Re: Chatham House Rules?


Joseph Potvin
 

RE: "When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed."

This is a useful and interesting mini-issue to resolve for a multi-entity community concerned with compliance management. I suggest for your consideration that CHR, its longevity notwithstanding, is so broadly worded that its relative popularity almost surely depends upon rather loose compliance generally. (As in: Please put up your hand if you have NOT knowlingly streamed a movie in violation of copyright within the past year.)

If my assessment of the CHR is true, it's probably not the best choice for this group.

When I read the CHR, my first question is: What is presumed to happen if the rule is violated?

My second question is: Would this rule be violated simply when someone outside the conversation says verbally to a colleague in their own organization who was not in the meeting: "Well, that Potvin fellow was suggesting that the CHR would be problematic."  Or, if somebody says externally: "Yes, the guy from Qualcomm was in the conference call today."  Ambiguity about the boundaries is precisely what breeds complacency regarding compliance, I would suggest.

Am I (in)correct in interpreting the CHR to be, de jure, if fully respected, a partial but very strict NDA in which all participants agree to fully exercise their moral right of non-attribution during each OpenChain interaction?

My other concern is that the CHR seems to run contrary to the free/libre/open way, where expectations are usually the other way around: attribution of ideas is what we (free/libre/open software creators) proactively do by default. Legal counsel has other constraints, that's understood. But we have not yet (this being the weekend, granted) heard any specific comment back on my suggestion that "The usual caveat applies..."  so that what people say is deemed to emanate from their own heads, and not from THE corporate heads.

Joseph






On Sat, Dec 13, 2014 at 7:08 PM, Marr, David <dmarr@...> wrote:
Responding to Joseph's question, the initial motivation was merely to promote open discussion on the substantive OpenChain topics.  I think of CHR as a behavioral norm under which OpenChain list members might -- as a community -- decide to abide.  I agree with prior comments it's not intended as agreement with legal formality.

Restated for convenience:
"When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed."

Btw on re-read I would note the subject line I picked isn't quite correct; it's not "rules".  There's just one rule.

I'm also fine with the normative statement that one's comments should not be attributed to their employer -- but see this as already partly covered by CHR.  If more is needed, welcoming discussion.

I'll add one more thing.  The reason I'm concerned about reducing barriers to participation is because I deeply appreciate folks taking the time to join the calls, adding their ideas and generally helping drive progress -- and make corrections as needed.  Because of that I'd like to do as much as possible to help deliver to expectations, and with some degree of pace.  So if anyone was held back by the same issues that caused Chatham House to come up with their rule nearly 100 years ago, perhaps adding their time-tested rule would help.

Note also the concern about transparency should be limited to the identity and affiliation of any participant.  The substantive comments can be used -- filtered for identity and affiliation -- which one hopes would be useful.
_______________________________________________
OpenChain mailing list
OpenChain@...
https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/openchain


--
Joseph Potvin
Operations Manager | Gestionnaire des opérations
The Opman Company | La compagnie Opman
jpotvin@...
Mobile: 819-593-5983

Join main@lists.openchainproject.org to automatically receive all group messages.