Thoughts on "Letter about the TEI" from Martin Mueller
Note: I am a member of the TEI council, but this message is should be read as personal position at the time of writing, not a council position, nor the position of my employer.
Reading Martin's missive was painful. I should have responded earlier, I think perhaps I was hoping someone else could say what I wanted to say and I could just say "me too." They haven't so I've become the someone else.
I don't think that Martin's "fairly radical model" is nearly radical enough. I'd like to propose a significantly more radical model as strawman:
1) The TEI shall maintain a document called the 'The TEI Principals.' The purpose of The TEI is to advance The TEI Principals.
2) Institutional membership of The TEI is open to groups which publish, collect and/or curate documents in formats released by The TEI. Institutional membership requires members acknowledge The TEI Principals and permits the members to be listed at http://www.tei-c.org/Activities/Projects/ and use The TEI logos and branding.
3) Individual membership of The TEI is open to individuals; individual membership requires members acknowledge The TEI Principals and subscribe to The TEI mailing list at http://listserv.brown.edu/?A0=TEI-L.
4) All business of The TEI is conducted in public. Business which needs be conducted in private (for example employment matters, contract negotiation, etc) shall be considered out of scope for The TEI.
5) Changes to the structure of The TEI will be discussed on the TEI mailing list and put to a democratic vote with a voting period of at least one month, a two-thirds majority of votes cast is required to pass a motion, which shall be in English.
6) Groups of members may form for activities from time-to-time, such as members meetings, summer schools, promotions of The TEI or collective digitisation efforts, but these groups are not The TEI, even if the word 'TEI' appears as part of their name.
I'll admit that there are a couple of issues not covered here (such as who holds the IPR), but it's only a straw man for discussion. Feel free to fire it as necessary.