Announced since a week, and incorporated with the stamp of the Friday before, TDF now has finally gotten the legal entity we wished, and worked for so long. It took us about a year from having a plan, to pouring that concept into legalese and a setup that fits the mould of a German Foundation (“Stiftung”) – a process that seems unduly long from the outset, but I can tell you we didn’t sit there twiddling thumbs.
Because what we achieved is unique in Germany, and even beyond, being the first Free Software project managing to obtain the status of those almost-eternal, state-supervised, truly stable trusts that German Foundations are. Normally employed by this solitary millionaire, wanting to put his wealth to charitable purposes after his demise, in setting up a trust with a charitable mission, we found this to be the perfect vault for all the value our community built from, and around, what Oracle left lingering of the OpenOffice.org project.
But with everything new, people, and especially authorities, need some time to warm up to. TDF was no exception, and our statutes, as well as our patience, was put to repeated, thorough tests. With the result that our statutes got all the loopholes removed, an equivalent of 10 meter fingernails got bitten, and in the end we had our desired entity approved. Including the enduring membership rights we wanted, in the city of our choice – with Berlin being such a wonderful icon of reunion and post-war solidarity.
With the rest of the TDF board, we’re now working on setting up operations in Berlin and transferring assets.
Happy Birthday TDF – and kudos to all who helped making this a reality!