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On 9 Jun 2011, at 23:06, Robert Derman wrote:

Volker Merschmann wrote:

2011/6/9 Simon Brouwer <>:

Suppose Oracle had considered donating the trademarks and
copyrights to TDF. How could it be the recipient of such a donation if it
didn't exist as a legal entity?

I'm feeling it's the hundredth time it is told: The german association
"Freies Office Deutschland e.V." is the legal represantive for the TDF
until the legal act of founding has happened. And the latter one is
not so easy to do.

My Deutsch isn't the best, I am guessing that the literal translation of the above is Freedom 
Office Germany e.V. whatever the e. V. stands for.  Anyway a non legaleze explanation of what is 
happening and what must happen for TDF to be a full official foundation would be appreciated.

I'll try to explain as I understand it. 

I just an ordinary TDF member, not on the Board and with no official standing. This is just the 
view I have gained by reading the mailing list and wiki. I am English and have limited German 
skills, so this may contain errors and I welcome corrections.

There is already "a full official foundation" involved - FrODeV - with LibreOffice effectively one 
of its projects, but its mission statement is more general than just LibreOffice so it is in the 
process of spinning out a new entity to look after LibreOffice.

There is already a non-profit in existence; it's name is "Freies Office Deutschland e.V." ("eV" is 
a German suffix a bit like "Ltd" or "Inc"), but it's easier to call it FrODeV for short[1]. It is a 
fully-functional German non-profit with bylaws[2], accounts[3] and everything. It has existed for a 
number of years and exists to support and promote open source office suites.  
It used to be called Deutschland eV but changed its name[1] when the LibreOffice 
project started so its scope was clearly all open source office suites. FrODeV has been running a 
separate asset pool[4] for LibreOffice, and has expressed its intent to spin out a new, 
capital-backed non-profit organisation to look after that asset pool. 
To do that, FrODeV needs a set of voting members, an elected Board, a set of bylaws and a capital 
sum in the asset pool. Once it has all those, it can incorporate the new entity and spin it out. So 
a timeline of that process looks like this:
  1. FrODeV starts the process of hosting TDF with the intent of it being an incorporated 
capital-holding non-profit foundation in Germany (Stiftung)
  2. A Steering Committee is appointed to handle TDF's affairs, under the oversight of FrODeV
  3. The necessary capital sum is obtained from donors
  4. Bylaws are devised
  5. A membership is identified according to the bylaws
  6. The membership elects a Board of Directors
  7. FrODeV incorporates the Stiftung, as "Stifter" (founder/donor).
  8. TDF now exists as a legal entity independent of FrODeV

The process has reached stage 5, and stage 6 is imminent. There has been and as far as I can tell 
will never be a point in this process where there is no "full official foundation" in existence.

Hope that helps,


Google Translate[5] works well for these links:
[4] (at the bottom)
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