Working Group Minutes/SWG 2011-06-06

From OpenStreetMap Foundation


IRC Name Present Apologies
_chrisfl Chris Fleming y
Eugene Eugene Usvitsky
toffehoff Henk Hoff y

Minutes (Draft)

From previous meeting:

  • none

This week:

  • Ceasing membership (notice). A member can cease his membership by sending the membership secretary a message stating that he does not longer wants to be a member. No refund of membership fees will take place.
  • Ceasing membership (no payment). A member ceases to be member when he/she is two years behind on paying his/her membership fee.
  • Ceasing membership (by board). The Board can end a member's membership when the latter is not acting in accordance with the constitution.


  • No specific actions.

Next Week:

  • Next meeting: 17:00 UTC Monday 13th June 2011

AoA Review document


[19:20] toffehoff: Just added some minor items into the doc
[19:20] toffehoff: During our last SWG we had a discussion about being a charity
[19:21] toffehoff: Bottomline was: we need Articles that does not hinder us in getting such a status.
[19:21] toffehoff: Side-discussion was about us wanting to lobby.
[19:22] toffehoff: A charity is not allowed to lobby (politically)
[19:22] chrisfl_: I've totally failed to sort out the wiki page from out last meeting.
[19:22] chrisfl_: true. Was their a conclusion on lobbying?
[19:23] toffehoff: Most of the participants hadn't thought about lobbying (at least that's how I interpreted it).
[19:24] chrisfl_: I'll have a read through the transcript.....
[19:24] toffehoff: Personally I can see us taking up a position with some issues within the European Parliament.
[19:24] chrisfl_: It does make sense to make sure we keep the options open.
[19:24] toffehoff: .... when it comes to free data ....
[19:25] toffehoff: free as in open.
[19:25] chrisfl_: yes
[19:26] chrisfl_: I also guess that there are structures, where any lobbying/commercial parts could be separated from the charitable functions
[19:26] toffehoff: yes could be.
[19:27] toffehoff: Anyhow, not something of the Articles, but more something for the Memorandum
[19:28] toffehoff: I would suggest to have both kinda vague on this issue, so we can move either way in the future.
[19:28] toffehoff: ... at least check that with legal council if that can be done.
[19:28] chrisfl_: yes, probably the stuff we are doing to Entrench the values; will be the stuff that would be needed if we were to become a charity in the future anyway.
[19:29] toffehoff: Right.
[19:29] chrisfl_: Charity status will only become a question if our UK based income makes it worthwhile, or if we start to make big profits and don't want to pay tax on.
[19:29] toffehoff: I've put in our working doc that we want to be able to become charity ...
[19:30] toffehoff: ... not that we want to do so right now.
[19:30] chrisfl_: great
[19:30] toffehoff: want = need
[19:30] toffehoff:
[19:31] toffehoff: Shall we go through the open questions?
[19:31] toffehoff: on
[19:31] chrisfl_: sounds good to me
[19:32] toffehoff: Membership
[19:32] toffehoff: Ceasing membership
[19:32] chrisfl_: I think we may ahve covered some of these last meeting and I haven't yet updated....
[19:34] toffehoff: I don't think we've talked about it during a meeting.
[19:34] toffehoff: Problem is:
[19:34] chrisfl_: we didn't
[19:34] toffehoff: A member can send the Foundation a notification to cease membership.
[19:34] chrisfl_: your note about ceasing to be a member makes sense to me.
[19:35] toffehoff: But ....
[19:35] toffehoff: If a member does not pay it's membership fee for renewal.....
[19:35] toffehoff: When is he officially not a member anymore.
[19:36] toffehoff: Scenario:
[19:36] chrisfl_: then that person is effectivly a non member.
[19:36] toffehoff: Person becomes member by paying membership fee.
[19:36] toffehoff: A year later person does not pay it's renewal fee.
[19:37] toffehoff: Another year later he does pay a membership fee.
[19:37] chrisfl_: We should put a note in for meetings a voting that only members who do not owe the foundation money are eligible?
[19:37] toffehoff: For voting I think we should state that only fully paid up members are eligible to vote.
[19:37] chrisfl_: I prefer the more general not owing money...
[19:38] chrisfl_: it covers more situations.
[19:38] toffehoff: What is different?
[19:38] toffehoff: Do you have an example?
[19:39] chrisfl_: There may be a situation where a member buys an asset or perhaps has a payment default.
[19:39] chrisfl_: we want to make sure that they have paid anything owed.
[19:39] toffehoff: Hmmmm, not sure if I like this ....
[19:40] toffehoff: We're mixing up two issues here....
[19:40] toffehoff: Membership and a business transaction.
[19:41] chrisfl_: my point here is that for any fees owed, business of membership that member looses the right to take part in company business.
[19:41] chrisfl_: ??
[19:42] • toffehoff thinking
[19:42] chrisfl_: my point above applies to meetings and voting
[19:42] toffehoff: It is a small step towards combining other things to being eligible to vote.
[19:43] toffehoff: Like: a member needs to have an account with OSM and have accepted the CT.
[19:44] toffehoff: Let's say I'm a bit hesitant in mixing up requirements for full membership
[19:44] chrisfl_: I don't think so.
[19:45] chrisfl_: all we would be saying is that you can't vote if you owe money. Ideally we would make sure that people know if they owe money and have a chance to pay it before the vote.
[19:45] toffehoff: Let's check with legal council whether we can do things like this.
[19:46] chrisfl_: sounds good. I've seen this in other places.
[19:46] toffehoff: ... and put it up for discussion with the community / membership
[19:46] chrisfl_: On membership members who have not paid should be removed if outstanding longer than xxxx period.
[19:46] toffehoff: I've been through our membership list and that raised my question about ceasing membership.
[19:47] toffehoff: When can they become member again?
[19:47] chrisfl_: by the way it was great to see an e-mail asking for payment.....
[19:48] chrisfl_: I guess they can just sign up again?
[19:48] toffehoff: I've spend a weekend with Mike Collinson to get this back on track.
[19:48] toffehoff: Scenario:
[19:49] toffehoff: A member had signed up on May 1st 2008
[19:49] toffehoff: He didn't pay his membership fee the next year
[19:49] toffehoff: He pays membership fee on 1st January 2011
[19:50] toffehoff: Is that a renewal of the old membership?
[19:50] toffehoff: In that case he's still not fully paid up ....
[19:50] chrisfl_: I would say that's a new membership,
[19:51] chrisfl_: so he was a member 1 May 2008 - 31st April 2009
[19:51] chrisfl_: and 1st January 2011 +
[19:51] toffehoff: OK, but if he paid on July 1st 2009?
[19:52] chrisfl_: The payment on July 1st 2009 would cover him until 31st April 2010
[19:53] chrisfl_: and the payment on 1st January 2011 would cover him until 31st April 2011.
[19:53] toffehoff: OK
[19:53] toffehoff: So when did his membership expire in the first example?
[19:54] chrisfl_: although I would suggest that the membership secretary would be on the generous side if people hadn't been informed when payments have been due.
[19:54] toffehoff: True.
[19:54] chrisfl_: It the very first example 31st April 2010
[19:55] toffehoff: So, one year after the renewal date.
[19:55] chrisfl_: yes.
[19:56] toffehoff: I was thinking somewhere along the same line....
[19:56] chrisfl_: cool
[19:56] toffehoff: Was not sure if 1 year was long enough...
[19:57] TomH: given how fucked up our membership database is we probably need a substantial amnesty if we're going to make length of membership important in any way
[19:57] • TomH is still not sure if he and OSMF agree on his membership status
[19:57] toffehoff: I had a discussion with someone else and ended up with 2 years ...
[19:58] toffehoff: TomH: gues why we want a different membership system
[19:58] chrisfl_: yes TomH has pretty much said it perfectly.
[19:59] toffehoff: I'll check with you membership status with Mike, tom
[19:59] TomH: toffehoff: well he mailed me the other day apologising for not reminding me last uyear
[20:00] TomH: I have replied pointing out that we realised this when my vote was rejected last year and I paid up then
[20:00] chrisfl_: as an aside - there are databases out there which make this kind of thing much easier....
[20:01] toffehoff: Ah, your one of the persons Mike was hinting about
[20:01] chrisfl_: as I had exactly the same experience as Tom
[20:01] toffehoff: chrisfl_, yes, and we've decided to change to a system that is also being used by several local chapters of Wikimedia
[20:01] chrisfl_: great
[20:02] toffehoff: which also can handle donation drives......
[20:02] toffehoff: .... and much more ...
[20:02] toffehoff: Back to the Articles.
[20:02] chrisfl_: I appreciate that it's a big job managing membership, so
[20:03] chrisfl_: yes.
[20:03] toffehoff: Knowing that there is a difference in current practice, we need to set up requirements on this.
[20:04] chrisfl_: Yes. I suggest that the board should allow an amnesty on any missed years, so that current members only owe 1 years worth....
[20:04] toffehoff: Shall we set the threshold on 2 years .... See what the community feels about it.
[20:04] toffehoff: We can alway move to 1 year ....
[20:05] toffehoff: I'll take the amnesty up with the board....
[20:05] chrisfl_: sounds fine with me; but with the caveat that if you owe money (and have been asked to pay) then you are not eligible to vote?
[20:06] toffehoff: Right.
[20:06] chrisfl_: great.
[20:06] toffehoff: It's alway easier to go from a more strict rule to a leanier one...
[20:07] chrisfl_:
[20:07] toffehoff: So that's about ceasing membership by not paying membership fee.
[20:07] toffehoff: Now, a member send a note.
[20:07] chrisfl_: yup
[20:07] toffehoff: When does his membership end?
[20:08] toffehoff: Example: he paid up to 31 December.
[20:08] toffehoff: and he sends a note he doesn't want to be member effective now.
[20:09] chrisfl_: then he ceases to be a member of the date the note is recieved.
[20:09] toffehoff: Without refund of (part of) fee.
[20:09] chrisfl_: I would say no refunds.
[20:10] chrisfl_: we're not talking about large sums of money here.
[20:10] toffehoff: True, but it needs to be said....
[20:10] chrisfl_: fair enough
[20:11] toffehoff: So, if he (for some odd reason) would decide to become a member again, he has to pay the full amount again.
[20:11] chrisfl_: yes
[20:11] toffehoff: k
[20:12] chrisfl_: it's a corner case and he's making work for the membership secretary.
[20:12] toffehoff: Right, but it's also simple and straightforward.
[20:12] chrisfl_: exactly.
[20:12] toffehoff: About the note.
[20:13] toffehoff: I think it needs to be in writing.
[20:13] toffehoff: So: email, posted mail ....
[20:13] chrisfl_: I would agree
[20:13] toffehoff: And not a phone call or a casual chat in the pub.
[20:14] chrisfl_: definitly
[20:14] toffehoff: Another way of ceasing membership.
[20:15] toffehoff: A member gets thrown out by the board.
[20:15] chrisfl_: agree
[20:15] toffehoff: On what reason?
[20:16] chrisfl_: good question
[20:16] toffehoff: "You declined the Contributor Terms"
[20:16] chrisfl_: bad behavior -
[20:16] chrisfl_: good question.....
[20:16] chrisfl_: *thinks
[20:16] toffehoff: Bad behaviour is rather subjective.
[20:17] chrisfl_: yes - so breaking of others copyright.
[20:17] chrisfl_: offensive behaviour
[20:17] toffehoff: Is there a difference is blocking you user-account and being member of the Foundation?
[20:18] chrisfl_: initially no - long term yes
[20:18] toffehoff: Example....
[20:18] toffehoff: Mr Anthony, who's account got blocked ....
[20:18] toffehoff: Could he still be member of the Foundation ?
[20:19] toffehoff: (not saying that he is or isn't)
[20:19] chrisfl_: so a new user is copying map data from somewhere else, he gets his account blocked but appologies and doesn't do it again...
[20:20] chrisfl_: so Mr Anthony - first he would need to reveal a real name and address to become a member.
[20:20] toffehoff: That's another practical issue
[20:21] chrisfl_: secondly he still maintains that what he did is okay...
[20:21] TomH: oh we know his real name and address
[20:21] chrisfl_:
[20:21] chrisfl_: well I thought we might
[20:23] toffehoff: The only thing we can say (I think) is that when a member is not acting in accordance with the constitution, he can be thrown out.
[20:23] chrisfl_: yes.
[20:23] toffehoff: It's still kinda vague
[20:23] chrisfl_: well the question here is do we want to give the board room for flexibility here or not...
[20:24] toffehoff: Good question: is this a matter for the board, or for the AGM/EGM?
[20:25] chrisfl_: personally I'm happy to leave it to the board. Not sure if others would agree.
[20:25] toffehoff: Either way, we need to set some restrictions....
[20:25] • toffehoff looking at the time
[20:25] chrisfl_: yes we need to word it right....
[20:26] toffehoff: Let's leave this open for discussion. Or for discussion with legal council.
[20:26] toffehoff: Open for discussion with the community/membership I meant.
[20:27] chrisfl_: sounds like a plan.
[20:27] toffehoff:
[20:27] toffehoff: I think we've covered ceasing membership, right?
[20:27] chrisfl_: yes
[20:27] chrisfl_: 1
[20:28] chrisfl_: great - so same time next week?
[20:28] toffehoff: Next week, I'll be traveling.
[20:28] toffehoff: Back to berlin again.
[20:28] chrisfl_:
[20:29] toffehoff: Arriving at the airport at 17.25 UK time.
[20:29] toffehoff: Then commuting to hotel...
[20:29] toffehoff: Maybe half hour late ....
[20:30] chrisfl_: cool - fine for me if you're still happy to meet.
[20:30] toffehoff: I'll let you know.
[20:30] toffehoff: ... and Eugene ...
[20:30] chrisfl_: cool. happy travelling
[20:30] toffehoff: Thanks!
[20:31] toffehoff: You know about the Face 2 Face board meeting this weekend?
[20:31] toffehoff: The sunday is open for other members....
[20:31] toffehoff: ... it's in London.
[20:31] chrisfl_: only that it's happening.
[20:32] toffehoff: If you happened to be in the neighborhood .....
[20:32] chrisfl_: cool. I might have a look and see if I can get cheap train down, but it's unlikely
[20:33] • toffehoff looking for the agenda....
[20:33] toffehoff:
[20:35] chrisfl_: look good. But probably a little late for me to make it
[20:37] chrisfl_: are you happy to sort out minutes for this meeting?
[20:42] toffehoff: yes I can
[20:42] chrisfl_: thanks