SPI (Software in the Public Interest) is a non-profit corporation registered in the state of New York founded to act as a fiscal sponsor for organizations that develop open source software and hardware. For details check here: www.spi-inc.org

FFmpeg is an SPI associated project and donations can be collected and handled by SPI on behalf of FFmpeg. For details about the association check here: www.spi-inc.org/projects/ffmpeg/

How to request refunds from SPI:

Send a mail to the ffmpeg-devel mailing-list with the [REFUND-REQUEST] tag and a short description of the refund topic in the subject.

In the mail, you also need to provide the amount to be refunded, with a short description of how the money was spent.

There is no need and is not recommeded to send receipts when sending the refund request on the ffmpeg-devel mailing-list, but they are usually needed later when the request is approved and the refund request is sent to SPI: www.spi-inc.org/treasurer/reimbursement-form

What can be payed by SPI:

FFmpeg money collected at SPI can be used for any purpose which is in line with 501(c)3 nonprofit rules, and within our mission (Free & Open Source software).

In practice we frequently payed for travel and hardware. For other refund expenses or sponsorships, it is recommended to discuss them beforehand on ffmpeg-devel. If there is a community agreement on their approval, the current FFmpeg liaison will followup to get an approval on the SPI side.

Funding active development by SPI:

The texts below have been taken from multiple replies FFmpeg has received from SPI, they have been edited so that "I" was replaced by "SPI" in some cases.)

Paying for development *does* require substantial additional paperwork, but it is not prohibited.

Several SPI projects pay contractors for development efforts. SPI needs a contract in place which describes the work to be done. There are also various things SPI needs to check about the potential contractors (e.g. are they a US person or not, as with GSoC mentor payments; are they really a contractor and not a employee).

SPI can't deal with employment at the moment because that involves a lot of work, like health insurance, tax withholding, etc. Contractors are easier because they have to take care of that themselves; Whether someone is a contractor vs employee depends on various factors (that of course are different in every country) and can be disputed (see e.g. the debate about whether Uber drivers are employees); SPI has a questionnaire about their circumstances.

Unfortunately, there's no one-size-fits-all when dealing with contractors, especially without knowing the contributor's country.

SPI does have some contract templates which depends on the contractors country. In case of US, Australia, France and a couple others countries, SPI can easily provide them, otherwise SPI would need to ask their attorney to draft one, which would take some time.

Also, SPI has two models, Master Service Agreements (which transfers ownership) and Continued Service Agreements (which grants a license instead). SPI usually sends the MSA (it's better for most purposes), but for development purposes, some projects prefer that the contractor retains ownership rights.

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