On 02/02/2018 05:52 PM, Daniel Pocock wrote:
On 02/02/18 17:48, Florian Snow wrote:
Hi Daniel,

As far as I remember, the form said "Join the Fellowship" and explained that 
this was a financial contribution.

If you go to https://fsfe.org and click "Become a supporter" it still shows the same form with the title "Join the FSFE"

The word contribution is very generic.  In my view, the word itself doesn't strongly imply membership, but the act of giving money does give many people the feeling that they are a member.

When I "joined" I did so to join a European Free Software community because I wanted to strengthen my own activism in the area.  When I blogged about it (http://www.modspil.dk/itpolitik/free_software_foundation_europe_fellow___2047.html, Danish) I did mention my involvement with the FSFE as a "membership", and everyone I've talked with here in DK who became a Fellow talk about it as being "a member", too. Being already an "associate member" of the FSF, IIRC I did understand that I did not become a member with voting rights, but honestly I found the construction strange and complicated and hence just chose to tell people I had become a "member" and wanted to work with the organization.

So, speaking from my own experience,

* I don't feel I was misled, hence I don't think I gained any actual legal rights besides those as a "Fellow"
* The situation definitely could be clearer and easier to understand.

I understand the reluctance of opening the membership of FSFE e.V. as, in part, coup protection: People (e.g. Google, Microsoft or other proprietary software companies) can't do a hostile takeover by joining en masse and reducing a clear commitment to free software to something wishy-washy.

But in all cases - a clearer construction would be desirable. The thing is, when becoming a supporter (previously Fellow) you *are* invited to join in the sense of becoming part of the community and being active - up to and including coordinating local groups and applying to the GA.

However, you don't gain legal membership of the Association.  I've always experienced this as somewhat mixed signals. Converting all Supporters into full members may not be the solution, but it would be nice to have a construction that was a) just as inclusive, b) easy to understand and hence c) easy to explain to others.

Discussion mailing list

Reply via email to