Licensing Working Group/Minutes/2023-11-13

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

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


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


  • Jim Vidano
  • Simon Hughes
  • Guillaume Rischard (OSMF board)


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
  • 2022-09-15 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.
  • 2023-10-16 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. [Topic: Re-discuss the compatibility issue of ODbL and CC-BY?]
  • 2023-10-16 Kathleen Lu to comment on the pull request, that the LWG voted and approved the addition [Topic: Request from Czech local chapter]

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



Action item: Kathleen Lu to write back to the person who reported to LWG about Geolytica and mention that we got contacted by another company and they reported fixing the issue. Enquire whether the issue was fixed for them too.

Also wait to see if Simon Hughes has any information.

Moving OSMF to EU country (Belgium?) - update by Tom Hummel

Request to not minute this section.

Previous discussions:

Ordnance Survey Ireland waiver - Update by Dermot McNally

  • OSM IE not recently active on this issue due to their Annual General Meeting.
  • Expected to proceed with seeking a waiver.
  • Bigger discussion on CC licences.
  • In Austria they had difficulty in obtaining a waiver.

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#2023110610000184 - Importing Austrian governmental data

The Austrian local chapter is trying to figure out how to get Austrian government data into OSM because the Austrian government has adopted CC-BY.

Based on the emails, there might be possibility of further conversation with Brigitte Lutz, who seems to be in the Austrian government, coordinating discussions and is suggesting a legal assessment of the compatibility between CC-BY and ODbL.

On getting a waiver Unsuccessful on getting a waiver signed by local officials, probably because they would need to get it signed from many governmental agencies. That’s why they probably favour a blanket interpretation.


  • Meet with Brigitte and talk about what a solution would be.
  • Get a blanket assertion from Brigitte Lutz or somebody on the government side.
  • Point them to the original blog-post on why CC-BY is incompatible.

Action item: Kathleen to email that German-speaking LWG members are happy to have a conversation with Brigette and discuss compatibility.

Future blogpost on licence compatibility

  • Purpose of post: make known that CC-BY would be a problem, before people make a decision on the licence of datasets they will publish.
  • Current state of blog-post by Tom Lee: good - it has been reviewed by several LWG members.

Blog-post: suggestions regarding licencing

  • 1. Propose wording to governments specific to OSM, which they could include with their licence alongside their language about CC-BY 4.0 – this would be less complicated than signing a waiver.
    • This also provides forward compatibility in the case of the OSM moving away from ODbL.
  • 2. Ask them to opt for CC0, as it is explicitly on the list of the licences they can choose according to the European guidance, and not mention the waiver.
  • 3. If they can’t do CC0, ask them to waive incompatible provisions for OSM.
  • 4. If this is also not acceptable, ask them to waive the DRM provision of CC-BY and say that a centralised attribution source is acceptable.

The governmental agencies in Germany

  • are required to open the datasets by law.
  • have few resources.
  • don’t have access to lawyers.

It might be difficult to convince them to choose another licence or waive some rights for OSMF, as other people might demand similar waivers.

On governmental agencies that have already released datasets under CC-BY

  • They might be reluctant to change from CC-BY to CC0, even if it is listed in the guidance.
  • Option 1 above might be easier for them – nothing will need to be signed.

Other points mentioned during discussion

  • ODbL is more restrictive than CC-BY.
  • Waiving some terms of ODbL makes it less restrictive/more lenient, and thus can be used for licensing datasets according to the guidance.
  • The main reason we can’t use CC-BY is due to DRM, not due to attribution.
  • Assessment by German law firm regarding DL-DE/BY and OdbL (“Datenlizenzen für Open Government Data Rechtliches Kurzgutachten”. For the Ministry of Economics, State of Northrine-Westphalia.

Action items

Next Meetings

2023 LWG meeting dates:
Monday Dec 11, 1800 UTC
Monday Jan 08 2024, 1800 UTC