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Board and Licensing Working Group discussion on draft attribution guidelines

Location: Video room
using BigBlueButton.

Please note that this video chat is not open to observers.

Date and time: Tuesday 1st of June 2021, 17:00 UTC


Board members

  • Allan Mustard (Chairing)
  • Eugene Alvin Villar
  • Guillaume Rischard (joined ~ 30' after start)
  • Jean-Marc Liotier
  • Mikel Maron
  • Rory McCann
  • Tobias Knerr

Officers and board, Biographies

Licensing Working Group members

  • Kathleen Lu
  • Dermot McNally
  • Jim Vidano
  • Michael Cheng (left ~ 30' after start)
  • Tom Hummel

Licensing Working Group

Not Present


Not open to observers.

Draft attribution guidelines

Agenda points for discussion, as supplied by the Licensing Working Group (LWG)

Please note that the agenda points below refer to the current version of the draft attribution guidelines, which is neither of the 2 versions currently found on the OSM wiki (1, 2).

  • The Attribution Guidelines as previously drafted were internally inconsistent, especially because much of it was written before the Board expressed its views as reflected in your response to the gap list. Before the Board expressed it's consensus we, LWG did not make special attempts to harmonize the document as a whole because there appeared to be disagreement among individual board members as to the direction of the document, and we expected that further discussion on the Board and guidance from outside counsel would provide clarity and avoid wasted effort. Thus, the particular phrasing in the draft now requires harmonization based on the Board's answers re the gap list. We've made a round to edits to try to address this, particularly:
    • Framing introduction to be about what OSMF views is a safe harbor, rather than legal analysis
    • "Safe harbor principles" is inconsistent "must" language. "Must" language indicates specific requirements, not principles.
    • So much has been deleted from the "other info" section that the heading no longer matches in the content of the section. This section lays out the problem (together, attribution to multiple sources and non-attribution info can take up far more space than is available in a UI), but provides no solution or guidance, aside from a minor issue driven by trademark concerns. This section's heading should thus state that it concerns trademark instead of being misleading on the scope covered in it.
  • Separately, LWG has identified an overarching issue to discuss. Per Kyle's* email, what leverage does OSMF actually have, and how does that impact OSMF's overall strategy for communications about adherence, enforcement, and who should be taking action (OSMF vs individual contributors)?

* (lawyer contacted to provide legal advice on Open Database License)

Draft notes pending.

Decisions and next steps:

  • by 5 June: Dermot McNally (Licensing Working Group - LWG) to make a clean copy of the draft attribution guidelines document and produce version 0.9, incorporating the changes discussed during this meeting.
  • Dermot to circulate version 0.9 to LWG and board.
  • by 11 June 14:00 UTC: Comments by LWG and board members to be shared with the board.
  • 11 June: Board members to review version 0.9 and the comments during their mid-month chat.
  • 25 June: If no obstacles, new version to be voted during the June public board meeting (Countdown).

Discussion ended ~ 42' after start.