Stefan Baebler stefan.baebler at gmail.com
Tue Aug 18 06:51:43 UTC 2009

It can easily happen that there are several very active OSM
contributors employed by the same (larger) company. Company's primary
business might not be OSM (or even GIS) related, it might just be
large enough to gather enough geo geeks. Those people might work in
various branches, possibly not even knowing each other trough other
channels than OSM.

Introducing "strict" rules for specific situations is no good. CM
could easily set up a new daughter company to employ Nick or Steve to
bypass that rule if they wanted. Or a completely new, "unrelated"
company entity and outsource the CM management position...

What it would work is:
- full disclosure of candidates' affiliations (done?)
- any OSMF member can propose _anything_ to be voted upon at GM. This
might be a general rule that Richard Weait suggested or a special
voting round to eliminate one of the candidates in worst case (if
voters determine that both candidates are individually good, but
having both on board might be bad for the future of OSMF and none of
them steps down, AND if voters first agree to vote about that in the
first place)

At the same time substantial part of OSMF membership (=voting body)
can easily be bought by anyone with enough money and people to act as
members, allowing them to change rules, statues or to dissolve OSMF
(quickly & visibly or subtly and slowly, taking OSM down with it). :)

The bottom line: let's use common sense and try not to too quickly
come up with "general" rules to cover specific issues.

PS: i wonder if trust points could solve these issues as well :)

On Mon, Aug 17, 2009 at 8:32 PM, SteveC<steve at asklater.com> wrote:
> On 15 Aug 2009, at 18:20, Richard Weait wrote:
>> On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 5:43 AM, Frederik Ramm<frederik at remote.org>
>> wrote:
>>> Nick,
>>> Nick Black wrote:
>>>> I'm going to be standing for election to the OSM Foundation Board
>>>> again
>>>> this year.
>>> Do you and Steve have any comment on Richard Weait's suggestion that
>>> from every commercial organisation, at most one person should be a
>>> member of the OSMF board (http://weait.com/cloudmade-layoffs)? I'm
>>> very
>>> supportive of that, although not exactly out of fear that you might
>>> both
>>> be looking for a new job at the same time, but more along the lines
>>> of
>>> what RichardF said in the comments section on that page.
>>> This would mean that *either* your *or* SteveC should be on the board
>>> but not both of you. It is of course everyone's right to stand for
>>> election and let the voters decide if they support Richard's
>>> suggestion
>>> or not - but I would be interested in hearing your opinion.
>> Nick followed up several times, but I can't see any answer to
>> Frederik's direct question.  I'd like to hear replies from each of the
>> candidates on this.
>> Should any single company be able to hold an unlimited number of seats
>> on the Foundation board?  A majority?  All?
> I agree with others that the members should be the ones to decide. I
> don't think arbitrary rules will help much at this stage and I don't
> think it would ever get to the stage of being a majority or more
> anyway from any one organisation.
>> There are eleven excellent candidates on the wiki,
>> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Foundation/AGM09/Election_to_Board
>> each qualified and suitable to hold a seat on the board.  Each worthy
>> of my vote.  How does more than a single candidate from any company
>> benefit the Foundation and the project?
> I'm not standing on a platform of 'I'm at CloudMade therefore vote for
> me' so really the company issue is a tertiary one. I think you should
> judge Nick and I on what we've done with our time helping OSM, which
> is very substantial, and not get hung up on this. The protections in
> OSM are very strong against anyone taking it over and I'm happy to
> make them stronger still.
> And as for the issue of Nick or I being let go from CloudMade... I can
> assure you I would still work just as hard on OSM.
> Yours &c.
> Steve
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