[talk-ph] Using Non-copyright Images to Map

sorabsuperstar at web.de sorabsuperstar at web.de
Wed Dec 3 13:37:05 GMT 2008

Hi guys

> > The original source
>  > is http://zh.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Image:Discovery_bay.
> svg&variant=zh-hk
> Which then points to:
>  Source: Drawn using Inkscape mainly according to Centamap.
> http://www.centamap.com/gc/home.aspx
>  that says:
>  "(c) Survey and Mapping Office Lands Department Copyright reserved -
>  reproduction by permission only "

> I'd say the wording of the copyright notice makes it a definitely not 
> usable source...

WELL, WELL... I would not  say so.

Redrawing a map is not an infringement of the copyright of another person who also created a map of that area before.

First of all I guess we all understand taht the shape of things, streets, shores, etc. on an (accurate) map have NOT been created by the creator of the map, but rather by the creators of the things, streets ans shores (i.e. god !?). Hence they cannot be a work under the copyright of the map creator, who "only" can have a copyright in the specific visualization of those shapes. That each accurate map of an area will feature the same shapes is in the nature of creating an accurate map :)

The author of the Inkscape work (i.e. Wikipedia User "Moonian") said, he created this "mainly according to Centamap"
That CAN mean, he somehow copied the centamap-data, which will be a problem of "Moonian" if he infringed their copyright.
However, creating a map "according to" another map can also mean that for example he compared the two maps after creating it and they match, which would be an indicator that both are accurate :), but not necessarity that he copied his map. Even if he verified his map by directly crossreferencing it against centamap, it would not be a Copyright infringement (as long it is only mere verifying).

Important is, not to directly copy from another map. Converting vector data is definitely a direct copy. Tracing another picture into vector data - like we do it with the Yahoo satelite pictures - is not such a clear case anymore. But most probably still "copying" under too many national jurisdictions; and therefore not allowed in OSM.
However if someone redraws a third party map by freehand drawing a sketch in Inkskape, whereas at the end of the day the result (i.e. THAT visualization of the area) is totally abstract from the other map the only thing they have in common being the very shapes of things, streets and shores in the mapped area....
...well that will not be a copyright infringement.

The answer lies behind the question 'How exactly did Moonian actually create the map?". 
As I said: the mere correlation of shapes imo cannot be an indicator, as the shapes as such are not copyrighted. And I really cannot see any other similarities between the two maps, save correlating shapes. His map is in fact very different from the Centamap. 
I think we cannot allege Moonian of directly copying; hence we have to assume that it's his own work. 

Moonian did license the map expressly under the General Public License AND Creative Commons License w/o "Remix-limitation"  (the latter being the one also used in OSM). Hence we even dont have to answer the question if Wikipedia material (which is usually GPL licensed) generally can be used in OSM or not. Moonian's map can be used for direct copying/converting whatoever into OSM under the CC license, provided that you
- mention his name as the author of the original work you based your adaption upon (i.e. tag his
- distribute your work under the same license, which you will automatically do when uploading them to OSM :)


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