Some legal and import questions

Hello. I have some legal questions.

1 Why do some of you call maps copyrighted? They are not result of human creativity so they are not copyrighted. They are more like a databases. There is a special term called for that. Why do some of you call it copyright almost everywhere? BTW, in most of jurisdictions databases are not legally protected.

2 Can you explain these shit? What’s wrong with cc-by-sa used on wikimapia? It seems it grants ( ) the same rights odbl grants ( ) and doesn’t deprives the rights odbl grants, so why do some of you think it is illegal to upload the data there?

3 Another thing is that I have an idea about about POI. As written in the wiki, it is disallowed to import them, but is allowed to import them if you have visited the real place. So why not to have 2 types of POI, the free ones and the cleared ones. The free ones are part of OSM and can be legally used, the non-free ones are shipped as a separate service though closely integrated into OSM. Non-cleared ones are also shown on a map in mobile navigators, but when a user visits it, mobile phone emits sound and a user can commit some active action like removing a poi and recreating it. Then a newly created POI will be free.

The next step is to automate poi recreation. In fact it is just copying the old one but requiring the person to check the data if they are correct looking on the sign. Since there is no way to detect if a poi was created manually by a user or just copied, I guess it will be legally free.

4 Some organizations have their websites and the schedule on the websites. Will POI be clear if someone have taken someones non-free database of organizations (for example Google Maps POIs), extract their websites, check if the URL is reacheable in search engines, then visit the websites and create pois from the info published on websites (website owner obviously put it there to be used by everyone)?

4.1 If there is a map embedded in website can POI’s be extracted from it taking in account that they were obviously provided to mapping service by website owner?

  1. You write “most jurisdictions”, since OSM is available in all jurisdiction, it should apply to all
    A map style is a creative process, one can copyright a style.

2 Read the paragraph on tracing from Google. Google does not allow tracing from their maps. Period. Since some of the wikmapia is derived from such tracing, we do not allow the use of that data.

3 People are free to combine our data with other datasources, but that does not mean that the community is going to set up a service with combined sources any time soon. Feel free to build upon our work.

  1. grey zone, some will say it’s ok, others will say it’s not OK

4.1 Since this is copying a database it is not allowed in some countries. If the POIs were located by using e.g. Google’s reverse geocoder, it is not allowed to copy them.

The main goal of OpenStreetMap is to create a free map of the world, without dependencies on data licenses from other parties. So the community (or at least many sub-communities) prefer to gather data by surveying the real world, rather than importing other sources.

Further on I wonder why you use such an hostile tone in your post. Did one of your changesets got reverted ?

Actually all (not some!) wikimapia data are traced from Google imagery. So no way with Wikimapia for us!



Satellite maps are created in automated way.


The question was why in OSM wiki is stated that


That paragraph text seems to me to be an uncertain bullshit and lie: for example on wikimapia it is stated that the maps are licensed under cc-by-ca which ALLOWS COMMERCIAL USAGE.

So I wonder if it is official OSM position, and if this really is, why the hell they call themselves “open” if they disallow reusing your maps?

Please, reread my question again. The question was if it is possible to import non-free POIs from non-free sources into legally free database by clearing proprietariness in the described way. Will such hack make POIs legally clear?

a) Does it matter legally that the POIs are shown on the webpage of third party - the creator of them, even though they are fetched from map provider website? So is it possible to claim that the pois are given to you not by the service but by the person who have given them to service.

b) What if the pois are not placed into db but are sent to map provider in order to show them in the URI or map provider’s JavaScript library is used which displays them right on the map?

1: Because OSM originated in the UK and UK law considers databases to be protected by copyright, e.g

Unless you reformulate your post by removing s*** words, I won’t even bother to think about formulating a reply.

If you do not like our license, feel free to use another datasource that meets your requirements.
Of course, you can discuss the license in a decent manner, but in that case this forum might not be the most appropriate place.

Maps have been considered creative works likely since the concept was created, every copyright law that I’ve ever looked at in detail explicitly covers maps, and last but not least, maps are explicitly listed in the Berne Convention.

Please rest assured that maps enjoy copyright protection.

Only the EU and a small number of other countries have an explicit protection for databases (the sui-generis database protection is just part of that), that does not imply that a database would never have protection in other legislations under copyright law or other statutes, that simply depends on a number of factors that don’t make sense to speculate about.

Because the rights of the original creators remain even if somebody misrepresents the status of the work. In typical copyright legislation you can even be liable for use of such works even if you were led to believe that you were not infringing rights of third parties. Besides that wikimapia is long irrelevant and it really is not worth the energy even discussing them.

Copying by a slow process is still copying, and typically you would be liable for use of the non-free work in the app in any case.

See above. I though we had seen the last of white washing ideas years ago, but obviously not.