[Tagging] How to map terrace buildings with names

Niels Elgaard Larsen elgaard at agol.dk
Wed Jul 8 14:35:37 UTC 2020

Matthew Woehlke:
> On 08/07/2020 09.57, Matthew Woehlke wrote:
>> On 07/07/2020 18.04, Paul Allen wrote:
>>> Copyright prevents us using Google Streetview for mapping, but we can use it for
>>> illustrative purposes.
>> Honestly, I would *strongly* question whether that is enforceable in the US (maybe
>> it is in some overprotective European nations?). When I take a picture of
>> something, the *expression* of the scene I capture is subject to copyright, but the
>> *subject matter* is not. (Well, not subject to *my* copyright, anyway; something
>> like a sculpture or building can be copyrighted by the creator thereof.) Neither
>> Google nor anyone else can copyright facts by recording them in a photograph.
> Sorry, but I feel like I need to clarify this further.
> Are the *actual photographs* in Google Street View copyrighted? Yes; in theory there
> was a "creative choice" about where and when to take the photographs. If OSM were to
> reproduce said photographs, or excerpts thereof, that would be a problem.
> Is the *content* of the photographs copyrighted? No, or at least, not by Google,
> except to the extent that content is a result of Google's actions. If the photo has
> not been materially altered (stuff like blurring faces and license plates doesn't
> matter for our purposes, because we wouldn't be "copying" that sort of thing in any
> way), then the *contents* of that photo are exactly as free of copyright claims as if
> someone else had taken a photo at the same time and location and declared it public
> domain.
> Whether or not the *contents* are subject to copyright (most likely *not* Google's,
> unless we're talking about e.g. the Google campus) is a whole other kettle of fish,
> that potentially affects *anyone* going to the site and recording information.
> Disclaimer: this is all US law. If you live in another country, YMMV.

Yes, facts are not copyrightable.

In Europe we unfortunately have the Database Directive

Which is probably what Google would use.

They might not win, but OSM should not spend unnecessary time in courts.
Who wants a new SCO vs IBM/(Linux)?


The question has been closed for the following reason "The question has turned into a
debate, which would be better suited for the legal-talk@ mailing list. OSM's position
on sources is to be whiter-than-white, and not to use any third-party sources for
which we do not have explicit permission. Please direct any further follow-ups to
legal-talk at . Thanks --Richard" by Richard 31 May '12, 17:15

I have been adding speed limits to Danish highways. Something that would probably be
a lot easier with Google Street View. But I use Mapillary, OSC, and sometimes my own

Niels Elgaard Larsen

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