Re: Corporate Stuff

Ali Abdin wrote:
> I would like to extend on Nat's proposed idea to limit the 'corporate
> dominance' of GNOME. Personally, I think it would be a good amendmum to Nat's
> proposal to limit TOTAL corporate membership of the 'board' to less than 50%.

As other people have said, I'm not sure a limit on overall "corporate"
membership is workable, especially as more companies get involved in
GNOME development and more GNOME hackers are employed by companies doing
GNOME-related products and services.

Also, I think it would be hard to define "corporate" in this context.
For example, what if a board member were an independent consultant
working full-time on GNOME development contracts?  Would they count as
"corporate" too because they had a financial motivation in working on

Usually when organizations have limits on the proportion of "corporate"
members of a board it's because those board members have been named to
the board as a direct consequence of their representing corporations --
for example, a consortium in which major corporate sponsors (say those
contributing USD 1 million and up) automatically get a board seat to
which they can name someone. In such cases you definitely might want to
put limits on how many board seats are "corporate" in this sense.

But in this particular case we're not talking about corporations
automatically getting to put people on a board, we're talking about
people who are elected to a board, where some of those people might
happen to work for corporations. I don't think that putting limits on
"corporate members" necessarily makes sense in this case: if board
members are elected then presumably the people electing them have a
certain level of trust that the members in question will discharge their
duties faithfully and fairly, regardless of who employs them. If the
voters don't have that level of trust in certain situations then they
should reconsider voting for those particular people.

> Nat's idea was no ONE company have over 50% membership on the board.

I'll play devil's advocate here and say that even a restriction like
this is not necessarily justifiable, though I think it is more
justifiable than a limit on overall "corporate" membership. If the
people doing the electing are concerned about such concentration then
they are perfectly free to spread their votes between candidates from
different companies.

Frank Hecker            work:        home:

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