[Talk-GB] Non-free sources [was: Re: Importing Shell fuel stations]

Mark Goodge mark at good-stuff.co.uk
Fri Dec 29 13:05:11 UTC 2017

On 29/12/2017 11:14, Andy Mabbett wrote:
> On 29 December 2017 at 08:30, Adam Snape <adam.c.snape at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Speaking generally, I don't think it's good practice to be using
>> non-free resources like this to research information which is
>> not clear from open data, even if we don't use the information
>> directly.
> Are you happy for people to enter into OSM the name of a store, read
> from the store's shop-front signage?
> What if that signage is an artistic design, meriting copyright?
> What if it is written in a proprietary, copyrighted font?

Names aren't subject to copyright. They may be protected by trademarks, 
but mapping them is not an infringement of a trademark.  So, provided we 
didn't discover the name from a source which is itself protected by 
database right (eg, a proprietary directory such as Yellow Pages), then 
there's nothing stopping us from using a name. Reading it directly from 
the shopfront would always be OK. And we're not reproducing the font or 
the logo, so that's immaterial.

> What about from a non-free photograph, found online? Or in a book,
> magazine or newspaper?

Those are fine. We are not reproducing any of the content, we are merely 
ascertaining facts.

> Were exactly do we draw the line? Why there?

We draw the line at using a source which is subject to database right, 
and where using the content would be an infringement of that right. 
Because facts are not subject to copyright, but a collection of facts 
can be subject to database right. And it's the database right which, in 
the context of OSM, is the key issue.


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