more capabilities to the openSUSE
Project in addition to the status quo.
Of particular interest is enabling openSUSE to be able to receive and
provide sponsorships (in terms of money, hardware, or contracted
services). Currently such agreements can only be handled by SUSE, which
can discourage and complicate arranging such sponsorships with other
The primary purpose of the Foundation is to enable and support the
openSUSE membership and community efforts in all activities of the
- Partnering with organisations outside of SUSE
- Being able to spend money on behalf of openSUSE
- Being able to sign contracts with venues, service providers, or other
- openSUSE Foundation is a legal entity having been founded on the date
of xxxxxxx with the following identity: yyyyyyyyy. The Foundation, in
terms of an entity, should be considered to be distinct from the
software development projects and the promotional activities that it
supports, steers and sustains.
The openSUSE Foundation is a not for profit organisation that believes
in empowering its Contributors so that the user community can benefit
from the best, most-sustainable and most-innovative open source
software. To achieve this, most of the daily work is performed by the
Foundation's Contributors. Nonetheless, certain bodies or committees
will be in charge of work when the decision-taking requires
extraordinary decisions, litigation, conflict resolution, funding,
treasury, strategic technical decisions, strategic technical guidance,
and general guidance on orientations.
In principle, the processes, discussions and decisions of openSUSE
Foundation, of its Committees, of its Board and of its Officers are
public, and decisions are taken in a rational and transparent manner.
- The Board request that SUSE provide capital stock and help to setup
- The Board request that SUSE provide 1 or 2 FTE staffing to handle the
admin work of the foundation alongside the existing work it does
managing the TSP etc
- The Board is open to any discussion regarding bylaws or statues to
codify and guarantee the ongoing productive relationship between SUSE &
- The openSUSE Foundation board will take over the role of the current
- The makeup and election / removal of the openSUSE Foundation board
will remain the same as the current openSUSE board as documented in
- The rules for membership of the openSUSE Foundation will remain the
same as the rules for existing openSUSE members with the exception that
members are required to be over 16 as per legal requirements. Existing
openSUSE Members will be invited to become members of the new openSUSE
- trademark / intellectual property usage guarantee in case SUSE ever
drops doing Linux distributions (like KDE / Qt) - Ideally/eventually
transfer of openSUSE trademarks into Foundation
*Details for Further Discussion*
- Charter of Foundation needs to be detailed - learning from other free
software foundations like TDF
Lawyer advise needed
- What IT infrastracture and data should remain under the ownership of
SUSE and what should be transfered to the openSUSE Foundation?
- Should the openSUSE foundation become the responsible body for
openSUSE's data and therefore it's GDPR compliance?
- should the openSUSE trademarks and interlectual property be
transferred to Foundation?
*Other Considered Options*
- e. V. (association)
- too easy to "take over" and change purpose
- Structure too inflexible (the board would not be able to continue
to function in its current makeup)
- umbrella organization (like linux foundation)
- Takes ~10% of income, i..e. donations,sponsormoney, own donated
- openSUSE is too large an organisation for most umbrella
organisations to handle unless openSUSE is only using an umbrella for a
very limited set of features.
- Keeping things the way they currently are
- sometimes causes problems, for example accepting docations is hard
- often unable to partner with other companies as there is no
openSUSE entity that can sign contracts etc.
Sent on behalf of the openSUSE board.
Simon Lees (Simotek) http://simotek.net
Emergency Update Team keybase.io/simotek
SUSE Linux Adelaide Australia, UTC+10:30
GPG Fingerprint: 5B87 DB9D 88DC F606 E489 CEC5 0922 C246 02F0 014B
To unsubscribe, e-mail: opensuse-project+unsubscribe(a)opensuse.org
To contact the owner, email: opensuse-project+owner(a)opensuse.org