[OSM-talk] We need to have a conversation about attribution

Julio Costa Zambelli julio.costa at openstreetmap.cl
Fri Mar 1 21:27:57 UTC 2019

There is another version of this. The Maps.me app shows the attribution for
a couple of seconds after starting and after that it vanishes and a scale
appears in the same position. Of course the Maps.me logo at the lower right
corner stays there: https://photos.app.goo.gl/F7yUn4BhvxYiC8YJ7

You can also get to the "attribution" by clicking the Menú button->Ajustes
(Configuration)->About MAPS.ME->Copyright. This obviously seems ridiculous.


Julio Costa Zambelli
Fundación OpenStreetMap Chile

julio.costa at openstreetmap.cl

Cel: +56(9)89981083

On Fri, 1 Mar 2019 at 13:51, Martijn van Exel <m at rtijn.org> wrote:

> Whatever we as a community prefer, let’s not add noise to the discussion
> by suggesting that it’s somehow hard to do because of UX requirements (as
> Simon points out correctly as well). Here’s Scout on an iPhone SE (75%
> fewer pixels than most modern smartphones, let alone desktop browsers):
> https://www.flickr.com/gp/rhodes/9558sk.
> Martijn
> On Feb 28, 2019, at 3:35 PM, Richard Fairhurst <richard at systemed.net>
> wrote:
> Hi all,
> In recent years some OSM data consumers and "OSM as a service" providers
> have begun to put the credit to OpenStreetMap behind an click-through
> 'About', 'Credits', 'Legal' or '(i)' link. Examples:
> https://docs.mapbox.com/help/img/android/android-first-steps-intro.png
> https://www.systemed.net/osm/IMG_1846.PNG
> (This should be obvious but I am in no means meaning to pick on Mapbox or
> Apple here - as anyone who knows me will testify, I have the utmost respect
> both for Mapbox's technical chops, their ability to iterate on a compelling
> product and their success in building the biggest mapping platform using
> OSM data; and I've been an Apple fanboy since my first Mac IIsi back in,
> erk, 1992. They're just the two that sprang to mind, bearing in mind that
> as someone that old, these social networks about photos and stuff are way
> too modern for me.)
> It should also be said that many providers - the majority - provide
> attribution in compliance with our policy at osm.org/copyright, i.e.
> showing attribution in the corner of the map, and in many cases generously
> going beyond with "Improve this map" pages; and that some providers will do
> great things like this much of the time and resort to "(i)" or "About" only
> part of the time.
> The policy, introduced with the changeover to the ODbL, says:
> "We require that you use the credit “© OpenStreetMap contributors”... For
> a browsable electronic map, the credit should appear in the corner of the
> map."
> There then follows an example screenshot of a map of Charlbury (woo) with
> a credit in the corner. The OSM Foundation Legal FAQ is pretty much the
> same (
> https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Licence/Licence_and_Legal_FAQ#Where_to_put_it.3F
> ).
> Historically the aim of requiring attribution has been partly to thank
> contributors, and partly because it's a virtuous feedback loop. If you see
> a map and it's wrong or incomplete, seeing "(c) OpenStreetMap" in the
> corner shows you where the data comes from, so you can go and improve it.
> That way we get more contributors, the map gets better, it's more valuable
> to its consumers, so more people use it, so more people improve it... and
> so on.
> The legal rationale is 4.3 in the Open Database Licence (
> https://opendatacommons.org/licenses/odbl/1.0/index.html), and in
> particular "if you Publicly Use a Produced Work, You must include a notice
> associated with the Produced Work reasonably calculated to make any Person
> that uses, views, accesses, interacts with, or is otherwise exposed to the
> Produced Work aware that Content was obtained from the Database". The key
> phrase is "reasonably calculated" and our view in 2012 was that, since the
> major mapping providers (Google, Navteq/Nokia/HERE, TomTom etc.) required
> and implemented on-screen attribution, "reasonably" meant that users would
> expect a credit to be provided in that way. The OSMF FAQ makes this
> explicit: "you should expect to credit OpenStreetMap in the same way and
> with the same prominence as would be expected by any other map supplier".
> Full mea culpa: the /copyright page says "should" rather than "must"
> purely because I wrote the page, I'm British and I, we, talk like that (
> http://termcoord.eu/2016/08/the-truth-behind-british-impoliteness/ ,
> especially the "I would suggest" line). It used to say "request" rather
> than "require" for the same reason. In retrospect I should have realised
> not everyone is British and we should really have hired a lawyer to review
> the page. I think that months in the trenches of the licence change had
> probably given us trench fever for things like that. Entirely my fault and
> I take full responsibility for it (but you know, it's so great not to have
> to write 500 monthly mails to legal-talk@ any more).
> So we need to decide what our response is to web/in-app maps that do not
> provide attribution in the manner requested by osm.org/copyright. This
> response might be:
> a) we are happy for attribution to be behind a credits screen and we will
> update our requirements to say so
> b) we will informally tolerate attribution being behind a credits screen
> but we do not intend to update our requirements
> c) we are not happy for attribution to be behind a credits screen and we
> will update our requirements to say so
> d) we are not happy for attribution to be behind a credits screen and we
> will update our requirements to say so, and we will proactively seek out
> data consumers that contravene these requirements
> e) or many other options... fill in your suggestion here :)
> Ultimately this decision has to come from the community. The rights in OSM
> data, as the Contributor Terms makes clear, are held by the contributors.
> OSMF is "using and sublicensing" it, under the terms that you grant to
> OSMF, but you own the rights. OSMF is not able to license away the rights
> of mappers.
> There has been a lot of chatter over recent years about this issue but the
> issue has never really broken through. Let's talk about it openly, honestly
> and respectfully and get it sorted out for the benefit of both mappers and
> data consumers.
> cheers
> Richard
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