You’ve been hearing for almost a year now that the jQuery Project was going to join the Software Freedom Conservancy.Â As we stated on January 14th, 2009:
By joining The Software Freedom Conservancy, the jQuery projects and community immediately realize some important benefits:
- It allows the current project members to continue to manage the projects and maintain ultimate responsibility for the direction of current and future efforts.
- It allows the projects to be considered a true non-profit efforts allowing us to be able to accept donations and contributions without incurring tremendous personal financial liability.
- The copyright of the code will be assigned to the conservancy thus ensuring that no single person will own contributions or assets of the project.
- It may allow corporations to write off time when an employee contributes to a project.
- Most importantly, it ensures that the jQuery projects will always be open and free software.
This is a big step in formalizing the jQuery projects and an important accomplishment in ensuring that the investment being made by the jQuery community is protected.
The Software Freedom Conservancy outlines the benefits of joining quite well:
One of the principal benefits of joining the Conservancy is that member projects get all the protections of being a corporate entity without actually having to form and maintain one. These benefits include, most notably, the ability to collect earmarked project donations and protection from personal liability for the developers of the project. Projects can continue to operate in the same way they did before joining the Conservancy without having to select a board of directors or any other layer of corporate management, without having to maintain corporate records and without having to do any of the other things required of incorporated entities. The Conservancy handles all of that burden on behalf of its projects.
The Conservancy is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, so member projects can receive tax-deductible donations to the extent permitted by law. The Conservancy files a single tax return that covers all of its member projects and handles other corporate and tax related issues on behalf of its members, who are, of course, always free to join and leave the Conservancy at any time. Additionally, by not having to form a new organization, projects avoid having to pay the fees and spend the time required by the state incorporation and federal tax exemption application processes.
On September 11th, 2009, at the jQuery DevDays in Boston, MA the whole team was together and the documents were signed to officially join the Conservancy.
Left to Right: Brandon Aaron, Rey Bango, John Resig, Paul Bakaus, Richard D. Worth and Cody Lindley look on as the documents are signed. (Photo by JÃ¶rn Zafferer)
Since then we’ve formed the jQuery Project and have formalized a voting process to vote onÂ adding or removing voting members, financial spending, etc.Â Voting is done in public, and you can monitor votes here.
jQuery’s financials have also been transferred to the Conservancy and all your great donations are now managed by the Conservancy based on the direction of the voting members of the jQuery team.
Late last month the final details required by the Conservancy were ironed out and on Tuesday this week the Conservancy welcomed the jQuery Project as its 19th member.
One final detail we are still working on is transferring the copyright of the code to the Foundation.Â We are hoping to get that done in the near future.Â Transferring the copyright to the Foundation will ensure that the code will live forever.
You can listen to John Resig talk more about joining the Software Freedom Conservancy in Episode 1 of the Official jQuery Podcast.