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Update on Patreon

November 2, 2018 in Infrastructure and News
/2018/11/Update on Patreon

In this blog post, we provide an update on our Patreon account, current available funds, and insights on previous finances.

Summary

This section is a summary of all information our Details section is comprised of. I welcome you to read the full details below, however if you’re under time constraints (or you’re covering this in a podcast, coughs) this should provide a clear picture of the current financial situation:

  • Patreon is now in the hands of the active Core Team.
  • Our Patreon campaign will remain frozen until further notice and discussions internally.
  • Current Patreon holdings: 73.90 USD
  • In our In Full Sail blog post, we reported the PayPal account attached to Patreon as being “Ikey’s personal account”. After further investigation and validation in Patreon, it appears this was not in fact the case, rather it was under a solus-project.com account. The payouts from Patreon to this PayPal account for the last several months, in addition to the majority of payouts from 2017, are believed to have occurred automatically. We believe this to be the case as the number of processed pledges, minus fees, accurately reflects the payout, as well as such payouts occurring precisely on 1st of each month consistently, which is in line with Patreon’s documentation. However, we will not know for certain until we obtain access to the PayPal account which was used for withdrawals. We are working towards recovering this account. There is no guarantee that this will occur, but we will actively work towards doing so and are cautiously optimistic that it will occur. In such event, we will have further follow-ups.

Details

In our In Full Sail blog post, I detailed the situation around our Patreon account and our unfortunate lack of access to it. That statement was built around over a month of discussions with the Patreon Support team that did not culminate in the transfer of ownership of the account.

After the publication of our In Full Sail blog post, I continued to follow up with Patreon, whom were undoubtedly in a difficult and fairly unique situation. During these further discussions, I continued to encourage our community to both cease their donations to our Patreon campaign as well as reach out to Patreon as to their reason for cancelling.

Yesterday, on October 31st at 21:27 UTC, the Patreon Support team updated the designated email address of the Solus Patreon account to Bryan’s getsol.us email address, officially placing the Patreon account into the hands of the active Core Team of Solus. I want to thank Patreon for their understanding in this difficult situation and especially thank all of you in our community for making your voice heard. There is absolutely no doubt in our minds that this couldn’t have been done without your help.

Immediately, Bryan and I put measures in place to ensure the Patreon account would be able accessible (and recoverable) by the Core Team. Additionally, I purchased the Google Vault GSuite service and enabled designated email functionality on our Google Apps for Business / GSuite accounts so all account administrators of the GetSolus organization will be able to access emails (and therefore accounts registered to them) of other Core Team members should the need arise.

During this time, Bryan began doing an assessment on the current holdings of the account, previous payments, payouts, and more. I froze our Patreon Campaign to reduce the likelihood of additional charges to our Patrons and put out a notice via the Patreon account to all individuals which were active Patrons. In the event you get charged further (specifically, you may get charged for November due to the timing of the campaign freezing), I welcome you to request a refund from the Solus Patreon account if you desire. This can be done by messaging the Patreon account, at which point I can follow up.

In the interest of full transparency, I want to provide information on our current account holdings as well as details on all processed pledges and payouts dating back to the creation of our Patreon account / campaign. Please note that the processed pledges do not account for Patreon’s fee, nor do payouts represented in our table account for VAT (Value-Added Tax, which appears to have been at Ireland’s “standard rate” of 13.5%) or fees from PayPal. It is also important to note that these payouts may not be representative of the total donations at the time, as some of these payouts were performed manually.

Current account holdings: 73.90 USD

Past payouts:

Month Processed Pledges (Does Not Include Fees) Payout (in USD)
2018-10-01 3194.73 2799.59
2018-09-01 3519.32 3323.65
2018-08-01 3472.52 3081.88
2018-07-01 3531.28 8134.44
2018-06-01 3648.79 0
2018-05-01 3804.23 10000
2018-04-01 3704.23 0
2018-03-01 3738.03 10000
2018-02-01 3678.43 0
2018-01-01 3421.53 0
2017-12-01 3366.95 0
2017-11-01 3224.78 0
2017-10-01 3090.92 2564.5
2017-09-01 3083.97 0
2017-08-01 3058.97 0
2017-07-01 2844.07 0
2017-06-01 2481.96 1658.85
2017-05-01 1806.4 1613.29
2017-04-01 1479.89 1219.24
2017-03-01 1344.89 1298.17
2017-02-01 1258.74 1026.18
2017-01-01 985.24 930.06
2016-12-01 916.24 774.45
2016-11-01 806.13 3327.88
2016-10-01 665.13 0
2016-09-01 528.13 0
2016-08-01 333.63 0
2016-07-01 333.13 0
2016-06-01 358 0
2016-05-01 290 0
2016-04-01 378 463.79
2016-03-01 507 259.84
2016-02-01 279 187.54
2016-01-01 209 53.37
2015-12-01 60 48.97
2015-11-01 55 52.59
2015-10-01 58 48.03
2015-09-01 53 172.78
2015-08-01 185 160.65
2015-07-01 165 0
2015-06-01 7 0
2015-05-01 0 0

For the four months prior to the March payout, no withdrawals were made, which explains the atypical amount that was withdrawn. For May, this can be accounted for by the lack of a withdrawal in April, as well as multi-month contracts (e.g. OVH), various service bills (e.g. GSuite and SendGrid) and certificates (e.g. SSL) which needed to be paid for, in addition to Ikey’s wages.

The transfers from Patreon to PayPal for the last several months appears to have occurred automatically. Additionally the majority of payouts in 2017 were as well. We believe this to be the case as the number of processed pledges, minus fees, accurately reflects the payout, as well as such payouts occurring precisely on 1st of each month consistently, which is in line with Patreon’s documentation. However, we will not know for certain until we obtain access to the PayPal account which was used for withdrawals.

This brings me to PayPal. In our In Full Sail blog post, we reported the PayPal account as being “Ikey’s personal account”. After further investigation (I checked over a years worth of weechat IRC logs) and validation in Patreon, it appears this was not in fact the case. The PayPal account is in fact under a solus-project.com account. As such, we are actively working towards recovering this account. There is no guarantee that this will occur, but we will actively work towards doing so and are cautiously optimistic that it will occur. In such event, we will have further follow-ups.

Until such time, all money which was withdrawn to PayPal, whether manually or automatically, is not accessible to the Core Team, nor are we fully aware of how much money may be held in that account.


We hope this information has provided insight into our current and past finances. Going forward, we will continue to not accept any monetary donations until decided otherwise, or we have a legal entity such as the Software Freedom Conservancy handling legal and financial matters for Solus. I want to thank everyone that has continued to offer their support for Solus, whether that be financial or otherwise. We look forward to providing more means of donating to the project in the future once we’ve returned to more normal development operations and have a legal entity working on behalf of the project. Until then, there are plenty of other ways to contribute to the project, whether that’s filing bugs, contributing patches, or simply sharing Solus with your friends!

Signing off,

The Solus Core Team

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