[geo-discuss] Re: Fwd: [ordnancemaps] Soviet Military Maps of UK
richard at systemeD.net
Mon Aug 22 21:37:51 UTC 2005
[Warning - extremely amateur lawyer-wanking ahead: do not read if
gauche attempts to understand the law offend you!]
On 22 Aug 2005, at 19:47, SteveC wrote:
> OpenStreetMap has the services of a lawyer who has been very helpful
> with a lot of things so far. If more detail on some things are needed
> then I can ask.
I _would_ be really interested to find his/her view on making derived
works (traced maps) from aerial photography, if possible.
I've spent much of this evening looking over UK copyright legislation
which is very neatly summarised at
www.patent.gov.uk/copy/legislation/legislation.pdf . (I'd previously
relied on the online text of the Copyright, Designs & Patents Acts
1988, but there's a lot of relevant post-1988 European legislation, and
the PDF at patent.gov.uk takes this into account.)
Two readings from a layman's perspective (but see also
1. An aerial photograph is clearly "an artistic work" (4.1.a: "a
graphic work, photograph, sculpture or collage, irrespective of
There is no restriction on "making adaptation" of an artistic work,
as 21.1 explains that this only applies to literary, dramatic and
musical works. Is this significant?
Or does it just come down to 17.2 - is tracing an aerial photograph
"reproducing the work in any material form"?
2. Another tack: perhaps a reading could be constructed around Section
62. This says there's no copyright infringement in photographing or
redrawing ("graphic works") buildings and public sculptures. (It only
cites buildings and sculptures, so I'd surmise that the lie of the land
can't be copyrighted.)
This, to me, implies that a photograph of a building (aerial or not)
is copyrightable because of its artistic merit - not because of the
information it contains. Otherwise, reproducing the information (the
layout of the building) would be an infringement, and 62 expressly says
Therefore, it should be ok to copy the information alone by tracing
the map, without infringing the copyright in the photograph.
The copyright blurb in the front of Getmapping's photographic atlas is
pretty inconclusive. Aside from the generic boilerplate, the only
significant meaning I can find is "Aerial photography and processing by
the team at Getmapping". The processing might be "a work of artistic
craftsmanship" (4.1.c), and hence a copyrightable artistic work... but
then we're back to reading 1 again.
Maybe I should just buy one of these and survey Britain myself, very,
> For freethepostcode.org I had considered just letting people click on
> gmaps. But you can't.
I'd concur with that, because you're partially producing a derived work
from Google Maps' georeferencing, which is protected under database
right. But I'm too tired to do a proper check against the legislation.
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