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On Monday 29 October 2012, Florian Effenberger wrote:
So, the question to me is: What are the exact rules? Are we, a
non-Finnish association, hosting our website outside of Finland, also
affected? Do you know the legal framework?

I'd be interested in hearing details, so we can work around it, or get
the required permit. :-)

As long as the website, association and people involved are all outside 
Finland and the donation messages don't explicitly target Finnish readers I 
don't see any problems.

The problems only arise when a person living in Finland is involved and does 
something that would require the permit. Asking for donations will require a 
permit and it does not matter whether the money goes to a Finnish or non-
Finnish association.

Right now there are no problems since the Finnish participants of this project 
don't write such messages. It is just something we have to keep in mind when 
we translate announcements and the website.

If however such messages were added to any material that we need to distribute 
locally and cannot be easily modified we have to be more careful. The 
application installation packages would be one such thing as it is distributed 
by Finnish mirror operators and CD providers.

Getting the permit is not easy but not impossible either. I know of only one 
occasion where such permit has been obtained for a free software project. It 
was for the VALO-CD project, Otto Kekäläinen who leads the project can 
probably tell you more about the details (CC:d him for this reasons). I have 
never been involved with these permits myself.

Working around the need for a permit is likely easier. For example the 
application and/or the installer could have a link labeled "support this 
project" and that link would point to a geoip-based redirector that redirects 
request originating from outside Finland to the donation form and all requests 
from Finland to an alternative page. That alternative page could lists other 
means of supporting the project. You can even ask for financial support as 
long as it's not donations. For example a web shop ( or 
some sort of sponsorship/associate membership kind of scheme is just fine. 
It's not a donation as long as the price is fixed and you get something in 

Redirector would also allow easy adding of more countries or states to the 
list of donation-campaing-unfriendly locations in case they are discovered 
after releasing the software. I understood from the previous mails to this 
list that there might be others (some Canadian provinces etc.)


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