Difference between revisions of "Membership Rules"

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(Membership Classes: reorg to match IRC consensus from Friday)
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A member may choose to resign from the Foundation at any time.
 
A member may choose to resign from the Foundation at any time.
  
== Corporate Membership for Organizations ==
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== Membership for Organizations ==
  
 
This discussion page is about ''individuals'' who are members: there is a sepatate type of membership for ''organizations''.  This topic will be discussed elsewhere at a later date, but here are some initial thoughts:
 
This discussion page is about ''individuals'' who are members: there is a sepatate type of membership for ''organizations''.  This topic will be discussed elsewhere at a later date, but here are some initial thoughts:
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== Formal State Diagram ==
 
  
''show the different indidivual membership classes, and possible state transitions between them''
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== Membership Change and Revocation ==
 
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== Member Change and Revocation ==
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If the Board deems that a Voting Member is no longer "active" or "participating" in Foundation activities, they may by majority vote change the member's status from Voting Member to Emeritus Member.
 
If the Board deems that a Voting Member is no longer "active" or "participating" in Foundation activities, they may by majority vote change the member's status from Voting Member to Emeritus Member.
  
If the Board deems that any member is not acting in the best interests of the Foundation, e.g. by not adhering to the Membership Responsinbilites, they may by majority revoke the membership of that member.
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If the Board deems that any member is not acting in the best interests of the Foundation, e.g. by not adhering to the Membership Responsinbilites, they may by majority vote revoke the membership of that member.
  
  

Revision as of 22:26, 6 March 2006

Disclaimer

This is an early draft, not yet ready for wide discussion. It is only a starting point for discussion; OSGeo and its board do not yet have an official position on these issues.

To avoid ambiguity, we will use the following conventions in this document. We will use the term "member" (in lowercase) to denote any member of the Foundation, of any membership class. When referring to members of a specific class, we will use the mebership class name in capitalized form, e.g. "Associate Member".


Membership Classes

Overview

There are three basic types of membership in the Foundation: Participant, Member (non-voting), and Member (voting). The broadest category, that of Participant members, is for those who are not formally registered on the osgeo.org website but who nonethess contribute code, help out on committees, follow the various mailing lists, and otherwise participate in Foundation activities.

note: can someone contribute code without registering? might be a legal/IP risk?

The second type of membership is Member (non-voting). This membership class has the same level of rights to work on Foundation activities as the Participant class, but with the difference that these individuals have self-registered themselves on the osgeo.org website. By registering, an individual is "opting in" and publicly acknowleging his connection to the Foundation. This registration process also provides the Foundation with a known, countable membership base to track.

The third type of membership is Member (voting). This class is the same as the Member (non-voting) class, but with two important differences. First, this class gives individuals the right to vote in Foundation elections, e.g. for Board members. Second, in order to maintain the integrity of the Foundation election processes -- and by extension the integrity of the Foundation itself -- members at this level must be nominated and voted in. (The number of members and frequency of membership elections is yet to be determined.)

There are, in addition, two other classes of membership: Honorary Members and Emeritus Members. These two classes have the same set of rights as the Member (non-voting) class. (the merit of these two are open for debate)

It is important to realize that the only real difference between voting and non-voting members is the right to vote in elections. All mailing lists, projects, committees, and other Foundation activities are uniformly open and available to all friends of the Foundation.


Specifics

Each of these classes can be described in terms of several characteristics:

  • Eligibility Requirements: who can be a member of this class
  • Nominating Rights: what rights are given for nominating new members
  • Voting Rights: what rights are given for voting on new members
  • Participation Rights: what rights are given to participate in general Foundation activities
  • Logo Rights: what OSGeo logos or such the member can use

The classes and their characteristics are as follows:

  • Participant
    • Eligibility Requirements: none (everyone is welcome)
    • Nominating Rights: has the right to nominate Voting Members and Board members
    • Voting Rights: none
    • Participation Rights: has the right to use the site, join committees, contribute source code, start new projects, subscribe to mailing lists, etc
    • Logo Rights: none
  • Member (non-voting)
    • Eligibility Requirements: must self-register on the osgeo.org
    • Nominating Rights: same as Particpant
    • Voting Rights: none
    • Participation Rights: same as Participant
    • Logo Rights: has the right to use the "OSGeo Supporter" logo
  • Member (voting)
    • Eligibility Requirements: must be nominated and voted in
    • Nominating Rights: same as Participant
    • Voting Rights: may vote for new Voting Members and Board members
    • Participation Rights: same as Particpant
    • Logo Rights: has the right to use the "OSGeo Member" logo
  • Emeritus Member (this is essentially the same level as Member (non-voting))
    • Eligibility Requirements: must currently be a Member (voting)
      • a Voting Member gets moved to this class via Board action, when the member is deemed no longer "active" (need to review Apache policy)
    • Nominating Rights: same as Participant
    • Voting Rights: none
    • Participation Rights: same as Participant
    • Logo Rights: has the right to use the "OSGeo Supporter" logo
  • Honorary Member (this is essentially the same level as Member (non-voting))
    • Eligibility Requirements: none
      • an individual can be made an Honary Member via Board action, when the individual is deemed worthy
      • this could be used for keynoters at OSGeo conferences, as a means for recognizing historical personages, possible fund-raising and PR angle, etc
    • Nominating Rights: same as Participant
    • Voting Rights: none
    • Participation Rights: same as Participant
    • Logo Rights: has the right to use the "OSGeo Supporter" logo


Additional Notes

"Registration" on the website shall consist of the following: self-chosen username, valid email address, affiliation(s) (optional), lat/lon (optional), and a short bio/description (optional).

These classes of members are individuals, not corporations or other organizations. A member may choose to have their entry in the membership roster list one or more "affiliations" as an indication that the member may at times be representing the opinions and needs of his or her employer, etc. However, such an affiliated organization has no rights or responsibilities within the Foundation.

Note that, perhaps surprisingly, Board membership is handled separately from these four classes of membership. Specifically, one need not be a Foundation member of any type to be nominated and elected to the Board, although this would certainly be unusual.

The Foundation will maintain on its website a public roster of all mebers (voting and non-voting).

A member may choose to resign from the Foundation at any time.

Membership for Organizations

This discussion page is about individuals who are members: there is a sepatate type of membership for organizations. This topic will be discussed elsewhere at a later date, but here are some initial thoughts:

  • organizations (corporations, governmental bodies, non-profits, NGOs, etc) may wish to associate themselves with the Foundation as Sponsors
  • such Sponsors will nominated and elected by Voting Members, in a process similar to choosing Voting Members)
  • Sponsor membership may have an associated fee, presumably weighted by organization size (NGOs excluded); no voting rights
  • Sponsors get the right to attend special "roundtable" events, e.g. private meeting at the yearly conference with key Foundation individuals
  • Sponssors get the right to use the "OSGeo Sponsor" logo

Note specifically that Sponsors get no voting rights. Correspondingly, an individual affiliated with a Sponsor organization may be a Voting Member.

Question: does it make sense to call an NGO or non-profit a "Sponsor"?


General Member Responsibilities

As a member of the Foundation, you have the following responsibilities:

  • promote the goals of the foundation
  • act in a professional and responsible manner
  • ...


New Member Nominations

procedure for nominating and electing new members; nominees must opt-in; ...?


Membership Change and Revocation

If the Board deems that a Voting Member is no longer "active" or "participating" in Foundation activities, they may by majority vote change the member's status from Voting Member to Emeritus Member.

If the Board deems that any member is not acting in the best interests of the Foundation, e.g. by not adhering to the Membership Responsinbilites, they may by majority vote revoke the membership of that member.


Criteria for Member Nominations

The following suggested membership selection criteria were taken verbtim from what was used in selecting the second tranche; seems pretty complete to me:

  • The person should have made a contribution to open source geospatial software already.
  • The person should be willing to put in time and effort on the foundation, perhaps joining committee(s), or volunteering in some other way that gets the foundation going.
  • Members should believe in the general goals of the foundation. To support and promote the use of open source geospatial software in a collaborative manner (my words).
  • Members selected should provide a diversity of geographic representation in the foundation.
  • Members selected should provide representation of a diversity of projects. For instance, we have a strong desire to see the "java tribe" well represented in the foundation. We don't want the membership dominated by folks from just one project.
  • Members selected should provide representation of a diversity of interests (eg. corporate, hobbyist, educational, scientific).
  • Members should be prepared to works constructively and positively towards the goals of the foundation. Good teamwork skills are an asset.


Nondiscrimination

(although this sounds like legal boilerplate, but I'm including not for any legal reason -- I'm including it because I think it is a good thing to say out loud, esp. in an internatial group like this)

The Foundation is open to all members of the geospatial community. We do not discrimite based on age, gender, race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.


Notes

  • Can the employer of a Voting Member use the OSGeo logo on their webpage? Or must they be a corporate sponsor?
  • address discussion raised a couple weeks ago about corporate interest after member leaves; Frank's reply
  • member election policy issues: when do we take in new members? based on membership population goals, or interest, or..? Do we take a fixed set of N new members at an election, or does N vary over time, or do we choose "those nominees who get at least p affirmative votes"?