[talk-au] Sourcing street names form existing maps

Matt White mattwhite at iinet.com.au
Mon Nov 26 09:58:44 GMT 2007

>The question then becomes is OSM interested in defending a case in
>Australia against copying a street directory names?  Perhaps they could ask
>Desktop Marketing (who can now be reached care of their liquidator,
>Geoffrey Handberg).

>Approaching lawyers and the copyright council is the wrong approach, IMO.
>Approach Universal Publishers, or the Department of Lands, and ask them if
>the will give permission to copy their list of street names.  If they are
>cool with it, then go for it.  If they are going to sue OSM for breach of
>copyright, then whoever is interested in testing this legal principle
>should set up their own OSM fork for the purpose.


I read the entire DtMS judgement the other night (took forever), and in the
end, you could probably cherry pick statements either way. Copyright for the
compilation of data seems to apply to actual lists of data (so potentially
the index pages of a street map), which was the basis of the DtMS case.

I am opening some dialog with a couple of copyright holders at the moment -
I guess I don't like just accepting the "Don't know, not going to risk it"
answer that seems to be the current state of affairs. Thought I might was
well see if it was resolvable somehow, cos I figure that a complete list of
street names would be a useful thing.

I'm also looking at gettings some scans of some out of copyright street maps
from the State Library (if they are any good - maps have to be ordered in
from the vault at the State library, so I haven't seen them yet) made
available as a general reference for anybody doing the mapping in Melbourne

I just went back through the copyright council info
(http://www.copyright.org.au/pdf/acc/infosheets_pdf/G090.pdf), and found
this paragraph (which obviously doesn't represent outright legal advice, but
is interesting nevertheless...)

"Maps and charts relating to the same geographical area will usually
resemble each other. However, there is an
important distinction between the *information* in maps and charts (for
example, names and distances between
geographical features depicted), which is not protected by copyright, and
the *expression* of information in a
particular map or chart (for example, selection of what to include, the
colour schemes, symbols, labels, keys and
contour lines), which is protected by copyright."

(Note: Their bolding in that para, not mine.)

I guess I'm going to pursue this more out of academic interest than anything
else. And I'm an argumentative type, so I like a good stoush...


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