[uf-discuss] RE: A 7-day hold on discussing legal/process issues

Joe Andrieu joe at switchbook.com
Wed Jan 23 19:11:45 PST 2008

Rohit Khare wrote (January 23, 2008 9:47 AM):
> Last August, I announced a decision by the microformats admins to
> place a seven-day hold on discussing legal and governance issues
> raised by Joe Andrieu [1, attached]. Now that we've recently enacted
> some wide-ranging changes to the legal status of microformats.org
> contributions [2], I would like to revisit some aspects of that
> message and apologize to Mr. Andrieu for those.
> To briefly recap my role, I am the "first point of contact" for the
> microformats admins on legal and governance issues. Historically,
> this was due to my role at CommerceNet Labs, the nonprofit
> organization that initially sponsored microformats.org (including the
> current server bills). Due to my experience with several different
> standards bodies and nonprofits, such as W3C, IETF, and CommerceNet,
> I am perhaps too familiar with some of the legal consequences of
> developing IT standards (though I am far, far from being a lawyer
> myself).
> In that light, I have been quite sensitive to any public discussion
> that links microformats.org to standards. That includes potentially
> overreacting to parallel discussions initiated publicly and privately
> with Joe Andrieu (and others) earlier that year. The community policy
> was (and is) to raise legal and governance issues with me directly,
> before escalating concerns on record with the entire community [3].
> In light of our prior emails and phone calls in the spring and
> summer, Joe was making a good faith effort to work with that policy,
> so I regret any implication of impropriety on his behalf in this
> incident. I have always believed that he was sincere in his concerns,
> even though I did not always agree with his positions.
> Now that one aspect of the legal status of microformats has
> significantly advanced, with the announcement of a public-domain
> contribution policy, several of the concerns raised last year are now
> moot. Given the situation at the time, I (and the admins) would not
> change our decision to implement that 7-day hold. However, I
> personally would like to apologize for how I communicated that
> decision, to Joe and to the community. I am looking forward to
> keeping this experience in mind as we continue to work together to
> grow the microformats community and extend the impact of this novel
> approach to open data exchange and its still-evolving open
> development process.
> [1]
> [2]

> [3]


Apology accepted.

Although we have agreed to disagree on several relevant points, I appreciate
your professionalism and thoughtful consideration about how to resolve my
concerns about the language used in the 7-day ban. As you have clarified
your continued position that you would do it again, I'd like the record to
show my own position in our off-list conversations: Based on our admitted
prior emails and phone conversations, I, in fact, met the community
guidelines whose violation was the basis for the ban, and therefore, the ban
was inappropriate. 

It has taken a while to work through the details of that disagreement, but
it is a testament to the priorities of the uF leadership to have done so
without distracting the working lists with a governance issue.

And with that, in the interest of avoiding a protracted debate on
governance, I hope we can learn from it and move on.



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

> Sincerely,
>    Rohit Khare
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: Rohit Khare [mailto:khare at alumni.caltech.edu]
> >> Sent: Sunday, August 05, 2007 6:56 PM
> >> To: microformats-discuss at microformats.org
> >> Cc: Joe Andrieu
> >> Subject: A 7-day hold on discussing legal/process issues
> >>
> >>
> >> After Joe Andrieu's most recent edits to the wiki under "Standards,
> >> IP, and Transparency" [1], the admins and I have decided to impose a
> >> 7-day cooling-off period on discussions regarding governance and
> >> legal status issues by Mr. Andrieu, for repeatedly disregarding the
> >> community guidelines to discuss legal matters with me before
> >> altering
> >> the public wiki or archived mailing list discussions [2].
> >>
> >> This action is not taken lightly: all of his recent messages and
> wiki
> >> edits have been concerned these topics, without any direct
> >> communication to me before or after. Note that while his
> >> mailing list
> >> and wiki access will be blocked for one week, if he has substantive
> >> contributions *other* than governance issues, he remains welcome to
> >> contact me to forward them on to the community.
> >>
> >> This policy, a standing request to the microformats community to
> >> avoid
> >> legal debates on record without contacting me first, has
> >> admittedly been questioned by him and by others. I am drafting a
> >> separate email addressing some of those concerns, as well as Mr.
> >> Andrieu's earlier public note to me [3]. Nonetheless, that is the
> >> current community policy for better or worse, and the volunteer
> >> admins have decided to uphold that with this decision.
> >>
> >> -- Rohit Khare
> >>
> >> [1]
> > http://microformats.org/wiki?title=governance-
> > issues&diff=0&oldid=19334
> >> [2]
> > http://microformats.org/wiki/
> > Category:public_domain_license#Point_of_Contact
> >> [3]
> > http://microformats.org/discuss/mail/microformats-discuss/2007-July/
> > 010318.h
> > tml
> >

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