As we have started 2010 and made it thru another Lotusphere, I wanted to give everyone a breakdown of what I see as the priorities of the IP Working Group. They are
A few words on each item.
Individual Memberships with voting rights
There has been a request to allow individuals to join OpenNTF.org as members, with voting rights. This would allow individuals to run for Steering Committee positions. There needs to be some fleshing out of what this means and how the legal side of this works out, but the discussion needs to be started.
Finding a GPL IP Manager
We need a GPL IP Manager to work along side with the APL IP Manager. There are some ideas on asking other GPL associations and organizations for resources, but we need to figure out how we bring someone on to this role. Part of this discussion is around how OpenNTF.org can raise money and pay for services like this. This is a biggie, but again, let's start the conversation.
Long Term vision for the IP Managers
We have 3 roles at OpenNTF.org for the IP Manager. APL, GPL, and an umbrella position that covers the details of the organization outside the code reviews. Currently, Peter Tanner performs the APL and General IP Manager roles. There has been some discussion that we should have three people doing this with no overlap. We are also relying on IBM to cover Peter's costs.
OpenNTF.org legal status
Currently, OpenNTF.org is not a legal entity. We can not accept money - a member company would have to accept. Nor can we take donations. We have to figure out what, if anything, we want to change here. This leads to the next topic.
Not for Profit process
From day one of OpenNTF.org 2.0, there has been discussion on making OpenNTF.org a not for profit organization. IBM investigated this last winter and I, along with Peter Tanner, had some discussions with the Eclipse.org foundation folks this fall. We have two issues with becoming a NFP:
1. Cost - we would need to pay for an attorney, accountant, administrator, and the IP Managers - at a minimum. Plus the cost to actually file the paperwork and work thru the progress. I figure we need $20,000 up front and about $8,000 to $10,000 a year to do this. We have to figure out how to make that kind of capital
2. Barriers - as we research the NFP process, the fact that OpenNTF.org is so closely aligned with a single product and vendor is going to be a barrier. Even if OpenNTF.org becomes OpenLotus.org, and we go from focused on Notes & Domino and embrace the entire Lotus (and other IBM brands), we are still tied to a vendor. This could cause a major hiccup with the filing of the NFP application. We need to really think thru this process and what it means. We probably need to get the advice of a NFP attorney on exactly what we need to do here. And this means we either need a donation or find someone who will work with us gratis.
Now, things not on this list will come up, but this is the list as of today. Of course, this isn't a one person show, so please feel free to chime in and make your thoughts and issues known. This list is just the items the Steering Committee has seen as stuff we have to address in 2010.
Look forward to talking with everyone in 2010.
- Individual Memberships with voting rights
- Finding a GPL IP Manager
- Long Term vision for the IP Managers
- OpenNTF.org legal status
- Not for Profit process