[ncc-services-wg] Update - RIPE Database Proxy Service Issues
Sander Steffann sander at steffann.nl
Fri Jan 4 19:24:13 CET 2013
Hi Axel, > Thank you for your comments on this issue. > > I would like to point out that the *DRAFT* Activity Plan and Budget is published around September of each year, allowing members ample time to read it before it is discussed at the Autumn General Meeting. The RIPE NCC Executive Board then takes the outcome of the discussions and any new developments into consideration before finalising and approving the definitive Activity Plan and Budget, which is then published before the end of the year. On 13 December 2012, we informed the membership of the definitive Activity Plan and Budget and listed the changes from the draft plan. Please note that the membership does not vote on either the draft or the final Activity Plan and Budget - this is one of the member-elected Executive Board's functions. You are right. I thought there had been a vote on the activity plan during the AGM, but it was only a discussion. The Articles of Association (a.k.a. RIPE-534: http://www.ripe.net/ripe/docs/ripe-534) state the the Activity Plan is the responsibility of the board, so the members don't need to approve it. My apologies for claiming this change was linked to the voting at the AGM. It wasn't. > One of the modifications that took place from the draft to the final Activity Plan was the addition of the RIPE Database Proxy Service as a member-only service. This was a follow-up on an action point that stemmed from the Data Protection Task Force and a need to strengthen our contractual relationship between the current users of the RIPE Database Proxy Service and the RIPE NCC ensuring compliance with Dutch and EU legislation. > > Partially based on the membership's vote of approval regarding the new Charging Scheme of "one LIR, one fee" and partially based on the fact that the RIPE Database Proxy Service is only actively used by less than a handful of entities (both members and non-members), the Executive Board made the decision, which they felt was in the members' interest, to ask the users of this service to sign both a specific RIPE Database Proxy Service Agreement and the Standard Service Agreement (Membership Agreement) that adheres to both EU and Dutch legislation, which would entail the users of this service paying the annual membership fee. That might not have been the best decision. I fully understand the need for the RIPE Database Proxy Service Agreement, but not for forcing them to become members. The members voted for the "one LIR, one fee" charging scheme, but I don't understand that something that was never even related to being a member now suddenly becomes a member-only service. Why was the choice made to make it a member-only service *and* require a RIPE Database Proxy Service Agreement as well? Why not just the latter? I would like to see when and how this decision was made by the board. If I understand correctly then there must have been a meeting of the Executive Board to make the change to the Activity Plan. I checked the Executive Board meeting minutes (http://www.ripe.net/lir-services/ncc/executive-board/minutes) but I can't find anything after August 2nd, which was before the last AGM. The message to the users of the proxy service was sent on the 17th of December, which means that the decision by the board was made before that date. According to the Articles of Association Section 8 "The secretary shall keep minutes of the proceedings at all meetings of the Executive Board. The minutes shall be sent to the Executive Board members and shall be adopted by them In Writing as soon as possible after the meeting. Within two weeks of adoption the minutes of an Executive Board meeting shall be published on the website of the Association.". Two weeks ago was the 21st of December, so the only explanation for the unpublished minutes is that a board member hadn't adopted them yet before Christmas :-) I hope to see those minutes soon, because I think openness about this whole issue is important! > Based on the recent mailing list discussions it seems apparent that this is a contentious issue that requires further membership and community discussion. Therefore, we will keep the RIPE Database Proxy Service running as it was in 2012 (i.e., no fee and no Membership Agreement) until we have completed these discussions. Thank you. > We will prepare a legal analysis of the options at hand for the contractual documentation required to use this service and gauge whether or not the membership feels that we should charge a fee for this service. Sounds good. I do want to remark that although the decision to change the Activity Plan has been made according to the Articles of Association, I do wonder if such a decision actually belongs in the Activity Plan... But I'll leave that question until the next GM. Thank you, Sander PS: I'm focussing on the change to the Activity Plan here, and I think this is being solved now in the correct way. I still think the communication around this was appalling. You *don't* send people a in notice the week before Christmas to tell them that they have to sign a RIPE Database Proxy Service Agreement (and in most cases have to become members, which is impossible on such short notice) before the end of the year. You just don't...