Linux International and Openmoko

Steve Mosher steve at
Mon Jun 8 04:17:46 CEST 2009

Thank you Dr. Schaller,

  Your suggestions, both about the business of Openmoko, and the paths
forward for the company have been an inspiration to me. Not to mention
your dogged determination in helping us get the buzz fix out to the
community. Had we not taken your suggestions and adopted your program
our community would still be buzzed! Thanks also for helping our
partners in North America bring your program to that continent.


Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller wrote:
> I am very happy that my ideas that I had expressed and discussed  
> beginning of April (and even non-public in March)
> have inspired many people: Steve who pushed for a GTA03 mailing list  
> and opening the design process, Werner who now runs the GTA02-core  
> project and now thank you Jon for proposals to give the community a  
> new home!
> IMHO, the community is now again going in the right (future oriented)  
> direction and I am happy to see that.
> Nikolaus
> by Golden Delicious Computers
> Am 06.06.2009 um 18:42 schrieb Jon 'maddog' Hall:
>> Hello,
>> I understand that there has been a discussion on this list about  
>> having
>> a foundation that would represent the community of Openmoko.
>> Fifteen years ago Linux International was created to provide services
>> for the Linux community.  It was started as a vendor organization,  
>> at a
>> time when there were not many vendors interested in Linux.  We  
>> handled a
>> lot of legal and business issues for Linux:
>> o Protected the Linux Trademark from people that would "kidnap" it for
>> various reasons
>> o Helped to start two certification organizations (we funded some of  
>> the
>> original testing work for LPI certification)
>> o Helped to start the Linux Standard Base project, which became the  
>> Free
>> Standards Group
>> o Helped to form what became Linuxworld
>> o Helped many local user groups start local events, most notably the
>> Atlanta LinuxFest and the Ohio LinuxFest
>> We tended to split off the groups we formed, afraid that one vendor
>> organization would provide too much power in a centralized  
>> organization.
>> For various reasons as larger companies started to show interest in
>> Linux, our membership went to form OSDL, which now is the Linux
>> Foundation.  Linux International as an organization has been dormant  
>> for
>> about five years.  I have still been spreading the word about Free
>> Software at conferences, through magazine articles and media  
>> interviews.
>> Recently I came up with the idea of reforming Linux International into
>> an "end user" organization, with the concept that no company could  
>> join
>> as a member, nor sit on the board of directors as a member.  Only
>> individual end users could hold membership, vote, etc.  Of course  
>> almost
>> everybody is an end user of some type of software, so the membership
>> would be quite "open".  I have been working to change the charter of  
>> LI
>> to reflect this.
>> Recently I started another project, not a phone, but otherwise similar
>> in its needs to Openmoko.  This other project will have a community,  
>> be
>> completely "open", and needs an umbrella organization to help with  
>> legal
>> work, etc.  I intend on forming a sub-group of LI for this project.
>> I could offer the same to Openmoko, to be a sub-group of LI.
>> Linux International is already a legal entity.  We are a
>> "not-for-profit" in the state of New Hampshire, U.S.A.  There are
>> reasons why LI is a "not-for-profit" instead of a non-profit (501c3 or
>> 501c6) which have to do with ease of applying revenues, etc.  Nothing
>> stops LI from becoming a 501c6 (501c3 is very restrictive), and  
>> nothing
>> would stop the sub-group of Openmoko from becoming a non-profit, if  
>> that
>> is desired.
>> Likewise the plans for LI are to have country chapters, with separate
>> boards for each country chapter.  This was planned way before the
>> current issue with Openmoko, but you could take advantage of the  
>> planned
>> structure if you wish.
>> LI would solicit sponsorships to help fund its work which could come
>> from companies, but again the voting membership would be from
>> individuals only.  The things that LI does would be "Open" to all.  We
>> do plan on having some things we charge for, to cover costs.
>> If the Openmoko community is interested in pursuing this, I would be
>> happy to discuss LI's plans further with you, and how Openmoko could  
>> fit
>> into this.
>> Warmest regards,
>> Jon "maddog" Hall
>> -- 
>> Jon "maddog" Hall
>> Executive Director           Linux International(R)
>> email: maddog at         80 Amherst St.
>> Voice: +1.603.672.4557       Amherst, N.H. 03031-3032 U.S.A.
>> Cell:  +1.603.943.6666       WWW:
>> Board Member: Uniforum Association
>> Board Member Emeritus: USENIX Association (2000-2006)
>> (R)Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in several
>> countries.
>> (R)Linux International is a registered trademark in the USA used
>> pursuant to a license from Linux Mark Institute, authorized licensor  
>> of
>> Linus Torvalds, owner of the Linux trademark on a worldwide basis
>> (R)UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group in the USA and  
>> other
>> countries.
>> _______________________________________________
>> Openmoko community mailing list
>> community at
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