Licensing Working Group/Minutes/2020-12-10

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

OpenStreetMap Foundation, Licensing Working Group - Agenda & Minutes
December 10th 2020, at 20:00 UTC


  • Kathleen Lu (chairing)
  • Dermot McNally
  • Jim Vidano
  • Michael Cheng


  • Edward Bainton
  • Mateusz Konieczny
  • Guillaume Rischard (OSMF board)
  • Rory McCann (OSMF board)


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 with regards to 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.
  • 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
  • 2020-01-09 Simon to include text about downstream produced works to the FAQ.
  • 2020-03-12 Simon to send to Mateusz the link with the research by Kathleen on attribution on various apps.
  • 2020-09-10 Simon to set-up call with Kathleen and our UK lawyer about trademarks.
  • 2020-10-08 Jim to work on updating the privacy policy in relation to OSMF's use of a commercial CDN, and Kathleen will have a look at it.
  • 2020-10-08 Simon and Guillaume to look at the translation issue of the copyright policy page.
  • 2020-10-08 Simon to send his Moovit contact to Guillaume.
  • 2020-10-08 Simon to send a summary of which action items need to be done.
  • 2020-12-10 Guillaume to send November minutes to Dorothea.
  • 2020-12-10 Guillaume to update wiki with BigBlueButton link.
  • 2020-12-10 Guillaume to send the action items from the board to the LWG mailing list.
  • 2020-12-10 Dermot to share with the rest of the LWG a document with points from the comments on the current draft.
  • 2020-12-10 Guillaume to provide board's answer on next steps for draft attribution guidelines and information on timing.
  • 2020-12-10 Kathleen to email Willy Franck about GeOSM.
  • 2020-12-10 LWG members to send nominations about the Software Dispute Resolution panel to the internal LWG mailing list by end of next week, with a couple of sentences on the reasons for each nomination.

Introductions of guests


  • UK
  • Teacher
  • Small charity trustee - involved in legislation
  • Casual mapper


  • Active in OSM.
  • Attempt to have attribution visible in more places.
  • Comments in mailing list - happy for feedback if something said was wrong.


1. Logistics - Permanent link to BBB

2. Guillaume - Update re Dorothea’s status and when she can finalize November minutes
Link to November recording supplied on 2020-12-10 (day of this meeting).

3. Kathleen - OpenBusinessMap update (discussed after non-board guests left)
Discussion was not publicly minuted after request.

4. Kathleen - Japan Trademark transfer (discussed after non-board guests left)
Discussion was not publicly minuted after request.

5. Jim - Privacy policy update

  • Jim reviewed it and went through most of the comments sent by Paul Norman.
  • Will try to complete revisions in 3-4 working days and circulate the document back.

6. Attribution Guidelines
Awaiting further guidance from Board Chair.

  • The board wants to publish the current attribution draft, with changes and open points.
  • LWG was asked to provide a summary of points from the document that are considered open. Dermot agreed to present that report.
  • The board will then work with counsel to find the most favourable solutions to these issues.

Action items

  • Guillaume to send the action items from the board to the LWG mailing list.
  • Dermot will share with the rest of the LWG a document with points from the comments on the current draft.
  • Guillaume asked to provide the board's answer on next steps and timing.

Does the board want to tie the attribution guidelines to the Open Database License (ODbL)?

  • We can take two angles:
    • Interpreting our understanding of the licence, encouraging people to look at it the same way
    • Not commenting on the licence, but providing our recommendations.
  • Guidelines have to be consistent with the licence and we have the option to indicate the preference to go beyond the licence. Examples of RFC documents mentioned, with well established meanings of words such as "should", "must" and "may".
  • Not be overly specific.

For each section/sentence specify if it is a minimum of the law or the preference of the board.

Open question
How much specificity and how many use cases will be discussed in the guidelines.

  • For some circumstances there may not be a difference.
  • The board can be silent about specific use cases.
  • What the licence allows us to do is not enough. There is a certain intentionality in conflating the two to some extent. It creates more negotiating leverage.
  • If we say "here's what we think the licence means".

Comments by guests Edward

  • OSMF needs to be careful so that guidance is not read as commentary to the licence.
  • Guidance can become part of the licence and unwittingly undo parts of the licence.
  • Should be clear that "our interpretation of the licence is as follows".


  • Had came across cases where
    • people wanted to follow the licence and where unsure what they needed to do. "If you show attribution, your use of our unmodified data is 100% ok".
    • people were not sure if only attributing was sufficient.
  • Giving very specific examples may run into problems with some use cases.

It was mentioned that guests can become regular members if they sign the non-disclosure agreement.

Agenda items

Kathleen - OpenHistoricalMap vs OpenHistoryMap trademark issues

  • OpenHistoricalMap, run by Jeff Meyer. Covered by our grandfathering policy, as it was created around 2012.
  • OpenHistoryMap: mainly github repo (also related conference papers), operated by people in France. Created probably ~ 2014. OpenHistoryMap sent cease and desist email to OpenHistoricalMap. OpenHistoricalMap in reaction, decided to go and file a trademark.

Sign coexistence agreement with OpenHistoricalMap, acknowledging:

  • that OSMF consents to the use of their name, as long as the project is based on OSM and
  • that they won't engage in any enforcement activities, without OSMF's consent.

Other comments during discussion

  • Operator of OpenHistoryMap hasn't been in further communication. Initial communication months ago.
  • We probably don't need outside counsel and won't cost OSMF anything (the co-existence agreement will be drafted by the OpenHistoricalMap's attorney, to be reviewed by the LWG).

Kathleen - GeOSM trademark matter

  • Run by Willy Franck.
  • Complaint sent to Data Working Group (DWG) about the project name.
  • Not entirely clear what the nature of the project is (company/data warehouse?).

Action item: Kathleen to email Willy.

Nominations to the Software Dispute Resolution Panel

  • OSMF is sponsoring the development of software (iD editor) and sometimes disputes arise regarding what the editor should do.
  • The board does not want to be the decision maker, that's why the Software Dispute Resolution Panel was proposed.
  • No expectation to choose between commercial actors at this moment.

On nominations

  • The board will select individuals from those nominated from the various working groups.
  • There's no limit on the number of submitted names.
  • *Names submitted from the community can also be considered for nominations.
  • Once nominations are done, the working groups won't be involved any more.
  • No deadline specified.

Is the LWG comfortable with nominating members?
Yes - no objections. Guillaume abstained.

Suggested names

  • Minh Nguyen (tagging, import work and clean-up on TIGER data, iD editor contributor) - he's willing to serve.
  • Wille Marchel (runs OSMCHA).

Should the LWG be looking for nominees with legal knowledge?

  • The Software Dispute Resolution Panel will primarily deal with logistical and practical issues.
  • The type of situation requiring legal expertise is rare and the panel could call the LWG if such a case comes up. Kathleen consulted on that issue with the privacy policy of iD editor.

Action item: LWG members asked to send nominations to LWG mailing list by end of next week, with a couple of sentences on the reasons for each nomination.

Any other business

Next Meeting

14 January 2021 20:00 UTC on BigBlueButton