[OSM-talk] How is there not any creative-type (US) copyright in OSM data?

John Smith deltafoxtrot256 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 7 01:35:53 GMT 2009

2009/12/7 Anthony <osm at inbox.org>:
>> But I would argue that a selection of a finite set from an infinite
>> possible nodes that can represent the centerline of a road is a sufficiently
>> creative endeavor that is automatically afforded copyright according to the
>> US copyright system.
> Inaccuracy isn't copyrightable.  Mistakes aren't copyrightable (see Feist).
> The intent of OSM is to represent the centerline of a road as accurately as
> possible.  There aren't an infinite number of possibilities which we
> creatively choose from.  (First of all, the number of possibilities that can
> be represented is finite, as the number of decimal places is finite.  But
> more to the point, the purpose is to record exactly one result, and any
> deviation from that is simply an error.)  Mistakes and inaccuracy do not
> represent creative input.

Actually a circle by definition is a line with infinite number of points.

Also I agree there is a number of creative things that go into making
up the data, it isn't just a set of facts, you are making creative
choices all the time about how to best fit facts into how things will
render later, plenty of people are making square roundabouts, others
make works of art.

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