User:Woodpeck/Proposed Resolutions/Membership Register

From OpenStreetMap Foundation


A draft proposed resolution to make the list of OSMF members public.


Currently, the list of OSMF members is not published.

This has led to speculations and allegations in the past, with some people claiming that OSMF was unduly influenced by one commercial entity or another.

A public membership list could alleviate this problem and help to build wider trust in the OSMF organisation. It would send the message that OSMF is not a secret elite circle but a large membership organisation.

In addition, OSMF as an UK company is governed by the Companies Act, which stipulates that the organisation needs to have a "Register of Members" that has the real name and address (and date when joining and leaving) for every member (section 113), and that any person can request a copy of this register (section 116) and that the request must be fulfilled within 5 days. If the request is not fulfilled, not only the organisation itself but also the responsible officers commit an offence (section 118) and may be liable to a fine of up to £1000, or £100 per day if the contravention continues.

However, most of our members are probably not aware of these regulations and they may, wrongly, believe that their membership is something that we will not reveal to others. This sentiment is echoed in some older mailing list discussions. Also, we don't necessarily even know the addresses of all our members and might have difficulty in fulfilling a request for a membership register.

Therefore, I propose the following:


1. The board decides to check the membership register for completeness. All members of whom we do not know all the details required by section 113 of the companies act - most notably the full name and address - will be emailed and asked to submit these details. If a member cannot be reached or does not answer, XXXXXXX

2. Effective immediately, new membership applications must contain the full name and address, or they cannot be processed.

3. Instead of dealing with individual requests for producing copies of the membership register, the board decides to make the membership register public, via a suitable web interface on Everyone can, at any time, view a current membership list with names and full addresses, after filling out a form as given in section 116(4) of the companies act. The board plans to make the list public in this way beginning on the DATE.

alternatively: let people fill out the form which generates an email which is then manually responded to by the membership secretary - gives us more control but also more work, plus denying a request must go via court so is not really practical anyway?

4. The board decides to, without delay, email all existing OSMF members and inform them of the fact that there exists a legal requirement to release the list of member names and addresses and that the board plans to do so beginning on DATE. The member has the option of cancelling their membership before DATE if they want to remain un-published.

5. Effective immediately, new members will be notified during signup that their full name and address will be released on request and that they should not join if they have a problem with that.