[OSM-legal-talk] Copy information from official business website (WAS: Proposal for a revision of JA:Available Data)

Kathleen Lu kathleen.lu at mapbox.com
Thu Jul 11 21:23:13 UTC 2019

There is fairly limited case law on what constitutes "substantial
investment" under the database law. Here is an article discussing a couple
of cases where significant investment was rejected, and one where it was
accepted (sadly all in the context of sports, not geodata) -

On Thu, Jul 11, 2019 at 1:48 PM Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com>

> sent from a phone
> > On 11. Jul 2019, at 20:23, Kathleen Lu <kathleen.lu at mapbox.com> wrote:
> >
> > "Substantial investment" may not be a black and white standard, but it
> is a meaningful one. I hypothesize that Tesco would have difficulty proving
> "a substantial investment in either the obtaining, verification or
> presentation of the contents." (Note that investment in creating/setting
> the hours does not count.)
> It may have come along as sarcasm the way I have written it, but the idea
> is actually appealing: significant investment wrt the database could
> eventually be dismissed for those databases, which are more or less the
> result of some related operation/work, a byproduct, rather than being set
> up to gather and analyze data without being required in the operation. The
> investment would be the operation, while the db as a byproduct would be
> almost “free”. The OpenStreetMap database would still be protected under
> perspective, but a lot of databases would not be protected automatically
> any more.
> The maps the GIS department releases are definitely requiring a
> significant investment, but the lists of streets a municipality releases
> would probably not be covered by the sui generis rule because there is not
> much specific investment behind such a compilation, it is a byproduct of
> their operation as a public administration. Or the post code lists of the
> postal service: the effort is not specifically put into the db, they only
> have to print what they already know from planning and organizing the
> postal service.
> Is there already case law with examples where a claimed significant
> investment has been rejected? I would suspect that almost any database
> could be seen as having required a lot of investment for the creation and
> updates, or not, according to how you put it.
> From a practical point of view I agree I would not be worried about
> copying opening hours (or addresses, or phone numbers) from a retail
> company’s website, e.g. Tesco. It’s more likely they would pay you for this
> than sue you.
> Cheers Martin
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