In May we announced that the Eclipse Foundation is becoming a Belgian international nonprofit association. I wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with an update on the progress of the transition, the next steps, and what it all means to our global community of developers and diverse membership base.
Let’s start with where we are in the process. At time of writing, all of the incorporation and related documents have been filed with the Belgian authorities, and we are waiting for the Royal Decree which will formally create our new entity, the Eclipse Foundation AISBL. This normally takes on the order of sixty days and we expect the process to be finalized by early-to-mid October.
In parallel, the Board of Directors of the Eclipse Foundation, Inc. have approved a series of changes to the Bylaws and Membership Agreement of the existing Delaware, USA-based entity and we will be seeking the approval of the membership-at-large for those changes. To our members and committers, please stay tuned for your voting credentials in late August. In addition, some revisions have been made to our IP Policy and Antitrust Policy to enable both our US and Belgian entities to have exactly the same policies.
Once the new Belgian entity Eclipse Foundation AISBL is created and the approvals are finalized to the Eclipse Foundation, Inc.’s Bylaws and Membership Agreement, all members will be required to update their Membership Agreement and related other agreements. You will be asked to join Eclipse Foundation AISBL, and to resign your membership in the existing US organization. At the same time, we will be asking you to re-sign your Member Committer and Contribution Agreement (MCCA) and any Working Group Participation Agreements.
So exactly what’s changing?
As part of moving to European-based governance, effective October 1st we will be restating our membership dues for both the Belgian-based Eclipse Foundation AISBL and the existing Eclipse Foundation, Inc. in euros while retaining the same numeric value. So if you are currently paying $20,000, the dues in the new organization will be 20.000€. We understand that due to currency exchange rates this represents an increase in dues. To help mitigate that, all members who renew between October 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021 will have their euro-based membership fees discounted by 10%. This modest increase is the first fee increase we have had in almost 15 years, and we hope that members appreciate the merit of stating all fees in euros as we complete this transition.
As part of the European transition, we are changing the name of the Solutions Members membership level to Contributing Members. We feel that this will better reflect the current, diverse group of organizations who participate and contribute to the Eclipse ecosystem in many ways, including, but not limited to, leading and contributing to our open source projects, and offering products and services based on Eclipse Foundation technologies.
Working Group Participation Agreements (WGPAs) will be updated to reflect the change of the corporate domicile to Belgium, as will the working group charters once approved by the respective Steering Committees. There are no fee changes to any working group participation associated with this transition, though some working groups may decide to restate their fees in Euros at some point in the future, similar to membership fees. As always, the budgets and fees established for each working group are determined by the Steering Committee of the working group.
For our committers, if you are an individual Committer Member you will be asked to execute the new Belgian Membership Agreement. If you have previously executed a committer agreement with the Eclipse Foundation as an individual, then you will need to re-execute the new version of the Individual Contributor Agreement.
For committers who are employees or consultants of a member company who has a Member Committer and Contributor Agreement (MCCA), your employer will be asked to execute the new MCCA, and no actions will be required on your part.
Our new GitLab-based forge physically hosted in Europe is operational and available as a choice for any projects that would like to use it. As we expand our presence in Europe, we anticipate new exciting opportunities for our global community members to participate and contribute in new open source projects. More announcements on this front will be coming soon.
What’s staying the same?
As far as day-to-day interactions with the Eclipse Foundation, nothing will change for member organizations or committer members. Our projects and working groups will continue to run as is, and the recently modified IP Policy and Antitrust Policy of the Eclipse Foundation AISBL are identical to those of the US organization. Eclipse Foundation AISBL will become the steward of the Eclipse Public License and govern our community’s license going forward. The bulk of the Foundation’s operations will continue to be split between Europe and Canada, and you can expect your engagement with the staff of the Foundation to remain unchanged.
When is this all happening?
There are a lot of moving parts with this corporate restructuring, and we ask in advance for both your patience and your active engagement and support. Here are some upcoming key dates that members and committers need to be aware of:
- August 31, 2020: Voting begins on approving the necessary changes to the Eclipse Foundation, Inc. (EF-US) Bylaws and Membership Agreement. Voting will go until September 29th. The new EF-US Bylaws and Membership Agreement will go into effect as soon as practicable after the completion of the membership vote.
- October 1, 2020: The new dues structure stated in euros will go into effect. Renewals for existing members will receive a 10% discount for the following twelve months.
- Soon after the Royal Decree which legally establishes the Eclipse Foundation AISBL we will be contacting all of our members and committers to update their agreements with the new Belgian entity. This may include your membership agreement, committer agreements, and working group participation agreements as applicable.
I hope that this post has helped update you on the execution of the transition and the way forward for the next exciting phase of our community’s expansion. If you have questions or feedback, feel free to reach out to me, or to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your continued support!