This document intents to represent the current modus operandi of OMC and aims to facilitate the collective to transition towards a more complete governance model inclusive of individuals and organisations willing to contribute towards a commons cooperative economy. This proposal is subject to improvements until being voted into existence by the initial group of cofounding members.
This agreement constitutes the creation and governance of The Online Meeting Cooperative (further referred to as OMC). OMC is a commons cooperative project initiated in May 2020 between a series of cooperative actors wishing to share a quality ethical video conferencing service open for others to become members of and contribute to its sustenance. At the same time it is a collective effort to network existing actors actively building cooperative cloud services to help their communities transition towards a commons cooperative economy.
Parties listed below
- Free Knowledge Institute
- Animorph Cooperative
- Remix the Commons
- Digital Life Collective
agree to the following:
WHEREAS, the Parties have formed a consortium under the name of The Online Meeting Cooperative (hereinafter referred to as “OMC") which operates online services as described in Article 1 under the domains and subdomains of meet.coop and/or subdomains from the individual members.
WHEREAS, the Parties wish to specify an open membership policy for others to join OMC as defined in Article 2, which defines accession and withdrawal of a party and the rights and obligations of the different membership classes.
WHEREAS, the Parties wish to specify the high level decision making procedures to faclitate the collective to self-organise to the best of the ability of all members as defined in Article 3.
WHEREAS, the Parties wish to specify the economic management policies in such way to seek long term sustainability for the OCM as a whole and (therefore) to compensate fairly the contributions made by members, be they in time, money or other resources deemed useful to the collective, as defined in Article 4.
NOW THEREFORE IT IS HEREBY AGREED AS FOLLOWS
The Parties hereby enter into this Consortium Agreement to specify the organisation of the production and of the usage between the Parties and to define the respective rights and obligations of the Parties. The Parties agree to cooperate pursuant to the terms of this Consortium Agreement until a new agreement is being agreed upon.
User is anyone who connects with one of the OMC's webs or systems.
Members are those people and organisations that are actively contributing towards the sustenance of The Online Meeting Cooperative according the conditions defined in Article 2.
The services The Online Meeting Cooperative offers include online digital platform services.
Within the The Online Meeting Cooperative environment there are two types of services: free services available to the entire user community and paid services. The Online Meeting Cooperative seeks to make it easier for people to use free services to help them realise they can regain control over their data.
free software (a.k.a. open source)
Free software, libre software or free-as-in-freedom-software is software that can be used, studied and modified by anyone without restrictions, and can be copied and redistributed either in a modified version or unmodified without restrictions, or with minimal restrictions to ensure that future recipients will also have these rights.
Our work is in the Social and Solidarity Economy, we abide by the 7 cooperativist principles:
- Voluntary and Open Membership We encourage organisations from the Commons and Social and Solidarity Economy to join as members to make use of the shared resource.
- Democratic Member Control Members have equal rights in the governance: one member equals one vote. Information about the project is shared transparently between members.
- Member Economic Participation Members are expected to contribute an equal share to the collective costs of running the project. For the first year higher costs are expected to develop the services and organisations are expected to contribute 20-40 hours of work according to the agreed needs and/or 500-1000€ to share the costs of servers. Different contributions can be made by non-members, be they individuals or organisational users who contribute voluntarily (donation) according to their usage of the common services.
- Autonomy and Independence Initially the online meeting cooperative is an informal organisation formed by the member coops that have started the project. Built on mutual trust and intercooperation agreements, the project seeks to be a self-managed, autonomous organisation. Domains, assets and other shared resources will be transferred to a future independent legal entity, once the partner organisations decide to create this.
- Education, Training, and Information A key objective of the project is to share knowledge and experience about running the shared services and facilitate its replication, though internal training, documentation, deployment scripts and a culture of sharing knowledge and software under free licenses with collaborative methodologies.
- Cooperation among Cooperatives The project is started by three cooperative, Collective.tools, femProcomuns and Webarchitects and other cooperative actors who seek to strengthen cooperation among themselves to enrich and strengthen the Social and Solidarity Economy.
- Concern for Community A driving force for this project is our care for privacy and Free Software, to allow people and organisations to have quality online meetings with ethical tools. The project has at its centre the community resource of online meeting services that are shared as a commons between its members. Furthermore, the generated software scripts and knowledge are shared as Free Software and under free licenses, following collaborative methodologies that facilitate replication and a decentralised architecture.
Article 1. Services
Article 2. Membership Policy
Art. 2.1. Accession
We have two types of memberships–Operational Members and User Members. One may apply to each membership type as an individual or as an organization. In the below text, the word “you” imply the individual or a member of the organization.
Operational Members steward all operational aspects of Meet.coop
*To apply, you must commit a minimum of 1000 in Euros, equivalent resources, or 40 hours of voluntary labour in work areas defined by the Co-operative. * In turn, you may participate in the Co-operative’s Circles and are eligible to apply for waged roles defined by the Co-operative. You may also resell our BigBlueButton server capacity via a set of Greenlight containers, under your administration, that correspond to the Service Levels defined by the Co-operative. * To maintain active membership, you must be contributor to at least one Circle and participate in at least 50% of our All Hands Meetings. If you are reselling Meet.coop services, you commit to pay a portion of your resale revenue, set by the Co-operative, to the Co-operative for covering its operation costs. You must also maintain a reasonable level of service to the User Members using Meet.coop services through your Greenlight containers, and provide best-effort oversight in compliance with the Co-operative’s Fair Use Agreement. * All active Operational Members are entitled to a membership account.
User Members use Meet.coop services
All membership starts with an application to become members. User members can join automatically, while Operational Members will need to be approved by the existing members. User members can not resell, unless they are also an operational member.
Art 2.3. Rights and obligations per membership class
Article 3. Decision making procedures
Votes per membership class
Article 4. Organisation
Article 5. Economic Management Policy
All members make contributions to the collective in the form of time, money and/or other resources according to defined contribution levels. As the usage of the online service to a certain extent is prone to overuse, a Fair Use Policy is developed and parties are expected to adapt their usage and contributions according to this policy.
Art. 5.1. Work
In the OMC we distinguish different forms of work that all contribute to the sustainance of the collective:
- livelihood work - operational contributions by DevOps, technical support, reception workers (user services, account queries, etc). Perhaps design & consultancy services too?
- Organisation care work - admin, marketing, financial planning, negotiating contracts, handling tax and currency, convening & hosting meetings, contributions in ‘circles’, platform development (BBB code hacking, UI etc), etc
- Life care work - onboarding & enculturation, organisational rhythms & routines, breathing spaces & respite, mentoring, etc
- Commons-transition work - care work that builds the movements of commoning, through the mobilisation of the platform in user communities; facilitating user contributions to tool design and UX, tuning room facilities to various sectoral usecases, etc
- Funders/crowdfunders - voluntary/charitable giving, grant funding for development. Individuals’ subscriptions.
Art. 5.2. Compensations
Defined in the Compensations Framework
Article 5. Intellectual Property
Article 6. Conflict Resolution