[OSM-talk] Are Yahoo street maps legal? (as JOSM WMS layer via desktopwms)

Tim McNamara paperless at timmcnamara.co.nz
Sun Feb 28 20:51:54 GMT 2010


On 28 February 2010 08:56, David Earl <david at frankieandshadow.com> wrote:

> On 27/02/2010 09:31, Valent Turkovic wrote:
> > I was hoping that Yahoo has their own maps and that we could use them.
>
> Whatever the legality, I can't see the point in making a map which is
> simply a copy of someone else's. Why go to the bother - you might as
> well just use the original.
>
>
That's the freedom tax.

OSM members cannot create maps from another source that has restrictive
licencing. It will be a derivative work, thus copyright infringement. That's
why Richard Stallman created the GNU libraries from scratch. Even though
Unix existed, he duplicated the functionality of everything without looking
at the original source code that he could not be accused of copyright
violation.

Facts are free, but representations of facts are not. E.g. two companies can
create maps about the world happily. However if one uses the other's as a
base, then the second company is breaking the law.

If you just want to use maps, then taking them from Yahoo/Google/Bing is
fine. But if you want to create maps that you wish to distribute & build
upon, then you need to create them yourself (or generate them from a source
that is itself copyleft).

Others - please correct any errors :)

Tim
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