Licensing Working Group

One of the Foundation Working Groups, the Licensing Working Group is charged with looking at

The promotion of open geospatial data through practical, coherent and clear licensing is our number one priority.

Moving forward from the licence change in 2012, we expect to play a license maintenance role and to be “educational” in helping people in and outside the OSM community to understand our license and working to clarify issues raised. In addition, we want to explore taking OSMF to be a more outward-looking organisation within the arena of promoting free and open geospatial data licensing.

Our formal remit frames our responsibilities and the areas we concentrate on, our plans for this year can found here: 2017 action plan.

If you have noticed a potential licence violation by a consumer of OpenStreetMap data and have been unable to resolve the matter bilaterally, please feel free to contact the LWG via e-mail.

Who we are

Our core members are:

  • Luis Villa
  • Lily Toy
  • Alyssa Wright
  • Michael Steffen
  • Dr. Marlena Jankowska
  • Satoshi IIDA
  • Paul Norman (OSMF Board)
  • Dermot McNally
  • Simon Poole (Chair)

Join Us

We are a group with diverse views who listen to the range of views across the OpenStreetMap community and work to create a practical and clearly communicatable consensus. We are friendly and courteous. We are always open to new members, whether to take part regularly or to work on a particular issue that frustrates you.

Our core member are expected to join regularly join our voice conference meetings in English and take on an average of one action item per meeting, generally to do some kind of research. Regulars members are expected to sign a NDA with the OSMF as we now and then handle confidential 3rd party information. We will typically discuss or track an issue over several months.

If you want to help from time to time or want to work on a particular issue and then stop, you are still welcome to join our meetings.

We understand that can be very difficult for non-native English speakers. So if you just want to use email, that is fine. Working with many countries is becoming increasingly important to us.

Roughly half of us are lawyers, however it is no way a requirement to participating. All we ask is genuine concern to protect the ideals and interests of OpenStreetMap and open data and to make life easier for contributors and end users. Do contact us (best by e-mail)!

Get in touch

You can get in touch with the whole team for general discussion at:

Please send questions with respect to licensing, business models and similar subjects that you are asking the OSMF as licensor of the OSM data to:

Please do not send or CC such requests to the regular LWG mail address.

We will try and respond to such queries as soon as possible however we cannot provide legal advice or extensive business plan analysis.

You can subscribe to the OSM legal-talk mailing list at


See Working Group Minutes#Licensing Working Group

The group now meets approximately once per month.


Useful links