[OSM-legal-talk] 23rd Dec board meeting
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
I am copying this to the secretary.
Have a good weekend,
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