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Talking about wikipedia, the stuff protected by copyright is _not_ the facts covered by the articles, but the (english, german or whatever language) words describing these facts.
In OSM there is no need for such a creative work, because we need no creative skills for data acquisition, quite the opposite, we even use a uniform way of fact acquisition (our data format).
While this might well be a lot of work, it is simply nothing we can earn any kind of copyright on.
Reconciliation between CC and ODC
Posted Jan 13, 2011 17:33 UTC (Thu) by epa (subscriber, #39769)
Copyright (and therefore CC Licenses) are for protection of creative stuff
Plenty of works describing mere facts are also copyrightable, and if you don't believe me, start photocopying and distributing some paper maps and see how far you get. (Online distribution of the underlying data set, for example one of the many computer-readable map products, would be equally infringing.)
Of course there is no monopoly on the fact itself - you can't sue people just for spreading the knowledge that Main Street joins on to High Road - but no licence can change that.
Posted Jan 13, 2011 19:07 UTC (Thu) by giggls (subscriber, #48434)
Shure, it is not allowed to copy and distribute a paper map because of copyright law, but this is because I would copy the whole map not just
the facts. As I do actually not know if such a map _does_ display facts
only it would be also unsuitable for the production of OSM data.
In OSM analogy: Our rendered maps are subject to copyright law (no objection here), but our raw data is not!
This is the whole reason why we started the discussion about ODBL after all, because nobody could confirm that our data is in fact copyrightable.
I wonder about the original post in this thread, because at some point in the discussion it has been explained that the CC-Organisation did tell us exactly this when asked and that we should use CC0.
Think about the commercial map data providers (Teleatlas and Navteq). If there would be such a strong copyright regime on the data as you argue, they would not need to obfuscate it in such a strong way as they currently do.
Posted Jan 13, 2011 20:41 UTC (Thu) by epa (subscriber, #39769)
Shure, it is not allowed to copy and distribute a paper map because of copyright law, but this is because I would copy the whole map not just the facts.
Posted Jan 13, 2011 20:49 UTC (Thu) by giggls (subscriber, #48434)
Posted Jan 13, 2011 21:57 UTC (Thu) by epa (subscriber, #39769)
Copyrightability of maps
Posted Jan 14, 2011 18:00 UTC (Fri) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954)
I don't think there is anything in the statues referring to 'creative' (though I might be wrong).
Well the statutes are a tiny fraction, a mere whisper, of the law. Written court opinions use "creative" a lot. They actually prefer "original," but that is practically a synonym.
Ones I've seen also like to stress that copyright covers expression of facts, as opposed to facts. It provides writers a way to get paid for their writing by the people who benefit from it, but doesn't provide researchers a way to get paid from their research by the people who benefit from it.
There is a major case in this area in the US from 1991: Feist vs Rural Telephone Service Co. Feist copied all the names, addresses, and phone numbers from Rural's telephone directory into a compilation of directories. The court said Rural could do nothing to stop that. It said that a writing has to cross a certain threshold of originality to trigger copyright, and that alphabetical order is not sufficiently original. So Rural's telephone directory was not copyrightable.
I can see this apply to some maps. Telling someone the shape of a coastline by drawing a scale picture of it is the least original way imaginable to do that. I can also see how a more elaborate map could cross that threshold. But by the same token, looking at that fancy map and making another one with the same information shown another way probably wouldn't violate that copyright.
Posted Jan 18, 2011 8:29 UTC (Tue) by epa (subscriber, #39769)
I'd further suggest that putting the map into computer-readable form does not change its copyright status, not even if you start calling it a 'database'.
Of course the underlying facts themselves are not under the control of anybody, but that does not mean you can copy the representation of them. Similarly, anybody can photograph the Statue of Liberty, but it is not allowed to take somebody else's photo and copy it without their permission. You can certainly use it to learn some facts, such as 'the statue has a spiky hat', but it's not safe to make a copy of the representation of those facts without some clean-room process.
Posted Jan 26, 2011 0:42 UTC (Wed) by jrochkind (guest, #72573)
Posted Jan 26, 2011 16:02 UTC (Wed) by an+h0ny (guest, #72530)
Correct. But if you're going to do that, you might as well go back to the aerial photos and/or GPS traces and/or public domain data which the OSM map was created from.
To successfully extract all the public domain information out of OSM, you'd almost have to do as much work as just starting from scratch.
It's similar to the fact that you could, in theory, extract all the raw facts out of Wikipedia and then use them to recreate your own encyclopedia, which wouldn't be subject to the copyleft requirements.
Posted Jan 19, 2011 9:40 UTC (Wed) by Doctor_Fegg (guest, #72359)
Posted Jan 19, 2011 14:05 UTC (Wed) by epa (subscriber, #39769)
Posted Jan 19, 2011 16:50 UTC (Wed) by nybble41 (subscriber, #55106)
I would further argue that a programmatically-rendered map is no more original than the raw data it was made from, and consequently should not qualify for copyright either. Certainly a fresh rendition of the map data is not actually a copy of any other map, even if they happen to be identical.
Posted Jan 19, 2011 19:52 UTC (Wed) by jthill (guest, #56558)
Maps have historically been copyright. The selection of detail and symbolism goes beyond just compilation. If I was going to speak for a Judge I'd say even computer-generated ones qualify as copyright whoever did the selection. Making different selections, different road widths or symbols or font sizes or whatnot, doing enough of that would make it not infringe. But I'm not going to speak for a Judge, so I didn't say that ;-)
Posted Jan 19, 2011 23:42 UTC (Wed) by nybble41 (subscriber, #55106)
Posted Jan 20, 2011 10:14 UTC (Thu) by epa (subscriber, #39769)
On the other hand, I believe that the data is the map; it is in computer-readable form (as well as being human-readable and human-editable, as OSM shows) but it remains a map. Similarly, a musical score kept in computer-readable form in a music editor program remains music, and is copyrightable in just the same way as a printed music sheet or a sound recording.
In general, copyright status does not change when putting something into a computer or taking it out. Nor just because you express it in a novel form which can be manipulated by computer. That is why electronic books are copyrightable the same as paper books, MP3 files the same as vinyl records, a computer dictionary system the same as a paper dictionary - and, I suggest, a computer-readable map just as much as any other map. As others have pointed out, maps are specifically and explicitly *included* in copyright legislation.
Now perhaps some part of the OSM data set is outside the bounds of what has traditionally been considered a map, and so might be treated by the courts as more like a telephone directory (which is not copyrightable in some countries) rather than like a map (which clearly is). Another poster mentioned that turn restrictions on streets might be an example of this. But the truth is we don't know. I think it would be very unwise for anybody to start copying such information from OSM or from any other map (whether in computer-readable form or otherwise) and hope to rely on the 'just facts' defence in court.
Posted Jan 20, 2011 16:15 UTC (Thu) by nybble41 (subscriber, #55106)
Note that a "book full of nothing but facts", e.g. a telephone directory, is no *more* copyrightable in digital form than it is as a printed book--despite the fact that books are included at least as explicitly in copyright legislation as maps. The map data under discussion is no different than the entries in that phone book. The form of the work (book or map) is not enough to qualify; the expression must be *original* as well. It is the creative expression which copyright covers, not the facts. If all you have is facts, with no creative element, then copyright does not apply.
Posted Jan 20, 2011 18:46 UTC (Thu) by epa (subscriber, #39769)
Further, the copyrightability of maps is not based on surface details like the rendering, but on the information they contain. You cannot get round copyright on maps by making a copy that uses different colours or highlighting. Otherwise, copyright on maps would be completely pointless and would never have been explicitly introduced.
That means that when considering the question of whether map data is copyrightable, the important question is not whether it has creativity, but whether it is a map. If the courts treat a collection of digital map data as a map, then it will fall within the explicit copyrightability of maps. If it in the eyes of the law it is not a map, then the situation is murkier.
Note that a "book full of nothing but facts", e.g. a telephone directory, is no *more* copyrightable in digital form than it is as a printed book--despite the fact that books are included at least as explicitly in copyright legislation as maps.
I agree that putting something into a computer-readable form doesn't magically add copyrightability. It doesn't magically strip it away either.
Posted Jan 21, 2011 19:50 UTC (Fri) by nybble41 (subscriber, #55106)
That's kind of the whole point; a collection of map data, digital or otherwise, is a *database*, not a map. It may be used to *make* a map, but it is not a map by itself. It's entirely possible that a court could rule otherwise--it wouldn't be the first brain-dead copyright decision to come out of the courts, by far, starting with permitting copyright in the first place--but monopolizing a collection of facts without any original creative element is in no way compatible with the purpose or spirit of copyright.
Posted Jan 22, 2011 12:45 UTC (Sat) by epa (subscriber, #39769)
That's kind of the whole point; a collection of map data, digital or otherwise, is a *database*, not a map. It may be used to *make* a map, but it is not a map by itself.
All quite true points, but in my view they do not affect copyrightability, and do not affect the general principle that a map is a map, and music is music, no matter whether using computer-readable or dead-tree storage. It would be most odd if just adding '...but on a COMPUTER storing the result in a DATABASE' to any activity caused the copyright status to change. Although many business method patents have shown just that, so there is a chance you could be right.
Posted Jan 22, 2011 18:33 UTC (Sat) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
however, it's been ruled by the courts that phone books are not copywritable because they are just unoriginal listings of facts.
Posted Jan 23, 2011 20:19 UTC (Sun) by epa (subscriber, #39769)
a phone book includes addresses, which is map data, according to you, this is as good as bing a map.
A phone book doesn't really contain any map information, nor can you extract map information from it. So I don't think it is a map, and that is why it does not fall under the copyrightability of maps.
I didn't mean to imply that any collection of facts about the real world or about addresses or location of objects is automatically considered a map.
Posted Jan 24, 2011 1:17 UTC (Mon) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
however, what is in doubt is if a list of the 'chosen features of the real world' without the 'schematic representation' or the step of being 'transformed into an abstract geometric space' is copyrightable
the OSM database isn't the representation, it's the list of features of the real world. in other words, a list of facts
Posted Jan 24, 2011 11:28 UTC (Mon) by epa (subscriber, #39769)
Posted Jan 24, 2011 15:13 UTC (Mon) by an+h0ny (guest, #72530)
While I believe epa answered this question (OSM *does* have these things), I also have to beg to differ that a list of chosen features of the real world is not copyrightable.
Copyrightability requires creative arrangement *or* selection (*or* both). A selection of facts about the world which are useful for creating a map would, in itself, be copyrightable in the US, because it takes human creativity to decide which facts are useful and which are not.
Now, that said, go back to epa's answer and take a look some time at OSM. Or just take a look at the database schema (http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Database_schema). The basic building blocks of the OSM database are not "facts", they're "nodes" (points), "ways" (lines), and "relations" (which, among other things, can represent polygons). Go to http://www.openstreetmap.org/ and edit things a bit. The software (Potlatch) does not ask for a list of facts, it provides a canvas on which you can draw things.
Posted Jan 23, 2011 7:01 UTC (Sun) by nybble41 (subscriber, #55106)
The claim that a map may have to copyright rests on the fact that a map can contain more than just the raw facts--in particular that it can contain some element of original creative expression. Copyright applies only to the creative element; another map containing the same facts, but *not* the original aspects, would not be in violation. Program source code is the same way: copyright does not grant exclusive rights over the program's formulas or processes--the raw facts--but only to the particular way in which they are implemented. A second program which computes the same results or performs the same actions but does not copy any of the creative expression from the first implementation would not be infringing.
In short, if you want to argue that copyright has any relevance to the OSM database you need to show that it contains some original selection, arrangement, or annotation, which are within the domain of copyright, in addition to the plain facts, which are not.
Posted Jan 23, 2011 8:00 UTC (Sun) by jthill (guest, #56558)
Posted Jan 23, 2011 13:49 UTC (Sun) by HamishB (guest, #72529)
[reposted from the Australia/New Zealand OSGeo mailing list thread on this topic; Sept 2010]
fwiw, I consider my work on OSM to be a useful art- the map data is not
truth, a map is an abstract representation of reality. The cartographer
(or data entry monkey) can and does take a lot of artistic license in
designing and placing their data points, be it in the density of vertices
or the decision of what to include and what not to include.
the telephone number is not an abstraction of a telephone number, it /is/
the data. the page layout is the copyrightable thing there.
in this way the OSM database has a lot more copyrightable work in it than
say Google Map's satellite view (c) DigitalGlobe etc., who's only claim
to artistic work is the placement of the satellite and the elevation
also, without a ShareAlike-style license, for my part I doubt I'd bother
to contribute very much to OSM beyond perhaps fixing errors in my local
neighborhood to make backyard BBQ invites less confusing for my friends;
same as the corrections I've pushed upstream to Google Maps. I've little
interest in becoming an unpaid employee of MegaMap Int'l, Ltd.
Posted Jan 23, 2011 16:23 UTC (Sun) by an+h0ny (guest, #72530)
First of all, OSM is not merely "raw map data". It is not "nothing more than a set of facts". OSM is the source code for a map, which, when combined with a stylesheet (e.g. http://trac.openstreetmap.org/browser/applications/render...) and a compiler (e.g. Mapnik), produces a map.
Secondly, "a set of facts" *is* copyrightable, if there is selection or arrangement of those facts. OSM is a selected, organized, cross-linked set of facts expressed in a non-human language.
If you are going to claim that OSM is "*nothing more* than a set of facts", then you should be able to provide a simple and obvious explanation of what category of facts OSM covers. For instance, the white pages is "a listing of the name, address, and phone number of every person in a certain geographic area".
What is OSM? "A listing of all geographic facts about the world"? Certainly not. What is it? What is the *idea*, which you are saying can be merged with the *expression*.
Posted Jan 23, 2011 20:27 UTC (Sun) by epa (subscriber, #39769)
If that is the case, then I thoroughly agree that doing the same process using a computer and a computer-readable representation of the same map would not be any more copyrightable.
However I don't think it is the case, because maps are explicitly covered by copyright law, and I don't believe this coverage is hedged with anything like 'but only the creative part, not the factual part'.
I don't mean to imply that making a map of an area grants an absolute monopoly over the facts it contains. Anyone else can go out and independently survey the same area. But I don't think they can simply copy the map somebody else produced, even if they just copy the facts such as the position of objects or their names. If that were so, then all maps would be pretty close to being in the public domain, and projects such as OSM would be either unnecessary or trivially easy to complete by copying from existing maps.
Posted Jan 24, 2011 4:41 UTC (Mon) by an+h0ny (guest, #72530)
This is correct. "The protection that each map receives extends only to its original expression, and neither the facts nor the idea embodied in the maps is protected." (Mason v. Montgomery Data, Inc., http://www.coolcopyright.com/cases/fulltext/masonmontgome...)
Posted Jan 24, 2011 4:59 UTC (Mon) by an+h0ny (guest, #72530)
Posted Jan 26, 2011 0:46 UTC (Wed) by jrochkind (guest, #72573)
But you can look at where the streets are, and redraw it yourself. Or use the street names to fill in blanks on the map you drew seperately. Etc.
In the U.S. This discussion has a lot of people mentioning "the statute" without saying what statute in what country! In the US at least, the actual bounds of copyright are (and have been for 100 years) defined more by case law than statute.
Posted Jan 26, 2011 0:40 UTC (Wed) by jrochkind (guest, #72573)
Posted Jan 15, 2011 0:17 UTC (Sat) by mlinksva (subscriber, #38268)
This would have been someone from 'Science Commons', a brand of Creative Commons intended to speak to ... science, where it was deemed a more normative approach (public domain only!) was needed. That stance wasn't intended to apply to all fields, though lack of statements from CC on use of CC licenses for data doubtless helped create the impression that public domain only without nuance was CC's universal recommendation.
In the meantime, lots of projects were using CC licenses for data (including OSM, and some really old ones such as MusicBrainz, which has split its data between what it considers purely factual and in the public domain, and user contributed annotations, which are under BY-NC -- for better or worse -- approximately from the very beginning of CC) and CC did not pay adequate attention, at least publicly, to those users. I apologize for that.
We are just starting to rectify that with regard to data -- or I probably wouldn't be posting in this thread; also watch the series starting with http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/26016 -- and we've also learned some things about avoiding messaging confusion. Over the course of 2010 we retired both our education (ccLearn) and science (Science Commons) brands because the Creative Commons brand is more powerful and speaking with a unified voice forces us to be more rigorous and less confusing -- please spank us if we fail at this. :)
Posted Jan 21, 2011 0:04 UTC (Fri) by emj (guest, #14307)
So thanks for retiring the Science Commons brand.
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