[OSGeo-Conf] liability

Eli Adam eadam at co.lincoln.or.us
Thu Jun 18 10:43:17 PDT 2015

On Thu, Jun 18, 2015 at 9:12 AM, Steven Feldman <shfeldman at gmail.com> wrote:
> Be careful here. Either the LOC takes responsibility for a loss or OSGeo
> does, you can’t qualify with “if the LOC does something negligent …”
> If OSGeo is going to take the financial responsibility for a FOSS4G then it
> may need to be the signatory on all contracts and at a minimum it would need
> a financial rep on the LOC with some authority. Gets messy.
> I think the financial/contractual relationship between the LOC and OSGeo has
> always been a ‘grey’ area. Fortunately, so far, we have muddled through very
> successfully. The costs and commitments for a large FOSS4G are substantial
> (in 2013 our total spend was ca $600k although much was directly linked to
> attendance numbers) - it is not inconceivable that an event that failed to
> attract sponsorship and had below target attendance could lose $100-150k,
> that would be a big dent in the bank account.

I agree that it has historically been a grey area.  OSGeo often starts
the LOC with ~40,000 seed money which is a risk.  The LOC typically
gets great autonomy with only light oversight from the Board.  I think
that is needed for success of the conference.  Too many cooks in the
kitchen would not work.

I agree that things have typically worked out well too, even if the
process is muddling.  Part of multiple successful conferences is
slowly building a reserve and if 1/10 losses some money, that is fine.
I think that currently reserves are doing well.

> Food for thought
> ______
> Steven

> On 18 Jun 2015, at 17:25, Darrell Fuhriman <darrell at garnix.org> wrote:
> That is, to be blunt, absurd.
> If OSGeo is getting the benefits of any proceeds, they need to be assuming
> the liability as well.

I agree with this.  I'd have to reread contracts (or get a lawyer's
opinion) but I think most of the liability is already largely on

> d.
> On Jun 18, 2015, at 08:20, 신상희 <shshin at gaia3d.com> wrote:
> Hi all,
> Currently all liability will be upon Seoul LOC not OSGeo as per requested by
> conference committee. That's why Seoul team is so sensitive to funding and
> financial issues.

I don't recall the conference committee requesting all liability being
on the LOC.  I'm not specifically informed on this (have not read
OSGeo contract with LOC), but I don't necessarily believe that it is
true that all liability is on the LOC.  If it is the case that all
liability is on the LOC, I don't think that it should be that way.
There is always this point in time when the LOC (and sometime others)
are concerned that things won't work, but then things work out.
FOSS4G attendee registration patterns are particularly alarming when
organizing FOSS4G; there are very large last minute registration at
each deadline.  Email blasts also help registration so the more of
those the better (to a point obviously and better if you have some
legitimate content too).  Late sponsors often help too.  I'm sure that
2015 in Korea will be great just like other years.

As far as natural disaster and other things, in 2014 as part of the
insurance that we already needed we bought additional insurance (cost
almost nothing ~$600?) to cover volcanoes, earthquakes, etc.  If Mount
St. Helens erupted and we cancelled FOSS4G 2014, insurance would have
paid our contracts, refunded attendees and sponsors, etc.

Best regards, Eli

> Best,
> Sanghee
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