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posted by janrinok on Tuesday February 06, @04:16PM   Printer-friendly

In order to create a new company it is necessary to provide bylaws which state how that company will be governed. Draft 8 of the bylaws received one suggested change when it was presented to the community. However, there were a few problems that have been identified since Draft 8 was published in a Meta. One was the waiving of anonymity by anyone who wished to serve on the board. As the idea behind all seats on the board was that they should be elected by the community from volunteers in the community, and would periodically be replaced by subsequent volunteers and election, over time many of our community would have had their anonymity compromised. This was unpopular and made it difficult to envisage the long-term support of the community for such roles.

The board has, as a minimum, three members. The President, a Secretary and an Accountant. These posts must waive anonymity as their identities have to be declared at incorporation and periodically thereafter. There is no escaping this requirement. However, the Governance Committee was also formed from community members and they have not had to waive their right to anonymity. The solution to the problem is relatively straight forward. The board will be established to fill the 3 necessary posts by volunteers, and will be responsible for fulfilling the legal requirements that such posts require. The operational control will be vested in a new group (or committee if you insist) which will comprise of a board member, the Team Leaders and the 5 Community Representatives, and others with specialist knowledge where necessary, thus removing the need for these people to be identified. They can use their regular usernames. The Management Group will provide operational guidance to the board. The community will be represented by their chosen representatives who will be looking after their interests and they will have direct access to the board during all discussions and communications. The Management Group will not hold regular meetings as issues that need resolving occur frequently and irregularly. They will use email and IRC as we have always done, thus removing the burden of meetings that, no matter when they were scheduled, proved to inconvenient to many members to say the least and have taken lot of man hours that could have been more usefully spent.

To see us over the transition we need to have a set of bylaws (Draft 9) approved by the community. We have volunteers who will create a temporary board and community representatives, while we sort out policy and prepare for the election process so that the community can be involved in the election of all posts. This will be a temporary arrangement and the bylaws below - which are very heavily based upon Draft 8 which was provided by k0lie/replic8tor - can and will be changed over the next few months to reflect whatever is deemed to be the best arrangement for the long term.

Please remember that the bylaws are only concerned with the board and site governance. Policy matters, management of the site on a daily basis, etc are not part of the bylaws and you will all have your chance to give your views once the transition has taken place. I welcome your comments but I will repeat - these bylaws are temporary and can be changed over the coming months as people see fit. I am more concerned at the moment with getting something that will work and allow us to move forward rather than reflecting each and every nuance of our future operation.

Time is of the essence. Please make your comments promptly because as soon as we know that we have something that will work we would like to move on to incorporation.

I gratefully acknowledge and thank k0lie/replic8tor for Draft 8. To ease the problem of assessing the bylaws I can identify the following sections as having been edited to reflect what is possible rather than what might have been ideal under other circumstances.

  • Sections 1.01 and 1.02: There may be benefits from incorporating in the State of Oregon. We are still looking into this.
  • Sections 5.01, 5.12, and 5.14.
  • Section 7.02, 7.06, 7.07 (deleted in toto)

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BY-LAWS OF XXXXX

A XXXXX NON-STOCK CORPORATION QUALIFYING FOR NONPROFIT, TAX-EXEMPT STATUS

ARTICLE I

REGISTERED AGENT AND REGISTERED OFFICE; OFFICE LOCATIONS

Section 1.01 Name; Registered Agent and Registered Office. The name of the organization is XXXXX Corporation (the "Corporation"). The registered agent and registered office of the Corporation in the State of XXXXX shall be as set forth in the Certificate of Incorporation, as it may be amended.

Section 1.02 Principal and Other Offices. The Board of Directors of the Corporation (the "Board" or "Board of Directors") shall determine (and may change) the location of the Corporation's principal office in its reasonable discretion; the Board may also cause the Corporation to have such other offices within or without the State of XXXXX or the United States as it deems appropriate, in its reasonable and good faith discretion.

ARTICLE II

PURPOSE

Section 2.01 The purposes of the Corporation shall be those set forth in the Certificate of Incorporation (the "Certificate"), as it may be amended.

ARTICLE III

MEMBERS

Section 3.01 Membership; Classes of Membership. Membership in the Corporation shall be available on such bases and terms, and subject to such qualifications and criteria, as the Board determines, in its reasonable and good faith discretion.

Section 3.02 Meetings. The annual meeting of the Director Members (the "Annual Meeting of the Director Members") for the election of Directors and delivery of a financial statement, shall be held each year at the place (including by electronic means such as a website providing conference services), time, and date, as may be fixed by the Board. Special meetings of the Director Members shall be held whenever necessary called by resolution of the Board or the Secretary. The Secretary or another officer tasked with such role shall, upon receiving written demand or resolution, promptly give notice of such meeting as provided in Section 3.03, or, if the Secretary fails to do so within five (5) business days thereafter, any Member signing such demand may give such notice. The Chairman of the Board (the "Chairman") shall preside at the meetings of the Members, or in the absence of the Chairman, an acting Chairman shall be chosen by and from among the Members present. The Secretary of the Corporation or another officer designated for such role shall act as secretary at all meetings of the Members, or, in the absence of the Secretary or the appropriate designated officer, an acting Secretary shall be chosen by the Members present.

Section 3.03 Notice of Meetings. Written notice of the place, date, and hour of any meeting shall be given to each Director Member entitled to vote at such meeting by mailing the notice by first class mail with postage prepaid, by personal delivery, or by email not less than ten (10) nor more than fifty (50) days before the date of the meeting. When such preference is provided, each Director Members preferred method of notice shall be used. Notice of any meeting other than the Annual Meeting of the Director Members shall indicate the person or persons calling the meeting, and notice of any special meeting shall also indicate the purpose(s) for which it is called. Director Members may waive the prior notice requirement expressly or by attending the meeting (other than for the purpose of contesting appropriate notice and calling thereof).

Section 3.04 Quorum. At all meetings of Director Members, all Director Members eligible to vote, present in person or by proxy, shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. In the absence of a quorum, the Director Members present in person shall adjourn the meeting from that time until a quorum is present. Notice of the new meeting is not required if the time and place for the new meeting is announced at the meeting at which the adjournment is taken, and at the new meeting any business may be transacted which might have been transacted at the meeting as originally called.

Section 3.05 Voting. Except as otherwise provided by statute or these by-laws, the vote of all of the Director Members shall be the act of the Director Members. At any meeting of the Director Members, each Voting Director Member present, in person or by proxy, shall be entitled to one (1) vote. The record date of eligibility of voting rights shall be set by the Board no less than one (1) day before the date of the meeting. At all elections of Directors, the voting may but need not be by ballot and a plurality of the votes of the Director Members present in person or represented by proxy at the meeting and entitled to vote on the election of directors shall elect.

Section 3.06 Proxy. Every Director Member entitled to vote at a meeting of Director Members or to express consent or dissent without a meeting may authorize another person or persons to act for such Director Member by proxy. Every proxy must be in writing and signed by the Director Member or the Director Member's duly authorized agent, or by email setting forth information from which it can be reasonably determined that the proxy was authorized by such Director Member. No proxy shall be valid after the expiration of eleven (11) months from the date thereof unless otherwise provided in the proxy. Every proxy shall be revocable at the pleasure of the Director Member executing it, except as otherwise provided by law. For the purposes of conducting meetings, all proxies shall be delivered to the Secretary of the Corporation or, upon the absence of a Secretary, the presiding Director Member appointed to act as secretary of the meeting. Authorization for a proxy shall be valid only for a singular meeting identified directly in the proxy authorization. Each natural person shall only be able to represent a single proxy vote per issue.

Section 3.07 Action without a Meeting. Action may be taken without a meeting on written consent (which can be solicited by the Corporation to all Director Members and returned by the Director Members in electronic form, such as email) setting forth the action to be taken, signed by such Director Members as would be required to take the relevant action at a meeting. Such consent may be written or electronic. If consent is electronic it must be able to be reasonably determined to have been sent by the Director Member. In the event action is taken by written consent, the Members not voting thereon shall be given prompt notice of actions taken by written consent without a meeting. The request of such consent shall be made publicly before the request is made as a Meta posting on soylentnews.org or on an earmarked journal entry from an account earmarked for such publications. The results of such a request shall be similarly published as a Meta posting on soylentnews.org or on an earmarked journal entry from an account earmarked for such publications.

Section 3.08 Community Members. As noted in Section 3.01, Community Members shall have their own distinct voting rights for substantive management, governance, or control rights over the Corporation. The Board of Directors may elect to call a meeting of the Community Members, in its discretion, on such terms as it deems fit. The Board may further seek the informal, non-binding guidance of the Community Members in connection with any issue, topic, or decision to be made, or may form a temporary or ongoing advisory board with respect to an issue, topic, or decision to be made, or to ensure an independent decision in the case of a decision or transaction involving a conflict of interest affecting one or more Board members. Formal voting exercised by the Community Members under the provisions provided for them in the bylaws, or in instances of voting specifically requested by the Board Members, shall be considered binding and the results of such a vote shall have higher precedence and authority than any other voting class.

ARTICLE IV

Community Members

Section 4.01 Definition. The Community Members shall consist of registered users of the SoylentNews.org website who maintain an active account in good standing of the site policy. Each unique natural person who qualify is entitled to one vote as a Community Member. The Secretary shall be responsible for overseeing the maintenance of such a record of users and for determining who qualifies for eligibility as a Community Member during voting by the community members.

Section 4.02 Voting Procedures. The election of or replacement for any Director Members shall be conducted by a vote of the Community Members. Any natural person willing and legally able shall be eligible for election. Elections shall use proportional ranked choice voting using the Droop quota for voting calculations. In cases of election or positions being voted on, the community members shall be given a period of one week before any voting to submit names to be voted on. Community members shall be given a period of voting of four weeks for any vote before them. A super-majority of the board may vote to change an individual case of the communities' voting period duration but may not do so if the duration would be less than one-hundred and sixty eight (168) hours. The total vote of the community members shall be the number of votes cast by all eligible Community Members for each vote. Voting for changes to the bylaws may be accomplished by a simple vote requiring the supermajority of the total vote of the Community Members. All other voting shall require a simple majority of the total vote as its quota. Changes to the bylaws may only be made through a Community Member vote.

Section 4.03 Vote Qualification. Community Members shall be considered eligible for a vote if they qualify under the definition of a Community Member as defined in Section 4.01 for a period of not less than thirty (30) days prior to the start of the voting period. The topic of a vote may be proposed by any Community Member. For such a proposal to be considered by a vote of the community it must be either (a) sponsored by any Director Member or (b) have the approval of a minimum of 10% of the active users of the website in the last weekly report as recorded by the SoylentNews platform. Technical measures may be used to ensure the integrity of the voting. The Secretary shall oversee that these criteria and measures are used to maintain a list of valid voting Community Members for each vote as appropriate.

ARTICLE V

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Section 5.01 Board Powers and Number. The affairs and property of the Corporation shall be managed by or under the direction of the Board of Directors (the "Board"), subject to applicable law and in accordance with the purposes and limitations set forth in the Certificate of Incorporation and herein. The number of voting directors shall be three (3). The numbers of directors can be increased or decreased from time to time, by resolution of the Board, but such action by the Board shall require a vote of a majority of the Entire Board and no decrease shall shorten the term of any director then in office. As used in these by-laws, the term "Entire Board" shall mean the total number of directors entitled to vote which the Corporation would have if there were no vacancies on the Board. The board shall consist of three (3) Voting Director Members consisting of the President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

Section 5.02 Election and Term of Office. The initial directors shall be the persons named in the Certificate of Incorporation and shall serve until the first Annual Meeting of the Director Members. Thereafter, to become a director, a person shall be nominated and elected by the community members as detailed in Section 4.02 at a meeting of Director Members for the purpose of the annual election of Directors. Directors shall hold office for a term of one (1) years, and each shall serve for such term and until the election and qualification of a successor, or until such director's death, resignation, or removal. Directors may be elected to any number of consecutive terms.

Section 5.03 Qualification for Directors. Each director must be a natural person and shall be at least 18 years of age. The Board may set such other qualifications for directors as it deems necessary or appropriate, in its good faith discretion. Any director must be a Director Member, and should a director no longer be a Director Member (or vice versa), he or she shall be immediately removed as a director and shall no longer be a Director Member, receiving no compensation for his or her membership interest.

Section 5.04 Newly Created Directorships and Vacancies. Newly created directorships resulting from an increase in the authorized number of directors, and vacancies occurring for any reason, including any vacancy occurring by reason of the death, resignation, or removal of a director, may be filled by holding community election for the available position(s) as specified in Section 4.02. Each director so elected shall serve until the next Annual Meeting of the Director Members or until such director's successor is elected or appointed and qualified.

Section 5.05 Removal. Any director may be removed at any time by a vote of a majority of Director Members (excluding from the numerator and denominator the director(s) to be removed). Removal by voting of the Community Members need not to be with cause.

Section 5.06 Resignation. Any director may resign from the Board at any time by giving prior written notice to the Board. Unless otherwise specified in the notice, the resignation shall take effect at the time of receipt by the Board or such officer. The acceptance of such resignation shall not be necessary to make it effective. No resignations shall discharge any accrued obligation or duty of a director. As set forth above, resignation as a director shall terminate the former director's Director Member status.

Section 5.07 Meetings. The annual meeting and regular meetings of the Board shall be held at such times and places as may from time to time be fixed by the Board or may be specified in a notice of meeting. Special meetings of the Board may be held at any time upon the call of the President or as determined by the Board in each case at such time and place as shall be fixed by the person or persons calling the meeting, as specified in the notice thereof.

Section 5.08 Notice of Meetings. Notice of a meeting may be sent by mail, telephone, facsimile transmission, telegraph, courier service, electronic mail or hand delivery, directed to each director at his or her address or contact information as it appears on the records of the President. Each director's preferred method of communication shall be used if one has been provided to the Corporation. Such notice shall state the time and place where the meeting is to be held and to the extent possible, the purpose(s) for which the meeting is called. Notice shall be deemed to have been given when sent, and if by mail, when deposited in the United States mail with prepaid postage thereon. Notice of any regular meeting for which the time and place is not fixed by the Board must be given to each director not less than three (3) days before such meeting. Notice of a special meeting of the Board must be given to each director not less than three (3) days before such meeting, provided, however, that notice of special meetings to discuss matters requiring prompt action may be given no less than forty-eight hours before the time at which such meeting is to be held if given personally, by telephone, by facsimile transmission or by electronic mail, unless the meeting relates to an emergency which must be resolved within forty-eight hours, in which case notice shall be given as promptly as possible. Notice of a regular or special meeting need not be given to a director who submits a signed waiver of notice before or at the meeting's commencement, or who attends the meeting without protesting (not later than the commencement of the meeting) the lack of notice to him or her. The community members shall be notified of all meetings in the form of a Meta article to SoylentNews or to a specific SoylentNews journal earmarked for the committees use. The notification to the community members shall be made at least three days in advance of the meeting.

Section 5.09 Quorum. At each meeting of the Board, the presence of a majority of the Entire Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business or any specified item of business. If a quorum is not present at any meeting of the Board, a majority of the directors present may adjourn the meeting to another time without notice other than by announcement at the meeting, until such a quorum is present, except that notice of such adjournment shall be given to any directors who were not present at the time of the adjournment.

Section 5.10 Voting. Except as otherwise provided by statute or these by-laws, the vote of a majority of the directors present at the time of a vote, if a quorum is present at such time, shall be the act of the Board.

Section 5.11 Meeting by Remote Communication. Any one or more members of the Board or any committee thereof may participate in a meeting of the Board or such committee by means of a conference telephone, video conference, internet-based meeting forum, internet relay chat (IRC), or similar communications equipment. Participation by such means shall constitute presence in person at a meeting provided that all persons participating in the meeting can hear and or otherwise materially participate with each other at the same time and each director can participate in all matters before the board, including, without limitation, the ability to propose, object to, and vote upon a specific action to be taken by the board or committee. The preferred method of remote communication for meetings shall be a publicly visible and accessible internet relay chat service. In the event that the preferring method is unavailable, the board shall use free and open alternatives when such alternatives are recommended or visible for all official business to remain inclusive and transparent to the Community Members.

Section 5.12 Action without a Meeting. Any action required or permitted to be taken by the Board or any committee thereof may be taken without a meeting if all members of the Board or committee consent in writing to the adoption of a resolution authorizing the action. Such consent may be written or electronic. The resolution and written consents thereto by the members of the Board or such committee shall be filed with the minutes of the proceedings of the Board or such committee. Additionally, the community shall be informed of any such Actions by publication in an agreed place which provides access to all community members.

Section 5.13 Director Compensation. Generally, the Corporation shall not pay compensation to directors for services rendered to the Corporation in their capacity as directors, except that directors may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of their duties to the Corporation. However, the Board may determine to compensate one or more of the directors for their services as such, in its discretion. In addition, a director may receive compensation, in the Board's discretion, for the performance of services provided to the Corporation in any capacity separate from his or her responsibilities as a director such as, without limitation, service as an Officer of the Corporation.

Section 5.14 Staff Delegation. The board shall create and ratify a staff policy detailing the structure, description, operations, and policies of a staff group. The staff group shall consist of one or more teams as determined by the staff policy each with its own team leader. The team leaders and five (5) Community Representatives shall be collectively referred to as the ("Management Group") as referenced in Section 5.01, and they shall provide operational direction to the board. The Management Group shall be responsible for the daily operations of SoylentNews as outlined in the staff policy. Director Members are ineligible to be concurrently serving the role of a Director Member and that a team leader / member of the management group. The membership of a Director Member on the staff team shall be at the sole discretion of the team leader and is otherwise fully encumbered by the duties, responsibilities, and qualifications of the staff policy.

ARTICLE VI

COMMITTEES

Section 6.01 Executive Committee and Other Committees of the Board. The Board, by resolution adopted by a majority of the Entire Board, may designate from among the directors an Executive Committee and other committees of the Board consisting of three (3) or more directors. Each committee of the Board shall have such authority as the Board shall by resolution provide; and the Executive Committee shall have all the authority of the Board, except that no such committee shall have the ability to address those matters prohibited to be addressed by the full Board under the relevant statute or state laws.

Section 6.02 Quorum and Action by Committee. Unless otherwise provided by resolution of the Board, a majority of all of the members of a committee shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business and the vote of a majority of all of the members of a committee shall be the act of the committee. The procedures and manner of acting of the Executive Committee and of the committees of the Board shall be subject at all times to the directions of the Board.

Section 6.03 Alternate Members. The Board may designate one (1) or more directors as alternate members of any committee, who may replace any absent or disqualified member or members at any meeting of such committee.

Section 6.04 Reporting. The official business and meetings and resolutions of the committee shall be documented and made publicly available for official record. Notifications of meetings shall be given to the community a minimum of 72 hours in advance of the meeting, however reasonable effort shall be made to post these meetings as soon as they are scheduled, and shall be made in the form of a Meta article to SoylentNews or to a specific SoylentNews journal earmarked for the committees use.

ARTICLE VII

OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AND AGENTS

Section 7.01 Officers. The officers of the Corporation shall consist at least of a President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. The Board may from time to time create vacancies for such other officers, including one or more Vice Presidents, as it may determine. All officers shall be elected by the Community Members from slates of candidates eligible and willing to serve, the composition of which may be determined by the Board or the President or such other Officer to whom the Board delegates such task. While the President, Secretary, and Treasurer shall be Director Members, any other officer may but need not be a director or a Community Member.

Section 7.02 Election, Term of Office, and Qualifications. The officers of the Corporation shall be elected annually by a majority vote of the Board at the annual meeting of the Board, and each officer shall hold office until such officer's successor is elected and qualified or until such officer's earlier death, resignation, or removal. Except as may otherwise be provided in the resolution of the Board choosing an officer, no officer need be a director. One person may hold, and perform the duties of, more than one office, except that the same person may not hold the offices of President and Secretary. All officers shall be subject to the supervision and direction of the Board. The Board may set such qualification requirements for officers as it deems appropriate.

Section 7.03 Removal. Any officer elected or appointed by the Board may be removed at any time, with or without cause, by a vote of a majority of the Entire Board.

Section 7.04 Resignations. Any officer may resign at any time by giving at least ten (10) days' written notice to the Board. Unless otherwise specified in the notice, the resignation shall take effect at the time of receipt by the Board. The acceptance of such resignation shall not be necessary to make it effective.

Section 7.05 Vacancies. A vacancy in any office arising from any cause shall be filled for the unexpired portion of the term by Community Member voting.

Section 7.06 President. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Board and Director Members. He or she shall have the general powers and duties of supervision and management of the Corporation which usually pertain to his or her office, and shall keep the Board fully informed of the activities of the Corporation. The President shall perform all such other duties as are properly required of him or her by the Board. He or she has the power to sign and execute alone in the name of the Corporation all contracts authorized either generally or specifically by the Board, but only with clear and explicit agreement of the Community as under Section 8.01, unless the Board shall specifically require an additional signature.

Section 7.07 Section Vacant.

Section 7.08 Secretary. The Secretary shall record and keep the minutes of all meetings of the Board and Director Members (or Community Members, if so called) in books kept for that purpose. He or she shall see that all notices and reports are given and served as required by law or these by-laws. He or she shall affix the corporate seal to and sign such instruments as require the seal and his or her signature and shall perform all duties as usually pertain to his or her office or as are properly required of him or her by the Board. All records of official meetings, actions, minutes shall be published on a publicly available and accessible platform for the community to read. The location shall be posted permanently in an appropriate location on the main website.

Section 7.09 Treasurer. The Treasurer shall have the care and custody of all the funds and securities of the Corporation and shall keep full and accurate accounts of all moneys received and paid by him or her on account of the Corporation. The Treasurer shall exhibit at all reasonable times the Corporation's books of account and records to any of the directors of the Corporation upon request at the office of the Corporation. He or she shall render a detailed statement to the Board of the condition of the finances of the Corporation at the annual meeting of the Board and shall perform such other duties as usually pertain to his or her office or as are properly required of him or her by the Board. The Treasurer shall be responsible for producing a yearly balance sheet and profit and loss statement reflecting the true status of the business as reported to the IRS. This report shall be made publicly visible and accessible to the Community Members in a place notified to the Community Members via the website or appropriate postings. Personal identifying information may be scrubbed from these reports but the services, role, and function or service such rendered shall not be obfuscated.

Section 7.10 Employees and Other Agents. The Board may from time to time appoint such employees and other agents as it shall deem necessary, but only with the clear and explicit agreement of the Community, each of whom shall have such authority and perform such duties as the Board may from time to time determine. To the fullest extent allowed by law, the Board may delegate to any employee or agent any powers possessed by the Board and may prescribe their respective title, terms of office, authorities, and duties.

Section 7.11 Compensation. Any officer, employee, or agent of the Corporation is authorized to receive reasonable compensation for services rendered to the Corporation when authorized by a majority of the Entire Board, in its discretion.

ARTICLE VIII

EXECUTION OF INSTRUMENTS

Section 8.01 Contracts and Instruments. The Board, subject to the provisions of Section 9.01, may, but only with the clear and explicit agreement of the Community, authorize any Officer or agent of the Corporation to enter into any contract, to execute and deliver any instrument, or to sign checks, drafts, or other orders for the payment of money, notes or other evidences of indebtedness in the name of and on behalf of the Corporation. Such authority may be general or may be confined to specific instances. No instrument required to be signed by more than one Officer may be signed by one person in more than one capacity unless called upon by the terms of such instrument. Any contract under consideration by the board and/or executed by the board shall be disclosed to the community members and the discussion of such shall be open to the public and recorded and published for public viewing.

Section 8.02 Tax Status-Related Filings. The Board, subject to the provisions of Section 9.01, may authorize any Officer or other agent to make, complete, and file (or cause to be filed) any document with any government agency, including the Internal Revenue Service and any filings necessary to cause the Corporation to become or to remain tax-exempt under the Internal Revenue Code.

Section 8.03 Deposits. The funds of the Corporation shall be deposited in its name with such banks, trust companies, or other depositories as the Board or any Officer, to whom the Board has delegated such power, may from time to time designate.

ARTICLE IX

INDEMNIFICATION AND INSURANCE

Section 9.01 Indemnification. The Corporation may, to the fullest extent now or hereafter permitted by law, indemnify any person made, or threatened to be made, a party to any action or proceeding with any third-party by reason of the fact that he or she, his or her testator or intestate, was a director or officer of the Corporation, against judgments, fines, amounts paid in settlement, and reasonable expenses, including reasonable attorneys' fees. No indemnification may be made to or on behalf of any such person if, in the determination of the Board (excluding the affected director(s)), (a) his or her acts were committed in bad faith or were the result of his or her willful misconduct or active and deliberate dishonesty and were material to such action or proceeding, or (b) he or she personally gained or sought to gain a financial or other benefit or other advantage or opportunity to which he or she was not entitled in connection with his or her actions or inactions in connection with service to the Corporation.

Section 9.02 Insurance. The Corporation shall have the power, but not the obligation, to purchase and maintain insurance to indemnify the Corporation for any obligation which it incurs as a result of its indemnification of directors and officers pursuant to Section 8.01 above, or to indemnify such persons in instances in which they may be indemnified pursuant to Section 8.01 above.

Section 9.03 Indemnification Agreements. The Board may cause the Corporation to enter into agreements which provide for the contractual indemnification of directors, officers, employees, or third parties, including agents, service providers, consultants, tax advisors, and others. The Board may approve a form of such contract including indemnification (such as a form of employment agreement, consulting agreement, etc.) with implementation and execution of such agreements delegated to one or more Officers.

ARTICLE X

INTERESTED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

Section 10.01 Conflict of Interest Policy. The Board may determine to adopt a Conflict of Interest Policy governing situations where it faces a financial or other conflict or seeks to engage in an interested party transaction. For purposes of these by-laws, an "interested party transaction" is any contract or other transaction between the Corporation and (a) any present director or any individual who has served as a director in the five (5) years preceding the transaction ("past director"), (b) any family member of a present or past director, (c) any corporation, partnership, trust, or other entity in which a present or past director is a director, officer, or holder of a financial interest, (d) any present officer or any individual who has served as an officer in the five (5) years preceding the transaction ("past officer"), (e) any family member of a present or past officer, or (f) any corporation, partnership, trust, or other entity in which a present or past officer is a director, officer, or holder of a financial interest. If such a policy is adopted, in any instance where the Corporation proposes to enter into an interested party transaction, it shall follow the procedures and rules set forth in the Corporation's Conflict of Interest Policy.

Section 10.02 Approval other than Pursuant to Conflict of Interest Policy. If the Board does not or has not yet developed a Conflict of Interest Policy, the Board may approve an interested party transaction with the consent or approval of a majority of the directors that are not involved in the interested party transaction on a determination that the transaction (a) is in the best interests of the Corporation, (b) is fair to the Corporation and reasonable in its terms, (c) is in alignment with or not opposed to the Corporation's mission and charitable objectives, and (d) does not create an appearance of impropriety that might impair Member or public confidence in, or the reputation of, the Corporation (even absent any actual conflict or wrongdoing). The Board shall make a written record of its decision-making process in connection with an interested party transaction.

ARTICLE XI

AMENDMENTS

Section 11.01 These by-laws may be altered, amended, or repealed by the affirmative vote of the majority of the Entire Board present at any meeting of the Board at which a quorum is present, except a two-thirds vote of the Entire Board shall be required for any amendment to add or remove a provision of these by-laws requiring a greater proportion of directors to constitute quorum or a greater proportion of votes necessary for the transaction of business. Such action is authorized only at a duly called and held meeting of the Board for which written notice of such meeting, setting forth the proposed alteration, is given in accordance with the notice provisions for special meetings set forth herein. If these by-laws are altered, amended, or repealed by the Board, there shall be set forth in the notice of the next meeting of members for the election of directors the by-laws so adopted, amended, or repealed, together with a concise statement of the changes made. Any such change under this section shall still be required to meet the requirements of Section 4.02 requiring a community vote to adopt such changes.

ARTICLE XII

NON-DISCRIMINATION

Section 12.01 In all of its dealings, neither the Corporation nor its duly authorized agents shall discriminate against any individual or group for reasons of race, color, creed, sex, age, culture, national origin, marital status, sexual preference, mental or physical handicap, or any category protected by state or federal law.

ARTICLE XIII

REFERENCE TO CERTIFICATE OF INCORPORATION

Section 13.01 References in these by-laws to the Certificate of Incorporation shall include all amendments thereto or changes thereof as of the relevant time unless specifically otherwise stated by these by-laws. In the event of a conflict between the Certificate of Incorporation and these by-laws, the Certificate of Incorporation shall govern.

ARTICLE XIV

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Section 14.01 Fiscal Year. The fiscal year of the Corporation shall be the calendar year unless otherwise provided by the Board.

Section 14.02 Seal. The Corporation is not required to have a corporate seal. Should it determine to use a seal, the corporate seal shall have inscribed thereon the name of the corporation, the year of its organization, and such other terms as are required. The seal may be used by causing it or a facsimile thereof to be impressed or affixed or in any manner reproduced.

Section 14.03 Books and Records. The Corporation shall keep at the office of the Corporation correct and complete books and records of the activities and transactions of the Corporation, including the minute book, which shall contain a copy of the Certificate of Incorporation, a copy of these by-laws and all prior versions thereof (if and as applicable), all resolutions and written consents of the Board and General Members, and all minutes of meetings of the Members and meetings of the Board and committees thereof.

Section 14.04 Records Retention and Destruction Policy. The Corporation may adopt such record-keeping policies and procedures as necessary for its business, regulatory, and tax-exempt status.

Section 14.05 Annual Returns; Necessary Filings. The Entire Board shall review the Corporation's annual filing(s) with the Internal Revenue Service prior to it being filed. The Board may delegate to one or more Officers the preparation of filings and reports related to the Corporation's tax-exempt status or any other matter, subject to the Board's oversight, and may employ consultants or advisers, including legal or tax counsel, in connection with the preparation and/or review of such material(s).

Section 14.06 Electronic Signatures. Wherever a written instrument is required to be executed hereunder, an electronic signature, to the extent permitted by applicable law, shall be deemed to be a written signature.

END ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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  • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Tuesday February 06, @04:21PM (1 child)

    by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06, @04:21PM (#1343337) Journal

    I've split it so that it does not present a wall of text!

    • (Score: 2) by pkrasimirov on Tuesday February 06, @04:23PM

      by pkrasimirov (3358) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06, @04:23PM (#1343339)

      Thank you, just came here to ask this and you already did it :)

  • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Tuesday February 06, @04:32PM (4 children)

    by Gaaark (41) on Tuesday February 06, @04:32PM (#1343340) Journal

    I'm guessing

    The Management Group will not hold regular meetings as issues that need resolving occur frequently and irregularly.

    should read

    The Management Group will not hold regular meetings as issues that need resolving occur infrequently and irregularly.

    IANAL, so i will leave the bylaws to others who know.

    I wouldn't mind, in the future, volunteering, what with the anonymity possible.

    THANKS TO ALL who have spent their hours making all this stuff possible; I don't think you all get enough credit. I hereby give you all my base and my Internets.

    Can't wait to see what the future holds.
    Live long and prosper, all!
    (I'd say "God bless us everyone", but, you know... atheist...)
      ;)

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Tuesday February 06, @04:56PM (3 children)

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06, @04:56PM (#1343343) Journal

      No - they happen all the time, often only days apart. I think 'frequently' is correct but it doesn't make much difference.

      We have to make decisions based on evolving events - the community want greater visibility (and so do we as it reduces the chances of being accused of running a private club!). Emails and IRC exchanges are far quicker than arranging a meeting. The community representatives can be involved far more with the proposal than they are today.

      • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Tuesday February 06, @08:16PM (2 children)

        by deimtee (3272) on Tuesday February 06, @08:16PM (#1343362) Journal

        Are the bylaws set in stone once adopted? Could you say "this is good enough", go ahead, and then rewrite and adapt anything that turns out to be problematic at next year's meeting ?

        --
        If you cough while drinking cheap red wine it really cleans out your sinuses.
        • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Tuesday February 06, @08:53PM (1 child)

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06, @08:53PM (#1343368) Journal

          No, that is the whole point. The bylaws can be changed by the board but only with the approval of the community. So, everything comes back to community control. There will be no shareholders. There will be no-one else pulling the strings.

          The board itself is elected by the community from volunteers within the community.

          The same applies to the Community Representatives, who will be part of the Management Group. In fact, they will probably outnumber the regular staff in the MG, and will certainly have the majority when the board is counted too. Not every decision will need to be given to a full community vote but the bylaws make sure that all the important ones most certainly are. The community representatives are your selected people who are there to represent your interests.

          The initial board that takes its place at incorporation has not been voted for - but they are all volunteers from the community who have recognised that we have to move forward to create a company before we can organise the voting for the first genuine board. That is why I say the first board is temporary.

          The ball has to start rolling somewhere. The original plan discussed several months ago by the Governance Committee was that they, the GC, would create the first temporary board. I am trying to make sure that the community are involved from the very beginning. That is the only way we can make the administration and management of the site more open. We have done nothing to be ashamed of, but some people seem convinced that we might have. I want to prevent people thinking that there is more going on behind the scenes than we have said and having the community representatives there at all stages will achieve that.

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by janrinok on Tuesday February 06, @08:54PM

            by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06, @08:54PM (#1343370) Journal

            No - they are not set in stone. Yes - we can change any that do not work.

  • (Score: 1) by shrewdsheep on Tuesday February 06, @09:14PM (5 children)

    by shrewdsheep (5215) on Tuesday February 06, @09:14PM (#1343375)

    If I read section 3.01: "Membership in the Corporation shall be available on such bases and terms, and subject to such qualifications and criteria, as the Board determines, in its reasonable and good faith discretion." that is exactly the situation as it is now. The site is at the discretion of the three who rule them all. Then in Section 4.01: "Each unique natural person who qualify is entitled to one vote as a Community Member.". Well, this is vague at best. Who does qualify? To prevent hostile take-overs, karma/activity/subscription/etc. requirements need to be added.

    In the end, the community has to have faith in the board which will always be able to mess up the site. My suggestion would be to add as a task of the board to ensure that there is a containerized version of the site (docker-compose script or similar means) that can spin up the whole site with some fake data, including side-infrastructure (irc, email, etc.). This way, a fork can be initiated at any time. BTW, if an incomplete start would be done, the community would quickly help to get this done on say github/gitlab.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by janrinok on Tuesday February 06, @09:32PM (1 child)

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06, @09:32PM (#1343380) Journal

      The term Community Member is defined in Section 4.01

      You elect the board members, I can't think of a better way to do it but, if you can, then let me know please. If you do not think they are trustworthy try not to let them get elected. If they have already been elected then it also states that the community can remove any board member, or indeed any member of staff, but there is a procedure to be followed.

      The problem is not so much not being able to trust a board member, but one of not being able to remove them when they have clearly abused their position or no longer deserve your trust. We have a procedure for that. The vote lies with the community, not with any shareholders.

      It is the system that is used by companies all around the world. It might not be perfect but I do not know of a better one. I wish it wasn't so wrapped up in legalese because I would much prefer plain speaking but our bylaws will have to pass muster if we wish to be a Non-Profit.

      • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Tuesday February 06, @09:42PM

        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06, @09:42PM (#1343384) Journal

        Additionally, you elect the board members and they must be re-elected annually. Our current situation began in Nov 2022. No matter what else, the board would have been replaced by now, but better still the community can ensure that the process is initiated earlier if there is sufficient community agreement to do so.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by janrinok on Tuesday February 06, @09:36PM (2 children)

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06, @09:36PM (#1343382) Journal
      Bylaws are only there to detail the rules of governance. The existence of a Docker Container is not a governance issue. It is one of Policy and Management. Those documents will begin to be created just as soon as we have incorporated the new company and purchased the existing assets as has been agreed.
  • (Score: 2) by mrpg on Tuesday February 06, @10:19PM (2 children)

    by mrpg (5708) Subscriber Badge <mrpgNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Tuesday February 06, @10:19PM (#1343398) Homepage

    A nonprofit organization (NPO) ... is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, public or social benefit, as opposed to an entity that operates as a business aiming to generate a profit for its owners. A nonprofit is subject to the non-distribution constraint: any revenues that exceed expenses must be committed to the organization's purpose, not taken by private parties ... some may also qualify to receive tax-deductible contributions.

    All received money goes to servers, etc?
    Are we gonna be tax-deductible?

    • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Tuesday February 06, @10:35PM

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 06, @10:35PM (#1343402) Journal

      I've got no idea - that is strictly a US tax matter.

      It certainly does not apply to Europeans....

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Dale on Wednesday February 07, @02:27PM

      by Dale (539) on Wednesday February 07, @02:27PM (#1343510)

      I would suspect not. I would imagine it will function more like an HOA (as an example) where it isn't a for profit endeavor, but not a charity either. The HOA comparison is also pretty apt in other regards. The uncompensated board of volunteers does what they can to handle most things, the staff is the equivalent of the management company that actually runs the HOA, and important items or changes to the governing docs goes to community.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by driverless on Wednesday February 07, @08:46AM (1 child)

    by driverless (4770) on Wednesday February 07, @08:46AM (#1343477)

    I'm missing the drugs policy that says if you bring drugs to work you have to bring enough for everyone (courtesy Cygnus Support).

    There's also no statement about the wearing of pink bunny slippers at work.

    • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Wednesday February 07, @09:21AM

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 07, @09:21AM (#1343479) Journal

      I am sure that you realise that both of your suggestions are more a policy issue than one of governance. However, I look forward to a very interesting discussion when we get to that stage. :-)

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