Typical corporations are by definition driven by one thing: maximizing profit. At Purism, profit maximization is not the purpose. However, it is not feasible to have Purism be a non-profit organization because it sells products and has profit, and leverages lines-of-credit, accounts receivable, and investment vehicles, all which require a corporate status that charitable organizations do not have. This is why Purism is a Social Purpose Corporation (UBI number 603-453-485) effective February 21st 2017 (announcement), where Purism defines general and specific social purposes that sit above the purpose of making a profit.
Below are the relevant sections of Purism’s Articles of Incorporation.
ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION
Under Title 23B RCW, the Washington Business Corporation Act (the “Act”)—and specifically under Chapter 23B.25 RCW—the undersigned does hereby submit these Articles of Incorporation for purposes of forming a social purpose corporation under the Act.
1.1 The name of the social purpose corporation is “Purism, SPC” (the “Corporation” or the “Social Purpose Corporation”).
2.1 The Corporation shall be organized and operated as a social purpose corporation, to the greatest extent permitted a business corporation formed under the Act. The Corporation shall be devoted to ensuring the security, privacy, and freedom of the users of its products, and the hardware and software offered by Purism shall conform to the philosophy of the Free Software movement (the “General Social Purpose”). This corporation is organized to carry out its business in a manner intended to promote positive short-term or long-term effects of, or minimize adverse short-term or long-term effects of, the Corporation’s activities upon any or all of: (1) the Corporation’s employee’s, suppliers or customers; and (2) the local, state, national or world community.
2.2 In addition, the Corporation is organized for the following purposes (collectively referred to as “Specific Social Purpose):
- The Corporation will prioritize privacy, security, and freedom for its customers. The Corporation will place respecting users’ rights to privacy, security, and freedom at the forefront of its mission.
- The Corporation will only use and distribute free/libre and open source software in the kernel, OS, and software in its products. Free/Libre and Open Source Software is software that respects users’ freedom. Non-free, or proprietary, software and installable firmware within the kernel will be strictly prohibited within the Corporation. The Corporation’s operating system and kernel and all software will be “free” according to the strictest of guidelines set forth by the Free Software Foundation’s Free Software Definition.
- The Corporation will design and manufacture hardware that respects users’ rights to privacy, security, and freedom. The Corporation will use hardware and software that respects users’ rights. Non-free, or proprietary, chipsets that require installable firmware binaries into the kernel will be strictly prohibited within the Corporation. If a suitable component part that fully respects these rights is not available in the marketplace, the Corporation may use a part in its products that does not meet this standard if it is necessary for the product to be fit for purpose, in which case the Corporation will: (1) provide purchasers of the product, in writing, with strong evidence that a free version of the part with equivalent specifications is not available and that developing a free version of such would not be feasible at that point in time; and (2) actively pursue the development of a free version of the part for its future products.
- The Corporation will not discriminate against individuals, groups or fields of endeavor. The Corporation will allow any person, or any group of persons, in any field of endeavor to use its systems for whatever purpose.
- The Corporation will source, and manufacture the highest quality hardware. The Corporation will endeavor to source the best component parts that operate using free/libre and open source software. When considering the selection of parts, The Corporation will weigh such issues as privacy, security, freedom, ethical working conditions, environmental impact, and performance, among other factors.
- The Corporation will release all software written by The Corporation under a free software license.
- The Corporation will release all hardware schematics authored by The Corporation under a free hardware license.
- The Corporation will release encryption tools and services and will design these tools such that The Corporation will have no means to access users’ encrypted data.
2.3 The mission of this social purpose corporation is not necessarily compatible with, and may be contrary to, maximizing profits and earnings for shareholders, or maximizing shareholder value in any sale, merger, acquisition, or other similar actions of the Corporation.