[OSM-legal-talk] 23rd Dec board meeting

Peter Miller peter.miller at itoworld.com
Sat Jan 24 11:30:19 GMT 2009


Comments on the minutes of the 23rd Dec board meeting
It is good that the minutes are now posted. I was however disappointed  
to get them the day of the next meeting and a month after the meeting  
in question.

It is good to see that the November minutes have been approved.

Sub-working groups and communications
It is very useful to start seeing brief biographies of the directors  
appearing on the website (http://foundation.openstreetmap.org/officers-board/board-member-bios/ 
).

Does Nick Black have a 'substantial' shareholding in CloudMade? If so  
I think this should be noted, otherwise 'none' would be clearer than  
no entry. Also for consistency with other entries Nick's entry should  
list 'other directorships' not 'directorships'; there is no need to  
repeat the OSM Foundation directorship.

Steve Coast's entry is very thin. I suggest that it should contain the  
same level of details as the other - I note that the board minutes  
indicate that they are still waiting for content from him.

Mikel gives a link to his blog. This might be an appropriate addition  
for the other entries to allow people to quickly understand where  
people are coming from.

Can I say that we have a great board - I love the diversity, it should  
give the foundation a very strong base.

Workshops
I am pleased that the planning meeting is going ahead and that it will  
be a full weekend.

I am less pleased that the dates were chosen by the board without  
checking with others (including ITO) who they know are keen to attend,  
especially as the dates clash with a holiday booked by one of our key  
people months ago! ITO has made a big investment in OSM development  
and does expect to be included in and does wish to attend.

Were GeoFabric consulted on the dates, I hope so? Can they make it? I  
hope so.

What about other people? Can Richard Fairhurst - author of PotLatch -  
make those dates? I believe Sundays were not possible for him.

Can CloudMade people make it? I guess so since their two main people  
were in on the decision;) I see this as one of many examples of  
benefits that CloudMade give themselves by driving the process.

Please can some other dates be proposed? I will again suggest that we  
put up a wiki page where people can sign up, give the dates that they  
can make, and then we decide a group which date works best.

I have also had a request from a non-english native speaker that the  
attendance should be limited to people who are actively involved in  
development to keep the numbers down. This is an important strategic  
technical meeting and as such I think that it is a reasonable request  
and will make it easier for people for whom English is not a first  
language to contribute. It suggest that it should not also become a  
'local-meetup' for anyone who is interested and lives locally to come  
along.

TradeMarks and Domains
I note that the transfer of the trademarks has still not happened (I  
checked at the IPO last night). The minutes seem to confuse the  
process of transferring the application with the process of  
progressing the applications themselves.

I have already provided the following information to the board but  
will post it here for the record. Possible Grant, Andy or Steve could  
get the form downloaded, filled out, signed and in the post today - it  
only takes a few minutes. Here is the advice from our lawyer:

"The transfer should be straight forward and simple to complete. In  
case of any doubt, you may wish to let Grant Slater know that the  
relevant form is TM16 (which can be obtained from the IPO website at www.ipo.gov.uk 
). The simple details need to be completed and the form signed by  
Steve Coast and also on behalf of the OSMF. The TM16 should then be  
returned by post to the IPO (the address is on the form), together  
with a £50 fee.

I am pleased to see that the other OSM related domains have been  
transfered to the foundation.

OSM Open Data License
There are many comments already on legal-talk that I won't repeat  
here. I do however note from the minutes that "all communications with  
Jordan had broken down". Also that "No hosting option for the licence  
is currently available and therefore OSMF may need to host". These  
seems to indicate that there is a lot more work to be done.

I note that "Steve [is] reluctant to publish publicly as it  would  
invite another round of changes ... Henk asked about getting support  
from major contributors. Nick and Andy felt it was against the spirit  
of the project to treat some contributors as having special status."

Umm, so Steve Coast (director and shareholder in Cloudmade) and Nick  
Black (director and probably also a shareholder in Cloudmade) and Andy  
Robinson (paid contractor to CloudMade) think that no one else should  
be able to comment on the license, notable Peter Miller (director and  
shareholder in ITO) and Frederic Ramm (director and shareholder in  
Geofabric) who have asked repeated for access on legal-talk. Doesn't  
sound right to me given that CM, ITO and Geofabric are often  
identified as the three companies actively involved in OSM with a  
commercial interest. To be clear it is likely that ITO and Geofabric  
require Use Cases that CM do not. Other people also have key Use Cases  
that might not be supported. If the license 'forgets' any of those  
other Use Cases that would be a big failure of trust in the  
foundation. I think we can be confident that the license will suit for  
CMs needs because, again, the CM directors are at the wheel. If I had  
known that it would turn out like this and leave ITO in such a  
vulnerable position then I would have stood for the board and tried to  
grab the wheel myself!

Also, why should the people on legal-talk not see the license? These  
people clearly are a self-selected bunch of people who for one reason  
or other are interested. I know that others have key Use Cases that  
they are keen on.

Why should you not check with major contributors? Is it not of  
relevance to the whole project if AND or one of the other major  
contributors objects and leaves or can't sign up for some reason of  
the wording?

I note that in both the Nov25th and Dec23rd minutes there has been the  
comment: "Steve to send email to legal-talk with update of progress."  
To be clear, not posts have been made by SteveC on legal-talk since  
Nov25th except two that rubbished my suggestion that there is any  
reason to be nervous about trademark applications in his own person  
name.

SOTM09
Excellent news - thanks for the progress

Technical - Tile serving, API restrictions & Servers
I am still not clear that there is a need for API restrictions and  
what reduction in bandwidth costs would result. What are the predicted  
costs of continuing the current arrangement? Has UCL provided the  
Foundation with information that indicates that it is a problem. What  
would be the cost of providing it commercially. Could we could raise it?

I have seen no costings. Have the board been presented with such  
financial forecasts?

I note that Tim Bernes Lee has asked if we could do with help with  
hosting. Has the foundation responded? I also note that wikipedia in  
Germany has offered help with hosting. What happened to that suggestion?

Fyi, we are speaking with a professor we know at CASA, UCL to ask if  
there was a problem with bandwidth as far as he knows. He is checking  
this and will get back to us and we will report to the group. I think  
UCL should be very keen to hang onto this project. What if TBL was  
able to use his connections at MIT or Southampton to get a joint  
hosting arrangement between UCL and somewhere else?

Is there not a large potential conflict of interest between SteveC in  
relation to his driving this change within the Foundation and also  
being a director of a company that could well benefit from the OSM  
project not offering a full set of services? I don't know, but I  
certainly don't have the information to feel comfortable with this  
initiative until we have some more facts available to us.

Local Chapters / Affiliations
no comments

OSMF Membership/website
Can we have a blog page on the foundation website where you can post  
important announcements and people can comment? I think it would be a  
great help.

I am copying this to the secretary.


Have a good weekend,



Peter













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