[Talk-us] Public Domain Non-GPS Data Question

Christopher Schmidt crschmidt at metacarta.com
Thu Feb 26 21:01:53 GMT 2009

On Thu, Feb 26, 2009 at 03:43:54PM -0500, Dale Puch wrote:
> A valid point about international corporations.  But dealing with US and
> state government data if it is uncopyrightable, or public domain then anyone
> (here at the very least) has no restrictions on use.  Including
> international use and publication.

If it is uncopyrightable or public domain, that is all well-and-good.
This is only relevant when the work *is* claimed to be copyrighted; if
it's public domain, then there are no legal concerns to worry about. 

However, "It's a collection of facts, therefore it is not copyrighted"
-- while a perfectly legitimate claim in the US -- is not equally
legitimate worldwide. It's rare that it *truly* applies to geodata
anyway -- things like attributes and so on are seldom 'facts' -- but
it's a difference to be aware of. This is the kind of trap that people
should avoid falling into. 

Christopher Schmidt

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