The Simple Machines Team is proud to announce the founding of Simple Machines LLC, the new business entity created specifically to promote and build the Simple Machines organization. Simple Machines LLC was registered in the state of Arizona on October 23 and the transfer of copyrights from Lewis Media Inc. were completed on November 24 during a three-day retreat in Tucson, AZ.
David Recordon, Past Project Manager said, "The transition of ownership from Lewis Media to the new business structure marks a significant milestone in the history of the SMF project. The Simple Machines team has long been working towards a more structured and independent business model, and this registration solidifies the final step in this process."
Until today, the Simple Machines copyrights were held by Lewis Media on behalf of the Simple Machines community, as until today, the community has not been represented by a dedicated legal entity. With this transition, the Simple Machines community has solidified the team’s commitment to continuously providing free software, without the perceived risks of corporate influence.
Users concerned with the changing copyright notice at the bottom of every SMF install, need not worry about the transition. Previous versions of the copyright notice will still validate correctly, while future releases of SMF will include the modified statements. Also, users can rest assured that SMF will continue to be provided free of charge; the transition to the new business structure includes the preservation of the existing SMF team values, the first of which reads "We will provide our software to the public for free. A full and complete version of any software title developed by this project will be available to everyone without any cost, be it monetary or otherwise."
During the transition period, several business structures were evaluated and ultimately a Limited Liability Company was selected due to the flexibility of the organization and how easily it can accommodate a geographically distributed management team. Joseph Fung, co-founder of YaBB SE / SMF and President/CEO of Lewis Media, commented on the transition. "Simple Machines is relatively small organization, and with an LLC, we can avoid the overhead of more complex structures. Also, this keeps our options open, should we choose to pursue an alternative business structure in the future. This launch is a giant step for the community; it sets the stage for exhilarating new opportunities!"