Archive:2007-05-25

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This is one of many meetings! It occurred at 8pm in the Harvard Berkman Center.

Agenda

See http://freeculture.org/blog/2007/05/15/our-crafty-plan/ for an overview.

Minutes

Attendance: Fred, Elizabeth, Gavin, Karen, Nelson, Asheesh, Ben Mazer, Tim, C Budnick, Kevin, Jacob, Christina, Oliver Day, Greg, Jacob, Ben Weeks, Dean, Neel, SJ, Nick (Swarthmore)

  • Difficult to get FC chapters to come to conferences due to funding. Try to change location of conferences and get schools to fund transportation.
  • Met with related organizations. Ways to support FC members: Provide internships, funding, speakers.
  • One issue: Work with organizations about Peer-to-Peer. We need a stated position. Meeting presented reluctance to having national organization take a stated position about specific issues. Not every chapter is in agreement. General consensus is to write an "article" casting general FreeCulture philosophy into filesharing, and individual chapters can sign on.
  • Discussion about OpenAccess campaign -- response to Representative's "bizarre" comment. If lobbying, could endanger 501c3 status.
  • Presidential survey to see what positions of candidates are.
  • Questions about alliances with other organizations: could spread us too thin, could cause bad press to be associated with certain organizations. We'd be doing "event-oriented" partnering. To build alliances, need "vocabulary building" so people who hold the same values can realize it.
  • New website design. Goal to have website up by tomorrow.
  • Organizational structure. We have a bylaw beta. There was discussion about what powers executive director should have and what board of directors should do. There should be active renewal for chapter-status (every year). Who should approve chapter status? How long should a chapter be active before it's a "chapter" and can vote for the board?
  • This ties in to 5- and 10-year goals: what happens when we graduate, and how can international and other diverse groups get involved? Is it best to be a "student" organization or a "youth" organization? Can alumni be on the board?
  • FC is a confederation and represents the best practices of individual chapters, so the national organization can change in accordance with the chapters.
  • To be on the board, one should at some point have been an active member of a chapter? Currently active?
  • For chapter voting-rights, a chapter could petition for voting rights, rather than having a longevity requirement or board approval.
  • What "resources" does the national organization provide to chapters: funding, materials, email help? How does Wikimedia function as an analogy? At first, the national organization just rubber-stamped what the community requested, but there were scaling problems, so local chapters (usually country-based) started to raise local funds.
  • Existence of Facilitator to help support FC chapters -- paid position?
  • Should the national organization have funding, and how would that funding be distributed? A lot of chapters can't receive funding from non-profits.
  • Are the people at this meeting representative of the local chapters? Decisions here are not final -- consensus can be determined online. This meeting may be skewed toward east-coast members. More discussion should occur at the conference.
  • The board and bylaws are being proposed because decentralization, in Nelson's experience, has not been successful. There does not necessarily have to be a single executive director. In fact, it may be better to spread responsibilities over many people.
Meeting minutes and logs

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