Nop ekkehart at gmx.de
Fri Aug 21 07:18:07 UTC 2009


Mike Collinson schrieb:
>> Should any single company be able to hold an unlimited number of
>> seats on the Foundation board?  A majority?  All?
> I believe that as members we are sensible and will collectively elect
> an appropriate board.  So, my personal opinion is that I'd like to
> vote for good quality candidates whoever they are and that having a
> hard constitutional limit is not an important issue for me, though
> one that should certainly be debated by members so that all views are
> reflected.  I am not averse to such a limit but take the position
> that it is not the best way to go about it.
> The key is having a diverse membership.  I can affirm from the
> membership list that we are in such a position now.  Having a larger
> membership would be still safer.  As of today we have 165 paid-up
> members who can vote and hover around 200 taking into account
> renewals.  250 is my minimum goal. Local chapter organisation should
> see us easily to that figure ... so that is my "fix"!

Just a few words of comment. As for the current events, I have nothing 
for or against CM, I have no idea whether the action was with best 
intentions or for evil purpose :-), but I agree that any sudden rush a 
day before a vote is suspicious.

But actually I don't want to talk about CM, but about the wider future. 
I think some constitutional safeguards to limit the influence of any one 
company on OSM are very important. OSMF is a small organization with the 
intention to grow - and it would be very easy to take over control for 
any party interested in doing so and spend 5000 GBP along the way . I 
have seen this sort of thing happening in local clubs ("Verein" in 
Germany) and it is suprising how one person with a lobby and a purpose 
(and not even money in that case) can take over a group of good-willed, 
chaotic, apolitical people  and completely corrupt the purpose in a very 
short time. And his name was not Steve! :-)

Currently, I neither see an evil entity around to do so nor a reason for 
any predator to descend upon OSM just yet, but I think it is a good idea 
to put some safeguards in place. With the OSM data growing and improving 
it becomes a contiually more juicy target and as long as the OSMF can 
change the licence on that data, taking over OSMF and ceating a nice 
exclusive licence for oneself would be a very very cheap fee for that 
data. So even if I sound very pessimistic, better make sure this is 
simply impossible.


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