2009/4/25 Andrew Gray <andrew.g...@dunelm.org.uk>:
> 2009/4/25 Thomas Dalton <thomas.dal...@gmail.com>:
>> The law is fine, it's just being misapplied. Writing an encyclopaedia
>> doesn't increase knowledge, it's a tertiary source, all the knowledge
>> is already in existence. It disseminates knowledge, something I
>> consider to be pretty synonymous with "education". I think at this
>> point we need a lawyer. I'll look up that case and see if I can find
>> the details, but really we need someone can that combat legal nonsense
>> with more legal nonsense - I can only illegal nonsense!
> I'm not sure I agree with the CC's decision, but it isn't a
> particularly quixotic one in the context of existing charity law, and
> I can see where it came from. Consider, for example, the notes at C4
> here: http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/publicbenefit/pbeduc.asp#c
> "However, just giving people information is not necessarily educating
> them. The key is whether it is provided in such a way (however
> structured) that it is capable of educating them, rather than just
> adding to factual information."
> I think there are ways of interpreting this sort of thing so as to
> encompass what we do, but it's not unreasonable for them to interpret
> it differently. Note that there isn't really anything like us in any
> of the lists of examples!

But that isn't what they're interpreting. They quoted a specific case
which they are clearly misapplying. That there are other arguments
they could use that would be more justifiable isn't really the point.

> Approaching this from the position that the law is fundamentally being
> misapplied, and we need to tell them they're Doing It Wrong, is
> probably just going to set us up for some angry letters both ways, a
> quick fall, and being filed as "vexatious" - and the last thing we
> want is for us to blow the chance fully!

We need a lawyer to tell them they are doing it wrong so they can do
it in an appropriate way to avoid that happening.

> A more effective approach would, perhaps, be to closely compare our
> submission to the regulations, and see if the use of a different
> perspective on what we plan to do, or a broadening of our aims, would
> perhaps fit more comfortably with the (slightly odd) letter of the
> regulations. After all, we have to fit into charity law *as it exists*
> if we're going to be a charity at all!

Broadening our aims certainly wouldn't help. Our aims need to be
entirely charitable, extending them isn't going to remove any
uncharitable parts.

> (...and on which note, hrm. if we're not a charity, what are the
> practical implications of that? I assume with our small turnover it
> wouldn't make a *vast* difference, but...)

At the moment, it doesn't make a great deal of difference, you are
right. It may well make a difference in the not too distant future,
though. We need to work this all out ASAP.

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