[hackerspaces] Classes and costs

Christie Dudley christie at hackcounsel.com
Sun Sep 18 00:36:20 CEST 2016

Corporate veil may not protect directors and officers if they are 
considered to be negligent in performing their responsibilities, which 
is why they are almost always named on lawsuits when someone is injured 
if it's a small org. That's why Noisebridge (and almost any other org) 
gets D&O insurance to cover that.


On 7/21/2016 12:12 PM, Pete Prodoehl wrote:
> I think the approach is, any member can teach a class in whatever, and 
> it is encouraged, but the space/organization itself has no involvement 
> in running the classes, or taking any money, etc. It's basically 
> providing the space/venue/equipment/etc. but no other sort of 
> "official" support.
> The teacher collects any payments from students and then can keep it 
> all, use it for consumables, and/or donate it to the space.
> So yes, I think the offloading of responsibility to the teacher is the 
> approach that is happening.
> Pete
> On 7/21/16 12:23 PM, Silence Dogood wrote:
>> if you pay your teachers for their time above a certain amount you 
>> are required by law to file a 1099.  if your teachers are teaching 
>> for your organization and you intend to protect them with the 
>> corporate veil... this is how you do that.
>> class attendees pay your org for the class the org offers.
>> the teacher gets paid by you.
>> if you are just a room for some teacher to use... you are offloading 
>> all the liability onto the teacher, while also assuming all the 
>> liability you already had.
>> at least that's my understanding of it.
>> -Matt
>> On Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 1:07 PM, Pete Prodoehl <raster at gmail.com 
>> <mailto:raster at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>     There are no 1099s involved. We are a 501(c)3 with no employees,
>>     completely volunteer run. If you teach a class you can choose to
>>     charge for it, and then encouraged to donate to the space, but it
>>     is not required. (We use donations to cover equipment maintenance
>>     and consumables.)
>>     Pete
>>     On 7/21/16 11:40 AM, Silence Dogood wrote:
>>>     I can't imagine this is really a huge issue for most classes. 
>>>     Waivers help. Binding arbitration for the lulz.  But I am pretty
>>>     sure that if you are filing 1099s for your teachers there is a
>>>     corporate veil in place, so they shouldn't be personally
>>>     liable... of course such a situation would be a huge hassle and
>>>     likely cost some cash for personal counsel, if something truly
>>>     terrible did occur.
>>>     On Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 12:00 PM, Pete Prodoehl
>>>     <raster at gmail.com <mailto:raster at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>>         Because my space sometimes has gloom and doom people,
>>>         someone brought up the idea that if you charge for a class,
>>>         you could be held responsible if someone in the class gets
>>>         injured. This would be different than if you did *not*
>>>         charge for a class because there is no (or less?)
>>>         expectation of responsibility if you are not charging for
>>>         your services/expertise.
>>>         I think the thought is that a student would try to sue you
>>>         personally versus the space, and there was a suggestion that
>>>         individuals who teach should get their own personal
>>>         insurance that would cover the teaching they do. (The space
>>>         has its own insurance and waiver/disclaimer forms that
>>>         everyone signs.)
>>>         I am definitely not a lawyer, but I'd love to hear what
>>>         others think of that idea. (And yes, I am in the
>>>         overly-litigious United States.)
>>>         Pete
>>>         On 7/21/16 10:42 AM, Silence Dogood wrote:
>>>>         one side benefit of charging for classes is allowing the
>>>>         class teachers to profit.  this can be particularly
>>>>         important for space members who need supplemental income to
>>>>         afford their dues or to get them by between contracts /
>>>>         gigs / what have you.
>>>>         On Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 6:24 AM, webmind <webmind at puscii.nl
>>>>         <mailto:webmind at puscii.nl>> wrote:
>>>>             On 20/07/16 17:48, Chad Elish wrote:
>>>>             > Here’s a question for everyone,
>>>>             >
>>>>             > What do you normally charge for your classes?
>>>>             > I know its a big cash cow for spaces to make up income.
>>>>             Hmm, not here. I think most Dutch spaces mostly run on
>>>>             membership-income.
>>>>             Both spaces in Amsterdam do not have a set price, LAG
>>>>             generally asks
>>>>             donation Technologia Incognita mostly the same or
>>>>             people ask cost-price.
>>>>             IJHack (a "space" without a space) has been doing
>>>>             workshops to generate
>>>>             some income, I think they did twice the cost price to
>>>>             have a buffer of
>>>>             components or be able to share kits.
>>>>             > We’re currently at $40.00 for a learn to solder class
>>>>             which you take
>>>>             > home an arduino you soldered together. We recently
>>>>             noticed tech shop
>>>>             > charging $99 for soldering a blinking badge together.
>>>>             Do a lot of spaces elsewhere use workshops/services as
>>>>             a way of
>>>>             providing basic-income for the space? Do spaces have
>>>>             other models
>>>>             outside of services or membership to generate base-income?
>>>>             At LAG we're currently looking at alternative ways of
>>>>             generating income
>>>>             for the rent/etc.
>>>>             Thanks!
>>>>             webmind
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