[OSM-talk] [OSM-legal-talk] Yahoo and OSM

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Wed Mar 28 11:03:13 BST 2007


> I'm as disappointed as anyone that the Yahoo plugin was not  
> acceptable to Yahoo. However, they have always clearly stated that  
> use of their imagery must be through the API. That goes for anyone  
> using Yahoo maps. The Yahoo plugin was an an extremley clever edge  
> case that needed to be explored .. all matters aren't understood a  
> priori. And Yahoo decided that technically this violated their  
> terms of use...
> "YOU SHALL NOT store or allow end users to store map imagery, map  
> data or geocoded
> location information from the Yahoo! Maps APIs for any future use;"
> As picky an interpretation as this is, I take it as a good sign.

No it's not a good sign, because there really is no technical  
argument to back up this arbitrary decision.

As someone else said, the use of Yahoo imagery in any web browser  
could be declared in violation of that clause ant any time (because  
all web browsers have an image cache).

Technically, the image created by the plugin is not "for future use"  
but for immediate use, and it is much more short-lived than anything  
in the browser cache. The JOSM plugin does not storea anything "for  
any future use"; the quoted phrase does not apply.

So, this decision by Yahoo does not provide any clarity for us, and  
especially doesn't help us find better ways. Unless they tell us what  
exactly they don't like, we cannot work with them; the phrase quoted  
above is obviously not the basis for the decision to declare the JOSM  
plugin unwanted.

> Even though there are open questions, I suggest that we can  
> continue as we have confidently.

On my part, every bit of "confidence" is removed by such decisions  
which are not comprehensible from a technical point of view. With the  
same argument as above, they could at any time decree that our Applet  
has been in violation of their terms from day one. Where would that  
leave us? Would we have to remove everything created using the applet  
from the database?

It is of course Yahoo's prerogative to allow or disallow anything  
they want and we have to be happy for every breadcrumb falling from  
their table. Still it would be desirable to have clarity on what is  
allowed and what not.

Especially, we need to know wheter there's a way forward for us with  
JOSM. If we had a browser engine in Java that supported sufficient  
Javascript, and built that into JOSM to show Yahoo imagery, would  
that be ok, or would that, too, somehow suddenly constitute "store  
map imagery for later use" (in the double buffer memory used for  
displaying, perhaps...?).


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00.09' E008°23.33'

More information about the talk mailing list