· 584 words · 3 minute read

Metalhead.club and trashserver.net will be part of Leister IT as of 2023

Both of my publicly available internet services metalhead.club and trashserver.net (“650thz.de”) will become part of by small business “Leister IT” as of January, 1st 2023.

TL;DR: both services will be part of my small business to reduce legal risks and uncertainties

Especially since a wave of new users has hit my Mastodon Instance metalhead.club in early November, it was time to rethink the organizational and financial concept and move forward to a more solid concept. I’ve run both services for several years (trashserver.net has been running for 11 years already!) as private person. In my free time. No business involved - just as minimum effort hobby, because I like administrating my servers and providing Open Source software based solutions to the public.

metalhead.club and trashserver.net will continue to exist and they will be free of charge - just like they have ever been. No need to worry - the changes will not affect you as my users directly. It’s more a step towards a concept that suffices some legal requirements and helps me reduce risks that occur when you privately run a public service based on voluntary financial support. With metalhead.club and trashserver.net being part of my small business, the legal rules are more clear and handling financial topics like “donations” [1] and taxes becomes easier for me.

Yet, moving both 650thz.de services to Leister IT brings some consequences:

Running 650thz.de as a hobby has meant to limit my efforts to the level that would be acceptable for a hobby. Not because I’m not keen on working on it, but financial-wise. There are certain boundaries in Germany which limit how much effort you are allowed to put into something that you get money for (without being obligated to pay taxes on your income/ “donations”). Since the situation and the limits are quite unclear, I’m going the safe way and decided to run 650thz.de as a business. Which means: Taxes apply to any profit that is made by offering 650thz.de services. Regardless if those profits origin from some ordinary contract-based income or voluntary payments / “donations”. While taxes effectively reduce the the amount of money that is gathered to pay my server bills, it is my moral and legal obligation to pay them as soon as my service exceeds a certain size.

You - the users of metalhead.club and trashserver.net - have shown that there is a lot of motivation to crowd-fund internet services that respect your privacy. And there is an intention by the users to honor the time and efforts that have been put into it by the administrator. The new concept will allow you to make sure the services are funded properly, while also enabling me to earn some money by doing the things I love - in case we have collected enough money to fund the servers, first.

I’m sure that a fully crowd-funded model will work. It’s probably the best way to run a Mastodon instance. That way new users can join without having to pay in advance, while those who have been members for a longer time and can afford it, can voluntarily contribute to keeping the servers running and giving the admin a tip for his work.

Money flow diagram. Probably not accurate or correct from a professional point of view ;-)

  • [1]: “Donations” in quotes, because in Germany only nonprofit organizations are allowed to collect actual donations. They have a different meaning in our laws than “money that people send you just because they are being nice”.