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Re: Constitutional Amendment GR: Handling assets for the project

Manoj Srivastava writes ("Constitutional Amendment GR: Handling assets for the project"):
>         In order to bring the constitution in line with current needs
>  and practices of handling assets globally, and allowing the projet to
>  add and remove partner organizations from the set of organizations
>  currently authorized to hold assets for Debian, I would like to
>  propose the following amendment to the Debian constitution.  This had
>  been discussed at length last month, and suggestions and discussion
>  have died down. I would like to seek seconds for this proposal at
>  this time.

I agree with the sense and letter but have a few factual, grammar and
other minor corrections, which I'd like to formally propose as
amendments.  I'd appreciate it if you'd accept them.  I propose each
change as a separate amendment so you may accept some or all of them;
they're numbered 1 to 14, below.

I hereby also second the proposed resolution as is, even if you don't
accept my amendments.

1. Replace all occurrences of `organization' (and derivative words)
with `organisation', so as to maintain consistent spelling.

2. Change wording from `legal presence' to `legal entity':

> +  Debian has no legal presence in any country worldwide, and as such
     Debian is not a legal entity (in any country in the world), and as such

Rationale: Having a `legal presence' is not the same as being a `legal
entity'; legal entities may exist but not have a presence in a
particular country.

3. Change `maintain' to `own':
4. Change `Therefore, property...' to present tense:

> +  cannot maintain any money or other property. Therefore, property will
     cannot own any money or ...              ... Therefore, property
                                                        for use for Debian

Rationale for 3.: Debian cannot own things; ownership is a legal concept.  It
can maintain them; maintaining things is how you deal with them in the
real world.  (Money does not need to be `maintained'.)

Rationale for 4.: We should use the present tense, not the future
tense, even though this amendment is currently a draft.

> +  have to be maintained by any of a number of organizations as detailed in
     has to be owned by any of...

Part of my amendment 3.

5. Insert a paragraph break:
6. Mark this whole section 9.2 as non-normative:

> +  §9.2
> +
> +   Traditionally, SPI was the sole organization authorized to hold
> +   property and monies for the Debian Project.  SPI was created in
> +   the U.S. to hold money in trust there.
 -- insert paragraph break --
>     SPI and Debian are separate organisations who share some
>     goals. Debian is grateful for the legal support framework offered
>     by SPI. Debian's Developers are eligible for contributing
>     membership in SPI by virtue of their status as Developers.

Rationale for 6.: most of this is just factual information; the
contributing membership status is determined by SPI so is also

7. Add a comma:

> +   9.1 Relationship with Associated Organizations
> +
> +     1. Debian Developers do not become agents or employees of
> +        organizations holding assets in trust for Debian, or of
> +        each other, or of persons in authority in the Debian Project
                                               ...in the Debian Project,
> +        solely by the virtue of being Debian Developers. A person

Rationale: this makes it clearer that the `solely by virtue of'
applies to `do not become agents' rather than `persons in authority'.

8. Apostrophe correction:

> +       authority within such an organization, subject to the
> +       organizations decision and rules.
          organisation's decision and rules.

(My amendment 1, "organisation", also applies.)

9. Remove comma-splice:

> +   Debian has no authority to hold money or property, any
      Debian has no authority to hold money or property.  Any

Rationale: this fixes the grammar and breaks up an excessively long

10. Replace `such things':
11. Replace `in name of' and `on behalf of':
12. Capitalise `Project Leader' and Delegate:

> +   donations for the Debian Project must be made to any one of a set
> +   of organizations designated by the Project leader (or a delegate)
      of organisations designated by the Project Leader (or a Delegate)

> +   to be authorized to handle such things in name of the Debian
                   ... to handle assets  to be used for the Debian

Rationale for 10.: `Such things' is vague; we should say exactly what
we mean.

Rationale for 11.: `In name of' is bad grammar.  `In the name of' and
`on behalf of (see below) would be wrong because it might imply some
kind of legal existence for Debian.  What we should talk about is the
assets' purpose.

12. Capitalise `Project':

> +   project. Such authorization, or its withdrawal, and annual reports
      Project. ...

11 again:

> +   of activities by such organizations on behalf of Debian must be
      of Debian-related activities by such organizations must be

Rationale: we want all Debian-related activities, even those not
clearly connected to assets, and of course we want to avoid `on behalf

13. Replace `it would be preferable' with `should':
14. Replace comma-splice with phrase referring to "best practice":
15. Introduce paragraph break:

> +   It would be preferable if the organizations holding assets in
> +   trust for Debian undertake certain obligations for the handling of
> +   such assets, as an example:
      Organisations holding assets in trust for Debian should
      undertake reasonable obligations for the handling of such
 -- insert paragraph break --
      As an example of best practice at the time of writing,
>     SPI have made the following undertakings:

Rationale for 13.: `should' is defined in appendix B.

Rationale for 14.: Fixes the grammar and explains what the meaning of
the example is.


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