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Summary of CC Board Meeting 19 June 2008
Creative Commons Board of Directors met for a regular meeting on June 19-20. This is a summary of our actions and discussions.
- James Boyle, Michael Carroll, Davis Guggenheim and Esther Wojcicki were appointed to the board for 3-year terms.
- Jennifer Yip shall willl replace Diane Cabell as Assistant Treasurer effective 1 July 2008.
- The resignation of Virginia Rutledge as Vice President & General Counsel was accepted and the office of Vice President & General Counsel is herebywas abolished. Ms. Rutledge will continue working with CC by leading the Mellon funded Noncommercial Study in a new consulting role as Special Counsel.
- Molly Van Houweling and Larry Lessig were appointed to the Audit Committee for 3-year terms.
- The Board will seek additional members with fundraising, business development and/or international expertise. Caterina Fake was proposed.
In response to the suggestion of CC's valued international affiliates, the Board agreed to improve communication and consultation with the affiliates and directed the staff to explore ways to add greater international participation and expertise to CC's activities. It was agreed that as an organization, CC would increase transparency by providing more information about internal activities as well as a “roadmap” of future plans. This report is an effort to increase transparency at the board level. More roadmaps of future direction will be maintained and presented by board and staff both online and at public meetings such as the iCommons Summit.
CC hopes to expand in Russia, Africa and the Arabic speaking world where participation is limited in comparison to other regions. The Board agreed to engage with CC affiliates to discuss ways to further encourage and build upon regional meetings."
The board proposed holding more regional events. It was agreed that the Director of CC International could engage affiliations without consulting the Board in advance.
It was agreed that Science Commons should remain an internal division of the organization. An advisory board for Culture Commons including Ito, Lessig, Saltzman, and Fake will be established in order to crystallize a vision to better distinguish it from CC’s core operations.
Public Communication / Messaging
Improvement in public communication messaging is a priority, particularly in making CC's work more understandable to lay readers and therefore more attractive to a greater range of high-quality content creators. An annual website audit was recommended along with better FAQs, development of use cases, an improved press kit, new flash productions, highlighting of technical and other progress (such as the remarkable progress in granular searchability provided by RDFa and ccREL). Additionally, outreach to and leveraging of targeted communities, better promotion in offline media, and more informational events such as Continuing Legal Education programs and the recent Tech Summit were discussed.
A Request for Proposals to acquire ccMixter was approved along with additional procedures to ensure a fair and unbiased transfer. This project, developed as an example of remix culture, has potential for growth that is beyond CC's mission and resources to support.
A resolution was passed to conform to the California Nonprofit Integrity Act. Further policy changes recommendation by Adler & Colvin, the firm that undertook a compliance audit funded by Hewlett, will be reviewed for possible adoption at a later meeting.
Licensing Advisory Board
A charter for the LAB was proposed and amended. The role of the LAB will be to advise Corporate the General Counsel on licensing matters. Recommendations for appointees were solicited.
The company's financial strengths and weaknesses were reviewed. The 2008 budget was re-evaluated and approved. Continued progress toward better accounting and project-based budgeting procedures was noted.
The board authorized developing a detailed proposal for revenue generation. Fee based services for licensing, registry or memberships were discussed, but the board confirmed the necessity for the licenses to always be available for free.
The Board extended the charter of the Audit Committee for another three years, reduced the minimum number of members to two and voted to allow non-Directors to serve, and reappointed Good & Fowler LLP as auditors for the 2008 fiscal year. The report of the Audit Committee, including the audited financial statements and conflicts survey, were acknowledged. The CFO was directed to consult with the Audit Committee to correct the deficiencies noted in the auditor's management letter.
The expenditures in the 2008 approved budget are within the means of a conservative income estimated based on current cash, confirmed pledges and historical annual campaign fundraising. However, the organization does not currently have sufficient reserves and the activities of the organization are materially constrained by the lack of funds. The board hopes to raise an additional $500,000 through a board driven fund raising effort in addition to the traditional annual campaign.
Improved solicitation materials will be developed, including multimedia presentations, along with efforts to promote CC among corporate foundations and off-line media.