Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Recording the Business Meeting

In a discussion elsewhere today about photography and recording (audio and video) at conventions, I pointed out that I'd authorized the video recording of the 2007 WSFS Business Meeting at Nippon 2007. (It's available from me on DVD. I haven't taken the time to chop it down into small enough pieces to upload to Google Video; GV and YouTube won't accept such large files in one piece.) There have also been past meetings recorded on audio tape. I asked whether such recordings actually should have active sanction from WSFS, or for that matter would the objection of even one person in the room to recording be sufficient to stop it.

The suggested answer, which makes sense to me, is that there's plenty of precedent for organizations to make provisions for recording of their meetings, and that therefore it would be appropriate to adopt a standing rule authorizing the Business Meeting Chair to arrange for recording of sessions at his/her discretion. However, the BM should be given the right to order recording stopped, either on a specific issue or for the entire meeting, by majority vote.

My interpretation of this would be that a motion to stop recording would be an incidental motion, but that you could raise it as a Question of Privilege when business was pending. That means it could interrupt anything except the motion to Recess or Adjourn (or some other more esoteric things), and could even interrupt a speaker; in such cases, it would be undebatable. If made while no business was pending, it would be an incidental main motion, and therefore debatable. In either case, a majority vote would pass the motion, and I think a majority would be sufficient to restart recording.

For example, if at the beginning of the first day's meeting, before any business had come up, someone could move that the entire meeting not be recorded. That would be debatable (and amendable). However, if during a contentious debate, someone moved to shut off recording (possibly interrupting a speaker to move so), the motion could be neither debated nor amended, but would instead have to be voted immediately.

I've referred the matter to the Nitpicking & Flyspecking Committee for consideration. We may come back to this year's meeting with a motion on the subject.
Tags: business meeting, wsfs
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