Licensing Working Group/Minutes/2021-08-12

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

OpenStreetMap Foundation, Licensing Working Group (LWG) - Agenda & Minutes
August 12th 2021, at 20:00 UTC


  • Dermot McNally (Chairing)
  • Tom Hummel
  • Guillaume Rischard (OSMF board)

Not present

  • Michael Cheng
  • Jim Vidano
  • Kathleen Lu (on leave)

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.
  • 2021-01-14 Guillaume to report on Board status re identification of outside counsel
  • 2021-02-11 Kathleen to check LWG-specific membership requirements on the OSMF website and Conflict of Interest policy and provide to Dorothea any updates for the website.
  • 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.
  • 2021-04-08 Dermot to ping Guillaume, so that the LWG can digitally sign e.g. requests for permission from PLOS.
  • 2021-07-08 Guillaume to meet with Dermot about using OTRS.
  • 2021-07-08 Dermot to email the board and raise framing context of HOT draft trademark agreement to get better guidance.
  • 2021-07-08 LWG members to provide comment on the HOT draft trademark agreement on the next meeting.
  • 2021-07-08 Tom to reply to the gdpr_openstreepmap.org_tsfkd@ email.
  • 2021-07-08 Dorothea to add trademark request to the agenda of the next mid-month board chat, as it has not been approved by the board yet.
  • 2021-07-08 Jim to look at next steps for paperwork after the trademark request has been approved by the board.
  • 2021-07-08 Tom and Jim to participate in the EU Data Act meeting.
  • 2021-07-08 Dermot to publish the approved attribution guidelines on the OSMF website (webpage and linked document).
  • 2021-07-08 Dermot to ask Tobias for expected outcome regarding the request for change of the text of the standard tile license.
  • 2021-07-08 Dermot to add the License waiver and permission templates documents to the OSMF website (they're currently on Google drive).
  • 2021-07-08 Guillaume to ask Simon for more information regarding his question if our trademark was converted to an UK trademark, and is the EU one is still valid
  • 2021-07-08 Dorothea to send trademark spreadsheet to Tom.
  • 2021-07-08 LWG to decide by Tuesday if the trademark notification needs any action.

Check OTRS tickets

  • OTRS layout does not show the full list of tickets on a single page.

Suggestion: LWG meeting or coordination on Signal messenger to clear them.

HOT draft trademark agreement

(carried over from previous meeting)

  • Kathleen did the bulk of work on this and the related correspondence.
  • Do not feel that we can advance this topic.
  • Consensus in past LWG meeting that it was not clear what OSMF is getting from the agreement - that has not been communicated back to the OSMF board.


  • There's a draft from Kathleen
  • LWG got questions from the OSMF board
  • LWG has a question to the board regarding the motivation/objectives.

Suggestion: Guillaume to communicate back to the board the LWG question regarding the motivation/objectives of the agreement for OSMF.

Comments on Ticket#2021070510000171 - Tom

Ticket#2021070510000171 on deletion of personal data.

Points mentioned

  • GDPR points identified.
  • Reply has not been sent by Tom yet.

Plan: Tom to create a template answer on deletion of personal data for future use.

Simon wrote opinion piece on GDPR policy for OSMF - he’s not clear whether we should ask for consent on storing the personal data.or we should store it for legal reasons (legitimate interest).


  • Tom Hummel to talk with Tom Hughes, who is in charge of deletion of OSM accounts, and suggest the use of the template answer.
  • Public document should be geared towards legitimate interest legal reason. We should publish our legal interests. * Add template reply on OTRS. Templates can't be added by Guillaume.

Action item: Tom Hummel to suggest text to be published regarding OSMF's legitimate interest in processing personal data. 

Attribution requirements for OSMF Tiles

(email from Tobias Knerr)

  • Creative work going into the cartographic style we're using.
  • Any styled map is a creative work and if you want to protect it, you won't be able to protect it under ODbL. 

On licences:

  • Licence of tiles (generated using the OSM-carto style): was CCBYSA and changed to CC0.
  • Licence of OSM-carto (default style on is CC0. 

There's no legal requirement for OSMF to have additional  attrubution on tiles besides ODbL.

Community could be happy for simplification of tile licensing.

Any case law?
- In Germany: Tracing map features from printed map. Different levels of courts had different decisions on whether copyright could exist.

Suggestion: Not insist on anything besides the attribution.

Action items:

On translations

  • Potential problem with translations of the text.
  • Text goes to Translatewiki.
  • Suggestion: Process to regularly check translated texts. OSMF could help.

Report from EU Data Act meeting (Tom & Jim)

Simon Poole (past LWG chairperson) was also present at the meeting and made some good points.

  • Exploratory meeting.
  • People who work on it are aware of the general impact.
  • Our presence was a good sign.

Author of document:
Europeans want to uphold the Database Directive but the US do not or have plan to do so, putting the EU entities at a disadvantage.

US vs EU copyright law:
Different protection (in US a collection has to have some originality).

Potential issue EU databases could be open to exploitation by organisations based outside of the EU. In theory, multinational corporations once they start dealing with the EU, they could be sued.

  • Some of the companies will focus on Asian markets and will never deal with the EU.

Provisional: Japanese trademark process stalled?

Kathleen commented that Lawdit should know about it.

Action items: Tom to ping Lawdit.

Change to Australian data attribution text: LWG being consulted

(email and OTRS #2021073010000042)

If the licensor can demand the licensee to change the attribution to any trade-name the licensor has or takes hold-of and can they do it under CCBY licence?

Legal precedence
OS: they gave us data and waivers to clarify the issue of the licence.

Points mentioned

  • We don't know whether the tradenames they provided are valid or not.
  • The licence can't be revoked.
  • We might still be using the data. It's probably a legit request.
  • We also have to consider goodwill.

Points to consider

  • Are we obliged to do it, if we credit the way it was required at the time?
  • Partner relations: contacts are not new people but established relationships (otherwise someone could masquerade as being successors of an organisation).

Suggestion Waiver should be updated to reflect the name change, otherwise if we change the trade name we would be in violation of the waiver. -> Sign a new one.

Decision: happy to make the change and sign new waiver.

Action item: Dermot to communicate back to them and suggest filling the waiver template.

LWG role in approaching major data users about better compliance with attribution requirements

(email from Jean-Marc Liotier)


Trademark notices

Nothing noticeable.

Any Other Business

Email reply about contributor terms of use in German

The LWG has received an email from a German who created an account on but wanted the account closed, as he doesn't speak English and he wasn't comfortable without seeing the terms of use in German. The LWG has pointed him to an unofficial German translation of the contributor terms:

  • If you create an account on and the browser is set to prefer German, much of what you see will be in German but the English contributor terms are shown - - even if there is an unofficial translation available.
  • LWG could look for volunteer community members and software capable of translation.


The contributor terms are not the problem, the privacy policy is.

Suggestion: Get feedback from the board on diversity of language versions of text that the OSMF is agreeing to be bound by.

Action item: Identify OSMF legal texts that might be needed under German law to be in German.

Next Meeting

September 9th 2021 20:00 UTC on BigBlueButton video room.

The minutes will be at Licensing_Working_Group/Minutes/2021-09-09.