[Local-chapters] [Osmf-talk] chapter membership application: lower limit (20)

Iván Sánchez Ortega ivan at sanchezortega.es
Tue Sep 8 10:15:06 BST 2009

El Martes, 8 de Septiembre de 2009, John Smith escribió:
> It sounds like does everyone get a vote on everything, and this
> generally isn't the case for most organisations or even less would get
> done, the membership must be able to vote a board in who then gets to
> decide on day to day matters, so to speak.

(Jurisdiction warning: all stuff presented here is presented from a spanish 
point of view)

*Theoretically* speaking, all members have voice and vote in something called 
the "general assembly" (UK: Annual General Meeting). Then the duty of the 
board is work towards the decisions made in the assembly.

Of course the board will decide on day-to-day matters... but, at least, 
members must be able to decide on stuff during the assembly, and the board 
must accept those decisions.

> They have to be made available to the membership here, and submitted
> with annual filings to the government.

Here, the legalese related to filing the financial stuff is quite dense. My 
understanding is that only a certain subtype of associations are required to 
file the financial statements. AFAIK, very small assocs. are not required to.

In other jurisdictions, YMMV.

> > [...] Either you have your full rights inside the
> > legal entity, or you don't.
> Full rights to do what?
> Even with OSM-F there are 2 types of members, those on the board and
> those that aren't.

And in Spain, we have three (*gasp*). Founding members, regular members, 
honorary members. The ones that set it up, the ones that sign up, the ones 
that are invited.

But everyone is entitled to decide on stuff in the assembly/AGM, everyone gets 
to see the financial stuff, and everyone is allowed to take part in the 
activities. Thou shalt not prevent members from getting into mapping parties.

The powers that the board members have (to decide on day-to-day things) are 
not rights... just tools to carry out their duty.

> > * The name cannot contain a trademark --> you may have to ask the OSM for
> > a letter allowing you to use "OpenStreetMap" in the name of the legal
> > entity
> While this might be the polite thing to do, it's very expensive to
> operate trademarks in all jurisdictions and even more expensive to try
> and enforce it.

It's really not a trademark thing. Let me quote the spanish legalese about 
association names:

"La denominación de las asociaciones no podrá incluir término o expresión que 
induzca a error o confusión sobre su propia identidad, o sobre la clase o 
naturaleza de la misma, en especial, mediante la adopción de palabras, 
conceptos o símbolos, acrónimos y similares propios de personas jurídicas 
diferentes, sean o no de naturaleza asociativa."

Rough translation:

"The denomination (name) of associations can not include any term or 
expression that may lead to error or confusion about its own identity, or 
about the kind or nature of itself, specially by using words, concepts or 
symbols, acronyms and the like, of ant other juridical person (associations 
or not)"

Basically we've got a very basic anti-identity-thefy system in place. In other 
jurisdictions, YMMV.

I don't think we need to take care of the OSM trademarks locally. But, 
depending on the local laws, maybe some chapters will have to take care of 

> > [...] I don't think the OSMF will be evil enough to disband the chapter. 
> > Really, don't worry about it and focus on getting local stuff done.
> I doubt they'd have the legal ability to disband a legal entity in
> another country, they might require you to change your name as a
> contractual thing, but disbanding a legal organisation isn't something
> you do flippantly.

OK, please replace "disband" with "terminate the federation agreement".

Invariably, something will get lost in translation here in the chapters 
list :-)

Iván Sánchez Ortega <ivan at sanchezortega.es>

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