[OSM-legal-talk] "whitewashing" nodes without tags

Jaakko Helleranta.com jaakko at helleranta.com
Sat Jan 28 12:28:27 GMT 2012

Q: "what would be copyrightable from this?"
A: Nothing (imho).

Copyright protects (a specific) form, not an idea (or so I was taught at "IPR 101" at my university in Finland; in case the country matters in this case).

And even the form must meet "originality" the criteria (if that's the proper term in English).

Surely some could argue that Dec1 had the "idea" of nodes (in that area, or something) but that is hardly of any "originality" within a mapping project, or outside of it for that matter. But copyright wouldn't protect that anyways.

Someone (such as Dec1) such as could also claim that Dec1 did a heck of a job collecting data on that way and Ac2 only moved his/her nodes to remove the copyright. I'd ask: source tags (on the objects or changesets)? 

But is "hard work" (of collecting geo data / converting it database entries) copyrightable)?

This brings us to _one_ of the core reasons of changing the license (unless I've completely misunderstood something, of course)! 
And that is that:
In a global project like OSM we must be able to get whatever protection it is we want to get everywhere and not just in one(/some) place(s) -- and copyright doesn't do that because what is copyrightable varies from country to country.


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Mobile: +509-37-26 91 54, Skype/GoogleTalk: jhelleranta

-----Original Message-----
From: Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 28 Jan 2012 11:13:00 
To: Licensing and other legal discussions.<legal-talk at openstreetmap.org>
Reply-To: "Licensing and other legal discussions."
	<legal-talk at openstreetmap.org>
Subject: [OSM-legal-talk] "whitewashing" nodes without tags

I know that some variants of this topic already have been under
discussion, but I'd like to add another version to it, where I believe
that indeed there will be no copyright left by the declining mapper.
Three mappers Ac1, Ac2 (acceptors) and Dec1 (decliner) edit an object:

1. Ac1 creates a highway or any other way (i.e. a way with nodes and
tags on the way).
2. Dec1 adds nodes to the highway/way (no tag modification)
3. Ac2 moves the nodes of the way (interesting for us only the ones from Dec1)

For all nodes that Ac2 has touched (moved or added tags to them) I
would expect that it doesn't matter if Dec1 had created them, because
anyway there is no information from him left. This might be
interpreted differently if Dec1 would have also created the way, and
surely if he added tags, but if he only added nodes, and they are no
longer on their original position because Ac2 has moved them, what
would be copyrightable from this?


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