The Document Foundation Blog

2012/02/20

The Document Foundation officially incorporated in Berlin, Germany

Filed under: Announcements, Community, Foundation — Florian Effenberger @ 08:59

New entity has been legally created on February 17th, 2012
German Stiftung to provide strong and enduring rights for the LibreOffice community

Berlin, February 20th, 2012. The Document Foundation today announces that it has been officially incorporated in the state of Berlin, Germany. The legal form of the entity is a German “rechtsfähige Stiftung des bürgerlichen Rechts”, a form based on the governance model the LibreOffice community has chosen. On Friday afternoon, February 17th, the incorporation certificate, signed by the state secretary, has been handed over by the authorities. With this legal act, the entity officially came to life and is legally recognized.

The legally binding German version of the statutes are available at http://www.documentfoundation.org/satzung.pdf
For convenience, an English translation of the statutes, which is not legally binding, is available at http://www.documentfoundation.org/statutes.pdf

“We are proud of having achieved this major milestone. During the last months, we have been working extensively to incorporate the bylaws into legally binding statutes, to provide a stable and safe basis for our future” said Thorsten Behrens, Deputy Chairman of the Board of the new Foundation. He adds: “Our primary focus was on the membership element. Those who are approved members have inalienable, strong rights, embedded into the statutes. Since we have been aiming to be a German Stiftung, those rights are guaranteed by law, and enforced by the authorities. The Document Foundation is the legal affirmation of the community spirit – an entity by the community, for the community, and an entity independent from any single vendor.”

Michael (Mike) Schinagl, a Berlin-based lawyer who has been working on the incorporation process, explained: “The creation of such a Foundation is unique in the history of free software. There are not many, if any, entities that guarantee such strong rights to active contributors. Embedding those into legal language was a tremendous task, but one that was very worthwile. The Foundation and its statutes provide the ideal grounds for a free office ecosystem, including users, developers, marketeers, adopters, service providers and many, many more, and they can serve as an example for other communities with similar goals.”

The donor is the German nonprofit association Freies Office Deutschland e.V., formerly OpenOffice.org Deutschland e.V., which acted as interim legal entity from the very beginning. Thomas Krumbein, its Chairman, is grateful: “Our sincere thanks goes out to the Berlin authorities for their helpful cooperation in the past months, and for their flexibility and enormous support in achieving the community’s goals. Berlin has definitely made a landmark decision by approving The Document Foundation. Freies Office Deutschland e.V. is proud to be the donor of this important entity, and we look forward to working together with the new Foundation to the benefit of all users and contributors.”

André Schnabel, Chairman of the Membership Committee, stated the Foundation’s openness: “I am sure we will see the community prospering and growing even more, now that the legal entity has been created. Finally, after nearly 12 years, the community has created a Foundation that ideally fits to its needs, that is vendor-neutral, that provides safety, builds trust, and that sends out a strong sign of stability to all stakeholders. I would like to repeat our honest invitation to everyone interested in the future of free office suites, to join The Document Foundation, no matter if you are an individual volunteer, employee of a software vendor or support our activities with help from local non-profit organizations.”

The home of The Document Foundation is at http://www.documentfoundation.org
LibreOffice, the free office suite, has its home at http://www.libreoffice.org

Note to editors: A “Stiftung” is a German Foundation established with an endowment and supported by state authorities. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundation_%28non-profit%29#Germany for more details. In addition, “bürgerlichen Rechts” indicates it is a fully independent Foundation with long-term intent and independent finances.

Media Contacts for The Document Foundation

Florian Effenberger (based near Munich, Germany, UTC+1)
Phone: +49 8341 99660880
Mobile: +49 151 14424108
E-mail: floeff@documentfoundation.org
Skype: floeff

Olivier Hallot (based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, UTC-3)
Mobile: +55 21 88228812
E-mail: olivier.hallot@documentfoundation.org

Charles H. Schulz (based in Paris, France, UTC+1)
Mobile: +33 6 98655424
E-mail: charles.schulz@documentfoundation.org

Italo Vignoli (based in Milan, Italy, UTC+1)
Phone: +39 02 320621813
Mobile: +39 348 5653829
E-mail: italo.vignoli@documentfoundation.org
Skype: italovignoli
Google Talk: italo.vignoli@gmail.com

Media Contact for Freies Office Deutschland e.V.

Thomas Krumbein (based in Wiesbaden, Germany, UTC+1)
Phone: +49 611 1885339
E-mail: t.krumbein@frodev.org
Web: http://www.frodev.org

17 Comments

  1. First of all: Congratulations to all involved. A huge step in the right direction.

    But:

    So many proofreaders, still so many errors in the “Satzung”. Just read the first 10 sections: 5(5) “Die”–>”Dies” ; 8(3)a Yoda language ; 8(4) One double full stop, one missing at the end. ; 10(1)b “Messen”–>”auf Messen” ; 10(2) Ausschluss, Tod –>oder<– Niederlegung

    Comment by Jens Mildner — 2012/02/20 @ 11:30

    • Some more error goodness:

      10(2) “zu Einsatz”–>”zum Einsatz” ; 12(3) durch Tod –>oder”Jede dieser Organisationen”

      I appeal to the Board of Directors to correct all these errors by executing the powers given to them in section 14 of the statute. :o)

      Comment by Jens Mildner — 2012/02/20 @ 20:57

    • (Posting again without formatting problems, I hope.)

      Some more error goodness:

      10(2) “zu Einsatz”–>”zum Einsatz” ; 12(3) durch Tod –>oder”Jede dieser Organisationen”

      I appeal to the Board of Directors to correct all these errors by executing the powers given to them in section 14 of the statute. :)

      Comment by Jens Mildner — 2012/02/20 @ 20:59

  2. [...] single vendor.” said Thorsten Behrens, Deputy Chairman of the Board of the new Foundation in the press release. VN:F [1.9.14_1148]please wait…Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)VN:F [1.9.14_1148]Rating: 0 (from 0 [...]

    Pingback by The Document Foundation is Now Part of Germany | GiveHaxTo.Us – Find All free hax and media for any device only here! All Media Here! — 2012/02/20 @ 15:24

  3. (Last try.)

    10(2) “zu Einsatz” –> “zum Einsatz” ;
    12(3) durch Tod “oder” durch Niederlegung ;
    12(3) “Der Beschluss bedarf der Mehrheit aller Mitglieder…” missing an important comma ;
    13(2) “Jede diese Organisationen” –> “Jede dieser Organisationen”

    Comment by Jens Mildner — 2012/02/20 @ 21:02

  4. [...] Effenberger today posted the news that The Document Foundation has officially been incorporated in Germany. He said, [...]

    Pingback by The Document Foundation Incorporated in Germany | PHP World — 2012/02/21 @ 03:38

  5. “legally recognized” … congrats !

    this helps, community will grow soon again and again !

    sebastien

    Comment by informatique grenoble — 2012/02/21 @ 08:11

  6. [...] Document Foundation, which forked away from OpenOffice, and looks after LibreOffice development is officially incorporated in Berlin, Germany. The legal form of the entity – rechtsfähige Stiftung des bürgerlichen [...]

    Pingback by The Document Foundation Incorporated | iface thoughts — 2012/02/21 @ 09:45

  7. Congratulations to all of you people, who have been working hard for more than a year to guarantee that our freedom is always protected!!

    Now it will be finally possible to donate directly with credit card to you, without having to use intermediate companies.

    By the way, is it possible for you to receive anonymous donations, like Cash by Mail?

    Thank you very much! LibreOffice is the best office suite ever!

    Comment by Peter — 2012/02/22 @ 17:09

  8. : )

    Comment by DrakoDrakkonis — 2012/02/22 @ 17:57

  9. [...] in the state of Berlin, Germany. TDF has recently confirmed this news through their recent blog post. Posted in: News | Tags: intel partnership, libreoffice suite, microsoft office alternative, [...]

    Pingback by Intel Started Distributing LibreOffice Through AppUp Store - 360° Blog — 2012/02/27 @ 01:25

  10. [...] The Document Foundation has now been legally incorporated in Berlin, Germany, as a rechtsfähige Stiftung des bürgerlichen Rechts, a German endowed [...]

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  12. [...] key was another February event, the incorporation of The Document Foundation (TDF) as an independent legal entity. Promised by the original founders of LibreOffice, TDF is [...]

    Pingback by The Bright Future of LibreOffice | Tux Doc — 2012/03/03 @ 02:16

  13. [...] key was another February event, the incorporation of The Document Foundation (TDF) as an independent legal entity. Promised by the original founders of LibreOffice, TDF is [...]

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  14. [...] pivotal was another Feb event, the union of The Document Foundation (TDF) as an eccentric authorised entity. Promised by a strange founders of LibreOffice, TDF is [...]

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  15. [...] The Document Foundation got formally established as a German charitable foundation earlier this year, we were pondering a number of activities to sponsor, that would be in line with our statutory and [...]

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