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Tvheadend Foundation CIC

As part of the re-licensing (and CLA) effort. We have decided to set-up a UK based company. This has been done for several reasons:

  1. It provides a more stable foundation (no pun intended) on which the project can move forward.
  2. It provides a legal entity to which the CLA can be signed.
  3. It puts in place some protection for the projects assets (the code).
  4. It allows us to properly handle donations.

The company will be formed with 2 directors:

who will be responsible for ensuring that the project moves in the right direction and that things are run in accordance with the companies governing documents.

We have decided to register a UK based Community Interest Company (CIC). This has been done for a couple of reasons:

  1. Adam is UK based and will be handling most of the paperwork.
  2. The CIC model is well suited to our requirements.

Community Interest Companies (CIC)

As many people will be unfamiliar with this form of company, we shall provide a simple intro to what they are.

In many respects a CIC can be seen as a watered down charity. Ultimately it's there as a vehicle for serving a community (in our case our user base) and to that end its a not-for-profit organisation. The intention being that any surplus generated (in our case from donations) be ploughed back into benefiting the community (this will probably mean purchasing of test/dev kit to help produce new features for the project).

There are some key differences however from a charity:

  • There is much less regulation. Charities must adhere to strict regulations, including how they can use the proceeds and how they are governed.
  • There is much more scope for commercial activity. Such as licensing or working with commercial entities (selling our products etc..), though we're still bound by the requirement that proceeds be fed back into the community. I.e. we're still not a commercial outfit.
  • There are not the same Tax breaks, but this isn't a huge issue.
  • There is something called an "Asset Lock" within the companies governance that ensures the assets (in this case the code) cannot be lost and should the company fold must be transferred to another CIC (or Charity) to ensure they are kept available to the community. To some extent this isn't a major issue, our license ensures this anyway, but its nice to have some additional legal foundation.

At time of writing we're still working through the registration process, so don't have any formal documentation to provide including details of governance documents, accounts etc.. However we'll try and provide these in the future so anyone interested can see them.

Regards
Tvheadend Team

Updated by Adam Sutton over 6 years ago · 1 revisions