[Talk-us] Tiger Street Names and Copyright

SteveC steve at asklater.com
Sun Feb 1 23:29:02 GMT 2009

On 1 Feb 2009, at 13:36, Ian Dees wrote:

> On Sun, Feb 1, 2009 at 3:25 PM, <richard at weait.com> wrote:
> Hilton Long said:
> > Tiger line files are incomplete, especially as regards streets in  
> new
> > developments.  It's possible to draw the streets from Yahoo  
> imagery.  But
> > where to get the names?  Must they come off of street signs?  Is  
> it a
> > violation of copyright to take the names (and ONLY the names) from  
> Google,
> > Yahoo, or Microsoft Maps?
> It is absolutely a violation of copyright to take street names from
> copyright maps.
> That's incorrect. As discussed previously on one of the other OSM e- 
> mail lists [1], the US Supreme Court ruled long ago [2] that facts  
> are not copyrightable.

Right but the names on the streets might not be facts. They might be  
wrong *on purpose*.


> Street names are not copyrightable because they are facts. Google  
> Maps and similar do not add any creative spark specifically to  
> street names so the street names are not copyrightable. On the other  
> hand, the street centerline data is copyrightable because Google is  
> adding a spark of creativity to the factual data.
> [1] http://www.mail-archive.com/newbies@openstreetmap.org/ 
> msg00502.html
> [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feist_Publications_v._Rural_Telephone_Service
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