First off, disclosure: I work at Canonical on Ubuntu, but not in the
applications group. I guess I could be bias.
For those that aren't aware Ubuntu has introduced a new way to submit
applications that appear in the Ubuntu Software Center. It basically
allows developers to submit their applications to a repository that
exists outside the standard main/universe paradigm in a place called
"extras." The applications that exist in this repository can be paid,
free or Free Software, but the key difference is that they version is
controlled by the uploader and not the Ubuntu core repository process.
This means that we could, potentially, put Inkscape 0.49 in the software
center for users that are on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS -- which would be nearly
impossible in the main archives. I think that this is a win for our
users who many of which are surely staying on the LTS release. But it
is a change and slightly different legal relationship we'd be entering
into with Canonical to distribute the app.
PROPOSAL 1: Inkscape should enter into the agreement with Canonical and
submit future releases of Inkscape to the extras repository, pending
review of the TOS from the Conservancy.
At the same time, the My Apps interface allows us to distribute
applications that have a fee associated with them. While it's really
designed for selling proprietary software, it seems like we could also
have an application that was "Inkscape (Donation Edition)" that cost
something like $5 that users who wanted to could choose to install. I
was thinking that this edition could have a special about screen or
perhaps some filters or palettes -- some sort of Thank You. We could
keep that in version control, just not distribute it with the main
tarball/executable bundles we ship.
I think the price and the Thank You should be discussed further, but in
general I'm trying to say:
PROPOSAL 2: Inkscape should release a donation edition of Inkscape to
Ubuntu extras at a price set by the board.
What are people's thoughts on all of this? Yea, nay? I'm not sure it
would end up being a large donation stream, but I do think it's worth
trying. There will probably be some people upset at us trying to
"commercialize" Inkscape, but I don't think that's really the case here
and I'm willing to have that conversation.
A majority vote of the current board members is required for this
10% of Inkscape's earmarked revenue is to be paid to the Software
Freedom Conservancy. This will help them continue to provide services
to open source projects.
[ ] a. Yes, allow the 10% payment to the Conservancy
[ ] b. No, keep arrangements as is
The proposal is from Bradley M. Kuhn, Executive Director of the
Conservancy, who wrote to us on this list a couple weeks ago:
(b) As I've discussed with a number of you, including Jon, Josh and
Tavmjong, Inkscape has received fiscal sponsorship services
from Conservancy at no charge since 2006. Back when
Conservancy was founded, I was an SFLC employee and SFLC was
subsidizing my time -- effectively donating staff time to
Conservancy. This ceased in early 2008, and I served as a
volunteer for Conservancy on nights/weekends until 2011, when I
became a full-time employee -- which was the only way to keep
it going with the services it promises (the other option would
have been to shut down Conservancy). Since then, to maintain
legal services as part of the service plan once SFLC shrunk
further, we hired Tony as well. We get a lot done with a staff
of two, but obviously we need financial resources to be able to
provide these services.
Conservancy's Board of Directors voted about a year ago that
all member projects should be required to give 10% of their
earmarked revenue to support Conservancy to continue to provide
services. This is a standard way for a fiscal sponsor to
operate, and we were lucky before that we weren't required to
do this, and I'd been waiting to bother Inkscape with this
since you are one of our older members. (We haven't taken a new
member for anything other than 10% in a few years, BTW). I
hope a 10% arrangement as we use with other projects now will
be acceptable to you, and I and Tony are happy to discuss
further this issue.
On Fri, 2012-11-30 at 16:01 -0500, Bradley M. Kuhn wrote:
> Bryce Harrington wrote at 17:03 (EST) on Thursday:
> > One other question that came up was if this income would include
> > "pass-through" funds, such as situations we've had in the past where
> > Google or some other organization sponsored travel or funded work by a
> > developer by donating it to Inkscape via the Conservancy, and then the
> > developer was paid via Inkscape. Would the rule cover this type of
> > income as well?
> The two examples you give are generally handled differently. For true
> reimbursement of expenses (e.g., Google gives us the exact amount of a
> flight, as part of a program that reimburses only travel costs),
> Conservancy has generally not taken 10% of that. From an accounting
> perspective, "income" and "reimbursement of expenses" are accrued
> For anything that's actual income, like a donation from Google, or
> anyone else, that's income to Conservancy. The IRS sees it that way
> fully. Conservancy does have an agreement with the Inkscape developers
> to say that we'll keep that money in the Inkscape Fund and spend on
> stuff that (a) advances Inkscape, (b) is approved by the Inkscape
> Committee, and (c) is fitting with Conservancy's IRS charitable mission.
> What Conservancy now does for all new projects, (and most of our
> founding ones too, who have converted), is that 10% of any of that
> Income goes into Conservancy's general fund, and the rest goes into the
> Project Fund.
With this clarification that "income" and "reimbursement of expenses"
are treated differently and that "reimbursement of expenses" is not
included in the 10%, I vote yes to change our agreement with SFC to give
them 10% of our earmarked revenues.
On Fri, 2012-11-30 at 16:01 -0500, Bradley M. Kuhn wrote:
> Thus, I'd like to discuss with you about what the objections are in
> detail. Is Inkscape in some way unhappy with Conservancy's services?
I'll throw in my opinion, and I'm guessing that of others. We do think
that the Conservancy's work is valuable and has definitely been helpful
in maintaining Inkscape. I don't know of any issues that we have. I
think the resistance here is natural from the "we didn't think about
paying for it" perspective. It's always to go from something you got
for free to something you're paying for, it immediately creates the
reaction of "how much is this worth?" which people haven't thought
Personally, I think that 10% is reasonable considering all the
Conservancy does do. I'm not sure that we "use" $600/year worth of
services, but I do think that's a reasonable way for the Conservancy to
charge member projects (fair to all), and if we were more active on the
business front (our fault, not yours) we definitely would. I also like
the flat percentage than trying to figure out a more complex scheme.
So in general, I don't feel their is objection per se, as much as we
haven't thought about the Conservancy as something we've had to pay for.
I don't think it's unreasonable that we would, but we need to change our