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Board members

  • Allan Mustard (Chairing)
  • Joost Schouppe (Secretary)
  • Guillaume Rischard (Treasurer)
  • Mikel Maron
  • Paul Norman (joined 67' after start)
  • Rory McCann
  • Tobias Knerr



  • 21 guests

Open to all OSMF members.

Guests are welcome to speak at the end of the meeting on the topics that have been discussed.

Not Present

  • Paul Norman (joined 67' after start)


Previous minutes

Circular Resolutions


2020/Res65 That the Board request that the OWG block tile access to a certain site

The OSMF Board requests that the Operations Working Group block tile access to the website, and keep it blocked until further notice.

Unanimously accepted on 2020-12-05 with 7 votes in favour: Tobias Knerr (It's not in the Foundation's interest to offer free tile hosting for extreme political websites – or any political websites, really. Our tile servers exist primarily for the benefit of the OSM community. I would like to note, though, that I do not believe that ad-hoc board circulars are the best way to handle decisions like this, so we should find a better mechanism in the future., Paul Norman, Guillaume Rischard, Joost Schouppe, Allan Mustard (Racist website), Mikel Maron, Rory McCann (The website is promoting hatred and racism, and seems to be designed to put people's lives at risk).

2020/Res66 Approve active contributor membership application 2020112810000184

The Board currently decides on active contributor membership applications based on non-mapping contributions on a case-by-case basis.

Unanimously accepted on 2020-12-06 with 7 votes in favour: Joost Schouppe, Paul Norman, Allan Mustard, Mikel Maron, Tobias Knerr, Guillaume Rischard, Rory McCann.

2020/Res67 Authorize the OWG to sign with the commercial CDN

The board authorizes the OWG to sign with Fastly for the tile CDN*, including the standard contractual clauses.

Accepted on 2020-12-07 with 5 votes in favour: Allan Mustard, Joost Schouppe, Tobias Knerr, Mikel Maron, Guillaume Rischard
1 Abstained: Paul Norman (I have a COI with my employer). 1 Not voted: Rory McCann.

* Content Delivery Network

Previous action items

See Board/Action_Items.

Treasurer's report

  • Gunner (screen-to-screen facilitator) sent his invoice.

To-do: Email working groups about the budget.

Vouchers related to Covid-19: As to the face-to-face board meeting was postponed due to Covid-19, several board members have ended up with vouchers for transportation or accommodation.

Decision: Email Dorothea (administrative assistant) about services already paid for (vouchers for travel to London, London hotel), so that we have a list of services owned.

Attribution Guidelines

The Licensing Working Group had created a draft attribution guideline , which was subsequently modified by the board. After meetings of the board with Corporate Member representatives on attribution (Jun and Oct 2020) and with LWG members (Oct 2020), the board version was modified. There was subsequently a Board and LWG meeting in October 2020, leading to further modifications to the board's draft.

Attribution related meetings, excluding recurring board and LWG meetings

Attribution related board minutes:

Attribution guidance related LWG minutes:

OSMF members related discussions:

  • Attribution guideline status update: 2019 Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
  • Attribution: board letter to Facebook: 2019 Oct, Nov

There was an informal board chat about draft attribution guidelines in December.

Decision to:

  • Publish the current document after giving the Licensing Working Group (LWG) a heads up tonight.
  • Ask LWG to summarise the points they still consider open from the comments on that document and ask Dermot McNally (LWG member), who has no conflict of interest, to present that report at the next LWG meeting. (# Dermot has been asked and agreed to do it).
  • Rory to work with external counsel to try to find the solutions to these issues that are most favourable to us.

Amended motion was approved by present board members (Paul absent). No objection.

Other points mentioned:

  • We haven't selected external counsel yet.
  • To be published: The current Google doc with comments relevant to the discussion and changes. Can additionally put it on the OSM wiki.
  • Having the whole history of the document is important, so that the community knows what the discussion points are and where there was progress.
  • The board will ask the external legal counsel, once selected.
  • In relation to the suggested "deadline": Holidays are coming.

Conflict of interest policy for Working Groups

Related to takeover protections.

Paul's draft:

The board on 2020-05 adopted the following Conflict of Interest Policy and decided to consult the Working Groups (WGs) if there should be a Conflict of Interest policy for WGs and committees and what changes have to be made to the board CoI policy to make it applicable to these groups.

Past board discussions related to CoI:

Suggested by Tobias.

Decision to accept Paul's document as the default Conflict of Interest policy, for any Working Group/Committee/Special committee/similar body that does not choose to have their own policy and inform the board [of any changes to the policy].

Motion approved (Paul is missing). No objection.

Other points mentioned during discussion

  • If people exchanged this policy for a more lenient one, it would be a cause for alarm.
    • The board could intervene if such a situation arises.
    • Decision of the working group would be minuted in their minutes.

Brexit update

Background by Simon Poole (past LWG chair):

As a friendly reminder, the Brexit transition period will end at the end of this year and as you may remember, the question of maintaining sui generis database rights in our data is still open.

It is clear, see, that any newly created databases post 31st December will no longer be afforded sui generis DB rights in the EU. It would seem that the only way around this is to either move the OSMF completely to the EU or create an EU-based subsidiary that will publish in the EU (this potentially creates issues with the contributor terms, but I don't see them ruling such a solution out).

The above is based on the assumption that we are (fsvo) continuously creating new databases that restart the 15 year protection period (if that is not the case then the problem will not be fixable in any case). How often that is the case (as in we have modified the database so substantially that it is considered new) is I suspect a matter of debate, but it is very unlikely to be at the minutely diff level, so we probably have some leeway wrt the December 31st deadline.

Related board discussions

Suggested by Tobias.
  • It has been difficult to find a time that works both for Paul and the lawyer.
  • Suggestion for other board members to join the effort. Rory offered to help.
  • One of the things considered is whether we could publish the data through one of the European Local Chapters.

Software Dispute Resolution Panel

Board's proposal for a software dispute resolution panel.

Suggested by Allan.
  • Most working groups are willing to participate to handle nominations including self-nominations and send the nominations to the board.
  • 5 persons will be selected by the board.
  • Allan spoke to Quincy Morgan (iD developer), who is in favour of a dispute resolution mechanism.

Next steps
Once the Annual General Meeting is over, Allan will email osmf-talk, soliciting self-nominations to be channeled through Working Groups (WG), and working groups will send them to the board after vetting them.

Other points mentioned during discussion

  • Channeling nominations through working groups is not sufficient to take them out of the responsibility of the board.
  • Data Working Group (DWG) is willing to handle the software disputes.
    • The DWG people might be fine sharing the task with persons from other groups.
    • Since the board is selecting the 5 persons, not an issue if the procedure is done via working groups or not.
    • Expectation to get more than 5 names from the working groups.

Alternative suggestion [Tobias]

  • Have a proportion of seats appointed by each working group: The Working Groups select the people, which allows outside nomination and avoids the issue of the board having to make the selection.
    • Don't want to place additional burden on working groups.

Advisory Board - monthly update

The Advisory Board members are separate from the OSMF board of directors - individuals are either nominated by Corporate Members of the OSMF or invited directly by the OSMF board of directors. The OSMF Board of Directors will publicly minute, in the board meeting minutes, any communication sent to, or received from, the AB members. This monthly section is reserved for this purpose.

Overview of board communications with representatives on the Advisory Board.
(single page displaying all the monthly updates that are linked below)
2020 Jan, Feb, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov
2019 Jan, Mar, Jun, Jul, Aug, Oct
2018 Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Dec
2017 Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May (F2F), Oct


There was a Local Chapter Congress.

Any other business

Thanks to Paul and Joost

For their work on the board, as their terms will end soon. Thanks also potentially to Tobias, who stands to be re-elected.

Guest comments or questions

How much effort is needed for participating on the Dispute Resolution Panel?

Question by Mateusz Konieczny (guest)

  • Quincy Morgan (iD developer) said they get 4-6 disputes per year. We don't expect a huge workload.
  • There were no disputes since Quincy started working for OSMF (September 2020).
  • Other software might decide to opt in.

How does the board plan to respond to the recent call for action statement and its recommendations?

Question by Rebecca Firth, as a representative of the group that has drafted the call.

Statement released yesterday by a group of OSM volunteers asking the board to address systemic effects of behaviour in OSM. In the past 22 hours: 163 individuals and ~20 organisations have signed. How does the board plan to respond to statement and recommendations?

-- End of question--
There was no deadline on signatures.

Points mentioned during discussion

  • Concern that it is a changing document, as one can sign and the document changes afterwards.
  • Shows clearly that the topic is important to many people and controversial.
  • It might be useful to exclude specific incidents and focus on the bigger picture.

On Diversity and Inclusion Special Committee (DISCo)

  • The board had in the past set up DISCo and the hope was that by setting it up and having a clear diversity statement that it would be a proper venue to focus on problems like that and offer solutions. The Committee is mostly idle: there were two meetings so far, early in 2020.
  • What are we doing wrong?
  • How do we make sure that DISCo becomes what we hoped?

Comments by Rebecca (guest, participant of the group that has drafted the call)

  • Strong perception that the DISCo group has a good intention but doesn't have the necessary things to make people safe to participate in that.
  • Really tough to ask people to be on a platform where they will be subjected to a lot of unpleasantness, without assurance that people will be safe and respected.
  • Specific incident, which was a catalyst, could be excluded from the document.
  • Systemic behaviours span many years and many people.
  • Need to engage with the actual cultural issue that has been raised: a lot of people are actively dissuaded to contribute to OSM.
  • The discussion on the mailing list is making people even less likely to want to participate.
    • Exemplifies the problem that the letter was intended to call out.
    • Common response and behaviour on OSM mailing lists: people attacking and debating semantics on specific details.

Asking the OSMF board to not disregard or diminish the call for action.

Question by the board on the comment about the Diversity and Inclusion Special Committee (DISCo) being potentially not safe or unpleasant:
Looking at the call for action document and the names of the people who signed it [some are members of DISCo], what's different?

Answer by Rebecca

  • DISCo not successful as it didn't work to draw sufficient centre of gravity.
  • Not having a clear mandate.
  • Not an unsafe space, but not productive.

--end of comments--

Board members on etiquette guidelines: We did not invest on structures to back them up.

We need effective structures and people empowered so that the communication channels that are important to the global community are welcoming to all.

Board consensus

  • The Board will find partners to help instate a moderator team for the osmf-talk and talk mailing lists.
  • These moderators need to have the trust of the community subject to the moderation (consent of the governed) by some kind of approval mechanism.
  • This moderator team will start to work on enforcing the current etiquette guidelines as soon as possible.
  • Start work on updating/replacing our Etiquette rules, which must focus on balancing all participants' interests.

Comment by Heather Leson (guest, participant of the group that has drafted the call)

  • Need a dedicated person - paid or volunteer to lead this through the consultation. --end of comment--
    • Board: that is the remit of DISCo and its chairperson (currently it doesn't have structure).

Suggestions by board members

  • Use of pseudonyms, to create a layer of safety. [Rory]
  • Ask members of DISCo where they stand on some of the issues. [Rory]
  • Appeal to the signatories of the document to select some volunteers for DISCo. [Allan]
  • Revitalise DISCo. Appoint DISCo's chairperson to lead the effort. [Allan]
    • The board should lead the effort. [Tobias]
  • Find a way to form a moderator team for the international lists. [Tobias]
  • Start work on updating the etiquette guidelines. [Tobias]

Comments by Maggie Cawley (guest, participant of the group that has drafted the call)

  • Tough topic.
  • Global participation to the call for action has been very positive.
  • Local Chapters and Communities Working Group (LCCWG) was a positive working group this year.
  • There was a short LCCWG meeting on Monday. Suggestions:
    • to create a LCCWG subcommittee to start looking at the etiquette guidelines and think about how a moderation process would look like (steps to take when someone is uncomfortable, make sure we don't create a communications police force).
    • look at DWG documents as a starting point, but alter them for communication purposes.
    • talk about DISCo - a few people stepped forward to be part of it.

--end of comments--

Board members on moderation of osmf-talk
(osmf-talk is the OSM Foundation members' mailing list. You need to be an OSMF member (join) to subscribe. See all messages here).

Mentioned codes of conduct to check

What falls under moderation: talk, osmf-talk, tagging? - anything else?
Question by Mateusz Konieczny (guest)

> Current board consensus seems to be osmf-talk and talk mailing lists.
> We want to proceed thoughtfully, in consultation with the full community, not just a subset of it.

Board decisions

Not ready yet to adopt anything.

  • Addition of the topic to January agenda.
  • Ask LCCWG to:
    • be the coordinating body and incorporate efforts and participation from others, including the signatories of the letter, DISCo and anybody else who wants to help.
    • come up with specific proposals in writing on code of conduct and enforcement mechanisms for January board meeting.

Proposals can also be made by non-LCCWG members. For example, there are members on DISCo who are not on LCCWG and might have valuable input.

Proposals needed.
* Does DISCo need to be reinvigorated or replaced with a new structure? What is the structure going to look like?
* Could that structure be one that moderates discussions on osmf-talk as well as anything else that needs moderation?


  • Need to hear from the signatories of the document who will be willing to put time and effort in DISCo or something that replaces it. [Allan]
  • Have someone in the team to be the counter-voice and represent the downside of bad code of conducts [Joost]. Mikel suggested Tobias, as an open-minded and level-headed representative of a more cautious viewpoint.
  • Decision should be taken by the membership, but not on osmf-talk, as it is a specific subset. Maybe conduct a survey. [Joost]

Board's appeal to signatories of document: share your thoughts with LCCWG and participate in this effort. Give the board specific proposals on what it can do within its authorities.

Paul joined.

Next meeting

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New recurring date and time pending.

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