Governance of Wine with respect to the Software Freedom Conservancy (update October 2011)

Michael Curran curran.michaelp at
Fri Oct 7 12:16:51 CDT 2011

Not that I have any problems with our benevolent overlords, and not
that I would likely achieve franchise with a scant 2 patches under my
belt, but I can't help wondering how such a revolt would succeed
seeing as the only method to achieve franchise-hood is controlled by
the same people one would be revolting against.

On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 4:30 PM, Jeremy White <jwhite at> wrote:
> Hi Folks,
> I try to send out a periodic message to the wine-devel mailing list
> outlining the 'corporate' structure of Wine and how some decisions are made.
> We work with the Software Freedom Conservancy.  They manage the pieces
> of Wine that benefit from a formal organization, such as managing money,
> holding Trademarks, and so on.
> The primary activity we have conducted with them over the past several
> years is managing money - about $3,000 each year.  They manage all funds
> donated to Wine - the donate button goes into a bank account they manage
> and any larger private donations go there as well.
> For decisions on how to spend funds, we've adopted a loose set of
> guidelines.  That is, we have a decision group and we require a majority
> of members to approve any spending.  Alexandre and I are the current
> members of that group.  We also claim the right to appoint anyone else
> to replace or augment the decision group.
> We CC all decisions to an auditor.  We have recently asked Michael
> Stefanuic to replace Zachary Goldberg in that role.  A critical
> requirement, we feel, is that a non CodeWeavers staff member be fully
> aware of all decisions made.
> We choose this strategy rather than a fully public process so that we
> can apply discretion and protect privacy of people that ask for help
> with travel funding.
> The SFC will recognize a 'revolt' by the Wine project.  That is, the
> designated decision group can be overthrown, once you figure out our
> evil plans, if the SFC is persuaded that the majority of Wine
> contributors agree on that point.  Patch count in the Wine tree will be
> the primary mechanism to recognize a contributor.
> Finally, all spending by the SFC on Wine's behalf for the last few years
> has been related to Wineconf.  That has primarily been to help
> defray travel costs for Wine contributors to come to Wineconf.
> Wine's income has been around $3,000 / year for the past few years; we
> tend to spend down much of the balance each year for Wineconf.
> Cheers,
> Jeremy
> p.s.  One note - the SFC also manages the GSOC payments, although I
> believe that they ostensibly manage that on behalf of Google, not really
> Wine.  That is generally coordinated by Wine's GSOC coordinator, and
> Alexandre and I have nothing to do with it.

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