Licensing Working Group/Minutes/2023-08-14
OpenStreetMap Foundation, Licensing Working Group (LWG) - Agenda & Minutes
14 August 2023, 18:00 UTC
- Kathleen Lu (Chairing)
- Tom Hummel
- Guillaume Rischard (OSMF board)
- Dermot McNally
- Jim Vidano
- Simon Hughes
- Tom Lee
Adoption of past minutes
- 2023-07-10 Deferred to the next meeting.
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 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 Opensnowmap.org 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 https://github.com/openstreetmap/openstreetmap-website/pull/3959 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 Hughes’ 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
- 2023-07-10 Guillaume Rischard to ask Grant Slater regarding reducing the amount of spam on the privacy OTRS queue.
- 2023-07-10 Tom Lee offered to delete spam messages on the privacy OTRS queue.
- 2023-07-10 Dermot McNally to ask Guillaume about the contact details of the Latin American group, in order to contact them about Ticket#2023032410000272 – Asesoría
2023-07-10 Tom Lee to add links (https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Licence/Attribution_Guidelines) to the email to Polar, send and cc LWG.
Reportage and action item updates
- Suggestion: delete Simon Poole's action items.
- Done: Talk to the UK lawyer about trademarks.
Any updates on reported attribution cases?
Reports in OTRS:
- Ticket#2021081210000057 printed maps with false copyright
- Ticket#2022011910000082 interparcel.com: Dermot Emailed them on 10th Nov, no reply
- Ticket#2022012610000149 https://poster.printmijnstad.nl/editor/city
- complaint that Aberdeen city council may not be attributing correctly – https://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/news/consultation-starts-street-improvements-ashgrove-road
- Note that Aberdeen credits Ordnance Survey, so possible OS is using OSM as one of many sources and the full attribution is not getting carried through
- Ticket#2022032710000125 - https://www.evri.com/find-a-parcelshop
- Hermes UK changed name to evri. So this is an old issue.
- Ticket#2022062610000078 -
- Härryda, Sweden, uses Open Street Map for an app they developed. Inside the app there are no license references to OSM.
- You can see the app on the Google Apps store here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=se.harryda.medborgar.app&gl=US
- Ticket#2021120810000146 mondialrelay.fr not attributing correctly
- Ticket#2022120510000177 — Club Vosgien complaint – any reply?
Trademarks – any updates?
- Trademark renewal
- a) Approval of fees for WIPO renewal, per Lawdit:
- Our legal fee of £200.00 plus VAT per country therefore £1800.00 plus VAT
- WIPO renewal fee 653 Swiss Francs
- Countries renewal fee 2837.00 Swiss Francs
- b) Are we still in touch with the US firm? Should we ask Lawdit to do the US renewal as well?
- a) Approval of fees for WIPO renewal, per Lawdit:
- Guillaume - HOT trademark agreement update
- Simon - Any new notices?
US trademark renewal
Dorothea had emailed the LWG reminding that the US trademark needs to be renewed by a specific date in 2024 and they could consider whether they want to start the process of gathering supporting evidence.
- The US Trademark renewal was previously handled by a US company. Latest email in 2020, with an invoice.
- European trademark renewals are handled by Lawdit.
Suggestion: Having the US trademark being handled by Lawdit, it might simplify things.
- tend to be more complicated than WIPO renewals, because we have to show evidence of use.
- there's a grace period even if you miss the due date.
WIPO renewal: Due in February.
Decision to pause this till early 2024.
Where to forward user deletion requests?
- Kathleen created text for a template: `LWG - User deletion requests`.
- Waiting for the addition of the missing attribution "love letter" on the OSM wiki, so that both OTRS templates can be added to the drop-down list at the same time by the OWG.
Template response to missing attribution reports
|Background by LWG
|For review and agreement:
Thanks for getting in touch with regarding a failure to correctly attribute OpenStreetMap. Attribution is part of OpenStreetMap’s covenant with its contributors and an important tool tool for growing the project’s adoption and success.
As you can imagine, with LWG being an all-volunteer group, we lack the capacity to deal with all cases. In most instances, the users have made an honest mistake, and we think that it's easiest for mappers themselves to make the first contact with and provide helpful informationviolators, especially as mappers have more local knowledge of the use. Many do this very successfully. As a mapper and contributor to OSMF, you can help educate users of OpenStreetMap data on our license and attribution obligations, you are one of the authors of the copyright work that we are looking to protect, so you are fully entitled to make these contacts.
In order to make it easier for you to deal with such cases, we have prepared template content for emails to those who may be neglecting their obligations. These are designed to allow you to pick and choose considered blocks of text that respectfully and accurately express what needs to be improved. You can find this content at: <link - did we not put this on the wiki yet? I can't find it, but can add it if needed>.
In limited high-stake cases, LWG can become more directly involved. Please let us know if there are special circumstances.
Add love letter to https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Licence/Waiver_and_Permission_Templates or other page on OSMF wiki https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Lacking_proper_attribution
And replace https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Lacking_proper_attribution/Example_email
Request from Board (Sarah Hoffman)
|Background by LWG
|I have been looking into moving the OSMF into the EU. Last week I had a call with a Belgian law firm who now look into possible way to move to Belgium to become an AISBL. You find their first assessment below. This is very much the start of the process and we will surely loop in the full LWG as soon as there is something more tangible.
For the moment I was wondering if one of you might want to help and join me in the initial discussion with the lawyers and participate in any calls we might have. I would certainly appreciate the legal experience and it might be easier and more efficient than keeping LWG in general in CC. Although I'm happy to do that, too. Let me knwo what you think.
Forwarded message from Jan van Loon | Agio Legal -----
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2023 12:21:12 +0000
As discussed during our call, we have contacted one of the UK lawyers we cooperate with to further discuss the structuring of a move of OpenStreetMap from the UK to Belgium.
A. Move to Belgium
Unfortunately, we have learned that following Brexit such move has been complicated, in the sense that a UK company can no longer be simply transformed to another entity abroad (as it cannot do so without being liquidated, which is a prerequisite for cross-border moves in the EU). It will therefore not be possible to simply emigrate the company to Belgium while maintaining the current legal personality (and therefore immediately avoid the need to renew agreements).
The UK lawyer has told us that such moves are therefore currently being structured as a business/asset transfer from a UK company (which can then be closed) to a foreign (existing) company or association.
We have asked the UK lawyer if it would be possible to sell the assets for a symbolic 1 euro or pound. Unfortunately, a nominal/symbolic consideration would be problematic under the UK tax rules, which generally impute market value consideration where a UK entity disposes of valuable assets, at less than market value, to a connected party that is tax resident outside the UK (triggering market value tax charges). The only situation in which it might not be a problem would be if the non-resident had a tax presence in the UK, so the assets were not leaving the UK tax net - we assume this will not be applicable. Even that relaxation, which applies within groups, may not be available depending on the circumstances, as generally a company limited by guarantee would break the group (as you need shares to qualify).
This problem will therefore arise with respect to any move of the Foundation to any European Union country.
If such transfer of business would take place, we would first need to establish the association in Belgium, wait for its recognition, and then conclude an agreement between the UK company and the Belgian association. The UK company would then be liquidated in the UK.
This process is in theory doable, but the main question is which price would be agreed for the transfer of assets and if such price could somehow go back to the association. We need of course to keep the impact on the financials of the association as low as possible. We will follow up on this with the UK lawyer and try to come to a good structure proposal. We would need to include UK tax advisors early on in the process.
With respect to the transfer of contracts, we asked if it would be possible to notify counterparties to obtain their silent consent on the transfer. Under UK law, each contract would need to be considered on a case-by-case basis. In principle, the benefit of a contract can be legally assigned without consent of the counterparty. However, if the contract contains provisions that make assignment subject to the counterparty’s consent, these provisions will usually be effective. In addition, to transfer the burden of a contract as well as the benefit, all the parties to the original contract (the outgoing and continuing parties) and the incoming party must consent for the transfer to be valid. Clients therefore often take a risk-based approach and focus their efforts on assigning/novating the most material contracts. The parties then agree to continue to seek to transfer the remaining contracts post completion.
As we do not yet know which contracts you have, and which law applies to them, we would indeed need to check how these can be transferred efficiently.
We already wanted to give you an update of the status of our search. We will let you know once we have further details. We can then perhaps organize a call with the UK lawyer.
Jan van Loon
Tom Hummel (LWG) has responded to Sarah Hoffmann (board) and volunteered to also attend the meeting with a Belgian law firm tomorrow. Will report back to the LWG.
On contributors terms agreement
- Biggest contract that we have to worry about potentially transferring.
- No clause in the contributor agreement for assignment.
- According to German law, this is always possible.
- Need to emphasize that it's the only agreement that matters.
- Ask Simon to join tomorrow's meeting, as he might know about European corporate law.
- Update contributor terms:
- The new entity would hold the database rights in OSM going forward.
- Would need to keep the UK entity for around 20 years until the database rights of the UK entity held are expired.
- Maybe could make the UK entity a subsidiary of the European entity
On updating contributor terms
- Would need to notify everyone of the change in terms.
- Would apply in future.
- Update terms on the website and put notice on it.
On whether we can change the contributor terms without having people to agree
- We would not be changing anything agreed in the past, only going forward.
- We would have to:
- notify everyone who has signed the contributor agreement of the change in terms and mention from which date (minimum: 30) the new terms will apply.
- change the terms on the website.
- add a notice/banner on the website.
By continuing to contribute to OSM after mappers have received advanced notice, they are agreeing to the new terms.
Other points mentioned during discussion
- Lawyer: The lawyer probably does not understand what OSM is because otherwise they would be only talking about the contributor terms.
- Privacy: We would have to figure out privacy for the transfer.
- Servers: Most servers are already in the European Union.
- UK entity: The UK entity probably can't be dissolved.
- Licence: The licence could be changed - it would require a vote.
- It's such a painful process to manage.
Queries to legal-questions
Ticket#2023032410000272 – Asesoría
|Background by LWG
|(I think this person is asking how to contribute Mexican geodata???)
Buenas tardes. Solicito su apoyo amablemente para asesoría en contribución de información a la plataforma de OSM. La cual contempla información de tipo vectorial: líneas (nomenclatura de calles oficiales del municipio de Temoaya, Estado de México, México) y polígonos (límite de localidades oficiales del municipio de Temoaya, Estado de México, México, así como el límite oficial del municipio de Temoaya, Estado de México, México). Lo anterior conservando las etiquetas correspondientes a: - nombre de calle (línea), - nombre de localidad (polígono) - superficie (polígono) y, - notas adicionales (en polígonos). Gracias. agradecería bastante su apoyo. Saludos. Benito Romualdo Palma Temoaya, Temoaya, C.P. 50850, Estado de México, México.
Thank you. I would greatly appreciate your support. Greetings.
|Previous LWG discussions: 2023-07-10, 2023-06-12, 2023-05-15, 2023-04-03
Dermot to make connection.
Ticket#2023081110000064 — First party websites as sources
|Background by LWG
I'm wondering if LWG has an opinion on using first party websites as sources. Every country, and even mapper seem to have different beliefs.
The situation is getting a little weird, certain people are now suggesting that urls are copyrighted. Or that any collecting facts like opening hours off doors is copyrighted/causes issues around recreating a database.
It would be helpful if there was a definitive answer.
Also related, I spend a lot of time working on All The Places . It's a set of scripts to collect and format POIs from chain websites. As far as I know it's not used as a source to add data to OSM (although we use it for QA in GB ).
Presumably, from a legal position using the website directly, or first formatting the website into a local file is the same.
There has been multiple discussions on if ATP can be used as a source.Recently  .
I guess my questions are:
1) Can we use first party websites as sources for independent POIs?
Thanks in advance, getting answers to these questions is important tome. And potentially important to the quality of OSM, every day I see POIs with wrong opening hours, but don't fix them because of the above questions. It has got to be better for the companies and OSM if we have the right data.
On big chains with a single website that lists all of their locations
- Their location data is a database.
- In most countries, there's no copyright on things such as addresses and URLs.
- Upload of scrapped data into OSM, it has no legal impact on us - people are doing it based on their own jurisdiction.
On individual businesses with information such as opening hours on their website
- Businesses have no intellectual property rights on such information.
- Not a database - just one data point.
Other points mentioned during discussion
- The legal status of scraping is not clear everywhere.
- Most companies will be fine with their opening hours being available on OSM.
- There seemed to be a recent request by a church to remove data.
- LWG are the arbiters of what is accepted into OSM.
LWG official position
Copying the opening hours of a business from its own website is fine. There are no copyright rights in factual information like opening hours. There's no investment in the database for a business for its own opening hours, because that is something that the business has to have for its purpose of operating. A business does not have additional investment in a database, so there are no database rights to protect. Scraping/spidering is legal in many jurisdictions, including the US. Even where the legal status of scraping is uncertain, it does not impact whether or not OSM can use the resulting data - it's just a matter of the personal risk of the person running the scraper.
All LWG members that were present voted in favour of the following:
LWG official position on community.osm.org thread
From a legal risk perspective, we do not consider accepting this information to be a legal risk to OSMF and therefore DWG is not going to revert these edits.
Action item: Kathleen to write back that LWG voted this is okay.
Any other business
Email with complaint that OSM is used to display on a map supposed incidents where foreigners might have become perpetrators of crimes
Email received with complaint that the German far right AfD party uses OSM to display on a map supposed incidents where foreigners might have become perpetrators of crimes.
- Background: OSM data with overlay.
- Is using Stamen (map design) and StadiaMaps (tile serving) – StadiaMaps is currently becoming an OSMF Corporate Member.
- Could ask the OWG to block their use of our tile servers, if they're using OSMF tiles.
- Creating an official process for blocking tile use by people who are not attributing despite being asked or their use of our services damages our reputation.
Other points mentioned
- Previous case of a website using OSM data helping people to find refugee housing to attack them. We stopped serving them tiles and contacted subsequent tile providers they used.
- Criminal use.
Action item: Kathleen to contact Stamen and Stadia Maps.
Confidential topic 1
Request to not be minuted.
Confidential topic 2
Request to not be minuted.
Previous suggestion to have a Captcha on a web-form for emails to firstname.lastname@example.org to reduce the span.
Issue: Captcha might not be GDPR compliant (obstructing communication, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A02016R0679-20160504 Article 12, probably paragraph 2).
- Most of the spam is coming through email, so having a Captcha wouldn't help.
- OSMF needs better spam filters.
Attribution topics on hold until the attribution love letter template is ready.
2023 LWG meeting dates:
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 53' after the start.