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Re: [board-discuss] Discussion about options available with marketing plan draft and timetable

Hi Alex,

I wanted to limit myself to those four tweets on this discussion, but this
one really rattles my bones, so here we go:

On Thu, Jul 09, 2020 at 04:30:51PM +0200, Alexander Werner wrote:
I want to remind all of you what The Document Foundation is all about,
as stated in the *unalterable* statutes

"The objective of  the foundation is the promotion and development of
office software available for use by anyone free of charge." - this does
not restrict the target audience.

"This software will be openly available for free use by anyone for their
own files, including companies and public authorities, ensuring full
participation in a digital society and without detriment to intellectual

I would like to remind all members of the board of directors that first
and foremost you are obliged to pursue these statutes. As a consequence
you must not restrict the target audience of LibreOffice to a specific
user group in any way.

While we go into full language lawyering here, The Document Foundation is a
gemeinnuetzige Stiftung first and foremost. The "Gemeinnuetzig" in results in
certain limits on what the goals of the Stiftung are and nothing in the statues
can overrule that.

Being a commercial grade service or support provider to random companies or
public entities using productivity software is clearly NOT within these limits,
and no motte and bailey sophistication about the implied interpretation of the
foundations statues will change that or can make it the Document Foundations

There is quite a bit of excusable naivete going round in this discussion,
which is understandable given that TDF needs to finally adapt to the changes
that happened in the last decade, so there are a lot of fundamentals
reevaluated here. Its not even wrong, as we need to find new ways, because the
ones that worked a decade ago dont work anymore or will be failing soon.

The above on the other hand overconfidently states implications that dont even
stand basic scrutiny and deliver them as an argumentum ab auctoritate. As such,
it should be ignored at best -- however, given the international community, not
everyone might be comfortable in judging the core of that German legalese
argument on their own. Worse than that, it doesnt even provide a constructive
proposal on which way to develop the foundation and the community -- away from
a status quo that is clearly less and less working.

I am very happy that the new board attacks these hard challenges and am open
and eager to hear each and every constuctive proposal on how to bring the
projects and the community forward. I am also happy if fellow members of the
community reread the statues to find guidance and ideas to find ways to make
them work in the now.

So in order for this project and this community to not die it first needs
constructive proposals. Those can then be refined, improved and adjusted using
institutional learnings we made over the last two decades. But it needs a
constuctive proposal FIRST, because without it, there is nothing to refine or
improve by our learnings.

/end rant



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