Licensing Working Group/Minutes/2019-10-10

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

OpenStreetMap Foundation, Licensing Working Group - Agenda & Minutes
Thursday October 10th 2019, 20:00 - 21:00 UTC



  • Nuno Caldeira
  • Kathleen Lu
  • Simon Poole


  • Jim Vidano


  • Michael Cheng

Minutes by: Dorothea


Adoption of past Minutes

Previous Action Items

  • 2017-03-02 Simon to determine existing obligations towards sources listed on the copyright page.
  • 2017-05-04 All/Simon to review import guidelines wrt licence “approval”.
  • 2017-09-05 Simon to ask Lawdit for quotes for registering for the additional class suggested.
  • 2018-03-08 All to look at the Working Groups collecting personal information.
  • 2018-04-12 LWG to follow-up on the iD editor, as the number of changesets is now included on the changeset comments thread.
  • 2018-04-12 Simon to contact The LWG will allow use of domain name on the condition that if there's local group in the future, they will have to concede control to them and get agreement in writing, so that if domain expires it doesn't get squatted on.
  • 2018-05-10 Jim to sign the LWG NDA.
  • 2018-10-11 Simon to ask the board to contact the Working Groups about the NDA and ask people to sign up.
  • 2018-11-08 Simon to ask William to provide information about the Canadian OGL variants he is interested in, in a systematic format.
  • 2019-01-10 Simon to draft text to developers of apps related to geo/mapping, having OSM in their names or using variations of our logo.
  • 2019-02-14 Simon to summarise the advice regarding information requests from law enforcement and send it around.
  • 2019-04-11 Simon to add LWG past guidance which has not gone into the attribution page.
  • 2019-06-13 LWG members to look at mobile app attribution of other map providers.
  • 2019-07-11 Kathleen to draft one-line attribution statement for the Tile Licence and get feedback from the LWG.
  • 2019-07-11 Jim and Lucas to provide feedback on the Attribution Guidance.
  • 2019-08-08 Simon to talk to Christine about having a Birds of a Feather session at State of the Map.
  • 2019-08-08 Simon to seek legal advice on potential GDPR/privacy issues with a no-deal Brexit.
  • 2019-08-08 Simon to answer to the France transit data question that it is ok with us and that they are technical solutions that could avoid the issue to start with.
  • 2019-09-12 Simon to update the date on the Attribution Guidance draft.
  • 2019-09-12 Kathleen to talk to iD developers and see what they can implement as an iD internal based solution.

Attribution Guidance

ODbL License Compatibility sessions


5:34 Michael joined

Next step
Work on undisputed feedback (wording and framing of document).

Machine Learning


  • Get the opinion of an ML academic researcher on how much they would consider as a derivative a ML model trained with imagery and using OSM as labelling.
  • Provide one example of produced work and recommended attribution - "other use cases are under the subject of further discussion".

Multiple sources

Terms of multiple sources attribution seem to be the most problematic.

Add: "we understand that attributing multiple sources requires flexibility in format versus if a base map is only using OSM and we are working on it".

Word "contributors" in attribution

  • Suggestion during feedback to omit.
  • Weird in non English.

Copyright symbol

Origin goes back to map tiles and doesn't make sense in the context when we just supply the data.


  • Change attribution to "OpenStreetMap" or "map data from OpenStreetMap".
  • Add a sentence about the attribution of tiles.

Tile licence

Background by S.P: Proposal to use CC BY with waivers has resulted in an impasse, mainly due to the concern that this could be seen as signalling that the OSMF allows reverse engineering via the OSMF provided tile layer.

Suggestion: Consider tiles produced work under the Open Database License (ODbL).

Next step: Kathleen to update the tile section of the attribution draft.

PD Checkbox

See 2019-10 discussion on osmf-talk mailing list

Previous statement on 2013-06-25 LWG meeting (Gdoc)

  • ~ 2010 Addition of checkbox during sign-up procedure saying "I consider my contributions public domain".
  • Flag is not a public attribute that one can get through API.
  • The flag cannot be used in any meaningful way, except in the cases of 1) total licence change 2) OSMF making available a list of accounts with the flag 3) access to flag available through API.


  • Some people considered it as survey, while others legally binding.
  • Explanatory text was ambiguous.
  • ~ 2012, where for 1-2 years you had to mandatory tick it to get an account (2013 blogpost).
  • 2019: The flag seems that it was never saved in database (Please note, that there was a separate "agree to contributor terms" page, where it worked for ~ 3000 people).


  • Do surveys every 2-3 years to find what contributors think.
  • Add a tick-box in the account settings, to indicate preference of a more permissive licence (as alternative to surveys).
  • Set flag at fine-grained level (e.g. changesets).
  • Removal.
  • Change the text of the tick-box.

Action Item: Simon to draft suggestion to the board to remove the checkbox and lay out alternatives.

Any Other Business


Suggestion to use OTRS for case handling for legal-questions and potentially other inbound channels (trademarks, privacy)

  • Web interface.
  • Would be limited to external enquiries.
  • Used by the Membership and Data Working Groups.
  • Handing off issues is easier.

SotM quick licences

Suggested procedure:
Get ok from both LWG and State of the Map Working Group and then the board signs.

Next Meeting

November 14th 2019 20:00 UTC on Mumble