Vote for the Data Liberation Front to tackle aerial imagery

Posted by Richard on 11 September 2009 in English (English)

Google has a really enlightened guy called the Data Liberation Front. His role is to make it easy for people to get their data out of Google - rather than it being locked in.

Usually, people are locked in by the lack of an export feature, or an obscure file format. In mapping, people are locked in by licences.

In Google Maps' case, you can create your own work by tracing over aerial imagery. But you can't use this work elsewhere, because of the licences and terms of use. (The phrase "derived work" usually crops up around now.)

Google could fix this by saying that tracing from their imagery is ok - just like Yahoo have done. On my blog, I looked into the legalities of this and concluded there's nothing in law stopping them from doing so. It's entirely their decision.

So - please vote for the Data Liberation Front to fix this! Click here, sign in with a Google Account, and tick the box. And tell your friends.

Comment from PhilippeP on 11 September 2009 at 16:13

Done :)

Comment from antonys on 11 September 2009 at 19:24

Great campaign, and I have voted of course - but without wishing to pour cold water, might not Google's imagery be subject to the copyright of its suppliers - Infoterra, Bluesky etc? In which case they'd need to be brought into the discussion too - but certainly worth getting a dialogue going with Google anyway.

Comment from Richard on 11 September 2009 at 20:07

I suspect it's the contracts, not the copyright - there doesn't seem to be anything preventing it in most copyright law; and contracts are just an understanding between two parties. If Google want it changed, it can be changed!

We're now at 227 votes and in first place - almost twice as many as the next most popular. Amazing result so far - let's keep it up.

Comment from Skippern on 13 September 2009 at 01:00

My vote noted, a dialog with google is a good start, I believe google have the posibility to set up a sperate WMS API for us where they can filter out sources with copyrights we cannot use (all US official sources as i.e. NASA is already public domain). Without a dialog with Google we get nowhere.

According to my brother who works for Google, reffering to their maps for streetnames, placenames and such comes under derrived works, and is supported in the google copyright.

Comment from Richard on 13 September 2009 at 08:07

Oh, referring to their maps is definitely out-of-bounds - no question about that. This is about aerial imagery. Agreed absolutely that a dialogue has to help.

P.S. Just a few short of 500 votes now!

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