[Osmf-talk] Special Resolution for General Meeting

Christoph Hormann chris_hormann at gmx.de
Wed Nov 18 09:16:27 UTC 2015

On Wednesday 18 November 2015, Kate Chapman wrote:
> The reasoning behind this is so the board can set the fees for the
> corporate membership this gives us more flexible as we build out that
> program. The main thought behind not letting the board set fees for
> membership and associate membership (or by any other way) is so that
> people can't be priced out of voting. Since corporations can't vote
> this isn't so much an issue.

Thanks for the explanation, i was going to ask about this but i am glad 
i did not have to.

I was unsure how to assess this idea but the more i think about it the 
more i tend to disapprove.

The main reason is this would essentially open the possibility for the 
board to completely change the economic basis of the OSMF without 
asking the membership.  I am not implying the current board plans this 
but it is definitely a possibility that would open in the future here.  
If you'd raise the corporation membership fee 10 to 100 times and make 
arrangements with a number of companies to support this, possibly by 
offering additional benefits to these corporate members income from 
these could easily dominate the overall OSMF finances.  I don't think 
something like this should be possible without approval of the 

Besides this the whole thing appears very vague, essentially asking for 
a blank cheque without any specific hints how it will be used.  If 
there were specific plans how to redesign corporate membership it would 
make much more sense to have a resolution to change the membership fee 
and another one to allow further changes at discretion of the board.  
And to me the argument of flexibility (i.e. allowing fast changes) does 
not fly either.  Since membership fees are paid in advance for a year 
it is generally a good idea to implement changes with fairly long term 
announcements - otherwise it can easily appear as unfair treatment by 
the members.

And finally in extension of the prime reason given above i also more 
generally think a change in the very nature of corporate membership by 
either decreasing fee and inviting a much larger number of companies to 
become members or by increasing it and offering additional benefits for 
corporate members and thereby changing the focus of activity of the 
OSMF significantly should be the prerogative of the members.

After all it is not such a big deal to ask the membership for approval 
of a change in membership fees as required by the current regulation.  
I see no convincing reason to change this.

Christoph Hormann

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