Author Topic: Creating Whonix Foundation, law juristic person, US 501c3, e.V., Limited  (Read 1384 times)

Cerberus

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@Patrick
From a longer term perspective (if I were you), I would think about establishing a Whonix foundation of some sorts. US 501c3, German e.V., etc. That way, sponsors are able to provide tax-deductible donations to Whonix (which almost certainly is a requirement for bigger sponsors/orgs). I may provide some guidance here if appreciated and/or needed. Preferably by pgp encrypted email (we exchanged our keys previously).

Patrick

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I am thinking about it.

US 501c3 is unlikely (unless my physical presence is not required and someone else tackles this), since I don't dare to ever fly to the US.

At the moment I am more contemplating with UG (German Limited). Would let me sleep better at night. Too many lawyers making a living out of deliberately misunderstanding things and sewing people nowadays (I am talking about the huge increase in cease and desist orders as well as court proceedings).

e.V. is tax-deductible but doesn't provide such great limitation of liability. e.V. It needs at least 7 members. Needless to say, those can't be anonymous.

I just found out, there is such thing as gGmbH which is a tax-deductible Limited. And even better, there is an gUG (Gemeinnützige UG), which is the same, just you don't need lots of authorized capital, 1 EUR is enough. (And only liable up to 1 EUR. No one will give such a company a loan, but I don't like loans anyway.) (Apart from preliminary expenses for the authorities to hand out and look at lots of paper.)

I am not sure time is quite ready for this yet. I hate the time that is wasted on paperwork and not on meaningful things. However, when really required, I'd do it.
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Occq

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Moritz probably has some knowledge about the matter.

https://www.torservers.net/contact.html

zweeble

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As your identity now is public, you are definitely forced to put this project and activity on a legal basis. IMO it's only a bit safer to put it into a "Verein" as nobody can blame you for doing it from a profit perspective. Even much better would be to get under the wings of an established institution that has similar targets of interest and the resources for legal advice and protection. As mass surveillance is now (for the moment) a top priority subject for the public, the time and conditions for such a step couldn't be better.
Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.

Patrick

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Sure, it's a good idea. Huge bureaucracy overhead, though. I already lost so much time just on bureaucracy.

Verein:
- Legal protections?
- Liability of chairman?
- http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verein#Haftung looks unattractive.
- Verein needs at minimum 7 members. Must be non-anonymous. I don't see so many people willing to have their name connected to Whonix.
- No idea if Whonix could become a charitable by German law. Nevermind, must not necessarily be a charitable.
- Bureaucracy overhead?

UG or gUG:
- https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unternehmergesellschaft_%28haftungsbeschr%C3%A4nkt%29
- similar to GmbH
- needs at least two people. must be non-anonymous.
- g stands for charitable (gemeinnützig)
- 1 EUR common capital stock is sufficient
- same legal protections as GmbH
- huge bureaucracy overhead (balancing, double-entry bookkeeping)

For profit:
- I'd like to be granted the right to live on poverty level or decent level just by working on Whonix. Nevermind if called for profit or non-profit.

Joining existing institution:
- sounds most attractive
- least bureaucracy for me, I suppose
- risk of getting cheated?
- costs?
- seems like only gUG's, UG's, GmbH's and gGmbH's would provide legal protections?
- which ones could be interested?
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zweeble

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Legal protection has in your case two sides. The different company types you mentioned reduce ONLY your responsibility for eventual claims made against you on a financial level, nothing more. The legal protection I had in mind was to protect the scope of the project activity itself. Indeed there exists no form of a legal body (company, association) that protects you from being prosecuted because you offer a platform for free speech, the distribution of illegal goods or even worse. Even you don't have in mind that whonix will or should be used for illegal activities, you might be confronted with that. As you mentioned you don't intend to go to the US - that shows you are aware of the problem.
I am not part of any institution I mentioned before as a possible solution, also I did not mean that you join an institution. A strong collaboration or partnership that includes your legal protection by the institution's army of attorneys should be enough to scare off most of the troublemakers, besides the fact that it would cause much more public attention.
There are other and much more experienced people on this planet you might consider to ask for an advice. Maybe you get in touch with the Tor people, they should really know to handle such a situation.
Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.

 

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