Published using Google Docs
20130625 LWG - Meeting Minutes

OpenStreetMap Foundation

Licensing Working Group

  Tuesday 25th June 2013

18:00 - 19:05 UTC

Agenda & Minutes


Present:  Simon Poole, Oliver Kühn, Dermot McNally


Minutes by: Michael

1. Adoption of Minutes of last meeting (7th May)

Note: This editable minute link is for LWG members only. A public version is normally available at

Proposed: Simon

Seconded: Dermot



2. MATTERS ARISING (open action items from previous meetings)

  • Mike to contact Henk re Apple situation (done)
  • Mike will copy the 7th May minutes text on data verification to our formal FAQ (done 25th June)
  • MapBox "attribution mark" proposal
  • Mike: Make sure 7th May minute comments on go where they need to go (done 25th June)
  • Simon: talk to legal counsel: replace of the credit “© OpenStreetMap contributors” or similar with a visual mark - is this “legally” valid? (done - awaiting response
  • Simon: Are there other trademarks that might overlap “OSM”? (done - response received, may conflict in UK with Ordnance Survey “OSMM” ?OS Master Map? ... we should probably contact them directly, the mark may not be actively used)
  • --> Mike Contact OS Legal

3. Finalise today's agenda

4. Trademark Registration (Simon)

  • Status update TM registration

European trademark transfer is now complete as of end May.

USA trademark registration is ongoing.

  • extending current registrations

Simon will ask lawdit for a quote on extending the registration of “OpenStreetMap” (for the logo it is debatable),  to (currently):

   Russia, Japan, Australia, Ukraine, Brazil, China, Argentina, India

This is based on a mix of community size and strategic reasons. Further
candidates from a community perspective could be Canada, Belarus, Taiwan, Indonesia.

5. MapBox & PD users

The board has requested that we put our thinking wrt MapBoxs request for the list of users with the PD box ticked in writing as a formal recommendation.

LWG response:

  • We feel that aggregated information on numbers ticking the PD box can and should be published; provided that it is clearly understood that this was and is presented as a survey to help the community discuss and plan future direction and does not have any formal legal validity.
  • We feel that individual data should not be released, at least now, for three reasons:
  1. If a user had ticked the PD box, it does not necessarily mean that they afterwards confine themselves to data within that goal; they may import or derive from an incompatible source.
  2. This is potentially personal data, there is a privacy issue.  We need a more fine-grained published policy on what data a user enters during registration and later on their profile page can be used for what purpose.
  3. As outlined above, it was made very clear during the license change process that that ticking the PD box was in the form of a survey.  We therefore see no practical use in knowing how a particular user ticked it.

Mike will email this to the board.

6. Conforming maps to “legal” and nationalistic requirements

OSMF have had at least two formal letters from representatives of national governments taking issue at the use of names and other details not conforming to how they see the world. For example, a set of names in a specific “other” language in a disputed region.

To deal with this and future issues, Mike has begun a resource here: (publicly viewable but not editable version)

The intent is to refine this as a formal proposed position to the board for publishing at

We will review it individually with a view to agreeing to send it to the board at our next meeting. Simon: to advise on next board meeting date.

7. Geocoding


We would like to move the discussion forward to something tangible for the OSM community to work on as a Community Guideline but are still stuck on basic analysis ... mostly how can “geocoding” (however defined) be clearly separated from other uses of our data in a way that protects us against leakage of open data IP to (most likely commercial) private entities. These would be helpful steps forward:

- We are still awaiting some real life use-cases, particularly from commercial entities, for us to work on. Oliver noted that MapBox/Foursqure have a specific situation that could be looked at to help precise understanding.

  • Simon: Ask MapBox precisely how geocoding would be used in the Foursquare situation.

- Still need to precisely define what geocoding really is.

8. AOB

  • Henk reports that he has a new contact at Apple regarding Apple Maps and specifically attribution and use of OSM data for them. He had a conversation 2013-06-24 and has put across our main concerns: making the attribution more clear (mentioning the date / period of their OSM data copy, mentioning under which license they got the data and mentioning in which area's they've used OSM data).

Next Meeting:

Next meeting: Tuesday 9th July at 18:00 GMT/UTC