Board meeting now.

Peter Lawler pidgin-devel at
Tue May 15 23:11:35 EDT 2007

Ethan Blanton wrote:
> Peter Lawler spake unto us the following wisdom:
>> 3) The constitution isn't easily available*. One has to ask and then be 
>> pointed to a message in a previously closed mail list.
> This is also true; however, it *will* be available on,
> when that web site is complete.  It was supposed to be complete before
> Pidgin became public, but, you know, best laid plans and all.
Best laid plans are fine for a voluntary grouping such as Pidgin, I was 
kind of hoping for something a bit, for want of a better term, 
professional, from an LLC that's had several thousand dollars donated to 
it to which Pidgin has placed it's hopes, etc. This might be hard to 
take, but from what I'm reading IMFreedom is a company and I'm currently 
less than impressed with their 'service' (the exception being the 
settling of the AOL foo). Pidgin development time is being wasted by 
this company because Pidgin developers are one and the same for the 
company, thus in the limited person-hours available one is going to 
suffer, or worse still, both, due to time constraints.

>> 4) The President and Lead of Pidgin work for Corporate IM companies. 
>> There is nothing in the constitution that would force them to excuse 
>> themselves from any topic based on conflict of interest.
> This is probably something which we should discuss.  For your
> edification, note that we have already had occasions where some of
> those very parties have bowed out of Pidgin development discussions
> due to the perceived possibility of conflicts of interest.  (I realize
> that Pidgin development and IM Freedom, Inc. are separate issues; as I
> said, we should discuss it.)

> IM Freedom, Inc. is not taking money based on anyone's work.  IM
> Freedom, Inc. has taken money donated by Pidgin developers (and only
> by Pidgin developers), to date; that money is not to fund Pidgin
> development, but to fund the advancement of and freedom of open
> messaging solutions.  (The exact text is in the constitution which you
> linked.) Pidgin, specifically (as well as libpurple and finch), is a
> separate issue.  It will be clear that donations to IMF, Inc. are
> _not_ donations to Pidgin, libpurple, finch, Adium, or any other IM
> product.
Right, this is certainly one other bit I was unclear of. What your 
saying, for want of a better bunch of words, is that a group of senior 
gaim/pidgin devs went looking around for an LLC to provide certain 
services, and decided to set up their own. I would be concerned if any 
dev was leant on to 'donate' to the LLC from their own income stream and 
then had no (or limited) input into IMF's establishment. I'll just have 
to take it as read that no one was co-oerced as I know that a lot of 
this discussion was off the record (eg, IRC, private/closed mail lists).

> I hope not, as well, because it will be a complete mischaracterization
> of what has gone on.  As you are no doubt aware, having been in
> #pidgin since the release of Pidgin, nothing with respect to
> day-to-day Pidgin development has changed since the founding on IM
> Freedom, Inc.  IM Freedom, Inc. is orthogonal to development of
> Pidgin, libpurple, and associated code.
OK, fair enough. I'm glad that raising these points has cleared my mind. 
I *am* concerned that others may remain ill-informed and will be 
required to ask around for any emails that'd clarify the matter. I would 
suggest that Pidgin should offer IMFreedom a quick sub-domain just to 
introduce themselves and give a quick rundown on the relationship whilst 
IMFreedom get their act together ;)

The fact of the matter is the previous and current Pidgin leads *are* 
corporate IM employees. I think you're probably aware that I have been 
concerned for some time that we (Pidgin) have no procedure in place for 
what on earth to do when conflicts of interest arise (witness the 
speex/gstreamer pre-AOL suit disagreement that took place iirc a couple 
of months before the AOL suit hit with the practical ramification that 
the hopes of gstreamer audio/video in 2.x went down the can).

> this email cannot be
> construed to speak for all directors or for the corporation itself; it
> is a representation of my understanding of the issues.

Understood. It's a bit hard to 'speak for IMFreedom' as their (first?) 
board meeting was underway when I sent the original email - not to 
mention you posted as and not ;)


P.S. I stopped editing and cleaning up because I have to go AFK and felt 
getting a reply back to you was more important than letting this 
'dangle' for 24 hours or more. Please accept my apologies for bad 
edits/spelling etc. etc.

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