Licensing Working Group/Minutes/2023-04-03

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

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

Minutes approved on 2023-05-15.


  • Dermot McNally
  • Kathleen Lu (Chairing)
  • Jim Vidano
  • Tom Lee
  • Guillaume Rischard (OSMF board)

LWG members
Minutes by Dorothea Kazazi


  • Simon Hughes
  • Tom Hummel




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 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 redirect to the 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).
  • 2023-03-06 Tom Hummel to reply to Impresa Italia.
  • 2023-03-06 Simon Hughes to forward the trademark notice via email to the LWG.
  • 2023-03-06 LWG to update GitHub ticket
  • 2023-03-06 Kathleen Lu to write back to Iiro Laiho (Inquiry re Finnish satellite imagery) and have them clarify that the attribution is ok. The LWG to update the attribution.
  • 2023-03-06 Kathleen Lu to reply to Ticket#2023021010000013 (talk-au Adoption of OSM geometry as state mapping base)
  • 2023-03-06 Kathleen Lu to reply to Ticket#2023011110000041 (Attribution approach to smartphone case product) and say that the attribution can be on the wrapper of the phone.
  • 2023-03-06 Kathleen Lu to reply to Ticket#2023021710000171 (Question about providing imagery waiver) and point to the Editor Layer Index (ELI).

Reportage and action item updates

Bing MapBuilder

The LWG was cc'ed in communication between Mikel Maron (OSMF board) and the MapBuilder team, asking for further details.

  • Single sign-on is not an LWG issue.
  • The licencing question depends on the type of data and what they intend (e.g. imagery tracing).

No replies yet.

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.


They have no Executive Director yet, who can talk to OSMF.

Philippines trademark

  • Guillaume Rischard (OSMF board) has asked Arnalie Vicario (OSMF board) but has not heard back.
  • No evidence received from the community.
  • Need just some screenshot of mark used in the Philippines. E.g. local website.

This item might be no longer relevant as the deadline probably has passed.

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

  • OWG is not in OTRS so LWG cannot pass tickets to their queue.
  • OWG uses GitHub tickets mostly for public messages.
  • OTRS is used for emails that can contain private information. (OTRS is an issue/ticket tracker used by several Working Groups of the OpenStreetMap Foundation.)


  • Contact Paul Norman or Tom Hughes.
  • Create an OTRS group for one of the OWG members.
  • Look at creating an LWG group on GitHub. Then OWG can tag the whole LWG or LWG members on GitHub tickets.

Action item: Guillaume Rischard to ask Grant Slater (Senior Site Reliability Engineer).

We get a lot of complaints about missing attribution. How do we want to deal with those?

The LWG:

  • Does not have the bandwidth to deal with all the incoming cases regarding missing attribution.
  • Has sent some emails regarding cases of missing attribution, based on a template email which they created and was inspired by similar letters sent by the OSM Belgium community.


  • Hiring: hire someone to send emails to people who are missing attributions.
    • Would need to provide very detailed instructions, otherwise it will go wrong and might generate bad press.
  • Community-led process: Publishing the official template letter for cases of missing attribution ("love letter"), put it on the website, would help.
    • Give signal to the community that the LWG takes this seriously, e.g. ask for translations of template emails regarding missing attribution ("love letters").
  • On process: Establish one and require people to have sent an "LWG love letter" first, regarding attribution failures.
  • On content of template LWG email: Find wording that makes it clear to the recipients of the letters that the letters come from mappers.

Other points mentioned during discussion

  • is not the right place for the complaints about missing attribution.
  • A lot of community care about attribution and it also has the potential to annoy a lot of data users.
  • If the board wants OSMF to be involved with this, they should set-up a process and put resources behind it: screen requests to send letters regarding missing attribution, send them and get them translated.
  • Freelancing can still occur.
  • Some Mapbox customers get unpleasant emails from people speaking allegedly on behalf of OSM.

Action item: Dermot to find wording that makes it clear to the recipients of the "love letters" (emails about cases of missing attribution) that the letters come from mappers.

Queries to legal-questions

Case of German Federal Mapping Agency buried attribution

  • German Federal Mapping Agency uses OSM data in one of their projects but has attribution under many link layers, more than Apple.
  • Other sources that they may be using are less buried than ours.
  • FOSSGIS legal people have a different interpretation of the Open Database License (ODbL).

Action item: Guillaume to send them the Attribution Guidelines.

Ticket#2023021610000155 - City of Helsinki web portal

  • Using OSM in background to calculate the likelihood for people doing constructions.
  • They seem keen to point out the open source nature of their tools.
  • Creating polygons of OSM material and they use these polygons in their back-end database: probably trivial transformation. For machine-transformations that are systematic, you can provide the method, and they already do that.
  • They're doing enough to satisfy the spirit of the letter of what the licence requires.

Ticket#2023030810000178 - Serbian Geodata

On licence of the Serbian governmental Geodata

On checking if there are pass through attribution requirements

  • Ask them to point us to the original text.
  • Do machine translation.
  • If the text is fuzzy, find someone who is versed in the actual legal text.

Suggestion Ask the Local Chapter in Kosovo to help.

Other points mentioned during discussion

  • No guarantee that the licence that an administrative body puts up under open data release has to do with the statutory authority that made them release the data in the first place.
  • Concern how to deal with future requests of licences in languages that are not easily understood.
  • Dual branded.

Action item: Tom Lee to reply to them on GitHub asking for additional details.

Guillaume Rischard disconnected from 28 to 32 minutes after start.

Tom Lee disconnected 37 minutes after start.

Ticket#2023031810000097 - onwheelsapp

onwheelsapp vs Wheelmap

  • Seems to provide more information.
  • We might get duplication, like we did from Wheelmap for 2 years, if they operate from non-live OSM data.

Wheelmap vs Microsoft MapBuilder

  • Wheelmap has been grand-fathered in and only one tag can be changed.
  • MS editing is more broad.


  • Suggest that their users become OSM contributors, as they might have not considered that.
    • Signing for OSM is not trivial - there is a barrier to entry.
    • You have to understand the consequences of editing the database.
  • They vet all the information before it gets added to OSM and take full responsibility.
    • Data might fall under import guidelines or organised editing guidelines.
    • Understand that the whole organisation might get blocked.


  • No way to ensure that people have not copied from other apps.

Other points mentioned during discussion

  • Data imports from organisations/governments have intermediaries and it is acceptable to have an intermediary, as long as they take full responsibility.
    • Sometimes there are updates to those imported datasets.
  • Many apps allow their users to log-in to OSM, so they could do that.

The current onwheelsapp data has been collected using Google, so it cannot be added to OSM so far.

Response draft: Looks like from the website that they use Google to collect previous data, so that data cannot be imported into OSM.

Ticket#2023032410000272 – Asesoría

It seems that they didn't know how to contribute.

Action item: Dermot to put Benito Romualdo Palma Temoaya in touch with the Mexican community.

Next Meetings

2023 LWG meeting dates:

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 56' after the start.