[Osmf-talk] OPENSTREETMAP FOUNDATION - NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
nick at blacksworld.net
Thu Jul 30 13:39:05 UTC 2009
Didn't mean to send that mail the first time round :-)
Reading through all of these posts, I think there are two issues. The
first is how to make sure the board represents the wishes of the OSM
community and the second come down to personal trust.
For the first point, representing the wishes of the community, I
favour an approach that strengthens the Foundation by expanding its
user base. By the end of 2010 we should be counting foundation members
in the 10,000s. These members spread all around the world, some
affiliated to OSM-F Local Chapters will provide a strong base to elect
the OSM-F board. At this point, it would be extremely difficult for
all but the largest organizations to force something on the OSM-F by
hijacking the voting process.
I see growing the membership of the OSM-F as the only viable way to
ensure that the goals of the OpenStreetMap project and its members are
achieved. The counter measures proposed here - limiting the number of
representatives from one company on the Board and other similar
measures - just wouldn't work. At best they would be another hoop for
an organisation intent on hijacking OSM to jump through. At best they
would hinder the OSM Foundation by restricting the ability of OSMers
to freely choose their own representatives.
I do agree with the gist of Frederik's points around moral standing
though. Its great to hear from Michel and other that they are
completely confident that the current Board members have been able to
do a great service for OSM whilst also having commercial interests.
By electing someone to the OSM-F Board, you are trusting that they
will represent you and your project. You have to have quite a lot of
trust in a person with those kinds of responsibilities. In short you
need to trust that the person you elect to the Board will make the
right choice - regardless of any commercial or other interests they
That's exactly how I approach each Board decision. Sure, I have
commercial interests in CloudMade and I have various opinions on
things from data licensing to what the front page of OSM should look
like. But in each decision I make as an OSM-F Board member, I'm
representing the interests of the OSM community. I can quite honestly
stand by every decision I've made whilst an OSM-F Board member and say
it was in the best interest of the OSM Foundation and the OSM
community. I can vouch for the other members of the Board that they
do the same.
Before you vote for a Board member - try and meet them in person or
talk to them on the phone and figure out if you trust them. Talk to
them about their other interests (everyone has other interests) and
find out how they would put their interests aside and make decisions
that represent you and your OSM community.
On 30 Jul 2009, at 11:22, James Livingston wrote:
> On 30/07/2009, at 12:46 AM, Frederik Ramm wrote:
>> I'd rather view this as a moral thing than a legal issue.
> I agree with this. Provided people standing for election disclose any
> relevant affiliations, which includes things other than their
> employer, such as that they are a member of some geographic society or
> what have you, I don't see a problem with simply letting the
> membership vote.
> What specifically would we be trying to achieve by limiting the board
> members? If it's to stop a company turning evil and stealing all our
> data, we need to require that re-licensing of the data needs a vote of
> the membership (and obviously the same to change that rule).
> If the board turns evil (one company or otherwise), the membership
> should be able to do something about it. I don't know how it works in
> the UK, but in Australia if you can get the requisite fraction of the
> membership to agree, you can force an Extraordinary General Meeting
> where the members can overrule the board decisions and remove them
> from office. If you can't get the requisite fraction of the membership
> to do that, then either the board isn't being evil, or they have
> stacked the membership - at which point, you have bigger problems.
> osmf-talk mailing list
> osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org
nick at blacksworld.net
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