[Osmf-talk] Should there be ethical standards for corporate members?

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Wed Jan 30 09:20:06 UTC 2019


currently, every organisation can become and remain a corporate member;
the only requirement is paying your membership fee.

Organisations don't get a voting right but they do get an image benefit
by being listed on our corporate members page, and from a certain
membership level upwards they also get to join the advisory board which
currently wields little power but this might change in the future.

What are our expectations regarding the behaviour of corporate members
in OSM and in the OSMF? What would happen if a company, for example,

* added SEO spam to OSM?
* performed other detrimental edits?
* repeatedly used our maps without attribution?
* made disparaging remarks about OSM on their web site, like "for those
of our clients who want to save money, we offer OSM, and for those who
need good quality, we offer $PROPRIETARY_MAP"?

Will we simply accept such behaviour in return for money? Or does there
come a point where we would say: Sorry, with a track record like that
you cannot join (or if you have already joined, we'll kick you out)?

Many other kinds of misbehaviour, or irritating behaviour, are possible;
an organisation could of course also do questionable things outside of OSM.

Many governments and businesses have codes that say with whom they are
willing to do business, aka "supplier code of ethics" or so. These will
often contain rules like that suppliers have to comply with laws, that
they must not use child labour or forced/exploitative labour, that they
must have good employment practices (no harassment, no discrimination,
pay minimum wage etc.), must not engage in corruption, must not destroy
the environment, etc.etc.

Should we perhaps set up some sort of document that outlines our
expectations of what a "good player" in the OSM ecosystem is, and make
that a basis for corporate membership?

Currently, if any member (including corporate members) wants to join,
the board has seven days to reject that membership application. I wonder
if maybe corporate membership should undergo a more thorough review by
the community. Currently the board doesn't even look at membership
applications, they are simply waved through, and the board *couldn't*
really check them even if they wanted to, in the short time given.
Perhaps every application for corporate membership should be first
discussed by the community and afterwards, informed by that discussion,
board decides whether to accept?

This would require a change to the Articles of Association to extend the
initial time during which a membership can be rejected.


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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