Licensing Working Group/Minutes/2024-04-08

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

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


  • Kathleen Lu (Chairing)
  • Dermot McNally
  • Simon Hughes (until ~43’ after start)
  • Tom Hummel
  • Tom Lee


  • Guillaume Rischard (OSMF board)
  • Jim Vidano (retired)


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.
  • 2024-02-12 Guillaume Rischard to ask UMBRAOSM for a copy of their filling change request. [UMBRAOSM UNIÃO DOS MAPEADORES BRASILEIROS DO OPENSTREETMAP]
  • 2024-02-12 Kathleen Lu to email OSMtips and send them the template for project and domain grandfathering applications. [Topic: 2) and related domains]
  • 2024-02-12 Kathleen Lu to email OpenLandCover and suggest template [Topic: 3)Query from Mateusz re OpenLandCoverMap]
  • 2024-02-12 Simon Hughes to provide the difference in number of POIs between the old and new datasets provided by Geolytica to TomTom. [Topic: Geolytica]
  • 2024-02-12 Kathleen Lu and Tom Hummel to talk with Sarah. [Topic: OSMF transfer plan scope of work quote from law firm]
  • 2024-02-12 Kathleen Lu to write back to EWG to ask for clarifications. [Topic: EWG enquiry about update]
  • 2024-02-12 Jim Vidano to contact the website with an attribution love letter [Topic: Ticket#2024011610000011]
  • 2024-02-12 Kathleen Lu 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 [Ticket#2024020610000298]
  • 2024-02-12 Tom Lee to reply [Topic: application for forward geocoding addresses in Germany]
  • 2024-03-04 Dermot McNally to reply to Markus and suggest setting-up a meetingwith the Austrian government. Tom Hummel would be interested to join. [Meeting with Brigitte Lutz/Austrian gov and OSMF Austria LC]
  • 2024-03-04 Jim Visano to finalise the letter to and bcc the LWG. Kathleen will add the letter to the LWG shared folder.
  • 2024-03-04 Kathleen Lu to write back that this OGL Ontario lecence is okay, please add to before using [ODbL compartibility with Open Government License - Ontario]
  • 2024-03-04 Kathleen Lu to write back that this OGL Nanaimo is okay, please add to before using [ [ODbL compartibility with OGL Nanaimo License - Ticket#2024030210000114]

Any updates on reported attribution cases?

Reports in OTRS:

Trademarks – any updates?


Jim’s retirement


Guillaume to write love letter.

Attribution present behind (i) button if you scroll down – not up to our standards, but bigger fish to fry.

Ticket#2024011610000011 – love letter candidate

Jim Vidano sent a letter to Casa -

OSMF transfer plan scope of work quote from law firm

Minutes and action item redacted, after request during the May meeting.

Queries from OSMF

Query from HERE forwarded by the Board

Simon Hughes and Tom Lee acknowledged that they have conflicts of interest, as they work for companies which are competitors to HERE.

  • Slides from the presentation were circulated to LWG. Not a lot of detail provided but they acknowledge ODbL and limitations.
  • The question seems to be how can one create a map using proprietary and ODbL data.
  • The LWG does not know the choices made by the company in the background.
  • They seem to ask for advice.


  • Ask them to join an LWG meeting.
  • Suggest to them to hire attorneys.

Action item: Kathleen to write back that based on the slides, NNG seems to try to adhere to ODbL and the community guidelines.

SotM quick licence requirements - From Mateusz Konieczny

The board will have to do a circular.

Action item: Dorothea was asked to put the topic on the board’s agenda.

Queries to legal-questions

To privacy@ from CNIL (French data protection authority)

The LWG has received correspondence from CNIL, the French Data Protection Authority, following a report received from an individual regarding concerns over potential movement of their personal data outside the territory. The reported communication does not specify the nature of the personal data involved or the identity of the individual making the report. CNIL's communication appears to be informative in nature, indicating that no response from us is required at this stage. This is the first time the LWG has been contacted by a regulatory body. A member of the LWG reviewed the email in French and CNIL's reply seems to suggest that the situation is likely deemed acceptable.

On Fastly and Privacy shield

  • The OWG some years ago informed the LWG that they were going to start testing Fastly in the US.
  • Our privacy policy discloses that we’re using a CDN.
  • Privacy Shield went down like a couple of years ago.
  • Fastly is in the new data privacy framework program and probably in the process of switching to the Privacy shield successor – approvals are being sent out in the last couple of months.

Links shared:
3. - Fastly included

Croatia open licence

Some of their requirements:

  • Attribution
  • Date of its last update.
  • Any amendments, redesign, or changes must be indicated as such.


  • Add them to the contributors page.
  • Recommend that people should mention the version of the core datasets in their changesets.

Action item: Kathleen to reply.

Assessment of York Open Data licence Ticket#2024030710000016

  • Attributing them is optional. Could credit them but we don’t have to and they might ask us not to.
  • Similar wording to the other Canadian licences.

Suggestion: List the licence for awareness to the community.

Action item: Kathleen to reply.

Simon had to disconnect ~ 43’ after start.

University of Washington GIS data and layers and university policies Ticket#2024032010000456

  • Probably there is not going to be any data relevant to the University data security policy.
  • We can redact information.
  • The risk profile low, but the language is very broad.
  • “Users of this information” probably refers to people in the University of Washington and not OSM.

Action item: Kathleen to reply that it is fine.

Assessment of Open Government License – Toronto To legal@

Looks ok. Seemed like the standard Canada OGL

Action item: Kathleen to reply.

Microsoft and European Commission Ticket#2024031210000328

A Microsoft lawyer who specialises in ODbL asked the European Commission for a waiver regarding the Global Human Settlement Layer data and the commission said that they don’t need one.

Microsoft contacted the LWG on whether they agree with the European Commission’s answer.

Different initial interpretations of EC answer

  • EC responder seems to have said they’re not giving a waiver, as they have not talked to us, and if EC talks to us, they might provide the waiver.
  • EC responder seems to think that parallel distribution is sufficient. For attribution they seem to say that context always matters and that indirect attribution is sufficient the way that OSM does it, so no waiver is necessary. It seems that his position is that the licence that they've published it under, doesn’t have the restrictions we think. It seems like an official response, binding on them.
    • A standard contractual axiom is that you interpret ambiguities against the drafter, under common law.

EC responder

  • Link shared:
  • He is positioned in the branch of the European Commission that would be responsible for an official determination.: *Works at the Central Intellectual Property service of the European Commission in the Joint Research center, which is entrusted with the administrative management of European Commission's intellectual property rights. The service also conceives and revises dissemination contracts and clauses, licenses reuse, enterprise training and policy advice on IP issues, mainly for the European Commission staff, but also other EU institutions, bodies and agencies.”
  • He is senior enough and centrally positioned enough that if anybody questions, that we could say we fairly relied on this communication.
  • He has an LLM from the University of Amsterdam.

On EC datasets

  • The EC answer applies to any similarly licenced CCBY datasets published by the European commission.


  • Reply to MS that we are ok with the answer.
  • If anyone questions, we can say we relied on this specific communication.
  • Kathleen to talk to Kari about the broader questions (all CCBY datasets published by the European commission).
  • Talk more at the next meeting

Kathleen Lu
"Regarding the need for a signed version of the document you sent, I am unable to provide this as it would require pre-approval and formal collaboration with OSM. However, this would only be necessary if a different license than the CC-BY license provided or a waiver of any rights owned by the EU were requested. It is my understanding that no additional rights are being requested. I believe that the explanations provided here should clarify our understanding and alleviate any concerns about the European Union's position on this matter."

Other points mentioned

  • If a signed waiver is needed, it might be a heavily bureaucratic process.
  • Licence ambiguities are interpreted against the drafter, under common law.
  • EC commission will control the interpretation.
  • Microsoft should be prepared to make their own determination

Concern: Not requiring a waiver in this case of the Global Human Settlement Layer data published by the European Commission might be misconstrued as OSMF changing stance due to this request coming by MS.

  • MS brought receipts.
  • LWG does not have time to chase people down.

Should LWG rethink the waivers about data coming from European Commission, as the Commission has put out an official position that nothing from them conflicts with ODbL?

  • Does not speak for other governments.
  • This is what we tried with Australia but they would not do it.
  • The LWG to consider whether all data coming from the European Commission is okay if it's CC BY, because the European Commission has put out the official position that nothing is CC BY is conflicts with ODbL and as the data licensor, we will accept their official position on that matter . That does not mean that it will apply for data by other governments.
  • Kathleen talked with attorneys who wrote CC-BY licences and their interpretation is not the same as the EC - it’s ambiguous - it is on a licensor by licensor basis.

Action item: Kathleen to email Kari R. Annand for the broader question and discuss this again at the next LWG meeting. If there is alignment, could take this up the board afterwards.

Incorrect spelling of OpenStreetMap in Trailforks app To legal@


Next Meetings

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 16 minutes after start.