Licensing Working Group/Minutes/2023-09-11

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

OpenStreetMap Foundation, Licensing Working Group (LWG) - Agenda & Minutes
11 September 2023, 17:00 UTC


  • Kathleen Lu (Chairing)
  • Dermot McNally
  • Simon Hughes
  • Tom Lee
  • Tom Hummel
  • Guillaume Rischard (OSMF board)


  • Jim Vidano

Adoption of Minutes of previous meetings

Previous action items

  • 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.
  • 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 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 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.
  • 2023-07-10 Guillaume Rischard  to ask Grant 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

Reportage and action item updates

Any updates on reported attribution cases?

Reports in OTRS:

Trademarks – any updates?

Trademark renewal

Invoice has been paid and Lawdit is working on this.

Guillaume - HOT trademark agreement update

Simon - Any new notices

Holdover items

Where to forward user deletion requests? 

Kathleen has created text for a template: `LWG - User deletion requests` – need one of the admins to add this to the queues

Template response to missing attribution reports

Dermot went through the text of the template on the July agenda, accepted changes to the template, and then the text was copied over to the September agenda.

Action items:

  • Kathleen to add the "template response to missing attribution reports" to the OTRS queue.
  • Kathleen to email OWG and ask them to add the following two templates to the OTRS group queues (LWG, DWG, MWG, etc): 1) template response to missing attribution reports 2) user deletion request template.

On use of OSMF tiles, which are intended to be used by the community ("community tiles") There is an operations policy about use of OSMF tiles.

Suggestion: The LWG could provide to the community a version of a text that cautions people to be aware of the OSMF tile usage policy and that tiles are for community use, not for commercial use. If their use exceeds the policy, they can use a commercial provider.

  • Community members may not be able to determine if a website/app has been using the OSMF tiles, especially whether the use is heavy or not.
  • If the community sends emails regarding the tile usage policy to people using OSMF tiles, it will dilute our message.
  • It may lead to people using OSM tiles getting multiple emails by community members regarding the OSMF tile usage policy.
  • OPS know when the tile servers are heavily used.
  • We should focus on attribution.

On the initial proposed process for cases of missing attribution

  • The LWG would confirm that the attribution was missing and give directions to the OWG.
  • Process is cumbersome, requiring much communications.
  • Clear only when attribution is completely missing.

On who would define whether attribution is adequate

  • If the OWG don't want to pronounce adequate attribution, they can pass it to LWG.
  • Probably not all LWG members are needed to make a decision.

On way forward

  • Guillaume has asked OWG to create a new public GitHub tracker for reporting obvious cases of missing attribution, where people are using OSMF tiles.
  • Guillaume to create a form with a checklist that community members can use, before reporting a case on the new tracker.
  • Form could include fields for the community member confirming: 1) that there's no attribution 2) that they contacted the other party 3) providing the email they sent to the other party 4) adequate time for a response (e.g. 1 week) has passed 5) ask for the email address of the party that uses OSMF tiles (if one was found).
  • The two websites that have been recently forwarded to the LWG ( and are candidates for using the new process.

Other points mentioned

  • Lack of attribution to OSM is a valid reason to shut off access to OSMF tiles.
  • OTRS: Templates have to be individually added to each team's OTRS queue, to be available for selection.


  • add the template to the board's queue
    • Guillaume to point the template to Mateusz Konieczny.
  • remove the section about the OSMF tile usage policy from the template letter regarding attribution, but keep it for cases when we decide to notify someone about blocking use of OSMF tiles.
    • we might not need to notify offenders of missing attribution after blocking tile usage.

From Microsoft re Mapbuilder (see email below)

Normal sign-up for an OSM account on

  • You get sent to which mentions to not copy from other maps.
  • Suggestion to change "our terms" to "OSM terms" (Guillaume can open a pull-request).

Brief discussion about which OSM/F page is best to link to, during the creation of the OSM accounts by MapBuilder users.


  • Add that "By signing up, you agree to our terms of use and the OpenStreetMap ( Foundation’s Contributor Terms ("
  • Add: "OpenStreetMap is a place for mapping things that are both real and current - it includes millions of buildings, roads, and other details about places. You can map whatever real-world features are interesting to you. What it doesn't include is opinionated data like ratings, historical or hypothetical features, and data from copyrighted sources. Unless you have special permission, don't copy from online or paper maps." (DWG issue - Guillaume to raise).

On "don't copy from other maps"

  • It's not legally necessary to tell people not copy from other maps.
  • Currently, MapBuilder users copy from satellite imagery, not from maps.
    • They might get access to a full editor.

On theming the login window (putting a brand specific theme from the third party SSO onto the login page)

  • There was a suggestion to theme the login to OSM, according to who you choose to be your single sign on provider.
  • They are going to get an icon, instead of a full width button, as was proposed on the screenshot of the mock-up which they sent.
  • How they start their login screen is up to them.
  • Probably not an LWG issue.

Action item: Kathleen to request tweak: By signing up, you agree to our terms of use and the OpenStreetMap Foundation’s Contributor Terms.

From OWG - allegedly Russian email

Action item: Kathleen Lu to reply "Feel free to disregard."

Post-meeting note: the email that OWG received was a scam email.

From OWG - email related to sunnypilot and dragonpilot

  • There seem to be experimental open source software that one can install on their vehicle to gather information for purposes of training self driving vehicles.
  • The providers of the software have decided to give a copy of all of the gathered GPS traces to OSM.


  • Each entity uses a single account to upload all the traces of all of their users.
  • They use

Concerns by OWG

  • Privacy issues, which would might result to deletion requests.
  • Data volume (OPS issue).

Private information provided with the traces

  • The car model, which is useless information to us.
  • Where people have driven to (considered private data in the US)
  • Timestamps.

Suggestions to ask the two entities

  • Data anonymisation: remove all information from the GPS traces, except the trace.
  • Data modification: 1) change lines of GPS traces into points and 2) each user should be associated with an identifier for their account, for deletion requests.
    • The identifier would make their data less private, but they will have consented to sharing the data.
  • Data hosting: host the anonymised data and make it available to the OSM community.
    • They probably won't host it.
    • Mappers probably won't know about the data hosted by the two companies.
    • Ideal place would be in our own GPX dataset.
  • Opt-in mechanism: Require their users to opt-in to the OSM terms when they select to upload traces, so that they consent and are aware.
  • Require their users to use individual OSM accounts.

On the data provided

  • Their data is useful.
  • If we consider the data not useful, the OWG could block them.
  • This type of data is used by companies, but with additional privacy processing and with tight custody.
    • The compliance environment is hostile.
  • We are quite far away from being in a safe place for OSM to gather this data.


  • Ask OWG about the issue of data volume and if asking the entities to host the data instead would be a solution.
    • OWG can deal with the issue.

Other point mentioned

  • Commodot AI - setting up a self driving car that was hacked together and taking a reporter for a live drive in traffic within two weeks of beginning development.

Decision: Ask OWG about the volume issue and whether the company hosting the data would help that issue.

Any Other Business

Any update by Tom Hummel on moving OSMF to EU country (Belgium?)

Tom had one meeting with lawyers (2 British lawyers, 1 from Belgium) and Sarah Hoffmann (board) last week.

  • They haven't looked through the document that Sarah provided.
  • Tom tried to direct them towards the contributor terms and they said they would look into it.
  • The lawyer from the Belgian firm might not have gotten the focus on the project until now.

Points mentioned during discussion

  • OSM is not the usual thing they deal with and it takes time.
  • No need to change lawyers at the moment.
  • Optimistic towards the British lawyers, once they read through our documents.

Queries to legal-questions

Ticket#2023032410000272 – Asesoría

Dermot to make connection.

Geolytica / - Email to legal@

Someone is claiming that Geolytica is selling a POI database that they think is partly copied from OSM, without attributing.

Potential issues

  • Mixing with OSM data
  • Not attributing


  • Is a web-scraping company.
  • Is used as a source by TomTom.


  • Identified some OSM POIs in the data Geolytica provided to them and asked Geolytica to provide an OSM-free dataset.
  • Geolytica is fixing this.

Action item: Simon Hughes to ask Geolytica whether they have removed all the OSM data, and not just for TomTom.

Two cases of missing attribution by websites using OSMF tile servers - Email to @legal

Note: email back in July, got lost in the shuffle.

Not discussed.

Next Meetings

2023 LWG meeting dates:
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