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Do you violate copyright using Google Maps images?

On August 5, the Moscow Arbitration Court ruled on the claim of the Sidikov Navigation cartographic company to the Riting Club. The lawsuit concerned the protection of business reputation and the refutation of false information.

The claim was filed because of the article "State secrets at dumping prices" , published on the website of the InterRight news agency. It reported on the "interest" that the Federal Security Service has shown to the manufacturer of the cartographic program ProGorod. According to the author, this program was created using satellite images of Google, and the creators of the program did not receive permission to do so.

According to the article, the Federal Antimonopoly Service, which allegedly suspected the actions of Progorod manufacturers, was also shown to be dumping, showed interest in ProGorod. In general, it was written there were a lot of offensive things, and it is not surprising that Sidicom sued the lawsuit for the protection of business reputation. The court partially satisfied the claim, refusing to refute most of the allegations, for one of the most common reasons in such cases: most of the information spread by the defendant was recognized as an “opinion” that cannot be checked for truth or disproved ... Well, since the question about the truth of the words about the violation by cartographers of “intellectual rights” to satellite images by the court in essence has not been considered, then we will have to consider it, within the framework of this article.
Algebra Harmony Check
One of the fundamental principles of copyright is that it protects only works of a “creative nature”. This criterion is enshrined in Article 1257 of the Civil Code , according to which, the author of the work is a citizen whose creative work it was created. Like many “fundamental” principles, the “creative criterion” is often forgotten. This is facilitated by the fact that the “creative nature” of the work is assumed until otherwise proved. That is, with the justification of why a particular text, drawing, etc., is protected by copyright, you can usually not mess around.

In addition, court decisions that deal with the issue of creative character are negligible. For example, in the information letter of the Presidium of the Supreme Court of Arbitration of September 28, 1999 No. 47 “A review of the practice of resolving disputes related to the application of the Law of the Russian Federation“ On Copyright and Related Rights ”he is given only a few lines: considering the case of the originality of the title“ Encyclopedia for children and youth “, the court notes that the lack of creative nature in this case is obvious. The main features of creativity in practice are considered "originality" and "originality". If two people are given the task to write a story or draw a picture on a given topic, then of course they will not get the same result. And if it works out, this is the reason to consider their works “uncreative,” of, for example, informational. If we now look from this point of view on the most common topographic map, then knowledge of the “criteria for creativity” will be enough for us to doubt that it is protected by copyright.

Indeed, what is a map? This is a graphic representation of the terrain with special symbols. It does not depend on the subjective perception of a person and does not require creative activity to create. If two different people are given a map of the same area, the result will be the same, within the margin of error. Standard maps are made according to state standards - have you seen many “works” written according to instructions? Although there is an opposite opinion, which will be discussed below.

As for satellite images, the question with them is generally very clear: they do not contain any “creativity”, since they are created automatically, without human intervention. This is only the result of fixing the state of the earth’s surface, which is also informational. So with the accusation of cartographers of “plagiarism”, the authors of the article seemed to be excited. All that they can present is a violation of the related "rights of the database compiler" described in Articles 1333-1336 of the Civil Code . If they really copied the images from the Google database ... In addition, contrary to other popular belief, satellite images do not contain any "state secrets", regardless of their resolution.

Recently, a letter from a representative of the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography was published on one of the cartographic sites, which specifically mentioned this. However, it is widely believed that topographic maps are subject to copyright. Its appearance is mainly due to the fact that "geographical, geological and other maps, plans, sketches and plastic works related to geography, topography and other sciences" are explicitly mentioned in the Civil Code among the "objects of copyright" . does not cancel the “creative” criterion, and nobody argues that “non-standard” cards containing original elements can be protected by copyright ...

Roscartography on the march
However, domestic cartographers, in an effort to make money, also planted everywhere that the maps are protected by copyright. The beginning of this radical approach put a press release, published in late 2003. Its compilers, it seems, believed that apart from a cartographer with a license, no one could independently draw up a plan of the area. In their opinion, "... the use of a cartographic work or part thereof in any form and method is allowed only with the permission of the copyright holder ( Article 16 of the Law ). Therefore, reproduction, processing and distribution of fragments of maps and plans on the Internet is possible only with the permission of the copyright holder."

The reason for the appearance of such a press release was the fact that "... a number of articles appeared in the mass media and the Internet on the issue of locating location maps on corporate websites, using as a basis fragments of published maps and plans." Simply put, the authors of the press release pretend that any scheme posted on the Internet is processing "their" cards and violates copyright law. Moreover, in 2004, the Government issued a decree on the procedure for disposing of the “exclusive right to cards”.

No, it does not contradict the Civil Code, since maps protected by copyright exist, in principle, can ... But in practice it is used as confirmation that all cartographic information is protected by copyright in general. And in the "Guidelines for organizing legal protection of exclusive rights to use works in the Federal Service for Geodesy and Cartography of Russia", not only images of the earth's surface, but also "maps, atlases of the starry sky, moon, planets and their satellites" are assigned to copyright .

In addition to accusations of copyright infringement, representatives of Roskartografiya used another method of struggle: they applied to the court with a request to bring violators to administrative responsibility. In all seriousness, asserting that the placement of the location schemes on the website is “the creation and publication of maps,” that is, cartographic works for which a license is required. Here is an example of a court decision on a similar case , however, in this case, when appealing, the decision “did not stand” and was canceled. As for the courts because of copyright infringement, decisions on such cases, unfortunately, have not been published, although references to them are found in legal articles. One would like to hope that this practice of “copying” informational materials will become a thing of the past.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/102243/

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