[Osmf-talk] Moving the OSMF to the EU?

Justin Tracey j3tracey at gmail.com
Thu Jul 1 01:43:25 UTC 2021

My understanding is there are only three legal jurisdictions in which 
sui generis database rights (such as those granted/protected in the 
ODbL) are explicitly legally protected: the UK, the EU, and Russia.


  - Justin

On 2021-06-30 9:31 p.m., Graeme Fitzpatrick wrote:
> I've come very late to this discussion, so apologies for asking what may 
> (& probably is!) a very stupid question.
> Is the EU the only place that OSMF could move to?
> If so, why?
> When I went back through some earlier comments, I noticed one that 
> suggested Canada.
> I could say the same thing - how about Australia? We speak English & all 
> laws / contracts are written in English, you can receive charitable 
> donations, our Association structure is reasonably similar to the 
> English. We've just gone through the process of setting up an Oceania 
> Chapter, so I'm assuming that the question of International transactions 
> has been investigated & addressed with no major roadblocks?
> I keep seeing comments (& complaints) on this & other topics that OSM / 
> OSMF is too Western Eu / UK / US centric - maybe help break that by 
> moving away completely! :-)
> Thanks
> Graeme
> On Thu, 1 Jul 2021 at 03:42, Philippe Verdy <verdyp at gmail.com 
> <mailto:verdyp at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     I do agree. After all this is what all major international
>     organizations are doing: e.g. Microsoft or Google with their
>     subsidiary in Ireland without having their "directors" (of the main
>     organization) to be in Ireland.
>     An I really doubt that language support is an issue (even in France:
>     look at Strasbourg for major institutions of the EU and of the
>     Council of Europe; only companies located in France have to provide
>     some essential info in French for French residents; and there are
>     lot of exceptions for NGOs, like the Red Cross).
>     Interesting places to look at are then where EU, CoE, or UN
>     institutions are located: these places are multilingual with
>     excellent support for English (but not only! And it would be very
>     interesting to be in these places that support MORE languages for a
>     larger part of the world, including outside Europe): Haaguen/La Haye
>     (or Amsterdam for their large internet centers), Brussels/Bruxelles,
>     Luxembourg, Strasbourg, Frankfurt, Geneva... and even Paris (seat of
>     several EU and UN agencies as well). All these places have
>     excellent/fast transportation with UK (notably Brussels and Paris,
>     by plane or high speed train, and lot of transportation services wit
>     hthe rest of the world, huge competition/low prices, high
>     availability). All these places have very favorable conditions for
>     NGOs (small like OSM, or large like the Red Cross), and lot of
>     facilities to manage international financial transfers and assets.
>     You should not use "English" as a limiting factor, after all once
>     you have eliminated UK and Ireland, you'll find NO other country in
>     the EU having universal support of English for everything and
>     everyone. But places that are already highly multilingual and where
>     legal documents written in English are recognized exists EVERYWHERE
>     in the EU (and the EU itself makes lot of efforts to support these
>     English documents as valid, without forcing them to be translated;
>     judges are also treating lot of affairs in English, even if by law
>     they will be forced to create a legal translation in their national
>     official language(s). If you look at the two most important
>     languages of EU, it has NEVER been English, but French (in FR, BE,
>     AD, MC, LU, parts of ES, IT, and DE) and German (in DE, AT, CH),
>     followed by Italian (in IT, part of DE, LI, and CH) or Dutch (in BL
>     and BE).
>     An international organisation like OSM whose goal is to support the
>     world would not focus on using English exclusively for everything
>     (and after all that's another reason why chapters were created, and
>     they should have a larger role, all ofd them being able to offer
>     services in English when it's really required). So making some
>     efforts at OSM to be a bit more multilingual will be
>     benificial (including for the rest of the world: think about Russia,
>     China, India, South Africa, Israel, Arabic countries, South America
>     supporting Spanish and Portuguese, or Indonesia: these are very
>     populated areas of the world with lot of demand and activities for OSM).
>     Note that the EU is a bit limitative territory, where as single
>     market rules extend a bit more (at least to the EEA and Switzerland
>     as well even if it's not part of EU and EEA, but partitipates in
>     almost all activities and cooperates with lot of countries around
>     the world, via UN agencies).
>     For me the best candidate place is Brussels (and it is already
>     multingual, having to support French, Dutch and German, plus all
>     official languages of the EU for all works and lobbying with EU
>     institutions).
>     Le mer. 30 juin 2021 à 15:57, Lorenzo Losa <lorenzo.losa at email.it
>     <mailto:lorenzo.losa at email.it>> a écrit :
>         On sab, 2021-06-19 at 19:10 +0200, Guillaume Rischard wrote:
>          > The OSMF board is considering relocating the OSMF to the EU. We
>          > haven’t taken our decision yet, and would like to first
>         consult its
>          > membership for feedback, advice and whether we’ve missed
>         anything.
>         A few years ago there was a search for a country for
>         incorporating an
>         international organization in Wikimedia; the project failed, but you
>         can find the discussions here, in case there is something useful:
>         https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Chapters_Association/Resolutions/2012_WCA_place_of_registration
>         <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Chapters_Association/Resolutions/2012_WCA_place_of_registration>
>          >       •  Move the whole foundation? A hybrid approach – 
>         keeping the
>          > “main” OSMF in the UK and having a sister OSMF in the EU – might
>          > reduce the effort or even work better.
>         You could also work together with a chapter, if it makes sense.
>         I can
>         say that the Italian chapter would be happy to help.
>         Lorenzo
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