Giving Voice to the Future: Support OpenVoiceOS in Establishing a Nonprofit association.

OpenVoiceOS (OVOS) is a collective of programmers and hardware enthusiasts who produce an open-source voice assistant. We formed in 2019-2020 as an offshoot of the Mycroft community, bringing a handful of third-party projects under one roof. One of those projects was an extension of Mycroft itself, which slowly became independent of its parent.

Over the years, with their employers’ consent, those of us paid to work on relevant projects migrated to the OVOS codebase, which enabled those members to spend company time on our open-source projects. In this roundabout fashion, the OVOS assistant, which will receive a name of its own in the coming weeks, became an accidental fork of Mycroft. We’ve been operating in this manner for over two years without giving the arrangement much thought.

With MycroftAI reduced to a skeleton crew, and the transfer of most development operations to Neon, our ecosystem has been abruptly reduced to projects which had already switched to our code. Neon derives from our code. KDE derives from our code. We are aware of no other Mycroft-based projects in production.

If Neon represents the future of Mycroft’s commercial operations, OpenVoiceOS represents the survival of the adjacent open-source community, and our maintained code is every project’s best hope for the future. Circumstances have made it abundantly clear that, although we’re fortunate to enjoy an extremely friendly relationship with our members’ employers, we’re just as fortunate to have endured this period intact. Such an informal relationship with the world at large is no longer tenable.

We’ve decided to become a nonprofit association under Dutch law. OpenVoiceOS will be registered as OpenVoiceOS V.z.w. (Dutch: “Vereninging zonder winstoogmerk”, a nonprofit association, as distinguished from a foundation.) The association will support the OVOS community in legal and financial matters by securing donations of cash, hardware, and other relevant aid. These donations will be used to facilitate software development, promotion, and support.

To establish the association and equip it with a positive balance for ongoing expenses, we have determined that we need to raise €3033. We’re deeply grateful for any support. You can chip in at our GoFundMe campaign.

Please feel free to approach us with any questions or concerns. You can expect to hear more from us over the next few weeks, as we finalize our plans for long-term stability, a more structured development process, and much more!

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