[uf-discuss] Voluntary Public Domain declarations nowenabledonthe wiki

Joe Andrieu joe at andrieu.net
Sun Aug 5 12:37:57 PDT 2007

Brian Suda (August 01, 2007 3:15 AM) wrote:
> On 8/1/07, Joe Andrieu <joe at andrieu.net> wrote:
> > Finally, the lack of transparency is the most frustrating aspect of 
> > this decision.  Why aren't these issues laid out on the wiki and 
> > discussed on a governance list?  This sort of elusive autocratic 
> > leadership undermines my trust in the administrators.  And 
> /that/ is 
> > part of why many people I have personally spoken to have 
> chosen to not 
> > contribute and moved on to other work.
> --- please be aware that discussion of Legal issues SHOULD 
> NOT be send to this list, but instead taken up DIRECTLY with 
> Rohit and commercenet. This list is best server when we do 
> NOT discuss legal issues which very few, if any, of this 
> audience are qualified to weigh in on.
> Please read: 
> http://microformats.org/wiki/microformats-issues#Legal_Entity_Issues
> "Please refer any legal questions or concerns directly to 
> CommerceNet before raising them as a matter of public record, 
> as discussed on the mailing list [1] 
> (http://microformats.org/discuss/mail/microformats-discuss/2006-November/007086.html)."


With all due respect, you appear to either have not read my previous email or summarily rejected my position without coment:
[from email archived at http://microformats.org/discuss/mail/microformats-discuss/2007-July/010318.html]

> For whatever reason, there appears to be agreement among 
> those in charge, that open discussion of these issues is 
> inappropriate.
> I don't agree with that and as a result, I can no longer 
> continue to support the judgment that public conversation 
> over community issues is inappropriate.  In fact, I believe
> that the avoidance of any public conversation has instead 
> enabled a handful of poor decisions to severely limit the 
> possibilities of microformats as a community, including 
> creating significant potential liability for contributors. 
> Perhaps they were not poor decisions, I have only the 
> outcomes and not the intermediary threads from which to 
> draw my conclusion.

As Rohit's own user page says, Rohit has no formal role as the "legal czar" [my term] in the microformats community. Similarly,
CommerceNet has no "formal" relationship with microformats.  Therefore, because this is a community issue, the appropriate forum is,
imo, a combination of the mailing list and the wiki.  Attempts to channel the conversation to Rohit and CommerceNet only seem to
undermine the statements that they have no official role. If they have an official role and that role is appropriate for all legal
questions, I'll be glad to move this conversation to them. But it has been repeatedly stated that this is not the case.

I have added my concerns to the governance issues page as Ernie requested.

To separate the IP issues themselve from how those IP issues are being handled, I wish to clarify my frustration expressed in the
email you quoted:

The administrators have repeatedly removed this (and any "legal" topic) from discussion, both on the mailing list and on the wiki,
thus refusing both to address the issue in public and to make any concrete statements of their own position. This is apparently
believed to be "safer" in some way. The result for the community is a complete lack of accountability and a perception that the
administrators are avoiding the real issues rather than facing them in a clear, unambiguous, and ethical manner.

This behavior is autocratic, offensive, and ineffective at handling the real concerns of members in this community.  Other than fear
and a need to control, I simply don't understand why it continues to be the operating policy of the administrators to treat the
community this way. In fact--and with as little hyperbole as possible--when the administrators refuse to answer questions and engage
in meaningful discussion on "legal" issues, it comes across as if they are targets of an investigation refusing to answer questions
without a lawyer present.  It's just not the right signal to be sending out.


Joe Andrieu
SwitchBook Software
joe at switchbook.com
+1 (805) 705-8651 

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