OSI Board Meeting Minutes, Wednesday, January 5, 2011

OSI Board Meeting Minutes, Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Quorum reached and meeting called to order at 08:04 am PDT.


Board Members

  1. Mr. Michael Tiemann, President
  2. Mr. Harshad Gune, Director (on IRC)
  3. Dr. Fabio Kon, Director
  4. Dr. Martin Michlmayr, Director
  5. Mr. Russell Nelson, Director
  6. Mr. Andrew Oliver, Asst. Treasurer
  7. Mr. Simon Phipps, Director
  8. Dr. Tony Wasserman, Director

Guests and Observers

  1. Ms. Nnenna Nwakanma, Board Observer

Expected, but Not Present

  1. Mr. Mark Radcliffe, General Counsel

Sent Regrets

  1. Mr. Ken Coar, Board Observer
  2. Ms. Danese Cooper, Treasurer
  3. Ms. Alolita Sharma, Secretary


  1. Minutes Review and Approval
  2. Officer Reports
  3. Committee Reports
  4. Old Business
  5. New Business
  6. Next Board Meeting

Minutes Review and Approval


Officer Reports

President's Report (Mr. Tiemann)

One would have expected the past month to be rather quiet on the OSI front, due in part to holidays on the one hand and many board members scrambling to conclude year-end professional commitments on the other. Not so. As details emerged that Microsoft was leading a consortium of companies to acquire all of Novell's patents, commentary from the open source community turned to alarm it was proposed that the OSI make some kind of statement on the matter. Early in the year the controversially-named IIPA published a report recommending that the US Department of State place Indonesia on a "Special 301" review list because that country was formulating policy for procuring and using open source software. That report also made noise about India's software development and procurement practices related to open source. The OSI responding swiftly and factually in ways that gave others (including Open Source for America) strong arguments for considering the value, rather than the threat, of open source software. We have not heard from or about IIPA since. When an open source activist in Germany pointed to a filing on the German Federal Cartel Office detailing the principals of CTPN–Microsoft, Oracle, Apple, and EMC–and we noticed that the FCO had an open comment period, it seemed like a great opportunity to collect and refine the concerns expressed by many in the open source community about the transaction. We had a very short window in which to respond, but we rallied to do so and made our position known. I am proud that so many of our board members were willing to postpone or interrupt their vacation plans in order to form and join our consensus position. And I am pleased that our response was widely covered by the media.

Other than that, it was a quiet month for me, though January will be much more active, with plans for travel, conferences, and more blog posts all in the wings.

Secretary's Report (Ms. Sharma)

Not submitted.

Treasurer's Report (Ms. Cooper)

Not submitted.

General Counsel's Report (Mr. Radcliffe)

Not submitted.

Committee Reports

(Listed in alphabetical order)

Education Committee (Ms. Sharma)

Dr. Kon said that there was nothing to report.

License Committee (Mr. Nelson)

Mr. Nelson said that there was nothing to report.

Not submitted.

Membership-Governance Committee (Mr. Phipps)

Mr. Phipps reports: I've been attempting to bootstrap discussion of the Paris text among the volunteer Governance committee. Unfortunately the mailing list created for this purpose still does not work (it is not possible to join or e-mail the list, even for me) and thus conversation has been impossible.

During the board meeting, Mr. Nelson said that 15 to 20 people had attempted to sign up for the mailing list and that he still had to manually activate the mailing list. Mr. Tiemann asked whether Mr. Nelson needed help and whether it would be possible to give other people access to the mailing list infrastructure. Mr. Nelson remarked that there is alternative mailing list infrastructure on OSI's VM that could be used. However, this VM is no longer active. Mr. Tiemann observed that we are running two different infrastructures in parallel. The infrastructure discussion was postponed until later in the meeting. During this conversation, Mr. Nelson activated the mailing list.

Policy and Economic Development Committee (Mr. Tiemann)

Mr. Tiemann observed that the statement on CTPN has led to a lot of attention for the OSI. He raised the question as to how to work with the US government on this issue (see new business).

Administrative Committees

Communications Committee (Mr. Michlmayr)

Dr. Michlmayr reports: Due to the holidays, the news section was not updated as frequently as normally. However, it has been brought up to date in the meantime. A good effort has been made to respond to incoming requests and inquiries.

OSI has received a lot of publicity due to the statement on CTPN sent to the German Federal Cartel Office. Mr. Phipps remarked that the new statement under preparation would probably receive even more publicity since a) it's a joint statement of the OSI and FSF and b) it's for a US based entity.

IT Infrastructure Committee (Ms. Sharma)

Dr. Kon observed that flosscc.org was still down. It would appear that we lost the VM hosting this web site. Mr. Oliver will contact the hosting provider to see if it is possible to reactive the VM or obtain backups.

Mr. Oliver suggested that we sign up with Amazon EC2. Dr. Michlmayr suggested to go with the OSU OSL instead but Mr. Oliver would prefer EC2. Mr. Oliver offered to use the payables process of his company to ensure that Amazon will get paid and his company will get reimbursed by OSI.

Dr. Michlmayr expressed concerns that there is no clear migration plan in place and suggested that we should work on such a plan before signing up with a new hosting provider. Mr. Oliver said that this work was done several years ago and that it is time to make the migration. Dr. Michlmayr wondered how much Amazon EC2 is going to cost the OSI since our current web hosting is provided for free. Mr. Tiemann proposed a limit of 50 USD per month. Dr. Michlmayr added that his concerns were not only about possible costs. He remarked that the previous VM was often out of date in terms of security updates and that we need a plan to ensure this will not happen again. Mr. Oliver remarked that the Infrastructure Committee will take care of the new VM.

The goal of the new VM is to unify OSI's infrastructure on one machine. Mr. Tiemann made a motion to endorse Mr. Oliver's proposal, allowing him to go forward, and that we continue to charge the Infrastructure Committee with the responsibility to maintain our site after it is rehosted. Mr. Nelson seconds. Dr. Michlmayr abstains while the remaining Board members are in favor. The motion passed.

New Projects / Outreach Committee (Ms. Sharma)

Not submitted.

Old Business


New Business

Joint statement to US DoJ with FSF

Mr. Tiemann observed that it is his understanding that Novell reset the clock, so we have the month of January to make a statement. There was general agreement that OSI should make joint declaration with FSF. Mr. Phipps is working with the FSF on this. The question was raised whether we should also engage Open Source for America (OSFA). Mr. Phipps will talk to his contact at OSFA about this.

Face to face meeting

The weekend originally proposed (February 18-20) doesn't work for some Board members. Mr. Phipps will set up Doodle page to poll Board members. Deadline to respond is the end of this week.

Android and source code access

A number of GPL violations have been reported in connection with Android. Should OSI do something about this? Mr. Phipps thinks that GPL compliance is done by other organizations already and that our mission has been to promote open source. The conversation continued on the mailing list after the Board meeting.

Next Board Meeting

The next OSI BOD meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 9, 2011.

Meeting adjourned at 09:34 AM PDT.