[okfn-discuss] Re: [geo-discuss] copyright not applicable to geodata?

rob at robmyers.org rob at robmyers.org
Mon Apr 2 10:47:58 UTC 2007

Quoting Rufus Pollock <rufus.pollock at okfn.org>:

> (i) Copyright in the Compilation. ... First, it [the DB directive] 
> defines what is meant by a "database": "a collection of independent 
> works, data or other materials arranged ina  systematic or methodical 
> way and individually accessible by electronic or other means." [DB 
> Dir Art 3] Then it allows copyright in a database (as distinct from 
> its contents), but only on the basis of authorship involving 
> involving personal intellectual creativity. This is a new limitation, 
> so far as common law countries are concerned, and one which must 
> presage a raising of the standard or originality throughout British 
> Copyright law. Intellectual judgment which is in some sense the 
> author's own must go either into choosing contents or into the method 
> of arrangement. The selective dictionary will doubtless be a clearer 
> case than the classificatory telephone directory but each may have 
> some hope; the merely comprehensive will be precluded -- that is the 
> silliness of the whole construct.

So the OSM database of nodes and ways would be copyrightable if its 
required personal intellectual judgement? Creation of individual sections of
the database certainly require skill and judgement. Does the fact that this
piecemeal creativity is used to populate the DB mean that the DB as a whole is
regarded as having been created with skill and judgement?

And what about the GPS trace database? Surely individual GPS traces can't be
coipyrighted but could the database as a whole?

- Rob.

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