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Re: Show me the money Re: Donations to Debian



On Thu, 21 Aug 1997 16:30:52 -0500, Paul Serice wrote:

>> >The government has always been involved.  In general though, it is
>>
>> With the developers and servers in Germany? nl?
>
>The presence of developers and servers in Germany does not limit the
>ability of the American legal system to reach the developers in the
>U.S.  So, yes, despite developers in Germany, the government is, and
>always has been, involved.  Think of the loop-hole if all you had to
>do was set up an office in Germany to avoid U.S. jurisdiction over
>persons and things in the U.S.  This is such an obvious response, I
>fear I'm missing your point though.

Yes you have. I'm saying the work done be the people outside the US is now 
asscoiated with a US entity. It's not 'theirs' anymore, while it is in the US.

>> >state law, not federal, that controls, and (if I remember
>> >correctly) most states impose personal liability (as in they come
>> >and take away your house and car) for unorganized groups such as
>> >Debian was.
>>
>> They could have not followed anything past the guy that caused it.
>> Now they can.
>
>With all due respect, I think you have it backwards.  Now, the
>corporation protects not just those beyond the guy that caused the
>problem.  It even protects that particular guy.

If I make a package tonight, and submited it, am I then consider an employee 
(agent, memeber, whatever) of that corp? No, and therefor it means nothing to my 
liability. But since there is now a legal person called Debian we could both be 
brought into litigation. Before if someone did something, it was just them. To do 
anything to Debian meant going after all the seperate people involved. That's 
because no guy named Debian existed....now he does....

If anything is done to this guy, the work the developers are 'giving' him are subject 
to any sanctions against him. Follow? It has created a liabity.

>Before though, in most states at least, anyone wronged by the
>unincorporated organization could have followed anything past the guy
>that caused it to all the other members.  The other members only
>recourse would be against the guy who caused it; however, the members
>would still be liable directly to the injured party.

What members? Debian never existed. There was no formal orginazation. No solid 
heiarchy. No dues. No finacial tranactions with the Debian name. (at least there 
should not have been) 

>That's the way it works, and that's the way it should work.  A group
>of people cannot avoid liability by refusing to incorporate, and as
>soon as the group does incorporate, the law kicks in and makes
>certain requirements of the corporation, e.g., that it not be
>undercapitalized, for the benefit of third parties who deal with the
>entity.

Phooey. Do all the developers hold there own copyright? Huh? Do they? Then they 
are each indivigually liable no matter what. The corp just now officially puts them all 
in the same basket.
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