OpenStreetMap Foundation

Licensing Working Group

  Tuesday 30th July 2013

18:00 - UTC

Agenda & Minutes


Present:  Simon Poole, Michael Collinson, Paul Norman, Oliver Kühn


Minutes by: Michael

1. Adoption of Minutes of last meeting (9th July)

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

Proposed: Oliver

Seconded: Michael



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

  • MapBox "attribution mark" proposal
  • Simon: talk to legal counsel: replace of the credit “© OpenStreetMap contributors” or similar with a visual mark - is this “legally” valid? (done)
  • --> Simon will upate the Github page
  • Mike Contact UK Ordnance Survey Legal re potential conflict with “OSMM” ?OS Master Map? trademark (done - awaiting response)
  • Simon: Ask MapBox precisely how geocoding would be used in the Foursquare situation.
  • Mike to send Information for officials and diplomats of countries and entities with disputed territoriesto the board as our proposal for their consideration (pending DWG review)

3. Finalise today's agenda

4. Trademark Registration (Simon)

Decision/recommendation on further registrations needed, we will consider this at a future meeting.

5. “Information for officials and diplomats of countries and entities with disputed territories 

This document has not yet been forwarded to board. Mike’s invitation-to-review email to MT and DWG did not go to intended recipients, so time has been has been allowed for that. Resend email still apparently still not received, Mike will contact Paul directly

6. About Boxes

There has been some community discussion about refining Legal FAQ on the issue what is reasonable attribution for specific media cases. Basically, this boils down to: When should attribution be placed on or physically close to a map? When is it practical and acceptable to place it else where, such as in an About box; book, film, tv programme credits or even in another place entirely such as an associated website.

The LWG takes the position that it should be neutral per se. However, OpenStreetMap is the dominant open geospatial data project and probably the global leader as a live open data project in terms of understanding on the specific legal issues of open data as distinct from highly creative works and software.  OpenStreetMap therefore has both a right and an obligation to make and take considered positions.  LWG therefore encourages the community to consider specific guidelines for specific type of media. Some examples that also need more consideration are:

  • Mobile devices with small screens (specific maximum size perhaps? If so, how?)
  • Thumbnails of images appearing in a gallery of images on a website.
  • Film, tv, video, streaming media with end credits.
  • The same without credits.

7. Community Guidelines/Norms - Process Formalisation

We will initially  formalise the process as follows.

1) Anyone may propose a guideline for adoption. It is expected that the main sources will be:

  • OSM contributing community
  • LWG, often in response to an issue bumped to them.
  • End users, provided that they accept that the community may say yes. modify or plain shoot down.

2) LWG will review for practicality, clarity and for any potential loophole that might affect general share-alike beyond the intent. LWG may pass the matter for legal counsel comment.

3) The initial text will be placed in a new page under

Members of the OSM community are free to edit, refine, comment,  discuss.  This is the most important stage of the process.

4) At this stage, the level of authority of the statement is a function of how long it has been there, and therefore implicitly accepted, without major challenge or modification.

5) Once suitably stable, LWG will inform legal-talk and the Management Team of their intent for OSMF endorsement and, provided there is no controversy, pass to the board.

6) If endorsed by the board, the text will be transferred to the osmfoundation site as it is locked down.

7) The guideline may be reviewed from time to time if there are community requests.


7. Review and formalisation of existing Community Guidelines

Derived DB versus Produced Work

Open Issue: This would benefit greatly from saying something about Garmin maps (.img files). They are vector database files all right but they are not really made "for the extraction of the original data", or are they?”

LWG resolves to close this issue by updating the guideline with the following words:

Garmin .img file maps  or similar vector files for mobile devices are an interesting case as the internal structure is a vector database. In normal cases they are distributed with the primary intention of providing a visual map to end users, therefore it is a Produced Work. If distributed for other reasons, or if someone then extracted data from it with the intention of using it as a database, then it would become a Derived Work.

Mike update wiki

8. Privacy Issues API/Planet Dump

Some concern had been raised in the German community that on the one hand the meta data distributed with the OSM data in the planet dumps allows to build profiles of individuals and on the other hand further non-geodata related meta data (for example date when that account was created) is available from the OSM API without any clear terms.

Mike proposes that the LWG review and propose updates the general privacy statement for registration of contributors to appear to make sure it addresses:

  • What is done with your registration info
  • API usage by third parties.
  • Personal data may be indirectly exposed via your edits
  • Personal data may be indirectly exposed via your uploaded GPS traces.
  • And of course anything added to wiki, blogs, IRC, mailing lists is a matter of public display.

We should also consider whether we need to point out, formally or informally, that UK Data Privacy regulations may apply to use of planet dumps to generate personal profiles about contributors.

9. OSMF Articles of Association Update

Status report. Legal counsel has forwarded a first working draft that needs a few eyes to look at.

8. AOB

- Using Facebook (and other) logins for OpenStreetMap access. We will look at this next meeting.

Next Meeting:

Tuesday 13th August at 18:00 GMT/UTC (unless clash with Management Team meeting)