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Director Ria Jairam Recused by ARRL

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Jed Baer
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Bruce Perens -- K6BP writes: Director Ria Jairam “Recused” by ARRL, and It Seems Political To Me.

Ria wrote a book on how to pass the Technian class Amateur Radio license exam. ARRL’s Ethics and Elections Committee gave their approval for Ria to publish the book, and that committee later rescinded that approval under the influence of ARRL CEO David Minster and President Rick Roderick. ARRL admits all of this in their own report. Thus it seems Ria acted innocently and ARRL changed their mind. The total revenue for the book to Ria was around USD$10K. The publisher makes the rest. $10K is what lawyers would call de minimus, a small issue that should not raise weighty legal issues like a conflict of interest that would recuse a director from discussions, seemingly forever. No date for an end to the recusal was suggested in the minutes, although we know that book sales diminish sharply after first publication, and this sort of book only has a lifetime as long as the current Technican question pool.

While I have tremendous respect for Bruce, I have to wonder what he's basing this on. From the linked ARRL Inquiry Report:

E&E’s review of the Callisto Media contract and the pre-print version of the book raised additional
concerns surrounding Director Jairam’s initial disclosure to E&E on June 14, 2022.

  • E&E discovered that Director Jairam’s contract was dated March 21, 2022. One section of the contract required that Director Jairam certify that she could enter into the contract and that there were no conflicts or violations that would prevent her from signing.
  • The contract also stipulated that the final authored work was to be delivered to the publisher on June 6, 2022

(No, I'm not linking to the report, as it's labeled "Confidential". Why that would be, I don't know.)

I'd like to give Ria the benefit of the doubt, and say she's mainly guilty of naivete.

I suspect that most hams simply enjoy the hobby, and those who belong to the ARRL do so simply to add our financial support to the advancement of our hobby and radio service. These sorts of internal items go largely unnoticed. When they do come out, I at least wonder whether there's cause for some concern. Obviously, Bruce has some reason to believe so. I certainly don't know whether his concerns are overstated.


   
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Jeff Karpinski
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Considering Ms. Jairam was elected back in 2018, well before her book deal was inked, she should have understood the ARRL bylaws she swore to operate under and abide by.

From the book's listing on Amazon today:

About the Author
RIA JAIRAM, N2RJ, first became licensed in ham radio as a secondary school student in her native Trinidad and Tobago. Upon immigrating to the United States, she quickly earned her FCC license at the Extra Class level. Ria has held leadership positions in several amateur radio organizations including the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) and Young Ladies Radio League (YLRL). She also hosts a YouTube channel called Ria’s Shack Ham Radio, as well as a weekly radio show, Ria’s Shack Radio, on WTWW shortwave radio.

Regardless of who wrote this copy, leveraging her ARRL leadership role in such marketing is clearly problematic.

As for Perens, arguably the father of the Open Source software movement, he once tried to copyright the very term to exact royalties from Open Source developers. He also cried foul when developers legally forked his abandoned BusyBox project (which he GPLv2 licensed) and made all kinds of legal threats against successors. We won't even mention his continued work to this day to abolish the Second Amendment...

 


   
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Jed Baer
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Posted by: @webmaster

As for Perens, arguably the father of the Open Source software movement, he once tried to copyright the very term to exact royalties from Open Source developers. He also cried foul when developers legally forked his abandoned BusyBox project (which he GPLv2 licensed) and made all kinds of legal threats against successors. We won't even mention his continued work to this day to abolish the Second Amendment...

Talk about scratching the recesses of dim memory (at least mine)! What I do recall is the early tension involving "Free Software" vs. "Open Source", and various squabbles about licenses and "real" "Freedom" (e.g. the BSD license). But that's all a digression.

I'm willing to accept the proposition that Perens is stirring the pot for his own "political" (or personal) reasons, and if he has an axe to grind with ARRL, he should just say so.


   
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