Licensing Working Group/Minutes/2023-10-16

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

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


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


  • Jim Vidano


Adoption of past minutes

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 Simon Poole and Guillaume Rischard to look at the translation issue of the copyright policy page
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 2023-08-14 Kathleen Lu to write back that LWG voted this is okay. [Topic: Ticket#2023081110000064 — First party websites as sources]
  • 2023-08-14 Kathleen Lu to contact Stamen and Stadia Maps [Topic: Email with complaint that OSM is used to display on a map supposed incidents where foreigners might have become perpetrators of crimes]
  • 2023-09-11 Kathleen Lu to add the "template response to missing attribution reports" to the OTRS queue.
  • 2023-09-11 Kathleen Lu 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.
  • 2023-09-11 Kathleen Lu to request tweak: By signing up, you agree to our terms of use and the [OpenStreetMap] Foundation’s [Contributor Terms]. [MapBuilder].
  • 2023-09-11 Kathleen Lu to reply "Feel free to disregard." [Topic: From OWG - allegedly Russian email].
  • 2023-09-11 Simon Hughes to ask Geolytica whether they have removed all the OSM data, and not just for TomTom.

Reportage and action item updates

Any updates on reported attribution cases?

Reports in OTRS:

Trademarks – any updates?

Guillaume - HOT trademark agreement update

Not discussed.

Simon - Any new notices

OTRS templates have been added – if anyone is missing access, please flag

  • Kathleen added the templates to OTRS (attribution and deletion requests).
  • Already used the deletion template.
  • Has not yet sent emails to historic cases reporting missing attribution.
    • It might not be worth emailing those older than a couple of months.

LWG members with OTRS access issues to notify Kathleen.

Geolytica - Update from Simon Hughes


  • 5 person company.
  • Data offered had OSM tags, that's how TomTom identified the issue.
  • They've taken OSM data from the scraped data offered to Tom Tom.
  • The removal was quick.
  • Not clear if OSM data has been removed from data offered to other Geolytica customers.
  • People can download test data from their website.

On contacting OSMF
Geolytica said that they would contact OSMF directly.

  • Probably contacted Kathleen on OSM US Slack and said they had an update and would come back.
  • We could download test data from their website.

[Brief discussion about scraping].

Moving OSMF to EU country (Belgium?): Any update by Tom Hummel? Able to connect with the lawyers from Bird&Bird that Kathleen referred?

AGIO legal firm

  • The board approved AGIO looking into the Contributor Terms.
  • Sarah Hoffmann seems to be committed to use their services.

Bird & Bird legal firm

  • They are knowledgeable but they can get very expensive quickly.
  • Tom Hummel exchanged emails with them.
  • They wanted to set up a second meeting with quite a 5-10 attorneys and sent us an engagement letter. The meeting would have to be paid.
    • Dropped by board due to cost.

Third legal firm

  • Guillaume contacted a company in Luxemburg who recommended another firm. Guillaume has not contacted that second firm.


  • AGIO: See their feedback on the Contributor Terms and decide on how to proceed.
  • Bird & Bird: Get a second quote on the project. Tom Hummel or Sarah Hoffmann (board) to:

1. Ask them if they have experience with the issue and what they have done for other non-profits, before signing any engagement agreement.
2. Make it clear that it will be a sales call.
3. Mention that we hope they can provide us with fixed fees for each stage of this project.
4. Suggest having the meeting with just a few attorneys.

Ordnance Survey Ireland - Dermot McNally found that they will be releasing Geodata under CC-BY

The Ordinance Survey of Ireland is now under the auspices of a combined land registry and government mapping agency. They've identified data sets, such as various boundaries, that would typically be hard to get ground truth on. Some of the data could be imported into OSM and is under CC-BY.

  • OSM Ireland has a board meeting tomorrow.
  • Dermot expects that the local community will want to pursue a waiver and that the the IE governmental agency will want to be mentioned at the sources page.
  • An OSM IE board member knows someone on the agency.
  • Previously limited data has come from open government licence.

- National mapping agency selling mapping data.
- Postal code dataset including addresses is proprietary.
- Commercialisation wasn't stellar and governments got complains that it is behind a paywall.

Next step: get a waiver.


  • can ask for CC0 licence.
    • that would happen very slowly, better get the waiver now.

Tom Lee and Simon Hughes had to disconnect 54' and 57' after start.

Request from Czech local chapter

The Czech local chapter has a dataset which is licensed under CC-BY 4.0, that they would like to import to OSM. They have signed a waiver and before importing, they asked to add the Czech Republic to the list of sources.

  • They submitted the pull request to the website in order to be added to the list of source and the LWG has been tagged to approve.
  • In previous cases with governmental data under CC-BY 4.0 we have asked for a waiver to be signed.
  • The sources page also mentions datasets under CC-BY 4.0 from the following countries: Australia, Austria, New Zealand, Spain.


  • Receiving too many similar requests in the future.
    • We'll end up with better data.


  • Clean up the sources page.
  • Change the sources page into a map, if it gets too big.


Unanimous approval of the pull request.

Action item: Kathleen Lu to comment on the pull request, that the LWG voted and approved the addition.

Re-discuss the compatibility issue of ODbL and CC-BY?

Tom Hummel is wondering whether the LWG would like to re-discuss the compatibility issue of ODbL and CC-BY, as it would make things very easy in the future within the EU.

Kathleen Lu tried to address the incompatibilities when CC-BY 4.0 came live and couldn't do it. She has written a blog post about it.

  • The directive explicitly mentions CC-BY 4.0.
  • The regulation asked the government agency to choose either CC0, CC-BY 4.0 or another license, and they will probably have to provide internally a reason to choose CC-BY over CC0.
  • Many EU counties will release in future data sets under CC-BY.
  • Hope that the countries will not generate many CC-BY lookalikes.
  • Governments that will use CC-BY for new data, will use the most recent version (4.0).
  • A lot of governments don't know that open government license exists and that it's compatible.

Other points mentioned

  • 2013 directive has been implemented everywhere. 2021 might still be in the process of getting implemented.
  • It is a shame that there doesn't seem to be any party that doesn't want this data sharing to happen in any of these engagements and yet we can't overcome the challenge of compatibility.
  • OSM is more risk-averse than a typical company.
  • Problem: a lot of data and players.


  • The board to send a strong statement about what these governments should do as they're evaluating these licenses, e.g. providing the reasons why they should choose CC0 or CC-BY or providing a pre-filled form that will grant a license to OpenStreetMap.
  • Tom Lee to talk to Marianne at TomTom and Courtney (CWG, ex TomTom).

Action item: Tom Lee to create a draft statement by the next LWG meeting that could be used by the board to encourage governments to publish under CC0, ODbL, OGL or with a waiver to OSM.

Queries to legal-questions

Ticket#2023032410000272 – Asesoría

Dermot has replied to the ticket in auto-translated Spanish linking to

Ticket#2023091010000233 grüntegernbach

They should be using

Action item: Guillaume Rischard to follow-up.

Next Meetings

2023 LWG meeting dates:
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