Mikel Maron mikel_maron at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 30 19:44:08 UTC 2009

There are many potential conflicts of interest, not just commercial, and I agree with Ed that trying to codify those conflicts into procedures and rules is just going to lead to absurdity. We can have a clear policy and expectations of integrity in board members, and individuals standing for election should clearly state their relationships and interests. However, the elections themselves are the best way for the membership to insure the board is balanced.

For instance, I'm increasingly working with non-profits and governments. (And in the past, I've worked with companies with interest in OSM as well.). My fortune has been to have this opportunity to help spread OpenStreetMap as my focus, and that does mean paying the bills. JumpStart, who sponsored the mapping of Palestine, endorse public domain licensing. For myself, as a member of the community, as a consultant for JumpStart, advisor to the UN, all of these interests have different perspectives on licensing. As a board member, I must carefully consider all these perspectives, but ultimately any decisions I make must be made in the best interest of OpenStreetMap and the OSMF membership. To that end, I take no personal position on licensing, and support the current process as representing the collective will of the community.

That's just one example. For the process of revising the articles, it certainly would be useful to have examples of potential conflicts of interest, in helping to draft our policy and guidelines. But ultimately, it's the elections, ongoing communications between the membership and board, and the personal integrity of those serving that will properly guide the direction of OSM.

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