[Osmf-talk] Voting "recommendations" by employers (straw poll)

deb at dtold.com deb at dtold.com
Thu Nov 1 22:48:18 UTC 2018

During my time at MapQuest, when we kicked off our OSM project and during the project, we did not pay membership fees or to attempt to sway folks to vote a certain way (or any way). However, we (MapQuest) did provide free beer and pizza to those folks that came to our map-a-thons and other teaching OSM events.
Deb Tankersley
--------- Original Message --------- Subject: Re: [Osmf-talk] Voting "recommendations" by employers (straw poll)
From: "Paul Norman" <paul.norman at osmfoundation.org>
Date: 11/1/18 4:12 pm
To: osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org

I have also heard confidential reports similar to what Frederik has, and 
 they worry me greatly.
 On 2018-11-01 1:03 PM, nebulon42 wrote:
 > I think asking your fellow board members e.g. Mikel, Martijn and Paul
 > who have worked or work for companies involved in OSM might give you
 > first-hand answers, if they would have any and would tell you.
 When I first ran for the board I was at MapQuest, management didn't show 
 a great interest in how OSM was run or the OSMF, so my experience isn't 
 relevant to how companies which take an interest in how the OSMF is run. 
 I know some companies allow people to work on OSMF work on company time 
 or claim expenses incurred doing OSMF work, but I've never been at one 
 of those.
 At MapQuest, there was no program I was aware of during my time there to 
 get people to become OSMF members, to pay their membership fee, or to 
 get them to vote a certain way. There may have been a program that 
 allowed general membership fees to organizations to be reimbursed, but I 
 never looked into it.
 As a self-employed freelancer, I could claim membership fees on my 
 taxes, but don't think I have done so.
 > I think "suggestions" from employers have a smell and should be avoided
 > since you are in a dependent relationship to your employer and are more
 > likely to follow the suggestion.
 > I have nothing against encouraging people to become OSMF members, but
 > paying their fee is wrong even more so because of the dependent
 > relationship (see above) and there should be a rule that forbids this.
 In the past, the OSMF has rejected membership in a case where someone 
 paid for the membership of a couple people to have them run for board. 
 There was also the Skobbler case where a bunch of employees signed up 
 right before an election, and their memberships were held back until 
 after the election.
 My first response to hearing of companies encouraging people to sign up, 
 pay for their memberships, and have them vote a particular way is "this 
 can't be legal." Without reviewing the law or asking a lawyer, I don't 
 know if it's legal, but I think it's wrong.
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