[Osmf-talk] Draft New Corporate Membership Tiers

Simon Poole simon at poole.ch
Fri Apr 29 13:17:34 UTC 2016


You are in turn misunderstanding, it is simply a product differentiation

I wasn't even remotely implying that the board wanted to shut the LWG
down, simply that as a consequence of the planned "for pay" premium
product there are going to have to be changes to the free version or you
are not going to have a viable product (and no you don't have a viable
product as described). The simplest and time honoured route is to no
longer market the free version. The alternative is to bolster the
profile of the premium, but the options there are very limited as you
point out. Anything that goes in the direction of business plan vetting,
and special releases/agreement risks running afoul of Contributor Terms
clause 3, which is why we have historically shied away from such (not to
mention that the former likely would eat up all the extra income and more) .

Which brings us to the crux of the matter, IMHO the main bone of
contention between corporate entities and the OSMF is that some are
desperately looking for that person that represents the OSMF, negotiates
T&Cs with them and in the end signs an agreement giving them "security"
(not necessarily better or different terms). And while that is likely
driven a bit by the current OSM distribution licence, I don't believe
that it would go completely away even if we were using CC0*.

The other part the proposal gets wrong, is that it doesn't actually take
load off the LWG, if at all it increases it, because it adds somebody
paid for pestering the LWG for answers that might simply not be so easy
and fast to determine. At least the proposal should cover taking over
the grunt work of covering the non premium customer inquiries (as
outlined above at a to be determined lower service level, say minimum
delay a week, only in e-mail, only in English etc).


Am 29.04.2016 um 08:58 schrieb Frederik Ramm:
> Hi,
> On 04/29/2016 07:00 AM, Simon Poole wrote:
>> [...] in other words the single point of contact has been there as
>> long as it has been legally possible to talk with one voice. The
>> discussion now is about removing that (for the plebs)
> This is perhaps a good point to remind everyone that the OSMF board does
> not intend to remove or diminish LWG. This is a straw man, and whoever
> put that up either suffered from a misunderstanding or from paranoia.
> Let's try to turn this into a constructive discussion:
> 1. OSMF/LWG have, in the past, shied away from giving too concrete legal
> advice. If someone came to us with a complicated "can I do this and
> that" question, we might have given them some hints but we always ended
> with "ultimately, we're not lawyers, and even if we were, we wouldn't be
> YOUR lawyers, so go and ask a lawyer before you proceed".
> 2. Businesses are unhappy about this; they would much rather have us
> give them a yes-or-no answer which they could then rely on.
> 3. We want to attract more businesses as corporate members so that our
> future is secured financially.
> Now we can't really change #1; we can't vet a business model - not least
> because even if we have a certain interpretation of our own license, it
> might well be wrong! So we'll still keep saying to people "ultimately,
> ask a lawyer".
> But what we *can* do is at least make it easier for the legal department
> of a business to assess the situation - make it easier for them to "ask
> a lawyer". It is still them who have to read and interpret the license
> and draw the right conclusions from it, but we can offer that *we* pay a
> lawyer to whom we explain the license and how we interpret it, and that
> lawyer can then talk to the business' legal department and explain
> things to them in words and terms that they can easily work with.
> This is the "value add" that we essentially sell to corporate members:
> We retain a lawyer as a go-between between our own LWG and the legal
> department of whoever needs to interpret our license.
> They don't get a different license because of that, or more committment
> from the OSMF, and they don't get their business model vetted. But they
> get the warm fuzzy feeling that they have someone on our side who speaks
> their language. They don't buy a privilege; they buy a translation
> service that might help avoid misunderstandings between what our normal
> project members in LWG say and their legal department. -- That doesn't
> make everyone else "the plebs", especially as someone without their own
> legal department will most likely prefer to talk to LWG than to talk to
> our lawyer ;)
> Now speaking of misunderstandings, we (board) carry some responsibility
> for the "OMG board wants to scrap LWG" misunderstanding. The corporate
> membership tiers concept refers to a few things that aren't clearly
> specified and don't exist yet - e.g. the "business conference", the
> "general counsel", etc., and without further explanation it might sound
> like we have a drawer full of plans about what these things will be (we
> just don't tell you, har har har). Truth is, this whole thing is a draft
> that we're sharing early and we have *not* worked out the details yet.
> We heard that business users would like a business conference - so we
> pencilled one in. We heard that business users would like to be able to
> talk to a lawyer - so we added something to the draft. These things are
> certainly not impossible to do once the money is there to fund them. Who
> exactly briefs that lawyer and how, we haven't even designed.
> Is it therefore careless to share such a draft early? Would you rather
> have us flesh out everything in detail and share when we have lined up a
> lawyer to contract and we're ready to take a vote?
> Bye
> Frederik

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