[talk-au] Copyright in Australia (Was: Tagging questions)

Ian Sergeant isergean at hih.com.au
Mon Feb 11 21:29:42 GMT 2008

Matt White <mattwhite at iinet.com.au> wrote:

> I reckon the multi source approach should also be
> valid for street name sourcing - that way you aren't relying on a single
> companies *substantial effort* required

be careful here.  if copyright subsists, because of substantial effort,
then copyright subsists.  you can't argue that copyright doesn't subsist
for a work used in one way, but does for a work used in another.

once copyright is shown to subsist, it only then matters whether you are
using within the bounds of what is permitted for a copyrighted work.

it is likely copyright subsists in a street directory list of street names.
the only question then is what amounts to permitted use under the copyright

Is looking up a street directory by multiple people to confirm an address
before travelling there fair use?  It is easy to argue in favour of this.
The street directory was intended for this purpose.

Is looking up a street directory to validate a competing street directory,
rather than paying for or otherwise putting effort into verifying the
source?  I wouldn't like to be in court arguing that case..

Also - don't forget there are contractual terms of use in google maps, etc
which prohibit this.  This really only leaves a couple of sources of this
street name data.

> (in Australia, and apparently only Australia, we have to wear the
> consequences of the DtMS v Telstra judgement which in essence says that
> factual items can be copyrighted in a substantial effort was required to
> collate and present them).

The court in Desktop Marketing v Telstra, certainly believed they were
disregarding US precedent, and following UK precedent.  The issue will
probably never be argued in a UK court, because they have strong
protections in the form of a database right legislation, and will likely
never have to rely on copyright to protect factual information.

I would strongly suggest not referring to a copyrighted work when working
on OSM.


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