Local Chapters FAQ
Why is the agreement needed
The OSMF has in the past allowed groups to operate as national or regional user groups without an approval process or similar. This is not expected to change, however the use of the OpenStreetMap trademark and representation rights of such informal groups tend to become issues with growth and the agreement provides a mechanism to document the common understanding of how the relationship is supposed to work.
What are the minimum requirements for a Chapter?
Currently there are no set in stone criteria outside of the following: you will have to be a non-profit incorporated entity or part of one, the way you are incorporated should allow easy and mass membership and democratic participation in the decisions processes. Your group should be dedicated to supporting the aims of the OpenStreetMap Foundation and the OpenStreetMap project, however you can be part of a larger organisation as long as that does not have conflicting goals.
Why the restrictions on use of trademarks, domain names and similar?
Historically the OSMF has had a laisser faire policy on the use of trademarks and similar intellectual property and exclusive rights (for example company names), however this implies that in a worst case scenario the community could be stopped from using the OpenStreetMap name and essentially locked out from certain markets. As a safety precaution we therefore need to require that such rights be returned to the OSMF in the case that a chapter ceases to esist as such.