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I have a question regarding copyright in OSM

It said after I created an account that I could not use information from a copyright protected source, and what that tells me is that OSM can not include any information that can be found on a commercially owned map (like Google Maps).

What confuses me about that is if that rule were enforced, OSM's map would have to either be completely blank or have 0% accuracy. Am I correct?

Than how can a library on OSM also be found on Google Maps, and be just fine? What am I allowed to add to OSM?

asked 11 Dec '14, 16:31

E-Au's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 11 Dec '14, 16:33

There is a misunderstanding. Of course OSM is allowed to include information that can also be found in commercial maps. The difference is that you are not allowed to copy information from commercial maps or other sources that are protected by a copyright.

Also see the beginner's guide about collecting data as well as the Legal FAQ about contributing.

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answered 11 Dec '14, 16:39

scai's gravatar image

scai ♦
accept rate: 23%

edited 11 Dec '14, 16:42


As an example, if I walk down to that library, collect the GPS coordinates of the entrance, write down the hours and name on the front door, and then use that information to add the library to OSM, I haven't used any copyrighted sources.

(11 Dec '14, 17:54) alester

You aren't allowed to add thing to OSM by copying another map unless the people who own the map have explicitly allowed it (and nearly all don't).

However you can add things to OSM by going there in the real world and adding the things you see/find. This is one of the ways that OSM is created.

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answered 15 Dec '14, 10:48

rorym's gravatar image

accept rate: 11%

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question asked: 11 Dec '14, 16:31

question was seen: 3,185 times

last updated: 15 Dec '14, 10:48

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum