from the subsumed-by-capitalists dept.
Matthew Garrett reports [dreamwidth.org]
The Linux Foundation is an industry organisation dedicated to promoting, protecting and standardising Linux and open source software. The majority of its board is chosen by the member companies: 10 by platinum members (platinum membership costs $500,000 a year), 3 by gold members (gold membership costs $100,000 a year), and 1 by silver members (silver membership costs between $5,000 and $20,000 a year, depending on company size).
Up until recently, individual members ($99 a year) could also elect two board members, allowing for community perspectives to be represented at the board level. As of [January 18], this is no longer true.
The by-laws [linuxfoundation.org] were amended to drop the clause that permitted individual members to elect any directors. Section 3.3(a) now says that no affiliate members may be involved in the election of directors, and section 5.3(d) still permits at-large directors but does not require them. The old version of the bylaws are here [archive.org]--the only non-whitespace differences are in sections 3.3(a) and 5.3(d).
These changes all happened shortly after Karen Sandler announced that she planned to stand for the Linux Foundation board during a presentation last September [youtube.com] [YouTube]. A short time later, the "Individual membership" program was quietly renamed to the "Individual supporter" program and the promised benefit of being allowed to stand for and participate in board elections was dropped (compare the old page [archive.org] to the new one [linuxfoundation.org]). Karen is the executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy, an organisation involved in the vitally important work of GPL enforcement [dreamwidth.org].
Roy Schestowitz at TechRights entitled his coverage
The Linux Foundation Has Become Like a Corporate Think Tank; Microsoft Influence Included [techrights.org]
[Our extensive coverage of malfeasance at the European Patent Office [techrights.org]] has prevented us from covering as much about the Linux Foundation as we used to, including payments from Microsoft, services to Microsoft, and abandonment of GPL enforcement efforts because GPL enforcers went after a Microsoft executives-run VMware [techrights.org].
Several of the places that covered this remarked about the extremely quiet nature of the process.