Licence and Legal FAQ/Contributor Terms FAQ

From OpenStreetMap Foundation


These Answers to FAQs arise in part from the questions raised by OSM contributors on the wiki at


Do the Contributor Terms apply to a person or to an OSM API username ?

OpenStreetMap best practices require separate API usernames for automated edits and for data imports. Contributor Terms apply per API username.

You may, for example, accept the Contributor Terms for your main username now, and accept for your data import username later.

Source: 2010-08-17 LWG Minutes 
Potential action: Amend Contributor Terms to restrict each acceptance 
to only the current parent user account. Issue a clarification statement
saying the we accept this even without changing the Terms.
Mike - Issue clarification statement.

Do the Contributors Terms contradict themselves on contributing data with permission ?

Some see term 1 as self-contradicting "1. You agree to only add Contents for which You are the copyright holder [ ... ] If You are not the copyright holder of the Contents, [ ... ] You have explicit permission from the rights holder to submit the Contents and grant the license below. "

This is not intended to be contradictory but some still see it as confusing. We are revising this term for increased clarity.