[Freegis-list] RE: Does Map data qualify under GNU/GPL?
Matt.Wilkie at gov.yk.ca
Mon Aug 11 13:25:57 CEST 2003
> We are a group of GPS enthusiast who are collecting road
> tracks. This will then be processed to PDA and GIS friendly
> formats. Is there any category on the GNU that is for data
> rather than software programs ?
Geographic data has been distributed under the GPL, however it must be said
that re-purposing the GPL like this has not been proven to be right or
effective. E.g. no lawyers have taken a look at it and pronounced it valid.
Bruce Perens did this first with the US TIGER census data in about 1999 or
so. The link I have for Bruce's data does not respond so maybe it is no
longer online. I followed suit with a small dataset in 2001. Basically all
we did was add a paragraph to the beginning of the license like this:
"The [name of dataset] is released under the GNU Public License, v2. For
purposes of interpreting the GPL in connection with this work: The database
is distributed in the form of compressed text files. These will generally be
processed into to another form to provide improved space or reference
efficiency before use. The text form should be considered 'source code' and
the other form should be considered a 'compiled program'.
The nutshell summary is: you are free to use, modify and distribute this
data as you wish, provided you do not attempt to restrict others from doing
I don't know if other people are following this model or not.
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