Purpose of our Association
One of our main goals is oregami.org being run and maintained by a German non-profit association. This legal basis is a very important milestone on our noble quest of creating a future-proof project, because a non-profit association under German law comes with a truck load of advantages. Let’s outline the most important of these:
The Oregami community becomes capable of holding rights. This legal capacity, first and foremost, opens up the possibility to close contracts. For example, no single person shall be threatened by the risk of hosting such an ambitious project any more, not just from a financial point of view, but also concerning [German] youth protection law or compensation for copyright infringement issues.
The association could also insure members representing it on gaming events, or even become an employer if, for instance, a student shall be paid for coding a fancy feature for the project’s website.
- The project becomes more independent of individuals. The single biggest problem for a private Internet site wanting to be future-proof is its dependency on few individuals. In case of these people losing interest, the project is bound to infirmity or even slow death.
Within an association, important individuals like board members can easily be replaced by reelection, rendering the project capable of acting at all times.
- Enlistment and exit of members is easily done. In an association, new members just legally join, leaving members just legally resign. There is no problem for non-German nationals to become members, too. When compared to other legal forms of organisation, no additional complexity or effort is needed for all this.
- The non-profit status unlocks financial advantages. If the association becomes an official German non-profit and sustains this status, there’s tangible financial advantages involved. It’s not only member fees and donations being tax-deductible for people filing a German tax return, even the association itself will enjoy nice taxation benefits. Exemplary, it’s possible to develop limited commercial activities like advertising without the financial burden of paying taxes for it.
- A non-profit association is perceived differently. A transparent and not-for-profit way of doing things is an important aspect in convincing all the volunteer worker bees out there to donate their time to a project (think Wikipedia).
Furthermore, an official non-profit association can boldly approach public institutions. Access to the archives of the Bundesprüfstelle? Collaboration with the German National Library, the KEEP Project or EFGAMP? Cooperation with universities? A non-profit association may open doors that would forever be locked otherwise.
- One cannot buy out a German non-profit association or take it over against the will of the community!
We already drafted the charter of our future association, see the [German] wiki entries Vereinssatzung and Beitragsordnung. Also, we already presented our charter to the Association Register and to Financial Authorities for approval. The Association Register currently doesn’t see any problems to accept our association. Financial Authorities have also approved that the charter we drafted enables us to become a German non-profit.
For the impatient, here is a translated excerpt from our charter regarding the point “Objectives and Assignments”:
- Main objective of the association is the advancement of arts and culture, especially regarding the research and preservation of the history of computing technology and video gaming.
- The association particularly achieves its objectives by
- Information of the public about the history of computing technology and video gaming, this especially by maintaining a public Internet archive about computers and video games, as well as the software and press landscape available.
- Long-term preservation of software for classic computers and video gaming systems.
The association hasn’t been founded, yet. Please follow the usual communication channels for further announcements.