[OSM-talk] Illegal activity

Dave Stubbs osm.list at randomjunk.co.uk
Thu Oct 29 09:48:25 GMT 2009

On Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 7:50 AM, Valent Turkovic
<valent.turkovic at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, 28 Oct 2009 19:29:37 -0500, Ian Dees wrote:
>> Although it may/may not be "illegal", it is definitely a breach of
>> contract.
> Sorry for misleading title, but I still don't understand how this can be
> permitted.

It isn't permitted. Don't let the posts here arguing the details of
whether it should be permitted confuse anything.
OSM has one simple rule: if in doubt, don't.

A lot of people think it's probably OK, but but Google aren't exactly
unambiguous on the issue and there are certainly enough people around
claiming rights that it leaves reasonable doubt unless the provider
tells you explicitly that it's OK. Or in brief: don't use Google for

> Is there anybody in OSM community that goes to OSM users that do this
> sorts of things and warns not to do it?

You can do it yourself if you come across it.
If the user is not giving a good response (leave enough time for them
to do so) then you can contact the OSMF Data Working Group:

In this case there's no evidence of data being uploaded to OSM, but if
you have an account to post there already it may be worth replying to
the forum post to make it clear that they shouldn't.

> The problem is that somebody starts tracing via "illegal" means (google
> satellite images and other sources) and other people come after him and
> add bunch of data (new streets and POI-s, addition street tags) that all
> their data would probably have to be deleted as they are derived from
> source that is "tainted", right?
> If google or any other company comes after him then they would probably
> have to delete all data that has also been derived from his work, or no?
> If it comes to that then work of much more people is wasted :(
> Is there anything that OSM does officially regarding these kind of people
> of they are just ignored until somebody starts asking questions?

The Data Working Group responds to notifications from the community.
Where we find significant potential copyright infringement we can ban
the user responsible and remove all their data -- we don't wait for
the copyright holder to complain before doing this. This has happened
on several occasions including a case in lithuania where a large
percentage of data had to be removed -- with all the problems you
point out.


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