[okfn-coord] Formal partner or 'branch' organisation in Germany

Jonathan Gray jonathan.gray at okfn.org
Tue Nov 3 16:26:19 UTC 2009

Just to follow this up, many thanks for your suggestions and links
Jordan! Very helpful indeed!

To fill everyone in, we have asked Daniel Dietrich to be official OKF
representative in Germany (seems like best thing to do in first
instance).  It looks like they now have started process for setting up
an organisation. We'll see where it goes. Next step will be to work
with Daniel to set up okfn-germany list and invite as many relevant
groups/individuals as possible...


On Sun, Oct 18, 2009 at 6:52 AM, Jordan S Hatcher
<jordan at opencontentlawyer.com> wrote:
> On 15 Oct 2009, at 15:59, Rufus Pollock wrote:
>>>>> and are wondering whether to create a German non-profit
>>>>> (specifically
>>>>> an 'eingetragener verein' - registered society or association), or
>>>>> whether there is another way they could be legally related to the
>>>>> OKF.
>>>> Would they like to be e.g. the OKFN German chapter?
>>> Yes they would. And I get the impression they would like to be the
>>> OKF's official organisation in Germany (i.e. a higher level of
>>> formality/affiliation than an informal local group).
>>> Any suggestions for how this could work? Perhaps we could use this as
>>> a test case...
>> Echoing what I said in the previous email (snipped) I think we may as
>> well ask these guys to set up formal "OKF(N)" germany chapter. I think
>> we want to keep this fairly informal at the present but we probably do
>> need a proper MOU of some kind.
>> Kind of things for this to include:
>> * Agreement to uphold the principles in governance document (open
>> knowledge, tolerance, meritocracy etc)
>> * Nominating someone to be the official liason to OKF "central"
> My concern is that a formal legal relationship means an overhead for
> us in terms of trying to sort out how we legally relate to them and
> overhead in monitoring the relationship to make sure that they don't
> do anything that harms us.
> The two points above (principles, and liaison) are exactly the  core
> of what we need to make sure with any chapter, local group.
> I'm also wondering about:
> * Part of my concern is also that once you pick someone to be your
> "official" local chapter, then you're stuck with them.
> * will they split funding away from us? Will German supporters decide
> not to support OKF and only OKF germany?  Will German based funding
> organisations opt away from funding OKF core and only fund the German
> team?  Do we care?
> Can we start with something informal and then work up to a "chapter"?
> They don't need to be a chapter to do things like adapt CKAN.
> In terms of process, Jonathan you asked:
> On 6 Oct 2009, at 23:59, Jonathan Gray wrote:
>> They are now at the stage of making a legal entity for the network -
>> and are wondering whether to create a German non-profit (specifically
>> an 'eingetragener verein' - registered society or association), or
>> whether there is another way they could be legally related to the OKF.
>> I wonder if anyone has any advice on how we should move on this? I
>> think this has longer term implications, for what the OKF is. Jordan:
>> do you have any legal suggestions?
> I think that if there is going to be a formal legal relationship, then
> they have to be legally independent for this to really work, though we
> could try to investigate another corporate approach, the Wikimedia
> Foundation method seems pretty sensible:
> A set of requirements
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Requirements_for_future_chapters
> And a process
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Step-by-step_chapter_creation_guide
> Which includes a Chapters Committee
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Chapters_committee
> All this is also to say that we should rule out having local working
> groups or meetups that don't require a formal legal organisation.
> ~Jordan
> ____
> Mr. Jordan S Hatcher, JD, LLM
> More at: <http://www.jordanhatcher.com>
> Co-founder:  <http://www.opendatacommons.org>
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Jonathan Gray

Community Coordinator
The Open Knowledge Foundation

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