Why never use copyrighted maps as source. (clarified title)

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Re: Why do people hate online maps?

Postby mapcat » Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:15 pm

CBenson wrote:I apologize for getting my hackles up when this issue is brought up. But it really bugs me to be told that it is illegal to use facts simply because I looked them up with Google.

Thanks for the clear, thoughtful, and thorough response. It's obvious now that our disagreement is only semantic, and given that you're not currently copying another company's work, nor advocating doing so, I have nothing further to add.
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Re: Why do people hate online maps?

Postby mapcat » Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:18 pm

CBenson wrote:Yes. That is what I'm saying, if you are using copyrighted sources to establish public domain facts, then publishing those facts is not copyright infringement in the US.

How do you use copyrighted sources to "establish" public domain facts? To me, "establish" here would mean "determine to be factual", and if you are looking at the work of two private map companies, there is no guarantee that anything on either or both is a fact. For all you know, one of them could be copying the other, so far without being caught. If you can't determine it to be factual, then don't put it on Waze's map.

I would really like to see an example of something you wanted to edit that you didn't feel comfortable editing until you saw how Google portrayed it.

If I create a map of Annapolis and someone else copies it, I can sue them (regardless of whether the copy is used to make a profit). However, if they create their own map that looks entirely different (except for the underlying public domain facts) and includes Benson Blvd, that's not likely copyright infringement.

Define "looks entirely different". Waze maps don't look anything like anyone else's in some ways, and are almost exactly like other maps in other regards. Likewise, their function is either very different or very similar depending on perspective and motive.

Copyright infringement in the US requires that to be a copy the other map has to be substantially similar to mine. The mere inclusion of Benson Blvd on an otherwise different (except for underlying public domain facts) is unlikely to rise to the required level of substantial similarity.

Again, how you define "substantially similar" determines whether something inappropriate is going on. Since we're maintaining/enhancing a product we like, and want to be able to continue to use it, it's better to use a conservative definition IMO.
Yes, Easter eggs exist in data compilations. Let's take the hypothetical example above where someone else copies my map with the fictional Benson Blvd. If they independently create a map that looks just like mine, it is not copyright infringement. So when I try to sue them, their first defense is likely to be "Oh I never saw your map before in my life, so I couldn't have copied it." If I can't show that they actually saw my map, I can't prove copyright infringement. That's where the Easter egg comes in. If my fictional Benson Blvd is on their map, it proves that they actually did have access to my particular map. This showing of access to my map through the inclusion of Benson Blvd plus substantial similarity should be enough to prove copyright infringement. The use of Benson Blvd without substantial similarity would not be enough to prove copyright infringement as there would be no copy of my map.

Sorry, you lost me. This might make more sense if I understood your particular definition of "substantial similarity". To me, if something entirely of my own creation shows up in something published by someone else, in the exact same place, it's pretty obvious that there's a copyright infringement. Maybe they copied it from a third map that had copied my work without my knowledge--in that case it's still no less of a copyright infringement.

Since my Cecil Adams reference is too old for you, here's a more recent one, including a settlement:
Copying maps costs AA £20m
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Re: Why do people hate online maps?

Postby mapcat » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:57 am

aaronr8684 wrote:But if you can trace (I know people don't) that road back to a public source (or non-copyrighted) no company along the way would have rights to claim copyright on it.

Of course. So use the public source and forget the copyrighted one. They're not hard to find!

For the basemapped world, at least, there is no need to use Mapquest, Google, OSM, Bing, or any other sources for street names, landmark names, etc. For the non-basemapped world, there might be a need, but it's unlikely that those other sources would have any better information than Waze does.
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Re: Why do people hate online maps?

Postby mapcat » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:30 am

CBenson wrote:
mapcat wrote:Because how do you know that the street name you see on their map is correct? They do purposely give a small number of streets the wrong name, making it easy for them to discover anyone using their data.

You do research using multiple sources so that you are not copying any particular work.

OK, then if you have access to other sources of street names, then why would you need Google's street names at all?!

Or were you implying that you could use multiple copyrighted sources and defend your actions if accused of stealing data by saying "I don't know if I copied your data or someone else's. I was using multiple sources, and only copied a few things from any one of them."

You seem to be missing the point. If you create a map of Annapolis that calls the road in front of your house Benson Blvd, and you copyright it, you are not copyrighting something that is anyone's work but your own. And if another company creates a map that shows Benson Blvd there without asking for and receiving permission from you, then they are in violation of copyright. And if they use that map to make a profit, you will have every right to sue them and expect some sort of compensation.

Edit: See what Cecil Adams has to say: Do maps have "copyright traps" to permit detection of unauthorized copies?
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Re: Re: Why do people hate online maps?

Postby mapcat » Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:43 am

dmcconachie wrote:It's not the use of street names etc that is illegal, it's the use of Google to create a derived work!

This.

Because how do you know that the street name you see on their map is correct? They do purposely give a small number of streets the wrong name, making it easy for them to discover anyone using their data.
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Re: Why not to use copyrighted maps as source. (clarified ti

Postby Machete808 » Fri May 31, 2013 4:09 pm

Ah. I'd skipped some of the discussion. Thanks.
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Re: Why do people hate online maps?

Postby Machete808 » Fri May 31, 2013 2:14 pm

daknife wrote: based on a day of reading past case law including the linked case and other cases, based on extensive precedence and current case law severely limiting copyright protection of maps (as noted in my linked case) I see no liability for Waze. Though IANAL, I do enjoy reading legal code and case law.


This is a U.S. District Court decision, which wouldn't really apply broadly. Are there any Supreme Court rulings in what you've read?
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Re: Why do people hate online maps?

Postby looking4OPH » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:41 pm

The wiki has lists of resources, "implied" that they are the "DO USE" kind. Haven't seen any "DO NOT USE" instructions or resource list, outside of the forum. Expecting new map editors to search/review the whole forum is a bit of a stretch.
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Re: Why do people hate online maps?

Postby looking4OPH » Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:36 pm

gettingthere wrote:DO NOT copy data from those sources (Google, Mapquest) in order to edit the Waze Map.

How about someone (Waze? experienced map editor? cartographer?) posting a list of OK TO USE sources and DO NOT USE sources to help the rest of us non-cartographers and non-lawyers so we can best contribute our local knowledge, backed up by legitimate sources?
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Re: Why do people hate online maps?

Postby Kuhlkatz » Thu May 23, 2013 4:12 pm

Have a nice long read through Google's Terms of use and reuse of their material. If you use that in Waze, it means the same copyrights needs to visible in all of Waze's own maps etc etc etc...

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