OSI Board Meeting Minutes, Wednesday, December 10, 2008

OSI Board Meeting Minutes, Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Quorum reached and meeting called to order 08:08 am PST.


 1. Mr. Michael Tiemann, President
 2. Ms. Danese Cooper, Secretary and Treasurer
 3. Mr. Ken Coar, Director
 4. Mr. Harshad Gune, Director
 5. Ms. Alolita Sharma, Director
 6. Mr. Bruno Souza, Director
 7. Mr. Russell Nelson, Director
 8. Mr. Martin Michlmayr, Director (joined 9:00am PST)


1. Mr. Bdale Garbee, Board Observer

2. Mr. Andrew C. Oliver, Board Observer
3. Mr. Karl Fogel, Guest (left 8:30am PST)

Expected, but Not Present:

1. Mr. Rishab Aiyer Ghosh, Director
2. Mr. Zak Greant, Board Observer
3. Mr. Ernest Prabhakar, Board Observer
4. Mr. Mark Radcliffe, General Counsel
5. Mr. Merrill Freund (Schwartz Communications)

Sent Regrets:

 1. Ms. Nnenna Nwakanma, Director


1. Approval of minutes

Minutes for November 12, 2008 reviewed by Board. Ms. Cooper raised the motion to approve November 12, 2008 minutes as edited for public posting. Mr. Tiemann seconded. Approved for posting with Mr. Nelson abstained.

2.Officer Reports

a) President’s Report:

I visited Tokyo, Manilla, and Kuala Lumpur on Red Hat’s behalf, but also had an oportunity to represent the OSI as well. In Tokyo I met with lawyers representing the IPA to discuss creating a OSI-approvable license for a set of fonts that will be used by the Japanese government. Discussions are still ongoing, but we may expect a submission in the first months of 2009. In Manilla I met with both Congressman Teddy Casiño and former Senator Ralph Recto, now the Secretary of the National Economic and Development Authority. Congressman Casiño is in the process of drafting legislation related to open source software. Secretary Recto is interested to understand how open source software can benefit the economic development of the Philippines. In Kuala Lumpur I met with the Director of the Open Source Competency Center (OSCC). The OSCC was created by government mandate in 2004 to enhance the value of using open source software within the public sector. All of these meetings confirmed that many governments in Asia are well on their way to supporting and promoting open source software as a viable and vital approach to technology and economic development.

Due to a heavy travel schedule and cold weather over the Thanksgiving Day holidays in New York, I spent more time than expected trying to stay healthy. As a result, I did not accomplish as many of the OSI-related tasks as I had expected. Other OSI board members and observers have been doing good work, and I’d like to extend a special thanks to Russ Nelson, Alolita Sharma, and Zak Greant, who have all made visible contributions in their respective areas of work.

Discussion: Ms. Sharma noted that there is a lot of movement on Open Source in Asia. Ms. Cooper notes that commentary conjoining Obama Presidency and Open Source continue to be heard. Mr. Tiemann says he believes transparency will be the consistent meme.

b) Secretary’s Report:

Ms. Cooper has been making local visits within the Bay Area.

c) Treasurer’s Report:

Mr. Tiemann requested a cost projection be done for the planned FOSDEM F2F meetings.

d) General Counsel’s Report:


3. Committee Reports

Licensing Committee

No report submitted by Mr. Nelson but status update provided on License Proliferation project by Mr. Nelson.

Membership Committee

Ms. Cooper reported on lack of progress on restarting this discussion. She met with Mr. Josh Berkus to discuss how best to restart, but is continuing to experience difficulties finding the time. Mr. Oliver said he’s been thinking about it as well and fears that the problem may be too many busy people. Mr. Tiemann asked whether the Board has any thoughts on how the economy is affecting volunteer efforts.

4. Old Business

  • Trademark status and discussion (Mr. Tiemann)

Ms. Sharma did some work last month to poll the License Stewards working to get some of them to correctly post the trademark.
As discussed in last month’s meeting, Ms. Sharma posted the following on the OSI wiki:

 o List of OSI Approved License Stewards (provided by Mr. Nelson)
 o Email to verify current License Stewards (provided by Mr. Nelson) and the
 o Email to request License Stewards to add OSI Approved License Mark to their websites

Mr. Michlmayr and Ms. Sharma discussed on IRC if anything else needed to be done and switched over task to Mr. Nelson who offered to resend verification email to license stewards.

Mr. Coar says he will work with Ms. Sharma this week on correctly posting the logos on our website.

Mr. Tiemann will call Allyn Taylor to figure out deadlines for logo usage.

Mr. Nelson asks what to do about License Stewards who are MIA. Ms. Cooper suggests that we announce via Slashdot that we are assuming stewardship since we can’t connect to stewards. Ms. Cooper will work with Mr. Prabhakar to work on language for Slashdot.

  • Update on ED fundraising (Ms. Cooper)

Ms. Cooper reports that there are still organizations offering us money, although a number of the informal promises we’ve received have indicated they would prefer to defer their donations. Ms. Sharma recommends that we contact the Soros Foundation. Mr. Michlmayr has organized an introduction to NLnet as well.

  • Update on whether Mr. Radcliffe would be willing to give OSI a statement on recent patent case. (Ms. Cooper)

Ms. Cooper reports that Mr. Radcliffe has not responded yet.

  • Update on OSI’s Education project (Ms. Sharma)

Ms. Sharma prepared a presentation “Open Source 101 – an introduction to open source software” and provided to Mauritius volunteer. He had requested this presentation for an upcoming meeting with the director of Mauritius’ National Computer Board to help introduce open source in the national education curriculum.

Ms. Cooper reported that teachingopensource.org is still co-owned by several OSI friends, although there is interest from an outside organization in assuming that URL. Do we have an interest in it? Ms. Sharma will connect with OSI Director Emeritus, Mr. Brian Behlendorf on this topic.

  • Update on website cleanup (Ms. Sharma)

Ms. Sharma has completed one pass of fixing broken and old links across opensource.org. There are a bunch of pages that have outdated content and the board needs to discuss at some point soon who can and how these pages can be updated. She will be sending out a report on changes made to the board via email. Ms. Cooper suggests that this could be a committee run on IRC. Mr. Gune and Mr. Michlmayr agree to help.

Ms. Cooper brings up the point that Mr. Brian Behlendorf has been hosting us pro-bono for years and may soon need to change his hosting activities. Ms. Sharma will sort out whether OSL would be willing to assume our hosting pro-bono.

  • Editorial stance of OSI in blogs and other statements–should we become more strident? (Mr. Tiemann)

Mr. Tiemann reports that this topic was raised due to fact that negative blogging always engenders more uptake (trackbacks, etc.) in the informal media. After recent meetings with governments Mr. Tiemann is convinced that the high road is still serving us. Mr. Souza said he prefers to stay on the good news side. Mr. Coar agrees.

5. New Business

  • Next Face to Face meeting at FOSDEM discussion

Discussion of details for February meeting – (Goals, agenda, venue, date/time):

Mr. Michlmayr reports that we could use the opportunity to meet up with folks on the European Commission and to reach out to European developers and to show that we are active outside the US. Ms. Cooper suggests that Ms. Charlotte Thornby from Sun might be able to help us get meetings with the EC, and Mr. Souza will check on this. Mr. Tiemann says that he’d love to make connections with the Open Source Observatory as well, Mr. Michlmayr will make contact with the news editor for the Observatory. Ms. Cooper asks whether we should also meet with Open Forum Europe on their Open Standards. Mr. Tiemann would like to meet with Glyn Moody as well.

Further discussion about this topic will be at FOSDEM 2009.

  • Open sourcing software by India group (Ms. Sharma)

Ms. Sharma helped Indian research group from the state of Punjab open source their software for selection of automotive simulation tools. She worked with them to better understand their license choices and steps to release their software as open source software.

Ms. Cooper reports that she met folks from a company called Donor with a similar request. In this case they had already engaged with the Software Freedom Law Center, but were looking for an Open Source angle. Benetech is also considering Open Source. Ms. Sharma would like to work on putting together a “How-to open source your project” for presentation back to the Board.

  • Guidelines for OSI affiliates to use OSI logo to promote open source events (Ms. Sharma)

Ms. Sharma receives multiple requests from India’s FOSS community events (by student bodies, universities and non-profits) interested in using the OSI logo to show their support and promote open source. We need to have some guidelines for such community events to be able to use OSI’s logo instead of turning them away. How and when can we put together some simple guidelines for the global community?

Mr. Tiemann will follow-up with Mr. Radcliffe on what we can do as an affiliate program and usage of logo or opensource brand. Mr. Tiemann compared the Mozilla and Apache vs. the Fedora model for using trademark or logo. How does the OSI work with the global community to relate to open source and promote it more effectively. Refer to http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Legal/TrademarkGuidelines. Philosophically what Fedora does today is closer to what OSI would like to do. Mr. Tiemann will check with Ms. Taylor to see if Ms. Cooper’s suggestion of having a “Go Open Source” program associated with a corresponding logo is something the OSI provides to various community events.

  • Latin America Trip Report for Peru, Venezuela, Mexico, Panama (Ms. Souza)

Mr. Souza visited four Latin American countries recently. Mr. Souza reports that Venezuela’s government is strongly pushing for open source specially into pushing their national version of Linux (based on Debian), but there is still little understanding from most companies. There is a lot of interest but not a lot of knowledge. Most universities have a general interest in using open source but the professors don’t understand much about open source and how to incorporate it into the university curricula. In Mexico, Mr. Souza found that the level of understanding about open source varied across groups. There are universities paying a lot of money for proprietary software and there is a large knowledge gap. In Peru and Panama, Mr. Souza met with the government agencies who were interested in promoting open source more aggressively. There is opportunity to promote open source more aggressively in Latin America.

Meeting Adjourned at 10:14 PDT.