[OSM-legal-talk] street names on reprints of old maps

Geoff Richards qef at ungwe.org
Sat Nov 17 18:44:19 GMT 2007


Perhaps someone here can help me with a little legal question, or point
me to any previous discussion of it.

Some of the streets I've added to OSM in my area don't have signs with
their names on (these are small streets, not used much anymore).  I've
just received an interesting old map from someone on Ebay.  It's a
reprint of an OS map, originally published in 1906 or 1908.  Obviously I
could do what I wanted if I had an original print.

My copy is a "Godfrey Edition" from http://www.alangodfreymaps.co.uk/
published sometime in the last 25 years.  The map itself is an
unmodified reprint except for a bit in the corner crediting the people
who reprinted it.

I don't really want to copy from this thing wholesale, it's too old, but
I'd like to use it as a reference to find out what the names of a few
streets are.  Can I do that under UK copyright law?  I can't see how the
name of a street can be copyrighted, and the actual surveying of where
they go is my own work.  It seems a bit silly to have to go and find a
genuine original copy just so that I can say I saw the name of a street
there rather than on a modern print.

Anyway, I'd be grateful for any advice.



--- Geoff Richards -------------><-------------- http://ungwe.org/ ---
"I tried to fling my shadow at the moon,
 The while my blood leapt with a wordless song."  --  Theodore Roethke

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