[OSM-legal-talk] Tracing from Google Earth (aerial imagery)
richard at systemed.net
Wed Jun 3 15:40:53 BST 2009
> I think I have done the work of recognizing the features
> from Google's photo and Google certainly doesn't restrict
> what I can do with the KML file I export, so can I use this
> method to draw OSM maps?
Disclaimer: I never use Google Earth, I've only looked at the Ts & Cs for
Google Maps and the Google Maps API, and they may differ.
Two things to consider in direct answer to your question.
First of all: copyright - is derivation from copyrighted aerial imagery
(without permission) an infringing act under copyright? I've researched this
quite a bit in the last couple of weeks and am now pretty confident that it
isn't. I've copied and pasted a bunch of stuff (unformatted) at
Secondly: contract - i.e. what it says in the Google Ts & Cs. The Maps API
terms look to me as if they might permit it. It doesn't, to me, look as if
whoever drafted them had this question in mind. But I think it needs a bit
And one more thing:
Don't do it. At least not yet. OSM has a whiter-than-white policy on sources
- it's kind of what sets us apart from the Wikicr^H^Hmapias of this world.
We want to spend our time mapping, not defending lawsuits from Google. If we
can get some more clarity with proper legal opinions and maybe even a
statement from Google themselves, all to the good, and maybe this is the
time to start the conversation. But do not not not not not not not do it
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