Licensing Working Group/Minutes/2022-05-12

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

OpenStreetMap Foundation, Licensing Working Group (LWG) - Agenda & Minutes
12 May 2022, 17:30 UTC


  • Kathleen Lu (Chairing)
  • Dermot McNally
  • Tom Hummel


  • Guillaume Rischard (OSMF board) (Apologies)
  • Simon Hughes (Apologies)

LWG member list
Minutes by Dorothea Kazazi


Adoption of past minutes

Previous action items

  • 2017-03-02 Simon Poole to determine existing obligations towards sources listed on the copyright page.
  • 2017-05-04 All/Simon Poole 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 Poole 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 Poole to summarise the advice regarding information requests from law enforcement and send it around.
  • 2019-12-12 Simon Poole to discuss trademark registration strategy (more countries, additional classes, etc) with lawdit
  • 2020-01-09 Simon Poole to include text about downstream produced works to the FAQ.
  • 2020-03-12 Simon Poole to send to Mateusz the link with the research by Kathleen Lu on attribution on various apps.
  • 2020-09-10 Simon Poole to set-up call with Kathleen Lu and our UK lawyer about trademarks.
  • 2020-10-08 Jim Vidano to work on updating the privacy policy in relation to OSMF's use of a commercial CDN, and Kathleen Lu will have a look at it.
  • 2020-10-08 Simon Poole and Guillaume Rischard to look at the translation issue of the copyright policy page.
  • 2020-10-08 Simon Poole to send his Moovit contact to Guillaume Rischard.
  • 2020-10-08 Simon Poole to send a summary of which action items need to be done.
  • 2021-01-14 Guillaume Rischard to report on Board status re identification of outside counsel
  • 2021-02-11 Kathleen Lu 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 Rischard to sort out various email issues - Making sure Dermot McNally is on the main legal mailing issue, making sure everyone is getting OTRS email notifications for the legal queue.
  • 2021-07-08 Guillaume Rischard to meet with Dermot McNally about using OTRS.
  • 2021-07-08 LWG members to provide comment on the HOT draft trademark agreement on the next meeting.
  • 2021-07-08 Jim Vidano to look at next steps for paperwork after the trademark request has been approved by the board.
  • 2021-07-08 Dermot McNally to ask Tobias for expected outcome regarding the request for change of the text of the standard tile license.
  • 2021-08-12 Tom Hummel to suggest text to be published regarding OSMF's legitimate interest in processing personal data.
  • 2021-08-12 Dermot McNally to reply to Tobias about simplifying the text of the tile licence.
  • 2021-08-12 Dermot McNally to make the pull request on Github openstreemap-website regarding attribution requirements for OSMF tiles
  • 2021-08-12 Dermot McNally to communicate back to contacts regarding Australian data attribution and suggest filling the waiver template.
  • 2021-08-12 LWG to identify OSMF legal texts that might be needed under German law to be in German.
  • 2021-09-09 Jim Vidano to ask Simon Poole whether he has previous emails contacting companies that were not displaying attribution.
  • 2021-09-09 Guillaume Rischard to check past emails (e.g. last year ones related to case in Germany where they settled in court) for any sent to companies not complying with attribution requirements and to send what he finds, including links to the Github repositories with the lists of not complying organisations, to the Signal group.
  • 2021-09-09 Jim Vidano to have create a draft template email for the community to contact organisations regarding non compliance with the attribution guidelines
  • 2021-09-09 Dermot McNally to reply to Jean-Marc Liotier (board of directors) with the LWG decision to create a template email for minor cases of non-compliance with the attribution guidelines available to the community and the LWG to directly contact bigger companies.
  • 2022-01-13 Simon Hughes to download a copy of the Copyright FAQ page and mark anything that is not matching the attribution guidelines or is confusing and circulate that to the LWG.
  • 2022-02-17 The LWG to add comments to the draft template email by Dermot that the community will be able to send to people who have used OSM data without attribution (Belgian love letter).
  • 2022-02-17 Dermot McNally to have another look at the draft template email (Belgian love letter).
  • 2022-02-17 Guillaume Rischard to mention 1) the changes to the copyright page to the board, in case there are any disagreements, 2) that a budget might be requested for translations.
  • 2022-02-17 Dermot McNally to do the pull request for the changes to the copyright page.
  • 2022-02-17 The LWG to make edits to the Copyright FAQ page and mark anything that is not matching the attribution guidelines or is confusing and circulate that internally. (Taken-up by Simon Hughes)
  • 2022-02-17 Kathleen Lu to write back to Tobias Knerr (board) regarding the board's enquiry about the community's specific suggestion for more prominent attribution (see e.g. the "Made with OpenStreetMap" thread on osmf-talk – as well as these image suggestions:
  • 2022-02-17 Tom Hummel to check with Falk Zscheile from FOSSGIS (German Local Chapter) if the recent case about a printed map in Germany without attribution is on their radar. If not, the LWG will use Dermot's "love letter".
  • 2022-03-17 Dorothea to add Simon Hughes to the LWG mailing list and to the LWG chat channel on Signal.
  • 2022-03-17 Tom Hummel to contact
  • 2022-03-17 Simon Hughes to create a draft so that the Copyright FAQ page content matches that of the Attribution guidelines.
  • 2022-03-17 Simon Hughes to ask a member of his team to monitor the OSM trademark notices and set an automatic email filter for forwarding the notices.
  • 2022-04-14Simon Hughes to suggest a new structure of the Copyright FAQ page and crosslink to relevant sections of the Attribution guidelines. Topic Needed: Update to Copyright FAQ page to match new attribution guidelines
  • 2022-04-14 Guillaume Rischard to ask Tom Hughes to see how many translations of the Copyright and Copyright FAQ page are live. Topic Needed: Update to Copyright FAQ page to match new attribution guidelines
  • 2022-04-14 Tom Hummel to inform the community member who reported the issue about the printed map in Germany without attribution and ask them to report back if the issue persists. Topic Printed map in Germany without attribution]
  • 2022-04-14 Tom Hummel to 1) remind email sender about produced work and attribution, 2) point them to the collective database guideline and say that depending on how you structure your proposal, until it is about to be built, a proposed cycleway may be a different primary feature, 3) suggest consult with attorney, 4) Note on features about to be built: there will be an obligation to release data in a manner that is eligible to be imported into OSM at that time. Topic Ticket#22021090210000065 Cyclepaths-related
  • 2022-04-14 Guillaume Rischard to talk to Grant Slater (Senior Site Reliability Engineer) about cutting tile access to Impresa Italia. Topic Impresa Italia - Missing attribution case of commercial site using our tiles
  • 2022-04-14 Guillaume Rischard to update agenda with Navionics (Garmin) success. Topic Fixing attribution success

Reportage and action item updates

OpenSenseMap – any updates?

Decision to table until Tom Hummel reports any update - he has already contacted OpenSenseMap.

Any updates on reported attribution cases?

Action item: Dermot McNally to look on reported attribution cases below and see which are good candidates for love letter. (Probably all are, except the Aberdeen one, which is difficult to investigate).

Printed map in Germany without attribution

No update by Tom Hummel.

Reports in OTRS

  • Ticket#2021081210000057 — printed maps with false copyright; no response yet
  • Ticket#2022011910000082 –
  • Ticket#2022012610000149 -
  • Ticket#2022033010000217
  • Ticket#2022032710000125 -
    • Hermes UK changed name to evri. So this is an old issue.
  • Impresa Italia -
    • Email to legal list and legal-talk
    • Are they hitting our tiles? Can OWG just cut them off?
  • „I understand that the refinements on the cyclepaths are a derivative database, and all the scenarios, even if they do not exist in real life, are a derivative database.“ Is that correct? I suspect so. Even a DB with fictitious data should continue to benefit from DB-protection, even if new IP rights arise. From a friendly exchange re: #2021090210000065; derivative DB (+) if same features are being used. – tom

HOT trademark agreement

Discussion deferred as Guillaume Rischard was absent.

Dermot’s Belgian love letter

  • Dermot McNally has revised the draft, which he's going to share.
  • The Licensing Working Group (LWG) can provide any further feedback.

Needed: Update to Copyright FAQ page to match new attribution guidelines

Pull request by Dermot McNally for the copyright page ready

  • Minor changes to Simon Hughes proposed text and the image.
  • The phrase mentioning the text that is needed, will be gone - affecting people not knowing English.

Action item: Dermot to ask Guillaume to check the pull request.

Decision: Keep image as a valid example of attribution and add caption "In this example the credit appears in the corner of the map."

On translations

  • The translations are by volunteers.
  • With the merge of the pull request, we're losing the translations.


  • Board to do an announcement on the cleanup of the copyright page and FAQ page and ask for volunteer translations.
  • Dermot McNally to test machine translations of copyright page in a couple of languages.



  • FAQ to change from a static page.
    • We can't do that unless we move the page outside of the OSMF wiki.
  • FAQ to have topical sections.

Other points mentioned

  • Current ordering of FAQ does not have most important questions at the top.
  • Trademark FAQ does not have content management.

On Attribution guidelines

They have not been translated.

Trademark notices

Deferred to next meeting as Simon Hughes was absent.

Any Other Business

Using tile logs for ranking a non-ODbL dataset

Daily counts of tiles accessed, already aggregated, with XY coordinates and zoom level.

  • No copyright issue.
  • No data-protection issue.

Action item: Kathleen Lu to write back to them.

Attribution to OSM on OSM-based images posted on

Talking about map images from OSM data, uploaded to an OSM forum and whether there needs to be attribution every time.

Points mentioned during discussion

  • 10 years ago there was no attribution on the main OSM website, and then it was established as a norm.
  • Attribution guidelines state: "Static images must be generally attributed the same way as interactive maps. However, if multiple static images appear on the same document, one instance of attribution is sufficient."
  • LWG working on setting more healthy expectations for attribution.

Suggestion: Add text on footer of Discourse pages "Screenshots of maps are presumed to be from OpenStreetMap". ticket

They are hitting the tiles but not the OSMF API

  • The Operations Working Group (OWG) has a process for blocking access but not a detailed written policy with cut-offs, categories and possible actions.
  • Heavy use is forbidden, unless with prior permission.


  • LWG and OWG to tighten-up tile-usage policy.
  • Include in the policy: "Commercial use is forbidden", requirements and prohibition sections.

Action item: Tom Hummel to advise the Operations Working Group (OWG) to block access to

The tile usage policy mentions as requirement:

  • Clearly display license attribution as required.
  • Do not actively or passively encourage copyright infringement.

Similar in API usage policy:

Next Meeting

9 June 2022, 17:30 UTC