[OSM-legal-talk] Which legislation applies: server or data location?

Simon Poole simon at poole.ch
Wed Aug 28 18:44:36 UTC 2013

It would be interesting to know what kind of information is contained in
TrackSource, I could imagine a potential way forward based on the ago
old adage (well it is a couple of seconds old :-)):

geometry is cheap, meta expensive

If there is meta data (street names, other similar information) present
in TrackSource that has actually been surveyed and not copied from
somewhere, this could potentially be used together with our usual
complement of addicted arm chair mappers tracing geometry from aerial
imagery (which man need to be acquired in one form or another).


Am 28.08.2013 01:31, schrieb Fernando Trebien:
> Well, in this particular case, it is a bit complicated. Some of the
> data (though we can't tell which part of it) might have been traced
> over Google imagery, and Brazilian law might be more lenient as was
> the case of several US court cases
> (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Derivative_works#Maps). I
> fear that delving into subtle legal interpretations here doesn't help
> us anyway since it would be illegal in the UK to provide any data
> derived from Google's services, regardless of the location the data
> refers to.
> Brazil already has another "open" maps project called TrackSource
> (released under a CC-BY-SA license) and some people in that project
> have shown interest in contributing to OSM their own data, which was
> collected and refined over almost a decade. We know that we can't take
> the official "released" maps, but the contributors (which own their
> own data) are willing to upload their unlicensed data. That would be
> legal except for the fact that their community actively encouraged
> tracing using Google Earth (there are several records of that on the
> Internet). A considerable part of that data, however, was also mixed
> with personally collected tracklogs, some of it using very advanced
> survey techniques, but it is impossible to tell which data elements
> came from which source using their (rudimentary?) tools and database
> formats. In other words, they've never really worried about these
> licensing issues.
> Even though we are telling them to contribute only the data they are
> sure to be unrelated to Google, we're simply not sure if they are
> following our advice. Some have already started thinking of ways to
> automatically detect imports from TrackSource maps and report the
> changesets to OSMF for a mass reversal. Meanwhile I'm trying to
> prevent the TrackSource folks from losing interest in OSM.
> On Tue, Aug 27, 2013 at 8:02 PM, Paul Norman <penorman at mac.com> wrote:
>>> From: Simon Poole [mailto:simon at poole.ch]
>>> Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 1:24 AM
>>> Subject: Re: [OSM-legal-talk] Which legislation applies: server or data
>>> location?
>>> Ian has already given a good answer. So just a couple of further notes:
>> Some more notes, from a slightly different perspective
>> - The UK has as strong or stronger IP protection for map data than other
>> countries, rendering the question moot most of the time.
>> - As this question originated with an import, any such questions *should* be
>> raised in the import proposal. My guess is that the DWG would tell the user
>> to not import until they get clearance from the LWG.
>> - What OSM does is flat out illegal in some places (North Korea being the
>> typical example, but not the only one). I don't think anyone is particularly
>> concerned, although contributors in such countries may be. Similarly,
>> distributing non-official boundaries may be a problem, and it's impossible
>> to satisfy countries on both sides of some boundaries at the same time.
>> - When dealing with government data, the concerns have mainly been if it is
>> legal in that country. Local governments near me will not license database
>> rights because no such concept exists to them.
>> I had more, but paused and forgot it.
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