OSI Board Meeting Minutes, Wednesday, September 10, 2008

OSI Board Meeting Minutes, Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Quorum reached and meeting called to order at 8:14am PST.


  1. Ms. Alolita Sharma, Director
  2. Mr. Russell Nelson, Director
  3. Ms. Danese Cooper, Secretary and Treasurer
  4. Mr. Martin Michlmayr, Director
  5. Mr. Bruno Souza, Director
  6. Ms. Nnenna Nwakanma, Director (left 9:07am PDT)
  7. Mr. Harshad Gune, Director (via IRC @ 8:25am PDT; on phone @ 8:37am PDT)


  1. Mr. Andrew C. Oliver

Expected, but Not Present:

  1. Mr. Mark Radcliffe, General Counsel
  2. Mr. Ernest Prabhakar
  3. Mr. Zak Greant
  4. Mr. Bdale Garbee
  5. Mr. Merrill Freund (Schwartz Communications)

Sent Regrets:

  1. Mr. Ken Coar, Director
  2. Mr. Michael Tiemann, President
  3. Mr. Rishab Aiyer Ghosh, Director


1. Approval of minutes

Minutes for August 13, 2008 and July 26-27, 2008 Face-to-Face meeting reviewed by Board. Minutes approved for posting by general consent.

2. Officer Reports

a) President’s Report:

The Open Source Community received some great news on the legal front: a strong court ruling upheld the Artistic License as a valid way to define conditions for copyright, not a mere contract. This ruling should significantly strengthens many other licenses which use copyright as a basis of their reach and scope. Mark Radcliffe and many others on our Legal Advisory Board played major roles in drafting amicus briefs and providing other assistance.

After a somewhat hesitant start, the OSI Charter members discuss is now in full swing, with increasingly diverse participation. This new energy is directly adding energy to the License Proliferation discussion, which is also a good thing.

There are lots of small activities to report this month. First, I have been working with Ms. Allyn Taylor of DLA Piper on Trademark issues (see Trademark status below). I also worked diligently to obtain a response from the Open Font License authors and to encourage them directly to submit their license for review. They have tentatively agreed, and I will keep after them as best I can, and to follow up with Japan’s Information Promotion Agency (IPA) on the suitability of using the OFL as the basis for their new font license. I have continued blogging and tagging as topics warrant.

We continue to receive offers from volunteer translators without having a good way to engage them (due to limitations of current Drupal site). It would be fantastic if we could make progress on this.

I received information about the Knight Foundation News Challenge Grant, a $5M per year program to create new open source solutions/frameworks for serving the public good via increased civic participation and journalism. I hope every OSI Board member can recruit at least one project to submit a proposal to this effort (which is global, not US-centric).

A special thanks to Ms. Sharma for taking the initiative to prepare this agenda for today’s meeting.

b) Secretary’s Report:

Ms. Cooper called on the Board to review the minutes for August 13, 2008 and OSCON F2F 2008 Minutes. Both minutes were reviewed and approved unanimously. Ms. Cooper and Mr. Oliver will make these minutes publicly available on the website (opensource.org).

Ms. Cooper spent much of the last month on personal vacation. Last week she and Mr. Greant attended OpenEverything, a retreat designed to connect Social Change folks with Open Source folks. Ms. Cooper also met with both the Rockwood Institute and the Hollyhock Leadership Institute on the subject of creating a facilitated level-set and “Leadership Training” for the Charter Members and Board Members.

c) Treasurer’s Report:

Ms. Cooper reported on monies and status of expense reimbursements.

d) General Counsel’s Report:

Not Present (Mr. Radcliffe)

3. Committee Reports

Licensing Committee

Mr. Nelson reported:

  1. RTEMS License is the most controversial one under discussion and needs more discussion.
  2. MirOS License is clearly OSD compliant and should be approved, although it won’t be a recommended license due to not doing anything unique.
  3. Iggy Wanna License (IWL) is not OSD compliant and should be rejected.
  4. University Jaume I License (UJIL) is still under discussion due to updated information.
  5. Unstructured Operation Markup Language License (UOMLL) opens the question “How do Open Standards and Open Source play together?”, which is an interesting question but it is not OSD compliant and should be rejected.

Mr. Nelson moves that we accept the License Committee Report as filed with the following edits: Ask for more discussion on RTEMS and defer decision pending more consideration on UJIL. Ms. Cooper seconded. Passed by general consent.

There was a brief discussion about license proliferation and progress of the ongoing effort by the newly formed License Proliferation Committee headed by Mr. Nelson to review and make recommendations back to the Board.

Membership Committee

Ms. Cooper reported that Mr. Oliver called for the OSI to work on more concrete deliverables on the Members list. Ms. Nwakanma reminded that we need to think about international charter membership outreach further. Mr. Oliver proposed that we ask for concrete deliverables and help focus the membership on active projects. He thinks that active participation will help the membership formulate what its goals. Ms. Cooper will herd this effort actively on the member-discuss list.

Ms. Cooper will work with Mr. Prabhakar to complete the press release for announcement of charter members.

4. Old Business

  • Trademark status and discussion (Mr. Tiemann)

Mr. Tiemann reported that the OSI has amended its filings as recommended by the US PTO and that is now in process. The logo design of OSI’s favicon cannot be trademarked “as-is” since the US PTO does not have a use class defined for the way in which the OSI uses it.

  • Update on Open Font License and IPA–how best to support free/open source fonts (Mr. Tiemann)

Deferred for discussion in next board meeting.

Mr Tiemann reached the OFL license stewards and obtained some positive indication that they will submit their license to the OSI approval process. Mr. Tiemann expects it will take another 1-2 weeks to make this happen. If/when the OFL license is approved, we must understand that as the IPA is a quasi-governmental agency, and as the national language of Japan is Japanese, and that the government must publish their works in Japanese, Mr. Tiemann would expect that the OFL will appear in translation at the very least, and possibly adapted to Japanese law as well.

  • Update on ED fundraising (Ms. Cooper)

Ms. Cooper continues to have discussions with various potential donors on this initiative. A couple of organizations are ready to commit to this initiative for funding OSI’s ED position. Ms. Cooper reports that there is positive news on this front but it will take till January 2009 to complete the process.

  • Update on website cleanup (Ms. Sharma)

Ms. Sharma reported that she has run link checker reports on the website (opensource.org) and there are common link errors that need to be fixed. She has requested edit permissions to update the website template to remove broken links. Mr. Nelson will initiate the process of requesting Mr. Behlendorf, OSI’s website hosting provider, to provide the necessary access permissions to update the website template (in Drupal) for Ms. Sharma. Ms. Cooper will follow-up with Mr. Behlendorf.

  • Update on OSI Beat (Ms. Sharma)

Ms. Sharma reported that she had initial discussions with Ms. Nwakanma and the team has determined a basic format for the newsletter. This format keeps in mind Mr. Nelson’s suggestions of using current resources such as the OSI Blog as well as Mr. Tiemann’s suggestion of maximizing focus on opensource.org. Ms. Sharma is working on next steps to put together a draft layout and content sections for this online newsletter. This online effort will be run in development mode for 3 months and will be reviewed by the Board before launching.

5. New Business


Meeting Adjourned 10:00 PDT.