[OSM-talk] FCC public documents license and submarine cables mapping

Kathleen Lu kathleen.lu at mapbox.com
Mon Apr 15 17:00:06 UTC 2019

Of course Google *can* afford a lawyer and bureaucracy does not legally or
physically limit their ability to act, but I think you underestimate the
*practical* limitations. Even the smallest amount of bureaucracy and cost
(which just adds more bureaucracy, because the cost must be approved) makes
it just not worth it for the *individual* who works for Google who would
have to call up the lawyer and find the paperwork and organize the
paperwork and get approvals, when they already have a hundred other more
important tasks to do. Honestly, the bigger the company, the more

In the general scenario, setting aside the insignificant case, there's an
argument to be made that three difference "infringements" can take place:
One by the mapper in copying the material into OSM, one by OSM in
"distributing" the material (whether "distributing" is really the right
word is going to depend country by country, but that's the concept), and
one by a user in copying the material from OSM (and then doing whatever
else to it). So the law of the country of all three would apply, just apply
to different activities.
>From a practical standpoint, if there were a significant infringement
situation, and regardless of whether the owner was Google or some other
entity, I would think their main concern would be stop further inclusion of
the material OSM, and possibly further use by a major user of OSM, so the
location of the mapper matters very little (unless the mapper was a
disgruntled employee or some weird situation like that).


On Mon, Apr 15, 2019 at 9:25 AM Martin Koppenhoefer <mkoppenhoefer at web.de>

> > On 15 Apr 2019, at 18:07, Kathleen Lu <kathleen.lu at mapbox.com> wrote:
> >
> > Hi Martin,
> > Yes, Google might already have a subsidiary in a country (since they
> have them in many but certainly not in all countries) but they would still
> have to "go" there in the sense that: 1) I very much doubt the subsidiary
> would already have a plaintiff-side copyright attorney on speed dial, so
> they'd have to get one; 2) they'd have to produce the paperwork that shows
> that subsidiary owns the copyright in question. Given that this was a
> filing with the US FCC, odds are that all the people involved in producing
> the filing are in the US, and therefore the paperwork is in the US and
> would need to be transferred to the subsidiary in order for the subsidiary
> to sue... (Frankly, I don't think it'd be cheaper to that, vs the default
> ownership entity hiring local lawyers and filing suit in its own name, so I
> don't think the existence of the subsidiaries matters.)
> >
> I guess bureaucracy would not limit their ability to act. These reasonings
> may hold up for smaller countries and companies, but Google Ireland Ltd. is
> the Google subsidiary for the whole common European market (or EU, not
> sure), their 2017 revenue was 32 billion Euros, if they need an attorney
> they will find one.
> Reason I asked was because you wrote the situation depends on the place
> where the infraction happens (besides the probably insignificant case at
> hand, with a single line drawn), the question which law is applicable is a
> returning one.
> Cheers,
> Martin
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