Ah here it is. The promised smear article from +Joshua Drake​. He called one of our contributors, yelled at them, and tried to harass us into signing on with SPI-Inc so they could take a cut of any contributions to +elementary​. He also threatened to write about how terrible we were if we didn't sign on.

Scummy.

*1. They are not an Open Source project. They are an Open Source product (think MySQL).*

elementary OS is both a project and a product. We collaborate with upstream (GTK+, Vala, GNOME, Ubuntu, GStreamer, and more), help out third-party developers, and release all of our code under the GPL.

*2. They are not non-profit, they are a for-profit LLC that has a single managing member*

We decided to organize an LLC instead of pursuing non-profit status after years of discussion with other open source projects, including +Yorba​, who was recently denied non-profit status. Read about it here: http://blogs.gnome.org/jnelson/2014/06/30/the-new-501c3-and-the-future-of-free-software-in-the-united-states/

*3. They are not making a political statement, they are trying to build a great product*

Okay. :) Can't argue that.

*4. They have quite a few unspecified startup costs/goal*

We pay for servers, merch to resell, and occasionally conference/travel costs and development hardware.

*5. They are resistant to outside criticism*

We welcome criticism. We are, however, resistant to baseless claims, misquotes, and the stirring up of controversy.

*6. They think an affiliation with a non-profit is a marketing agreement and they are being sold something (no matter how many different ways I tried to explain reality, they didn't get it).*

The terms of SPI specify that any funds would be held by them and only ever transferred to another 501(c)3 non-profit. In addition, they would keep 5% of all payments to elementary. As we are not a non-profit, it just doesn't make any sense.


If you are ever contacted by SPI-Inc, I highly recommend you avoid them.


Edit: It appears that the blog post has been removed. A cached copy is available here: http://cc.bingj.com/cache.aspx?q=http%3a%2f%2fwww.linuxhiker.org%2f2015%2f02%2felementary-os-for-profit-product-not.html&d=54047628259886587&mkt=en-US&setlang=en-US&w=j-qNZlVu5m6BH3mSgCdx-ERGjqjUFAo5
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