Can you own information?

Discussion in 'GPS Navigation' started by Traveller_HA5_3DOM, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. Traveller_HA5_3DOM

    Traveller_HA5_3DOM Read Only Funster

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    We all travel round using various pieces of information collected from a whole range of sources and some collate these into google maps, Autoroute files and inky blobs on maps.
    We have purchased various books and downloaded POIs some at a small cost and some given free. We have harvested information from travelers who have stayed and recommended campsites and Aires and I have added them to my files together with comments drawn from the giver of the information like "free WiFi over the road at the library"
    Most of this information originally starts off in a printed directory of some sort and is sold or given away.
    Do the copy write laws apply to they reproduction of the data by any means i.e. photocopy the book or having sold this information can someone retain rights over something like a collection of LPG station information that has been made into a POI file by someone else. In other words does the fact that you gather together various pieces of information somehow give you reproduction rights over how it is subsequently used or stored. Accepting that the original gatherer of the information whoever that might be, may have worked long and hard to verify that information.
     
  2. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    I think this is a question that makes lawyers rich:Smile:

    Let's take our own Aires site at FrenchAires.com, here we keep a list of Aires, uploaded by Funsters. Now there are other well known books of Aires and I'm sure many of those Aires from the book appear in it. Many aires on our site may have come directly from it, ie. A Funster using that book finds an aire and then adds it to our website as one of his favourites. Can you own the copyright to the address of an aire? I don't think so.

    But if we made our own book of aires, and it was a blatant copy of the other, maybe using some of the exact same (wrong) coordinates and descriptions, then this would easily fall into the copyright theft area.

    We have a member who keeps lists of pubs he or his friends has stopped at. There are other organisations that try and sell that same info, do they have copyright? Doubt it, but I bet they could find lawyers that agreed with them.
     
  3. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    Of course you own information, you own it exclusively its yours, you invented or discovered it you have 100% sole rights to it :thumb:
    Unless
    You tell someone else :Doh:
     
  4. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Basically, one can not claim copyright in information but one automatically gains copyright in a collection of information by creating that collection.

    Thus, for instance, addresses are not copyright but if they are collected into a directory then copyright exists in that directory. Information on a web site may or may not be copyright but the way in which it is presented is copyright.

    It's similar with PoI files. The individual grid references and the description (e.g. Car Park, High Street, Anytown) are not copyright but their combination in a particular way by an individual is. In addition, specific database rights also exist in the collection as a whole. Thus, if the creator of a PoI set says "You may not make copies for commercial gain, publish or sell any of the contents of the PoI set for any commercial purpose without the prior written consent of xxxxxxxxxxxx. " then you breach copyright if you act without written consent.
     
  5. Viennese

    Viennese Funster

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    Not for reproduction

    I believe that if you simply 'publish' the original information without acknowledging the source(s) or getting permission from the original compiler(s) you could be breaking copyright law. If you find and keep the information for your own use this would probably come under the 'fair dealing' provisions of the copyright law. If you produced a guide to aires, sites etc that you have personally visited with your own reviews, that is probably OK, if you acknowledged the original sources or guides you used to find that particular site, aire etc in a general list of acknowledgements. However, as Jim implies, copyright law is a nightmare, which as a former librarian, I know only too well.

    Good luck

    Catherine
     
  6. BritStops

    BritStops Trader BritStop Owner

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    This sort of information isn't covered by what is commonly understood as copyright laws (i.e. copying original works or writing, art, etc.), but the creator of the database is covered under the area of copyright law known as database right.

    According to the government's Intellectual Property Office:

    "For copyright protection to apply, the database must have originality in the selection or arrangement of the contents and for database right to apply, there must have been a substantial investment in obtaining, verifying or presenting its contents. It is possible that a database will satisfy both these requirements so that both copyright and database right apply."

    So, for instance, if someone had spent three years locating places, checking them out for suitability for overnight stays, persuading the owners to sign up to a free stopover scheme, compiling the relevant information and presenting it in a user-friendly way - then that would qualify for database right. :Wink:

    Unless the database has been offered under a general public license (i.e. free for all to use, with some conditions), specific permission is required to republish it (in any format). Acknowledging the original source does not remove the need to seek permission to republish, and does not protect from database right infringement claims.

    More information can be found at the Intellectual Property Office website

    Steve :Smile:
     
  7. Traveller_HA5_3DOM

    Traveller_HA5_3DOM Read Only Funster

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    Pubs is an interesting one, They change landlords frequently and new ones are unaware of undertakings the previous ones have given so the information soon dates. Businesses are used to paying a charge to be part of a trade directory that is likely to earn them customers and I guess pubs fall nicely into that category.

    I know Nuke at MHF produces and sells to the members a stick with information on stopovers and campsites that the members of the site have given freely to help other members and I would guess copying the stick would breach copyright even though the original information was not owned by him and was given for the reason of being used by anyone.

    It seems to be that if you collect and compile the information turn it into another form, other than the original format and layout it ceases to be a breach of copyright, particularly if you filter out the duds and add new material.

    Surely none of these Aires books can be the work of only one person visiting photographing, taking GPS readings and writing directions !!
     
  8. BritStops

    BritStops Trader BritStop Owner

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    It's quite likely that it'll still be a breach of copyright. The relevant phrase on the IPO site is:

    "Copyright is said to be infringed if someone uses the whole or a substantial part of a copyright protected work without the permission of the owner."

    The format and layout does not matter with regard to database right. It is the actual collection of information that is protected. So someone taking an existing online database (or a substantial part thereof) and republishing it in printed format for instance would still be in breach of database right.

    Steve :Smile:
     
  9. Traveller_HA5_3DOM

    Traveller_HA5_3DOM Read Only Funster

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    So where did your information on pubs come from, were all of the places visited and the descriptions written by you? or did you harvest them from a variety of sources and then compile them?
     
  10. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    It might not be one living person but it might be one organisation - i.e. one legal person.

    Having said that, if one person can contact all local authorities in the country at least twice (plus other organisations) in order to collect information and then use that information to identify co-ordinates for PoIs before putting the PoI set together then perhaps some of the Aires books could be the work of one person :BigGrin:
     
  11. Traveller_HA5_3DOM

    Traveller_HA5_3DOM Read Only Funster

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    Easier said than done and I guess the burden of proof for establishing validity of the original content and data would far exceed the data itself. Even if you accept that you only need to establish it for a substantial part of the data.
     
  12. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    Slightly off topic but maybe of some interest...

    In an earlier life I used to present a formal, one and a half hour "street show".

    It had a "script" of sorts which had never been written down and was just "stored" in the presenters' heads.

    I used to ban any member of the audience from using a video camera. We didn't want the punch lines and the "surprises" to appear on YouTube etc.

    Someone commented that because this was taking place in a public place he could video whatever he wanted.

    I checked out with a good friend who just happened to be a highly successful barrister in a chambers that specialises in "Intellectual Property".

    It is clearly a breach of "copyright" to video an obviously prepared presentation. Apparently... and here is the strange situation... even if that presentation has not been previously recorded in any system... the very act of videoing the thing creates the "record" which is then itself in breach of "copyright" law. :Eeek:

    Knowing stuff like this can make you quite rich... :Wink:

    JJ :Cool:
     
  13. BritStops

    BritStops Trader BritStop Owner

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    All hosts register directly with us, the great majority having been contacted directly by me first by email then by phone. We find them on our travels, on the internet or by having them recommended by our members. A growing number nowadays find us and complete the registration form on our website, without me first contacting them (one just came through as I was typing this!). I do not use any other similar printed stopover guide or online stopover listing to search for our hosts. I'm not a harvester, I'm a hunter-gatherer! :BigGrin:

    If I know a site appears elsewhere as a stopover then I won't take it as a suggestion from members. There are two reasons for this, one is that I'd like Brit Stops to have as far as possible unique content, and the other is that the last thing I want is to be seen as poaching. That's just not cool. Having said that, I know of several Brit Stops pubs that do appear in other listings, as it's been their choice to do so. I won't prevent them from being in Brit Stops if they ask, and if they fit our requirements.

    The descriptions in the guide are indeed all written by me - so all typos, misspellings and grammatical mistakes are mine!:Blush: I use the information supplied by the hosts to create their entry in the guide, sometimes enhanced by info from their website if they only supply the bare minimum, or if there is more space on the page due to the written directions being very short. Most of the written directions are supplied by the hosts, but I often have to edit or expand them, or in some cases write them from scratch. Each page is then returned to the host for checking and approval before being used. We also contact our hosts by email and phone during the year to check details remain the same, and again before printing the new year's book.

    Just re-read this - apologies to everyone for the boringness of it all. :RollEyes:

    Steve :Smile:
     
  14. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    When we had our family history business we (in common with other companies) used to scan directories, maps &c to CD for publication. We could only do so legally if we waited until copyright had expired on the original publication or we had permission from the copyright owner.

    We could (and did) claim copyright in the scanned images and the code which allowed them to be presented on screen, as those were items we had created. We could not (and never tried to) claim copyright in the original works from which the scans were made.
     
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