Advisory Board/Minutes/2020-06-22

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

Draft minutes.


Board members

  • Allan Mustard (chairing)
  • Rory McCann
  • Tobias Knerr
  • Paul Norman
  • Guillaume Rischard (joined ~ 4' after start)


Advisory Board Corporate Member representatives

  • Bing/Microsoft - Harsh Govind
  • GraphHopper - Peter Karich
  • Esri - Andrew Turner (joined ~ 15' after start)
  • Facebook - Marc Prioleau (Drishtie Patel on parental leave)

Advisory Board representatives and their affiliations

Also present

  • Facebook - Michael Cheng
  • Facebook - Michal Migurski (joined ~ 13' after start, left ~ 40' after start)

Not present

  • Grab representative - Vinay Jayanthi
  • Mapbox representative - Tom Lee
  • Joost Schouppe (OSMF board)
  • Mikel Maron (OSMF board)

Points have been mostly organised per speaker and might not be presented in their original order.

Introduction by board

  • Status update on the Attribution guideline, as suggested during the last AB Corporate Members meeting.
  • Board members involved with current Attribution guideline draft editing: Paul Norman, Guillaume Rischard.
  • Mix-up with sending current draft to LWG - fixed.
  • Once the board receives LWG feedback, the draft will be made public for community feedback.

Allan Mustard

  • Some members of the community extremely upset that attribution guidelines are not observed in a way that they think gives full credit to the volunteers in the OSM community.
  • ODbL is flawed and the guidelines are a stopgap measure to get us on a common ground.
  • It would be very wise of the corporate members to adhere to the spirit of the guidelines and not take a terribly legalistic approach to it, in the interests of making keeping the peace with the broad OSM community.
  • In the foundation board there is recognition that the ODbL is not perfect and that is the root of the problem.

Guillaume Rischard

On current board draft

  • The changes between the current draft and the LWG version are summarised on the top of the document provided to LWG.
    • Content approximately same as LWG version.
    • Changed: attribution for mobile devices, as it would not have been acceptable by the community.
  • We believe it is completely backed-up by ODbL.
  • Some new ideas included in current draft, like possibility to hide attribution.
  • We have seen the volume of work the LWG put in the guidelines.
  • Re-licensing might be something we might look at long term, heavy process which still bears the scars from the previous exercise.

Paul Norman

  • Any ODbL feedback should be taken back to the OpenKnowledge Foundation, who are the custodians, for ODbL 1.1/2.0
  • CC has gotten away from the requirements about equal attribution in the 4.0 licenses.

Rory McCann

  • Suggestion to Corporate Member representatives that have received ODbL legal advice, to share it with the board.
    • Comment by Michael Cheng: Facebook is happy to make introductions to open-source lawyers who might want to donate their time to offer advice to OSMF. Offered to discuss it with the LWG.
  • Urge the corporate members to err on the side of being as nice as possible regarding attributing OSM.

Facebook legal counsel - Michael Cheng

Also LWG member, who just got an email sent to LWG about the new draft of the guidelines.

On if there was feedback regarding the attribution guidelines - Question by Harsh Govind.

  • LWG went through an extensive process of soliciting feedback
    • at two State of Maps. We also set expectations with those people that this was the direction of developing.
    • getting back to the community multiple drafts in the course of a year.
  • Not aware of the differences between the draft guidelines written by the LWG and the current board version.
  • There has always been a delta between how far the LWG can get the ODbL and where we want to go with the ODbL.
  • Copyleft licencing in many cases created a situation where it actually weakens the underlying license.
  • LWG's principal role is to ensure that the guidelines do not take the original parts of the licence too far.
  • LWG's process is tying each segment of the guidelines to a specific provision in the license.
  • LWG's process took 18 months - it might take longer to provide advice on current board draft.
  • LWG was in the dark for a couple of months and then there is a new draft looking different from what has been worked on.
  • It is a lot easier just to re-license.

Question by Rory whether Michael was present during this meeting as a Facebook employee or an LWG member (the board did not invite LWG to the meeting).

  • Answer by Marc Prioleau that Michael is a Facebook employee, legal counsel, and since the meeting was going to be about attribution and was involved in the LWG, his input might be valuable.

Question by Rory whether Facebook has looked in the ODbL with their lawyers

  • Answer that they have looked at it internally and agreed that it is very unclear and would question anyone who says their legal counsel said that something definately means X and Y.
    • Comment by Paul that lawyers will always find risks involved. The more appropriate question is how do we use this with an acceptable level of risk.

Suggestion by Michael for Guillaume to be actively involved in the analysis of the guidelines.

On attribution expected by OSM and other open source communities

  • Other open source communities always focus on neutrality in ensuring that one source is not attributed at the expense of other sources.
  • By requiring attribution before all other sources, you are creating a second tier of attribution.

Facebook representative - Marc Prioleau

  • LWG working on attribution guideline for a long time and talking to a lot of people.
  • "Community feedback" is a vague term.
  • Companies need some certainty and this is an area that has not had certainty since the beginning of OSM.
    • Comment by Rory that by adding copyright OpenStreetMap on every map, then one is certainly within the guidelines.
  • Certainty also necessary on who is the right authority, if not the LWG.
  • We keep getting these arguments because the basic license isn't clear and if you want clarity then clarify the license because otherwise you'll get lots of interpretation.

Related to attribution on screens

  • Dates back to Navteq.
  • Not common across most open sources.
  • Legacy. Does not contemplate mobile screens, wearable and AR screens.
  • Facebook has maps on over 200 surfaces - long complex process to change attribution.
  • Facebook in contact with LWG and looking at what other corporations do.

On board overriding working groups


  • Tradition of not doing it, if not necessary.
  • Has been on receiving side - unpleasant and dissolves good will of volunteers.


  • The board philosophically has no interest in overriding/overruling the working groups.

Final thoughts by board members

Contrasting the product of the LWG with the feedback from the broader community.

On current board draft

  • Tweaked the document trying to make it more acceptable.
  • Introduction made clearer to non-lawyers.
  • Some things moved and generated a lot of red lines on the diff.
  • Getting feedback from LWG probably won't take 18 months.

Everyone asked to look at the current version of the document. (document as on 2020-06-22).

Next meeting

  • In 6 weeks. Topic to be determined.