Re: Suggestions for an official GNOME hosted document collaboration suite?

Karen Sandler <karen gnome org> writes:

On 2014-02-14 16:39, Florian Müllner wrote:
On Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 10:27 PM, alex diavatis
<alexis diavatis gmail com> wrote:
there is any legal issue that prevent gnome to introduce a per-user
model, or in other words commercial services over open source

Being a non-profit organization[0], I would assume so (but then I am
not a lawyer).

We are a 501(c)(3) organization, but that doesn't mean we can't ever
charge for services. Basically it's more of a matter of whether the
income is taxed or not, and to make sure that this kind of activity
isn't a substantial part of what we do. 

I also IANAL, but I believe the real constraint is that any income from
providing services to users (or other means) cannot be shared among
people / shareholders, but must remain as reserve for the nonprofit
board (paying for people doing real work on stuff is usually okay, but
requires being a bit careful, lest creating a conflict of interests
which might lead to an accusation of peculation). Also, the amount paid
should be less than what a for-profit organization might charge for the
same services, and the scope of such services related to your mission as
an organization — then the income should be tax-exempt.

These constraints can be of course be ameliorated by offering a service
as part of a donation, pretty much like you might get a t-shirt as a
Friend of GNOME, or 5 e-mail aliases as a FSF member. People then can
donate any amount that covers the cost of the service, or more (of their
own free will).

However, I am more well versed in European law, so I might be
off-the-spot with US law.


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