The Document Foundation Incorporated in Germany
Florian Effenberger today posted the news that The Document Foundation has officially been incorporated in Germany. He said, "With this legal act, the entity officially came to life and is legally recognized."
The official document, dated February 16, was received by lawyers on February 17. The Incorporation certificate establishes The Document Foundation as a "rechtsfähige Stiftung des bürgerlichen Rechts." In a note to editors it is explained that a "Stiftung is a German Foundation established with an endowment and supported by state authorities" while "bürgerlichen Rechts indicates it is a fully independent Foundation with long-term intent and independent finances."
Michael Schinagl, a lawyer working on the project, said, "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."
Or as Thorsten Behrens explains it, "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."