Linked above is a rendered version of the LLC Agreement that we will be using (minus our specific names, etc.) to organize our effort to create a Farmstead Cooperative. It is marked up with footnotes that I’ve added to help clarify some of the legalese, but also to emphasis some of the important concepts. Once downloaded you can “turn off” or remove these notes by manipulating the style sheet in the header. You can also work with the document in a word processor like Microsoft Word (see instructions below).
Yes it is LONG, and probably boring on a narrative level, but the idea behind it is that the language is based on legal precedent in an effort to create a structure that will perform exactly as we want it to perform in every possible challenging circumstance, especially if challenged in a court of Maine law.
In many ways, I’ve learned, that documents like this function within the legal system just like software functions when it is compiled and run by a digital processor. Software code is not easy for the lay reader to understand, but it is meant to perform a specific set of tasks for the user through the refractory of the digital processor. In that same way legal language is software programmed for the court system to perform a specific set of tasks. In that spirit, please enjoy.
[To simply save the document to your computer for off-line review click the link above and then use your browser’s “Save As” menu item to save the document as an .html file. Then you can open the off-line copy in a browser, or in a word processor (like Microsoft Word) — just make sure you set your word processor to open documents with a .html extension, usually called “Web Pages” naturally.]
IT’S ALL GEEK TO ME
This agreement is currently held in a GitHub document repository, and because it is a Public repository with an open source license, you can contribute to this document directly. Normally GitHub is used to host software code projects, encouraging the crowdsourcing of code creation where a project is Public, and efficient code generation by a specific team of coders when a project is Private.
Normally GitHub is accessed through a Unix-ish command-line “terminal prompt,” either directly on a Linux or Mac OSX based computer, or indirectly using one of several terminal interfaces found for Mac OSX and Windows. However, GitHub has now incorporated the ability to interact with documents directly through the browser interface. Although “clunkier” than maintaining a local repository and a GitHub master repository, it’s probably much easier for the Unix-naif among us to use GitHub this way than it would be to learn Unix command-line terminology from scratch, download and create a local repository, and then push changes up to a GitHub repository. Of course a seasoned coder would prefer the latter process — fewer keystrokes to accomplish the same work. It’s all good, as long as everyone is willing to work in the spirit of cooperation and continuous improvement of any working document.
As I learn more about text-based branching, forking, pulling, pushing, and committing I will develop a set of contributor pages that should help guide anyone through the process of contributing to this project.
If you have gotten this far, thank you for interest. I hope that this project will end up justifying your effort, as well as in protecting productive farmland in Maine and elsewhere.