In an effort to try and be even more open and transparent, the MetaBrainz Foundation’s board of directors agreed last year to publicise the minutes from its board meetings. This is the first entry of that new series. The board meets up 3–4 times a year, so don’t expect these postings to be too frequent. 🙂
These particular minutes have been approved at its following board meeting, but we will try and get future meeting minutes up prior to the next one, which means that future posts will be subject to change if the board feels something is wrong or missing in the minutes. Also note that discussion related to personnel or confidential topics have been (and will be) redacted. Furthermore we will also add more text to the notes in order to give context and background, while not altering the meaning of theses notes.
With all that said, let’s get started!
MetaBrainz Foundation Board Meeting Minutes 2016-09-15
Attendees: Robert Kaye, Nick Ashton Hart, Sophie Goossens, Rassami Hok Ljungberg, Frederik “Freso” S. Olesen, Cory Doctorow
Absent: Paul Bennun, Matthew Hawn
- 0. Call to order.
- Rob called to order at 18:15 CEST.
- Editor’s note: Unless otherwise noted, Rob will be the one speaking in the notes below.
- 1. Approval of last meeting minutes
- Moved by Rob. Rassami objects to all board members sending chocolate, but with that removed, she seconded. Unanimous. Motion carried.
- 2. Board changes
- Editor’s note: Christina, our former biz dev manager, used to be on our board of directors as both Secretary and Treasurer. Since she was no longer with us, we needed to replace her positions in the board.
- Rob moves that Christina is replaced by Rassami as Treasurer. Sophie seconds. Vote is unanimous. Motion carried.
- Rob moves to replace Christina with Frederik “Freso” Olesen, our community manager, as the new Secretary of the board. Having Freso as our secretary gives the community some insight into the board meetings. Rassami seconds. Rob suggests that Freso should take the board meeting notes and remove private/confidential points and release a version that is suitable for public consumption.
- 3. Old business:
- General update: It’s been a challenging year: Planned for a lot, had a lot of set backs. Series of perfect storms, causing extremely and challenging year for me personally, but I am finally climbing out. I’m digging out and focusing on the core issues.
- Office: Power, plumbing issues resolved. Ready for use with the hack day next week.
- Hosting: We’ve been moving services away from Digital West and to Google. At the same time we continue to get more traffic and asking people to be polite in using our service isn’t really working anymore, thus the focus on NewHost. Another perfect storm. Now have 4 servers at Hetzner in Germany, working to move in. We’ll order more servers closer to migration time. Been working all summer to move services to containers. We gain flexibility and mobility, but there is loads of work.
- Summit: We’re not going to have a summit this year, but opted for a smaller hack weekend where we iterate faster to get to NewHost.
Non paying companies: Data is wide open, and commercial customers can legally make use our data and API. Soon we will prevent them from using our API (by using API keys), but abuse is still possible. How can we deal with non-supporting companies? So far, we would put companies into the penalty box and then send a tweet to that effect. This has been our practice and I explained this to our biz dev manager, but due to other issues compounding she decided to pick this issue to start a war over. So, how should we deal with non paying companies? How far can we go in pestering companies to do the right thing?
Nick states that the heaviest offenses will be eliminated by introducing API keys. Rob notes that he still wants to bring attention to people for leech our data outside of the WS and data dumps.
Rob asks if we should try and keep track of people who download our data, but there might be some legal concerns related to (knowing if pirates download the data).
Rob to-do: ask our pro bono lawyer legal question about keeping track of people.
Rob asks: Do anyone have an objection to the “penalty box” idea?
Cory suggests to perhaps get a pro bono lawyer to send a letter to bad actors telling them they’re bad actors.
Cory also suggested that the board should be consulted before a company goes into the penalty box. Rob agrees and will write follow-up email to this point.
- 4. New business:
- Big Query: Make MusicBrainz, AcousticBrainz and ListenBrainz available on BigQuery — Google would like better and more dynamic data sets to show off their service. We get free data hosting and people will be able to query their own LB (last.fm) data on their own if they want to. Game changer. We’ve moving LB/AB, Google is adding MB. Once this is done, Google will do some publicity for this.
- Dec board meeting: London. I’ll pick a date soon.
- 5. Finances:
- Moved to new EUR capable accounting system, which took time to do, but now saves time.
- Income is increasing, this is the most amount of money we’ve had in the bank ever! > $200k!! \ø/
- Moving forward with new Biz Dev: I’m not going to replace biz dev manager right this second. I’m managing the influx of new customers, and need to focus on moving servers to new hosting facility (NewHost). Once our hosting setup is stable, I’ll work to hire more people in order to make my life more sane.
- 5. Adjourn
- 18:57 CEST
- Q2 P&L: https://metabrainz.org/finances/files/MetaBrainz_Foundation_profit_loss_2016_Q2.pdf
- Aug P&L: https://metabrainz.org/finances/files/MetaBrainz_Foundation_profit_loss_20160831.pdf
- Aug Balance sheet: https://metabrainz.org/finances/files/MetaBrainz_Foundation_balance_sheet_20160831.pdf