[OSM-talk] Breach of Copyright?

Dave F. davefox at madasafish.com
Thu Oct 1 01:45:16 BST 2009

Russ Nelson wrote:
> Dave F. writes:
>  > I look for /indications /of rights of way on my OS map. Initially this 
>  > is the only evidence I have.
>  > If I see it's not indicated in OSM I go & walk it.
>  > I'm pretty certain I'm not the only one who does this.
>  > 
>  > Is this a breach of copyright?
> Not in the US.  Not in any way, not at all.  Copyright in the US
> protects creative expression, not information.  If something is a
> representation of a fact, the creative elements of that representation
> are copyrightable.  The fact is not copyrightable.  You are using the
> OSM maps in a manner which is non-infringing under US law.
> Further, under US law, if there is only one way to express something,
> you cannot claim a copyright on it, even if you can show that you
> exercised creativity in creating it.
> Now, you *can* claim a copyright on a collection of facts, but the
> copyright applies to the collection, not the individual facts.  Your
> creativity was applied to the choice of which facts to include in the
> collection.
> Obviously you are in the UK making reference to a work under UK
> copyright, so none of this applies to you.  I merely put this here so
> that people in the US understand that they CAN do what you are doing.
Oh to live in in the land of the free. :-)

Thanks for your reply.
Dave F.

More information about the talk mailing list