Licensing Working Group/Minutes/2020-07-09

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

OpenStreetMap Foundation, Licensing Working Group - Agenda & Minutes
Thursday July 9th 2020, 20:00 - 21:00 UTC

Draft minutes.


  • Simon Poole (chairing)
  • Kathleen Lu
  • Guillaume Rischard
  • Michael Cheng



  • Jim Vidano


Adoption of past Minutes

Previous Action Items

  • 2017-03-02 Simon determine existing obligations towards sources listed on the copyright page.
  • 2017-05-04 All/Simon review import guidelines wrt licence “approval”.
  • 2018-03-08 All 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.
  • 2018-05-10 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.
  • 2019-12-12 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.
  • 2020-03-12 Simon to send to Mateusz the link with the research by Kathleen on attribution on various apps.
  • 2020-03-12 Guillaume to talk to the board and get back to the LWG after the board's screen to screen meeting. Suggested feedback to include if the LWG should continue with the attribution guidance in some form as it is now.
  • 2020-04-09 Guillaume to contact Safer about OpenFricheMap.
  • 2020-05-14 Simon to create a spreadsheet of top level country domains with info about whether registered by OSMF or not.
  • 2020-06-11 Simon to send email to Moovit to follow-up.
  • 2020-06-11 Simon to create pull request to update [Topic: Tile licence change]
  • 2020-06-11 Simon to replace the following sentence on the FAQ: "Note that the map tiles we serve continue to be published under the CC-BY-SA license" with language from LWG attribution guideline draft. [Topic: Tile licence change]
  • 2020-06-11 Simon to delete text on [Topic: Tile licence change]
  • 2020-06-11 Simon to add a new answer to pointing out that the list is outdated and of historic interest only and point to the copyright page and the blogpost for current status of the tile licence.


Review Board Attribution Guidance

The Licensing Working Group (LWG) had written a draft attribution guideline, which is currently being edited by the board.

Attribution guidance related LWG minutes:

Attribution related board minutes:

OSMF members related discussions:

  • Attribution guideline status update: 2019 Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
  • Attribution: board letter to Facebook: 2019 Oct, Nov

Summary of board version by Guillaume

Major changes

  • Make attribution disappear after interaction.
  • More explanations added on why attribution is important.


  • Intended to provide a technically feasible safe harbor and also best practices, socially and ethically expected by the OSM community.
  • Not intended to be the minimum requirements.

Background: The board had an online meeting with four of the six Corporate Members of the Advisory Board about attribution.

  • Michael Cheng (Facebook) relayed that Marc Prioleau (Facebook) took an issue with the process of the guideline review, as he was under the impression that the corporate Advisory Board (AB) or other members such as himself would have an opportunity to weigh in during the deliberation process, while now he hasn't seen the draft and it has gone back to LWG. Also mentioned that when it comes to Facebook's participation in these kinds of groups, Facebook participants are persistent in ensuring that process is followed.
  • Guillaume confirmed that he had promised to consult and it was his mistake but he did not have time to follow up before the scheduled meeting with the AB Corporate Members.

On the interactive map section of the draft attribution guidance (board version)

Feedback that the ODbL says (please see below) that there is an obligation is to make people aware, so there is probably no basis for requiring that the person be notified every time they open an app/device/website if they have opened it before. Comments:

  • We require attribution on the map to be shown every time.
  • Doesn't seem disproportionate.
  • Guidance is not intended to be minimum but best practise.
4.3  Notice for using output (Contents). Creating and Using a Produced Work  does not require the notice in Section 4.2. However, if you Publicly Use  a Produced Work, You must include a notice associated with the Produced  Work reasonably calculated to make any Person that uses, views,  accesses, interacts with, or is otherwise exposed to the Produced Work  aware that Content was obtained from the Database, Derivative Database,  or the Database as part of a Collective Database, and that it is  available under this License.

If we want to clearly draw a distinction between people that have no attribution, split guidance in 2 parts:

  • Clearly unacceptable.
  • Best practices.

Audiences for document

  • Users of map data
  • The community - setting expectations right. Need to convey that we ask for this but if not provided, please do not go after them.

Other points mentioned during discussion

On the intention to do another round of public comment

  • Hope that the changes will address the biggest objections in the previous round.
  • If the LWG feedback is that nothing stupid is in the guidelines, they will be released for community feedback.

On enforcement

  • LWG always tried to enforce licence, via direct communication. Most reasonable enforcement involves talking to the companies and exerting some pressure.
  • Potential issues on legal route: getting a bad judgement and very expensive process.
  • Scaling issue - unmanageable without the community who provides low level enforcement (~10% of Wikimedia Foundation’s budget goes to legal).
  • Recent German case (with is an exception.

Example provided from old guidance, where the text said "provide attribution in the lower right corner of an online map" and the community took it verbatim and went after people who put the attribution under the image or used a very small excerpt of data or on transformative works.

Regular report showing successes.

Action item:
LWG members to send feedback to Guillaume and discuss the topic at the next LWG meeting.

Conflict of Interest Guideline for Working Groups

Related to takeover protections.

The following Conflict of Interest Policy (history link) was adopted by the board on 2020-05-08. At the moment, this only applies to the board. The board has subsequently contacted the Working Groups mentioning that they have been considering whether similar principles make sense for other OSMF bodies, including working groups and special committees and asking for input on:

  • Should there be a CoI policy for these groups, including yours?
  • What changes would have to be made compared to the board's CoI policy to make it suitable for that purpose?

Past board discussions related to CoI:

Points mentioned during discussion

  • Non-issue for the LWG in its current makeup, because all the professional legal experts on the LWG are completely aware of this issue.
  • LWG not under any legal obligation to follow guideline.
  • British law and ethics governing ethical behaviour probably non identical.
  • In its current form the CoI guideline is not really relevant.

Non legal introduction about motivation added to the text.

The topic will probably get discussed during the next LWG meeting.
Michael had to leave ~ 56' after start.

Any Other Business

Kathleen was on the call, trying to get clarity what the actual blockers to a potential settlement were.

Points mentioned

  • Scope of power of Attorney - they can tell us what they want and OSMF board can add that language.
  • Attorney fees - if we litigate that will cost more money.
  • Paper maps - whether the other side would be willing to add attribution to future printing on paper maps.

They asked for 9 months to put stickers on 80 signposts.

Announcement Simon

On November 2020 Simon will be on the LWG for 10 years and will be stepping down.

Points mentioned

  • Not related to attribution guideline.
  • Handover of items over the next meetings.

Next Meeting

August 13th 2020 20:00 UTC on Mumble