Licensing Working Group/Minutes/2022-11-10

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

Draft minutes

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


  • Kathleen Lu (Chairing)
  • Dermot McNally
  • Tom Hummel
  • Simon Hughes
  • Guillaume Rischard (OSMF board)




  • Tom Lee

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 and Dermot McNally (2021-12-09) to 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.
  • 2022-04-14 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 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
  • 2022-06-09 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.
  • 2022-09-15 Dermot McNally to send an email to the companies mentioned on Ticket#2022011910000082 and Ticket#202201261000014
  • 2022-09-15 Guillaume Rischard to ask Eugene Villar (board member from Philippines) about any evidence of OSM trademark use in Philippines that can be submitted.
  • 2022-09-15 Guillaume Rischard to respond to the email Ticket#202208041000024 and redirected to right person.
  • 2022-09-15 Kathleen Lu to write to Tom Hughes and ask if the issue he was concerned with was
  • 2022-10-13 Guillaume Rischard to check that Eugene has replied regarding evidence of trademark use in Philippines
  • 2022-10-13 Kathleen Lu to reply to GooseMaps that adding OSM to onboarding screen would be a promising solution and will ask for screenshots.
  • 2022-10-13 Tom Lee to add the updated Copyright FAQ to the OSMF website. Dorothea to provide access.
  • 2022-10-13 LWG to look at Kathleen's previous answer regarding CDLA 2.0 and indicate whether they agree.
  • 2022-10-13 Guillaume Rischard to take the Ticket#2022100310000013 issue to the board (related to legal consequences for “unlicensed surveying”)
  • 2022-10-13 Tom Hummel to point to the Corporate Membership page or the donation page. Ticket#2022101110000098

New action items from this meeting

  • Kathleen Lu to write to GooseMaps.
  • Guillaume Rischard to add the updated Copyright FAQ to the OSMF website.
  • Guillaume Rischard to ask someone else on the Philippines community regarding proof of the use of OSMF trademarks there.
  • Kathleen Lu to join the OPS meeting on the 1st of December regarding the iFrame on on
  • Tom Hummel to join the next OPS meeting (17 November 2022) regarding the long-term cookie on
  • Guillaume Rischard to pass the message to the board member who wrote to the LWG about Open Database License (ODbL).
  • Kathleen Lu to reply to the query re CDLA 2.0.
  • Kathleen Lu to reply to Ticket#2022080510000087 — Compatibility of Italian IODL 2.0 license.
  • Kathleen Lu to invite the sender of Ticket#2022081410000104 (Lizenzprobleme in Indien) to attend the next LWG meeting, to understand what they're asking.

Reportage and action item updates

Goose Maps

It's ok that they currently have the description of the app in the appstore only in English.

General suggestions regarding attribution

  • it would be good for people to be able to copy and paste the attribution in different languages, to make it easier to attribute us.
  • watermark any images that refer to the OSM website and get rid of the iFrame, so that people don't have much work to do to attribute us.

On cases where people do not use the companion app

  • It's very difficult to do anything with the watch only.

Action item: Kathleen Lu to write to GooseMaps.

Any updates on reported attribution cases?

Reports in OTRS:


Dermot emailed with an adapted email, as they use a map with OSM data for tracking, and then noticed that their contact page also has a slippy map that uses OSM data and doesn't attribution.


The person who wrote to us

  • Was confident that the ordered printed maps do not attribute, but Dermot cannot know that.
  • Had correspondence with the company - they mentioned the website map, which apparently has not been fixed.
  • Mentioned misspelling of attribution on website - no attribution seen.

Points mentioned during discussion:

  • We can contact the company anyway, because the online preview of the map should have attribution itself.
  • The printed products probably won't have been fixed.

Decision: Dermot to look into the issue.

Update to Copyright FAQ to match new attribution guidelines

Tom Lee updating Copyright FAQ page with [link to online draft] – status?

  • Tom Lee could not get an editor account on the OSMF website - the OPS team is aware.
  • Final version of Copyright FAQ is in OnlyOffice, not in MediaWiki format yet.

Action item: Guillaume Rischard to add the updated Copyright FAQ to the OSMF website.

Trademarks – any updates?

Guillaume - HOT trademark agreement update

No update.

Guillaume - Evidence of use in Philippines status

Action item: Guillaume Rischard to ask someone else on the Philippines community.

Simon - Any new notices

No updates.

Updates to OpenStreetMap website

Share panel

Who to send the suggestions to: website developers. Final decision maker is probably the board.

Potential issues

  • Undermining our message, as we're encouraging commercial entities to use our tiles. They think it is a service we offer.
    • We're not against small businesses using tiles.
  • Annoying for LWG to get questions on how much tile usage is too much, that cannot be consistently answered, about how much it costs and about our cookies policy.
  • Tile usage policy is unclear and inconsistent.
  • It's not free advertisement, as the servers cost us.
    • It's not that expensive.

On having the iFrame as it provides us free advertisement

  • Gets people to use the map. Adds us in several places.
    • Then we should stop saying we do not condone random use of our tiles.
  • Lands people on the copyright page.
  • From operations point of view, it is not a pain point.

Suggestions - general

  • If the LWG wants to define the limits of the tile usage, they can talk with Operations.
    • We would set expectations and our limits could change in the future depending on financial difficulties.
  • Bounce tickets with tile-usage related questions to Operations.
    • It takes time to answer the questions and bounce them.

On defining the limits of the tile usage

  • Not a good idea, as OSMF could have a financial crisis and might need to take these services off, even if people are below the stated tile usage limits.

Suggestions regarding the iFrame, so that people don't email LWG

Change wording of "Paste html to embed"

  • Add that this is not a commercial service.
  • Add that availability is not guaranteed.
  • Add that people need to conform to the acceptable usage policy and link to it.
  • We can also say that we don't provide support, we don't exist to provide these services and people can build their own stack of find a commercial service provider.

On restricting tile usage

We have blocked in the past heavy tile usage from entities who were not attributing OSM.

Suggestion: Guillaume Rischard to mention the LWG suggestions to next OPS meeting. While the OPS team is not in charge of the website, in practice it is the same people.

Action item: Kathleen Lu to join the OPS meeting on the 1st of December.

Top50 - tile usage from yesterday
(First number: tiles/sec. Second number: tiles not in cache/sec - a high number might indicate scraping).

Cookie Banner

We have to decide between website analytics or cookie banner. longlife cookie

  • One of our cookies has a lifespan of 13 months, which seems too long.
  • Technically we do not need a cookie.
  • Cookie provides useful information about how people use the website but is not necessary.

LWG has asked Operations Working Group (OWG) for information provided by cookies, when they were doing research on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Recollection:

  • 90 days of logs for analytics, after which it gets truncated.
  • Probably mostly used for website navigation tracking and server balancing.

On analytics

We do not ask any questions that strictly require cookies. Analytics:

  • Screen resolution
  • Browser usage
  • Pages visited

If we have no cookies

  • It will change counts.
    • It might not be significant.
  • We can say that we're not tracking people.

Legal aspects

Directive that has to be implemented in all EU member states. While OSMF is not in the EU, we're doing business i and that places us under the jurisdiction of the directive.

Not a data protection/GDPR issue - strictly about the cookie.

Issue: Placing the cookie on the device of the visitor and rereading is problematic, not the data collected.

  • Germany: Legal situation regarding cookies recently changed in Germany, which was very lax before.
  • EU:
    • The data protection agencies in different countries have different opinions.
    • New EU law coming in 1-2 years which might change the situation again.
    • Not clear if the directive asks us to set-up a cookie banner for the cookie we use.

EU working party some years ago

  • recommended low lifespan of cookie
  • said that service cannot be refused, if the user refuses the cookie
  • first party analytics should not be allowed to have a cookie without consent.

On the possibility of implementing a cookie banner

  • A cookie banner gives a bad user experience.
  • People in Europe are used to cookie banners (but hate them).
  • Technically not difficult to implement.

Content of a potential cookie banner, if OWG asks:

  • Accept all button
  • Reject all button
  • Link to privacy policy
  • Mention the types of cookies we have (probably just necessary and analytics)

Provide options to Operations Working Group: Remove cookie or make a cookie banner.

Action item: Tom Hummel to join the next OPS meeting (17 November 2022).

Copyright page

The Licensing Working Group (LWG) has emailed the Communication Working Group (CWG) on suggested rewording of the copyright page.

Suggestion: Guillaume Rischard to raise the issue to the board meeting.

Request from the Board re ODbL inbound data

Concern that Open Database License (ODbL) imported data undermines our right to relicence the data in the future, in case of a licence change.

  • Imports of ODbL-licenced dat

On Open Database License (ODbL)

  • Not many licences that are outbound compatible with ODbL - probably none.
  • OSM is the single prominent user of ODbL. If ODbL is so onerous that OSM cannot inbound accept it, then why use it?
    • It is currently inbound compatible, but data might not be compatible with a different licence in the future, if we relicence.

On current state

We have a lot of data imported with ODbL licences or from people who gave us waivers.

On relicensing

  • Reaching out to people: It was very hard during the previous licence change. It is especially hard in cases of imports.
  • Licence change is not the way to go.
  • Data imported with ODbL licence will be the least of our concerns in a case of future licence change.
  • It probably would not be possible for OSM to move to a more restrictive licence, except in superficial ways.
  • Unless you take any imported data under an MIT licence, and licence change will be difficult.
  • If the current licence was changed to CCBY, then it would be easier for imported datasets which were under CCBY, as it would not change the waiver's status.

Points mentioned during discussion

  • A lot of people think that we should not import datasets at all.
  • As we already have a lot of ODbL data imported, no point on pondering what-if questions.

Do we still accept ODbL data?

> Yes.


  • Mention on the import guidelines that people need to be mindful where the ODbL dataset came from and think about future communication with the origin of data, in case of future relicensing.
    • That's true for every licence.

Action item: Guillaume Rischard to pass the message to the board member who wrote to the LWG.

Dermot had to disconnect 60' after start.

Any Other Business

Query re CDLA 2.0

Tom Hummel agrees with Kathleen's message

Action item: Kathleen Lu to reply to the query re CDLA 2.0.

Ticket#2022080510000087 — Compatibility of Italian IODL 2.0 license

Action item: Kathleen Lu to reply to Ticket#2022080510000087 — Compatibility of Italian IODL 2.0 license

Ticket#2022081410000104 - Lizenzprobleme in Indien

  • Some are cultural questions, or questions of trust, not legal ones.
  • The language barrier is making it difficult.
  • Email was in German.

Action item: Kathleen Lu to invite the sender of Ticket#2022081410000104 (Lizenzprobleme in Indien) to attend the next LWG meeting, to understand what they're asking.

Ticket#2022081910000079 Licence question for future app

  • Probably an extract, as he's pulling the OSM tags.
  • Importing to Wikimedia commons might be an issue, as it has a different licence that's not compatible.
  • He wants to go from OSM to Wikimedia.
  • Could suggest to him to go from Wikimedia commons to OSM.
    • That's not what he wants to do.

Email to trademarks@

  • From a trademarks perspective there does not seem to be an issue.
  • Why officially endorse this particular project and not others?
  • You can already download the OSM wiki to read offline.

Not exclusive name. It can be called "OSM offline" but not the only one who can use that term. Similar to the past OSMF board decision which allowed a commercial company to use an OSMF trademark in the name of a product (OSM buildings) while a community project with the same name already existed.

Simon Hughes had to disconnect 66' after start.


Suggestion: A German speaker to translate.

Next Meeting

2022-12-08 at 1830 UTC

Recommended dates for 2023

2023-01-12 - 1830 UTC

Meeting adjourned 71' after start.