Talk:Lacking proper attribution

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Process dealing with violations

Need to figure out the process for dealing with these, and document it on this page. There needs to be an emphasis on being polite and careful. Very similar to: FAQ#I think someone's been entering copyrighted data - how do we deal with that?

Compare with wikipedia's non-compliance process

We might prefer to encourage people not to make contact directly, and just list them for the Foundation to contact. Certainly we should track who has made contact when, and what replies were received. In some cases there might a to-and-fro conversation.

-- Harry Wood 13:38, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

It would be nice if the foundation could name a responsible person for dealing with license violations. --Lulu-Ann 11:46, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
When I say we need to be polite and careful...
Listing people on this page could easily be interpreted as a rather unsubtle impolite telling off. Some people may deserve to be told off, but many of the ones listed so far do not deserve to be told off. for example. Big red telling off text. Why?? They've created a nifty little tool to visualise OpenStreetMap activity. Clearly they're OSM enthusiasts. OSM Developers in fact. They mention OpenStreetMap (after all OpenStreetMap is the whole point of the animation!) Sure it might be nice if they clarified that their website copyright footer does not apply to the map visualisation, but that's a very niggling nit-picking thing to concern ourselves with. In the meantime we're listing them on here as if they're committing some terrible crime.
As for listing
We will need to stop with this list unless people can use it sensibly.
-- Harry Wood 17:59, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Everybody having an OSM application running is part of the community, and everybody running such a thing is an OSM freak. They all should know about the license. Everybody who adds the demanded lines of text to the site will removed immediately. What is the problem about being told there is something wrong? On one hand you say we shall not write to those people personally, on the other hand we shall not list them? Hey, we could send a lawyer, so no reason to cry if somebody appears on a list, huh?! And if the guys you want to save from being pointed at are so aware of copyright, that they have put their own line in the bottom frame so it appears on each of their pages, then they qualify even more to be aware of OSM contributors copyright IMHO. And actually I have no problem to be considered impolite towards persons that break the law, but you can ask the already removed persons on this lists, my emails were very polite. --Lulu-Ann 21:24, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Harry, please stop rating the severeness of the listed pages unless you are not the lawyer of the foundation. At least sign your ratings. --Lulu-Ann 21:32, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't want to get involved in rating the severity, but you seem to have listed a lot trifling minor violations. When Steve said that the foundation will be starting to look at dealing with license violations, this isn't really what he had in mind. There's a bunch of paid-for iPhone apps springing up which use our maps and our tile servers, and don't credit OpenStreetMap at all. Break out the red text for those kinds of things. It's hardly the priority to be nagging OSM people who are running interesting little development websites.
I agree that they should all know about and follow the license, so I guess ultimately these are positive steps ...but I think you in particular need to slow down a little bit and give the data working group guys (and everyone else) a little time to decide how they want to organise this. As I said above, I'd like to develop a description of what action people in the community should be taking.
-- Harry Wood 11:26, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
A user-facing website - OK I can see the possible reason for getting upset on.

A website - that's clearly only of interest to OSM geeks is rather a different matter. Are you seriously suggesting that mapdiff is ever going to mislead one person as to the copyright status of OSM? --SpeedEvil 15:52, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

Attribution for browser applications

Hi Richard,

in your comment on the license violations to your last edit you wrote: "read the licence text, there is no requirement for an in-browser app that pulls down data on the fly to give attribution." I guess, as long as every browser has a print function your comment does not apply.

--Lulu-Ann 13:46, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

Strictly speaking there's still no need to give attribution. If the user chooses to print and give the copy to someone else, then the user is contravening the terms of the licence by distributing it without attribution - not the developer of the in-browser app. Of course, it's still good practice (and kind to OSM) to give the attribution and people should be encouraged to do so: but within the letter of CC-BY-SA, there's no compulsion to do so. (We've had this confirmed on the cc-discuss mailing list.) --Richard 14:33, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
This is not about a discussion, this is about pure logic. The license demands attribution, because otherwise it can not be inherited. Each lawyer can explain to you, that not the person who prints but the person who forgot the attribution did something wrong. The enduser can always say "there was no attribution, I did not get the chance tot get to know.". --Lulu-Ann 21:14, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
No, you misunderstand. CC-BY-SA says: if you distribute the data, you must give attribution. In the case of an application which downloads the data, there's no further distribution. But if you, as the user, then go on to distribute the data without attribution, you are infringing. Not the website author. See these threads: [1], [2], [3]. --Richard 23:30, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
In case of an application which downloads the data, there MIGHT not be further distribution. So I can download an OSM iPhone app showing a map, take a picture and publish it in a newspaper, because somebody ASSUMES that there could not be further distribution and breaks the attribution chain. This can't be right. --Lulu-Ann 21:37, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
It would mean, that all I have to do to get rid of all attribution is to display the needed map like this and distribute the snapshot: Traveling salesman screenshot.jpg

--Lulu-Ann 13:50, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

As Richard says, in this example it is YOU who distributes something so YOU must make sure it is attributed correctly. For example, in a book full of OSM maps, the attribution might only be on page 2 for the whole book, and in an application there might be a splash screen that gives attribution. If you later copy page 15 of the book for others, or if you make a screenshot of the application and give it to others, then it is your responsibility to provide proper attribution. The same applies if someone creates a dervied work from OSM but does not publish it - e.g. I make a nice map printout and hang it on my wall. You come and visit me and take a photo which you later publish. Then it is you who has to provide attribution; my map would not have to have it... --Frederik Ramm 21:39, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
And all solved with the ODbL which has clear attribution for produced works
Contains information from DATABASE NAME, which is made available here under the Open Database License (ODbL).
See Section 4.3 of the ODbL for clarification. --firefishy 21:52, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
And because ODbL, unlike CC-BY-SA, takes a sane approach to produced works, there's no need for this browser application "workaround" anyway. So everyone's happy. --Richard 09:41, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Users of the HTML export feature

Several of the map users listed as "Publishers who do not provide a suitable license notice" (e.g. [4] and [5]) are using a map as generated by the HTML export feature on This map links to OSM only, but doesn't provide a link to the license. I strongly recommend to not contact these users - they will not even be able to modify the attribution, as it is embedded from our servers ( Also, they in all likelihood were well-intentioned and could reasonably assume that the "official" export would include correct attribution. This issue can and should be fixed on our side. --Tordanik 20:17, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks that you bring this up again. I had on this list and was laughed at. --Lulu-Ann 22:32, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
The issue with the export feature has been solved now: The embedded map provides attribution to "OpenStreetMap contributors", names the license, and links to both and Creative Commons' license page. --Tordanik 18:27, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

We need a new process


obviously the foundation does not care at all about missing attribution.

Some persons have attacked me to write to owners of the listed pages, so I stopped it, hoping the foundation would name a representative.

Now this has lead to the unwanted status, that here are a lot pages listed and nobody writes to them, which leaves the impression of "nitpicking".

I propose to have the uncontacted sites listed on this talk page, and only move the contacted cases to the main page.

Hope that helps.

By the way, the new license ODBL seems to leave us with the same problem, that a single contributor can sue a page owner for missing attribution.

--Lulu-Ann 11:42, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

Software description pages

Several of the links are to software description pages such as [6]. Are these about the software described there or about the description page itself? I'm asking because pages like this aren't "lacking proper attribution" if the software itself contains license information. --Tordanik 20:50, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

They are lacking proper attribution, at least for the screenshot of the software, as there is a map derived from OSM data in the picture. Regarding all other software license stuff, it would be a good ides to show the license during installation, then the user can't say he did not read the license. TobiBS 16:19, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
Regarding the screenshots on pages otherwise describing the software: [7]. Alv 15:08, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
But the software is nothing else then a viewer for the data, therefore the map is the main part of this picture, not vice versa. The picture without the map would be nothing else then some buttons. Read [8] or [9], as well as [10] for further information. TobiBS 17:30, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
As most of these application descriptions - for example the one I linked to - are hosted on US servers, I expect that US law, rather than German law, is relevant here. This means that the screenshots are perhaps covered by "fair use". The English (language) Wikipedia, for example, accepts screenshots of proprietary software based on the fair use principle. --Tordanik 19:09, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
I am not an expert in common law copyright questions, but I would argue that fair use is only appicable for free software under at least a similar license as OSM is. But for applications that are advertised commercially, where money is made from the main fact that the map can be displayed, I don't see the fair use. Beside that, the article about fair use states that you still have to quote what you source is. Therefore I think it is OK to leave the license, but you have to state the source. If there are any misunderstandings, don't hesitate to correct me. TobiBS 09:29, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
The license of the software has nothing to with what is fair use. The linked-to criteria are evaluated against the presentation relative to the description page. Alv 08:12, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
Not directly, that's correct, but you have to see for what purpose the picture is used, see item 1 of fair use in Wikipedia: "the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;". Therefore it makes a big difference if you want to earn money with the work of others, or if you are only sharing a free method of accessing data and show one example on your site.
But beside all that, even if it is fair use, you have to name the original author, fair use is not public domain, or do I miss anything here? This was my main point, that you still have to name the author (but maybe not the license), if it is fair use. --TobiBS 09:57, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

visualizations of geo-tagged tweets

Rather interesting than a bad copyright issue: Twitter made some nice visualizations of geo-tagged tweets apparently using modified OSM-based stamen watercolor tiles in one view (uncropped screenshot, location at with giving attribution to stamen but not to OSM. --Aseerel4c26 (talk) 23:03, 30 June 2013 (UTC)