One senses the hand of Linus Torvalds behind this unexpected action by the Linux Foundation:
Linux Foundation quietly drops community representation
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 last Friday, this is no longer true. The by-laws 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 – 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. 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 to the new one). Karen is the executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy, an organisation involved in the vitally important work of GPL enforcement. The Linux Foundation has historically been less than enthusiastic about GPL enforcement, and the SFC is funding a lawsuit against one of the Foundation’s members for violating the terms of the GPL. The timing may be coincidental, but it certainly looks like the Linux Foundation was willing to throw out any semblance of community representation just to ensure that there was no risk of someone in favour of GPL enforcement ending up on their board.
The Foundation’s action doesn’t have anything to do with Karen Sandler being the executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy, but rather, her having been the executive director of the Gnome Foundation, which she bankrupted in three years by devoting nearly 50 percent of the foundation’s budget to a new Women’s Outreach Program.
This demonstrates the seriousness of the threat that the most influential people in tech know that the SJWs pose to it. It is well worth destroying the community aspect of a project to keep them out, if necessary, because if they are allowed in, they will spend all their time and effort in attempting to take it over; even if they are prevented from doing so, far too many resources will be wasted in stopping them, resources that could have been spent on achieving the goals of the project.
Keep them out. As Linus knows, even it requires changing the rules, you have to keep them out.