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

Andrei Klochko transportsplan3 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 6 19:22:45 GMT 2010

Thank you for your answer. Indeed, it is almost impossible to prove you
indeed have the right to do anything, in the geographical data area. But to
answer to your idea of even bus stops physical locations being copyrighted,
we have the following story, that every lawyer in france takes back:
*consider a single person, phoning to every number he can dial randomly.
*if he manages to get names and adresses of answering people - which is
utmost unlikely, but just suppose it
*then he recreated the phone book from scratch, and no one will be able to
sue him, if not for collection and keeping of personal data, which is not
the case for our bus stops.
Which means, wandering around in a city, and noting all bus stops, and
noting what is written on them, could be considered "rebuilding public data
from scratch", and as such, not fall under database copyright.

But Michał is right, I have to stop messing with this list, for purely legal
questions. I will continue asking lawyers, etc...

And about transiki, yes I know about them, I am on their mailing list. But
neither transiki nor OSM would take the risk to do what I am trying to do
here, finding ways to bypass database right, because it would be stupid  to
gamble such big projects on slippery legal questions. I, on the other side,
will maybe be ready to take the risk, once I know more. And if this is to be
the first juridic case about this *precise question*, then so be it. But at
last, we will know for sure, then. And I am not going to throw myself with
no warranty: I intend to prepare my weapons, for this fight. This is way I
keep thinking standalone. But nonetheless, this will not keep me from
contributing to transiki, of course. Transiki may be the proper,
open-licensed version of Google transit, but my version will be the "dirty"
and hopefully, fast-made, version. What I would like, is that random users,
without even learning how to use Potlatch or JOSM, without having to know
anything about legal terms, would just upload timetables and plans, and if I
manage to do it, an internal utility on my site will try to interpretate the
timetables and plans, to extract the needed data from them; and then the
user will only have to correct what is wrong. Think of dailymotion
processing a video you just updated. Wouldn't it be good? Of course, this
supposes huge work I am very probably absolutely not aware of, but still,
why not just go and try it?

The point is, about asking companies,  I know a company, that is so greedy
to keep its data, that isn't even featured on itransports.fr, the site
referencing more of 80% of French PT data. They simply won't listen to
anyone. And I know this will not be the only company to do so. And I am not
going to gather 100 mobs to go and sit there in front of their buildings for
three days to at last obtain their ****** paper. This is why I wanted so
much to find a way to bypass these companies that block entire geographical
sectors of PT maps. When you break a chain, the whole chain becomes useless.
And if such companies break the chain of transportation, then my site will
be useless. This is why I am craving so much for a legal way, even a little
unstable, to bypass all of this. The fact is, as many people told me,
sometimes they don't even know who holds the rights over this data!
But thank you for all your answers. I will try to find someone that will
answer these questions, on the legal-talk. I already been to legal-talk,
asked, but got very few really detailed answers. I will try again, now.


2010/12/6 Michael von Glasow <michael at vonglasow.com>

> On 12/06/2010 05:07 PM, Michał Borsuk wrote:
>> 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!
> Indeed talk-legal may be the more suitable list for such discussions.
> As for database copyright, I can tell you the situation here in Italy (and
> I would expect the situation to be somewhat similar throughout the European
> Union): Database copyright applies to databases in any form, even
> non-electronic (think printed telephone books), though I'm not completely
> sure about how non-trivial a database has to be in order to be
> copyrightable. In any case, the copyright extends to any substantial
> extraction of data (again what is "substantial" is not well-defined and may
> be a gray area). Even if it's done in tiny bits, one record at a time, as
> soon as these are put together again, they will become substantial as soon
> as enough data is gathered (IANAL, the interpretation is my own).
> However, let's assume the following:
> * Public transport companies have a database of all their stops, lines,
> timetables etc. (Organizations that have existed for decades might
> originally have kept this information on paper, but as we have seen before,
> even this may legally be a database.)
> * That database was created beforehand, only after that were the stops
> built and lines entered into service.
> * Hence, the fact that there is a stop, its name, location, lines and all
> the rest are all data derived from that company's database.
> * As a result, even mapping bus stops (let alone lines) would be a breach
> of copyright unless *either* we have permission from the company *or* it
> turns out that the original database is not copyrightable for some reason.
> The same may apply to other fields of OSM, such as information on street
> names. In their case, however, the decision to name a street in a certain
> way is a legal act or regulation and, as such, cannot be copyrighted in many
> countries. Public transport infrastructure may or may not be a similar case.
> In fact I remember that at one of the last SOTMs (2009 or 2010 I believe)
> there was a lawyer talking about the legality of mapping streets and others,
> and the key message was: It's a gray area, but don't let that discourage you
> from mapping.
>  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.
> The catch is that the aggregation of these single databases may constitute
> sufficient effort to qualify as a new database.
> On a different note: have you taken a look at Transiki yet? In case you
> haven't, it's Steve Coast's second "child" after OSM and their goal is just
> that - to make public transport timetables freely available. You might want
> to get in touch with them - they seem to have an idea similar to yours and
> are still in their beginnings, maybe you can join forces.
> Michael
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