Membership Rules

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Revision as of 09:32, 3 March 2006 by Mpg2 (Talk | contribs) (initial brain dump)

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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.

Membership Classes, in Brief

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, or 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".

There are five "classes" of membership in the Foundation:

  • "Member" (or "Full Member", to avoid any ambiguities): nominated by other Members, voted on by Members (or just the board?); has the right to vote; has right to use the "OSGeo Member" logo
  • Associate Member (or "Supporter", or "Friend"): no nomination required; no voting rights; right to use the "OSGeo Supporter" logo
  • Emeritus Member: a Member who is no longer active may be moved to Emeritus status by the board; has the same rights as Associate Member (need to review Apache policy on this)
  • Honorary Member: the board may nominate worthy individuals form outside the Foundation to be an Honary Member -- this could be used for keynoters at the conference, as a means for recognizing historical personages, possible fund-raising angle, etc; has the same rights as Associate Member
  • Sponsor: companies or governmental bodies or NGOs may wish to associate themselves with the Foundation; nominated by Members, voted on by Members (Board?); such corporate membership may have an associated fee, weighted by organization size (NGOs excluded); no voting rights; does get right to attend special "roundtable" events, e.g. private meeting at the yearly conference with key Foundation individuals; right to use the "OSGeo Sponsor" logo

The Foundation will maintain on its website a list of all members.

Membership Classes, in Detail


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
  • ...

General Member Rights

As a member of the Foundation, you may have the following rights (which may vary depending on membership level):

  • You may exercise your right to vote on Foundation matters, e.g. Board elections
  • You may exercise your right to nominate new members
  • You may choose to resign from the Foundation at any time.
  • ...

Recall that in general you need not be a Foundation member to participate in Foundation activities, e.g. to contribute code.

New Member Nominations

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

Formal State Diagram

show the four different indidivual membership classes, and possible state transitions between them

Member Change and Revocation

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

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.


(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.


  • Can the employer of a 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