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More Empty Promises

17 Apr 2012
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In several other areas of Joomla! leadership, we continue to see schedules and promises but nothing ever seems to materialize. Though there has been some action to note - there seems to have been a very strong effort to reduce the expenses paid to OSM's trademark attorneys  (Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, L.L.P.) over the last several years as I noted in the blog OSM - A Poor Performing Board of Directors. In 2009, the legal fees were $149,252.57. Based on the 2010 OSM 990 filing on December 14, 2011, legal fees were $84,411.  For 2011, legal fees through October, 2011 were $12,194.99 (unfortunately, current financial information hasn't been made available in some time). A very significant decline. Let's see what is going on now with Trademark activity:

In the Joomla Leadership Team Google groups on August 26, 2011, Ryan Ozimek said (emphasis mine):

At the OSM Summit a few weeks ago, we spent considerable time brainstorming the pain points that are faced with respect to the trademark processes and policies. Fixing this broken process is our top priority as a team, and a key measure of success for me as an executive in 2011.
With this in mind, I’ve asked our Acting Trademark Team Leader, Jacques Rentzke, to continue working as quickly as possible to improve our trademark policy’s documentation, volunteer support, examples, translation, and guidelines. I will personally be lending a hand in this process and providing oversight. I know that all members of OSM will be lending a hand as well.

Then on October 25, 2011 in the Joomla Leadership Team Google group, Ryan Ozimek laid out a schedule for his trademark process:

OSM Board and Trademark Team Input - October 17 - October 28, 2011
Leadership Team Input - October 29 - November 11, 2011
Community Input - November 12 - November 25, 2011
Evaluate Input, Create Final Draft for Community Input - November 26, 2011 - December 10, 2011
OSM Board Vote for Ratification of New Trademark Policy - December 17, 2011

 According to the OSM Board minutes of November 15, 2011:

c. Trademark process discussion (Ryan)

Action item: Ryan will distribute a refactored version that includes the current feedback from the Trademark team and Leadership teams, to the leadership for further comment. After this has been circulated internally, Ryan will provide the updated policy for community feedback.

 Then again in the OSM Board minutes of December 21, 2011:

b. Trademark Process Discussion

Ryan has another draft coming out early in the New Year based on the leadership comments added over the past 2 weeks.

 Yet again in the OSM Board minutes of January 24, 2012:

b. Trademark Process Discussion

Ryan provided a last draft of thoughts on the TM discussion. People have been providing feedback, but if anyone has anything to add please do. Ryan would like to wrap it up by the end of this week.

And finally in the OSM Board minutes of February 21, 2012:

a. License, Trademark, and Copyright Committee

Members have the link to a document outlining a timeline for goals and action items. It needs to be finalized by the summit. The dates may need some adjusting.

So far, this start and stop deliberation on trademark issues has taken 180 days (5 months and 27 days) and we are not done yet. Though, I hate to say, it looks like the community isn't going to get much of a realistic chance to weigh in on the final outcome.

What else are we waiting on? The last partial financial reports we have seen were at the end of October, 2011. It is now past mid-April, 2012. No end of year report. But wait, there's more. We have been led to believe there will be a blog about the finances. How do we know that?

In the OSM Board minutes for January 24, 2012:

II. Treasurer's report

Paul will be writing a blog to summarize the 2011 finances.

And, again in the OSM Board minutes for February 21, 2102:

II. Treasurer's report

A budget blog is coming soon.

Of course, that was February 21st. It is now April 17, 2012. Couple more months and we will have traveled six months into the new budget year without hearing anything about the past year. Lots of talk - little action.

Oh, I may have said that too soon. There was an interesting tidbit in the OSM Board minutes for February, 21, 2012. No explanation given as to the reason the tidbit was included.

II. Treasurer's report

There is a 10% limit to tax deductible contributions. Excess can be carried over to the following year.

Sounds like the board is exploring giving away some of their accumulated cash to a charitable organization. Gee, I thought the purpose of getting the cash was to support the activities of the Joomla! Project. Does this mean the board thinks they have accumulated too much?

I encourage all of you to read the two petitions  linked here and sign them. It is time OSM heard from its constituents!

 

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David Huelsmann

Dave Huelsmann was Treasurer of Open Source Matters, Inc. from 2008 to July, 2010 and Joomla Forum Global Moderator from 2005 to November, 2010. Now retired, he was a senior healthcare executive who managed large and diverse clinical laboratory, radiology, electroencephalography, and centralized patient transport operations/departments in both not-for-profit and for-profit companies throughout the United States.

Dave was a Navy Corpsman who served in Vietnam while attached to Seabee battalionmcb71
MCB-71.

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