Association Statutes

This is a markdown version of the corporate charter filed to incorporate the association.

1. Name and form

It is hereby created an international association with non-profit aim named: “The FreeCAD project association”. This association is ruled by Part III, Book 10 of the Code of Societies and Associations under the Belgian law. It is created for an undefined duration.

2. Seat location

The seat of this association is located in the judiciary region of Brussels, Belgium. The seat can be transferred to any other location in Belgium by decision of the administrative body.

3. Purpose of this association

The purpose of this association is to support the FreeCAD project. This includes, but is not limited to:

Collect financial means to fund activities that serve the purpose of this association. Examples include but are not limited to: buying support material and services (servers, web hosting, online services, etc.); support for organizing gatherings of FreeCAD community members or helping FreeCAD community members to participate in related events (by paying travel expenses, inscription fees, etc.); contracting developers to work on specific features; supporting other free and open-source projects beneficial to FreeCAD; encouraging the general development of a free CAD ecosystem around FreeCAD.

Use the legal personality of this association to represent the FreeCAD project, for example before bodies who need a physical or moral person as an interlocutor, such as companies or legal institutions, to demonstrate fair rights over internet domain names or social network handles, assume copyright for possible patent-breaking code in FreeCAD, protecting developers subject to possible patent infringement lawsuits in countries where these exist, or hold any other kind of assets in name of the FreeCAD project or FreeCAD community.

Protect the FreeCAD project by zealously maintaining it as a community-owned project that functions transparently and is accessible to all.

4. Definitions

FreeCAD is a free and open-source CAD (Computer-Aided Design) and 3D modelling software application developed originally by Jürgen Riegel, and identified by the internet domain. It is made of: 1) The source code of the application hosted on different online platforms; and 2) The associated documentation. Both the source code and the documentation are publicly available and published entirely under open-source licenses.

FreeCAD is developed and maintained by a community, hereby named the FreeCAD community.

The FreeCAD project is the sum of all efforts put by the community into maintaining and developing the FreeCAD software and related ressources. This includes coding, bug tracking, bug triage and bug resolution. It also includes documentation and translation of the user interface and documentation. It includes attracting users and supporting them. It further includes advocacy of FreeCAD interests in the larger free and open-source software community and encouraging the development of related plug-ins, libraries and tools, and technologies beneficial to the FreeCAD application.

The FreeCAD community is made of all the persons or bodies who take part in the FreeCAD project by contributing their time, talent, or resources.

These persons or bodies contribute to the FreeCAD project on a free and voluntary basis, although they might receive material compensation for doing so from individuals, companies, institutions interested in investing financial means to develop FreeCAD. These individuals, companies or institutions are also considered part of the community.

The community has no official protocol, existence or means of communication. Its members gather mostly around the FreeCAD forum and social networks and are solely united by their will to make FreeCAD better.

Community members retain full copyright over the code, documentation or graphical material they produce for FreeCAD, unless they wish to attribute it to this association.

FreeCAD administrators and core developers are members of the community with special responsibilities and permissions necessary to carry out duties related to the FreeCAD project. This may include but isn’t limited to forum moderators, code and translation repository managers, wiki administrators, and other system administrators. Administrators and core developers have a proven history of trustworthiness or competence in key areas.

5. Membership

This association is founded by the administrators and core developers of FreeCAD as identified as such in the documentation and on the FreeCAD forum.

Members can quit this association by simple notification to the chairperson. The list of members will always be kept public by the chairperson.

Members can be dismissed by two thirds of agreements of valid member votes.

New members can be admitted by two thirds of agreement of valid member votes.

Members will elect a chairperson among the members, whenever there is no active chairperson.

Members will express their vote every time such vote is required by the chairperson or any other member.

Members can not materially profit from being a member of this association. They can, however, receive funding for specific tasks they perform or work time they dedicate to the FreeCAD project. The chairperson and any other member can receive compensation for performing administrative tasks for this association, upon decision by members.

6. Administration

This association is governed by two bodies: The general assembly and the administrative body.

7. General assembly

The general assembly has the entirety of the powers to fullfill the purpose of the association. It is made of all members of this association.

It has competence for, but not limited to, the following points:

The general assembly will vote every time such vote is required by the chairperson or any other member. Unless defined differently in these statutes or additional rules, agreement will be met on simple majority of valid member votes. The general management body will keep a permanent online communication channel. Decisions by vote will be announced in the channel.

A voting period of at least 7 days will be allowed for consideration and voting. Only votes cast by members during that period will be considered as valid member votes. The organising of the vote will be done by additional rules.

Members can each be represented before the general assembly by another member or a third party carrying a special mandate.

Societies will be represented by the persons who are authorised to do so.

The general assembly can be held by videoconference or any other means that allow the entirety of its members to communicate simultaneously (conference calls, video-conference, telephone, etc). The general assembly can also cast valid votes remotely, by consulting its members by letter, fax, email or any other mean of communication.

The general assembly will only consider voting valid if more than the half of its members participate or are represented to the vote.

8. Administrative body

The administrative body is made of the chairperson, plus any other member designated by the chairperson and approved by vote of the general management body. The administrative body will keep accounting transparent and open to other members and publish a yearly report, a list of current members and updated statuses and additional rules of this association, and take care of any other administrative or accounting task required by law, or agreed with other bodies such as companies, institutions or members of the FreeCAD community.

9. Representation

The chairperson represents this association before any other party or body. The chairperson will always care to make any concern expressed by one of the members known to the rest of the members, and will organise a vote whenever required by any member. The chairperson will always care to keep all activities and accounting open and transparent to other members and the rest of the FreeCAD community. The mandate of the chairperson terminates two years after its appointment, or at any earlier moment if decided by the chairperson or by a simple majority of valid member votes.

10. Statutes modification

These statutes can be modified by two thirds of valid member votes, and will be effective after notarial act. Additional rules can be adopted and added to these statutes, by two thirds of valid member votes, as long as they do not contradict any of the terms of these statutes.

11. Termination

This association can be dissolved by unanimous vote of the members. The administrative body will take care of the whole process of liquidating remaining assets or liabilities according to the law and officially dissolving the association against the FreeCAD community and authorities, under the terms decided by the general management body. Upon dissolution, any remaining assets will be transferred to legally compatible organisations with similar values and for the benefit of free and open-source software.

12. General provisions

Anything that is not specified in the present statutes, particularly publication formalities, will be ruled according to Book 10 of the Code of Societies and Associations of the Belgian law.