Mission and Charter

The ownCloud Foundation promotes the global development, distribution and adoption of the ownCloud platform, serving as the Open Source Standard for File Sync and Share and incorporating any other decentralized data sharing capabilities like Contacts, Calendar, Mail, News, and Internet of Things Data. As the global independent home for ownCloud, the Foundation serves more than 10 Million users and 1000 developers in over 190 countries around the world.

The goal of the ownCloud Foundation is to serve developers, users and the entire ecosystem globally by providing a set of shared resources to grow the footprint of public, private and Enterprise ownClouds, enable technology vendors targeting the platform and assist developers in producing the best decentralized cloud platform in the industry.

Like the software, individual and contributor membership within the ownCloud Foundation is free and accessible to anyone. Organization Members pay a yearly membership fee to help fund the Foundation. All Members are expected to participate in the ownCloud community through technical contributions or community building efforts.

The ownCloud Foundation is a nonprofit non-stock Foundation (“Foundation”) whose purpose is to develop, support, protect, and promote the open source project which is known as the ownCloud Project as defined in these Bylaws. The Foundation is formed exclusively as a nonprofit trade association within the meaning of Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). The Foundation shall have and may exercise all the rights and powers given to nonprofit non-stock corporations under General Corporation Law of Delaware (“Delaware Corporate Law”).


The first goal of the Foundation is to provide easier and increased community influence into ownCloud’s course. There are various mechanisms for that influence which includes the proven meritocracy model of Open Source, and to have as little formality as possible while maintaining a constructive environment.

Individual Members

  • You can join the Foundation for free as an Individual Member
  • Individual Members do not have voting privileges
  • Members can opt-in to informational emails about The Foundation and its activities
  • Participation in any activities does not require membership in the Foundation
  • There are no limits on the number of Individual Members allowed

Contributor Members

  • You can join the Foundation for free as a Contributor Member if you have signed a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) for the ownCloud Project
  • Contributor Members have the right to vote
  • Contributor members shall qualify as board members if they have at least one accepted pull request to the ownCloud Project covered by the CLA
  • Members can opt-in to informational emails about The Foundation and its activities
  • There are no limits on the number of Contributor Members allowed

Organization Members

  • Organization Members may be business entities, academic institutions, government agencies, or any other legal organization
  • The specifics of the Organization Members program are to be confirmed by the Board
  • There are no limits on the number of Organization Members allowed

Organization Members incorporated fewer than 24 months (Startup) at the time of applying for membership, or at the beginning of a new fiscal year, pay $1000 per year. Organization members which are incorporated longer pay $5000 per year. For Government and educational organizations, the membership fee is waived on request, until the Board creates a special class for such organizations.

Organization Members who join after June 30th in any given fiscal year are charged 50% of the membership fees in the same year.


The ownCloud Foundation will function according to approved bylaws. You may download the preliminary bylaws for greater detail.

The ownCloud Foundation is governed by the ownCloud Foundation Board, with working groups that focus on specific proposals or topics including the overall technical architecture and the security incident identification and response process. The Foundation also directs evangelism efforts and the facilitation of the ownCloud Conference. You are invited to join the Foundation public mailing list to be part of the conversation.

The Board will initially consist of 7 individuals including 2 elected Contributor Members, 4 Organization Members, plus 1 appointed representative of ownCloud GmbH

  • The Chairman is elected by the Board and is responsible for overseeing and organizing the Board
  • The initial Board will assist in ensuring the successful launch of The Foundation. The long-term intent is to have all constituents of the ownCloud ecosystem represented: ownCloud users, ownCloud developers, and active contributing customers. A deep commitment to the ownCloud community is desired.
  • Two Contributor Members will be elected following a nomination process

Elections will take place within 6 weeks after the formation of the Foundation. Criteria for later elections can be modified by the Board.

  • With a 2/3 majority vote, the Board may adjust the mission, charter and working groups, including the addition of Board members, adjustment of criteria for Board member selection, or changes to the election process.
  • Board will meet monthly or as determined by the Board; at least once every quarter.
  • In case of a resignation of a Board member from the Contributor Members, an election will be held. In case of resignation of Board member from the Organization Members, the Organization Member Selector will reappoint a person or, if the Organization Member does not want to select a new member, an election of the group would be held.
  • Dissolving the Foundation requires a unanimous vote of Board members. In the case of dissolution of the Foundation, all rights and assets revert back to ownCloud (the group of companies), or, in the case with no successor, to an Open Source Foundation of the Board’s choice.
  • Early agenda items for the Board include: confirm proposed working groups, select working group leads, gain additional members and decide on rules for dispersing funds.

September 2018: The elections for the contributor members will start on the 1st of September and will have a voting phase of 60 Days. The Voting closes on the 30th of October. The elected Contributor Members will be announced publicly soon after.

Funding of The ownCloud Foundation

The Foundation is able to accept donations, and can spend on goals set in the charter. Initial funding will be used to facilitate the annual ownCloud Conference and to provide travel support for active community members. The ownCloud Foundation may also sponsor Meetups, support for local ownCloud groups, or participation at Open Source events. The Board has discretion over the funds and how funds are dispersed.

If interested in donating to the ownCloud Foundation, please contact donate@owncloud.org to make arrangements; we will offer secure, online donation capabilities in the near future.

Community Continuity

The ownCloud Foundation provides continuity of the ownCloud project, irrespective of the situation of the commercial entity. If ownCloud, Inc. or ownCloud GmbH, or any successor thereof have not released a version of the ownCloud Software under an Open Source license within 12 months, the Board will initiate the rights of the ownCloud Foundation under the ownCloud licensing agreement and decide with a three quarters majority vote whether the Open Source license of the ownCloud software shall be changed.

IP rights details
At the creation of the Foundation, an irrevocable license with a conditional right to re-license is granted to the Foundation. Any new code added to the public Open Source repositories of ownCloud is automatically licensed to the Foundation under the same terms.

The Foundation is granted the right to re-license the ownCloud Core and all other Open Source offerings currently owned exclusively by ownCloud GmbH. (list to be detailed) under the Apache 2.0 license in accordance with the bylaws. This right is irrevocably granted to the Foundation and cannot be modified by ownCloud GmbH or any successor, except in the case of dissolution of the Foundation.

ownCloud GmbH retains control over the Contributor License Agreements and the resulting IP ownership. New contributor license agreements will be required for commit access to the GitHub repositories as today. This is because the copyright and the code is an asset of the company, and needs to remain with ownCloud GmbH. The proprietary code also remains proprietary to ownCloud GmbH along with the GitHub access privileges for that code.

Access details
GitHub account management permissions for the Open Source repositories will be granted to the leader of the working group (and likely other Foundation and/or board members) to retain access to the core ownCloud code repositories. Additional commit access will be granted based on the processes defined by the Foundation board. This ensures the ability of the Foundation to continue to steward the ownCloud project and community, regardless of the state of ownCloud.

Trademark details
At the founding of the ownCloud Foundation, the following are transferred to the Foundation:

  • ownCloud GmbH grants a perpetual trademark license for the text mark ‘ownCloud’
  • the ownCloud.org domain to steward its usage and manage
  • the trademark blue and white ownCloud community logo, although ownCloud GmbH retains a perpetual irrevocable trademark license
  • the credentials to the ownClouders social media properties will be shared once the Foundation is staffed and reliably organized. Those credentials can be suspended by ownCloud GmbH should content damaging to ownCloud GmbH be distributed through those properties.

ownCloud GmbH retains the colored logo – the Foundation can only use it to link to, or when describing, ownCloud commercial offerings. Sublicensing is not permitted.

Any future revisions of the trademark guidelines must be mutually agreed between the Board and ownCloud GmbH. If ownCloud GmbH or a successor entity no longer exists, or meet the conditions listed within the bylaws, no mutual agreement is required and the Board can unilaterally modify these guidelines.

Additionally, if the holder of the original trademark rights ceases to offer products and services under the name “ownCloud“ for more than 12 months, all trademark rights automatically transfer to the ownCloud Foundation.

Note: ownCloud, GmbH and the ownCloud community can keep the naming scheme and logo guidelines currently in place. Should different names become desirable for the community and commercial offerings, ownCloud GmbH would change the product line name as the Foundation co-owns the trademark to ownCloud. In addition, the name “ownCloud” can never be used for a different commercial offering other than ownCloud GmbH or a successor. The ownCloud project can never be required to change its name by ownCloud GmbH.

The trademark and IP grants ensure complete continuity of the ownCloud project and its activities under all scenarios, independent of the commercial entity.

Working Groups

Initial working groups will be:

The Board will confirm initial work groups and decide on more working groups as needed and requested. The Board also selects the leader of each working group. Contributor Membership is desired but not required to participate in the working groups.