[OSM-legal-talk] Copyright of old media / images / maps

Simon Poole simon at poole.ch
Fri Apr 4 17:09:52 UTC 2014

Their are quite a few facets of this issue, just some of many:

- do you actually have access to an original copy? Obviously who ever is
providing access to an online version is completely free to define
whatever ToS they want.

- sweat of the brow provisions as Eugene mentions

- "dead for centuries" is typically not actually true in the plural.
Particularly if you might have had rather young co-authors (aka
apprentices) you might be surprised how far in to the 20th century
copyright protection could potentially extend.


Am 04.04.2014 18:02, schrieb Martin Koppenhoefer:
> Anybody can explain how it can be legal to claim copyright on old
> material, say 18th or 19th century works?
> When browsing the web (mostly library pages and catalogues) those
> institutions often claim full copyright and prohibit reproduction,
> distribution etc. of the (digitalized/scanned/photographed) works, but I
> wonder on what basis they do so, given that the authors of those works
> are all dead for centuries now.
> Would it be legitimate to derive features (e.g. names or old names) for
> osm from such sources if the distributing entity claims copyright on the
> material?
> cheers,
> Martin
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