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

Emilie Laffray emilie.laffray at gmail.com
Thu Nov 1 23:19:13 UTC 2018

Yup. Pretty good description of what happened.

On Thu, Nov 1, 2018, 18:51 <deb at dtold.com wrote:

> 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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