80n 80n80n at gmail.com
Wed Jul 29 10:48:37 UTC 2009

On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 11:17 AM, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:

> Edoardo,
> > IMHO, we should'nt make a statement like this one. If every single
> > commercial entity interested in using OSM datas should have a seat in
> > the OSMF board, in the future, how many seats should be made off the
> board?
> Richard had suggested that "no more than one" seat be occupied by people
> from the same company; not that every company should have one seat.
> > This is a no-sense limitation too. The board is elected. If 2 people
> > from the same company is elected in the board i can't see any problem.
> > Maybe we can decide that a single company could not have more then a 1/3
> > of the seats in the board.
> Currently it is not something that can be decided by "us", as you
> rightly say, anyone has the right to stand and the only thing that we do
> is we vote them in or we don't. We could of course change our rules to
> something else for the next election but the rules for this election are
> set.
> However, assuming that there was a majority of us thinking "Richard is
> right, we should not have both Steve and Nick on the board", and then
> half of them vote for Nick and half of them vote for Steve, we might end
> up with a board that has neither Steve nor Nick in it; that's why it
> makes sense to discuss these things beforehand, wouldn't it?

The election has to be a free and open vote.  We cannot make arbitrary
restrictions on who can or cannot stand for election.  If we implemented a
one-company-one-delegate rule then what next? one-country-one-delegate?
Only one German?  Only one woman?  ;)  It would be absurd.

> > We could consider to have a "commercial working group" who could give
> > just raccomandation to the board from a business point of view composed
> > just by people from companies usign OSM datas.
> Yes, that's something I would actually like to see - no direct
> commercial influence in the OSM board, instead a separate body that can
> talk to OSMF if they want.
> >> Personally I would prefer a board made up exclusively of people not
> >> associated with OSM-related commercial organisations but I am realist
> >> enough to see that it is unlikely to happen.
> > why? what's the problem about?
> I think that even with the best intentions there will always be a
> potential for conflict of interest, e.g. OSMF extending their free
> services into an area that until now was an area where I had paying
> customers or something like this. (I am a commercial OSM user myself.)
> It is bound to happen, and the best you can do about these issues is
> avoid them altogther and keep things separate.

We have recently begun discussing the possibility of implementing a conflict
of interest policy [1] which is perhaps the best way of dealing with this
and avoids the need to implement any arbitrary one-company-one-delegate type
rules.  Any board member with an identified conflict can be excluded from
discussion and decisions relating to the subject.


[1] Here's an example of a conflict of interest policy:
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