Licensing Working Group/Minutes/2022-08-04

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

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

Minutes approved on 13 October 2022.


  • Kathleen Lu (Chairing)
  • Guillaume Rischard (OSMF board)
  • Tom Hummel


  • Yiu-Shing Pang (UK Power Networks)


  • Dermot McNally
  • Simon Hughes

LWG members
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 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
  • 2022-05-12 Dermot McNally to look on reported attribution cases listed on the agenda and see which are good candidates for love letter. (Probably all are, except the Aberdeen one, which is difficult to investigate).
  • 2022-05-12 Tom Hummel to advice OWG to block access to
  • 2022-06-09 Guillaume Rischard to check with Amanda regarding the return-to address she used to the letter about printed maps with false copyright
  • 2022-06-09 Guillaume Rischard to check with the rest of the board about the advice on CWG with LWG to rework the copyright page.
  • 2022-07-07 Kathleen Lu to contact the OWG regarding cutting off tile-access to certain sites, due to lack of attribution.
  • 2022-07-07 Simon Hughes to check with the TomTom Data Protection Officer [Related to OWG query about tile servers FAQ]
  • 2022-07-07 LWG to update wiki and privacy policy to add Ireland. Perhaps add a sentence about Fastly, which we use as a Content Delivery Network, which helps with caching.

Application to join LWG by Yiu-Shing Pang

  • UK Power Networks serves 8.4 million meter points ~ 22 million people across Great Britain.
  • In Great Britain, 5 other organisations operate an electricity distribution network.
  • First such organisation to consider licence issues.
  • Company has a lobby group - might get money to get a legal view on the licence issue.

Guillaume Rischard shared experience from when he was responsible for the Open Data portal in Luxembourg, where the decision was to licence data under CC0 (plus offer a guide), as:

  • There was no intention to sue people who would not attribute properly.
  • There were no interest in enforcing the other CCBY requirements.

On OSM experience > Our open data platform provider uses OSM (leaflet).

Suggestions regarding licensing of UK Power Networks' open datasets

  • Licence with CC0 if people are comfortable.
  • If people are not comfortable with CC0, dual licence it with compatible licences.
    • Data provider of UK Power Networks does not offer dual-licensing option.
    • Suggestion to add a note regarding the dual licensing on the "about" page.
  • Sign a waiver. As the owner of data you can give to OSM the rights to use the data regardless of the public open licence for the data.

On CC0

  • Governmental data has been created with public money so it makes sense to be licenced under CC0.


  • A lot of people do not want to lose control of data, that's why they choose an attribution licence.
  • Does not offer that much control (i.e. selling possible), as long as people attribute.
  • It is more of a blocker to the people who want to use it, especially in aggregate.
  • CCBY4.0 has multiple issues.

On OSM project choosing ODbL

  • OSM wants contributions to come back to the project to improve the data. One way is raising awareness and bringing contributors via attribution. Big companies who use OSM data, they will want to improve the data and have hired contractor teams to edit OSM. They usually have a focus on specific countries and have multiple edits.
  • CCBY 4.0 was not available at the time and ODbL was database centric.


  • OSMF has a text about the issues of the ODbL with CCBY:
  • CCBYSA was the licence before ODbL and it was worst, as people could not figure out what to do with the data.
  • The switch from CCBYSA to ODbL improved usability but did not improve importation of data.

Next steps

  • Kathleen offered to have a conversation with Yiu-Shing and company's lawyers.
  • Yiu-Shing suggested getting money to get a legal view. They have lobby group with various working groups.
  • Yiu-Shing to try mapping a power pole.
  • Guillaume to bring Yiu-Shing in contact with Florian of OpenInfraMap.

ODbL and OGL

  • OGL is inbound compatible with ODbL but not reverse compatible.

On OpenInfraMap

  • People have hand-drown the grid and primary substation sites of UK Power Networks' London locations into OpenInfraMap.

> Do contributors usually draw the data on OSM?


On critical national infrastructure

  • UK Power Networks datasets openly licensed after satisfied that there are no strong risks. Had to fight a cultural battle of very security-conscious people, though information could be found from satellite maps.

Any security consideration or checks for things added to OSM?

> No. Editors of OSM are from all over the world and data is checked by other volunteers. > If things are visible on the ground and verifiable, they can be on the map.

US government

  • All US federal government data is CC0 by law.
  • They're trying to add the data to OSM and leverage the community to have clean data.

On imports to OSM

  • Data has to be clean, accurate, not-conflicting with existing data.
  • Can contact related OSM groups to talk about imports.

Other points mentioned

  • People will be happy to digitise the data, once a data set becomes available.

Links shared:

Reportage and action item updates

Operations Working Group tile-access cutoff candidates

Related to 2022-07-07 action item: Kathleen Lu to contact the Operations Working Group (OWG) regarding cutting off tile-access to certain sites, due to lack of attribution.

  • Email sent.
  • Paul sent back some additional candidates.

Suggestion: Propose to contact website and ask nicely for attribution.

Update wiki and privacy policy to add Ireland

Related to 2022-07-07 action item: LWG to update wiki and privacy policy to add Ireland.

  • Kathleen updated the wiki to add Ireland and the language Paul wanted.

Dermot’s Belgian love letter

Is the letter ready to test?

Discussion deferred as Dermot was absent.

  • The number of websites with no attribution that are sent to the LWG by community members is increasing.

Reports in OTRS

Guillaume - HOT trademark agreement

Tyler Radford has sent another draft of the trademark agreement.

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

Dermot’s pull request for the copyright page – is it completed?


Review Simon’s suggestions on Copyright FAQ page

Trademark notices

Deferred as Simon Hughes was absent.

Any Other Business

Queries to legal-questions

Report by Paul Norman of non-attribution: and

Dorothea's note: has attribution, depending on the javascripts allowed on the page.

Action item: Guillaume to tell the Operations Working Group (OWG) that LWG has no objections to blocking the sites and ask about the usual procedure.

Ticket#2022072210000074 - train speed limits

LWG thinks that it is sufficient permission.

Action item: Kathleen Lu to write back to the community member.

Hydropower plant

Complaint provided via copyright form in July.

  • Hydropower plant with tunnels that it is visible on OpenTopoMap that they want to be removed from OSM.
  • They consider it to be critical infrastructure.
  • There are photos available on the web.
  • Some of the infrastructure is above the ground and one of the power lines just connects two visible points.
  • There is a photo of the hydropower plant's map, available on the web. If it was secret, they should not allow visitor to take photos of it.

Tom Hummel (LWG) has contacted Frederik Ramm (DWG), who had created a DWG ticket.

Links shared during discussion:

Next Meeting

15 September 2022, 17:30 UTC