Large-Scale Governance – 10 Apache Lessons

Starting a large-scale open source project? The Apache Software Foundation is the benchmark against which you will be measured.

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We’re now well beyond the point where open source has “won”. We’re seeing the open source idea starting to mature beyond even adolescence into adulthood. As it does so, our understanding and expectations of open source communities need to expand. Continue reading

Does Open Source Really Need Tax Breaks?

Open source Foundations have a great track record for good governance of open source projects – think of the Apache Software Foundation, the Document Foundation, the Eclipse Foundation or the Mozilla Foundation and the tremendous software they produce speaks volumes. We take it for granted that they need to be tax-exempt organisations.

Yet troubles in the USA with gaining recognition for open source projects from the tax authorities raise an important question: is tax-exempt status really necessary? Or are we mistaking approval of sound accounting principles for certification of good governance?  Today’s article in InfoWorld has more.

 

Options in Place of New Foundations

For the majority of projects a software foundation is not the next step. There are plenty of other options available to developers looking for a way to protect the interests of their project and contributors. Using existing fiduciary hosts and fiduciary and governance hosts allows you to take advantage of proven approaches and experienced stewards. Read more in today’s InfoWorld article.

Thinking Of Starting A Foundation?

Open source projects are increasingly opting to form an independent entity – a “Foundation” – to form the core of their community, rather than relying on goodwill or corporate oversight. Foundations often hold shared assets such as money, trademarks and copyrights, provide infrastructure, and sometimes employ staff.

The idea is seductive, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. A Foundation can’t solve your community problems; it can only make firm the solutions you devise, by providing a canvas on which to paint the trust and governance you have all agreed and to guarantee it for future generations of your community. You need to solve the problems first.

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