[AUUG-Talk]: Re: [Linux-aus] AUUG to close? Will there be a rush of new members to Linux Australia?

Peter Miller millerp at canb.auug.org.au
Tue Dec 18 11:48:25 EST 2007

On Tue, 2007-12-18 at 07:56 +1100, James Turnbull wrote:
> I don't have a broad objection to [LA] merging with AUUG but I do have
> concerns (and would point out that the argument is somewhat moot until
> AUUG's members decide on an exact approach and vote on it).

The AUUG Constitution [1] (3. AIMS) says in part

        "...subscribe to or cooperate with or affiliate with or
        amalgamate with other associations formed elsewhere with similar

This does not say "identical aims".

My reading of this is that an amalgamation if LA and AUUG is possible
under the AUUG constitution.  However, some AUUG members take an
uncompromisingly opposite view.  It has been observed that the numbers
of still-commercially-viable closed-source Unixes are dwindling (or
flirting with going Open Source, e.g. Solaris), and the numbers of
members of AUUG who today still use closed-source Unixes are dwindling
even faster.   Also, I suspect some long-standing members rather chafe
at the idea of AUUG playing the supplicant role in any merger

It is because of the "you must include closed-source too" sticking point
that I expect the dissolution provisions will come into play.  The AUUG
Constitution 33(3) says

        "If upon the dissolution of the AUUG there remains after
        satisfaction of all its debts and liabilities any property
        whatsoever, the same shall be paid or applied by the Management
        Committee, according to a resolution of the membership at or
        before the time of dissolution, to any fund, institution or
        authority which, itself, is either a non profit company as
        defined by Section 3(1) of the Income Tax Act 1986 or is exempt
        from income tax."

and this is *not* limited by a "similar aims" clause.  It may be via
this path that, in the sad event of the dissolution of the AUUG, some
assets could be, maybe, possibly, if the members decide, be transferred
to LA.

> My chief concern is the inclusion or exclusion of proprietary Unix.  I
> would strongly resist the inclusion of proprietary Unix in the mandate
> of LA.

I too would strongly resist the inclusion of proprietary Unix in the
mandate of LA.

> AUUG caters for proprietary Unix
> because members used those operating systems in their professional lives
> and livelihoods.

Note the past tense.

> I think the question is broader than simply the name.  I think any
> proposed amalgamation would need to clearly articulate the scope of the
> new organisation and in my opinion should exclude proprietary Unix
> operating systems.  I'd argue that this potentially could be a
> show-stopper for some AUUG members.

I see this stance too.  This is why I predict the dissolution section
will be used, rather than the amalgamation possibility.  This rather
simply dodges the naming bullet, too.

That said, I don't see a conflict for LA if, after not merging and not
changing the LA charter, and post AUUG dissolution, LA were to host the
AUUG DNS and mailing lists and archived web-site, as this would preserve
a significant piece of the history of Unix and Unix-like operating
systems and proto-open-source-software in Australia.

[1] http://new.auug.org.au/resources/roles/constitution/

Peter Miller <millerp at canb.auug.org.au>
/\/\*        http://miller.emu.id.au/pmiller/

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