[Talk-transit] Again about time tables, and some interesting sites

Andrei Klochko transportsplan3 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 6 18:00:40 GMT 2010

Good evening,
i admit it, I know almost nothing about law. I focused on database,
intellectual property law. These texts are quite small. I know my
interpretation has no value, which is why I just spent 1h and a half talking
to yet another lawyer. And what he told me was this: in one sentence, I am
om the cutting edge of law. Which means, he cannot say for certain, wether
someone attacking me on this, would win or not. But according to him, if I
could go to each bus stop, take a picture of the timetables on the stop, and
then, extract the information to incorporate it in my database, while
keeping the photo as a proof that I did not use any electronic (internet)
means to access easily a work that took time to gather, then I should be on
my right, as I really spent time and effort to gather again the same

Concerning my former assesment, about "small databases", I admit I was not
clear enough: First, let us consider the case, of a unique, all alone
transport company, not owned by any big group, and that would operate 10
lines (say). The *creation* of each timetable, I mean the choice of the
times and frequencies, is a real work: for this, the company spends time.
Nonetheless, a timetable, as a production of spirit being heavily
constrained by a definite industrial objective (functionment of their
lines), it does not bear a mark of its "author's personnality", and as such,
is not protected by pure copyright ("droit d'auteur"), as would be a book or
poem. Moreover, this data is not secret, as it is provided to the public.
Which means, every one has the right to download ONE timetable alone, and
put it on its site.
Then, the question is only about the *gathering* of existing timetables
together, so as to make a "database". And this small company,  has only ten
lines, which means the database, as a structure containing data that is not
individually copyrightable (one timetable is freely downloadable, as I said
earlier), would only be a structure *containing 10 pdf files*. As such, the
gathering of 10 pdf files, may (I know, I still have to prove it) be a work,
that needed few enough investment, so as not to be considered to be
protected by pure *database copyright*. In this way, it is *possible* that
someone might have the right to download the entire set of timetables of one
single, small company.

Now, if you consider the real world, there are big transport agencies, like
transdev, who own 100% of several smaller agencies, which are the real
operators of the local transports. These small agencies, have produced
timetables, that you can access either directly on a bus stop, either on
their web site. On the other hand, obviously, the big corporation (transdev,
or veolia, or anything else), does have, on its side, a big database that
gathers all timetables of its filials. But if, by chance, they created this
database starting from data provided to them by the filials (and not the
opposite, transdev creating the database and then give the different
timetables to its filials), then the source of their database are the
filials. Which means that, if I go to every flial and take the timetables
that concern only their lines, and from their, small site, then I fall back
to the case mentioned above, where it would be just as if I took these
timetables from a small, standalone company. As transdev - or any other big
company holding these small operators - would have made its database from
the same sources as me, we would only have the same sources, one would not
be copying the other. So wether their database exist or not, is none of my
concern, then. I really recreated it from small enough sources. I
fractionned the imports directly to the sources of the data. Is more clear
this way?

I know I still have to check, and re-check, and triple check, and ultimately
I think I will have to take the risk.

As I saw, many sites emerged from openstreetmap data. What I would like to
do, is not to bind openstreetmap with my "risks". I would make my own site,
only use data from openstreetmap underneath my transit data, to support it,
and say clearly, if necessary, that my "database recreating activities" have
nothing to do with openstreetmap, so the project would be safe. Is that

And about the "ask a lawyer" phrase, this is what I am doing, every single
day between monday and friday, since last week. I really want to know what I
would be up to. So, ok, I know personnaly nothing of civil law, but still,
I'm doing my best to learn. All what I said was only with that point of
view. And I understand only experienced lawyers can fill the blanks in my
"elaborations about law", and tell me where I am wrong. But by saying all
what I'm saying here, I am only trying to see if anyone else have had
similar thoughts, and if anyone can help me. That's all...


2010/12/6 Michał Borsuk <michal.borsuk at gmail.com>

> Am 06.12.2010 15:26, schrieb Andrei Klochko:
>  Hello,
>> Yes, in France it's even worse: "the database producer may forbid any
>> quantitatively or quantitatively substantial extraction from his database,
>> by all means and in any form"
>> BUT you have this counterpart: "when a database is made available to the
>> public by the holder of the rights, then he cannot forbid [among other
>> things] the extraction AND reuse of a quantitatively or qualitatively non
>> substantial part of the database, by the person who has licit access to it".
> So after all us, the "grumpy old men", were right.
>  I only put this line here, to ask the question: what, if many different
>> people, decide to all take one timetable, and then reuse it as they want,
>> like for example, by publishing it in a centralized site?
> Then this is the wrong group. Ask a lawyer!
>  as these people are not part of a single company, they have no bound with
>> each other, they just chose to do what they are entitled to do, i.e. reusing
>> these timetables, in a unique web place...
> Who cares whether they are bound or not?
>  These are two ways I explore at the moment.
> You seem to know nothing of civil law, and you're elaborating about it.
> That is very dangerous to yourself, and to OSM-- if you ever plan to import
> anything to it. Ignorantia iuris nocet.
>  Here the data is made publicly available...and if the transporters are the
>> ultimate producers of the data, then taking it from every transporter is
>> only copying THEIR "database", which is not big enough to make a database.
>> You see?
> No, I don't.
> --
> Best regards, mit freundlichen Grüssen, meilleurs sentiments, Pozdrowienia,
> Michał Borsuk
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