[Osmf-talk] Draft New Corporate Membership Tiers

Haklay, Muki m.haklay at ucl.ac.uk
Wed Apr 27 21:27:56 UTC 2016

Hi Kate,
Thank you for all the details, research, and thinking about this issue, but I see a problem with the idea of a ‘General Counsel’ for OSMF in principle which I think merits a discussion about the advantages and disadvantages (building on Simon’s point).
Having a single, definitive legal voice for OSMF is a very significant cultural shift in the governance of OSM and the risks and benefits to companies, individuals and organisations who are using OSM currently. The current legal uncertainty creates opportunities as well as closing others, and while you’re getting a very clear message from potential corporate members that this is what they would like, it’s worth being devil advocate to a very high degree and thinking about all the unintended, adverse impacts of an official, unequivocal interpretation of, say, certain applications of OSM or its technologies. In effect, whatever a General Counsel will states about interpretation of the licence and other issues will be de facto and de jure the view of OSMF. This is not how things operated for the past 12 years with much longer deliberative processes.
Importantly, I don’t say that OSMF shouldn’t go down a road of consolidation and formalisation, which many other organisations gone down through. However, I don’t think that such a decision should be taken without weighing, very carefully, the pluses and minuses of doing so.

From: Kate Chapman [mailto:kate at maploser.com]
Sent: 27 April 2016 19:23
To: Jonathan Witcoski <jwitcoski at gmail.com>
Cc: osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org
Subject: Re: [Osmf-talk] Draft New Corporate Membership Tiers

Hi All,

Thanks for you feedback so far, a couple comments.

General Counsel: This is the number one thing that potential corporate members have requested. The idea is not that we are providing advice, but they have their own General Counsel that would like to speak to another lawyer. This is typically how companies operate and the idea was that they are willing to pay a significant amount of money for it. The specific details would still need to be worked out with the LWG and board.  If you look at the bottom of the wiki page I've put this contingent on having at least 5 or higher business members. I think the main reason other foundations don't offer this is that there is not as much discussion are licenses.

Calls with board members: This is intended to help people internally "sell" the corporate membership within their organizations. Many people already talk to board members informally all the time. If you send me an email for example I don't demand you pay me to answer it, should I not answer it because you might be trying to influence me? Though if organizations are interested in this why not help fund the OSMF?


On Wed, Apr 27, 2016 at 11:10 AM, Jonathan Witcoski <jwitcoski at gmail.com<mailto:jwitcoski at gmail.com>> wrote:
I took a look at other opensource project corporate benefits...


They all offer:
Joint Press Releases
Joint Blog posts
Sponsor badge for your Web site
Invitation to Special Events
Discounts (several free tickets and early bird pricing on all others) on tickets to events
Discounts with other corporate sponsors (training and services)
Free standard listing on Drupal Jobs

None are offering:
Legal access to OSMF General Counsel
Yearly call with board members

On Wed, Apr 27, 2016 at 1:19 PM, Christoph Hormann <chris_hormann at gmx.de<mailto:chris_hormann at gmx.de>> wrote:
On Wednesday 27 April 2016, Paul Norman wrote:
> > - 'Attend OSMF general meetings' should be clarified as through a
> > single representative (or a specified higher number) and should
> > emphasize that this does not entail any formal rights in those
> > meetings (i.e. just attendance).
> Corporate members are associate members who are not natural persons,
> and have all the rights of associate members except voting at general
> meetings. This gives them the right to attend and speak at general
> meetings. As a practical matter, the last general meetings have been
> open to the public and we've taken questions without first checking
> for membership.

OK - but implicitly i assume this only applies to a single
representative - anything else would mean extended rights compared to a
normal associate member.

Christoph Hormann
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