[Osmf-talk] Should there be ethical standards for corporate members?
chris_hormann at gmx.de
Sat Feb 9 16:46:45 UTC 2019
On Wednesday 30 January 2019, Frederik Ramm wrote:
> What are our expectations regarding the behaviour of corporate
> members in OSM and in the OSMF?
(Belated answer here after being reminded by weeklyOSM)
Currently i have no expectation because i know there are none that can
realistically be assumed to be met - at least not specifically for
corporate members in contrast to corporations in general. The other
side of this is that it also means there is no assumption of good faith
for collective corporate member activity in OSM in my eyes as it would
apply to actions of individuals.
What i would however indeed expect from the OSMF is to make sure that
the actions of corporate members do not clash with the goals of the
OSMF and the interests of the OSM community and i would very much
support requiring acceptance of documented standards for becoming a
corporate members and violation of such standards as grounds for
terminating membership of corporate members. And i hope my introductory
comment illustrates that this would also be an advantage to the
corporate members - it could even be presented as a significant
additional benefit of corporate membership, that corporate members are
companies that not only contribute financially but that have also been
certified by the OSMF to have agreed to certain standards of
interaction with OSM.
Corporations/Organizations have both the option to make donations to the
OSMF and to become corporate members so imposing some standards on
corporate membership would not prevent them from supporting the OSMF if
they for some reason cannot accept these - it would just limit the
Care would need to be taken to make sure such standards are not
abused for political or cultural discrimination of organizations in
becoming members. Such standards should be limited on aspects of
direct significance for OSM and not involve any moral judgements beyond
that. So aspects like minimum wage, work safety, environmental
protection or discrimination of various sorts - as important as they
are - should have no place in such standards. OTOH a rule like
companies need to employ locals for systematic mapping efforts rather
than remote mappers is something that could be discussed.
Fields i would think could be well covered in such a rule set:
* standards of communication with the OSM community (publishing a
working non-discriminating contact channel for inquiries and complaints
from the community and respectfully reacting to any on-topic input
received this way).
* standards of compliance with the OSM license, appropriate reaction to
complaints about this.
* compliance with community conventions regarding any activities in the
community (map editing obviously but also participating in
communication channels for example), being open and transparent about
any direct or indirect corporate involvement in the project.
I am not for rules against negative remarks on OSM in public. I don't
really think that is necessary and it is not in the interest of OSM to
suppress or discourage critical discourse about the project. A
corporate member should be free for example to publish a report on data
quality in OSM even if that sheds a bad light on OSM.
What i could well imagine is a standard that corporate members agree not
to mis-represent OSM in their public communication, i.e. making
factually incorrect statements. This would give the OSMF and the OSM
community a possibility to counteract such statements below the
threshold of threatening legal action.
The main problem i see with the whole thing is however that i have
doubts that the OSMF is currently able to develop a meaningful (in
other words: not whitewashed to a level of being fairly pointless)
ruleset and bring this to being actually adopted. On the other hand
this would also make it a good opportunity for the OSMF to actually
show this is possible and proove me wrong. :-)
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