[OSM-legal-talk] Tracing from Aerial Imagery

Gustav Foseid gustavf at gmail.com
Tue Aug 5 19:03:56 BST 2008

On Mon, Aug 4, 2008 at 8:10 PM, Laurence Penney <lorp at lorp.org> wrote:

> > And question 3 - so I am allowed to trace my house, and my
> > neighbour's, and my workplace, and the bakery I visit every morning,
> > and
> > my birthplace, and my parent's house...?
> I think you remember it accurately. And I think you could publish all
> those things without a problem.

This would probably depend on the contract which regulates your access to
the photography and which jurisdiction you are under.

To me the terms for Yahoo aerial imagery and Google Earth (not Google Maps)
seem to have rather similar terms when it comes tracing, but I have not
looked too closely.

> It reminds me of similar discussions about UK postcodes and OSGB
> TOIDs: you can publish a small set of them relating to data you
> publish for your own arbitrary purposes. However attempts to integrate
> multiple individual projects into, for example, some kind of UK
> postcode lookup, or a "FreeStreepMap" project based on spidering and
> integrating thousands of KMZs, would breach terms. It's not so much
> "derived data" that's the problem (as small amounts are ok), but
> "derived utility".

I would be very interested in the legal argument behind this.

If we are talking about EU law, I would have assumed that:
 - The aerial photographs does not cross the threshold to being
copyrightable, and have a weaker protection, especially when it comes to
derived works and protection time. I am unsure if this is EU or national
law, but I think that it is EU law.
 - In addition to protection as individual photographs, the database of the
photographs has database protection. The traces (KMZz) would, however, not
be part of the database and not be protected as a database. Even all traces
would not be a substantial part of a database consisting of photographs.
 - The traces are factual information without protection.
 - A collection of traces would probably be a database and have protection
as such and the rights would belong to the collector.

If the photographing or tracing involves creative work, something it
probably does not, it would all be different.

(I am not a lawyer, etc...)


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