Licensing Working Group/Minutes/2020-02-13

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

OpenStreetMap Foundation, Licensing Working Group - Agenda & Minutes
Thursday February 13th 2020, 20:00 - 21:00 UTC



  • Nuno Caldeira
  • Simon Poole
  • Kathleen Lu
  • Michael Cheng
  • Jim Vidano (sound problems, disconnected)

Guests: Guillaume Rischard



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”.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 2019-07-11 Kathleen to draft one-line attribution statement for the Tile Licence and get feedback from the LWG.
  • 2019-08-08 Simon to seek legal advice on potential GDPR/privacy issues with a no-deal Brexit.
  • 2019-10-10 Simon draft letter to board wrt PD checkbox.
  • 2019-12-12 Simon to discuss trademark registration strategy (more countries, additional classes, etc) with lawdit
  • 2019-12-12 Simon to get back to Uni Heidelberg wrt track issue
  • 2020-01-09 Simon to include text about downstream produced works to the FAQ.
  • 2020-01-09 Kathleen to produce 1-2 sentences about tile licence, to be included on copyright page.
  • 2020-01-09 Simon to give feedback to the board that we are thinking of adding a section to the attribution guideline and that we don't have a consensus right now.
  • 2020-02-13 Simon to finalise attribution document, wikify it and ask for community feedback and if no substantial objection forward it to board.


Introductions by Guillaume Rischard and LWG members

Guillaume Rischard will be joining the LWG as the board liaison.

  • Simon Poole - Contributor, previously OSMF board director, Vespucci main dev.
  • Guillaume Rischard - OSMF board director.
  • Kathleen Lu - Working at Mapbox.
  • Nuno Caldeira - Contributor interested in attribution.
  • Michael Cheng - Working at Facebook, open-source engagement.
  • Jim Vidano - Working at Telenav.

Attribution guideline

  • Mobile devices not defined anywhere.
  • Request from board to use more prescriptive language where possible.
  • 1-user interaction: suggestion from a company to have a side swipe for this, as this is what users are expecting. Maybe add a note to that effect.
  • Add section on direct and indirect publishing on social media.

Changes: “should” to “must” where possible, added text as suggested above.

Previous version as sent to the board

Reason for having this section: The user interaction might be different with webpages.

Points mentioned during discussion

  • Text size on mobile devices can be changed by users for accessibility reasons.
  • Underlying assumption of good faith implementation. Otherwise we would need to be very specific and we would be creating extra rules which are not in the licence.
  • One of the problems of ODbL is that it's not geodata/geo-application specific. Try to stay close to licence as possible and be pragmatic and practical about what it means for consumers of OSM data.
  • "Reasonably calculated" (phrase from ODbL) is vague and has to be defined.
  • Having attribution with no interaction at all is not a mandate by the ODbL.
  • Not in safe harbor of guidelines if attribution is hidden after multiple steps.

Remove the section on mobile devices and if attribution in normal font of device takes up more than 50% of the width of the map, only then put it behind a click.
# Rejected as a restructuring of the document would increase time for its finalisation.

On social media

  • Not discussed before and no community feedback.
  • As a lot of these social media sites are reactive, you don't know if the image you're posting will be a thumbnail or larger.
  • Try to form people: "If you can influence how a thumbnail is going to be on certain social media, you should have attribution on thumbnail as well".


  • Take out the section publishing on social media, send final draft for community feedback.
  • Make new document for social media addendum and send it out to community for feedback.

Action item: Simon to finalise document, wikify and ask for community feedback and if no substantial objection forward it to board.

Discussion with Mateusz Konieczny


Deferred for when Mateusz will be present.

Points mentioned during discussion

  • Website of registrar is in Chinese.
  • Unknown if registered by domain squatter (likely, as most .xyz domains) or community member.
  • Repo domain resolution will cost us ~ USD 10,000.

Decision: keep an eye on domain content.

Any Other Business

FOSS policy related - Use of OSMF Google hosted documents by LWG

Question by Guillaume Rischard

  • LWG is using OSMF (Google hosted) documents.
  • Suggestion by Simon 8 years ago to board to not marry to Google.
  • Many documents in Gdrive owned by individual inactive ex board members.
  • Grant Slater (OWG) has to make export of whole drive.

Plan for 2020

Once attribution guidance has been accepted, decide what the LWG wants to achieve during the year.

Next Meeting

March 12th 2020 20:00 UTC on Mumble