[Osmf-talk] Local Chapters criteria

Gregory nomoregrapes at googlemail.com
Fri Aug 9 14:27:08 UTC 2019

Simon, maybe I worded it badly but the LC application process does involve
competing groups so the FAQ should reflect that.

Other attempts at wording...
Objections from competing groups that claim to represent the community will
need to be addressed.
Existing/competing LCs cannot exist unless there is a mutual understanding
between that LC and the applying one.

I agree we don't want to rewarded bad behaviour. Thank you for pointing out
how that could happen.
A counter-example of bad behaviour would be that a group of mappers
communicate in a country but haven't formalised. It may be difficult to
setup a small organisation because some places require a lot of paperwork
financial costs/commitment. Then a company or university comes along and
tries to register with OSMF as a Local Chapter, they might even have 100
members/staff. The OSMF would want to know about the community that says
the LC applicant doesn't represent them, they would want the LC to actually
represent the community including volunteers.

So this is currently a requirement.
It came up with OSM UK intending to represent Northern Ireland(part of the
UK) and British Isles(not all part of the UK). We had resolved it by saying
those places could be represented twice. It came up again when OSM Ireland
applied to be an LC (as they wanted to represent Republic of Ireland and
Northern Ireland. We confirmed the previous agreement and it was resolved.

I suppose you potentially bring up the question of how an LC can lose it's
status. Can this be done by a community (or collection of OSMF members)
declaring that the LC does not represent the local community?
Hmm, would it have to be that the LC stops being democratic and therfore
breaks the terms?.


On Mon, 29 Jul 2019 at 16:13, Simon Poole <simon at poole.ch> wrote:

> Am 29.07.2019 um 15:47 schrieb Gregory:
> The FAQ should be updated to include an existing requirement... (I don't
> know where the wording is)
> An existing/competing community group cannot exist.
> I would consider that a far too large contraint, essentially granting a
> third party without any standing with the OSMF, exclusive rights in the
> exchange for nothing.
> This in some way puts an established requirement on LCs. I can't go to
> America, set up "USA Mappers" and become an OSMF chapter tomorrow because
> "OSM US" is more established and could argue it better represents the local
> community (despite not applying for OSMF chapter status itself).
> Which is one of the examples why this should not be done. Essentially you
> are rewarding bad behaviour, the years and years and years of stringing
> along, with what were obviously completely invented excuses, just to
> improve their leverage..
> Simon
> OSM UK was not a legal entity for very long before applying for chapter
> status, good example. It could be said that it formed out of the OSMF (and
> UK members) which might be a preferred or likely case for future chapters.
> I think we now have a large number of members that are not OSMF members
> because we have grown and done well with our aims to represent
> OpenStreetMap locally.
> The UK might also be taken as an example of regions. The definition of UK
> vs Great Britain vs British Isles is all specific & confusing. I think it
> was agreed we would represent the British Isles (which includes
> countries/governments beyond the UK) but allow other chapters/orgs to
> represent non-UK parts if they start up. This has allowed OSM Ireland to do
> their stuff (but we can work together in Northern Ireland which is part of
> the UK). For the small crown dependency countries, they have a more local
> organisation than the OSMF to contact if desired. Political boundaries are
> difficult and OpenStreetMap is not always limited to them.
> From near Hadrian's Wall,
> Gregory.
> On Wed, 24 Jul 2019, 16:41 Simon Poole, <simon at poole.ch> wrote:
>> Am 24.07.2019 um 15:30 schrieb Felix Delattre via osmf-talk:
>> > ...
>> > Hi all - sorry for the long email - skip it if you want.
>> >
>> > I'm wondering whether not all communities started using the name
>> > OSM+Country without asking OSMF before :)
>> >
>> > The local community I've been mostly involved in (OSM Nicaragua),
>> > emerged firstly by people coming together because we wanted to work on
>> > that open data map - we felt welcomed to do so. When we started
>> > organizing the first events a suitable name was needed. At that time we
>> > just combined OSM with the country name (similar we/people did with
>> > Debian Nicaragua, Drupal Nicaragua, …), we created a logo [1] and
>> > registered social media accounts (like [2]) and did everything to get
>> > people on board. We never asked for permission to use the OSM name with
>> > country. We worked in the spirit of a Free Software community and we
>> > were connected with the global community from the beginning. You can
>> > call me naive, I expected this to be the most usual way all or at least
>> > most OSM communities kicked-off.
>> > Out of true curiosity: was there any local community that first had
>> > asked the OSMF for permission before using the name of OSM? (What about
>> > the elephants? Germany, US, France, Belgium?)
>> >
>> > I don't have any concrete answer to challenge risen here, I’m just
>> > worried we put higher burdens on new communities, than we have put on
>> > the ones that are around for many years. I do think we (the OSMF) should
>> > care, because definitively trademarks can be used abusively, and the
>> > OSMF must be able to take away permissions to use the name in those
>> > cases. Especially if groups demonstrate not to stick to our values
>> > (non-commercial, democratic structure, …?). In my opinion, being too
>> > overruled embarks the likely risk to stop emerging pioneers from
>> > continuing because of not feeling sufficiently recognized and
>> > auto-determined. And I do think we need space for communities to start
>> > as grass-rooty as the one Nicaragua, and based on persons’ trust and
>> > initiatives,
>> While a large number of local user groups historically haven't asked,
>> some have (in some cases there was handshake agreement that they would
>> become LCs etc). The hen and egg problem is there and there isn't really
>> a way to circumvent that without a lot of red tape.
>> The other side of this and this is something that we can't undo, is that
>> the early OSMF was exceedingly naive and got pulled over the table in
>> bad ways in certain cases. But I do have to say that there are a number
>> shining examples, for example OpenStreetMap France, that lived up to the
>> expectation that they would apply for LC status as soon as the facility
>> was present.
>> However you are mistaken if you believe that other organisations are as
>> laisser faire as the OSMF, from Debian to Drupal over the WMF to OSgeo.
>> The norm is that you need to ask before you use their trademarks, though
>> most have similar policies as the OSMF wrt allowed community use, but in
>> general using the marks in your name, domains and so on is a no no.
>> >
>> > On the side of registering an association, I wanted to comment that this
>> > is culturally and legally quite different in the countries all over the
>> > world: For example, in Nicaragua we had several attempts over the years
>> > to create an NGO for Free Software, but it is quite difficult to
>> > register an association there, because the national law requires each
>> > and every association to be approved by the parliament; the community
>> > felt more important about the group and people than about the legal
>> > status. On the other side - another example - in Germany there is
>> > already a well established term ("Vereinsmeierei") to describe the
>> > cultural importance Germans give to associations, and registering one is
>> > not such a big deal.
>> The OSMF does not specify a specific formal organisation form exactly
>> for these reasons.
>> > Requiring too many bureaucratic burdens makes it hard for local
>> > communities to get a voice in OSMF, in those countries associations are
>> > more difficult register. One, out of many aspects that might contribute
>> > to the situation that a lot of southern communities are not taking part
>> > here in OSMF as much as the ones I called elephants before.
>> As said the way around that is to have a status as a "user group".
>> Simon
>> >
>> > If you reached here, thanks for reading. Have a nice day.
>> > Felix
>> >
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