Re: Fwd: Draft of Proposal for the GNOME Foundation.

On 13 Jul 2000 16:04:03 -0400, Nat Friedman <> said:

>Ok, then they should be able to at least have the ability to specify
>the portion of GNOME, or a specific subproject, which their funding
>should benefit.

By law, donors always have the right to control the use of a bequest.
Property law generally allows a donor to place conditions and
limitations on a gift, subject to rules against unreasonableness.
Organizations who receive gifts with conditions and limitations that
they do not wish to observe are generally required to return the gift.
This is one of those sticky areas where a lawyer's advice is very
helpful; this area of law is full of byzantine little rules (it's an
aspect of estate law, which is probably the most arcane area in the
law there is) that are difficult to understand, let alone explain.

>Stupid government.  Ok, so we can at least do telephonic meetings.
>That sucks; it makes it harder to expose the minutes/details of the
>meeting in an archive (while still allowing for editing them for

One approach I've seen used is to conduct an informal meeting
electronically, mail a summary of what was decided at that meeting to
the members, along with a proxy agreement whereby the member signs a
proxy authorizing the chairman (or some other person) to appear on his
or her behalf at the meeting, solely to agree to whatever was agreed
to in the informal meeting.  Once a majority of members have executed
such agreements, the "real" meeting (which is clearly entirely pro
forma) can be held, with just the proxies present, who do nothing but
merely ratify the summary of the informal meeting.  As far as I can
tell, this comports with the legal requirements for a meeting of the
membership.  Of course, if you can't get a majority to sign and return 
agreements, then the meeting cannot be held.  But if a majority won't
do that, you probably have a problem anyway.


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