Commit 8a046027 authored by Aaron Wolf's avatar Aaron Wolf

overhaul of repo

* formatting updates
* links to site policies instead of outdated duplicates
* move extended discussion out of README
* minor edits
parent eb9c7074
# 501(c) pursuit?
We would like all the benefits of tax-exemption and even accepting
tax-deductible donations. Will our long-term operations be compatible? If there
are issues, which compromises do we make?
For some overall info about the issue with Free/Libre/Open issues and 501, see
resources at the
[FLOSS Entities Working Group wiki](http://wiki.opensource.org/bin/Projects/entities-wg).
That includes records of past approved and rejected IRS applications. The chair
of that group, Aaron Williamson, is probably the best lawyer we could work with
when dealing with this side of things. He also published a
[summary of 501 issues for FLO software](https://opensource.org/node/840)
that is worth reviewing.
#### Do we need 501?
Forgoing tax-exemption could be feasible if we don't have any substantial
taxable income. We intend to use all revenue to serve the mission, but any
holdings unspent at annual roll-over time remain a concern (but should be
accountable as not being taxable profit, that's just extra accounting burden).
According to one interpretation, all contributions are non-taxable gift income,
but we'd want clarity about that.[^1]
[^1]: According to [NOLO book on non-profit formation](http://www.nolo.com/companion/starting-and-building-a-nonprofit-SNON.html).
The patrons get nothing besides membership in co-op which itself provides no
benefits besides say in governance, and the NOLO book suggests this is
unambiguously okay.
Forgoing 501 does mean less worry about the scope of projects. We would only be
limited by our own rules and Bylaws in terms of which projects to support. This
would permit the most flexibility in how we interact with the users in all sorts
of respects and deal with many types of legal entities for projects, including
international.
#### 501(c)(4) or maybe still (c)(3)
If we did pursue tax exemption, 501(c)(4) is easier and perhaps more appropriate
than (c)(3). Thus, we would be classed as a “social welfare” organization. We
may self-determine rather than ask for IRS determination.
To qualify, we must be mission-driven for serving the public benefit. We must
provide no special services to members (note: our site and services are
available to anyone whether or not they are co-op members. Members only have say
in governance but no other benefits generally, except that the worker-members,
i.e. the Snowdrift.coop team — they get paid for their work, but no extra
benefit, and they don't get paid because they are members, but because they do
work for the co-op).
#### Concerns about 501 classification
##### Do we fit simple 501 boxes enough?
We want to emphasize our cooperative structure, bringing together different
stakeholder interests. We prefer not to be limited in the scope of projects
(other than non-rivalrous FLO products), and we need to be flexible enough to
serve our mission as effectively as we can. We have concerns about whether we
fit easily enough into the predefined boxes of IRS 501 categories.
##### Is fundraising an exempt purpose?
Among other concerns, according to an IRS agent, fundraising for exempt purposes
is not itself an exempt purpose. On the other hand, the National Taxonomy of
Exempt Entities includes codes for "Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution".
Also:
> Rev. Rul. 68-489, 1968-2 C.B. 210
>
> * An organization will not jeopardize its exemption under section 501(c)(3)
> of the Code, even though it distributes funds to nonexempt organizations,
> provided it retains control and discretion over use of the funds for
> section 501(c)(3) purposes.
> * An organization exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of
> the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 distributed part of its funds to
> organizations not themselves exempt under that provision. The exempt
> organization ensured use of the funds for section 501(c)(3) purposes by
> limiting distributions to specific projects that are in furtherance of its
> own exempt purposes. It retains control and discretion as to the use of the
> funds and maintains records establishing that the funds were used for
> section 501(c)(3) purposes. Held, the distributions did not jeopardize the
> organization's exemption under section 501(c)(3) of the Code.
We do more than fundraising, but that's our core. So, we can't say that our
*primary* activity is *making* some FLO public goods (which is more clearly a
501(c)(3) activity) but is about supporting *other* entities that make them.
##### How specific are our requirements for how projects use funding?
However, we are not sure if the scope of control and discretion we hold via our
project requirements would be judged as adequate by the IRS. Moreover, the
non-profit purposes we want to require of projects do not seem to necessarily
fit the 501, especially not 501(c)(3) limitations. So, we want all project funds
from our system to go toward FLO development, but not to be overly strict about
the nature of the FLO products.
If we fund all sorts of FLO projects as a (c)(3), it could mean the IRS offering
the (c)(3) deduction to every single FLO project in practice — not that they
projects would get 501 tax exemption themselves, just that there would be a way
(via Snowdrift.coop) for donors to fund them and get a deduction. In other
words, the patrons to Snowdrift.coop would get a deduction, and the projects
would be responsible for reporting their income per whatever tax status they
have. If we were (c)(4), there would be no deductions, we wouldn't have tax
liability, and projects could (we'd hope) be able to have any range of tax
statuses themselves and report their income accordingly.
Would there be limitations on which projects we could support if we were 501 of
either sort? Would it bar us from supporting fully-FLO projects that were
themselves not non-profit or any sort of charitable purpose? (Say, for example,
FLO business accounting software or FLO video games or…)
##### Why not (c)(6)
If we consider (c)(6), we should know that it would mean specifically having to
serve the interests of the whole scope of a field of business (in this case,
producers of FLO works), and we could *not* have a public-benefit mission. Thus,
(c)(6) probably will not be a viable option given our mission not only of
promoting FLO works but of orienting their work to best serve the public
interest (e.g. we want to discourage practices by FLO projects that may be
financially effective for them but may be bad for the public, such as
privacy-invading surveillance and ad-targeting). If we pick one focus, it's on
the patron class being served (a consumer co-op) rather than a business
interest.
#### Scope of projects
We prefer not to limit the site to formal non-profit projects even though we
*do* limit the site to projects that develop public goods available to all. As
with many public goods, the products we independently fund may themselves
benefit businesses, citizens, and other organizations alike.
* For-profit businesses may support projects which they use
* This is sticky for software due to recent IRS scrutiny. A software project
we support could be used by a for-profit business, for example. Our view
is that the same could be said for an educational text. For that matter,
for-profit businesses can use public libraries, and yet there is no doubt
about the non-profit status of a friends-of-the-library organization. The
IRS may be re-evaluating their position based on news from other FLOSS
organizations.
* Put simply: a for-profit business could fund the public commons
specifically because they want to use a particular work in their business.
This does not have to be an issue as long as the work will also benefit
and be available to everyone, not just that business.
* Some believe that we simply need the right application with help from a
lawyer who understands these issues.
* We might eventually want to sponsor selected projects, fund something like a
non-partisan think-tank which produces research or opinion papers, provide
development services for other online cooperatives, or organize advocacy for
issues pertaining to the digital commons, like net neutrality or patent
reform. For reference, 501(c)(4) organizations are permitted to engage in
unlimited voter education and lobbying and in limited partisan political
campaigning, as long as there is a connection to the organization's nonprofit
purpose.
This diff is collapsed.
......@@ -5,11 +5,20 @@ categories: legal
#Board of Directors: Role and Resources
This is a page-in-progress for information for board members and others curious about the role, purpose, and process of the governing Board of Snowdrift.coop.
This is a page-in-progress for information for board members and others curious
about the role, purpose, and process of the governing Board of Snowdrift.coop.
## Status of the Board
The Articles of Incorporation have been approved so as soon as we're sure they don't need to be amended and we have Bylaws approved by legal counsel, the incorporators will appoint an initial Board which will adopt the [Bylaws](bylaws) as its first legal act. The Bylaws will then need to be ratified at the first general membership meeting, at which time the first elected Board will be formed. The basic structure, duties, and functioning of the Board will be laid out in the Bylaws.
Our initial [Articles of Incorporation](articles.md) have been approved but
almost certainly need amending once we've finalized our overall structure and
Bylaws. However, that work will be assisted through the first incarnation of our
Board of Directors. The initial Board will handle that and the adoption of the
first official Bylaws (we have a [Bylaws draft](bylaws) but it needs to be
redone by our lawyer). The Bylaws will then need to be ratified at the first
general membership meeting, at which time the first elected Board will be
formed. The basic structure, duties, and functioning of the Board will be laid
out in the Bylaws.
## What the Board does
......@@ -17,40 +26,70 @@ The Articles of Incorporation have been approved so as soon as we're sure they d
#### Ethical obligations
* **Avoidance of conflicts of interest:** Directors are expected to disclose any real, potential, or perceived conflict of interest (CoI) to the rest of the Board as soon as they become aware of them. A CoI is not necessarily a breach of trust or an offense against the cooperative but willful failure to disclose a CoI is.
* **Proper use of confidential information:** Information subject to confidentiality or privacy concerns is on a need-to-know basis only. Beyond need-to-know, a director may not disclose private or confidential information obtained because of their position as director until the time appointed by the board for the information to be made available to all members. Directors are also prohibited from using confidential information for business or other advantage, or providing that information to others for advantage.
**Avoidance of conflicts of interest:** Directors are expected to disclose any
real, potential, or perceived conflict of interest (CoI) to the rest of the
Board as soon as they become aware of them. A CoI is not necessarily a breach of
trust or an offense against the cooperative but willful failure to disclose a
CoI is.
**Proper use of confidential information:** Information subject to
confidentiality or privacy concerns is on a need-to-know basis only. Beyond
need-to-know, a director may not disclose private or confidential information
obtained because of their position as director until the time appointed by the
board for the information to be made available to all members. Directors are
also prohibited from using confidential information for business or other
advantage, or providing that information to others for advantage.
## Electing the Board
The Board is divided into two types of positions: voting Representatives elected by the membership, and non-voting Officers appointed by the Board. Representatives are further divided into At-Large Representatives elected by the general membership and Member Class Representatives elected by and from each of the three member classes. Officers include the President (the only Officer elected by the general membership), Treasurer, Secretary, and one or more Vice Presidents.
The initial Board will be appointed by the founders.
The Bylaws will describe the election of later Boards, but generally the Board
is expected to have two types of positions: elected, voting Representatives and
non-voting Officers appointed by the Board. If we go with multi-stakeholder
approach, then representatives will be further divided into At-Large
Representatives elected by the general membership and Member Class
Representatives elected by and from each of the three member classes. Officers
include the President (the only Officer elected by the general membership),
Treasurer, Secretary, and one or more Vice Presidents.
## Induction process
Newly elected Representatives and Presidents and newly appointed Officers are inducted at the annual meeting.
Newly elected Representatives and Presidents and newly appointed Officers are
inducted at the annual meeting.
## Training for new (and continuing) Directors
* How to handle cashflow:
* Ensure that all moneys owed are paid on a timely basis to avoid service
charges, interest penalties, and or delinquent notices. Where applicable, bills are to be paid, if cash flow and credit limits allow, in time to receive any discounts for early payment.
charges, interest penalties, and or delinquent notices. Where applicable,
bills are to be paid, if cash flow and credit limits allow, in time to
receive any discounts for early payment.
## Resources on servant leadership
## Meeting process and resources for reaching consensus
The default decision-making process of the Board as specified in the Bylaws is consensus. By consensus, the Board may adopt Standing Rules that allow for other decision-making processes in specific circumstances.
The default decision-making process of the Board as specified in the Bylaws is
consensus. By consensus, the Board may adopt Standing Rules that allow for other
decision-making processes in specific circumstances.
The Bylaws also provide for a fallback voting process for use in cases of irreconciliable deadlock or emergency issues that must be resolved immediately.
The Bylaws should also provide for a fallback voting process for use in cases of
irreconciliable deadlock or emergency issues that must be resolved immediately.
## Records
For legal compliance and internal transparency, minutes for all Board meetings and for meetings of all Board-chartered committees are official corporate records and must be submitted to the Secretary and posted on the website except where prohibited by privacy and/or confidentiality concerns.
For legal compliance and internal transparency, minutes for all Board meetings
and for meetings of all Board-chartered committees are official corporate
records and must be submitted to the Secretary and posted on the website except
where prohibited by privacy and/or confidentiality concerns.
* Minutes of Board meetings must include *at minimum*:
* Date, place, and time of meeting.
* A record of the people who attended the meeting and any directors who were absent.
* A brief statement of all matters pertaining to the business of the cooperative during the meeting.
* All defined problems, resolutions, and votes by the board. If a roll call vote is taken each individual response shall be recorded.
* All defined problems, resolutions, and votes by the board.
* If a roll call vote is taken each individual response shall be recorded.
* Highlights of the manager’s report, such as volume of sales, expenses, and earnings.
* Signature of the board secretary and president.
......
......@@ -4,19 +4,30 @@ toc: false
categories: legal
...
I/We, the undersigned (“the creator(s)”), do hereby affirm that the creative work(s) attached to this statement (“the work(s)”) is/are entirely the product of our own creative endeavors and that no other individual(s) or organization(s) have any claim to copyright interest in the work(s).
I/We, the undersigned (“the creator(s)”), do hereby affirm that the creative
work(s) attached to this statement (“the work(s)”) is/are entirely the product
of our own creative endeavors and that no other individual(s) or organization(s)
have any claim to copyright interest in the work(s).
In addition, the creator(s) hereby state my/our intent to license the work(s) under either the:
In addition, the creator(s) hereby state my/our intent to license the work(s)
under either the:
* [Creative Commons-Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license](https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/) (“CC-BY-SA”)
* [Creative Commons-Attribution 4.0 license](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) “CC-BY”
* [CC0](http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) public domain release.
* [CC0](http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) public domain release.
I/We, the creator(s), affirm my/our intention to make the work(s) available to all at no cost, to be freely duplicated, shared, and used in the production of other creative works as per the terms of the selected license.
I/We, the creator(s), affirm my/our intention to make the work(s) available to
all at no cost, to be freely duplicated, shared, and used in the production of
other creative works as per the terms of the selected license.
If using CC-BY, I/we also affirm that these permissions are predicated on licensees meeting the requirement to attribute my/our work(s) in the manner in which I/we wish to be identified; and if using CC-BY-SA, the creator(s) further affirm(s) the requirement for licensees to make any derivative works available under the same CC-BY-SA license.
If using CC-BY, I/we also affirm that these permissions are predicated on
licensees meeting the requirement to attribute my/our work(s) in the manner in
which I/we wish to be identified; and if using CC-BY-SA, the creator(s) further
affirm(s) the requirement for licensees to make any derivative works available
under the same CC-BY-SA license.
If using CC0, the creator(s) affirm that the work is dedicated to the public domain by waiving all rights to the work worldwide under copyright law.
If using CC0, the creator(s) affirm that the work is dedicated to the public
domain by waiving all rights to the work worldwide under copyright law.
The creator(s) request that users attribute us in the following manner:
......@@ -24,14 +35,16 @@ The creator(s) request that users attribute us in the following manner:
The creator(s) request to be notified of use that infringes on the terms of this license in the following manner:
The creator(s) request to be notified of use that infringes on the terms of this
license in the following manner:
I/we, the undersigned, freely make this affirmation and statement in order to further the goals of a more free, libre, and open world.
I/we, the undersigned, freely make this affirmation and statement in order to
further the goals of a more free, libre, and open world.
......@@ -3,34 +3,40 @@ title: Legal Description of the Snowdrift.coop System
categories: legal
...
Snowdrift.coop supports a wide variety of projects that produce non-rival public goods freely available under appropriate licenses. We facilitate financial donations from the public to these projects and offer tools for organizing and other needs. We also work to orient the projects toward acting in ways that best serve the public interest.
Snowdrift.coop supports a wide variety of projects that produce non-rival public
goods freely available to anyone in the world under appropriate licenses. We
facilitate financial donations from the public to these projects and offer tools
for organizing and other needs. We also work to orient the projects toward
acting in ways that best serve the public interest.
Our key feature is a many-to-many matching pledge where a patron's donation rate to a project depends on matching support from other donors.
Our key feature is "crowdmatching": a fundraising approach where each patron
donates a tiny base amount times the number of other patrons (everyone matches
each other in donating).
On a designated day each month, a "share value" for each project is calculated by entering the number of current patrons and the number of shares each patron has pledged into a [formula](formula). The more shares overall, the *higher* the share value. The donation any one patron gives to a project in a particular month equals the project's share value times number of shares the patron has pledged.^[The number of total shares is not fixed but is simply the sum of all shares pledged. For example, if, in a particular month, a project has 500 patrons pledged at 1 share each and 250 patrons at 2 shares each, the total shares will be 1,000.]
On a designated day each month, a crowdmatch-event takes place where the number
of active patrons determines the donation level to each project.
## Snowdrift.coop as allocation calculator
Snowdrift.coop's function is to determine allocation of funds from patrons to their selected projects in a reliable and socially-reinforced fashion. Snowdrift.coop is funded itself through donations specified to us (as one of the projects), and we intend to charge no fees beyond the passing-on of the costs of processing transactions. We may receive interest on savings from the funds held in escrow but will do so only if that presents no legal concerns.
## Escrow mechanism option
Our primary proposal for operations is as follows: Patrons send funds to Snowdrift.coop to be held in escrow. Each month, project donations are transferred from patron Snowdrift.coop accounts to project Snowdrift.coop accounts. Whenever a patron's funds are depleted, a new deposit may be made or else that patron's shares will be considered "inactive" and will no longer count toward determining the share value for any projects. Project Snowdrift.coop accounts may cash out donated funds to use for project expenditures. Refunds to patrons could be available for unused funds, if that does not introduce legal problems, but there will never be any return of funds from projects to patrons.
This structure is intended to address three issues: First, it assures correct share value and payment compliance. Second, it allows patrons to budget their overall contributions within the system. Finally, it allows us to efficiently handle large numbers of micro-donations with minimal fees (because it could otherwise be prohibitive to process high quantities of very small payments through third-party payment services).
### Not a bank or money transfer service
We believe this operation is something like a clearinghouse and not of a bank or money transfer service, and so we should not be subject to regulations specific to those financial entities. See further discussion about our [mechanism options and concerns](legal#ramifications-of-our-mechanism-for-coordinating-pledges).
Snowdrift.coop's function is to determine allocation of funds from patrons to
their selected projects in a reliable and socially-reinforced fashion.
Snowdrift.coop is funded itself through donations specified to us (as one of the
projects), and we intend to charge no fees (but we will pass on any processing
fees.
## Types of projects
We intend to work with a range of projects with differing legal status. For a 501(c)(3) project, we want donors to benefit from tax-deductibility regardless of using our service in facilitating their donation. We also want the ability to support projects that do not have non-profit status, even though *all* the donations we facilitate will be required to go toward serving our [mission](mission) of furthering the public commons. In other words, a for-profit entity may receive donations through our system if they use those funds specifically to build the non-rival public goods that we support.
We intend to work with a range of projects with differing legal status. For a
501(c)(3) project, we'd like donors to benefit from tax-deductibility regardless
of using our service in facilitating their donation. We also want the ability to
support projects that do not have non-profit status, even though *all* the
donations we facilitate will be required to go toward serving our mission of
furthering the public commons. In other words, a for-profit entity may receive
donations through our system if they use those funds specifically to build the
non-rival public goods that we support.
## International concerns
We intend to operate internationally, both in supporting projects and accepting donations. We want to operate internationally as soon as possible, but this should not delay initial domestic operations.
## Further legal details and non-profit co-op status
See our [legal page](legal) for links to our drafted documents, such as Articles and Bylaws, which go into more detail about our present and intended legal form as a non-profit multistakeholder cooperative.
We intend to operate internationally, both in supporting projects and accepting
donations. We want to operate internationally as soon as possible, but this
should not delay initial domestic operations.
......@@ -3,12 +3,23 @@ title: Snowdrift.coop Cooperative Membership Agreement
categories: legal
...
**This page is currently a stub but will eventually become the membership agreement for the Snowdrift.coop cooperative, which candidates will need to sign before becoming members in good standing.**
**This page is currently a stub but will eventually become the membership
agreement for the Snowdrift.coop cooperative, which candidates will need to sign
before becoming members in good standing.**
* Much of this will likely be similar to the [Terms of Use](terms-of-use): prohibitions on disruptive or abusive behavior, restriction of liability.
* Much of this will likely be similar to the [Terms of Use](terms-of-use):
prohibitions on disruptive or abusive behavior, restriction of liability.
* However there will also be co-op specific issues like explaining the member class system and the circumstances under which class will be reassigned. Much of this will flow directly from the Bylaws and the Standing Rules.
* The Terms of Use bind users to future versions, although they do require public comment periods before substantive revisions take effect. Do we want the Membership Agreement to do likewise or to require members to re-sign it when changes take effect?
* Member-owners' role in the organization and how not to misrepresent it when interacting with non-members.
* However there will also be co-op specific issues like explaining the member
class system and the circumstances under which class will be reassigned. Much
of this will flow directly from the Bylaws and the Standing Rules.
* The Terms of Use bind users to future versions, although they do require
public comment periods before substantive revisions take effect. Do we
want the Membership Agreement to do likewise or to require members to
re-sign it when changes take effect?
* Member-owners' role in the organization and how not to misrepresent it
when interacting with non-members.
* This will also need to include a system to issue the statutorily required membership certificate, which lists certain information about the member's rights within the cooperative.
* This will also need to include a system to issue the statutorily required
membership certificate, which lists certain information about the member's
rights within the cooperative.
---
title: Snowdrift.coop Privacy Policy
categories: legal
...
***Version 0.2 effective February 10, 2014***
**Snowdrift.coop is dedicated to maintaining the utmost respect for user privacy.** Although technology makes private information easy to collect, we choose to collect it *only* when deemed necessary.
## Policy highlights:
* Snowdrift.coop uses cookies to keep your account logged-in, but we do not otherwise track you.
* Anyone may anonymously view the site, but you must register an account to edit a wiki, participate in discussions, or pledge as a patron. Your account maintains a history of transactions such as which projects you have supported.
* You can unsubscribe from non-essential email updates at any time.
* Snowdrift.coop uses third-party payment providers. When using these services, you should check their independent privacy policies.
* No financial information (such as credit card numbers) is collected, retained, or used by Snowdrift.coop.
## Policy in full
### Personal information
We consider "personal information" to mean either directly identifiable information (such as your name or email address) or several pieces of information that in combination may directly identify you, even if each piece individually does not.
Also, if we store personal information with other information, we consider the combination to be personal.
### Information collection
We collect information about you when:
1. You give it to us directly (such as through a form when registering for the site);
2. We collect it automatically (such as your IP address when your browser makes requests to our web servers);
3. Someone else tells us something about you (such as when a payment provider shares your email address after you make a deposit); or
4. We perform analysis on aggregated user information (such as analyzing overall geographic distribution based on IP address).
* Snowdrift.coop uses cookies to identify visitors and save login settings. **We do not use cookies for other tracking purposes nor do we retain them long-term.**
* When you log in with Mozilla Persona or sign up with us directly, your email address is required. You can browse Snowdrift.coop without logging in, but you must register an account in order to participate certain editing or discussions or to donate to a project.
* We collect only basic server log data (browser ID, IP address, referring site, and time) and make no attempt to connect that with account information. **All analytics processing is done in-house, not by third-party contractors**. We do not store server logs any longer than necessary and we destroy old information.
* If you are a team leader who submits a project to Snowdrift.coop, we will ask for detailed information about your project that may be displayed publicly, unless otherwise noted. In order to validate identities and manage transfers, we ask for real names and addresses for all team members who receive funds.
* This policy does not cover interactions with projects outside the Snowdrift.coop system. External project websites and other systems may have their own privacy policies.^[We do ask projects to summarize whether their external policies deviate substantially from our standards; that way, any issues may be considered when users choose which projects to support.]
### What we do with your info
![](https://snowdrift.coop/static/img/external/nina/mimi-eunice-nonprofit-junkmail.png)
**We use your information only in the manner to which you consent.**
* We may use your email address to inform you of administrative messages from Snowdrift.coop (such as notices of updates to our Terms of Use agreement). You may *elect* to receive additional communications from us, and if you do, you can then opt-out from receiving them by following the “unsubscribe” instructions in any such communication.
* If you edit a wiki page or create other content in the Snowdrift.coop, your username will be displayed publicly.
* You may *optionally* fill in details of your public user profile, such as weblinks, contact information (including real name), and profile picture. These will be displayed publicly.
* When you donate to a project, we sign your receipt with the username associated with your account.
* We maintain a history of your transactions, but Snowdrift.coop does not directly process payment information. When you donate to a project, the information that you give to one of our [authorized payment providers](https://wiki.snowdrift.coop/market-research/payment-services) is governed by that provider’s privacy policy. We strive to identify and work with only the most ethically sound providers, but we do not have direct control over their policies.
### When we share your info
**We do not sell or otherwise share your info with any third-party not involved directly in our operations.**
Snowdrift.coop is an open organization, and we may publish non-personal aggregated information that we think will help foster an open web. Whenever we publish information about our users, we'll remove anything private that we believe might identify you.
If we share your personal information, we only share it with employees, contractors and service providers who have contractually promised to handle or use the data only in ways that we approve. If our corporate structure or status changes (e.g., if we restructure, are acquired, or go bankrupt), we will give all users a chance to get private information out of our systems before we pass them on to a successor or affiliate.
* When you support a project, we notify the project team of your username and the number of shares pledged. This helps facilitate interactions between you and the project.
* We share non-personal aggregated statistics with projects on the site usage of their supporters. We provide such statistics as a distribution of numbers not tied to an email address, unique ID, or other identifiable piece of information.
### Storage and protection of data
**We implement physical, policy, and technical security measure to protect your information.** We take steps to make sure that anyone who sees your personal information (such as an authorized employee or contractor) has a good reason, sees only as much as they absolutely need to, and is only able to do Snowdrift.coop-approved things with your data.
Despite our efforts, we can't guarantee that malicious agents will never break in and access your data. If we find out about a security breach, we'll make concerted efforts to let you know so that you can take appropriate protective steps. We only keep information as long as we need to do the things we collected it for. Once we don't need it any more, we'll destroy it unless we are required by law to keep it longer.
You are always entitled to see and correct the private information we have about you. Please see the contact information below if you wish to do so. If you delete your account, we will retain only as much information as we need for our accounting records and destroy the rest.
### Legal process
When a government agency or civil litigant asks for your personal info, we'll only give it to them if we have a good faith belief that:
* the law requires us to, or
* it is reasonably necessary to do so to protect the rights, property, or safety of you, our other users, Snowdrift.coop, or the public.
We follow the law whenever we receive requests about you and we'll notify you any time we are asked to hand over your personal info like this unless we're legally prohibited from doing so, or circumstances require otherwise. Nothing in this policy is intended to limit any legal defenses or objections that you may have to a third party's request to disclose your information.
### Policy changes and contact information
We may sometimes change our privacy policies. When we do, we'll post a notice about the change on Snowdrift.coop and email our users. During our initial beta period, the privacy policy may be subject to change without notice, although we welcome public feedback. Once our site is in stable operating status, we will post any proposed changes for a 30-day comment period before they become effective (3 days for changes required purely for legal or administrative reasons).
If you want to make a correction to your information, or you have any questions or comments about our privacy policies, please [contact us](https://snowdrift.coop/about).
---
*The Snowdrift.coop Privacy Policy is adapted from the [Firefox Marketplace Privacy Policy](https://marketplace.firefox.com/privacy-policy), which is licensed by [the Mozilla Corporation](https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/) under the [Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License v3.0](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/). The Snowdrift.coop Privacy Policy is made available by us in its entirety under [version 4.0 of the same CC-BY-SA license](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/).*
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---
title: Snowdrift.coop Trademark Policy
categories: legal
...
**Version 0.3 – Effective December 16, 2015**
We are committed to ensuring the clear and consistent use of our trademarks and to protecting the rights of legitimate users.
**Snowdrift.coop reserves as trademarks:**^[Note that the [Mimi & Eunice](https://git.snowdrift.coop/sd/design/blob/master/docs/design-guide/readme.md#mimi-eunice) characters are *not* part of the Snowdrift.coop trademarks but are our adaptations of work by Nina Paley and licensed, like all the other non-trademarked parts of our site, under [CC BY-SA 4.0 International](https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0).]
* The full name "Snowdrift.coop"
* The primary name "Snowdrift" when used in the context of online fundraising, creative project support, and/or community building
* Our various identifying [logos](https://git.snowdrift.coop/sd/design/blob/master/docs/design-guide/readme.md#the-logo)
This policy seeks to clarify and promote acceptable use including honest and compliant commercial activity.
We prohibit any use of or reference to Snowdrift.coop trademarks that involves false or misleading implications including any use not compliant with the guidelines below or otherwise authorized in writing, any use in false advertising, or use of misleadingly similar marks.
## Uses that require *no* special permission
* Using one of our logos as a hyperlink *directly* to Snowdrift.coop.
* Making true factual statements about Snowdrift.coop or communicating truthfully that your project takes contributions via Snowdrift.coop.
* Identifying or describing Snowdrift.coop in articles, blog posts, etc., under the ["fair use" doctrine](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use_%28U.S._trademark_law%29).
* Describing or promoting your projects on Snowdrift.coop in a way that is not misleading.
* Making Snowdrift.coop trademark merchandise for non-commercial usage.
* Making Snowdrift.coop trademark merchandise for commercial usage, provided truthful and prominent portrayal to customers of your affiliation, or lack thereof, with Snowdrift.coop and of what part of the selling price, if any, will be donated to the Snowdrift.coop project.
## Uses that *require* special permission
* Using Snowdrift.coop trademarks, or confusingly similar marks, in any way that may suggest an affiliation with or endorsement by the Snowdrift project or community where no such affiliation or endorsement has been formally made.
* Using Snowdrift.coop trademarks in a company or organization name or as the name of a product or service or in domain name (even without commercial intent), or using Snowdrift.coop logos as part of another company's logos or branding.
## Best practices for use
* Avoid suggestion of affiliation, participation, or endorsement with Snowdrift.coop if there is any question about the validity of that connection.
* Prominently acknowledge our ownership of the trademark.
Example wording:
[TRADEMARK] is a (registered, if applicable) trademark of Snowdrift.coop.
* As appropriate, explicitly disclaim sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement by Snowdrift on your website and related materials.
Example wording:
X PROJECT is not affiliated with Snowdrift.coop.
* Italicize, bold, or underline Snowdrift.coop trademarks to distinguish them from other words.
* Use the exact form of the Snowdrift.coop trademarks, with no subtractions or additions, following our guidelines for logo usage.
* Do not include the Snowdrift.coop trademarks in acronyms.
* Do not refer to Snowdrift.coop as simply "Snowdrift" except casually where the full name has already been made clear in the immediate context.^[Note: we formally use the name "Snowdrift" for the free/libre/open software that runs the Snowdrift.coop website.]
## Seeking permission
For any use not expressly permitted by this policy, to report any unauthorized use, or for any clarification of this policy that may be necessary, please [contact us](https://snowdrift.coop/about). Please include any relevant information about the type and nature of the use and any relevant organizational affiliation(s).
---
*Like the rest of the site, The Snowdrift.coop Trademark Policy is licensed under [Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike license (CC-BY-SA) v4.0.](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/) This policy may be periodically revised. Revisions will be dated and posted to Snowdrift.coop/trademarks.*
......@@ -4,58 +4,103 @@ toc: false
categories: legal
...
This page discusses issues about accounts and transactions. All of this is tentative until we begin full operations.
This page discusses issues about accounts and transactions. All of this is
tentative until we begin full operations.
In managing our pledge system, there are three concerns:
* We want to allow very small pledges from many patrons to aggregate, and we must consolidate these into larger single charges to avoid excessive fees.
* We want to assure that pledges are reliable (are backed by reliable sources of funds).
* We want to allow very small pledges from many patrons to aggregate
* We must consolidate donations into larger single charges to avoid excessive fees.
* We want pledge reliability (backed by reliable sources of funds).
* We need a mechanism for patrons to set a budget limit for their overall donations.
* A budget could be per-month budget with no roll-over, or a total amount made available with a new deposit/re-authorization when the limit is approached.
Some general principles:
* All third-party transaction fees will be charged to the user at the time of deposit or withdrawal
* When a patron's total pledges become greater than budgeted funds (and no authorization/deposit is made to change this status), then the remaining budget will be split among the pledges at the next payout.
* All third-party transaction fees will be charged to the user at the time of
deposit or withdrawal
* When a patron's total pledges become greater than budgeted funds, their
pledges will be adjusted until all active pledges fit the budget.
* Users can change their pledges at any time.
## Option A: "Escrow" {#escrow}
This option isn't really escrow because we won't consider the funds to still be the patrons' funds (true escrow of other people's funds would require registering as a money transfer service, which is probitively costly and burdensome). Instead, **we consider all deposits as donations directly to Snowdrift.coop, and the pledging mechanism functions merely as a vote on how we then use the funds.** In order to avoid tax burden on held funds at annual roll-over, we must either retain 501 tax exemption or determine a legally-sound accounting method in which all held funds are are already allotted to go out as expenses and thus not taxed as net income. See discussion about [legal concerns over escrow](legal#escrow).
Basically how Liberapay works.
As of early 2018, we are *not* planning to use this approach.
This option isn't really escrow because we wouldn't consider the funds to still
be the patrons' funds (true escrow of other people's funds would require
registering as a money transfer service, which is prohibitively costly and
burdensome). Instead, **we consider all deposits as donations directly to
Snowdrift.coop, and the pledging mechanism functions merely as a vote on how we
then use the funds.** In order to avoid tax burden on held funds at annual
roll-over, we must either retain 501 tax exemption or determine a legally-sound
accounting method in which all held funds are are already allotted to go out as
expenses and thus not taxed as net income.
* All users have an "account" within Snowdrift.coop
* Funds are held by Snowdrift.coop as funds owned by Snowdrift.coop
* Any processor we implement from our [payment-services list](payment-services) should work to add funds
* Users can set an automatic monthly deposit if the payment service they use supports it, or they can fund manually one deposit at a time
* To add a new pledge, a user must have in their account at least enough funds to cover all their current pledges at present levels for 3 months.
* When users drop below the 3 month buffer for their pledges, they will receive a notice encouraging them to add funds.
* Each month, at a specific (but maybe somewhat fuzzy in public listing) time, the current pledges will be calculated and funds transferred from patron accounts to project accounts within Snowdrift.coop.
* Upon closing an account, a user may opt to either receive a refund minus transaction costs (only if deemed legally feasible) or to donate the funds directly to the Snowdrift.coop project.
* We could accept deposits from any supported processor or payment mechanism
* Users could set an automatic monthly deposit if the payment service they use
supports it, or they can fund manually one deposit at a time
* To add a new pledge, a user must have in their account at least enough funds
to cover all their current pledges at present levels for 3 months.
* When users drop below the 3 month buffer for their pledges, they will
receive a notice encouraging them to add funds.
* Each month, at a specific (but maybe somewhat fuzzy in public listing) time,
the current pledges will be calculated and funds transferred from patron
accounts to project accounts within Snowdrift.coop.
* Upon closing an account, a user may opt to either receive a refund minus