Re: Candidacy Announcement: Luis Villa

After some discussion in IRC, I'd like to add a small clarification here.

The board has not just one but two outside counsels; the Software
Freedom Law Center (SFLC), and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich Rosati (WSGR).
I am not seeking to replace them- they are full of very capable
lawyers, who are available to us when we need them. I could not
replace, nor would I want to replace, these resources.

My purpose as a candidate is to be the bridge between those lawyers
and the Foundation. Historically, we've done a poor job of
communicating with and using the legal resources made available to us
by SFLC and WSGR, which has made dealing with some of our legal issues
much less efficient. For example, because of poor communication,
getting our trademark took many months- possibly more than a year-
longer than it should have. I'd like to resolve that problem, and
hopefully build relationships and processes that outlive my term on
the board.

Hope that helps-

On Nov 16, 2007 2:31 PM, Luis Villa <luis tieguy org> wrote:
> This announcement is available with better formatting at
> I'll be running again for the Board this year. This will be an unusual
> candidacy. I will not be running to do various and sundry board tasks;
> I'll be running to do exactly one thing:
>     * legal work- a vote for me is a vote that says 'Luis should be
> the coordinator of all GNOME-related legal issues.'
> I also will volunteer for two other things, but if someone else wants
> to do them it won't bother me:
>     * secretarial services- I hate doing secretarial meeting bits, but
> this is often something organizations delegate to their lawyers, so
> I'd better get good at it.
>     * occasional common sense- I stress occasional here because I
> don't have the time or the energy to get into petty politics with
> anyone, so if that happens, I'll pretty quickly retreat to
> lawyer-secretary.
> I will not do:
>     * anything non-legal that goes beyond common-sense advice giving.
> Don't vote for me if:
>     * you think someone else should be the central coordinator for the
> board's legal issues
>     * you think board members should be jacks of all trades
>     * you think it is crazy to hand legal issues over to a second-year
> law student (nb: you have to justify who should be doing it in that
> case :)
> Do vote for me if:
>     * You think issues like copyright, trademark, patents, legal
> status of web services, relationships with outside counsel and
> partners, etc., are important to GNOME's future, and you'd like to see
> the board (led by me) be proactive in dealing with them.
>     * you want someone on the board who is firmly committed to
> delegation and coordination.
> I will almost certainly serve one term and only one term. I expect to
> have less time once I graduate from school, and the 18 month term will
> almost perfectly coincide with the rest of my time in law school. In
> addition, if I'm successful in reaching my goals, by the end of the
> term I'll have built strong relationships with our outside counsel,
> and it will be less necessary to have a board member aggressively
> devoted to legal issues.
> Affiliations
> =======
> I am currently a student at Columbia Law School, and have no other
> formal affiliations at this time.
> For 12 weeks of this term I will be affiliated with a law firm which
> may do work for some of the parties- for example, one firm I am
> considering going to this summer does significant work for Sun, and
> another has done work representing parties negotiating with Red Hat.
> It seems unlikely that any substantial conflict will arise from that,
> but if so, I'll notify the rest of the board and recuse myself unless
> the board says otherwise.
> In the past I have been affiliated with Novell and Red Hat, and done
> contract work (through Ximian) for Sun. I maintain relationships with
> friends at all of those companies.

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