benlaenen at gmail.com
Sat Nov 13 19:08:22 GMT 2010
Let's first put an IANAL disclaimer here, but here goes:
Gerard Vanderveken wrote:
> There is always a copyright, on data, and in fact on everything written.
> Depending on the source and its associated license, we are allowed to
> use it in OSM.
There is no copyright on a fact. It's for example a fact that a bus line with
number X follows certain streets, and everyone can use that information how he
(It's for this reason btw some people don't like the CC license for OSM: it's
a set of facts and hence not part of copyright law, the only thing that CC
licenses rely on -- opinions vary though.)
As said in my previous mail: the problem with importing data sets is that (in
Europe) the database rights come into play. You cannot copy a substantial
subset from a database and reproduce it.
(Again, with the license issue in OSM: ODbL has clauses for database right)
> Strictly seen the numbers and other texts on the bus, sign poles and
> shedules are written by De Lijn and they do also have the copyright to it.
> (Must check it once, but I assume it may explicitly be marked on their
> shedules with the copyright symbol ©, altough this marking is not needed
> to own the copyright. )
> They are intended to inform the public, but this does not mean that you
> have the right to duplicate for instance the complete shedules and make
> them public available.
I depends on your interpretation of the database rights in this particular
case. It speaks about "substantial" subsets. It also says that the database
right only matters if a considerable effort has been made to create the
database. It has been argued that the timetables are a "side-effect" of what
De Lijn is doing: driving buses and trams around, and therefore a database
with their timetables didn't constitute a substantial effort to build. I think
that in the Netherlands this was even brought to court, but I forgot the
details on how it all went exactly.
But let's be clear: copyright has nothing to do with this here. Bus routes are
not and cannot be copyrighted.
> (I think you will run into big trouble by making similar data as what is
> specified in their 'dienstroosters' available in a book or on a website
> without having the proper authorisation from De Lijn.
Fill this in into the concept of database right: substantial subset of their
data set: not allowed.
Copying the timetables of a bus halt and putting it on the website of the shop
you have for example: that's not a problem. You cannot say that the timetable
of one bus halt is a substantial subset of the entire timetable database.
> And in the same way, it is not because a movie is showed to the public
> that you may duplicate it.
But movies are copyrighted.
> Without some additional legislation to have automatic public domain for
> all data from public bodies, it makes no difference if the copyright is
> owned by a public or private company.)
Wet op openbaarheid van bestuur. But then we're heading into another
adventure. In principle the data that our governments produce and use should
be open to anyone (not necessarily free of copyright though for some data).
But you can pretty much do anything with for example the "notulen" of your
city council (you cannot just sell them as is, but you can use the information
in them commercially).
> Some things like the line numbers and names of the routes could be by
> their nature considered as common knowledge and thus public domain, but
> being public domain is AFAIK not the case for the 4 digit number and its
> source for line and stop numbers.
> They should therefore not to be used in OSM
If you do know that that's their internal number, there's no issue. They're a
fact and as said above: no copyright exists on a fact.
> (Streetnames (which are the core of OSM) are different in that respect
> as they are given/named by the public and exists for a very long time.)
It's a bit different. It's true that some street names are very old, but in
fact your municipality will have a street name list (government data, free to
use if you can get it -- and you must get it if you ask). When a new street is
built that needs a new name, it'll be voted on by your municipality council
and added to that list. You have to check the "notulen" of your city once, so
you'll learn how this process works.
In any way, the fact that a certain street has a certain name again has no
copyright. That we can use the street name list (which is somewhat like a
database), is because it's official data from our government, and then because
of the wet op openbaarheid van bestuur, you're allowed to use it.
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