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

Andy Robinson (blackadder-lists) ajrlists at googlemail.com
Mon Jan 26 18:46:17 GMT 2009

Peter, please see responses inline below.

Peter Miller wrote:
>Sent: 24 January 2009 11:30 AM
>To: Licensing and other legal discussions.; secretary at osmfoundation.org
>Subject: [OSM-legal-talk] 23rd Dec board meeting
>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
>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-
>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.

Nick's entry has been corrected, thanks for pointing it out.

>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.

The dates were suggestions only, for the benefit of the Board. Nick is
organising and facilitating the event personally and confirms he will be
communicating plans to the community for discussion in the usual way.

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

The November Board meeting minutes confirm the agreement that the Transfer
of the trademark applications to the OSMF from Steve will take place. The
December meeting reported that OSMF had started a dialogue with the
solicitors processing the applications. It is correct that the actual
transfer paperwork has not yet been completed, but this will happen in due

>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
><http://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
>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.

The meeting minutes reflect the position as at the time of the last meeting
in December. Since then further discussions and meetings have taken place
culminating in the two posts that Mikel has made on behalf of the Board in
the last couple of weeks. These list posts reflect the current situation.

>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
>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?

The OpenStreetMap Foundation is responsible for the servers of the
OpenStreetMap project and we or our nominated representatives shall be the
sole point of contact for any communications with existing hosting

>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.

Steve chairs the Technical working group but it is the group as a whole that
recommends or decides as appropriate on technical matters.

The mission statement /objectives for the Foundation (3.1 of the Memorandum
of Association) states "OpenStreetMap Foundation is dedicated to encouraging
the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data and to
providing geospatial data for anybody to use and share."

Therefore OSMF is clear on what services constitute core services that
support these objectives. Delivery of other services is not the
responsibility of the OSMF but may be aspirations of the wider OSM

>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
>I am copying this to the secretary.
>Have a good weekend,

Andy Robinson
OpenStreetMap Foundation
0777 553 7872
andy at osmfoundation.org

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