[Talk-us] Local Chapters Agreement

Mikel Maron mikel_maron at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 25 16:33:48 GMT 2012


Hi

First post here? I just joined OSM US before attending SOTM-US. So hi.

I heard that the OSM US Board was deliberating the topic of Local Chapters. I know a little of the history of Local Chapters from my (now over) time on the OSM Foundation Board (I'm still on the OSMF "Management Team"). It's been a long process and I think it's a very important topic for OSM US engage with it. Mike Collinson is intended to revive the process and discussion, and he's quite a steady hand within the OSMF.

For specific reasons why OSM-US should care, a couple concrete things off the top of my head are trademarks and promotion. OSM Foundation holds the trademarks, like OpenStreetMap and the logo. The promotion space for events on the OSM.org website (like the SOTM-US banner) needs a means for management. Both of these things are going to be governed by Local Chapter agreements.

There's been some weird proposals in the past, like Local Chapters can not run any kind of OSM server. That is definitely off the table. Was a dumb restriction that was thinking only about "forking", but then other non-prescriptive clauses in the agreement would cover that case (ie supporting the OSM project).

It would be shortsighted for OSM-US to not engage in the local chapters process, and figure out what a federated governance looks like. And it wouldn't strike the right tone for a newly re-energized OSM-US. It's one thing if you're just a group of mappers somewhere, but once you have registration, are raising significant money, throwing events, and promoting, not having a legal relationship with the organization that holds the servers of the projects you're based on is not structurally sound.  We need to encourage the OSMF to tighten up legally where necessary, stay minimal, but be clear and fair. There needs to be a legal relationship with chapters.


Best
Mikel

* Mikel Maron * +14152835207 @mikel s:mikelmaron
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