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Re: ditigising a map for a free data set.

> If I use a nautical chart and digitise the coastline to some
> degree of precision, can I then slap my own (free) license on the
> data set?
> Or is that a partial `reproduction' that falls under the
> original's chart copyright?
> If getting the lat and lon of the coastline is considered a
> partial reproduction: Using that argument, I couldn't use a chart
> to pick out the position of a city and publish that.  Where's the
> line?  Is it like code?  (Use more than a few lines and copyright
> applies, so the lat/lon of a city is okay, but not some extended
> part of a coastline?)

I think that this is where fair use comes into play.  As I understand
it, you can legally do most of the things you're listing.  You can
make a copy of a small part of the map, and you can certainly extract
lat/lon information.  You just can't reproduce the map wholesale.
Exactly how much of the map you can reproduce is unclear.  That is
something that the courts ultimately decide, although if you use some
common sense you should be ok.

Walter Landry

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