Licensing Working Group/Minutes/2021-04-08

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

OpenStreetMap Foundation, Licensing Working Group (LWG) - Agenda & Minutes
April 8th 2021, at 20:00 UTC


  • Kathleen Lu (chairing)
  • Dermot McNally
  • Jim Vidano
  • Severin Menard (guest)


  • Michael Cheng
  • Guillaume Rischard (OSMF board)

Minutes by Dorothea Kazazi


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 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.
  • 2021-01-14 Guillaume to report on Board status re identification of outside counsel
  • 2021-01-14 Dermot to share with the rest of the LWG a document with points from the comments on the current draft.
  • 2021-01-14 Kathleen to share questions to outside counsel
  • 2021-01-14 LWG to share their questions with outside counsel
  • 2021-02-11 Kathleen to check LWG-specific membership requirements on the OSMF website and CoI policy and provide to Dorothea any updates for the website.
  • 2021-02-11 Michael to ask Facebook trademark lawyer and confirm whether the co-existence agreement is part of the public file wrapper record by default and if there is a way to designate it to not be public.
  • 2021-03-11 Guillaume to sort out various email issues - Making sure Dermot is on the main legal mailing issue, making sure everyone is getting OTRS email notifications for the legal queue.

Vote on membership of Tom Hummel

Tom Hummel has applied to become a member of the Licensing Working Group (LWG).

Decision: Voting via circular.

Guest - Severin - continued from last month

Séverin Ménard has applied to become a member of the Licensing Working Group (LWG).

Past LWG discussion: 2021 Mar

Discussion about expulsion from HOT on grounds of breaking confidentiality.

Points mentioned by Severin

  • Was a minority on vision of HOT and language. Struggle to have meetings with people who were hostile.
  • Struggled - complicated on personal matters..
  • Differences on views how the NGO would be run.
  • Could not remember if he had to sign an NDA with HOT - offered to look into it, if LWG wanted to.

HOT confidentiality case, as relayed by Severin

  • There was a complaint to the HOT board about a person and there would be a HOT board decision about the person, without the person who was accused knowing about the accusation.
  • Severin disclosed the information because he didn't feel the information should be kept confidential and the person would not be able to defend his case.
  • It was not an accidental disclosure.

Suggestion by Severin to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

Other points mentioned by Severin

  • HOT-related complaints about Severin regarding handling the results of an election.
  • Expulsion of Severin with proxies of up to 15 people.
  • Personal concerns afterwards on putting the majority of HOT members on the OSMF board.
  • Difference between a Working Group like LWG and an NGO.
    • Comment that LWG deals with attorney-client, privileged information all the time.
  • HOT has improved on these matters.

Points mentioned by LWG

  • Not comfortable with a member of LWG deciding on their own what can and can't be disclosed.
  • It depends on how objectively set out the HOT agreement is.
  • Key issue is awareness of the violation of the confidentiality policy.
  • Different interpretations could be discussed at a meeting, but not comfortable on someone unilaterally deciding that the majority of the group is wrong in their interpretation.
  • It's important that everyone feel free to express their opinions and that's done in a confidential manner to encourage that kind of interaction.
  • There are probably checks and balances in OSMF to cover if a violation occurred.
    • For cases happening in Working Groups (WGs), appeal to the board mentioned.
    • For cases happening in the board, it is a difficult situation.
  • If you sign an non-disclosure agreement, you cannot decide subjectively when it applies and when it does not.
  • See a difference between the situations in that the nature of the material is a bit different and most things that LWG handles are not as personalised.

Decision: Voting via circular.


Jim - Privacy policy update status

Jim Vidano's (LWG) action item: updating the privacy policy in relation to OSMF's use of a commercial Content Delivery Network.

No update.

LWG Conflict of Interest (CoI) policy

The Licensing Working Group is working on a draft LWG Conflict of Interest (CoI) policy, based on the board one, adapted from examples of the LWG's past.

No additional comments.

Action item: Dorothea to update the website with Kathleen’s text on LWG conflict of interest policy.

Trademarks - HOT, OHM, GeOSM

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT)

OSMF is currently talking with Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) and is working on a draft agreement regarding granting rights to HOT for the use of OSMF marks.

Related board discussions/circulars:

  • Board met to answer questions from outside counsel.
  • Kathleen continuing to liaise with outside counsel to produce a draft.

OpenHistoricalMap (OHM)

OpenHistoricalMap, a long-time project based on OSM, requested a formal trademark agreement. OpenHistoricalMap is grandfathered under the Trademark Policy.

Past LWG discussion: 2021 Feb

Done. The board has approved trademark agreement with OpenHistoricalMap.


OTRS (originally Open-Source Ticket Request System) is an issue/ticket tracker used by several OSMF Working Groups. The LWG uses it, for example, to handle email enquiries received on the email address legal-questions@osmfoundationorg.

Past LWG discussion: 2021 Mar

Does everyone have access?

  • Michael has some issues.
  • Dermot does not seem to have access - might need set-up with a new email address.

All the ones in the privacy queue are about closing accounts - How to confirm OWG is handling these?

  • Intention to ask Guillaume for input.

Requests for permission

What to do about requests for permission [to include OSM-based images in scientific articles], e.g. from PLOS?

Action item: Dermot to ping Guillaume, so that the LWG can digitally sign e.g. requests for permission from PLOS.

Guillaume - Board hiring of outside counsel - status update?


Any other business

Question sent to legal list about Argentina data

  • Argentina has a law for open access to government data (public and free).
  • There is government data licenced under CCBY.
  • Argentinian community member thinks that the Argentinian law takes precedence over the CCBY licence and restrictions of CCBY do not apply, thus they do not need the CCBY waiver signed by a government office to use data in OSM. They have sent a translation of the law.


  • Official document is in Spanish (unofficial translation sent to LWG).
  • Intersection of CCBY with Argentinian law.

Could the law be re-written and have retrospective side effects?

  • If it happens, it will probably apply for future data releases.

Points mentioned

  • There is already attribution on our website for this governmental agency (presumably for a different dataset).
  • It might be difficult to get a waiver signed from the government.
  • Law sounds like general public domain stature.
  • As no native Spanish speakers in LWG, can't vouch for the translation.
  • Assumption that the local mappers would care about any consequences.


Potential answer:
"Assuming the translation is accurate, the LWG would view this data as equivalent to public domain data. However, as no LWG member is speaking Spanish, they can't vouch for the translation, nor confirm that none of the exceptions or limitations apply."

Action item: Kathleen to reply to question sent to legal list about Argentina data.

OpenSnowMap trademark inquiry

Action item: Kathleen to ask OpenSnowMap to fill out the quick licence template and forward it to the board for counter signature.

Next Meeting

13 May 2021 20:00 UTC on BigBlueButton