Google Maps guilty in France of abusing the dominant position of its mapping service

Posted by Pieren on 1 February 2012 in English (English)

As mentionned e.g. in this article:

a French commercial court ordered Google to pay 500K€ in damages and interest to a small cartographic company who complained about the unfair competition.
A Google France spokesman said ""We remain convinced that a free high-quality mapping tool is beneficial for both Internet users and websites.".

GM "free", really ?

And what about OSM ? Is there a risk that in some days in the future, OSM will be guilty for the same reasons, offering for free what commercial companies are offering for a fee ?

Comment from Sanderd17 on 1 February 2012 at 16:17

No, as we can't abuse our dominant position. The OSM foundation can't make any profit. So there is no way they could accuse us of that.

Comment from Pieren on 1 February 2012 at 16:39

> The OSM foundation can't make any profit.
Sure. But the foundation is responsible about the license choice. And since this license allows commercial reuse for free, it's an unfaire competition against commercial products (even if the profits are not directly earned by the foundation).

Comment from Sanderd17 on 1 February 2012 at 16:45

Google also gets data from Teleatlas. Yet, Google has to pay, not Teleatlas.

I believe the same will apply to us.

Comment from Sanderd17 on 1 February 2012 at 16:48

Also, if OSM get accused, we can let the OSM Foundation down and take the data into a new project.

I don't believe anyone will use money with the current setup. We will just lose a bit of popularity (as our name will suddenly change).

Comment from Sanderd17 on 1 February 2012 at 16:53

Damn, why can't I edit my posts. I meant "nobody will LOSE money" instead of "use money".

Comment from andrewpmk on 2 February 2012 at 00:39

"Wikipedia accused of using its dominant position to unfairly compete with Encyclopedia Britannica". This is not a crime.

Comment from Jean-Marc Liotier on 2 February 2012 at 12:56

Offrir gratuitement un produit vendu par d'autres n'est pas illégal. Ce serait du dumping s'il s'agissait d'une vente à perte, en particulier si elle était manifestement destinée à couler les concurrents et si les pertes sur ce marché étaient financées par des profits réalisés sur un marché où l'entreprise domine. Cette définition ne s'applique aucunement à OSM. OSM ne distord pas non plus la concurrence car les données publiées sont offertes à tous aux mêmes conditions, sans aucune discrimination - toute entreprise peut profiter des données libres. La combinaison du but non lucratif de l'association et des conditions ouvertes de la licence est la garantie contre le risque de dérive vers l'abus de position dominante.

Comment from netman55 on 2 February 2012 at 19:49

>The OSM foundation can't make any profit.

Yes it can. It can't distribute those profits to its members. The profits can be used for other activities

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