[Osmf-talk] New license proposal status II

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Wed Dec 2 23:46:35 UTC 2009


SteveC wrote:
> Do you think everyone here should have the ability to change what the
> LWG does, and if not they should have the right to write an essay on
> the email that goes out, or just you?

The LWG is a working group of the Foundation. It should work together 
with the members to achieve good decisions. The decisions are ultimately 
made by the members, not by the LWG. The LWG's role is that of a 
catalyst in decision making - not a controlling role.

It is the right of every member to engage with the LWG about their work; 
especially so when very sensitive issues are concerned or when the LWG 
makes a last-minute change to plans. (I tried to point out in my last 
e-mail that ever since the March 2008 statement of "we hope to include 
such an option" there has been no OSMF communication to suggest 
otherwise, until a few days ago.)

As for the e-Mail that goes out, I think fairness dictates that the 
other side be heard. If there are many different other sides demanding 
to be heard, this applies to all of them; however there is a point where 
this becomes ineffective and nobody will take the time to read 150 
slighly differing "other side" statements, so there is a natural 
tendency for the other side to write just one or two contra statements. 
I believe that I am speaking not as an individual, but for a relevant 
minority inside OSMF.

In the case at hand, I believe that you are trying to unfairly overrule 
myself and the other people in favour of PD. You are not only trying to 
short-change us on what I have always taken to be a promise of adding 
the "third option"; you are telling us so at the last minute *and* you 
are threatening to use your elevated position as the official license 
working group to make sure that OSMF members not reading this list will 
not even be AWARE of the fact that all this occurs.

In the game of power and politics, this might even work. But I feel that 
it would reflect badly on the job of the licensing working group.

There are seven members in the LWG. Assuming that you make your 
decisions with a simple majority then it requires as little as four 
people to determine word for word what goes out in that crucial letter 
to OSMF members. And crucial it is, because once OSMF members say "yes" 
then there is no way of stopping the license change process (except 
perhaps applying an emergency brake).

Should such a crucial element in the process really be determined by as 
little as four people, with no room given to the arguments of the other 
side whatsoever?

I don't think so.

The responsibility of the decision lies with the members. They need to 
be fully informed. If *I* were on the LWG, I would welcome opposition 
statements and include them in the letter I send to the members, because 
it is not *me* who makes the decision, and not me who has to take 
ultimate responsibility - it is the members. If I would keep crucial 
information away from them, that would only open the door to later 
claims of a doctored process.


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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