[Osmf-talk] Board decision on recent OSMF membership registrations

Christoph Hormann chris_hormann at gmx.de
Sat Nov 24 19:29:27 UTC 2018

On Saturday 24 November 2018, Peter Barth wrote:
> A circular was created and rapidly voted on, in order for a decision
> to be made within 7 days of the sign up; from the Articles of
> Assocation, "the board may reject an application for membership or
> associate membership within 7 days of receipt of the appropriate fee
> in cleared funds"

Interesting, thanks for informing us.

> > There had been a mass sign-up of 100 new accounts on 15.11.2018
> > from India, most coming from one single IP address from a company
> > "well known" to OpenStreetMap. There had been a larger amount of
> > complaints regarding edits from that company, who provide "mapping
> > services" to other companies.

What is the reason for not disclosing the name of the company?  Since it 
apparently was identified without any help of them i see no problem 
with disclosing that.  Apart from that who did identify said company?

> Frederik Ramm, Peter Barth and Paul Norman voted in favor. Mikel
> Maron, Martijn van Exel, Kate Chapman and Heather Leson voted
> against.

For clarification:  Did any board member consider him or herself to be 
affected by a conflict of interest on this matter - like for example 
due to them or their employer being in a business relationship with the 
company in question?

> Those in favor argued that given the circumstances under which the
> registrations happened, the memberships should be investigated and
> decided on later. There is no assumption of ill intent.
> Those against argued that the original complaint -- the suspicion
> that these newly created accounts were fabricated with ill intent and
> required further investigation-- was not supported, and thus did not
> have a sound legal basis for delaying membership per our current
> membership requirements.

It seems to me these two arguments as stated are incompatible - i.e. the 
reason against is based on the assumption that the reason in favor is 
based on the assumption of ill intent - which based on your description 
is not part of the reason in favor.

Note the AoA put no requirements at all on the rejection of a membership 
application.  In theory the board would be free to reject an 
application just because they do not like the person applying.  So the 
argument against seems to lack a solid basis.

Christoph Hormann

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