[OSM-talk] Apologies

Nick Black nickblack1 at gmail.com
Wed Apr 26 12:33:46 BST 2006

> I'd like to draw a line in the sand as to what OSM would like to see vs.
> not see in terms of external visualizations of the data alongside
> copyrighted data. It's frustrating to me that everytime someone comes up
> with something cool that can be done alongside copyrighted data, there
> seems to be an argument over how risky it is to have people copying
> copyrighted data off the map. Anyone who is interested in contributing
> to the project should be aware of the fact that copying copyright data
> into the map is Not a Good Thing, and discouraging innovation because
> there's a possibility that people might use it to copy from one to the
> other is annoying (and my resultant trolling is largely in response to
> that, despite the petulant manner I've accomplished it in.) So where's
> the line? At one point does it become a big enough concern that
> something should not be done, simply because someone might copy?

 If  OSM gets taken down by the OS, Navteq, Google, whoever, all the
creativity and cool ideas in the world wont help.  No-one is trying to
stifle creativity - using data in new and unexpected ways is a core goal of
the project.  But, we have to add some pragmatism to our idealism.

Sure, at the moment most people involved in the project know about
copywright issues.  But most people - our target membership - do not.  This
again is a core point of the project - many people dont realise that map
data is subject to such strict copywright restrictions.  What about
contributors from countries without strong data protection laws, and
societies that simply don't place as high a value on private property as
Western Europe (particularly Britian) and does.  Contributors from these
countries simply wouldn't conceive of these things in the straightforward
''wrong is wrong'' manner suggested.  If we get taken to court, the
opposition will use any means they can to suggest that we have 'encouraged'
the breach of copywright laws.

Where's the line?  That is a harder issue and one that we need legal
consultation on, hence my arranging a meeting with a lawyer. (any qs to the

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