Licensing Working Group/Minutes/2024-02-12

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

OpenStreetMap Foundation, Licensing Working Group (LWG) - Agenda & Minutes
12 February 2024, 18:00 UTC


  • Kathleen Lu (Chairing)
  • Jim Vidano)
  • Simon Hughes (until 54' after start)
  • Tom Hummel
  • Tom Lee
  • Guillaume Rischard (OSMF board)


  • Dermot McNally


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.
  • 2021-02-11 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 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)
  • 2023-11-13 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: Ordnance Survey Ireland waiver - Update by Dermot McNally]
  • 2023-11-13 Tom Hummel to read [Topic: Ticket#2023110610000184 - Importing Austrian governmental data]m to add to add the following two templat
  • 2023-11-13 Tom Hummel to contact Falk, a lawyer from the German local chapter, and get his opinion on the general stance of mid-level governmental agencies. Estimated to have a response by early December. [Topic: Ticket#2023110610000184 - Importing Austrian governmental data]
  • 2024-01-08 Kathleen Lu to contact Lawdit and enquire about the cost estimate for opposing the trademark registration by UMBRAOSM.
  • 2024-01-08 Kathleen Lu to reply to Kirill Fedotov that the new MapBuilder designs for OSM account sign-ups look good.
  • 2024-01-08 Tom Hummel to reply to the last email about rescheduling the meeting regarding the Austrian governmental datasets , cc Dermot McNally and try to schedule a new date.
  • 2024-01-08 Kathleen Lu to reply to the reporter that, per horizontal layers, what was done with the Organic Maps feature related to is fine for data about hotel booking, and enquire about further concerns.
  • 2024-01-08 Kathleen Lu to contact OWG regarding Matomo tracking (Q5: is there a delay after which old IP addresses are anonymised and Q6: For how long is Matomo tracking information retained by OSMF). LWG to answer questions one to four, providing the reasoning.
  • 2024-01-08 Kathleen Lu to forward this request for permission to use the OSM trademarks on the domains:,,,, to the board.
  • 2024-01-08 Guillaume Rischard to send an attribution love letter to OpenGeoHub, regarding OpenLandMap.
  • 2024-01-08 Guillaume Rischard to talk with Tom Hummel, before the latter talks to Falke.
  • 2024-01-08 Guillaume Rischard to provide a summary regarding the German federal cartography agency issue at the next meeting.

Reportage and action item updates

Any updates?

' and related domains (",,,,

Typically we have agreement with the domain owners with clause providing the domain back to OSMF in case the project gets abandoned or moves away from OSM – OSMF will pay the processing fee.

Action item: Kathleen to email OSMtips and send them the template.

OpenLandCoverMap - Query from Mateusz

The 2023 agreement with OpenInfraMap can be used as a template for the agreement with OpenLandCover.

Assessment of OpenLandCover

  • Open project.
  • Uses OpenStreetMap.

Action item: Kathleen to email OpenLandCover and suggest template

"OSM - Open Source Maps & GPS" app has been removed by Google – thank you Guillaume!

Any updates on reported attribution cases?

Reports in OTRS:

Trademarks – any updates?


  • UMBRAOSM claims to have changed their trademark application, removing OpenStreetMap from their name.
  • No further communication from them on applying as local chapter – Arnalie Vicario (board) is interested in talking with them about it.
  • The trademark registration was under an individual, and not under an organisation.

'Action item: Guillaume to ask UMBRAOSM for a copy of their filling change request.


TomTom’s investigation update

  • It seems that Geolytica put some effort and removed the OSM data.
  • Expectation: significant drop in number of POIs provided by Geolytica in countries where other organisations don’t map as much.
    • Did point checking: scanned the Geolytica-supplied data with various data points to identify any matches with some variance for error or for geocoding. Various attributes were looked at.
    • Analysis: of the 96 million POIs, 500 were flagged and of these, around 494 came from brands. The remaining 6 were sent for manual checking.
    • The revised dataset provided to TomTom, which should not include OSM data, was much smaller.
    • Conclusion from TomTom engineers: dataset provided to TomTom was clean from OSM data, as far as they could tell. Conclusively concluding on an attribute is quite difficult, if no copytraps exist.

Guillaume’s investigation update

Guillaume looked at the sample data for some unique OSM formatting, and he could not find any. It is unclear if there is any in the sold datasets.

'Action item: Simon Hughes to provide the difference in number of POIs between the old and new datasets provided by Geolytica to TomTom.

OSMF transfer plan scope of work quote from law firm

Request by LWG for minutes to be redacted.

Meeting with Brigitte Lutz/Austrian gov and OSMF Austria Local Chapter - Ticket#2023110610000184 related 

Deferred. Topic much more complicated than initially thought.


Guillaume to write love letter


Queries from OSMF

GDPR affected services - EWG enquiry

As this is about the OSM wiki and not the OSMF website, the EWG could go ahead and update it.

Action item: Kathleen to write back to EWG to ask for clarifications.

Queries to legal-questions

Ticket#2024011610000011 – love letter candidate

The website is using OSM Carto.

Action item: Jim Vidano to contact the website with an attribution love letter

Suggestion: Create a repository for the attribution love letters that the LWG sent.

Copying traces from Danish Styrelsen for Dataforsyning og Infrastruktur. - Ticket#2024020610000298

The LWG members looked at an automatic translation of the Danish licence.

  • Request to approve Denmark open data source as compatible.
  • Their license asks for attribution at a prominent place and for a disclosure of the specific time that the data was retrieved.
  • Danish community has been importing datasets for over a decade.

Related to the Danish address data

  • Dataset contains the Danish address register,so the Danish community probably has good contacts with them.
  • The case of Danish address data has been used for a long time to advocate for open data initiatives. This is supported by a comprehensive study demonstrating the significant return on investment (ROI) associated with that endeavour.
  • The individual responsible for the address database import into OSM was proud about its successful integration.
  • There are not other governmental sources of Danish address data.


  • Ask them to get a waiver signed for CCB 4.0
    • Under the base Danish open licence law they don’t seem to need a waiver, and it’s a lower effort to add them to the copyright page.
  • Add them to the OSM copyright page and ask them to add the retrieval date onthe OSMchangeset comments.
  • Put a disclaimeron the copyright page mentioning that OSM is not endorsed by the Danish
  • Say it's an incompatible license. They can get permission and use it for their own use, but we can't include it.

On misrepresentation mentioned on the Danish licence

  • Vague term.
  • We would not be misrepresenting them, but someone using their data might be.
    • Probably it’s a downstream problem.

On requirement to be listed on the front page of the service
“"sikre, at ”Styrelsen for Dataforsyning og Infrastruktur” fremgår på forsiden af servicen, hvis andre kilder også nævnes på forsiden"”

  • They want to be listed on frontpage of service, only if other sources are mentioned on the front page.
  • This does not apply in our case.
  • Downstream, if someone lists OSM and another source, they would need to list the Danish government as well. This could be problematic, as OSM users might not know that they need to comply to those Danish terms as well.
    • We don’t govern downstream use.
      • On a practical level, it's very unlikely that they are envisioning that as a right that they wish to assert.

On washing data and pass-through obligations

  • If we allow the data into the database, it seems that we’re washing the pass-through obligations.
  • OSM incorporates ODBL licensed data sets, like the buildings footprints from Microsoft and Google.

ODbL calls for disclosure of sources in a reasonably calculated manner, so OSM's interpretation is that there needs to be attribution on the map. It doesn't interpret it as having a pass through obligation for all upstream ODbL data sources, which seems analogous to this situation. At some point, we're implicitly taking the stance that if you're combining sources into a new source, you're not passing through atomically all of the upstream disclosure requirements.

On obtaining a waiver

  • Obtaining a waiver can be inconsistent and challenging, particularly when dealing with government entities.
  • The success rate is often less than 50% due to difficulty in connecting with the appropriate officials.
  • Approaching them may raise concerns as they might perceive the request as redundant or unnecessary, potentially hindering further cooperation.

On use of the dataset

  • Seems like the data is already used.
  • People are probably going to keep using the dataset, as it is from the government.

Suggested responses

  • Ask them to check with their administration if anyone has an objection.
  • Mention to them our interpretation of their licence.
  • Mention that the practical repercussions of some clauses are unclear and ask them how difficult would it be to get a CC waiver signed.
    • Probably not a good answer.

Consensus seemed to be:

  • Notify them that they will be added to the copyright page, where we list some of our sources, and that there is no source mentioned on the first page of the website. Or they could get a CC waiver.
  • Wait for their email response, before creating a pull request for the copyright page on

Other points mentioned

  • We advise against creating custom licenses, as each agency has developed its own unique licensing terms and conditions.

Action item: Kathleen to write back to inquirer that we will add to the copyright page, and that they should notify the Danish data authority that they will be represented on the /copyright alongside all our other prominent sources (there not being anything listed on the front page). Or you can get a CC waiver. Also cc Tom Lee

Simon had to disconnect 54’ after start.

To legal@

  • Using Geofabrik’s free tier.
  • They want to copy 50 data points
  • They probably are not trying to recreate a database in a way to trigger ODbL.

1. Yes, if it’s shown on the same page, one attribution to OpenStreetMap is sufficient for both geocoding and the map. No need to attribute Nominatim separately. If you are not using a map, then you can attribute in text on the page the geocoding results are listed, adjacent to the results. See Attribution Guidelines.
2. We recommend adding attribution to the KML file if possible, to account for scenarios in which it could be used independently of the map.
3. Re Geofabrik’s requirements, you’d have to check with them. For OpenStreetMap, you don’t need anything additional to the answer to question (1); you can follow the attribution guidelines, which Leaflet should enable easily.
4. Yes, include in KLM metadata tags

Action item: Tom Lee to reply.

Any other business

Data remixes by company

Discussion initiated by Guillaume.

A company wants to take OSM data, remove the turn restrictions, and sell theturn restrictions separately. They're wondering if that would trigger share alike. They approached Overture, but they could not give them clear answers.

Points mentioned during discussion

  • Turn restrictions refer to OSM segments, and the road you produce would then be derived from OSM and therefore share-alike.
  • You could separate out turn restrictions as a horizontal layer.
  • Expectation of more companies wanting to sell OSM derived data sets wondering when it triggers share alike.
    • They can look at the collective database guidelines


  • Ask the company to write to the legal mailing list first.
  • Collective database guidelines: Add a positive example,,as it includes two negative ones.

Guidelines on the OSMF website and mentions of “ongoing conversations”

Past conversations on guidelines are useful, but we don’t want to imply that the conversations to OSM talk pages that they refer to are ongoing or official.

Suggestion: References to “ongoing conversations” to be changed to “historical references for past discussions”.

Action item: Dorothea to create a board action item and assign it to Guillaume. (Done:

Next Meetings

Monday 04 March 2024, 1800 UTC
Monday 08 April 2024 (summer hours - 1700)
Monday 13 May 2024, 1700 UTC
Monday 10 June 2024, 1700 UTC
Monday 08 July 2024, 1700 UTC
Monday 12 August 2024, 1700 UTC
Monday 09 September 2024, 1700 UTC
Monday 07 October 2024, 1700 UTC
Monday 18 November 2024 (back to winter hours - 1800)
Monday 09 December 2024, 1800 UTC

Meeting adjourned 1 hour and 31 minutes after start.