Proposed revisions of Article 3: Membership

J.H.M. Dassen jdassen at
Fri Mar 19 15:42:05 UTC 1999

On Thu, Mar 18, 1999 at 17:38:29 -0500, Nils Lohner wrote:
> Scenario 2:


> - do we _want_ to create a difference between members? i.e. the discussion
> is going and someone says 'but I'm a contributing member and you're not!'
> Yuck.  Ugly.

In some sense, we already have this in Debian, with the difference between
users and developers. Not often do I see developers "pull rank" over users.
And I agree with Ian that there is an difference between free software
developers and free softare community members we shouldn't deny.

On Fri, Mar 19, 1999 at 14:42:42 +0000, Ian Jackson wrote:
> So, given what SPI's purpose is (broadly speaking, to help the free
> software development community by doing certain things that require legal
> personality), we can see that that membership ought to be the people who
> are supposed to benefit from SPI's abilities as a legal entity: free
> software developers.

Agreed. The free software community is larger than the free software
developers though, and I think it is important that members of the free
software community that are not free software developers can participate
to SPI to some degree.

> Instead, I believe that voting membership should be open to individuals
> who have contributed significantly to the free software community.  This
> will, unfortunately, require some effort to administer, but the
> alternatives (dictat by the Board vs. the possibility of hijacking) are
> much worse.

Agreed (for voting membership of contributing members).

> I don't particularly care whether there is an additional non-voting
> `associate membership' or some such.

I don't think your line of reasoning requires that an "associate membership"
be non-voting. For instance, many democracies have a two-tier voting system.
"associate members" could have the vote in the same way as the British House
of Commons, with "contributing members" acting as a House of Lords: senior
members of the community, that can overrule resolutions approved by the
associate members.

> There seems little point though - what is the purpose of these associate
> members ?  Just to make them feel good ?

No. To ensure the participation/representation of the free software
community as a whole in SPI.

J.H.M. Dassen                 | RUMOUR  Believe all you hear. Your world may  
jdassen at      | not be a better one than the one the blocks   
                              | live in but it'll be a sight more vivid.      
                              |     - The Hipcrime Vocab by Chad C. Mulligan  

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