Technical and legal aspects of pitivi's crowdfunding campaign.

Hi everyone !

Following a discussion with Karen Sandler and other members of the
gnome engagement team in the #engagement channel on gimpnet,
it was decided that a mail to that list would be necessary, to
expose the legal and technical aspects of the crowdfunding campaign
we are about to start around the pitivi video editor.

Presentations of the team, our plan etc are available on the website
we are currently developing and creating content for, bear in mind
that it's still work in progress at the time. I'll post a link to
that website soon, Thibault Saunier is not at his home and can't
can't make it available right now.

We've been happy to learn the GNOME committee had voted unanimously
to help us handle the funds we'll get through that campaign for multiple
reasons :

+ First we are not very keen on using proprietary services such as
  kickstarter and indiegogo, as they are not part of our ecosystem.

+ Second, pitivi has always been a very "gnome-centric" app at
  the technology level, all of our main components are GLib based
  and we intend to go on that way, so this partnership seemed like
  a logical continuation to us.

As for our pay, we intend to go for quite low standards for
CS engineers, and require 2500 euros a month, working 7 hours
21 days a month, which translates to a 17 euros hourly rate.
I don't have official average salaries for CS engineers to submit,
but as an example I'm currently making 3000 euros a month at my position.
Money isn't really the issue for us, as we are ready to get less
in exchange of doing what we really want, but we of course have
charges of our own to assume (house, food, etcaetera).

On our side, there are two options we could go for, with
different charges and laws associated :

1) We can create a non-profit association. The law in France
  states that in a non-profit association, there needs to be
  a president and a secretary, which can't be paid for their
  activities. This is not a complete obstacle, as we could find
  people to assume these charges, but it's certainly something to
  think about. On the charges side, associations can only hire
  regular salaried people. You can calculate what it
  will cost for the organization this way :

    If we want to get 2500 euros in our pockets at the end of the month,
    the cost will be 2500 * 1.87 == 4675 a month.

2) We can create a regular Limited Liability Company (LLC),
  SARL in French.
  In France, companies can hire regular salaried people of course,
  but they also can remunerate "managers" under a different status,
  which is called the "Régime social des indépendants", roughly
  translatable to Social Status of Independent workers.
  Under these conditions:

    If we want 2500 euros in our pockets at the end of the month,
    the cost will be 2500 * 1.45 == 3625.

  The drawback for us is that it means we won't have an
  "assurance chômage", ie we can't get money if we get unemployed.
  That's not a problem, as we don't plan on getting unemployed
  anytime soon.

So with this explained, we will not go the non-profit way.
As much as we think it would make sense, the French laws and
charges associated with that status make it impractical in
our case, which is to be a lightweight organization with
as much money as possible going into actually funding
the development of our video editor.

As for Gnome, the legal situation will be exactly the same,
that is the funds would be transferred to the company or
the association as "grants" ("subventions" in French), with
no legal difference.

That's it for this mail, I'll write a mail in the engagement
mailing list and link it there explaining our "engagement"
approach more in detail.

I am of course available to share my limited knowledge of
taxes and laws in France, if anyone has more insight about
the subject I'm hopeful he will chime in !

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