[OSM-legal-talk] [OSGeo-Discuss] Promoting freely available geodata

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Sun Apr 1 11:27:04 BST 2007


> To add to that, if anyone really believed that then we'd all be copying 
> out the vector data and street names from tons of maps... so something's 
> not right?

There's a long tradition of using bogus copyright claims to deter your 
competitors (or other "enemies"). Claiming to have copyright and suing 
people who "infringe" on that might already be enough to keep people 
from using your data - who likes to be at the receiving end of any kind 
of lawsuit, even if it is without merit?

Some people - e.g. us OpenStreetMap folks - might also make bogus 
copyright claims without any malicious intent, just out of ignorance. 
Saying you put something under CC-BY-SA is already making a copyright claim.

The Science Commons people have explicitly pointed out that they 
consider it undesirable for people to claim copyright where there is 
none (from http://sciencecommons.org/resources/faq/databases.html):

"Our preference is that people do not overstate their copyright or
other legal rights. Consequently, we adopt the position that "facts
are free" and people should be educated so that they are aware of this."

The fact that we are not copying vector data and street names from tons 
of maps may simply be a result of interested parties overstating their 
copyright (and being bellicose about it), and us being rather careful.

Remember, you can lose lawsuits even if the law is on your side!


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