Presidents Report for 2009-10
Presidents Report for 2009 to 2010
Summary A lot has happened in the past year. The Gentoo Foundation Inc. has been hit by the recession, just like other businesses. We lost a trustee without warning and because another trustee was busy with real life at the same time, the Gentoo Foundation Inc. was being operated by the three remaining trustees. We are well on the way to applying to the IRS for our 503(c) status. We have started discussions with the Open Invention Network about entering into a mutual patents licence. Lastly, at the very end of the year, it became apparent that we would need to refresh some of the hardware installed at OSL.
Effects of the Recession The recession caused us to loose contact with our pro-bono law firms. We don't know that its cause and effect but around last August our emails started to go unanswered. To fill this gap the Gentoo Foundation Inc. signed an agreement with The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) who have been both very responsive and helpful with our queries.
Death of Ferris Ferris McCormick (fmccor) died suddenly in August 2009 which left a gap in the trustee ranks and also removed our first line lawyer support. At the same time Roy Bamford (NeddySeagoon) became busy with real life and was not able to spend as much time on the Gentoo Foundation Inc. as the role of a trustee demanded,. This meant that the Foundation was being operated by three trustees for a few months.
Filling the Vacancy The vacancy created by the death of Ferris was filled by David Abbott (dabbott) being appointed as a trustee. David was already an officer of the Foundation, involved with the Gentoo shop. On the topic of the Gentoo shop, the trustees are pleased to recognise the efforts of Christina (Fullam) Gianelloni (musikc) for leading the Gentoo shop until her recent retirement from Gentoo.
Advertising on the Front Page The trustees asked for and got mandate from Foundation members to permit advertising from 'large' Gentoo users to be displayed on the gentoo.org side bar. We have a number of enquires but as yet no negotiators are complete.
Our 501(c)(3) Tax Status The trustees have been working on our 503(c)(3) application, which is now almost complete. Hand in hand with preparing that filing has been the search for a cost effective Certified Public Accountant (CPA). We will need help from a CPA to prepare or annual returns when we are successful with our 501(c) application.
Equipment Refresh at the Open Source Lab Towards the end of the year, it became apparent that some of the equipment installed at the OSL was well past its best and not really up to the tasks being demanded of it. This is in the process of being replaced with smaller, lower energy but more capable equipment. At the same time, the opportunity has been taken to diversify services, so the workload is spread over more systems. The trustees would like to thank the Gentoo infra team and OSL staff who are making the migration happen
Open Invention Network Licence The trustees began examining a license from open invention network to ensure anything we do that uses patents from other licensees will not be a cause for royalty payments or litigation. The license is a two way thing. The Gentoo Foundation Inc. would also grant other licence's the same rights to any patents that it owns.
Weakening of Gentoo Foundation Inc So far, all of the officers of the Gentoo Foundation Inc. have become trustees, which leaves the Foundation somewhat weakened. Where we used to have five trustees and two officers managing and performing the work of the Foundation, the five trustees now serve as offices too.
March 2010 Trustee Election Results At the trustee elections in February 2010, all three retiring trustees were re-elected unopposed. No voting was required. This means that the cull of inactive members has been postponed until next time there is a vote for trustees.
Closing Remarks Compared to other businesses, the Gentoo Foundation Inc. has had a reasonably good year. With two active years behind us, the Foundation has shown that its a reliable active body even if the team doing the work has shrunk. Both Gentoo and the Gentoo Foundation Inc. need to attract more members who are interested in the various facets of business administration to ensure the long term continuity of the Gentoo Foundation Inc. as an independent entity.
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