Re: Resolution 2019-05-25.jrk.1: Removing Jenkins as associated project

From: Ian Jackson <ijackson(at)chiark(dot)greenend(dot)org(dot)uk>
To: Jimmy Kaplowitz <jimmy(at)spi-inc(dot)org>
Cc: board(at)spi-inc(dot)org, spi-general(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org, secretary(at)spi-inc(dot)org
Subject: Re: Resolution 2019-05-25.jrk.1: Removing Jenkins as associated project
Date: 2019-05-30 12:36:45
Views: Raw Message | Whole Thread | Download mbox
Lists: spi-general

Jimmy Kaplowitz writes ("Re: Resolution 2019-05-25.jrk.1: Removing Jenkins as associated project"):
> There have been similar cases at other free software nonprofits, and
> we've had informal conversations with people there about how those
> situations were handled. It's not my place to publicly disclose the
> content of those private / off-the-record conversations. What I can
> confirm that is this type of transfer is indeed not easy (nor should it
> be!), but also that it is occasionally possible with creative planning
> and a lot of attention to many details.

The key point is that SPI is a charity. That's what a 501(c)(3) is:
it's US tax law jargon for "charity".

The Linux Foundation is a 501(c)(6). Despite the similarity in the
numbers, these are completley different things. A 501(c)(6) is a
trade association.

The purpose (the legal objective) of a charity is the public benefit.

The purposeof a trade association is the benefit of its members.
By members here we do not mean projects like Jenkins. We mean the
corporate members like[1]:
AT&T, Cisco, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Microsoft,
NEC, Oracle, Qualcomm, Samsung, and VMware

Clearly SPI's charitable funds cannot legally be, and must not be,
applied for the private benefit of these corporations.

If the Jenkins project itself is now being governed by these
corporations then it is not clear that promoting or improving Jenkins
(the software) is any longer a charitable activity.

Perhaps there are things in the Jenkins ecosystem that are focused
towards the needs of the wider public rather than the corporate
interests; those are the things that the money can be spent on.
(Those things might even conflict with the policies or objectives of
the new corporate trade association umbrella foundation.)

As for legal advice, there is a conflict of interest here between the
public interest (as represented here by SPI) and these foundations.
I hope that SPI will take proper formal legal advice from our own
laywers - not LF or CDF laywers - about what SPI can and should do
with these assets.

That legal advice may cost money. That ought to come out of the SPI
Jenkins earmark. (I think it must be paid for out of SPI's charitable
funds because we should be the lawyers' paymaster.)


[1] Taken from the example list of members at
You can see the full list of members of these foundations here:


Browse spi-general by date

  From Date Subject
Next Message Kohsuke Kawaguchi 2019-05-31 00:49:37 Re: Resolution 2019-05-25.jrk.1: Removing Jenkins as associated project
Previous Message Jimmy Kaplowitz 2019-05-27 18:30:14 Re: Resolution 2019-05-25.jrk.1: Removing Jenkins as associated project