Copyright Questions When Using Images From World Wind

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This will be expanded as more information is gathered. It is primarly from this thread: http://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov/forums/index.php?showtopic=2699 This will be expanded as more information is gathered. It is primarly from this thread: http://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov/forums/index.php?showtopic=2699

Revision as of 09:44, 8 October 2005

This will be expanded as more information is gathered. It is primarly from this thread: http://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov/forums/index.php?showtopic=2699

Matt Fox:

Any copyright experts in here?

I understand the images used by WW are public domain, created by the US Government so there are little or no restrictions on their use. However, what happens if someone takes the images obtained from the original government source, modifies them slightly (such as changing them to a different projection) and then sells them in digital form at a website. Would the modified images then be subject to copyright?

I searched all over the internet and couldn't find an answer to this one. I guess it depends on whether or not making a minor change such as reprojecting an image would make the new image a "derivative work". But a derivative work creator must get permission from the original creator, so do they still need such permission if the original work is public domain??

Matt


Jessi:

Hi Matt,

If the original work is in the public domain, the creator doesn't have any exclusive rights to the work. So you can do anything with it that you like, including modifying it and selling the modification. The derived work is copyrightable if it's an "original work of authorship," which, as you might imagine, is subject to interpretation.

For more on derivative works, see Circular 14 and 17 U.S.C. §§ 101, 103. For more on public domain status, there's 17 U.S.C. § 105; Sec. 12 of the Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988; and "Where is the Public Domain?".

I should also add that courts in the U.S. and courts in other countries likely apply different standards for what constitutes a derivative work, and that it's better to turn to the Berne Convention for guidance outside the U.S.

Jessi


Adam

And as a general truth: Most data outside the US is,in no way free, except for niche projects, with restrictions on redistribution or are a out of the ordinary, nation wide initiative. If anyone tells you there is free data in the EU, they are probably misinformed or hell has just froze over.

Click for a PDF on the state of geo data in the EU Example of the wrangling in the UK over the Ordinance Survey Data

  • Noteable exceptions we have found:
    • Canada
    • South Africa
    • New York State
    • (Please feel free to add more)
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