Software dispute resolution panel
What it is
The OSMF Board resolved in August 2020 to create a Software Dispute Resolution Panel. The full proposal for the Panel can be found here. The community consultation thread is here, and a digest of that consultation can be found here. Following solicitation of nominees through the Working Groups, the Board appointed the following persons to the first Panel in January 2021:
- Richard Fairhurst
- David Morais Ferreira
- Wille Marcel
- Minh Nguyen
- Ilya Zverev
Annually, OSM's working groups nominate Foundation members to serve on the panel. Any Foundation member may be nominated to serve on the Panel. Self-nominations (volunteers) are specifically permitted, but must be transmitted to the Board via an OSM community working group, which must not object to (must concur with) the nomination. In this manner, the community, through its working groups, maintains control of who is nominated to the Panel.
Initially, the Panel will deal solely with disputes over changes to the iD editor. If subsequently developers of other OSM-related software wish to use the Panel, they may request inclusion in the Panel’s remit. Opting into cooperation with the Panel is voluntary and will not, for example, factor into OSMF decisions related to funding.
Once a software product has been included in the Panel’s remit, the Panel shall be the venue for resolving disputes over that software without exception, that cannot otherwise be resolved in the everyday discussion and governance of the project. Developers may request dispute resolution at any time. Members of the community may, after having made their issues known to the developers and working through their processes in good faith, request dispute resolution from the Panel. The Panel may decline to handle any requests where community discussion on the issue is still in progress, or requests that it deems abusive, repetitive, frivolous or spurious. Members may appeal to the OSMF board if they consider a resolution process was unjustly declined.
The Panel is empowered to enlist assistance of subject-matter experts to study and resolve disputes, such as tagging presets. The Panel will examine all sides of any dispute and render a judgment. For tagging-related features, the Panel will advise against controversial presets or validation rules which are not based on sound and settled best practice. The panel will look at existing documentation, any recent community votes, usage numbers, and past discussions, and may convoke subject-matter experts. By having requested inclusion in the Panel’s remit, developers agree in advance to be bound by the Panel’s decisions.
Term of office
The term of office for members of the Panel shall be two years, except that in the first year of operation, two of the members shall have a term of office of one year. In this manner each year either two or three members of the panel will potentially turn over, allowing for some overlap and institutional memory. Members may be reappointed up to two times, but must step down after a maximum of three terms in a row, and may be reappointed after a one-term break.
Composition, conflicts of interest
Members of the panel must have a background as volunteer contributors to the OpenStreetMap project. In appointing members of the Panel, the working groups and Board shall strive for Panel composition (membership) that reflects all interests of the OSM community writ large. Members must not participate in cases involving software products developed, whether fully or partially, by employees of the same organization. Conflict-of-interest rules comparable to those for the OSMF board and working groups shall apply to the panel.
Panel decisions will be recorded on the OSMF website, where the Panel has its own page.
The decision to install the Panel will be evaluated by the Board and in public discussion among the Foundation’s members after one year.
The SDRP's current members can be reached at sdrposmfoundation.org.