Licensing Working Group/Minutes/2023-05-15

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

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


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


  • Jim Vidano
  • Guillaume Rischard (OSMF board)

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”)
  • 2022-11-10 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 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.
  • 2023-04-03 Guillaume Rischard to ask Grant Slater regarding passing LWG tickets to OWG.
  • 2023-04-03 Dermot McNally to find wording that makes it clear to the recipients of the love letters that the letters come from mappers.
  • 2023-04-03 Guillaume Rischard to send the Attribution Guidelines (Case of German Federal Mapping Agency buried attribution)
  • 2023-04-03 Tom Lee to reply to the OSM Serbia community on GitHub asking for additional details (Ticket#2023030810000178 - Serbian Geodata)
  • 2023-04-03 Dermot McNally to put Benito Romualdo Palma Temoaya in touch with the Mexican community (Ticket#2023032410000272 – Asesoría)

Reportage and action item updates

Bing Mapbuilder – is LWG’s portion complete?

  • Request by Mapbuilder for meeting with LWG to discuss Sarah Hoffman’s questions.
  • These are not LWG questions but LWG can attend to assist.
  • Board will need to move this along.

onwheelsapp - Ticket#2023031810000097

  • Kathleen wrote back to them.
  • They are using Google Maps currently, so possibly some of their data is not importable. To be determined.
  • They seem to want to organise supervised mapathons (similar to YouthMappers), where they provide instructions how to map and there is a supervisor to help.
  • Kathleen suggested they set up an Organized Editing page as a central contact point regarding their users’ edits.

Serbian data import - Ticket#2023030810000178

Tom Lee to update -

  • We got some more context, but it has not provided sufficient clarity.
  • The original intent of the stature seems not to require viral attribution, but the way it has been implemented in the page's licence notices releasing the data make it seems that there is a pass through attribution requirement.
  • Language which suggests pass through requirement: "upon each reuse".

On potential interpretations:

  • Paragraph 1: applies to the user.
  • Paragraph 2: applies to everyone, including all downstream users of OSM.
  • Paragraph 6: only applies to the person who downloaded from the portal.
    • Serbian authorities might think that OSM is the user.
    • Even if OSM is the user of the data, the information does not have to be on the front of the data, just link to it, which can be done from the import page, which will be accessible.

Other points mentioned:

  • There is a potential mismatch between the expectations of the publisher and OSM requirements.
  • There seems to be no obligation to downstream users.


  • Find an authority that would respond to a letter asking for clarifications.
  • Add to the import page: date of the download, link to the dataset, etc.
  • Refer to the changesets, regarding
  • If "upon each reuse" is scoped to the user (each reuse performed by the user), explaining what is happening with edits is a bit tricky, but we can refer to the changesets.

Action item: Tom Lee to add clarity to the website ticket and potentially modify the pull request. Can make a generic statement that "OSM data is continuously edited and please check edit history", linking to the OSM wiki article about changesets.

Any updates on reported attribution cases?

Reports in OTRS:

Love letters

Suggested texts to make it clear that the letters sent to people/organisations not providing proper OSM attribution are written by volunteers:
- "I write as one of over 1 million OpenStreetMap volunteer mappers."
- "I write as a mapper from the OpenStreetMap community, which consists of millions of volunteers who contribute individually to the project."

Dermot to add both texts on the email template, and the person sending the letter can choose.


  • Go through the backlog of OTRS LWG tickets regarding missing attribution and suggest to them to use the email template.
  • Publicise the email template and make the text findable.

Action items:

  • Dermot to write a template reply and send it to Kathleen.
  • Kathleen to create an OTRS template with Dermot's template reply.

Trademarks – any updates?

Guillaume - HOT trademark agreement update

Not discussed.

Guillaume - Evidence of use in Philippines status – done?

Not discussed.

Simon - Any new notices

"Open Street" in Japan

We received a trademark notice for the registration of "Open Street" in Japan.

See: 2023-01 Japan - trademark notice for the registration of OpenStreet. The decision was not to oppose.

How to pass tickets to OWG, or does OWG have a template answer?

Not discussed.

Digital Services Act

Not minuted after request.

The LWG discussed and think that OSM is either a micro or a small entity.

Where to forward user deletion requests?

Any way to block address in OTRS? Junk mail levels have become intolerable

Awaiting Guillaume’s report.

Queries to legal-questions

Ticket#2023032410000272 – Asesoría

Dermot to make connection.

Ticket#2023040710000258 – Geo-fencing patents

  • Mobile phones use geo-fencing, e.g. for triggering actions when you arrive or leave a particular place.
  • OSMF does not have the infrastructure to maintain a patent portfolio (team/fees/law firm for filings). Would be a lot of work to accept something like this.
  • Nothing related to geofencing seems related to what we care about.

Suggestion: Refer them to the Linux Foundation (they have a portfolio), FOSSGIS or Mozilla, who could take the patents and have them for the community.

Decision: Dorothea to add the topic to the next board meeting agenda.

Official OSM merchandise

  • We would need a template licence agreement - which we don't have - if we were to proceed.
  • It would be nice to have OSM merchandise, subject to the safeguard of the seller not being reputable or reflecting badly on the project.
  • Would need a board approval.
  • No exclusivity.
  • Not that complicated, as offers to donate all profits to OSMF.

Suggestion: Request photos of any additional items.

Decision: Dorothea to add the topic to the next board meeting agenda.

Action items:

  • Board to discuss the issue.
  • Simon's trademark person to draft a physical merchandise template. Existing templates on domain names and State of the Map conference can be used.
  • Kathleen to write to the person who contacted the LWG to tell them that the Board is considering the issue.

Polar Electro

  • Company is producing heart rate monitors, looking at attribution on small screen.
  • They're asking if we're comfortable with their alternative design.
  • Seems like what Apple does. They don't have any other logo or map providers.
  • Looking at their UI, if you wonder where they got their map data, this can be found quickly.

Suggestion: Add to the attribution guidelines, if nothing comparable exists.
Comment that there was disagreement when this was discussed during drafting the attribution guidelines, so it was left out as it was a rare case.

Action item: Kathleen to say we are reviewing, thank you for efforts.

Next Meetings

2023 LWG meeting dates:

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 59' after the start.