OSI Board Meeting Minutes, Wednesday, September 14, 2011

OSI Board Meeting Minutes, Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Quorum reached and meeting called to order at 15:08 UTC.


Board Members

  1. Mr. Michael Tiemann, President
  2. Mr. Karl Fogel, Director
  3. Mr. Michael Godwin, Director
  4. Mr. Harshad Gune, Director (on IRC)
  5. Mr. Martin Michlmayr, Secretary
  6. Mr. Simon Phipps, Director
  7. Ms. Alolita Sharma, Treasurer
  8. Mr. Tony Wasserman, Director

Guests and Observers


Expected, but Not Present

  1. Mr. Ken Coar, Board Observer
  2. Ms. Nnenna Nwakanma, Board Observer
  3. Mr. Mark Radcliffe, General Counsel

Sent Regrets

  1. Ms. Danese Cooper, Board Observer
  2. Mr. Jim Jagielski, Director
  3. Mr. Fabio Kon, Director
  4. Mr. Russell Nelson, Board Observer
  5. Mr. Andrew Oliver, Asst. Treasurer


  1. Minutes Review and Approval
  2. Officer Reports
  3. Committee Reports
  4. Old Business
  5. New Business
  6. Motions for Consideration by Board
  7. Action items
  8. Next Board Meeting

Minutes Review and Approval

The Board reviewed the minutes of the August meeting. Mr. Godwin moved that the Board approve the minutes. Mr. Fogel seconded. Minutes approved by general consent.

Officer Reports

President's Report (Mr. Tiemann)

Mr. Tiemann reports that he had a brief conversation with Mr. Godwin about the role and possible directions for the Legal Affairs committee.

Secretary's Report (Mr. Michlmayr)

Mr. Michlmayr reports:

  • The following minutes have to be reviewed by the Board for approval:
    • August 10, 2011
  • The following approved minutes have been posted to opensource.org:
    • July 13, 2011

Mr. Michlmayr added that he would like to scan all historical documents from OSI (such as our original bylaws, bank statements and past tax returns) and create a central, encrypted repository for archive purposes. Mr. Godwin agreed that such a repository would be a good idea and Mr. Fogel suggested that Sparkleshare might be a good solution.

Treasurer's Report (Ms. Sharma)

Ms. Sharma provided details on OSI finances which included bank balances, funds inflow, outflow and expected expenses as of the end of July 2011.

Mr. Michlmayr thanked Ms. Sharma for giving him access to the PayPal account. He looked at past transactions and noticed that SourceForge made a large number of smaller donations to OSI in the past but that these transactions stopped in October 2009. He found through web searches that SourceForge used to donate 10% of their donations to OSI but this appears no longer to be the case. However, some individual projects on SourceForge claim that a portions of their donations go to OSI and we are not receiving those. Mr. Wasserman offered a contact at SourceForge and Mr. Michlmayr volunteered to contact them.

General Counsel's Report (Mr. Radcliffe)

No report submitted.

Committee Reports

(Listed in alphabetical order)

Education Committee (Mr. Kon)

Mr. Kon reports:

  • Finalizing organization of FLOSSCC Summit in Paris. Mr. Wasserman and Mr. Phipps will be present; other OSI members are welcome to attend.
  • One more group wishes to become part of the FLOSSCC Network and will probably be accepted:

Mr. Tiemann noted that the Education Committee seems to be getting self-sustaining energy, which is good.

Mr. Sharma met with Harish Pillay who is now leading the Teaching Open Source activities at Red Hat. They intend to work together regarding activities in Asia.

License Committee (Mr. Fogel)

Mr. Fogel reports:

  • Python licenses responded to; ball in PSF's court (http://projects.opensource.org/redmine/issues/3). There are three separate licenses. Two are legacy licenses and one is a clean license to be used by Python projects other than Python itself. There's one clause that is problematic since it puts a lot of work on the re-distributor. They are reviewing the situation.
  • Recommend Mozilla Public License draft for conditional approval (http://projects.opensource.org/redmine/issues/19). Mozilla is working on some more changes but the MPL 2.0 is on its way to approval.
  • Express our position on Public Domain better (http://projects.opensource.org/redmine/issues/22). The discussion on the mailing list shows that public domain is complicated. We should at least improve our FAQ item on public domain.
  • Possible approval of EPICS open source license (http://projects.opensource.org/redmine/issues/21). They require a new license because the Department of Energy requires a special clause to be in the license and no other open source license contains this clause.
  • SPDX fixes re OSI-approved licenses (http://projects.opensource.org/redmine/issues/20, http://projects.opensource.org/redmine/issues/18). Also, license naming issues for PSF licenses raised with them, transmitted results to PSF.
  • "Commercial" vs "open source" communications: Some companies use "commercial" as an antonym to "open source", which is clearly wrong. Mr. Fogel asked some web sites to say "proprietary" instead of "commercial" and surprisingly most of them agreed. Mr. Fogel suggested that we should do more work on this since it makes a difference in the larger perception of open source. Mr. Phipps suggested that we could reach out to FSF and FSFE to see if they want to collaborate on this. Mr. Fogel also noted that the government uses the term "GOSS" to mean "open for government to collaborate on". Since it's not open source, he's working with them to change the name.
  • "Licensing Committee as prototypical Working Group" issue closed (projects.opensource.org/redmine/issues/5). Mr. Fogel believes that license-discuss is too atypical to be used as a prototype for OSI working groups.

Mr. Godwin had a conversation with Mr. Tiemann before this meeting to discuss how we want to evolve this committee. We would like this to be an activist rather than a re-activist committee. We have done a lot of work on reviewing licenses but there are many other issues. The Legal Affairs committee can help promote open source values by reviewing legal issues and by speaking out by issuing public statements. For example, one important topic is copyright reform. Mr. Godwin encouraged all OSI Board members to suggest topics. Mr. Tiemann noted that the law section on opensource.com has interesting topics. Mr. Godwin also suggested that we form strategic alliances with other organization, such as Public Knowledge.

Mr. Fogel noted that it's often unclear what the license is when someone proposes a patch to existing code and projects either make an implicit assumption or require a CLA. It would be nice to work on open source intent law.

Membership-Governance Committee (Mr. Phipps)

Mr. Phipps has drafted an invitation letter for potential affiliates. Several members of the Board reviewed the letter. There was general consent that the Board continues to support this effort and that Mr. Phipps should go ahead and send out the invitations.

Policy and Economic Development Committee (Mr. Tiemann)

Mr. Tiemann noted that he is no longer in a good position to substantially contribute to this committee because he is not planning a lot of international travel in the near future. His past experience shows that meeting people in person is important for this kind of work. Therefore, he won't be able to do much in the international arena.

Mr. Wasserman asked if we have a budget to support this activity. Both Mr. Wasserman and Mr. Phipps are interested in this work but have sponsorship issues. Mr. Tiemann noted that we should decide whether international activities should be a priority. If they are, we may be able to reach out to sponsoring organizations. Mr. Tiemann also suggested to turn this committee into a working group. Mr. Wasserman will give a talk about FLOSSCC at OWF in Paris next week and offered to get the message out.

Administrative Committees

Communications Committee (Mr. Phipps)

Mr. Phipps reported that there was no activity in the past month.

IT Infrastructure Committee (Mr. Oliver)

No report submitted.

Mr. Fogel believes that the mailing list migration is not complete but that an employee of Mr. Oliver is working on it at the moment.

New Projects / Outreach Committee (Ms. Sharma)

No report submitted.

Old Business

Review of action items

  • Ms. Sharma: check if we can use WMF hotel block – Ms. Sharma checked and there is no availability at Hotel Triton for mid October.
  • Ms. Sharma: obtain copy of 2010 tax returns and post to board – Have asked accountant for copy – will have it available for F2F in October.
  • Mr. Wasserman or Mr. Phipps: check if we can get some time in a plenary at OWF to discuss the OSI affiliate scheme. ONGOING.
  • Mr. Godwin: talk to Mr. Tiemann about the role of the Legal Affairs Committee. DONE.

New Business

Face to face logistics

  • Hotel: There is no availability at Hotel Triton. Mr. Wasserman suggested a number of hotels that we could try. Mr. Michlmayr said that he'd check if we can use the HP corporate rate to book rooms in the Courtyard since this is quite close to the location.
  • Flights: Mr. Michlmayr reminded everyone to book their flights and add the details to the wiki.

OSI at Open World Forum (OWF)

Mr. Wasserman will reach out to the OWF organizers to see if we can get time in a plenary to talk about the affiliate scheme.

Mr. Wasserman's travel to OWF is recovered by OWF but Mr. Phipps's is not fully covered. Mr. Phipps asked if OWF could fund some of his travel to OWF. Mr. Tiemann made the motion to offer Mr. Phipps reimbursement for up to two nights (under 200 EUR a night) if he cannot find any other sponsorship. Ms. Sharma seconded. Motion passed by general consent.

Action Items

  • Mr. Michlmayr and Ms. Sharma: create a digital repository to archive OSI documents.
  • Mr. Michlmayr: contact SourceForge to find out about the status of OSI donations.
  • Mr. Fogel: reach out to FSF and FSFE to seek cooperation on wrong use of the term "commercial".
  • Mr. Michlmayr: create draft agenda for OSI f2f meeting.
  • Mr. Wasserman: check if we can get some time in a plenary at OWF to discuss the OSI affiliate scheme.
  • Mr. Michlmayr: check if we can use HP's corporate rate to book rooms at the Courtyard.
  • Everyone: book your flights for the f2f and add your details to the wiki.

Next Board Meeting

The next OSI BOD meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 5, 2011.

Meeting adjourned at 16:44 UTC.