[epsi-coord] offeneskoelln.de case

Marian Steinbach marian at sendung.de
Tue May 8 15:42:24 BST 2012

2012/5/8 Daniel Dietrich <daniel.dietrich at okfn.org>:
> Dear Marian,
> could you please provide the ePSI team with some details on the legal case on www.offeneskoel.de in english?
> The ePSI platform is possibly holding the most up to date database on legal cases about PSI re-use. See
> http://epsiplatform.eu/cases
> And we are always looking for new interesting cases even when they did not made it to court.


I'll do my best, although legal is not really my specialty, especially
in foreign languages.

In my project "Offenes Köln" I mass-copy (scrape) documents and data
from the City of Cologne website. The documents I copy are created in
the context of local council and committee work. On my server, I
provide a search function, direct file access via URLs and a
geo-referenced access (map view) of political cases.

There are more than 60,000 files in the repository. One of them,
created by a committee member several years ago, basically resembled
the print view of an online map service. It was used to clarify the
content of a request to the city administration this map was attached

A few weeks after I re-published the documents on my server, the
copyright holder of that map service (Euro-Cities AG, Berlin) became
aware of the copyright-protected material being re-published on my
server. I received a cease-and-desist letter several demands:

- depublish the map
- pay the license fee for using the map: 375 EUR
- pay the lawyer cost: 453 EUR
- sign a commitment, enforcing a penalty if I ever publish material
from Euro-Cities AG again without consent

In the end, Euro-Cities stepped back from their demands and only
wanted me to donate between 100 and 200 EUR to a charity organisation
(a hospice) of my choice.

I of course had to pay my own lawyer.

As a consequence I have now de-published 92 documents do to a risk of
copyright infringement and whenever new documents arrive in the system
I review them to make sure no copryright-protected materials appear.
Of course there is a gray area where I'm not exactly sure and where I
simply hope that the copyright holders don't start prosecuting.
Examples are reports by some third party institutions, plans by
architects and city planners and so on.


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