Fosdem Part 2

I'm finally back home in Pittsburgh after a week in Israel, and all I've been doing is hiding at home, putting together some lose ends. My cats are certainly happy to see me, so much so that they are happy to get hair on my laptop again. I'll be human and go outside tomorrow, but today I really need the day off.

One of the loose ends is Fosdem. Below is the (hopefully permanent) link to my presentation from Fosdem about Smolt. It explains how the new Privacy features work, and hopefully you can all understand why the old clients no longer work with the new version of the server.

http://ynemoy.fedorapeople.org/presentations/fosdem/2008/smolt.pdf

Overall, Fosdem was amazing. I'm sure you've all read about it already. I suppose the only thing left to do is give you my take on Fedora EMEA. More precisely I want to explain why it is important to you if you are not Eurhttp://ynemoy.fedorapeople.org/presentations/fosdem/2008/smolt.pdfopean.

Fedora EMEA, as I understand is an organization given Fedora's blessing to use the Trademark in a limited fashion, for the purposes of supporting Fedora in the EU and Eurozone. The organization is a Non-Profit (equivalent actually) organization with the paperwork filed in Germany. For those of you not familiar with European law, this gives them the same rights as an organization in any of the EU nations that German law gives them (with the usual IANAL disclaimer). They can operate in any EU country, to do what it is they want to do.

Well, you are probably wondering now, what exactly is it that they are going to do? The single biggest overarching gain by the organization is the limited liability rights they now have. (This is not the same as the Anglo Limited Liability laws.) Should Fedora EMEA distribute T-Shirts at a convention that turn out to have arsenic in the fibers, the members are partially protected from any legal backlash. It also gives the organization the rights of a body to hold bank accounts, credit cards, make purchases for cool schwag, host events, and do anything else. They can also take donations in the EU (I'm not sure about the tax status that goes with it) for use towards Fedora things.

These rights are pretty important in the EU. For myself and the rest of the American Fedora-ers, we have the advantage of Red Hat being there to buy schwag, host events, and manage alot of the legal things that go on in the Fedora world. Unfortunately, these rights only extend so far out of the country, and where they exist, they carry an extra legal overhead involved. Fedora EMEA makes it very easy for Fedora-ers in the EU (and possibly certain nations in the Eurozone) to do the same, with the same financial backing we've enjoyed here.

Finally, the last significant thing about it is that I got to witness the formation of a non-profit organization under German law. I tend to find the way contracts and organizations are formed interesting from an anthropological perspective. Hopefully, I can also convince my Professional German professor to give me extra credit for this.