Open Letter to Gitea

Gitea Open Letter logo

Forgejo - Beyond coding. We forge.

After many days of hard work and preparation by a team of former Gitea maintainers and enthusiasts from the FOSS community, we are proud to announce that the Forgejo project is now live.

Forgejo (/forˈd͡ʒ inspired by forĝejo – the Esperanto word for forge) is a community-driven Free Software project that develops a code forge platform similar to GitHub, and that is a drop-in replacement for Gitea. We started Forgejo in reaction to control of Gitea being taken away from the community by the newly-formed for-profit company Gitea Ltd without prior community consultation, and after an Open Letter to the Gitea project owners remained unanswered. The Forgejo project has two major objectives that drive our development and road map:

  1. The community is in control, and ensures we develop to address community needs.
  2. We will help liberate software development from the shackles of proprietary tools.

Read more.

Gitea Ltd confirms its takeover of the Gitea project

On 28 October, members of the Gitea Community published the Gitea Open Letter demanding restitution of the Gitea project after the takeover announced on 25 October.

After discussions via diplomatic channels about the Gitea Open Letter, Gitea Ltd decided to ignore the demands and further confirmed they now are in total control of the Gitea project in a blog post signed by two shareholders, Lunny and techknowlogick on 30 October.

This unfortunately concludes the Gitea Open Letter has failed and there is no alternative but forking the project under a new name, with a healthy democratic governance. Exactly as it was before 25 October in the Gitea project. But this time in the context of an incorporated non-profit that provides a legal framework.

Dear Gitea Owners,

In the name of the Gitea Community who elected you last year1, we welcome the creation of a for-profit company that allows you to make a living out of Gitea.

But there has been some confusion as to the ownership of the Gitea domains and trademarks, which are essential parts of the project. As a Community, we trusted you to care for them because they are one of the most important assets any Free Software project has (if not the most important).

We believed you when you promised to pass along the ownership of the Gitea project to your elected successors. This promise is part of an essential bond between you and the strong Community of volunteers, as well as all those who rely upon our collective efforts.

With that in mind, you can understand our surprise when we learned on October 25th, 20222 that both the domains and the trademark were transferred to a for-profit company without our knowledge or approval.

We want to believe this is an honest mistake and ask that:

  • A non-profit organisation owned by the Gitea community is created.
  • The Gitea trademark and domains are transferred to the non-profit.
  • The name of the company is changed to avoid any confusion with the non-profit.

These are steps that are needed to help restore the trust we, as Community, have given to the Gitea project. A new non-profit organisation also gives us opportunities to improve and ensure a healthy future, for instance by:

  • Implementing an intuitive and fair election process.
  • Describing the ways in which democratic decisions are to be made.
  • Providing accessible places where all relevant information can be found.
  • Establishing a DoOcracy that works and continue to improve it.

And explore even more ambitious ideas: it is for the whole Community to imagine the future of the organisation and make it a reality.

We await your response

In summary, the announcement of the for-profit company was not well received and this reflects poorly on the entire Gitea Community. We need to restore a positive image as quickly as possible: please provide us with your answer in the next few days so we can move forward again.

Your forever enthusiastic Gitea Community.