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PSF Meeting Minutes for 2009-01-12

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The Python Software Foundation
Minutes of a Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors

January 12, 2009

A regular meeting of the Python Software Foundation ("PSF") Board of Directors was held over Internet Relay Chat beginning at 17:00 UTC, 12 January 2009. Steve Holden presided at the meeting. David Goodger prepared these minutes.

1   Attendance

The following members of the Board of Directors were present at the meeting: Brett Cannon, Stephan Deibel, David Goodger, Steve Holden, Martin von Löwis, Tim Peters, James Tauber, and Raymond Hettinger (arrived 17:08). Also in attendance were Kurt Kaiser (Treasurer) and Pat Campbell (Administrator).

2   Minutes of Past Meetings

The 8 December 2008 Board meeting minutes were approved by a vote of 7-0-0 (in favor – opposed – abstentions).

3   Votes Taken Between Meetings

No votes were taken since the 8 December 2008 meeting.

4   Status of Past Action Items

(Pending action items appear like this.)

Action items are tracked in the private PSF wiki and their status is recorded in the regular minutes. The numbers in square brackets (like "[0]") refer to the action item ID on the wiki.

4.1   Carried Forward

The following are action items carried forward from the 8 December 2008 meeting, as highlighted in the minutes (Section 4, Status of Past Action Items). Numbers in [brackets] represent the item ID in the PSF private wiki.

  1. [11] Originally from June 2006, Section 6, PSF Records: The Board agreed to assemble the existing records in one place, have them scanned, and enter them into the PSF data repository. D. Goodger will coordinate this work and maintain the records. [Update 2008-12-08] D. Goodger will identify the records for scanning and send photocopies to P. Campbell.

    Status: carried forward.

  2. [30] Originally from August 2006, Section 10: T. Peters will ask the advice of Larry Rosen regarding concerns with the contributor agreement.

    Status: carried forward.

  3. [13] Originally from December 2006, Section 4, Jython Contributor Agreements: D. Goodger will write to the Jython contributors and ask them to sign contributor agreement forms, in combination with item 1 [11] above (transferred from A. Kuchling).

    Status: carried forward.

  4. [29] Originally from March 2007, Section 18, Bylaw Change Survey: S. Holden will call for a separate discussion of changes to the bylaws [with S. Deibel's help]. Include an affiliation program [ref. July 2008 section 8].

    Draft submitted to members 2009-01-12.

    Status: in progress.

  5. [23] Originally from 14 April 2008, Section 5, Treasurer's Report: S. Holden will assist K. Kaiser with accounts receivable reminders. Status: in progress.

  6. [15] Originally from 14 April 2008, Section 7, PyCon Asset Record-Keeping: D. Goodger will update the assets file in PSF CVS with the details of the laptops and VGA2USB boxes purchased for PyCon 2008.

    Status: in progress.

  7. [16] Originally from 14 April 2008, Section 12, Sponsor Membership Issues: D. Goodger will update the member information in members.xls (sponsors & nominated members) & sponsor-addrs.txt, in PSF CVS.

    Status: carried forward.

  8. [22] Originally from 16 June 2008, Section 6.1, Treasurer's Report: K. Kaiser will submit an expanded report to psf-members.

    Status: carried forward.

  9. [4] Originally from 16 June 2008, Section 6.2, Treasurer's Report: D. Goodger will follow up regarding the PyCon transaction analysis.

    Status: carried forward.

  10. [5] Originally from 16 June 2008, Section 6.3, Treasurer's Report: D. Goodger will ensure that documentation for unpaid PyCon tutorials is found and provided.

    Status: carried forward.

  11. [8] Originally from 16 June 2008, Section 6.6, Treasurer's Report: D. Goodger will provide K. Kaiser with PyCon expense and cash reports.

    Status: done.

  12. [9] Originally from 16 June 2008, Section 6.7, Treasurer's Report: D. Goodger will follow up regarding unpaid PyCon sponsorships.

    Status: carried forward.

  13. [10] Originally from 16 June 2008, Section 6.8, Treasurer's Report: D. Goodger will follow up regarding unpaid PyCon registrations.

    Status: carried forward.

  14. [25] Originally from 11 August 2008, Section 6.2, PyCon UK Sponsorship: R. Hettinger will propose a blanket policy for sponsorships, instead of one-off requests.

    R. Hettinger promised a policy draft soon. S. Holden: "The requests will start to appear for this year shortly. It will be good to have a framework for guidance."

    Status: carried forward.

  15. [17] Originally from 8 September 2008, Section 7, PSF Logo: D. Goodger will produce final layouts for a PSF logo.

    Status: carried forward.

  16. [26] Originally from 13 October 2008, Section 4, PSF Community Award Certificates: S. Holden will issue PSF Community Award certificates.

    Status: carried forward.

  17. [2] Originally from 13 October 2008, Section 5, PyCon: D. Goodger will prepare a budget for PyCon 2009.

    See PyCon Report below. The PyCon 2009 budget is online at http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pyx4TeJX2JDoy9Go263u1Qw

    Status: done.

4.2   New On December 8

These action items originated at the 8 December 2008 Board meeting on IRC.

  1. [34] Section 5, Role of Administrator: D. Goodger and P. Campbell will verify and update the member contact information.

    Status: carried forward.

  2. [36] Section 7, Introduction & Support for OBOOE: S. Holden will reply to OBOOE that we are interested in cooperating with them, that we can list them as cooperating organization once they are set up.

    Status: carried forward.

4.3   New Between Meetings

The following action items were added since the last Board meeting on December 8.

  1. [35] Added 2009-01-12: S. Holden will write a PSF blog entry thanking 2008 donors.

    Status: carried forward.

5   Action Items in the Meeting Minutes

The purpose of the Action Items page in the PSF private wiki was clarified: the wiki is to be used to update action items on an ongoing basis in lieu of a time-consuming in-meeting review, but the current status is to be recorded in the regular meeting minutes as usual.

6   Changes to the Bylaws

S. Deibel just sent the proposed bylaws revisions to the members. There is no action to take at this point, while waiting for feedback from the members.

S. Holden noted that we should directly raise the question of making these changes by Board vote, possibly at the next meeting. "We want to have the approach legitimized by member opinion at least."

7   Trademarks Committee (TMC)

J. Tauber gave a status report:

There are 3 longstanding matters: Python4D, pypi.info and RPyC. The first and third had much discussion but no firm decision. The second one was overwhelmingly negative.

I have just sent an email to the committee to discuss the voting process / timeline. We do an okay job with discussion but we need to pin down how to vote.

D. Goodger noted that as there was no voting procedure in place, no vote took place. J. Tauber confirmed, but suggested that the details of the voting process be left to discussion on the TMC list.

S. Holden noted the earlier suggestion to use the private wiki to record decisions.

J. Tauber had process questions:

  1. Should we publish a TMC email address for enquires or have them contact the Board?

    Consensus: the PSF Board address is appropriate.

  2. Should requests for nominative uses go to TMC at all?

    Consensus: the TMC should be copied on Board replies to such requests.

  3. Should the Board inform the requesting party or should the TMC? The chartered role of TMC is just to make recommendations to the Board.

    Consensus: the TMC will report back to the Board, who will make the notice.

    S. Holden: "We could, of course, change its charter; but let's start out with the committee reporting back to the Board. After a while the Board will just be copying the opinions, then we can let the committee run."

Wider registration of Python trademarks was discussed. S. Deibel noted that "we need to consult with someone re: trademark law in Europe."

S. Holden reported that he spoke with Van Lindberg (PSF counsel), who suggested we consider registration initially in the EU, Australia, China, and Japan. S. Holden: "In a wider context it would be good if there were chapters in each country where the mark was registered."

Action items:

  1. [37] J. Tauber will set up the PSF private wiki for the Trademarks Committee to record decisions and salient points of discussion.
  2. [38] J. Tauber will work with the Trademarks Committee on establishing voting procedures.
  3. [39] J. Tauber will document the Trademarks Committee procedure as discussed at the Board meeting.
  4. [40] J. Tauber will work with counsel on a proposal to register Python trademarks.

9   Members' Meeting

S. Holden noted that we need to start preparing for the members' meeting, and recommended that the Secretary make use of the PSF Administrator to reduce his workload.

S. Holden: "I think with the new bylaws in place we should start to feel more comfortable about expanding the membership."

T. Peters: "Note that anyone can nominate members at any time."

S. Deibel: "We may even be able to vote them in more frequently than annually..."

[41] D. Goodger will issue a call for membership and Board nominations.

11   PyCon Report

D. Goodger:

Registration is set to open January 21 (I need to discuss with KBK later). Hotel reservations can be made now, via links on the site. We're getting the new server set up.

A/V recording: There is currently a debate between volunteer-based and professional recording. Based on our track record (not good with last year's volunteer-based), I lean toward professional, but it will cost. $25K is budgeted (which would be enough for volunteer or semi-pro, i.e. paying amateurs), but full professional recording will run $40K to $50K. Is it worthwhile to us to pay for good quality recordings? I think so.

PyCon 2010: CTE is currently negotiating with our top choice of venue. It looks like we'll have firm numbers shortly.

The PyCon 2009 budget is online at http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pyx4TeJX2JDoy9Go263u1Qw

We're looking at a deficit this year.

The Board agreed that paying for professional recording is worthwhile. K. Kaiser: "It might be useful to be able to back out of the recording at the last minute if finances looked iffy." S. Holden noted that it might then be too late to mobilize the volunteers.

S. Deibel suggested deferring professional recording until next year, to be more conservative given our situation and the economy. T. Peters: "Getting good recordings is part of running a quality conference. Losing money on PyCon is fine."

The Board agreed that investing in quality recording is worthwhile. Approval of the PyCon 2009 budget was deferred to email.

S. Holden:

Let's try to engage the volunteers in other activities that will build on the professional video with more engaging feature-oriented stuff rather than just say "we don't need you".

J. Tauber: "was the problem last year the recording or the conversion/putting online?" D. Goodger replied that the problems were: getting good recordings, having permission forms, and post-production (editing etc.).

S. Holden: "I am somewhat concerned about the late opening of registrations: gives us very little time to adapt if numbers are down. Any way to address that next year?"

12   Treasurer's Report

K. Kaiser emailed an accounts receivable report to the Board mailing list.

S. Holden noted that we are late billing our sponsor members, "but Kurt assures me the invoices will go out this week."

K. Kaiser further reported:

Current Assets      430K
AR                   20K
                    ----
Total Assets        450K
AP                    9K
                   -----
Net                 441K

The new [PSF Board] server has been set up and hardened. Mail server and user accounts set up. Need to get an account for 'psf' on dinsdale and move the repository.

Payroll modified to handle new positions and compensation levels. Discussed foreign payments and withholding with IRS. Received proper withholding deposit forms.

Focusing on sponsor invoices, finishing the server (need for PyCon soon), and quarterly reports.

S. Holden: "Are we exposed to the failure of any banks, or are we federally insured on it all?"

K. Kaiser: "I think we need to split to another bank. I have investigated one here in NH that has a very high bankrate.com rating. What counts is how much is in the bank, not how the accounts are set up."

13   Adjournment

S. Holden adjourned the meeting at 18:02 UTC.