Licensing Working Group/Minutes/2023-07-10

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

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


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


  • Tom Hummel
  • Simon Hughes


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”)
  • 2022-11-10 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)
  • 2023-05-15 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.
  • 2023-05-15 Dermot McNally to write a template reply for emails we receive regarding missing attribution and send it to Kathleen.
  • 2023-05-15 Kathleen Lu to create an OTRS template with Dermot's template reply regarding missing attribution.
  • 2023-05-15 Simon Hughe’s trademark person to draft a physical merchandise template. Existing templates on domain names and State of the Map conference can be used.
  • 2023-05-15 Kathleen Lu to write to the person that contacted the LWG regarding OSM merchandise that the Board is considering the issue.
  • 2023-06-12 Guillaume Rischard to ask Grant Slater about how to block addresses in OTRS.
  • 2023-06-12 LWG to suggest to Mapilio to modify the wording regarding permission to OSM, to make it clearer.
  • 2023-06-12 Tom Lee to draft a reply to Polar for the LWG to review [Ticket#2023050510000189]
  • 2023-06-12 Tom Lee to reply to Paul Norman regarding the suggestion to draft a policy for adding sources to the copyright page

Reportage and action item updates

Any updates on reported attribution cases?

Reports in OTRS:

Trademarks – any updates?

Guillaume - HOT trademark agreement update

Simon - Any new notices?

Holdover items

Where to forward user deletion requests?

I have been forwarding to DWG’s queue, but perhaps that is not right?

Will create a new template referencing

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

Awaiting Guillaume’s report. Alternatively, any volunteer to clear the Privacy queue of spam on a weekly basis? It’s 90% spam, and a lot of it in German. Would be a lot faster for a German speaker to clear.

Resolution: Blocks should be requested to OWG at

Any Other Business

Request from the Board: Are there defensive measures OSMF should take to protect the project from patent abuse?

[Any further discussion?]


Request from ID developer: Mapilio

  • Kathleen responded and offered language for their use, with Mapillary being the closest match to their situation.
  • As of now, there has been no reply or response.

Template response to missing attribution reports

Discussion on where to place the template "love letter" (on the OSMF website or elsewhere).


  • Add a link from the OSM wiki to the template on the OSM Foundation website, to make it more discoverable.
  • We can offer multiple versions of the template.

Other points mentioned during the discussion

  • Some users have decided to update the import guidelines, changing where the discussion can take place.
  • Mateusz has been trying to create his own template for cases of missing attribution. He was invited to this meeting.

Also see

Action item: Dermot to check where to put the template and where to link it from.

On content

On indicating that individual mappers can claim intellectual property rights
We seem to say that individual Mappers have a right to assert intellectual property rights, which, are exclusively reserved for the OSMF.

  • Trying to say be empowered, because you are a stakeholder.
  • There might be people contributing to the project in other ways rather than mapping, so they may not technically be copyright holders.
  • Main message: Everyone has the capacity to take action.

On IP rights

  • IP rights is a broader term than copyright.
  • The copyright in the individual edits remains with the individual mappers.
  • The copyright as a whole belongs to OSMF to the extent that it exists, and the database rights belong to OSMF.
  • Mentioning IP rights, would include both copyright and database rights.

Other points mentioned during the discussion

  • The letter only refers to copyright and it only refers to the individual level.
  • People adding emotionally charged or strongly worded additional comments to pre-polupalted form letters.
  • We include text to say that frequently the mapping framework provides an automated method for the correct addition of attribution.

On companies providing map-services based on OSM data and their customers

  • Companies who have been buying maps based on OSM are receiving emails and online criticism from contributors, causing confusion and noting that this never happened with Google.
  • Map-service providing companies could educate their customers regarding attribution to OSM.
  • Appropriate attribution is set as a default in all of Mapbox software and it's part of the onboarding documentation.
  • In some cases overly creative engineers fail to communicate their decisions to their superiors, resulting in the bosses receiving unexpected emails.


  • Replace "copyright holder" with "contributor to project, having a stake in its success".
  • Add language that helps the reader understand the purpose of attribution and our goals with the communication: enhance the success of OSM project.

Decision: The LWG to add feedback in the next couple of days and determine concensus on the Signal channel before proceeding.

Afterwards Dermot McNally to:

Broken links in FAQ

Fixed by Tom Hummel.

Queries to legal-questions

Ticket#2023032410000272 – Asesoría

Dermot OSM messaged an apparently prominent mapper there, didn't get any response.

Action item: Dermot to ask Guillaume about the contact details of the Latin American group.

Polar - Ticket#2023050510000189

  • Tom circulated a draft letter to them
  • Kathleen added comments.


  • Use British spelling.
  • Include that if they come up with a creative approach that fulfills the attribution requirements, to notify the LWG.
  • Ask how often do users boot the Polar Watch (e.g. when running out of battery/once per week/once per workout).
  • Add the URL of the Attribution guidelines.

Action item: Tom Lee to add links, send the email and cc LWG.

from talk list: ODbl concerns - Department of Transport and Planning, Australia

No reply to us yet.

Field Name data deriving in part from Ordnance Survey Ireland

Discussion on the challenges in obtaining and utilising Ordnance Survey Ireland data.

Anne-Karoline Distel is on the OSM Ireland board, as Dermot. The topic has not come up formally in the OSM Ireland board meetings.

Ordnance Survey Ireland

  • Government owned corporation with a mandate to monetize their assets.
  • It is quite easy for Ordnance Survey Ireland to claim that because of the fact that it's in their ownership as a corporation, it's not quite the same as government data.

OSM Ireland and Ordnance Survey Ireland

  • OSM Ireland has been using old scanned and rectified maps by Ordnance Survey Ireland that have fallen off copyright.
  • OSM Ireland has not asked so far to use copyrighted data from Ordnance Survey Ireland.
  • Last conversations with people from Ordnance Survey Ireland was before the circular (see below).
  • Plan to reach out to Ordnance Survey Ireland, presenting the potential mutual benefits and clarifying our intention to collaborate.


On precedent: the other EU jurisdictions will have made their decision based on EU law, but their decisions won't be case law in an Irish context.

Suggestions for communication
Mention to Ordnance Survey Ireland that

  • they did this huge amount of work and it's not getting used.
  • we would like to use the data, as imperfect and incomplete as it is.
  • we will make sure everyone gets to know how good the work is and how useful they were.
  • Propose dual licensing.

Other points mentioned

  • It is something that has been used elsewhere in the EU and even something.
  • The OSMF has provided financial support to organisations trying to get open data.
  • Strong tradition in Ireland of politicians offering assistance but being countered by their civil servants who explain why things can't be done.
  • Challenge is to find common ground between their profit-oriented activities and our objectives.

Decision: Dermot to raise the issue at the next OSM Ireland board meeting, providing a summary of this discussion.

Next Meetings

2023 LWG meeting dates:

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 65' after the start.