2015-09-14 TPC Meeting
We discussed planning to secure legal non-profit status for the group.
The Free Geek Seattle name could be claimed as infringing on Mothership's trademark.
FGSEA is currently using it without permission according to Freekiwiki. Free Geek is aware of FGSEA and to date has made no move to stop us using the name. We can't depend on this to continue forever. In order to avoid trouble and contain the damage if trouble occurs I propose to add a level of abstraction.
Proposed new organization
Those of us who are interested can start a new nonprofit corporation to support geeks and freedom and the combination thereof.
The Free Geek Seattle name can be relegated to a DBA name for a subgroup of this larger group, which can provide it with services and legal status. At the same time this larger group can provide similar services to groups like GSLUG, ta3m, libreplanet-seattle et al. to the extent that such groups support freedom of geekery. This implies 'starting over' with the application &c and abandoning my efforts to resuscitate FGSEA as-is, which AFAICT has no downside and several nice side-effects.
is Free Geek Seattle relevant?
It is good to keep old PCs out of the waste stream; other organizations in Seattle do this. It's good to help individuals and organizations obtain and use Free software and hardware. I'm not convinced that refurbishing PC hardware is the best way to do this any more. Increasingly, PC hardware is compromised by the vendor in such a way as to make it difficult or impossible to include it in a Free system. For example, no modern Intel hardware can run libreboot due to Intel's FSP blob. There are plenty of other examples. No one of them is a deal-breaker to a determined hacker, but I view such contests of will and cleverness as time better spent otherwise. It's arguably more cost-effective upfront and cheaper over time to provide a non-PC alternative such as that which maddog proposes in [http://meetings-archive.debian.net/pub/debian-meetings/2015/debconf15/Two_contests_no_waiting.webm this video.]
It has the salutary side-effect of supporting vendors which do support Free hardware, and of increasing the user base of Debian-ARM. Such a change would potentially not be supported as part of the mission of a Free Geek, but that doesn't matter if those interested can simply spin off a new sub-organization with a name reflecting their aim.