To clarify what OpenCouchSurfing is and isn’t and to give a more balanced view in our blog posts I’m writing this tiny blog post about why Casey Fenton needs to stay.
- Casey might not be the most educated IT guru, but he’s definitely a guru and at this point he’s probably the only person capable of keeping the CouchSurfing website up and running.
- The entire CS “Leadership Team” and Board of Directors consists of Casey’s friends. They would be quite clueless if Casey suddenly disappeared.
- Casey is great. He might not have made the right decisions and I cannot agree with his attitude in many ways, but I am sure that I will feel happy if I will be able to give him a genuine hug again, maybe in 2009.
Still, even legally there is a problem with Casey in a paid position while being a member of the Board. And it would be totally useful if Casey’s ideas about transparency and volunteer participation would change a little bit. Though, also without it, with an estimated half a million US dollars coming in during year 2008 it’s unlikely that the ship will go down any time soon. And I am sincerely happy about that.
As posted in the politics and policy group
As Norbert points out here, the LT’s apparent unwillingness to make haste with the 501c3 application for tax exempt status, as well as their unwillingness to publish corporate bylaws or make drafts of these available for discussion, may well be construed as an (attempt at) fraud, because donations and services are and have been obtained under the (currently false) pretense that CS is a charity.
Needless to say, this renders CS extremely vulnerable to all sorts of liability suits, interestingly of the kind that is likely not to be covered by the ToA. Basically, any user who has donated volunteer work or money (besides the verification fee) to CS can claim that he has been the victim of this fraud; add to this the easy access to legal representation in the US (due to no cure, no pay) and Norbert’s prediction that liability is likely to extend to all natural persons working in, and owning CS, and you can easily grasp the size of the time bomb Casey’s currently sitting on.
And how do you reckon that Casey, Jim and Mattthew were to produce the funds needed for compensation if this happens? Precisely, from the sale of CS to a commercial third party, which is entirely within Casey’s right…