Licensing Working Group/Minutes/2023-03-06

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

OpenStreetMap Foundation, Licensing Working Group (LWG) - Agenda & Minutes
6 March 2023, 18:00 UTC

Minutes approved on 2023-04-03.


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

LWG members
Minutes by Dorothea Kazazi


  • Jim Vidano
  • Tom Lee
  • Guillaume Rischard (OSMF board)




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 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 respond to the email Ticket#202208041000024 and redirected to right person.
  • 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
  • 2022-11-10 Guillaume Rischard to ask someone else on the Philippines community regarding proof of the use of OSMF trademarks there.
  • 2022-11-10 Guillaume Rischard to pass the message to the board member who wrote to the LWG about Open Database License (ODbL).
  • 2022-12-08 Kathleen Lu to forward the email seeking endorsement to the board. [Topic: Email to trademarks@ - Kiwix]
  • 2022-12-08 LWG to forward the email from dSpace to the board. [Topic: Ticket#2022120510000221 - dSpace request to show logo]
  • 2023-01-19 Guillaume Rischard to reply to Ticket#2022120510000177 (COPIE DE SIGNES DE BALISAGE) on OTRS in French.

Reportage and action item updates

Impresa - request to be unblocked

Action item: Tom Hummel to reply to Impresa Italia.

Bing MapBuilder

The LWG had a meeting with the MapBuilder team

  • The MapBuilder team seemed that they would address all of LWG's points.
  • The MapBuilder team will share mock-ups of what they're going to update.
  • There seemed to be an agreement that the LWG would send to the MapBuilder team everything that they have to link to, due to legal reasons.
  • What the MapBuilder team plans to do is ok from a legal perspective.

Other points mentioned

  • Community conversation probably needs to continue if this is going to be a true partnership.
  • Contributor terms on the OSM wiki are for reference.
  • Our consent flow is more explicit than more consent flows.
    • The format makes it more enforceable: actual text is displayed, which people are forced to scroll.
    • The checkbox adds to it.
  • At the time of adoption, there was a lot of community discussion to make everything very clear and irrefutable for new contributors.

On the word "proxy"

Suggestion: not use the terms "proxy", perhaps replace it with "intermediator".

  • The term "proxy" is used in Annual General Meeting (AGM) voting rights (see OSMF Articles of Association), so it might not be the worst word choice.
  • Depends on Microsoft's implementation:
    • probably not a proxy case: if the users agree to our linked terms,it is probably a different UI presentation.
    • probably a proxy case: if the user passes the rights to Microsoft, and Microsoft has a separate agreement with OSM.
    • They seem to go for the first option.

Other points mentioned

  • Microsoft has forked the iD editor and hosts it.
  • Microsoft systems doing the editing via the OSM API on the users' behalf is no different to use the iD that we host - with the difference that Microsoft hosts it.
  • There was a period of time long ago when we did not display attribution on iD.
    • In order to access iD on our systems, you have to be on the OSM website, so you are presented with attribution.

Any updates on reported attribution cases?

Reports in OTRS:

Trademarks – any updates?

1. Guillaume - HOT trademark agreement update.
2. Guillaume - Evidence of use in Philippines status.
3. Simon - Any new notices.

Trademark notices: OpenMapTiles

Trademark notice about the registration of "OpenMapTiles" by MapTiler.

Points mentioned during discussion

  • Renderer - Fork of Mapbox GL.
  • They are using OSM data and a lot of people from OSM are involved.
  • We know them and there is a related channel in US Slack - it is not a secret project.

On trademark issue

  • If they don't pass off as subset of OSM, it might be fine.
  • There is a question if they stop using OSM data.
  • Currently, opposition can be filed to the trademark registration.


  • Co-existence agreement. The obligation is probably on them to ask for one, if they need it.
  • Raising the issue: The issue could be raised, preferably by a board member rather than LWG.
  • Reply content Respond to the email and say that, given the history, the issue should probably be raised by someone on the board.

Action item: Simon Hughes to forward the trademark notice via email to the LWG.

How to pass tickets to the Operations Working Group (OWG), or does OWG have a template answer?

Not discussed.

Queries to legal-questions

Ticket#2023020810000278 — Attribution of Ordnance Survey on OSM copyright page

OSM is using Ordnance Survey (OS) datasets. If OS datasets are an ongoing source for OSM, we need to update the stated year on our copyright page.

On Ordnance Survey datasets

  • Some OS datasets (e.g. postcode data) are declared open and continue to be maintained in an ongoing fashion.
  • Some OS datasets might include tiles hosted by the OS.

Licence of the OS datasets that are used in OSM: Open Government licence. A waiver might have been signed as well.

Simon Hughes had to disconnect 28' after the start.

On OSM using Ordnance Survey (OS) datasets

  • The OS datasets were not imported.
  • Some OS datasets are available via JOSM and iD.
  • JOSM at the moment offers layers such as "OS openmap local - October 2022" and 2016. 2022 might be the latest year of the datasets we have.
  • As we seem to be using updated OS datasets, we should update the year.

Suggestion: update the year stated to 2023 and update again in 2024 if someone reminds the LWG.

Decision: Update Github ticket

Inquiry re Finnish satellite imagery

We, as a project, include openly-licensed data from national mapping agencies and other sources, among them: "Finland - data from the National Land Survey of Finland's Topographic Database". See the OSM copyright page.

The Finnish imagery was initially under the NLSFI License (in English) and they told us we could use it, so we had listed them om our copyright page. Their licence has changed to CC BY 4.0 after 2015, and an OSM community member has asked them to sign a waiver, which we traditionally require for CC BY 4.0 data. They seem to reply that they're ok with us still using the data and they're ok our attribution, but they won't sign a waiver.

  • It is imagery — different from geodataset, which would be simpler.
  • CC BY 4.0 licence issue: whether parallel distribution is ok.
  • The satellite imagery covered by CC BY is never included as part of OSM, so it can never be subject to downstream DRM.
  • We traditionally require a waiver for CC BY 4.0, for two reasons: 1) Digital rights management (DRM) and 2) to make sure that they're ok with our attribution.


  • Keep using and credit accordingly.
  • Say to people to stop using the OS datasets. We might have to remove everything derived from that data, which could be a considerable amount of data and would be problematic.


  • Update the year in our attribution of the Finnish organisation on our copyright page.
  • Reply that, as we understand it, NLS Finland expressed approval of the current attribution.

Action item: Kathleen to write back and have them clarify that the attribution is ok. The LWG to update the attribution.

Ticket#2023021010000013 — talk-au Adoption of OSM geometry as state mapping base

The Department of Transport and Planning (Victoria, Australia) wants to use OSM road and rail networks for emergency services. They want to make sure that they can use OSM data under our terms.

ODbL related

Terms of use related

  • Our terms of use state: "You may not use the Services to: [..] Operate dangerous businesses such as emergency services or air traffic control, where the use or failure of the Services could lead to death, personal injury or significant property damage".
  • The terms of use do not govern the use of data, only data distribution - the provision of Planet files.
  • One shouldn't have anything emergency reliant on the planet files, but once someone has the data, there is no restriction.

Regarding the point in Section III of terms of use "Store data available through the Services in order to evade these Terms (including aiding anyone else in doing so)":

  • They are forbidden to use the services to operate dangerous businesses. If they store data available through the Services, they're not doing it to evade the terms, as they're not doing it to operate dangerous businesses through the services.
  • This section is probably to protect our API from abuse. Also, there is a privacy aspect: to prevent the use of personal data to try to identify someone or to build a database of usernames.

Suggestion: Make clear that they should not rely on planet files to be available at any moment.

Action item: Kathleen to reply.

Ticket#2023011110000041 — Attribution approach to smartphone case product

Company that produces smartphone cases and had trouble putting attribution directly on the cases.

The Attribution Guidelines include this section:

"Physical merchandise with an aesthetic component using OpenStreetMap data must provide attribution on any packaging, at the point of sale, and, to the extent possible, somewhere on the item itself. For example, merchandise may provide attribution text in the vicinity of the image, or on the item’s label or tag. The text must be readable and include the URL printed out."

Points mentioned during discussion

  • The community member who replied is probably wrong.
  • OSM attribution can be on a label or on the packaging - does not have to be etched on the item.
  • T-shirt with map with OSM data:
    • Always physically possible to print attribution onto a T-shirt.
    • If there is a label with OSM attribution sewn in - only the owner sees the attribution.
  • It might be too difficult to put the attribution on the smartphone case from a manufacturing perspective, then it is ok to put it on the packaging.

Action item: Kathleen to reply and say that the attribution can be on the wrapper of the phone.

Ticket#2023021710000171 Question about providing imagery waiver

Bing imagery agreement: Subcific to use the Bing API.
Maxar imagery agreement: Similar.

On hosting the imagery

  • It is not clear if we have to host the data.
  • It might be hosted by the municipality or by OSM mappers.
  • Additional rights would be needed to be granted in case of hosting.
  • We are already hosting some imagery (to reproduce and distribute).

Dorothea shared the OSMF imagery waiver link.


Action item: Kathleen to reply and point to the Editor Layer Index (ELI).

Next Meeting

2023 meeting times - 2nd Monday of the month for 2023 at 18:00/17:00 UTC.

2023 LWG meeting dates:

Monday Apr 03 - go to 1700 UTC with daylight savings time
Monday May 15, 1700 UTC
Monday Jun 12, 1700 UTC
Monday Jul 10, 1700 UTC
Monday Aug 14, 1700 UTC
Monday Sep 11, 1700 UTC
Monday Oct 16, 1700 UTC
Monday Nov 13 – back to 1800 UTC
Monday Dec 11, 1800 UTC
Monday Jan 08 2024, 1800 UTC

US daylight savings start - Mar 12 2023
EU daylight savings start - Mar 26 2023
EU daylight savings end - Oct 29 2023
US daylight savings end - Nov 5 2023

Meeting adjourned 72' after the start.