Licensing Working Group/Minutes/2020-09-10

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

OpenStreetMap Foundation, Licensing Working Group - Agenda & Minutes
Thursday September 10th 2020, 20:00 - 21:00 UTC


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



  • Jim Vidano

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”.
  • 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.
  • 2020-05-14 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.
  • 2019-08-13 Simon to email Queensland authorities about CC BY 4.0 Permission.
  • 2020-08-13 Guillaume to provide a red-lined version of the attribution guideline to LWG.
  • 2020-08-13 Guillaume to ask the board if they will share outside counsel on the attribution guideline with the LWG.
  • 2020-09-10 Guillaume to check the Moovit app on his iPhone for attribution.
  • 2020-09-10 Guillaume to ask the board and Secretary about Dorothea triaging incoming enquiries.
  • 2020-09-10 Simon to set-up call with Kathleen and our UK lawyer about trademarks.


Draft attribution guidelines

Related to the LWG request to get access to the advice by the pro-bono OSMF lawyer.

The board realised that it doesn't have signed Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) by most LWG members. They only have old ones (prior to the 2018 approved version) by Simon and former LWG members.

  • Digital signatures would be ok.

Dorothea to send NDA template to LWG.


  • Simon had contacted their counsel.
  • Moovit had promised to improve attribution on September release and they have.
  • App does multimodal routing.

Android Moovit app

  • They have improved the attribution.

iOS Moovit app

  • They use OSM for navigation.
  • There seems to still be a problem (Guillaume couldn't find the attribution).
  • Last update: just says 2020. Some app publishers had updated version 4 days ago.

Action item: Simon to check the Moovit app on his iPhone for attribution.


  • Sui generis database rights extend for 15 years and then expire.
  • If there is a substantial change to the database, that can be restarted but unclear if that would apply to old versions of the database.
  • At the end of year we won't be losing database rights immediately.

We should have some kind of doctrine on how often we consider to be a new database. # Currently adding new objects (not edited) 15-10% / year (decreasing as the database is getting larger).

Other points mentioned

  • If similar to copyright law: Anything older than 15 years would not be covered if separated by newer content.
  • GDPR might be affected on whether there will be a deal or no-deal Brexit (likely outcome).

Discussion on usefulness of 15 years old data

  • Might still be useful (lists of streets and addresses were mentioned).
  • 2012 data not useless compared to 2005.
  • Roads change much slower, compared to POIs.

Is there any worth for someone to use 15 year old data compared to current OSM data just to get around the licence..?


  • We never said we only rely on sui generis database rights.
  • Creative component (UK sweat of the brow doctrine).
  • Is not draconian (main requirement is attribution).

Guillaume has started looking at relocation experts for OSMF.

Handover Simon

  • Trademarks (in progress -> Kathleen)
  • Incoming inquiries to legal-questions (in progress -> all)
  • Law enforcement contact (board?)
  • Admin (meetings, Dorothea?)
  • Everyone in LWG has an OTRS account now - Simon sent tips.
  • New Chairperson needs to be determined.
  • Simon will be available for questions, if needed. (Other people: Michael Collinson did a lot of work for LWG and licence change and is also around. Dermot McNally as well).

Action items

  • Guillaume to ask the board and Secretary about Dorothea triaging incoming enquiries.
  • Simon to set-up a call with Kathleen and our UK lawyer about trademarks.


  • Law enforcement to be dealt by the board (3 cases in past years, of which 2 were faxes sent to our registered address).
  • Triage of incoming enquiries suggested to be done by Dorothea. Requires Secretary and Board approval.
  • Agenda: suggestion to be set by new Chairperson or Dorothea.
  • Motivate more members to join the LWG.
  • Get lawyer advice on potential OSMF relocation.
  • Get lawyers to join LWG, requiring them to offer a specific number of hours to OSMF.
  • Get paid counsel for external enquiries (you can't have OSMF lawyer counseling external people, so role separation would be needed).
    • Money can only be spent once and lawyers are not cheap.
    • Increase the amount of Corporate Memberships or add top tiers (Linux Foundation max USD 500K, OSMF 20K).
    • Set up OSMF endowment fund.
    • Get tax-free status.
    • Get 501c status to get donations from US organisations.

Any other business

ODbL weaknesses

Discussion at the start of the meeting on preparation of document outlining possible weaknesses of ODbL (mentioned briefly during last meeting).

  • Not a formal request by the board.
  • It would be a lot of work.

Next Meeting

October 8th 2020 20:00 UTC on Mumble