The Association for Free Software


17th May 2003

Before proceedings begain, Yates Wine Lodge on Corporation Street was nominated as the pub to decamp to post-AGM.

AGM started at 16:15; all talks being complete.

Introduction - thanks from Marc Eberhard for everyone coming, organisation, etc. Marc discussed the first year's activities of the AFFS, especially the practicalities of setting up the organisation, as a brief introduction to the AGM, leading into the main Agenda.

  1. Past minutes

    No past minutes, therefore nothing to pass.

  2. Reports

    Activities of the AFFS in this first year included:

    • Associated with the Free Software Foundation Europe, talking about setting up the local FSFE Chapter, which could possibly happen within the next year.
    • Campaigns to inform members and the public, especially with regards to responses to Government projects (UKPTO, response to DTI on expoitation of Government-funded software), Education project (Schoolforge etc.) and Software Patents.
    • Newsletters have gone out, although it was agreed these need to be more timely.
    • there has been some presence at all the Expos in the last year, and also at a recent Government conference.

    Marc talked a little about time constraints and man power. Even people submitting ideas for projects were welcome - any kind of contribution would be useful.

    AGM was informed that it was inquorate - although there were enough members, due to the 21 day notice of the AGM and the 'dead time' before allowing new members to join the AFFS before an AGM, there were too many new members. Therefore elections and any decisions will be held over to allow the new members to vote.

    Discussed charitable status, and why AFFS cannot be a charity at the moment (this was brought up again recently on the mailing list). Discussed options open to AFFS with regards to taxable status. Unlikely to change the status of AFFS for the moment, although it may be brought up again in the future.

    Question from member: would the FSFE-UK organisational structure be that of a charity?

    Answer was that it would be up to FSFE, Marc thought it would be unlikely.

  3. Finances

    Mark gave the financial report, and also said that it would be published online. Income to date is 430UKP, expenditure to date is 160UKP (plus damages to the room). Balance sheet is 269.90UKP in the positive (details will be online, apart from subscription break-down).

    A member suggested grouping membership fees so that we could note the number of very charitable people.

  4. Elections 1

    Elections of the five committee members will be moved to post-AGM. A call for nominations will be published, and there will then be a period of voting.

    Brian noted that he was standing down from the committee, so there will be one post free.

  5. Future Conferences

    Marc noted that this was discussed internally. Membership having free access - is this a good way to go forwards? It was noted that this year was done mostly for reasons of short notice. And also that we wanted it on a low-cost basis.

    Question from a member: Is a bigger Free Software conference possible, or even viable?

    Answer: AFFSAC is here for our membership, so we would be guided by them to some extent in the matter.

    Someone said that they felt the fee was about right. Possibly better if there were some plans available for people, even if lunch wasn't provided. Also noted that a conference with AGM was a good idea. Combining the AGM with other events was thought to be a good idea, and the control of our own conference was useful after previous arrangements had dropped through.

    People liked the simplicity of the conference, and possibly a bigger one wouldn't have been as good. Some people said they might not have come if it was 20UKP. A delegate also thought it might be useful to run it in London, for ease of access, although the Midlands was also an accessible location. Was noted that costs in London this year meant that it was a lot less attractive than other locations, but possibly not as bad when planned further in advance

  6. AOB

    A member offered a vote of thanks to the committee for planning this, which was gratefully accepted by the committee.

    Another member also noted that UKFSN offer free hosting to free software projects.

The Association For Free Software