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

Mikel Maron mikel_maron at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 28 12:57:20 BST 2007


It really is about using the API directly. A js or flash widget running within JOSM is ok. So is Potlach .. potlach is more than ok :)

Yahoo made an exception for the applet, which does access tiles directly, but also faithfully includes the branding and imagery attribution.
This exception was made grudgingly (with pity ;) ) and won't happen again.

Also on a Java api, I expect that Yahoo already has their hands full supporting both flash and ajax apis.

----- Original Message ----
From: Robert (Jamie) Munro <rjmunro at arjam.net>
To: Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org>
Cc: Mikel Maron <mikel_maron at yahoo.com>; talk at openstreetmap.org
Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2007 12:50:39 PM
Subject: Re: [OSM-talk] [OSM-legal-talk] Yahoo and OSM

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Frederik Ramm wrote:
> Hi,
> 
>> 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.

Personally, I think that if Yahoo are talking to us, we should try to do
what they ask, rather than try to push the limits of their terms and
conditions and have them get angry at us. If we want to push the limits
of terms and conditions and have a proper legal argument potentially
leading to a court case, we're much better off doing it with Google or
Microsoft imagery because that imagery is better, and we don't have an
existing relationship with those organisations (no matter how tenuous)
that we will risk loosing. While we are working with Yahoo, we should
work with Yahoo, not against them. Once we have some legal opinions
sorted out (i.e. we show real lawyers the unanswered questions in the
Legal FAQ), we can consider weather to build a Google or Microsoft layer
for JOSM, or some kind of OSM editing mashup in the Google or MS apis.

On the other hand, this doesn't mean we shouldn't point out this kind of
thing to them.

They probably don't want JOSM YWMS to do what it does because it sets a
dangerous precedent for future applications. They may be more happy if
we construct an envirionment inside Java that is capable of running
their API, because although it makes no practical difference in our
case, it doesn't set a dangerous precedent that making a local WMS
server is OK. Before you know it, someone will share a YWMS server over
their LAN, and maybe connect WorldWind or Google Earth or something to it.

There are several ways forward working with Yahoo, rather than against them:
1. Make a java enviroment that can run the Yahoo APIs
  * jflash
  * Java's JavaScript stuff
2. Give Yahoo the code used in the current Java applet editor and ask
them to adopt it as an official Java API
3. Make JOSM (or some of it) run in a browser - I don't know if applets
can run semi-transparantly on top of other web page graphics. Otherwise,
perhaps it could redirect it's output to a transparent PNG, which could
then be overlaid in the DOM, and the JOSM toolbars could show as an applet.
4. Stop using JOSM, and move to Potlatch :-)

It is possible that 3 might be the only option Yahoo would approve of,
because it may be the case that the reason Yahoo are worried is that
they are only licensed to show images inside web browsers, not inside
other applications. That would explain why the applet not using the APIs
is OK, but JOSM using the APIs is not. This is complete speculation,
however.

Robert (Jamie) Munro
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