Do you infringe copyright by using Google Maps images?

    August 5 Moscow Arbitration Court handed down a decision on the claim map of "Sidikov navigation" to the news agency "Rating Club." The lawsuit concerned the protection of business reputation and the refutation of false information.

    The lawsuit was filed due to the article “State at dumping prices” published on the website of the InterRight news agency. It reported on the "interest" that the Federal Security Service has shown in the producer of the ProGorod cartographic program. According to the author, this program was created using satellite images from Google, and the creators of the program did not receive permission for this.

    According to the article, the Federal Antimonopoly Service also showed interest in ProGorod, which allegedly suspected dumping in the actions of ProGorod manufacturers. In general, it was written there were a lot of offensive things, and it is not surprising that Sidikom filed a lawsuit in court to protect business reputation. The court partially satisfied the lawsuit, refusing to refute most of the allegations, on one of the most common grounds in cases of this kind: most of the information disseminated by the defendant was recognized as an “opinion” that can neither be verified nor refuted ... Well, since the question is about the truth of the words about the violation by cartographers of “intellectual rights” to satellite images, the court essentially did not consider, then we will have to consider it in the framework of this article.

    Algebra Check Harmony
    One of the fundamental principles of copyright is that it protects only works that are “creative in nature”. This criterion is enshrined in article 1257 of the Civil Code , according to which the citizen whose creative work it is created is recognized as the author of the work. Like many "fundamental" principles, the "creative criterion" is often forgotten. This is also facilitated by the fact that the "creative nature" of the work is supposed until proven otherwise. That is, with the justification of why a particular text, drawing, etc., is protected by copyright, you can usually not bother.

    In addition, there are negligible court decisions that would address the issue of creative character. For example, in a newsletterThe EAC Presidium of September 28, 1999 No. 47, “Review of Dispute Resolution Practices Related to the Application of the Law of the Russian Federation“ On Copyright and Related Rights ”, is given only a few lines: considering as an example the case on the originality of the title“ Encyclopedia for Children and Youth “, The court notes that the lack of creativity in this case is obvious. The main signs of creativity in practice are considered to be “originality” and “originality”. If two people are given the task of writing a story or drawing a picture on a given topic, then of course they will not succeed in the same result. And if it works out, this is the basis to consider their works “uncreative,” which, for example, are informational in nature. If now we look from this point of view at the most ordinary topographic map,

    Indeed, what is a map? This is a graphical representation of the area using special notation. It does not depend on the subjective perception of man and does not require creative activity to create. If two different people are allowed to make a map of the same area, the result will be the same, within the margin of error. Standard cards are compiled according to GOSTs - have you seen a lot of “works” that are written according to the instructions? Although there is an opposite opinion, which will be discussed below.

    As for satellite imagery, the question with them is generally clear: they do not contain any “creativity”, because they are created automatically, without human intervention. This is just the result of fixing the state of the earth's surface, which is also informational in nature. So with the accusation of cartographers of “plagiarism”, the authors of the article seem to have got excited. All that can be presented to them is a violation of the related “right of the compiler of the database” described in articles 1333-1336 of the Civil Code . If they really copied the images from the Google database ... In addition, contrary to another popular opinion, satellite images do not contain any “state secret”, 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 said just that. However, it is widely believed that topographic maps are copyrighted. This opinion owes its appearance mainly to the fact that “geographical, geological and other maps, plans, sketches and plastic works related to geography, topography and other sciences” are directly mentioned in the Civil Code among “copyright objects . However, this It doesn’t cancel the “creative” criterion in any way, but with the fact that “non-standard” cards containing original elements can be protected by copyright, no one argues ...

    Roskartografiya on the march
    However, domestic cartographers, in an effort to earn money, are also spreading everywhere the opinion that the cards are protected by copyright. This radical approach was initiated by a press release published at the end of 2003. Its drafters seemed to believe that no one except a cartographer with a license could independently draw up a plan of the area. In their opinion, "... the use of a cartographic work or its part in any form and in any way is allowed only with the permission of the copyright holder ( Article 16 of the Law ). Therefore, the 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 that "... a number of articles appeared in the media and on the Internet on the problem of placing driving directions on corporate websites using fragments of published maps and plans as a basis." Simply put, the authors of the press release presume that any scheme posted on the Internet is a processing of “their” card and violates copyright. 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 cards protected by copyright can, in principle, exist ... But in practice, it is used as confirmation that all cartographic information is protected by copyright in general. And in the “Guidelines for the organization in the system of the Federal Service of Geodesy and Cartography of Russia of the legal protection of exclusive rights to use works”, copyright objects include not only images of the earth’s surface, but also “maps, atlases of the starry sky, moon, planets and their satellites” .

    In addition to allegations of copyright infringement, representatives of Roskartografiya used another method of struggle: they appealed to the court with a request to bring violators to administrative responsibility. In all seriousness, arguing that the location of the location maps on the site is “the creation and publication of maps”, that is, cartographic work for which a license is required. Here is an example of a court decision in such a case , however, in this case, when appealing, the decision “did not resist” and was canceled. As for the courts due to copyright infringement, decisions on such cases, unfortunately, have not been published, although references to them are found in legal articles. It is hoped that such a practice of “copying” informational materials will become a thing of the past.

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